Online Business

  • How To Sell Digital Products On Shopify

    Selling digital products on Shopify is a great way to make passive income with your personal brand or business. I’ve written before about selling digital products on Etsy, but many sellers choose to leave Etsy for Shopify due to the increasing fees.

    Shopify is one of the leading platforms to create your own online store easily and quickly. It’s also able to scale up as your business grows.

    sell digital products with shopify
    Sell Digital Products With Shopify

    Many of my favorite creators have left Etsy in order to sell on their own site with Shopify because it’s much more affordable if you sell large amounts. There are no additional fees that add up and you know what you’re getting.

    If you are interested in selling digital products with a Shopify store this post will walk you through the basics:

    1. How to open a Shopify store for digital products
    2. Digital products to sell on Shopify
    3. How to sell digital products on Shopify

    Sounds easy right? Let’s dive in and look at each step in depth so you can sell digital products on Shopify.

    How To Open A Shopify Digital Products Store

    Opening a Shopify store to sell your digital products sounds complicated but the process is actually quite easy. You can create your shop and be ready to sell products in less than 30 minutes.

    Easy Shopify Digital Products Tutorial

    The ease of creating a store and immediately beginning to sell your products makes Shopify one of the best platforms for selling online today and this video shows how you can start selling digital products on Shopify. Since Shopify does a 14 day free trial, you can test all this out for free.

    Creating Your Shopify Store

    Starting a store to sell on Shopify is easy:

    • Create your Shopify free trial
    • Create an account with your email
    • Enter a store name that will become your default URL storename.myshopify.com
    • Answer a few questions
    • That’s all you need to actually create your store!

    The video goes into detail for a step-by-step tutorial but it’s quite easy to walk through on your own as well! The important part comes next with customizing your shop.

    Customizing Your Shopify Store

    In order to build and customize your store you will need several things to get started:

    • A business idea
    • Your business name
    • A domain name idea (do not leave myshopify as your domain!)
    • A logo
    • Products to sell in your store
    • Photos or mockups of your products
    • Descriptions of your products

    How To Sell Digital Products On Shopify

    Now let’s look at how to list and sell digital products on Shopify.

    Step 1: Adding the Digital Downloads app

    In order to sell digital products with Shopify you have to use an app from the Shopify App Store.

    The free app is the Shopify Digital Downloads app.

    Here’s how to install the Digital Downloads app:

    1. Navigate to Shopify Apps at apps.shopify.com
    2. Search for “digital downloads
    3. Select on “Digital Downloads”
    4. Click “Add app”

    There are also several third-party apps for selling digital products available in the Shopify App store.

    You can research different Shopify apps for selling digital products and select the best one for your needs. This tutorial only covers the free app but there are many options!

    Step 2: Adding Digital Products

    In your new Shopify store, go to Products > Add product to create your first product listing. 

    1. From your Shopify admin, click Products.
    2. Click Add product
    3. Enter your product title and product description.
    4. Under the Shipping heading, uncheck the box next to This is a physical product.
    5. To make the product temporarily unavailable until the digital attachment is added: at the top of the product page next to Sales channels, click Manage, uncheck the boxes next to your sales channels, then click Done.
    6. Click Save product
    7. Under the product title, click More actions
    8. Click “Add Digital Attachment” (this takes you to the Digital Downloads app page)
    9. Click “Upload File”
    10. Select the file you want to attach to this product.
    11. Click “View in your Shopify admin”
    12. Now that you have added the attachment, you need to make the product available:
      1. Next to Sales channels, click Manage.
      2. Check the boxes next to the sales channels where you want to make your product available.
      3. Click Done.

    Not sure what to sell in your new online store? Let’s look at some product ideas to inspire you.

    Digital Product Ideas To Sell On Shopify

    What digital products will you sell in your Shopify store?

    The following list of digital product ideas will help you determine something you can share in your online store. Any digital product that sells well on Etsy could also be sold in a Shopify website.

    Here are 25 digital product ideas you could create and sell on Shopify:

    1. Art prints
    2. Birthday invitations
    3. Build plans
    4. Business planners
    5. Checklists & trackers
    6. Clip art
    7. Craft patterns
    8. Ebooks
    9. Excel templates
    10. Fonts
    11. Holiday cards
    12. Instagram templates
    13. Invitation templates
    14. Lightroom presets
    15. Meal plans
    16. Party decor
    17. Party invitation
    18. Pinterest templates
    19. Party signs
    20. Planner inserts
    21. Printable photo props
    22. Printable stickers
    23. Resume templates
    24. Sewing patterns
    25. Social media templates
    26. Stock photos
    27. Study guides
    28. SVG cut files
    29. Thank you cards
    30. Workbooks

    Want more ideas? Check out this huge list of 63 Digital Product Ideas To Sell To Make Passive Income.

    Check out these additional digital product ideas:

    Choosing Digital Products To Sell

    You are convinced selling digital products is a great idea. But what should you sell? How do you decide?

    Creating Your First Product

    When deciding what type of digital product to sell I would recommend picking an area where you have a passion for your first product. This passion makes it easier to think up designs for products.

    For example, maybe you think you should make SVG files because they are popular, but you really love making spreadsheets to keep your life and business organized. I’d focus on that instead! There is an audience for every type of product.

    You don’t have to have design skills or a background in digital marketing in order to create and sell digital downloads. You don’t need a formal education or design background to create digital products and earn money selling them – you just have to be curious and willing to learn!

    Creating Similar Products

    When you are creating more products you should choose additional products that will complement your existing items.

    I’d think about what types of products would complement each other in a shop that helps my target audience. You can create listings that complement and link back to each other like related party invitations, party signs, party photo booth backdrops, photo booth props, and more.

    Adding complementary products to your store will allow you to crosssell and upsell to create more value for your customers and more revenue for your business.

    Creating Digital Products

    There are a number of ways to create digital products online these days. It’s possible to make digital products to sell for free with a number of programs!

    Adobe InDesign

    Adobe InDesign – I personally use Adobe InDesign for creating all my printables because it’s the best, most reliable and has the most flexibility.

    There is a learning curve because it’s a professional program but it’s worth it for the hassles it removes. 

    Try creating with Adobe InDesign’s free trial.

    Adobe Illustrator

    Adobe Illustrator – This program is a must have for all graphics creators! It allows you to do so much and the only limit will be your creativity.

    It’s perfect for creating wall art, clip arts, designs for SVGs, etc. 

    Try creating with Adobe Illustrator’s free trial.

    Canva

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products. The paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. 

    Check out some of these Canva tutorials:

    Try creating with Canva.

    PicMonkey

    PicMonkey – This might be a photo editing heavy program but you can also create digital downloads through PicMonkey.

    It can be a good option for editing photos for stock photo sales as well.

    Try creating with PicMonkey.

    Selling On Shopify

    Shopify – One of the most popular platforms to use for selling goods online. Shopify has emerged at the top of many seller’s lists for the ease of use, beautiful designs, set pricing, and powerful backend. It offers everything you need to sell digital or physical products and scale your business too. 

    Get a free 14 dat trial of Shopify here.

    Read More

  • 40 Faceless YouTube Video Ideas

    Every month I earn $3,000 on a faceless YouTube channel where I create content without showing my face. I make useful faceless YouTube videos that earn money every single day. It’s my favorite side hustle.

    I love to help others do the same which is why I’m sharing this list of faceless YouTube video ideas.

    YouTube Video Ideas That Don’t Show Your Face

    Making money on YouTube without showing your face is more possible than ever. While most YouTubers are famous for being personalities, there is a huge market for faceless video content.

    If you’ve been waiting to start a YouTube channel because you were worried you have to be an on camera personality then this list is for you!

