Create A Profitable Online Store In 5 Easy Steps

This article is the start of a 5 part series on how to create a profitable online store. If you’re tired of devoting the majority of your time to your day job and you’d rather set your own hours and be your own boss, the best way to escape from the rat race is to start your own business online.

When my wife became pregnant with our child and decided that she was quitting her job, we managed to create a profitable online store that generated 100k in profits in just over a year.

Today, my wife stays at home with the kids and works just several hours a day on our online business from home!

Get My Free Mini Course On How To Start A Successful Ecommerce Store

If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business, I put together a comprehensive package of resources that will help you launch your own online store from complete scratch. Be sure to grab it before you leave!

Starting A Store Or Business Online Is Ideal Because…

  1. You don’t have to be physically present to make money. Your computer can take orders for you even while you sleep.
  2. There is little or no overhead to maintain your website.
  3. Most if not all of the backend software is already written for you. All you have to do is to set things up and customize it.

These days, opening up your own online business is easier than ever thanks to the many services and free software available on the internet. In fact, you can start an online business completely from scratch for as low as 5 dollars a month!

In order to make money online, you have to have goods to sell to the end customer. And to sell goods, you have to have a storefront.

I’m going to show you just how easy it is to open your own online store in 5 easy steps and I will cover these 5 steps in detail in the next 5 posts. In the meantime, I thought that I’d go over the different online store options.

What Are My Options?

When most people think of owning a store, selling and delivering physical goods is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, shipping physical goods is only one of the many ways to make money with an online store.

Did you know that you can setup up your store such that all you have to do is take orders and have the manufacturer fulfill them for you? Have you ever stopped to consider selling informational products that require no shipping whatsoever?

I’ve outlined below the various ways to make money with an online store along with the pros and cons of each.


Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to start an online store without ever having to worry about carrying inventory. Once you have set up an arrangement with a dropship distributor, all you have to do is set up your online store and take orders.

As orders are received, you simply pass the customer information along to the distributor who is then responsible for delivering the actual goods to the end customer.

The profit you make is the difference between your selling price and the wholesale price you’ve negotiated with the vendor.

Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to make money with very little physical effort on your part. Once you have your store setup, it can almost run on its own.

The negative aspect of dropshipping is that the profit margins are fairly low compared to some of the other store options. The other disadvantage is that you are responsible for making the customer happy even though you have no control over order fulfillment.

Managing customer support is one of the biggest challenges with dropshipping which is why it is essential to choose reliable manufacturers to work with.

Selling Physical Goods With Inventory

This is the most traditional way of making money via an online store. You purchase physical goods from the manufacturer at a wholesale price, stock inventory and ship the goods directly to the end customer.

It sounds like a hassle and it definitely can be troublesome at times, but the profit margins are extremely high compared to dropshipping.

It is because of the high margins that opening up a traditional online store is one of the fastest ways to make a meaningful amount of money in a very short period of time.

The negative aspect of opening a traditional store though is that it involves greater risk because you have to put some of your own money up front to purchase inventory.

Opening up a traditional online store has been an extremely profitable venture for my wife and I. We chose to open a traditional online store because we needed to supplant my wife’s salary in a very short time frame when she quit her job.

In the span of just a year, we were able make 100K in profits from our online wedding linens store and our business continues to grow every year.

Selling Your Own Goods

Not everyone has the intelligence, creativity and aptitude to sell their own goods created from scratch, but those that do so successfully make the most profits of them all.

The hot ticket items to sell online these days are informational goods. Why? It’s because you don’t have to ship anything physical. You can deliver informational products with a simple download once payment is received.

If you have a special talent or possess knowledge that is scarce, selling your own goods is definitely the way to go. Best of all, you get to keep all of the profits.

Selling as an Affiliate

Becoming an affiliate is very similar to being a drop shipper except that you carry no responsibility whatsoever. All you have to do is to refer someone to a product or service.

If that person makes a purchase, then you get a cut of the sale. Once the sale is made, you are out of the picture altogether. Being an affiliate is by far the lowest energy way to make money. Unfortunately, it also carries the lowest profit percentage.

If I were to evaluate the different types of stores based on effort and profitability using a table, here’s what it would look like.

Store TypeEffort Level 1-10(easiest)Profitability Scale 1-10 (best)
Traditional Store47
Selling Your Own Goods110
Affiliate Sales101

As with all things, there’s a direct correlation between effort level and the amount of profit that you can make. With greater risk carries greater rewards and your decision should be based on your own situation.

