3 Ways to Add a Store to Your Blog That Won’t Break the Bank

By: | Updated: July 22, 2021

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Have you been doing a lot of affiliate marketing, maybe running ads or developing your first course, but you’re still looking for ways to grow your blogging income?
Today, I want to introduce you to another blog income booster you may have heard about, but assumed it took way too much work, so you never got started.
They all involve a method of eCommerce called Dropshipping.
What is Dropshipping?
It’s just what the name alludes to.
Orders placed in your online store are completely fulfilled and packaged by the manufacturer or supplier and then shipped directly to your customer’s doorstep. All while you sit on your sofa in your pj’s watching Netflix.
It’s all totally passive and mostly hands off for you. There is no need to store or manage inventory; this is all handled by the supplier.

1. Amazon Affiliates

The Amazon Affiliates program is probably the most recognized eCommerce method of all three. Once your store is set up, it will seamlessly integrate with Amazon through an app or plugin.
After searching through the products listed on Amazon and carefully selecting items for your niche audience, you are all set to add them to your store collections. Customers will browse your store offerings, select their choices, and then add them to their cart.
The only difference with the Amazon program, unlike the other two eCommerce methods, is that buyers will be transferred to Amazon to finish the checkout process.

How To Find Products

Amazon has a search function so you can easily search for things your audience would enjoy.
For instance, if your blog is about food, featuring kitchen gadgets and accessories is a good idea especially if there are favorite tools you recommend. Yoga or weight control, once again start with your own personal favorites.
This differs from just adding an affiliate link to a blog post, because the product listing ad information and images will be displayed in your store using your blog’s theme and not Amazon’s.

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs are non-existent because most, if not all the apps/plugins, are free. The Amazon Affiliates program itself is also free.

How Much Can You Make

There is no cap on how much you can make. I would not recommend listing every item you find in an attempt to please everyone. A handful of items in-line with your niche in a few different collections will suffice. This way you can quickly test and exchange products that aren’t selling well to find what your readers really want to buy from you.

How to Start Your Amazon Store

You will have to apply for the Amazon Associates Program if you have not already.
The process is pretty straightforward and everyone is usually approved. Note Amazon gives you 90 days to make your first affiliate sale before you are removed from the program. But no worries. If you stick to useful products, your readers have to buy anyway, you will be make your first sale within 90 days with no problem.
Once you are approved and the app is connected to your store, you are all set.
Note: the Amazon Associates program does not work with Etsy, but through apps and plugins, Shopify and WooCommerce are supported as well as other website providers such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
Pros

  • Easy to set-up
  • No start-up cost
  • No monthly or annual subscription cost
  • A variety of products to sell
  • Passive income with almost no work required
  • Your store will be branded to match your blog

Cons

  • Customers check out on Amazon’s platform
  • Might not be taken as seriously with Amazon on your blog
  • Amazon has a lot of returns
  • Amazon pays out once a month
  • Does not work with Etsy
  • Amazon manages the customer experience

2. Direct Dropshipping from the Supplier

Don’t get confused here. While this entire post is about the overall method of ecommerce called Dropshipping we will now discuss direct dropshipping from the supplier.
With direct dropshipping, an app or plugin will integrate with your Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy store.
The app is actually the supplier offering hundreds of items to feature in your store. Your only job is to find and select swoon-worthy items for your audience to purchase.

Here’s How It Works

First, customers will browse your blog shop and then place their order directly on your site in which you will receive a notification that you have a new order.
Depending on which app is used, you may have to take a few minutes to accept the order or actually send it to the supplier, and then the order fulfillment and shipping process (by the supplier) begins.

Finding Suppliers

Popular apps/plugins I recommend are AliExpress, Oberlo, and Spocket.
Each has thousands of products available which can easily be added to your store with a matter of clicks.

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs can start at around $14.99 and will require either a monthly subscription or a one-time purchase fee that will vary.
Outside of the app or plugin costs, there are no other start-up costs with this dropshipping method.

How Much Can You Make

The amount of profit you make from each sale will vary. However, keep in mind that for the amount of work required for this mostly passive eCommerce system, the daily payday will be worthwhile.

How to Start a Dropshipping Store

Once the app is installed on your store of choice (I prefer Shopify), you will search for available products and select niche products to feature in your store.
This is where being in stalker, obsessive mode with your audience will come in handy.
You should have a pulse on exactly what they need and buy regularly to be able to offer it in your store.
Pros

  • Easy to set-up
  • A variety of products to sell
  • Passive income with almost no work required
  • Your store will be branded to match your blog
  • Suppliers integrate with a variety of blog providers such as WordPress, Squarespace,  and Wix
  • Selling items your audience already purchases so buying from you is a no-brainer

Cons

  • Monthly or annual subscription costs
  • You may have longer shipping or lead times
  • Supplier controls inventory and customer experience
  • Will need to test out a variety of products to see what your audience prefers
  • Products may be sourced from China (so does most of what you buy on Amazon)

3. Print on Demand

Print on Demand, also known as POD, has become fairly popular recently.
Forget any negatives you may have heard about Print on Demand.
No, it’s not blah tees, frightful mugs, or flimsy totes. It’s a way to bond and connect with your tribe in a beautiful artistic way (if done right).

What is Print On Demand?

With Print on Demand eCommerce, you design your own branded products which are only printed on demand once an order is received in your store.
There is no need to buy 100 of any one design hoping and praying your customers will buy it.
Ever been stuck with an unused product that you couldn’t even give away for free? Clogging up your basement and sitting there being a constant reminder of your failure.
Not so with Print on Demand. There are a variety of products available for your customization, and they will only be printed once you have a paying customer.
Of course, you know about the tees, mugs, pillows, and totes, but what about flip-flops, shower curtains, and even wallpaper and sneakers?
Printing on Demand is a great first shop idea and is what I would suggest you start with if you plan to add an online store to your blog.

How To Find Suppliers

There are many Print on Demand Suppliers. Popular printers are Printify, Zazzle, Teesprings, and Redbubble.
They all integrate with Shopify, WordPress, and Squarespace among other web providers.
Once your store is set-up, you will connect it to one supplier and then you are ready to create your masterpieces.

Start-up Costs

The best thing about Print on Demand, is there are no start-up costs.
You create the designs and they are printed only when you have an order with no minimum quantity requirements or print set-up fees.

How Much Money Can You Make

The sky’s the limited with Print on Demand.
We already know people love tees and coffee so those niche products will fly off the shelves if designed with your audience in mind.

How To Get Started

After your branded blog store is set-up, you can add an app or plugin to your store and begin designing your Picasso.
Pros

  • Easy to set-up
  • No start-up.com
  • Store branded to match blog
  • A variety of products are designed and sold
  • No minimum purchase quantities or set-up costs
  • No inventory or warehousing required
  • You can design yourself or hire a designer
  • Fast shipping because suppliers are usually in the US or EUR
  • Branded packaging and labeling is available on some platforms

Cons

  • Possibly higher shipping costs due to printers being local
  • You have to test different products until you find what your audience likes
  • Less control over the customer experience and product quality when it’s shipped by someone else
  • Will need to test out a variety of products to see what your audience prefers

In Conclusion

Amazon Affiliates, Direct Dropshipping, or Print on Demand…you really can’t go wrong with either in your blog shop because they can all be incorporated into one store or used alone… perfect harmony.

Best of all, once your store is set-up you can also use it to sell your digital downloads, printables, and courses.
Adrian Walker blogs at MissEcom.com. She helps entrepreneurs enhance their blog’s earning potential by adding niche stores or boutiques selling physical products.

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.

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