Make Money Online: How to Start a Dropshipping Business

You’ve read about digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs. They are leading the lifestyle you dream about. You want to figure out how to make money online, from your laptop, anywhere in the world.

You might read an article full of remote career ideas and the word “dropshipping” jumps out at you. It sounds ideal.

And it can be an ideal business model for many. But before you dive in, you need to figure out how to start a dropshipping business first. This guide covers everything you need to know to start dropshipping and exactly what it entails.

What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail business model where you can run an online store without handling the inventory. The online store is a middleman between the goods supplier/manufacturer and the customer.

Drop shippers advertise, market, display, and sell the products. But they do not handle or ship the products. Suppliers keep the wholesale cost while drop shippers keep the profit. 

If you are figuring out how to start an online business, dropshipping is a good choice. It is low risk with a low start-up cost. All you need is a laptop and WiFi for dropshipping. 

Let’s cover the steps you need to take when learning how to start a dropshipping business.

Step 1: Choose a Niche Product Idea

Some drop shippers choose products based on the biggest profit margin. Others choose whatever is trending at the moment, and others have a super unique idea they want to bring to fruition.

There’s no one right answer, but the examples listed above are wrong answers. You need to pick a product idea that you are passionate about, have some expertise in, and can market with ease.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What products have I bought online in the past six months?
  • What are my hobbies and interests?
  • Which products will I be able to talk about for years and not get bored?

Alongside passion, you need a viable product that will bring you profit. Research what type of products work in online stores and which ones will earn you the income you want.

Step 2: Research Your Target Market and Competition

After you have some good product ideas, it is time to start researching your audience and competition. There is no point in starting a boho jewelry business if there are already thousands of online stores doing the same thing. You also do not want to start a boho jewelry business if no one wants that product.

Invest in a keyword research tool to see what keywords people are searching for. Be careful you don’t pick up on a trend that will soon die out. 

Find your competitors through these keywords. Which stores appear in Google search first? What are they doing well and what could you do better?

Use this information to build a better online dropshipping store. 

Step 3: Secure a Wholesale Supplier

Next, you need to find the right product supplier for your dropshipping business. This might be the toughest part of starting a dropshipping business. Where you can find the right supplier completely depends on your chosen products.

Your first port of call should be online B2B marketplaces where you can hope to find a directory of relevant manufacturers. Here are some examples:

  • EC Plaza
  • Busy Trade
  • Global Sources
  • Buyer Zone

Using the jewelry store example, you could also try typing “jewelry wholesaler” into Google and seeing what appears.

When you do find a few contenders, do not enter into a long-term deal straightaway. Also, be mindful of their location. If most of your customers will be in the US but your supplier is in China, they can expect long waits for delivery.

Step 4: Create a Website/Online Store

Once the hard part is over, it is time to create your website which will act as a shopfront for your business. Because you are building an eCommerce website, you will need to ensure it has those abilities.

Build your website with an eCommerce platform like Shopify or Woocommerce to streamline the process. You will also need to consider the following points when creating the site:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting provider
  • Web design
  • Product images
  • Product pages
  • Product descriptions
  • Data protection
  • Returns, FAQs, blog, etc. pages

Set up buying confirmation and delivery emails, too. Take your time writing the product descriptions as these are what your customer reads right before they decide to buy. 

Step 5: Market Your Dropshipping Business

And after your store is up and running, it is time to start selling! But people need to know you exist first. There are so many ways you could market your business, so try several strategies to see what works.

Create pages on social media networks where your target audience is most likely to be. Upload fun and personal posts with professional images of your products. Be consistent, run ads, and host giveaways to get people to follow and engage.

As well as social media marketing, paid advertisements on Google could be the best option for a new business with little organic reach. They will allow your target market to see your business when they search for relevant queries.

But it is worthwhile to start building up your rankings in organic search ASAP. Write long-form blog content within your product’s niche so you can appear in as many relevant searches as possible. You can direct people to your products with a “call to action” at the end of every post.

Now you’ve learned how to start dropshipping, you are ready to get stuck in!

That’s How to Start a Dropshipping Business in Five Easy Steps

Learning how to start a dropshipping business is the easy part, it is building the business that takes the hard work. But if you do your research and market your business well, there is no reason why you can’t earn a lucrative (and almost passive) income online.

If you want to read more articles about creating your ideal business and lifestyle, browse our website for tons of useful tips and advice!