You also want to consider future scalability of your business. For example, even though dropshipping offers lower profit margins, running a dropshipping store is much easier to scale in the future since you don’t have to worry about inventory.

My wife and I chose a traditional store because we needed to replace her lost income in a fairly short period of time. Plus, we wanted to be in full control of our customer service.

While I know many people who dropship and sell items as an affiliate, the ramp up time to meaningful profits is much longer.

Next up…Step 1: Finding a Webhost and Domain

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?

If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's free and you'll receive weekly ecommerce tips and strategies!

Note: This post above may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase when clicking a link. Please consult our privacy policy for more information.

Have you read these?

61 thoughts on “Create A Profitable Online Store In 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Pingback: Create A Profitable Online Store In 5 Easy Steps |
  2. Stephen - Rat Race Trap says:

    Wonderful information in here Steve. Thanks and it’s nice to hear other success stories. It makes the possibilities much more real. Looks like a great series!

    1. Steve says:

      Thanks! I hope my readers get something out of it. It’s not rocket science after all.

      So are you going to post about your past ventures? I’d love to read about them.

      I’m sure everything I’m going to write about you already know…but I hope not:) Thanks for the support

      1. grafeia teleton says:

        very nice post. something like this is very helpful to share, congratullations.

  3. Matt | Small Biz Bee says:

    Couldn’t agree more that profitability moves up in relation to effort. I’ve gone 3 of the routes you’ve analyzed (drop shipping, physical inventory, and selling my own product) and you’re right on….Drop shipping was by far the easiest, but as you would expect the least profitable, but it is a good way to get your feet wet. I don’t know about affiliate sales, it seems that if you have a large enough audience to sell to it could be profitable, and with not a lot of work. Of course it takes quite a bit of work to build the initial audience up.

    Anyway, food for thought. Nice article as usual.


    1. Hayden says:

      What licenses and permits do you need to start your online store?

  4. Seamus says:

    Great, this is great. I have both opened an online store in the shape of an info product and also helped others in the form helping with the online marketing aspect so am keen to read any secrets to your success! Cough ’em up!

    1. Ninrot J. Anguiano says:

      Hi Seamus! I’m currently looking to open an online store and seeing as you have opened one of your own, would you be willing to help? Message me back, thanks!

  5. MaryKay says:

    Steve was that for me?

  6. Evelyn Lim says:

    Thanks for putting up this series. I have always wanted to start an online store with a shopping cart but need more information. I’d be looking forward to the rest of your posts!

  7. Pingback: Find A Webhost And Domain Name – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 1 |
  8. Pingback: Find A Webhost And Domain Name – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 1 |
  9. Pingback: Find Products To Sell Online – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 2 |
  10. Pingback: Find Products To Sell Online – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 2 |
  11. Pingback: Select A Free Shopping Cart – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 3 |
  12. Pingback: Select A Free Shopping Cart – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 3 |
  13. Pingback: How To Process Credit Cards Online - Create A Profitable Online Store Part 4 |
  14. Pingback: Select A Credit Card Payment Processor – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 4 |
  15. Pingback: Make Your Online Store Look Awesome – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 5 |
  16. Pingback: Make Your Online Store Look Awesome – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 5 |
  17. Pingback: Get A Great Design For Your Store – Create A Profitable Online Store Part 5 |
  18. Pingback: Sunday Siesta – July 5th | Change your thoughts
  19. Pingback: The Online Investing AI Blog » A Week of Wisdom: Seven Days Toward Financial Freedom
  20. Pingback: How to Easily Create your Own Store «
  21. Pingback: What Does It Take To Get You Off Your Butt? |
  22. Pingback: How To Approach A New Vendor Or Supplier For Your Online Store |
  23. Pingback: Best Of On Entrepreneurship |
  24. Pingback: Toolbox For Would-Be Entrepreneurs: 69 Fantastic Free Resources
  25. Ryan says:

    I have read through all of your steps in your online store tutorial. I have accomplished (in one way or another) all 5 steps. My question is, how do you create traffic without going into debt by paying for advertising? This seems to be the most difficult thing to do.

    1. Steve says:

      Hi Ryan,
      That exact subject is the topic of my next guide. I’m almost done writing it so stay tuned.

  26. Ken Lempit says:

    Affiliate marketing can also add to your online store profits, by extending your product line or being an upsell, after the transaction is complete. So I might add to your post that your store can be a hybrid of a couple or few techniques to maximize the value of traffic and transactions.

