Update: This post is old and I have not kept up with the DSL course or the drop shipping space. I would recommend looking elsewhere for more up to date information.
Readers have been asking about making money online for some time now. In fact, I’ve probably gotten more questions from you guys about eCommerce than about anything else on this site.
Having been interested in making money online for the last 3-4 years, and having lived in the online entrepreneurial community (“digital nomad”) hub in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I think I have a pretty good perspective on this whole thing. Most importantly, I do actually make money online.
Hopefully this post can offer you some perspective and answer some of those questions.
First I’ll explain what drop shipping is, and then why I chose it for my first real online money-making endeavour. Then tell you about the online course I followed (DSL) to create my drop shipping business, and explain why I think it’s the best place to start if you are committed to generating an online income for yourself.
This is a fairly long post, so bear with me.
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop shipping is simply a business model for selling products online. It works like this:
1. You have a website (an eCommerce store) where you list products for sale
2. You bring traffic to your website through various means (PPC advertising, SEO, blog banner ads, social media, etc.)
3. A customer orders a product from your website
4. You order the product from your supplier
5. The supplier ships the product directly to the customer
In practice there’s a bit more to it, but it is actually quite simple. In basic terms that’s how drop shipping works.
Why Choose Drop Shipping to Make Money Online?
Drop shipping is generally considered to be a good introduction to making money online. Here are some reasons why:
Low Startup Costs
A domain name from Namecheap costs about $10, and a basic Shopify plan is $29 per month. Compared to other ways of making money online (or offline), it costs almost nothing to start a drop shipping store.
(Relatively) Quick Results
You can set up a store, start bringing in traffic, and start making sales in a short period of time (under a month is certainly doable). This is much faster than other ways of making money online, like blogging for example, where it may take several months or years to build up an audience.
You can use the same model again and again
If you find a method to build a profitable eCommerce store, you can reuse the same model again and again in different niches. You will also get better (and faster) at creating stores the more times you do it.
You are building an asset (There is high potential to sell your website)
eCommerce stores generally sell for 15-20x monthly profit. This means if you build a store that makes $1000/month, you can sell it for up to $15,000 or $20,000. One guy I met in Chiang Mai was making around $6,000/month from one of his stores, and he recently sold it for six figures.
In setting up your first drop shipping store, you will also learn a number of valuable skills like:
- How to build a website
- How to sell yourself to suppliers and customers
- How to identify a good niche
- How to run PPC advertising campaigns
This skill-set will serve you further down the line in future business endeavours, both online and off.
Why Dropship Lifestyle?
If you’re a longtime reader then you might remember that I used to promote something called “Drop Ship Lifestyle” on the sidebar of this site. You may also have noticed that this is the only product I have ever really promoted on F&F.
(Various people contact me asking me to promote their products here, but I don’t because I don’t believe in them.)
I promote Drop Ship Lifestyle because it is what I used to set up my own eCommerce business. I have personally had success with it and I have seen many others have success with it as well.
Because I have used it myself and seen others use it successfully, I have no problem recommending this course to you. I stand behind it 100%. In fact, attending the 2014 meet-up/conference/retreat for DSL members was the original reason that I traveled to Thailand.
And just so you know, the links in this post are affiliate links (although you probably knew that—I think most of you guys are pretty savvy about this stuff).
Backstory (How I started with DSL)
Throughout university I had always been interested in making money online. I had experimented with different things but it had never really gone anywhere.
After I graduated I was set on generating an online income for myself, but didn’t know how to go about it. The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to work hard—it was that I didn’t really know where to put the effort in.
I wished that there was some sort of structured opportunity to make money online that I could just “put the work into”.
I then heard a podcast featuring a guy who was living in Thailand and living off his eCommerce business. He had learned about eCommerce through an online course called Dropship Lifestyle. I visited the DSL website later that day, and I had a feeling that this was the opportunity I had been looking for.
In truth, I had more than just a feeling. It might sound crazy but I actually knew for certain that this was my path to online income. I was 100% sure that this was my “ticket” to making money online.
I wanted to register right away, but was hesitant because it was a big purchase for me at the time. I was a broke student and the only money I had was left over from student loans. I decided that I would sleep on it and decide the next day.
The next day, I remember I was walking back to my apartment after playing soccer with some friends and actually thinking to myself: You have to do it.
This was a big moment in my life (having just graduated university) but I somehow knew that this was the right step to take. Not only was I fully convinced that I needed to register for the course, but more importantly I was certain that I needed to work on it as hard as possible to become successful with it.
I registered later that day and started working right away. As I said it was my original reason for traveling to Thailand, and long story short, it has ended up taking me on a crazy journey that I never could have imagined.
Who is Anton? Is he a trustworthy guy that you should learn from?
Anton is the creator of DSL and is very successful (in his early 30s and I would guess a multimillionaire—but obviously I don’t know for sure). He is an expert in eCommerce and DSL is his “baby”. He also has a very good reputation in the digital nomad community in Chiang Mai. In short—he is an excellent person to learn from.
I actually met Anton at a friend of a friend’s apartment during my second week in Chiang Mai, this was before the DSL retreat. He came across as a very genuine guy in person, just like he does in the course videos. He is a successful guy who wants to give back and help other people achieve success as well.
(I told him that I admired him for being so successful at making money online, and he told me in return that he admired me for having the balls to go out to Thailand as a young guy to try and make it work. It was actually really cool.)
The DSL forum
Access to the DSL forum is included as part of the course and it is easily one of the most valuable things you get. There are around 2,000 active members and it is one of the most positive, helpful, and encouraging online communities that I have ever seen or been a part of.
When I was just starting out, a Canadian guy on the forum helped me out immensely by answering my (many) questions about issues specific to Canada through private messages. Even now I still owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He did all this without asking anything in return—that’s the kind of supportive environment you will find on the forum.
The DSL forum is also great because you get to see other people’s successes. In fact, there is an entire 6-page thread of course members posting screenshots of “sale” notifications from their phone:
Here’s what my first “sale” notification looked like:
Anton has raised the price of the course since I first signed up, as it now includes much more content. There are videos of all the presentations from the 3-day retreat (which cost $300 to attend), and there are a lot of additional modules that weren’t there when I started.
There is now a very large and detailed section on how to build and design your website in Shopify, as well as a section on Mindset and one on private labelling. The niche selection section has been expanded, and there is also a 5-part section on importing, a more advanced “bonus” topic for later on. Of course there are still all the basics you need to get your first store(s) up and running.
Even though the price of the course is higher than when I registered, I do still think it’s worth it if you are serious about making money online.
(There is also a 14 day cancellation policy if you change your mind)
So if you are committed to generating an online income for yourself with a real business (and more importantly you are willing to take the action necessary to make it happen) I would recommend that you begin with Drop Ship Lifestyle today.
Are you interested in making money online? Have you tried (or had success) with any methods? Do you have any questions about the DSL course? Let us know in the comments section below.