    Faceless YouTube Video Ideas

    Below are some faceless video ideas you can make for YouTube:

    1. Product reviews
    2. Unboxing videos
    3. Compilation videos
    4. Gaming clips
    5. Gameplay videos
    6. Gaming best of videos
    7. How to gaming videos
    8. Best of video compilations
    9. Top 5 list videos
    10. Luxury example videos
    11. Life hack videos
    12. Screen-recorded tutorials
    13. Whiteboard videos
    14. Podcasts
    15. Cooking videos
    16. Crafting videos
    17. Building videos
    18. Restoration videos
    19. Meditation videos
    20. Timelapse videos
    21. Ambient point of view videos
    22. Extreme sports point of view videos
    23. Animated content
    24. Drawing content
    25. Painting timelapse
    26. Nail art how to videos
    27. Cash stuffing videos
    28. Budgeting videos
    29. Planner videos
    30. Commentary videos
    31. Meme recaps
    32. Reddit post commentary
    33. Motivational content
    34. Scary stories
    35. True crime stories
    36. Homework help videos
    37. Celebrity news
    38. Movie reviews
    39. Voice dubbing (ex: bad lip reading)
    40. Vtubers (digital avatar instead of your face)

    Those are just a few of the videos you can create without having your face on camera. There are many more and new types of videos popping up all the time!

    No Face No Voice YouTube Channel Ideas

    Organizing Your Faceless YouTube Video Ideas

    Once you start researching ideas for your videos you will be able to create a list and develop a content plan.

    I created a video ideas planner based on my own experience planning my YouTube videos. I grew multiple YouTube channels using this process and was able to quit my job to do YouTube full time in 2021.

    YouTube Success Planner

    Get organized and succeed on YouTube! Streamline your processes and hit your goals by getting organized with this YouTube planner with multiple sections on content planning, channel analytics, monetization, and more.


    The video planner walks you through multiple useful steps:

    • planning your video title, description, keywords
    • the content strategy for what your video will achieve
    • organizing your videos into useful playlists for viewers
    • a checklist for creating and promoting videos
    • video ideas to inspire your content

    The planner is in PDF format and available to be used digitally or as a printable you print and use at home.

    This video ideas planner is part of a larger planner that helps walk you through everything you need to have a successful YouTube channel.

    This YouTube planner includes everything in the video planner and goes more in depth on how to grow your channel, how to monetize your videos, and how to track your success.

    Finding More Faceless YouTube Video Ideas

    You can do all of these YouTube video ideas on your own and the examples I’ve included show you others who are making videos without ever showing their face.

    This list of no face video ideas is not comprehensive. There are many, many ways to do faceless videos on Youtube.

    To find more video ideas you can do without your face showing, I recommend signing up for TubeBuddy for research.

    TubeBuddy: YouTube Channel Growth Toolkit

    Easily manage, optimize, edit, and GROW your YouTube channel with TubeBuddy's tools. Want to grow on YouTube? You need TubeBuddy. Try now for FREE.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    TubeBuddy is a FREE browser extension & mobile app that integrates directly into YouTube to help you run your channel with ease.

    You can use TubeBuddy to research different niches and keyword ideas. IOnce you make a few faceless videos you can see what takes off and then use that information to start the basis of your research on TubeBuddy. Making related faceless videos is a great way to grow your channel with repeat views from subscribers.

    You can also use TubeBuddy to do competitive research. When you check out other faceless YouTube channels you can see their stats when you are signed into TubeBuddy. You can learn if they are getting views or not from their faceless videos.

    How To Find Stock Images & Video For Faceless Videos

    There are many different types of videos you can make but some will require you pull together stock images and video. If you aren’t filming your hands or screen recording you will need to find stock footage for your videos.

    Free Stock Photos & Video

    Here are some places to get free stock photos and videos:

    Paid Stock Photos & Videos

    Here are some places where you can pay for stock photos and video:

    Can you make money on YouTube without showing your face?

    If you want to make money on YouTube with faceless videos then you probably are wondering if you can make it profitable. The answer is yes!

    How Much Money I Made With Faceless Videos

    In fact, the channel I started to make videos without showing my face actually now makes more money than my first channel. Below is a screenshot of my earnings for my faceless videos.. I made over $1,800 from videos on YouTube without ever showing my face in them! This is an average amount I earn on this channel each month.

    Making Money On YouTube Without Showing Your Face

    In fact, in the last year I made $23,000 just from ads on faceless videos.

    That is a significant amount of money to earn just from ads without ever showing your face! Even better? That income does not even count affiliate marketing income or sponsored videos!

    How To Monetize Faceless Videos

    There are many ways to monetize a YouTube channel:

    • ads
    • affiliate marketing
    • digital products
    • merch / physical products
    • memberships
    • super chats
    • sponsored videos

    The type of video you make and the ability to connect with or educate your audience matters much more than being on camera. I polled my audience and the majority of them said they did not care if someone was on camera or not – the content mattered the most.

    You will make money on YouTube by providing content that helps people. You do not have to show your face in the video to accomplish that goal.

    It is important to remember that YouTube is not quick money. It often takes months or even years of hard work in order to get to a place where the income is sustainable and enough to replace a creator’s full-time job.

    The Truth About Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube is hard.

    It is hard work. It’s hard to compete. It’s hard to constantly be creative.

    If you are new it is hard to even get monetized and make minimal ad revenue. Even just hitting the minimum requirements to earn money is so hard many channels never make it.

    In order to be part of the YouTube partner program and earn money from advertising you have to hit a number of requirements.

    YouTube Monetization Requirements

    Before you can make any money from ads you have to first:

    • Have more than 1,000 subscribers
    • Have more than 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months

    Those are hefty requirements that usually take new creators a while t achieve. This keeps the platform in better conditions for advertisers and viewers alike so it’s a great requirement even if it is a higher hurdle for most new creators.

    All this means is that when you start making videos for YouTube you need to be realistic about the amount of money that you may be able to make. At first you won’t make anything and this phase can last a long time. You might be creating content and not earning anything for months or years. I made videos for at least 6 months without earning a dime. It’s important to remember that YouTube is a long game for income.

    Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel.

    Growing on YouTube requires work but it will pay off in revenue down the road. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    I’ve written a few times about the ways I’ve grown my channels on YouTube.

    Here are a few tips for growing on YouTube:

    • Use YouTube growth tools like TubeBuddy
    • Learn about and implement SEO
    • Build a community around your YouTube channel
    • Make quality content with good videos
    • Provide unique value in your YouTube videos
    • Experiment with ideas on your channel
    • Find ways to be more efficient in your processes
    • Take a course like course Mastering YouTube for the Busy Professional
    • Keep growing and learning because YouTube changes all the time!

    You can read more in my post How To Grow A YouTube Channel.

    YouTube Channel Resources

    After reading these cash cow channel ideas you’re probably ready to start your own channel and rake in money. Here are a few tips and resources that can help you save time and earn money faster.

    Here are some resources that you can use to create these videos and grow your channel.

    Outsourcing Video Work

    These sites help you find freelancers and virtual assistants to create your YouTube content and run your cash cow channel.

    Fiverr – Hire freelancers to help edit your videos, create voiceovers, film footage, and more. You can create an entire channel using Fiverr freelancers and several specialize in creating these types of faceless, voiceless channels.

    Online Jobs PH

    Hire the best virtual assistants and employees from the Philippines to help grow your online business.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    OnlineJobs PH – Hire freelancers in The Philippines to help you run your channel. You can find professional video creators and editors looking for work at very reasonable prices. I personally use video editors that I found on this site and it has been an amazing working relationship.

    YouTube Tools

    These tools help you create content that will actually reach an audience on YouTube, from finding the right topics to creating thumbnails that capture attention.

    TubeBuddy: YouTube Channel Growth Toolkit

    Easily manage, optimize, edit, and GROW your YouTube channel with TubeBuddy's tools. Want to grow on YouTube? You need TubeBuddy. Try now for FREE.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    TubeBuddy – TubeBuddy is an all around tool helpful especially for SEO research and creating optimized videos that rank in search. It’s the ideal tool to use for video channels that will be faceless and not rely on a personality to build them.