    HomeESP is the first to offer a thank you page upsell affiliate program designed for entrepreneurial Websites (using techniques as employed at,, etc., on a much larger scale).

    Great grid on the relative ease/reward; makes a lot of sense.


  27. Barbara Busby says:

    I just came across your website. It is truly excllent and very valuable resource in today’s economy.

    1. Steve says:


  28. axilas21 says:

    thanks , nice advice

  29. ασημένια κοσμήματα says:

    thank you for this helpful article. it s good for sharing something like this

  30. chat,γνωριμίες says:

    this is a very nice and helpful blog.Also this is a very good article

  31. Κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων says:

    very useful information here

    I am glad to be a visitor of this pure web blog !

  32. Shaina says:


    Wanted to congratulate you on having such a great blog. I have found many a good content on this place and real helpful too. Great work! Keep it up.

    There are so many ecommerce platforms out there who can help people setup their own online store now. The big ones being Shopify, Volusion, BigCommerce, etc.

    For the Indian market in particular, there is one ecommerce platform that is currently doing pretty well. ( They are helping small businesses and entrepreneurs running on low budget to open online stores. No technical knowledge is required, to setup their online store.

    Their prices start as low as Rs. 499/month. They integrate payment gateways to your store, free of cost and also provide logistics support.

  33. κλιματιστικά says:

    this is a very good post.Great and helpful blog

  34. fotistika lumiere says:

    this is a very helpful information. thank you

  35. Shopnix says:

    Thanks for publishing such an informative article.

    We couldn’t agree lesser.
    eCommerce is an ever growing business opportunity.
    Innovations like drop-shipping & affiliate marketing are making this all the more lucrative.

    We are proud to be part of creating such success stories for multiple clients.
    100’s of stores have been created on the Shopnix ecommerce website builder.

    Invite more people to create an online store and become part of this wonderful phenomenon.

  36. Najwa says:

    As a person who has lost just about everything and has no income, would it be feasible to start out with a drop-shipping type online clothing boutique and then branch out into a traditional online clothing boutique once I have started to turn a profit? Or would you have a better suggestion? Please help I am at a loss. Thanks alot!

    1. Steve C says:

      Online clothing is an extremely competitive niche. Instead I would choose something easier to rank for in search or some sort of specialty item.

    2. Rory Cornelius says:

      I agree whole heartedly with Steve C, here. A very wise, old marketing guru once told me “Don’t ever try to sell anything you regularly buy for yourself.” It was sage advice.

      What he meant was, of course, that anything you commonly buy for yourself, such as clothing, are things that practically everyone buys for themselves. So, the markets for such items are absolutely gigantic. This means that if you get into those markets, you’re going to be competing with giants. And, you CAN’T compete with giants. You can’t compete with the likes of Marshall’s or Old Navy. They will crush you — they will crush you into dust, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

      The real trick is to find a niche wherein the market is small enough that the overall potential profits it’s capable of generating are not worth the time, effort and attention of the retail behemoths, but are still large enough to be greatly worth the time of someone looking to start their own, relatively small, internet business.

  37. κοσμηματα says:

    Great information Steve! I am waiting for your next guide on advertising without paying a lot of money! This is my main problem!

    Thanks again,

  38. κοσμηματα says:

    Great information Steve! I am waiting for your next guide on advertising without paying a lot of money! This is my main problem!

    Thanks again,

  39. Helen Werre says:

    When you learn how to put up stores that can turn a profit, you can write your own ticket by replicating the process.

  40. zante weddings says:

    the text you wrote is very interesting and i am impressed with the way you write. many congratulations

  41. Situs Belanja Online Terpercaya says:

    is always good for being an entrepreneur

  42. Pingback: What Does It Take To Get You Off Your Butt And Start Your Small Business?
  43. Titì Henry says:

    Thanks for this great advice. It will be really helpful for my online business.

  44. tahir khan says:

    Best article for startups thanks

  45. Lisa Branley says:

    Great article. Valuable tips.

  46. asfaleies says:

    I like your article very much. I was learn many things of reading this article.

  47. Pingback: How To Be Your Own Boss – FREE WEB STORE
  48. BazarBit says:

    Bazarbit is the easiest eCommerce website builder which allows you to create your online store in minutes. It is developed specifically to cater to all your brand requirements. We provide the widest range of e-commerce website templates to distinguish your brand and inspire your customers. Build a future with us.
    for more –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *