I recently moved to Thailand to start and test out a range of new businesses and while trying out a number of these new ventures, one I’ve seen some real success with is my ecommerce business based on Shopify.

It has literally enabled me to make money while I sleep!

I can’t tell you the excitement and buzz you get from waking up in the morning to look at your phone and see that you’ve made money overnight.

Here’s an example of the sort of thing I’ve been waking up to:

Shopify sales while sleeping

Shopify sales while sleeping

I’ve learnt a ton over the past couple of months so I thought I’d sit down and take a minute to show you how you can go about making money while you sleep as well.

How to make money while you sleep:

To start this post off I’d like to outline the business model I have used to make money while I sleep. The business model I used is ecommerce dropshipping with Shopify.

But what is dropshipping with Shopify?

Dropshipping basically consists of selling products without ever touching them and doing so by building your own website / store on Shopify.

This may sound funny but it’s a very tried and tested model that thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs have started making money with over the past ten or so years.

It’s a great place for people to start if they’ve never made money online as it very low risk, can be started for free or with very little money and can enable you to start generating money in a little as a couple of days!

But how exactly does it work?

Well, dropshipping is the process of marketing products, waiting for customer to purchase then placing the order with the supplier and have them ship the product(s) directly to the customer for you.

This is an amazing business model because it enables you to wait until customers have purchased a product(s) and paid you, before you ever spend any money on inventory.

So in a nutshell this is what the dropshipping process looks like:

  1. You list products on your Shopify website (or other sales channel such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy and so on).
  2. Start marketing your products.
  3. Wait until you receive a paid sale from a customer.
  4. Fulfill the order by purchasing the product(s) from the supplier and have them ship it directly to your customer.

It really is as simple as that.

So how do you get started?

When starting you have two options, you can either go through the steps I have listed below, or you can bypass them by purchasing an existing store from a site like Shopify’s Exchange and move straight on to marketing and selling your products.

1. Pick a niche.

Now before you start doing anything you first need to pick a niche you would like sell products in. Examples of niches would be outdoor sports, cookware, home & decor, apparel, to name but a few.

Or, if you are unsure which niche you would like to start in you could always start with a general store that lists products from many different kinds of niches and then once you find a couple of winning products you can create a new store and niche down from there.

We started with the second option and created a general store with products in the following categories: Electronics, Womens, Mens, Children & Babies, Home & Garden and Pets.

As you can probably guess this was a very big store and before we launched we listed over 450 products!

Now in hindsight we definitely would have niched down immediately or at least started a general store with less categories and a whole lot less products.

2. Purchase a domain.

Now Shopify does offer you free domains, but they aren’t completely custom and have .my-shopify.com added on to the domain.

This can be a good option if you want to keep your initial investment as low as possible, but I would highly recommend spending $10 on a site like Godaddy to purchase your own custom domain.

It looks a lot more professional and gives you much more control over you branding, after all you wouldn’t want to spend time building a store  around a brand name to then go to purchase the custom domain later and find out it’s been taken by a competitor.

When picking a domain name aim to keep it as short as possible and have a keyword related to your niche in it. So if you’re selling products to help people make amazing cakes, you should try to get cakes, baking or cooking in your domain name.

3. Create your store with Shopify.

Shopify isn’t the only platform out there to sell on, but it’s widely regarded as one of the best ecommerce platforms and the best for people that are first starting out, and with this Shopify link you can get a 14 day free trial!

When you think of building a website it can seem like a mammoth of a task and can become overwhelming very quickly, but it is honestly so much simpler than you may think!

Using Shopify is probably the main reason for it being so simple. It’s a platform built specifically for ecommerce and with a wide range of awesome free templates you can be up and running a matter of hours.

Here’s an awesome guide by Oberlo that shows you step by step how to get up you store made in as little as 30 mins.

4. Source and add products.

You may think finding suppliers and sourcing products could be difficult, but again it really isn’t.

Now you can choose to try and find local suppliers manually by searching through the internet, but a quick and very easy way to find products immediately and at a great price is to head over to a site called Aliexpress.

Aliexpress is the child of it’s much bigger parent site Alibaba.

Alibaba is a great site for people that have built up some capital and are looking to buy products in bulk for even cheaper prices. But at this stage, and what we did, was to use Aliexpress instead as it enables you to purchase individual products, something that’s essential for the dropshipping business model.

To streamline the process of finding and adding products to you store, you’re going to want to install the free Shopify application called Oberlo.

Here’s a quick video that shows you exactly how to Oberlo works:

5. Start marketing and selling your products.

You’re now there, you’re store is ready, you have products, so there’s only one thing left to do – start marketing and selling.

I don’t want to go too deep into this point as there really is a thousand ways to start marketing and selling, so instead I would recommend you read this short blog post by Shopify that outlines the ways you can get your first sale.

However, for reference sake our first marketing method was Facebook ads.

They can be pretty pricing if you don’t know what you’re doing and we definitely learnt a lot and spent a lot using them, but they did enable us to start generating sales in our very first week of launching the store, as well as put us in the top 8% of stores for website traffic. Check out the images below:

Shopify sales in first week

Traffic since launch

Traffic numbers since launch

In our first week we didn’t make a significant amount of money and far from the level we’d like to be earning, but it was a great start and showed that this business model is completely viable and one that you can honestly use to start making money while you sleep!

Want to try this for yourself? Get your FREE 14 day Shopify trial here!


Would you like a plug and play store built for you? I’m currently selling and building a number of stores, if you are interested and would like to find out more, drop me an email at: henry@thelifestylepreneur.com