    Epidemic Sound

    Get music for your YouTube videos and other content without worrying about copyright issues.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Epidemic Sound – Get music for your videos without worrying about future copyright issues. You can try to get “copyright free” or “royalty free” music from other sites but those can come back to claim. your ad revenue years down the road (I speak from experience). Avoid issues and pay for access to music you can use legally.

    Canva - An Online Graphic Design Tool

    Canva makes it easy to create professional designs quickly. They include tons of free templates, photos and fonts to make your design perfect.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Canva – If you need to make thumbnails for YouTube videos then you need to use Canva. It’s a fantastic design tool that makes creating thumbnails quick and easy. It’s also super easy to manage a team of freelancers who might be helping you generate thumbnails. At only $12 per month it’s essential.

    More YouTube Tips & Tutorials

    YouTube Tutorials

    Here are a few useful YouTube tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    YouTube Tutorials

    Faceless YouTube Videos

    Youtube Tips & Tricks

    Check out more YouTube tutorials or request a new tutorial by reaching out on Instagram!

    If you want to say thank you, you can Buy Me A Coffee.

    Read More

  • Dream Studio Course Review

    In this post I’ll be reviewing my experience taking Dream Studio Course in order to create a better filming setup at home. After recently sharing my Entire YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk, I realized an in depth Dream Studio Course review would be useful.

    During my office makeover I enrolled in Dream Studio Course to help guide the process. Usually I don’t take courses, but the many technical aspects of this project felt overwhelming and I knew a guide would be helpful.

    Dream Studio Course Review and Results
    Dream Studio Course Review and Results

    Disclosure: Since I had massive success with this course and recommend it I’ve included affiliate links. If you choose to use my course affiliate links I will receive a commission. If you choose not to you can also head to dreamstudiocourse.com.

    What Is Dream Studio Course?

    Dream Studio Course helps you transform your home studio into a professional looking set.

    The 6-week course provides expert guidance, community & feedback in a semi-guided program that walks through the entire studio design process.

    Since it is a semi-guided course, there is a mix of learning styles:

    1.  Self-paced aspects to learn at your own speed, AND
    2.  Interactive aspects where you get personalized guidance from Kevin & the Dream Studio Course team

    This style of course gives you time to learn, work on your studio, and then get feedback for improvement.

    The Dream Studio Course covers everything you need to go from overwhelmed beginner to confident professional. The course covers everything you need to know if you film regularly and want to be taken seriously.

    Dream Studio Course

    Who Should Take Dream Studio Course?

    I took Dream Studio Course as a YouTube content creator looking to improve my video quality. I wanted to do this by creating a more functional home filming studio.

    Many of the others that took the course at the same time as me had completely different backgrounds!

    Most were trying to figure out a filming set up for things like Zoom calls for work and teaching online via video. People in my cohort of the course included:

    • therapists working via Zoom sessions
    • professionals working remotely
    • teachers sharing lessons via videos
    • public speakers creating new speaking outlets
    • online course creators
    • small business owners
    • YouTube content creators

    There was a wide range of people in the course with many different objectives. This created a very unique and creative experience in the cohort version of the course. Additionally, it also provided unique feedback from the course leader as he shared all the feedback for each person.

    dream studio course
    Dream Studio Course Lessons On Positioning

    What Will You Learn In Dream Studio Course?

    The Dream Studio Course covers a huge amount of material.

    In the course you will learn:

    • how to layout your room for the best filming set up
    • color psychology that will affect what your video conveys
    • interior design techniques to create a professional look
    • how to create visual depth and balance for viewers
    • shot composition for the best results on camera
    • camera settings for beautiful cinematic results
    • how to choose a camera and lens for your needs
    • which lights to buy and how to set them up for perfect lighting
    • ways to naturally light yourself to make yourself look attractive
    • how to use your microphone and get the best sound quality
    • techniques to improve any weaknesses in your unique setup

    The course covers your background, video equipment, lighting, sound gear and more. You will learn about the specifics – even with measurements included – but also the WHY behind the decisions.

    Learning about why things created certain results helped many of us tweak our own setup successfully.

    My Dream Studio Course Review

    Before I quit my job to do YouTube full time I wanted to upgrade my filming setup to something more professional. My YouTube channel had stagnated and I had been stuck at 18,000 subscribers for almost half a year.

    A friend who knew Kevin suggested his Dream Studio Course and the enrollment lined up with my timeframe for improving my home studio. I enrolled in a cohort version of the class and started on the lessons.

    My Dream Studio Course Studio Makeover

    The before and after of my office was not super dramatic visually since I did not change many large features. However, the functionality changed dramatically as did the video quality results. Every time I step into my office I’m ready to work and have multiple clean workspaces where I can begin working.

    The video quality improved drastically. I went from looking like a hobby YouTuber to a professional.

    The Dream Studio Course allowed me to customize my setup with the items I already had while learning how to create a professional studio. I took a cohort based version of the course so when I encountered roadblocks or needed studio feedback I was able to get that each week.

    My Dream Studio Course Studio Before And After

    I filmed with my phone and a single ring light when I started taking the course. It was acceptable for me. In fact, I managed to grow a good following and YouTube income with just my phone and a ring light tripod.

    Filming Setup Before

    However, I knew I could up my game if I had the right knowledge and guidance.

    I was overwhelmed by the technical aspects of creating a filming studio, but the course made it much easier to digest these concepts.

    By the end of the class I was filming videos with a much higher quality.

    dream-studio-course-after
    after-shot-for-youtube-studio-makeover
    Filming Setup After

    You can clearly see the difference in quality with these before and after screenshots.

    I upgraded my camera quality by switching to a camera recommended in the course. You can see how the quality changed in the clips included in the video above.

    Biggest Lessons From Dream Studio Course Studio

    Additionally, the lessons learned about how to setup my studio provided the biggest changes.

    The main things that helped improve my video quality:

    • learning about lighting and how to position lights to make myself look the best
    • how to create depth and visual interest with your video background
    • positioning the lens and camera to create an angle for the effect you wanted
    • camera basics like aperture and ISO to use your camera to the best of it’s ability

    All of these were things I learned in the Dream Studio Course. While I believe upgrading my camera would have improved the quality aspect, the true change came from creating a studio designed for video.

    I say this because when I first got the new camera I set it up on auto. I did not know which settings to use to get the best quality video.

    My camera was obviously a step up from my phone, but it did not provide the best quality automatically. I didn’t get the amazing look until after I had adjusted my lighting and accurately changed the settings on my camera.

    Dream Course Studio Pros & Cons

    Every course I’ve ever taken has pros and cons and Dream Studio Course was no different.

    Hopefully by sharing some of the pros and cons it will help you determine if this course would help you.

    Dream Studio Course Pros

    • lessons were easy to digest and quick to move through
    • you are given rounds of feedback on your setup to help troubleshoot
    • multiple studio examples are provided to copy and get started instantly
    • camera settings are discussed with the full picture in mind
    • technical aspects are broken down into easy to understand concepts
    • office hours gave one on one question and answer time that was incredibly valuable
    • cohort based course I took provided peer feedback which was invaluable
    • throughout the course more resources were added as students asked new questions
    • bonus “Camera Basics” provided to help you learn how to use your camera

    Dream Studio Course Cons

    • there is a LOT of info and you might not finish the course
    • you need to buy new items unless you already invested in gear
    • the speed of the course can be too fast if you delay in purchasing gear for the setup – if you have trouble making buying decisions you might feel rushed

    Some of the cons with this course are similar to many others I have personally taken. I rarely finish a course in full unless it is short and sweet. With a meatier course like Dream Studio Course I found myself skipping lessons and never returning as I found the ones I needed most.

