Chris Riley


Shopify for dummies: What is Shopify and how can you make money online using it?

In this guide I wanted to make a 'Shopify for Dummies' beginners introduction to Shopify. So this is going to be part of a series for people who are new to making money online. You'll get to know what Shopify is, how to get it all set up, and then how to hopefully go on and make your first sale. 

I've been on the same journey as you, taking the advice made by so-called 'gurus' to find out if they actually work, and then passing on that information on to you.

So if you're trying to learn how to make money online please follow me and subscribe to this series. Please also post comments if you've got any questions along the way.

If you're completely new to trying to make money online and you don't know what Shopify is, or maybe you've heard of it and you want to find out exactly how you can use it to make money, that's what this guide is going to be about. I'm going to give you a very top level overview of what Shopify is how you can use it to make money and how you can get it set up.

What is Shopify?

Well let's take a look at the official description on the Shopify website:

 "Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organise your products, customise your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse."

So what does that mean? Basically Shopify is a website you can use to make your own store online.

If you have an idea of some products that you want to sell and make a profit from Shopify is a platform that you can log into online, create your designs, add your products and set up your own online store. 

Why does Shopify exist and how can it help you sell online

As it stands in 2017, 8% of all transactions are done online and by 2019 that's set to double to 16%. The theory is if you use Shopify to set up your online store and you can get a bit of that audience, you can take advantage of a growing industry and take a piece of that pie.

If you can get some of those new people who are shopping online to buy from your store, and you're making profits from every sale, you will make money online.

I've been using Shopify a lot over the last 12 to 14 months. I know it inside out and I absolutely love it. That's why I wanted to give this information back to you and give you a quick run-through of how to get it set up because it's a tool that I use more than anything else.

Setting up Shopify

Here is a really quick run-through of how to go about getting Shopify and setting your store up so you can start selling products and making a profit. If at any point through you want to go ahead and get started yourself then just follow this link to get a two week free trial for Shopify. It's a totally free trial without any financial commitment – you don't even have to put any credit card details in at all. I recommend using the two weeks to get your store set up, put some products on it, and see if you can start making sales before paying any subscription fee.

1. Sign up

So what are the steps to getting your first Shopify store up and running on the Internet? Well the first thing you need to do is sign up to Shopify using this link which will take you through to the Shopify website. On that page you can enter in your e-mail address along with other personal information that will get your account set up and allow you to start building the store. Like I said before the link will get you a two week free trial period to do that in without any payment whatsoever.

2. Themes

Once you've got your account set up the next thing to do is to start building your store. There's a few steps here, so first and foremost you need to create your theme.

A theme is something you install to your store to determine how your store looks and feels. The Shopify store theme area will give you access once you've got your account up and running.

There's hundreds of themes that you can quickly download and install to your store, which means  you've got hundreds of different designs and looks that your store can have.

Decide on the look and feel of your store that you want and then install a theme from the theme area to add this look to your store.

3. Add products

The next thing you need to do is to start adding products to your store. Whether you make your own products or you want to start importing products from a website such as Aliexpress, Oberlo is a great plug-in that you can use to quickly add products from Aliexpress to your Shopify store automatically.

Regardless of how you're going to source your products you can start filling in information such as product titles and prices to populate your Shopify store with items for sale.

4. Take payments

Next you're going to want to install a payment gateway to your Shopify store. A payment gateway is a piece of software that gets installed onto your online store that allows your site to receive payments from customers around the world.

Once it's installed you will be able to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments or whatever other payment method you want your customers to use. Shopify comes with a ton of payment gateways ready to install out the box so it's made really simple and easy for you to do.

5. Shipping and delivery

Once you have your Shopify account setup using the two-week free trial, your theme installed, your products added and your payment gateway ready to go, then you need to decide on your shipping. This is the amount of money you're going to charge your customers to have your product delivered to them.

You can just have one simple shipping price for anyone across the world or in a certain country, or you can set different shipping rates for different countries. You can also break it down even further and set different shipping weights depending on the cost of the customer's order. But whichever way you go about it, shipping and delivery are important things you need to decide on before taking orders.

6. Get a unique domain name

Finally at the end of your two week free trial which you can get by using this link, you're going to want to put your website online for people to find. To do this you're going to need a domain name.

Shopify will give you a domain name out of the box but if you want something a bit more unique you can purchase your own domain name through Shopify or another registrar and use that for your store. and

You're all set

There's going to be a lot of things to do to fine-tune your store, and you probably will want to change things later on down the line. You might realise that you need to expose more information or you've got information that doesn't really need to be there, but the essentials are to:

  • sign up for your account
  • install a theme to your store
  • populate it with your products
  • add a payment gateway
  • decide on your shipping rates
  • add your own domain name to your store

There is also a step-by-step Shopify article that runs you through how to do all of the things above.  It is single Shopify document that runs you through everything.

So I hope that useful for any beginners Shopify who didn't know what it was or how to go about setting it up.  If you've got any questions about Shopify, what it is, how to get it set up or any more in-depth technical questions, I'll be happy to answer it for you.

Make sure to pop those questions in the comments and if you are interested in this series please subscribe to it and follow me to get updates.