Tag Archive : SEO for Dropshipping

From 0 to $59,600+ In 2 Years: How To Monetize Your Passion With Zero Ad Costs

If you’ve ever wondered how to monetize your passion, our today’s guest has some curious first-hand experience to share! This entrepreneur runs a business dedicated to something he’s genuinely interested in. And, judging by the track record of his business, this is a great strategy to follow!

Disclaimer: all the success stories published in AliDropship blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.

Hi, please, introduce yourself!

Hi, I’m Abderrahman, 30, a full stack developer from Morocco.

How and why did you monetize your passion?

I started as a freelancer in oDesk (Upwork) when I was 20. So, for about 10 years, I have worked as a freelancer, doing stores and websites for customers, working mostly 10-12 hours a day, and got really tired… Then I had an idea: why don’t I create a service/store that can generate money for me on its own?

At some point, I even tried crypto trading, but the market was unstable then, and things aren’t much better now. I invested $2,000 in it, but all I have from it now is $450! So… I needed to find something else.

And as I’m Anime addicted, I thought this is time for me to start something related to Anime. I decided to launch a store that would sell thematic products – not copyrighted items or replicas of the original merch, just some cute Anime-inspired things that would make fans happy.

To make such a store work, I looked for a WordPress ecommerce dropshipping solution and discovered AliDropship. Its WooCommerce version seemed like a right fit for me as it made things easy for everyone and didn’t have monthly payments: for someone who has just started, it’s a huge advantage.

Do you remember the first sale made from your store?

Yes! It happened in about a week after the store was launched. Shortly before that, I set up some push notifications on my site, and got some visitors – and eventually, customers – from them.

There was a person who asked me a ton of questions on chat support, then he disappeared, and after a few seconds I received a PayPal purchase notification, I was so happy! With a $8 product cost, my first sale brought me $4 in profit. I know it’s nothing, but it pushed me to add more and more products.

How does your business perform now?

I have 2 stores now: one is niche-specific and another one is general – it’s a new one.

Here are some performance numbers of my first store:

A store performance graph showing over $59,600 in gross sales in 2-year period

And here is the data on the organic search traffic:

Google Analytics graph showing the dominance of organic search traffic for Abderrahman's store

What product strategy do you use to monetize your passion?

I work with all sorts of products related to my niche: figures, decorations, clothes… To find new products to add to my store, I look for a specific Anime name and see if there are new product arrivals there. I try to focus on the products related to ongoing and new Anime series, as well as the most popular ones, because that’s what people look for. For the pricing, I go with AliDropship’s default markup formula.

How do you promote your business?

With SEO! I figured out that the best buyers are the ones who come from Google and search engines because they look for these specific products deliberately. As I use Google Analytics to analyse my audience, I can say that my buyers are mostly parents who buy gifts for their children. That’s why there’s no point for me to promote the store on Instagram or other social media. I tested an Instagram shoutout once, but it didn’t work for me. So yeah, I get most of my traffic from search engines (Google, Bind, Yahoo), from push notifications, and from social shares of visitors/customers. That’s why I spend nothing on advertising!

Also, at the beginning of my dropshipping journey, I was promoting my website on forums and in anime streaming websites. I was taking part in episodes discussion in the comment sections and forum boards, and offering a welcome coupon to new customers. Of course I was promoting items related to that particular anime being discussed. So, most of the visitors clicking on my links were truly interested to see the offers!

I also work a lot on creating a good on-site experience. As I was a freelancer for many years, I know what clients like when they shop online, what they don’t like, etc. This is why I created my own WordPress theme and some plugins myself: I wanted to achieve a better optimisation and user experience. I would say that my success is 80% due to the visitors loving the design and UI that is cool and easy for them.

What can you tell about managing your business on a daily basis?

It takes me about 1-2 hours every day to complete the tasks. What I do is search and add new products, process orders and answer customer queries. By the way, I strongly recommend business owners to use a chat support widget on their websites. For users to trust your store, they should be confident there is someone behind the monitor who can assist them and answer any questions at any time.

That’s what I do all the time 🙂 I constantly have to deal with AliExpress orders, lost parcels, delayed shipments, extended shipping times, etc. Now, it’s happening because of Covid as orders tend to be delayed and people keep asking about the reasons, ask for refunds, etc.