    Filming Setup Before & After

    My office makeover began with a basic filming setup. I was using an iPhone to shoot all of my content and wanted to upgrade my filming setup for both quality and practicality.

    I was inspired for this project by this video about setting up a YouTube studio on a desk.

    While I didn’t follow the original plan exactly, the idea sparked a great feedback session with Kevin and the Dream Studio team. He helped me work through reusing as much gear as I could since I already had a few lights. However, the concept was exactly what I wanted – an easy setup ready to go every time I sat down at my desk.

    Thanks to being enrolled in the Dream Studio Course at the same time as this project I was able to ask questions when I wanted to customize something to my situation.

    I created a modified version of the YouTube Studio setup on one desk with a standing desk on wheels to make it portable.

    YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk For Filming Videos

    I played around with creative lighting sources after learning about in the course. I knew from the lessons in the course that lighting could make a huge difference in my videos.

    One of my favorite office additions was the lighting behind my bookcase.

    Colorful Back Lighting For Bookcase

    The colorful lighting and different filming setups made a huge difference in my office.

    I felt more professional and happy any time I walked in to the room. I had very little setup time required and was able to walk in and begin creating immediately.

    This process truly helped create a better filming workflow in addition to creating a beautiful space to film YouTube videos.

    A faster workflow along with better YouTube video planning has led to ever increasing YouTube income.

    YouTube Studio Office Gear

    Now when I share videos I get questions asking what equipment I’m using to create my videos.

    In an effort to make it easy for someone else to copy this setup or quickly buy any of the cool stuff in my functional and fun office, I’ve created a list of all the items used.

    YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk Gear List

    Standing Desk Filming Setup For YouTube Videos

    Here’s the list of everything used to set up my filming studio on a desk:

    Office Gear List

    Full Office Setup For Filming YouTube Videos & Blogging

    Here’s a list of everything else in my office!

    Hopefully this list of items used in my office will help you create your own unique set up!

    If you are considering the Dream Studio Course, I definitely recommend it if you are a beginner or get overwhelmed by the idea of pulling together all the different aspects that go into creating a filming studio.

    Dream Studio Course Review and Results

    Read More

  • Entire YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk

    Over on my Youtube channel I recently shared my home office makeover that included my entire Youtube studio setup on one desk.

    Office Makeover Before & After

    This was one of the home improvement projects I wanted to complete during my maternity leave so that I was able to film YouTube videos more quickly before and after work. I ended up quitting my job to do YouTube full time soon after maternity leave so I’m even happier that I was able to plan out an amazing room for myself to work in each day.

    The before and after of my office was not dramatic visually but more so functionally. Every time I step into my office I’m ready to work and have multiple clean workspaces where I can begin working.

    It’s ideal for my personal use but I’m also able to utilize the multiple desks for letting my daughter or husband join me as well.

    Customizing My YouTube Filming Set Up

    During this process I enrolled in Dream Studio Course. I don’t take courses often but the many technical aspects of this project felt overwhelming and I knew a guide would be helpful.

    Dream Studio Course

    Signing up for the course allowed me to customize my setup and work with the items I had while learning how to create a professional studio. I took a cohort based version of the course so when I encountered roadblocks or needed studio feedback I was able to get that each week.

    When I started the class I was filming with my phone and a single ring light. It was acceptable for me and I actually managed to grow a pretty good following and decent YouTube income just using my phone and a ring light tripod.

    Filming Setup Before

    However, I knew I could up my game if I just had the right knowledge and guidance. I was overwhelmed by all the technical aspects of creating an ideal filming studio but the course made it much easier to digest.

    By the end of the class I was filming videos with a much higher quality.

    dream-studio-course-after
    after-shot-for-youtube-studio-makeover
    Filming Setup After

    You can see the difference in quality in the video I shared above along with these before and after video screenshots.

    The main things that helped improve my video quality:

    • learning about lighting and how to position lights to make myself look the best
    • how to create depth and visual interest with your background
    • positioning and angle of the lens and camera
    • camera basics like aperture and ISO

    All of these were things I learned from Kevin in the Dream Studio Course. While I believe just upgrading my camera would have improved the quality aspect, the true change came from creating a studio designed for film.

    • Read more: Dream Studio Course Review

    Filming Setup Before & After

    My office makeover began with some useful items but a pretty basic filming setup.

    I was using an iphone with a ring light tripod to shoot all of my content and wanted to upgrade my filming setup for both quality and practicality.

    I was inspired for this project by this video about setting up a YouTube studio on a desk.

    I didn’t follow his plan exactly and tried to reuse as much gear as I could since I already had a few lights. However, the concept was exactly what I wanted – an easy setup ready to go every time I sat down at my desk.

    Thanks to being enrolled in the Dream Studio course at the same time as this project I was able to ask questions when I wanted to customize something to my situation.

    I ended up creating a modified version of this YouTube Studio setup on one desk. I bought a standing desk that I could add wheels to so mine would be portable.

    YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk For Filming Videos

    I also played around with creative lighting sources since that was something I learned about in the course.

    One of my favorite office additions was the lighting behind my bookcase.

    Colorful Back Lighting For Bookcase

    The colorful lighting and different filming setups made a huge difference in my office.

    I felt more professional and happy any time I walked in to the room. I also had very little setup time required and was able to walk in and begin creating immediately.

    This process truly helped create a better filming workflow in addition to creating a beautiful space to create YouTube videos.

    A faster workflow along with better YouTube video planning has led to ever increasing YouTube income.

    YouTube Studio Office Gear

    Naturally when I film now I get questions about what I’m using. In an effort to make it easy for someone else to copy this setup or quickly buy any of the cool stuff in my functional and fun office, I’ve created a list of all the items used.

    Standing Desk Filming Setup For YouTube Videos

    YouTube Studio Setup On One Desk Gear List

    Here’s the list of everything used to set up my filming studio on a desk:

    Full Office Setup For Filming YouTube Videos & Blogging

    Office Gear List:

    Here’s a list of everything else in my office!

    Hopefully this list of items used in my office will help you create your own unique set up!

    Read More

  • Best Affiliate Marketing Networks To Join

    Want to earn money with affiliate marketing but not sure where to start? This master list shares the best affiliate marketing networks you can join.

    ShareASale: Affiliate Marketing Network

    This easy-to-use platform allows content creators to monetize platforms by partnering with brands. Earn money from your content by promoting products to your audience.


    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Awin: Affiliate Marketing Network

    Partner with the world's leading brands to promote relevant products and earn more from your content.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Flex Offers: Affiliate Marketing Network

    FlexOffers is an affiliate marketing network where you can join programs to earn money promoting products in your content. FlexOffers access to over 12k affiliate programs.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if join, at no additional cost to you.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips & Tutorials

    Affiliate Marketing Networks Tutorials

    Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Check out these useful tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Affiliate Marketing 101

    Affiliate Marketing Tutorials

    Check out more affiliate marketing tutorials or request a new tutorial by reaching out on Instagram!

    If you want to say thank you, you can Buy Me A Coffee.

    Affiliate Marketing Resources

    Here are some resources that can help you grow your affiliate marketing income:

    The All-In-One Affiliate Marketing Plugin for WordPress | Lasso

    Increase affiliate revenue by 30% with Lasso. Fix broken links, find new affiliate opportunities, and create product displays that convert to commissions.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
    ShareASale: Affiliate Marketing Network

    This easy-to-use platform allows content creators to monetize platforms by partnering with brands. Earn money from your content by promoting products to your audience.


    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Awin: Affiliate Marketing Network

    Partner with the world's leading brands to promote relevant products and earn more from your content.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Flex Offers: Affiliate Marketing Network

    FlexOffers is an affiliate marketing network where you can join programs to earn money promoting products in your content. FlexOffers access to over 12k affiliate programs.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if join, at no additional cost to you.
    Lasso Brag

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to earn money online but it can be confusing for beginners. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get about affiliate marketing networks and more.

    What is affiliate marketing?

    Affiliate marketing is a method of monetizing content by promoting products or services from other companies to your audience.

    You earn a commission whenever someone clicks your link and then makes a purchase. It does not cost anything for your audience and your commission is paid out of the profit the company would have made.

    What is an affiliate program?

    An affiliate program is the arrangement where a company signs up affiliate partners to promote their products. They then pay out an agreed upon commission for any sales that have been referred.

    Affiliate programs can be managed in house by the company or run by a third party affiliate network company.

    What is an affiliate network?

    An affiliate marketing network is a company that runs multiple affiliate programs.

    All of the affiliate marketing networks on this page are company that have multiple different affiliate programs on their site. When you sign up for an affiliate network you are able to join multiple programs.

    Affiliate marketing networks are very effective for both the companies and the partners. The most popular affiliate networks allow you to join and manage mange partnerships in one place.

    Whats the best affiliate network for my niche?

    Most affiliate marketing networks are not niche specific like individual programs are. You can be successful with most affiliate networks in any niche.

    However, sometimes in a niche you’ll find that the majority of your desired programs are with one affiliate network like the personal finance affiliate programs at FlexOffers. If this is the case then you’ll want to join that network and focus your efforts.

    Who is this list of affiliate networks for?

    It’s for all content creators! You can successfully use affiliate marketing as a YouTuber, blogger, TikToker, etc. The platform matters less than how you are connecting with your audience to recommend products.

    You can also use affiliate marketing as a business owner to supplement your earnings. I helped setup affiliate marketing for a wedding planner friend and she now has a nice stream of income from it!

    How can I find affiliate programs on my own?

    This list is designed to give people a starting point for affiliate marketing. When you already have a business or platform as an influencer joining an affiliate network is a quick way to get started. You can join multiple programs instead of hunting them down.

    But what if you want to find affiliate programs on your own? You can!

    The best way to do this is to get niche specific. Search google for “affiliate programs for” your niche. So if you create beauty content you might search for “affiliate programs for makeup” as an example.

    What should I know about these affiliate programs?

    The most important thing to know is what rules programs have. This information is vital as a creator using affiliate programs to earn money.

    You should be aware of commission rates, payment thresholds, rules, regulations, affiliate disclaimers and more. Anything the affiliate program sends you should be read and noted on your end. The best rule of thumb? Pay attention!

    Best Affiliate Marketing Networks To Join For Content Creators And Youtubers

    Read More

  • 4 Ways To Earn Money Online

    There are many ways to earn money online but ultimately they fall under 4 different buckets.

    In this post and video I’m sharing the 4 common ways you can build a stream of income online, with specific ideas for each so you can get started with your next side hustle or online business today.

    Sell Digital Products

    The first way to earn money online is to sell digital products. Of course this is my first in the list because it’s one of my personal favorites even though it is NOT how I make most of my own income online. 

    For this income generating activity you create and sell digital products like printables, spreadsheets or courses. You can sell these digital products on marketplace websites like Etsy or on your own website too.

    15 More Digital Product Ideas To Sell Online To Make Passive Income 2021

    You can create products using a design app like Canva or Adobe InDesign where the end product will be an image file or a PDF. For an online course you can use a platform like Teachable that makes it super easy and actually walks people through how to create online courses too. There are many, many different types of digital products.

    There are so many different benefits to creating and selling digital products:

    • only have to create it once
    • no physical inventory or space needed
    • low cost to create products (free programs like Canva)
    • can automate everything and make it very passive
    • sell it over and over to many people

    Creating a digital product can be very easy. There are many design programs that allow you to easily create items without any graphic design experience. If you want to sell an educational digital products there are many ways to do this as well via programs like Teachable that help you sell a course.

    Below are some of the programs that you can use to create and sell digital products:

    Adobe InDesign – This program is very robust and the absolute best for creating printables. It’s the most professional, most reliable and has the most flexibility. There is a learning curve because it’s a professional program but it’s worth it for the hassles it removes. Try creating with Adobe InDesign’ free trial. 

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products. The paid version of the app is even better with many bonus features that help take your work to the next level. Try creating with Canva.

    PicMonkey – This is a program built heavily around photo editing but you can also create digital downloads through PicMonkey. In addition, if you plan to sell things like stock photos or mockups it is ideal. Try creating with PicMonkey.

    Teachable – If you plan to sell a course as a digital product then you need to look into Teachable. It’s the leading option to create, market, and sell your knowledge as a course. Try creating a course with Teachable.

    How To Choose A Digital Product To Sell

    The best way to sell digital products is to go into a niche with less competition.

    I’ll be honest, the niche I’m in sucks because there is a huge amount of competition and everyone sell basically the same thing. Thats why I’ve ventured into new digital product niches with less competition. 

    Let me show you what I’m talking about. 

    Every YouTuber and blogger that talks about money has a budget printable or a savings tracker and these are very easy to rip off (people do it all the time). When you search budget printable on Etsy for example you get over 25,000 results… and that is just on one website! It doesn’t even consider all the other places people sell these. 

    So let’s instead think of something else and see if it has less competition.

    My sister-in-law is a nurse so let’s look up something related to her career or studies. When we search this nursing study term that auto-populates in Etsy we see that the competition is much, much less. But I also know that people are searching for it because it auto-populated in the search bar and just personally I know a lot of nurses who bought tons of study material to get through school.

    That’s how you find a good niche and then you can create a digital product to sell for that market.

    Create An E-Commerce Store

    Another popular way to make money online is to create an e-commerce store to sell physical products.

    Some people do this with products they have made themselves locally like my husband but to make it more efficient and scalable in order to earn higher levels of income most people use a partner like Alibaba.com. 

    If you haven’t heard of Alibaba.com before, it is a leading business to business trading e-commerce marketplace. This means you can connect with suppliers in order to source products for your e-commerce store instead of making them yourself. Alibaba.com has more than 100 thousand suppliers across the globe in 40 major categories so they’ve got the supply chain set up for almost anything you may want to sell online.  

    How To Create A Dropshipping Business (6 STEPS) | Dropshipping Explained For Beginners

    There are billions of product variations on alibaba.com and there are multiple ways for you to look for trending products that would sell well online in the current market.

    They also have the option for you to either purchase inventory in bulk and then resell via your store or to create a dropshipping store. There are multiple different e-commerce business models that you can choose from to fit your needs.

    How To Choose A Product For Your E-commerce Store

    When evaluating potential products to sell you will want to ask yourself several questions:

    • Does it have high profit margins? When you are running a product based business you will want to find a quality product that you can buy at a low price and sell at a higher price. The difference in price is what will be your profit. The higher the profit margin with your product the more money you’ll have to spend on other parts of your business like advertising.
    • Are people actively looking for this solution? Are your potential customers looking to buy what you have to offer? If you want a successful online business you want to sell something people are actively looking to buy. How do you find out if they are looking to buy? Instead of guessing based on your intuition, you should instead do keyword research. Are people searching for it? If they are searching for your product then there is existing demand and this would make a good product choice.
    • Is it trendy? Products should not only be a solution to a problem but also a trending product because it will be much easier to sell. How do you find a trending product? One of the best options to search for trending products is to go to alibaba.com where there are billions of products you can see and evaluate what’s trending based on sales. Look through the different sections on alibaba.com about what is popular and trending and drill down to the product category you are interested in.

    Selecting a product will be much easier after you’ve asked yourself these questions and done the research necessary to find a good product to sell. Just like with the digital products you’ll want to evaluate the market and the competition to pick your products. 

    Become A Content Creator

    Creating content is my favorite way to earn money online and it’s the one I’ve made the most money with thanks to YouTube.

