Dropshipping is one of the best ways that bloggers can monetize their properties. But to make this type of e-commerce work well for you, there are some key things you’ll need to consider.
You need to optimize your site’s UX to convert as many visitors to customers as possible. And you need to make sure your site integrates with other platforms for multi-channel selling, which is why you need to maintain viable presences on Amazon, eBay and beyond.
Yes, of course, you need a blog as well, and you could build a dropshipping site with WordPress. If you want the focus of your site to be the blog, that might be worth considering. But if you want site visitors to focus on the cash-generation side of your business (and who wouldn’t prefer that?), then you need a CMS that is specially designed for managing e-commerce stores.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping gives you a way of selling where you never carry stock. You never even have to pay for goods before you are paid for them because your customer pays you (including your markup) before you pay your supplier. And that’s as good as it gets.
You never see the goods, nor do you need to worry about address labels, packaging or shipping coordination, because your supplier handles all of that on your behalf.
The graphic below from BigCommerce explains the process of dropshipping.
Because it’s so light on merchant risk and investment, dropshipping is one of the best ways that bloggers can get started with monetization via physical product sales. You’ll earn more per conversion than you would as an affiliate, and you’ll quickly learn the extent to which your new site has enough business potential to justify handling your inventory and fulfillment, which is where the real money is.
How Do You Set Up a Dropshipping Site?
You’ve got three main options for dropshipping website management and infrastructure, all of which involve integrating a third-party tool. You can use one of the leading e-commerce platforms, like BigCommerce or Shopify, or you can use WordPress.
1. BigCommerce for Dropshipping Bloggers
BigCommerce is best known as a powerful e-commerce platform for businesses of every size, but it’s also got some robust blogging functionality built right in. You can also add your WordPress blog as a subdomain.
And if you thought e-commerce was complicated, then you’ve been reading the wrong websites. BigCommerce makes it very easy to set up your store to accept credit cards, even if you have never taken card payments before.
You can sell on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay, and the beauty of it is the simplicity; no logging into separate accounts because it’s all on your BigCommerce dashboard.
Selling is only half of your e-commerce business, though. You also need simple access to companies like AliExpress who will supply you with the goods to sell. BigCommerce offers some critical add-ons in this regard, such as their AliExpress dropshipping plugin and a custom t-shirt printing plugin that make it especially useful for dropshipping businesses specializing in many niches.
The monthly subscription you pay depends on the value of the sales you make, with the lowest payment covering up to $50,000. Higher plans include extra functions such as abandoned cart recovery. There is a free 15-day trial included with all plans.
2. Shopify for Dropshipping Bloggers
You can choose from hundreds of Shopify themes and set up a Shopify dropshipping site in a few minutes.
Optimize your images and descriptions for maximum SEO benefits using this Shopify SEO guide from Oberlo. You can sell on Amazon and Facebook, or you can place Buy Buttons on your blog posts. Your Shopify dashboard gives you access to all your selling channels on one screen.
Find goods to sell from suppliers like AliExpress using a plugin or using your Oberlo account. Either way, you will find products you can sell at a profit in no time.
You can also use an integrated Shopify blog on the same domain name for maximum SEO benefits from people linking to your posts.
Shopify subscriptions vary depending on the charges you are happy to pay, with the basic plan costing $29 per month. Higher plans include abandoned cart recovery and advanced reports. There is a 14-day free trial. Shopify offers a Facebook-only option with no online store for $9 per month.
3. WordPress for Dropshipping Bloggers
If you’re already set up for blogging on WordPress, and you aren’t hung up on making sure your site’s e-commerce experience is more prominent than the content, then it’s possible to get started without ditching the CMS you know.
With these types of solutions, though, you’ll need to pay for hosting separately, and you won’t get any Amazon or Facebook integrations, so you won’t have access to these low-friction buying channels unless you invest more in integrating more third-party tools.
The Condensed Version
Forget WordPress. Even with plugins, it lacks functionality and integrations when it comes to dropshipping site management.
Your choice of CMS comes down to BigCommerce or Shopify.
Both offer Amazon and eBay integrations, as well as custom pages such as an About page (essential for building customer trust). Shopify is cheaper, but BigCommerce comes with more functionality built into the core platform, so which you choose comes down to personal choice and the site modules that are most important to you.