It still can be managed, though. I offer buyer protection and 60 days money back guarantee. If my clients don’t receive their orders, I refund them to avoid any problems because I believe customers must trust you. Then I ask AliExpress sellers to refund me, too, per AliExpress buyer protection policy. The funny thing is that sometimes I refund orders because of shipping delays, then my buyers receive their parcels in the next 3-7 days, and they say nothing 🙂

After you figured out how to monetize your passion, has your life changed in any way?

Of course! I don’t have to look for customers to work for them, or stay behind my PC 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, I want to start boosting my second store with general products to make it a success, too. As for now, it seems a bit hard to do, but I view it as a new challenge for me!

Any final words of wisdom for those willing to start their ecommerce businesses?

The most important things in a store are the website theme and the niche! Look for a good and simple theme, avoid popups alerts and fake alert notifications or fake sales boosters, just be honest with visitors! I also recommend using some WooCommerce SMS solutions. If you send a SMS confirmation when order is placed, shipped etc., your store policy will look more professional and people will trust you more

Still wondering how to monetize your passion? Hopefully, these business insights serve as a great starting point for your first steps in ecommerce! We are beyond grateful to Abderrahman for taking part in our interview, and wish him the best of luck with his enterprise!

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How Alex Makes Money With SEO – And His 9 Dropshipping Stores

Do you remember Alex, a dropshipping newcomer from Russia we interviewed some time ago? We asked him a couple of questions again to see how his business is going, and, *SPOILER ALERT*, seems like he discovered a winning strategy to make money with SEO! Let’s see how it works for him.

Disclaimer: all the success stories published in AliDropship blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.

Hi, please introduce yourself to our new readers!

Hi, I’m Alex, an IT professional from Russia working for myself. I am a huge fan of dropshipping: it’s perfect for me as I prefer automated business models.

Wouldn’t say my journey was super smooth, though: I developed more than 8 different stores until one of them started making profit. But the first sale was unforgettable: it proved that the business works, and gave me the perfect motivation to continue.

So, how does your business perform now?

I have 9 stores these days, and each of them has 3,000-12,000 unique visitors every month: here’s the data from Google Analytics.

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And here are the performance numbers for 3 of my websites:

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It might seem like not too much, but please note: I do not spend money on advertisement at all. No marketing expenses! No ads, no promotions, just natural search: my buyers come from organic traffic.

What exactly do you do to make money with SEO?

Here’s the thing. Before I decided to switch to SEO promotion, I tried using many advertisement methods:

  • Facebook ads / Facebook groups promotion
  • Amazon sales
  • Instagram ads
  • Promotion through YouTube channels

Nothing worked fine for me! It was a signal for me to stop wasting my money on ads.

Thanks to these experiments, I discovered that the only thing that works fine for me is Google Natural Search. And surely, I noted that it takes SEO 3-9 months to start working, which is why a new website cannot get enough traffic for sales at first.

To speed up this process, I started improving SEO:

  • Improved hosting speed
  • Added AMP support
  • Worked on images optimization 
  • Improved cache performance and so on

As a result, my Natural Google Traffic is growing and this strategy is working fine even though it is absolutely free!

And to help my sites perform better, I also invested some time and effort into their security. I installed the WordFence Security plugin on all my websites and also blocked visitors from some countries with the highest attack rate, fraud orders and low profit rate. It was a necessary thing to do because I noticed a recent increase in the attack rate and didn’t want to put my income sources at risk.

Which other solutions do you use to keep your business operational?

I read a lot about new IT solutions and I always try to use the best ones of them. As I don’t spend money on ads at all, I have spare money I can safely invest in my stores automation, hosting, and SEO.

Many of my websites are powered with AliDropship Woo Plugin, Social Rabbit plugin, and the free Abandoned Cart add-on. I also tried to use multiple other solutions (including the ones from external developers), but there’s nothing more I can recommend.

It’s also important to note that I transferred all my websites to WooCommerce. I liked the experience of working with AliDropship Woo because it helps me a lot, and thought it would be great to upgrade all my websites to Woo with this plugin.

What is your product strategy that helps you make money with SEO?

It’s a really hard thing to choose the right niche! After lots of experiments with my stores, I stopped using the openly available results of market researches because most of these analyzed niches are too popular and competitive.

Instead, I look for unique products that I like personally and check if they have many orders on AliExpress, a 98% rate, and a rising trend on Google Trends. I add new products every day! To get a better understanding of my target audience and their expectations from my store, I use Google Analytics – it helps me a lot.

My pricing policy is really flexible. There are no common rules because everything depends on the product and its initial price, and I have different extra charges for different websites and niches. Sometimes I can add $5 to each product, and sometimes +$50 to the whole order.

What can you tell about managing your 9 stores on a daily basis?

I spend about 2-3 hours per day on this. The most time-consuming task is answering buyers’ emails: “Where is my package?”, “I want a refund”, “Incorrect package received” and so on, you know… Like any other seller, I have a fair share of funny and sad stories with clients, but try not to worry: some beers can solve almost any problem… :))) And refunds, of course!

How has your life changed?

I’m working for myself and all by myself. I can choose a day, place and time to work, and work 0 hours a day or 20 hours a day if needed. It of course helps my relationships with friends and relatives. My wife likes everything that makes money for our family, and my friends are happy that I have more free time to share with them.

It’s a business where everything depends on me and my skills. I do not have anybody to blame or praise – there’s only me who’s responsible! Just waiting for COVID-19 to finish to plan my future…

What can you advise our readers – those who already run their stores and those who didn’t start the business yet?

Working for yourself is the best decision you can make in your life. You should not work for somebody if you can work for yourself!

Well, if you ever wondered how to make money with SEO, it seems like Alex just gave you some priceless beginner tips! We are thankful for his detailed and interesting feedback, and are pleased to see such positive dynamics of a recently launched dropshipping business.

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Some Entrepreneurs Make These Dropshipping Mistakes. What About You?

Running a dropshipping store is engaging and entertaining.

While bringing you an impressive profit, this business is relatively easy to manage – still, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing much to improve and enhance now and then!

If you browse the Web, you’ll see that it’s quite a common cry for help: “I just got a dropshipping store and I see no sales. What’s wrong?

What’s wrong, indeed? Let’s take a look at the most common dropshipping mistakes that store owners make. As a BONUS, we’ll give you simple action plans to help you fix them!

Dropshipping mistake #1: Doing nothing

Oh, that’s the easiest way out, right? It sounds really tempting to create or to buy an online store, and to simply wait until someone stumbles upon it, gets interested, and makes a purchase. Passive income, yay!

In the real world, it doesn’t always happen.

No promotion means no sales, and no sales means no profit.

If no money and effort is invested into the dropshipping store promotion, it will just stay there dead as a rock – a professionally developed, smoothly working, beautifully designed, but completely unused website that brings no income.

That’s exactly what happened to Alex – after he got a dropshipping store, he just put it aside. In a month, though, it became clear it’s time to start doing something. Trying an ever-changing mix of promotional techniques, he gained an impressive audience of loyal customers and, as the result, sold one of his stores for a breathtaking profit.

Your action plan: Read these real-life stories on what it takes to make the first online sale, and follow these tips to achieve your first sale faster. This list of free traffic sources that can drive more visitors on your website will be helpful, too!

Dropshipping mistake #2: Taking a too broad niche

To be honest, we’ve all been here. Choosing the perfect dropshipping niche is not easy at all.

Even the successful dropshippers who have a huge experience in the field definitely had troubles with the niche choice at some point of their business journey. The case of Mousslim is a shining example – even though his dropshipping business brings him dozens of thousands of dollars every month, his very first niche was a really bad choice. That’s why it’s vital to deeply know the niche and to be genuinely interested in it!

The saddest dropshipping mistake that can be made at this point is going for a VERY broad niche.

Let’s take ‘Clothes’, for example. If ‘Clothes’ is the niche AND the main keyword, the store owner is definitely going to have a bad time. No doubts, he (or she) will find thousands of matching items on AliExpress, and will gladly upload them on the website. Then what? What to do next?

From the point of view of SEO optimization, the ‘Clothes’ niche is hopeless. An extreme competition, a vague keyword – none of this is good for a webstore. Even carefully targeted Instagram ads won’t help much.

Your action plan: Take a look here to see how to work in the apparel niche, and use the same approach for any other niche you choose. Don’t hesitate to ask us for a deep niche research if you need expert assistance!