    Content creation is a valuable skill and you can use it to earn money online by creating content for yourself or even freelance those skills to others.

    Creating content can look very different depending on your niche, your platform, and your own unique style. There are full time content creators that are bloggers, YouTubers, Instagram models, etc.

    Ways to make money with content creation:

    • advertising revenue on your content
    • brand sponsorships
    • brand partnerships
    • affiliate marketing
    • tip jars
    • patreon or other memberships

    Each of these revenue creation methods can be effective on any platform. The best part of being a content creator is that you can layer the different monetization methods and make money by multiple methods.

    Freelancer / Service Provider

    Freelancing is a way to earn money online where you sell the skills you have to others who need that work done. It’s often the fastest way to earn money online because you can quickly get started on projects that pay.

    Personally I’ve used freelancing to make money by selling my skills with content creation, SEO, and even building online shops for people. 

    Freelance work can be a great addition to your income streams if you need to increase your income but can’t wait for passive income streams to pay off. You can apply for and start doing freelance work within a couple of days.

    What kind of work can you do freelance jobs?

    You can find freelance work easily with many skills like:

    • writing
    • SEO
    • editing
    • video editing
    • graphic design
    • website design
    • voiceovers
    • programming

    And many more! Whatever skill you have can be useful as a freelancer.

    Where can you find jobs?

    You can sell your freelance skills on sites like these:

    You can also contact local businesses around you and look on local websites where businesses may have listings or talk about things that need to be done based on skills.

    If you’ve worked in a certain field and have a good reputation you will also be approached with jobs by contacts.

    Read More

  • 6 Income Streams (How I Doubled My Income)

    I shared a video on YouTube that covered my 6 streams of passive and active income that have doubled my income in the past year.

    My day job provided my main income for many years but in the last year I’ve used the other 5 income streams on this list to fully double my income.

    Why I’ve Built Multiple Income Streams

    In this video I’m revealing my 6 streams of income. I’ve found building multiple streams of income over the last two years has really helped us create a solid financial foundation and a whole online business for myself!

    I’ve been building these income streams over the past two years because of one important lesson: a job is not enough.

    One income stream is not enough.

    I’ve been let go from a job unexpectedly and I’ve work for a company that went under. After several unexpected job changes over a couple of years I realized that no job was 100% secure. After seeing how a pandemic in 2020 changed many people’s lives as well, I knew that one income stream from a job could never be enough.

    Building multiple income streams builds a web of financial security. If one income stream slows or disappears you have others to pick up the slack. You also have a much higher chance of saving money and building up a nest egg because you will be earning more money.

    I’ve worked hard to build up these multiple income streams and I’ll continue to do so.

    Passive Income Vs Active Income

    My income streams include both passive income and active income streams.

    Passive income is where you earn money without active involvement or work.

    Active income is where you trade your work and time in order to earn money.

    These income streams are very different but both have a place in building a solid financial foundation of multiple income streams.

    Having passive income streams can change your life which is why I focus so much on my favorite passive (and mostly passive) income sources: digital products, affiliate marketing and YouTube.

    It is important to remember when building passive income streams that all income streams require something: either time or money.

    To build passive income you have to invest upfront with no guarantee of returns.

    For most of my passive income streams I’ve had to put in a lot of time to building out my content and learning skills to be successful. You can cut this short and save time by spending money but either method will require something of you. Passive income can’t be created from nothing. But the great news is that it can be created.

    We can create our own incomes. We can create multiple income streams.

    Income Stream 1: Day Job

    I currently work a full time, 8-5 corporate job. It has been my main source of income for the last five years and has allowed me the security to build up my secondary income streams.

    There are many benefits to having a full time job:

    • biweekly paychecks you can count on (for the most part)
    • predictable income each paycheck
    • feelings of stability and security
    • base to build multiple income streams
    • 401k access with 4% match
    • health insurance subsidized by employer
    • FSA accounts for childcare and health
    • other benefits like free food, holiday parties, occasional bonuses

    There are definitely benefits to working a regular job and no one should ever feel like it’s not a good option. I just personally think it needs to be one option of many.

    Working at my job is active income where I trade my time for money.

    Related: 7 Things To Consider Besides Salary

    Income Stream 2: Investment Returns

    Investment returns and dividends are the most passive income on my list. I purchase stocks and those stocks work for me by either growing or paying a dividend.

    I love investment returns as an income because it is so passive. Once you purchase the stocks you are done and just sit back and let those companies work for you.

    Currently I earn dividends in my retirement accounts and in my taxable brokerage accounts. I also consider the minimal savings account interest earned in this category.

    Related: How To Start Dividend Investing For Beginners

    Income Stream 3: Freelance Work

    In addition to my full time job I will also take on some freelance work for clients. This is not a huge income stream for me because it is active income that requires my time, but I enjoy helping a few former clients.

    Freelance work can be a great addition to your income streams if you need to increase your income but can’t wait for passive income streams to pay off.

    What kind of work can you do freelance jobs?

    You can find freelance work easily with many skills like:

    • writing
    • SEO
    • editing
    • video editing
    • graphic design
    • website design
    • voiceovers
    • programming

    And many more! Whatever skill you have can be useful as a freelancer. You could set up website funnels for businesses or manage Shopify stores or thousands of other things.

    Where can you find jobs?

    You can sell your skills on sites like Fiverr, or just contact local businesses around you. If you’ve worked in a certain field and have a good reputation you will also be approached with jobs by contacts.

    Related: Make Money With Canva (10 Ways)

    Income Stream 4: Digital Products

    Selling digital products is a fantastic passive income stream. In fact it is one of my favorite income streams and the most consistent one I’ve created online.

    Digital products come in many formats and niches so there is endless opportunity to create something that you can sell digitally to customers. The best part? Once you’ve created a product you can sell it again and again.

    I started an Etsy shop and sell budgeting and saving printables because I created them for myself, but there are many different ideas out there.

    Some digital product ideas include:

    • SVGs
    • PNGs
    • Planners
    • Guides
    • Templates
    • Wall Art
    • Mockups
    • Courses
    • Digital Stickers
    • Digital Planners
    • E-books
    • Checklists

    Want to get started with digital products as an income stream? Check out these posts:

    Income Stream 5: Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is a fantastic income stream for content creators. It’s one of my favorite and most profitable income streams.

    Every month now I earn thousands of dollars in affiliate marketing revenue. The best part is that I only recommend products I actually use and love so I get paid for doing something I would do anyway.

    With affiliate marketing you promote products or services and get paid when you refer a customer. You have a custom link with your data that lets a company know when you have sent them a sale. For each sale you get a kickback.

    Affiliate programs range in types and profitability. Many larger companies offer 1-4% of sales that you refer. Smaller companies or fellow content creators can offer up to 50% of the sales. Then other companies pay per lead or have recurring payments.

    There are many ways to earn money with affiliate marketing!

    Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Check out these posts:

    Income Stream 6: Advertising

    My final income stream is advertising. As a content creator I make money from the ads shown on both my YouTube channels and my websites.

    I like the advertising model of online revenue creation because it’s enough to support my work but it doesn’t force my audience into anything. They can choose to watch and ad or not. They can scroll by or click an ad.

    Advertising can be a very low paying compared to affiliate marketing.

    For many niches ad rates are very low. However, if you enter a high paying ad space you can earn decent income without a ton of views.

    Luckily for me my interests overlap with well paying ad rates. Financial niches tends to have better paying ads for creators and YouTube ad rates for financial channels can be quite lucrative.

    Related: Best Bank Account For YouTubers

    Building Multiple Income Streams

    Those are all 6 of my income streams which equal to more than I earned in my day job. For many people building multiple income streams encouraged them to quit their jobs when those jobs didn’t pay well.

    Adding them all up has put me in a much better financial situation and I’m so glad I went about building multiple income streams!

    Read More

  • How To Create A Dropshipping Business (6 Steps)

    Dropshipping is a popular online business model that’s often glamorized and promoted by online gurus. It’s one where you can potentially earn huge profits, but also one where many people fail.

    In this post and video I’ll be sharing how you can start your own dropshipping business in 6 steps.

    You can also watch this video about how to start a dropshipping business in 6 steps on YouTube.

    What is dropshipping?

    Dropshipping is a method of fulfilling retail orders where the seller does not keep the product in stock at their physical location. Instead when the store makes a sale of a product using the dropshipping model, the seller then purchases the item from a third party who directly ships it to the customer. With this method the seller never handles the product directly. 

    Dropshipping is popular because not handling inventory and fulfillment cuts down on many of the negative aspects of selling physical products. This allows you many benefits like lower capital to start your business, lower overhead to run the business, and location flexibility. It also makes it easier to test things and scale your business when things work.

    For these reasons and many others, dropshipping is a popular online business method.

    Dropshipping is not a get rich quick plan despite what some gurus or YouTube videos might tell you. Like any other business idea it will take a lot of work and a long term perspective to see success. If you are hoping for six figures in six weeks then you’ll need to readjust expectations to avoid being very disappointed.

    However, once you create realistic expectations about the work and results you can achieve, this can be a great business with huge potential profits. This is a great business idea for someone working a 9-5 job to build on the side and many dropshipping stores can generate over $1,000 per month within 12 months from part time efforts.

    Now let’s look at the steps you’ll go through in order to start a dropshipping business.

    Step 1: Choose Your Dropshipping Business Idea 

    When setting up your business you’ll need to invest into choosing the right business idea and setting it up for success.

    For people setting up a dropshipping business for the first time it’s always a good idea to invest time so you understand how it works and build up a knowledge base for making improvements. Investing your time into building a dropshipping business will teach you how the business works, how your customers and markets operate, and new skills to make you a better entrepreneur. 

    Choosing your dropshipping business idea will determine what products you actually sell so it’s necessary to do market research. 

    You’ll want to look at trends, competition, and profitability in various potential niches in order to pick your idea. That idea will determine which products you actually sell in the store.  

    Picking products to sell can be difficult but you can draw inspiration from trending product lists, browsing product ideas on Google Trends, and doing keyword research on sites like Keywords Everywhere. 

    With dropshipping the most successful stores tend to focus on specific niche areas like small dog lovers or overnight campers where you are selling products to a very specific customer. 

    Step 2: Source Your Products 

    Once you have done the research and selected a business idea with a specific niche and target market, you’ll have to decide what products to sell and where to source them from. 

    There are several options for this with the leader being Alibaba.com. If you haven’t heard of Alibaba.com before, it is the world’s leading global business to business trading e-commerce marketplace where you can find and source products from more than 100 thousand suppliers across the globe in 40 major categories.  

    Alibaba.com is a marketplace that makes it easy to find products to sell online from dropshipping suppliers.  Whether it’s electronics, fashion, toys, or other trending items, you can find products with good profit potential from dropshipping suppliers around the world. You can evaluate the product quality, shipping times, supplier info and further vet each supplier by contacting them directly. 

    Choosing your dropshipping supplier will be critical to your business success. A supplier will be the backbone of your business. Your business will fail without a good supplier constantly shipping products to your customers on time as promised.

    On Alibaba.com you can connect with and find the right supplier for your dropshipping business. For every product you might potentially sell you can reach out to suppliers across the globe to make sure they can provide the high quality service you will need to grow. Alibaba.com offers helpful tools for this like Verified Sellers and Trade Assurance.

    On Alibaba.com you can also evaluate potential products you may want to add to your store based on their lists of top products and trending products. 

    Once you’ve decided on the products you plan to sell and the supplier who will ship them, it is then time to build your e-commerce store.

    Step 3: Build Your E-Commerce store website

    Building an e-commerce website is the next step.

    I highly recommend you use an e-commerce platform like Shopify for this step as you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches instead of trying to use other services that you’ll have to mold to make fit this business type. 

    The video above shares a few reasons why Shopify is great for beginners and a good option for anyone starting an e-commerce store.

    The video below shows you how to start a Shopify store start to finish.

    This e-commerce store you will build will be where you send all your traffic, take orders, and process payments. Shopify makes all of this a breeze and it’s super easy to build and launch a new e-commerce website. Since Shopify is a complete commerce platform it makes it easy to then manage products, payments, and make sure orders are fulfilled. 

    Shopify offers a free 14 day trial so you can build an online store and familiarize yourself with the platform to see if it will be a good fit for you. 

    Step 4: Get Your Finances In Order

    Before you start marketing your store and receiving sales you’ll want to make sure you have your finances in order.

    This step includes deciding on your business structure. You can definitely start a dropshipping store as a hobby but if you are serious you will want to set up a legitimate business entity. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice so you’ll have to look into which is best for your situation from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company (LLC) to a C corporation. Most small businesses are either a sole proprietorship or LLC but you’ll need to do your own research and consult with a professional to make a decision for your business.

    Along with the business type you will also apply for an employer identification number (EIN) that is like a social security number for your business. That number is what you’ll use to file your taxes, open a business bank account and more. 

    Opening a business bank account is actually once of the first things you’ll want to do since blending your personal and business finances is a common new business owner mistake. Keeping these separate makes life much easier and opening a new bank account in your business name is one of the easiest ways to keep things separated. It will also make your business accounting much easier.

    Another recommended step is to apply for a business credit card that you use for business expenses only. Because you’ll use a card to place orders with the supplier after you make sales you’ll want a credit card that offers both protections and serious rewards. You can find many business cards that offer great promotions and I’ll leave a link in the description for my favorite business card that I use for my business.  

    Other things you’ll want to consider as you are setting up and getting ready to make sales are learning about and collecting sales tax, getting local business licenses, and any other legal or financial requirements that may apply to your location.

    Step 5: Market Your Store 

    You’ve done all the behind the scenes work and the final step is to market your dropshipping store. Standing out in any online space can be difficult so this step will be the hardest and also take the longest to find success. And as a dropshipper you’ll want to put in extra effort to the marketing and advertising efforts since they will be what sets you apart from others who may sell the same products.

    There are many different ways to market an online store. Some of the most successful for dropshipping include:

    Paid advertising

    • These ads on Facebook & Google are scalable and products perform well on both platforms since they tap into the desire to impulse buy.
    • Facebook and Google both have perfected advertising on their platforms and this work can help you market your store.
    • This is a very successful method for most businesses but it does take time to test and refine your ads and campaigns. 

    Influencer marketing

    • This method is a more affordable method to reach a larger and often more targeted audience.
    • Partnering with an influencer can help you reach a niche market and many people trust influencers more than traditional advertising.
    • You can negotiate either a flat fee upfront or an affiliate model where they get paid per sale they bring you.

    Content marketing

    • Long term strategies will include content marketing and it’s one of my personal favorites.
    • You won’t see success immediately but it will build a trust factor around your store and is a great addition.
    • Some examples include creating a YouTube channel, making a blog around the niche you chose, starting a podcast, growing a Pinterest account, or creating shareable infographics. 

    There are many other ways to market your dropshipping store but these are some of the most effective based on successful dropshipping case studies.

    As with any business plan you’ll want to keep an eye on what is working and what is not working and then work to adjust your marketing strategy as needed to lower costs and increase your revenue. 

    Step 6: Keep Testing and Refining

    The previous five steps are all you need to get started but the final step is what you will be doing ongoing:

    Testing. Analyzing. Refining your business. 

    After marketing for a while and making sales you’ll be able to look at results via your analytics and see what is working and what needs more work. Constantly asking questions and trying to evaluate better ways to do things will help you reach higher levels of success over time. 