Dropshipping mistake #3: Having no knowledge about the target audience

Customers are the driving force of any online store growth.

That’s why it’s absolutely vital to know as much about them as possible! A familiar customer segment means a lot for the success of the whole business.

A serious dropshipping mistake that can be made on this stage is going with blind guesses.

It happens when dropshipping store owners don’t rely on any researches, statistical data from their own stores, or actual clients’ feedback. They have some general idea about the people who might want to buy from them, and they just don’t go any further.

It leads to absolutely weird marketing decisions. As a rule, such actions take lots of time, money, and energy, but bring little to no results.

Your action plan: Check out these 3 ways to identify your target audience, and apply them to your business. To make your promotional messages well-targeted at a proper audience, consider ordering video ads and ads packages for Facebook and Instagram that go together with recommended audience settings.

Dropshipping mistake#4: Choosing poor marketing tactics

If dropshipping store owners know nothing about their customers and don’t understand the market (this is why it’s so important to be passionate about the chosen niche!), strange things start happening.

  • Store is promoted to everyone. The marketer does nothing to narrow down the target audience and just goes through Web shouting about the store. Lots of time and energy (and money) goes into attracting the wrong people. They just don’t have the slightest relation to the store and show no interest towards the offers.
  • Ads are placed on unsuitable channels. The marketer makes no research and randomly promotes the offers through all the media imaginable. As you can guess, the efforts are mostly put into absolutely fruitless channels that bring no return.
  • Store is promoted through 1-2 channels only. The marketer relies on a few channels and uses them over and over again, not willing to try anything else. It’s good if these channels work well; but what if other ones work even better?
  • No tests are performed. To see if a new channel will be beneficial for a dropshipping store promotion, it is necessary to try it several times with different settings, different audience segments, and different product categories. If there are no tests, it’s impossible to say which channel works the best for specific audiences and items.

Your action plan: Use this monumental guide on how to promote your dropshipping store. If you need any professional assistance, there are lots of ways we can help you: look through the list of expert marketing services here.

Dropshipping mistake #5: Using no automatic promotion tools

There’s actually no wonder why dropshippers stick to a few randomly selected promotion channels and rarely use anything extra.

There are only 24 hours in a day.

Even if there is any interest towards the use of some new and awesome strategies and techniques, there simply might be no time for it.

Automated solutions can do the trick; the most useful of them, for example, automatically promote a store in social networks using the owner’s settings and preferences. Unfortunately, ecommerce entrepreneurs tend to overlook such solutions.

Your action plan: Watch this video explaining how to automate your social media marketing efforts without making you look like a spammer. Don’t forget to also check out this handy tutorial on auto-running your Instagram account!

Dropshipping mistake #6: Neglecting SEO

In our experience, there are some people who hardly ever pay attention to search engine optimization.

That’s really sad because SEO constantly works for a store in the long term! Even if the results don’t seem to be immediate, they accumulate over time.

Ideally, SEO should work for the benefit of the webstore since the very moment of the store launch.

In reality, it commonly turns out that store owners don’t even do a keyword research at the planning stage, to say nothing about further product pages optimization and so on.

Your action plan: Follow this SEO ecommerce checklist to see if your online store is properly optimized, and make sure you’re not making any of these critical SEO mistakes! If you assembled your store on your own, without any developers’ or marketers’ help, you might also want to check out this SEO Starter Pack.

Dropshipping mistake #7: Learning no lessons

And this is the most serious dropshipping mistake a store owner can make.

All of our first business steps are shaky – it’s impossible to be 100% confident about things we never tried before.

All the people who nowadays run highly profitable dropshipping stores had some difficulties throughout their way. It’s absolutely fine to have no knowledge about something; it’s not that fine to keep staying unaware of important things.

An awesome feature of dropshipping in particular is the possibility to learn from one’s experience and mistakes. There are tons of helpful ecommerce materials that are available for free, and this is an educational opportunity that you simply can’t miss out on.

Your action plan: Monitor your store performance, gather the clients’ feedback, take free courses, read guides, watch tutorials, attend webinars and exchange experience with other entrepreneurs – this is what helps you grow your business and prosper.

All the experiments, tests, trials and discoveries are the drivers of your online business growth. And you know what’s the best part? You’re not alone on your ecommerce journey 😉

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