    Make sure you look at and track the same statistics over time to measure your store’s success. Dropshipping is very much a numbers game and making sure you are measuring things will be key to your store growing over time. It will help you make smart decisions and get to the next level. 

    This method of online business is a great option if you are wanting a low-risk, low-cost way to start. Thanks to sites like Shopify and Alibaba.com it’s easier than ever to get this type of business up and running. 

    I hope this guide to getting started with dropshipping has been helpful and inspires you to create your own store and path to succeGss. Dropshipping can definitely lead you to financial freedom and the life you’ve always dreamed of as it has many other ecommerce income creators. 

    Remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.

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  • Free Websites To Start & Grow Your Online Business

    Over the last few years I’ve grown an online business that started from a hobby YouTube channel to a larger business with multiple income streams that help support our financial goals. I’ve done this all using mostly free websites so I could keep as much of the profit from this business as possible.

    Today I’m sharing some of the best free websites I’ve used or recommend for others growing an online business. After learning so much about creating and growing an online business I’m happy to tell you that it’s one of the best ways to start a business because you don’t have a ton of upfront costs thanks to websites like these.

    Canva Canva is my go to free website for anything design related. I create all of my Youtube thumbnails, Instagram posts, and many of my digital products using Canva.

    I currently pay for a pro subscription to the site but you can do so much with the free version of the site. It’s an incredible tool that is under utilized by many.

    Alibaba.com – Alibaba.com is the first site I recommend whenever someone asks me about building a product based business instead of digital products. On Alibaba.com you can create a free account to research products, then also source manufacturers to create the products your want so you can order products to sell to your customers. 

    They make it easy to find products but also offer helpful tools like Trade Reassurance and Verified Seller accounts to make sure you are protected as you order products to build your business.   

    YouTube – This free website is obviously one of my personal favorites since it has allowed me to create a business, but it’s got so much potential for other business owners as well. You can create a channel to grow your influence in a specific area and then sell your services, coaching, or high ticket items.

    You can also create a channel and grow your business revenue by monetizing your videos with ads or things like affiliate marketing. In fact you can create a profitable YouTube channel without even showing your face.

    Trello – Once you’ve grown your business to a certain level you will likely need some sort of project management tool to help keep you on track for your deliverables.

    With multiple YouTube channels and Etsy shops I realized I had to get organized so I tried out several options and discovered a love for Trello to help me create a better system for my content ideas and processes. Like many of the websites on this list Trello has a free and paid plan but so far the free plan has been more than enough for me to get better organized.

    Trello can be a bit challenging to use at the beginning but it’s amazing how it lets you create projects and checklists that can then become daily and weekly tasks. It’s also excellent for keeping a running list of ideas which is something I always have going!

    Google Drive – All of the free Google apps are amazing for helping run an online business without spending any money. Setting up a Google account gives you access to so many free amazing tools and one of my favorites is Google Drive.

    With this free tool you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more that are web based, easy to share, easy to edit, and accessible anywhere. I use Google docs to create all of my product outlines and blog posts and I know a lot of people use the tools to create products for sale like budgeting spreadsheets in Google docs.

    Start Without Spending 

    These free websites have all been an amazing help to my online business growth. It’s amazing that there are so many powerful FREE tools out there now that you can use to start and grow an online business.

    I started by online business using these free tools and I’ve grown it to surpass my day job income. I know from experience how you can utilize completely free resources online in order to grow. Not having money to start is no longer an excuse.

    If you want to start and grow an online business you don’t have to put up huge amounts of money. All you truly need is some time and the desire to build something. I hope these free websites help you get started building your business.

    Remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.

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  • How To Start An Online Business For Beginners

    Are you thinking of starting an online business but don’t know where to start? Today we are going to cover a very basic overview of how to start an online business online from scratch.

    There are so many options for starting an online business and when you start researching it is easy to get overwhelmed. It’s easy to give up before you start or worse, get sucked into a scammy offer about building a business that leaves you poorer with no real success.

    In this video we will walk through the basic steps so you know what your process will look like starting an online business as a beginner.

    Types Of Business

    First you have to decide the type of online business you want to start. There are two different types of online businesses you can start. You can start a services based business or a product based business.

    With a services based business you are selling your expertise or your skillset packaged as a service.   

    With a product based business you are selling either digital products or physical products through an online store.

    It’s that simple. The complications of starting an online business come through the different methods and types of products or services you offer compared to the competition. 

    Find Your Product

    Once you’ve decided on the type of business you are opening then it is time to decide on your offering. For the purpose of this video we will decide upon opening an online store selling a physical product. 

     If you want to sell a physical product online then you’ll need to decide on which product and where to source it.

    One option for this is to use a site that connects buyers with suppliers. You can use sites like this to evaluate products and purchase inventory for your online store.

    There are billions of product variations out there that you can source for your online store. You can look through many of these websites that sell inventory in order to find out what is hot and what others are buying. There are multiple ways for you to look for trending products that would sell well online in the current market. 

    When evaluating potential products to sell you will want to ask yourself several questions:

    • Does it have high profit margins? When you are running a product based business you will want to find a quality product that you can buy at a low price and sell at a higher price. The difference in price is what will be your profit. The higher the profit margin with your product the more money you’ll have to spend on other parts of your business like advertising.
    • Are people actively looking for this solution? Are your potential customers looking to buy what you have to offer? If you want a successful online business you want to sell something people are actively looking to buy. How do you find out if they are looking to buy? Instead of guessing based on your intuition, you should instead do keyword research. Are people searching for it? If they are searching for your product then there is existing demand and this would make a good product choice.
    • Is it trendy? Products should not only be a solution to a problem but also a trending product because it will be much easier to sell. How do you find a trending product? One of the best options to search for trending products on sites like Google trends, or similar research websites. You can look up different types of products or product categories and evaluate based on the increases in search volume. Once you have a few ideas of what is popular and trending you can then drill down to the product category you are interested in working with for your online business.

    Selecting a product will be much easier after you’ve asked yourself these questions and done the research necessary to find a good product to sell.

    Once you’ve settled on the product you want to sell you will buy the minimum quantity option so you can move on to the next steps and start to test your business idea. 

    Open A Website

    Once you’ve decided on your product and purchased your inventory then it is time to set up your shop by creating a website.

    For most online businesses I highly recommend you build your website with Shopify since it makes everything super simple to set up and manage. You’ll also only pay a flat month fee for all of the amazing inventory management and website tools instead of giving away larger portions of your profits via fees. 

    If you need a step by step tutorial on how to open a Shopify store I have other videos walking through that process which is very easy even for beginners.

    Shopify works for all online businesses including digital products and services so it’s a great solution no matter what type of online business you have decided to start. 

    I personally have used Shopify for digital products but it is even better when you are running an online business selling physical products.

    You can open up an online store, list your product, and go live in less than an hour with Shopify. Then you are ready to move on to the next step of starting an online business.

    Promote Your Products

    Promotion is incredibly important when you start an online business. The idea of “if you build it they will come” does not exist when you are starting an online store.

    You will need to promote your products and online store in the beginning until you have a regular customer base or online following.

    There are many, many different ways to promote a product online. You might try any one of these or combine many of them to see what works best for you.

    Types of promotion could include:

    • Sharing products on Pinterest
    • Making ads on Facebook
    • Creating TikToks showing the product in use
    • Creating videos of the products on YouTube
    • Sending products to influencers for reviews

    The method of promotion that will work best will depend on the product and the target market you are selling to. If one does not work, do not be discouraged, just try a new one until sales start coming in consistently.

    Refine & Repeat

    The previous three steps are all you need to start an online business. What comes next is refining your process and then repeating what works.

    This is the period where most people give up because it takes work to get it all right – the right product, the right market, the right price point. But once you do you can find success beyond your wildest imagination. Many, many people have done so with online businesses and it has changed their lives and their finances.

    Success is out there waiting for you too.

    Remember that you don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.

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