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How to Get Your Small Business Finances in Order Ahead of Black Friday Cyber Monday

If you’re living in the blissful calm before the storm of the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to tidy up your small business finances—because when you’re knee-deep in order fulfillment, it’ll be the last thing on your mind. And yes, you should prepare for a busy season, with eMarketer forecasting 16.6% growth in ecommerce sales over the 2017 holiday season. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to your business’ money matters. Take the time now to set yourself up for success come Black Friday Cyber Monday and the holidays so you’re prepared for all it brings. More

Fear and Entrepreneurship: The Psychology of What Scares Us

As irrational as it often is, as silly as it sometimes seems when you witness it in others, fear is something we have to continually confront throughout our lives. But artists, entrepreneurs, and ambitious people especially—who often elect to walk paths and choose goals steeped in uncertainty—have to learn how to live with fear if they want to go far. Because what should scare us most about fear isn't how it makes us feel, but how it tricks us into denying ourselves the things we want most. More

The 26-Point Checklist to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Cyber Monday

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is a tremendous opportunity for your ecommerce business to make money. In fact, according to Techradar, U.S. consumers spent a record-breaking $3.34 billion on Black Friday last year, online alone. It's no wonder more and more store owners participate every year This 26-point Black Friday Cyber Monday checklist ensures your store is in the best position possible to not only succeed and make a lot of money during the holiday season, but also minimize the stress and headaches this season brings to a lot of business owners. This list will also help you cover all of your bases and give you ideas on preparing and running your holiday sale this year. Go through it, implement and steal the ideas that work for you, and evaluate. More

Don’t Waste Time on Business Cards (And Other Execution Tips)

Pick a name. Design a logo. Buy a domain. Create a Facebook Page. There are a hundred things you could be doing to get your business off the ground—it's easy to gets side-tracked by tasks that aren't as important as you might think. In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from Dan Demsky, an entrepreneur who knows how to execute. He’s launched 4 businesses in the last 10 years, and is here to teach us how to go beyond the ideation phase and get into the mode of doing. More

5 Awesome Black Friday Cyber Monday Social Media Campaigns You Can Steal

Often, it can seem like Black Friday Cyber Monday social media advice is, well, a little vague. Start a hashtag, tweet about your biggest sales—not exactly groundbreaking. That’s why I’m going to break down five BFCM social media campaign ideas you can steal and implement yourself to generate some actual money this holiday season. And boy is there money to be made. More

Are You Ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017? We’re Here to Help

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is coming. The approach of the biggest shopping weekend of the year is to store owners as winter is to Ned Stark. “Brace yourselves,” it says. Lucky for you, BFCM is still over two months away and there’s plenty of time to prepare your store for the increase in traffic and sales. And, we’re here to help you do just that. Before you dismiss BFCM as an event just for the big players, stick with us—there is plenty of data to support that the event can be beneficial to businesses of any size. And, you can participate without killing your margins. Shopify has the tools, tips, and educational resources to help you sell more products to more people in more places during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. More

How to Build a Personal Brand that Stands Out (Without Selling Out)

Companies have brands. Products have brands. People have brands too. But for whatever reason, many of us aren’t comfortable with developing our own personal brand. Maybe it feels forced. Or you don’t want to put yourself out there. Or you feel like you're selling your soul. But personal branding isn't at all as rigid and fake as it seems, and it's more important for promoting your ideas and growing your business than you might think. More

Content Optimization: How to Turn Readers Into Revenue

How do you turn readers into revenue? It’s the question content marketers around the world ask themselves. It’s the question ecommerce marketers and entrepreneurs ask themselves before starting a blog. Let’s deconstruct the question and work backwards from the money. Here’s your step-by-step guide to turning your current (or future) readers into cold, hard cash. More

Introducing Shopcodes: QR Codes That Make Mobile Shopping a Breeze

You’ve seen them everywhere: cryptic square barcodes that look like gibberish, but a computer would read as a link, a location, or whatever information is encoded into them. QR codes have evolved a lot since their invention in 1994 to their current adoption as a mechanism of mobile commerce, powered by Android and iPhone devices. Now with the newly announced iOS 11 update, you can scan them with the native camera app. That's why today we’re introducing Shopcodes: QR codes that consumers can scan to take them directly to a product in your Shopify store. More

How This Brand Became a Thought Leader in the Women's Shaving Market

Trust is a key part of the buying process. If customers don't trust you, they won't shop with you. And as an unestablished brand it can be hard to build a repertoire with potential customers. That's where content marketing can come into play, not just as a way to drive traffic but to establish your own expertise in an industry and show customers you're interested in more than just their purchase. On this episode of Shopify Masters, you'll hear from Karen Young, the founder of Oui Shave: a better shave for women, by women. Find out how she uses her blog to build Oui Shave's credibility in the health and beauty industry. More

How to Make Money on YouTube (Without a Million Subscribers)

YouTubers are the self-made celebrities of today: People who have earned an audience by creating content geared toward teaching, entertaining, reviewing, and being awesome on the internet. Most do it just to do it—to scratch the itch of creating things and being in front of an audience. But that actually puts them in a great position to make money by exploring several streams of revenue. More

17 Best Online Photo Editor Softwares and Apps (Free and Paid)

Good product photography enhances the perceived value of your products and increases the credibility of your store. This post focuses on a crucial aspect of product photography: online photo editing. Because no matter how well you shoot your photos, there are always little things to fix and retouch afterwards. Here are free and paid photo editing tools—including software, services, and apps—that you can use to make your shots even more compelling. More

How This Indie Game Made 60% of Its Annual Merch Revenue in 30 Days

Games are more than just a pastime or even pieces of interactive art. They’re entire worlds that are built for us to visit, that are able to pull us back from time to time, that still cross our minds even as we go about our lives. It’s these worlds that Snowman—a development studio based in Toronto— believes in building, and it's become the basis for many of the decisions they’ve made as both a business and as the developer of the award-winning indie game, Alto's Adventure. That belief is also the reason they’re among the first in their industry to incorporate a merch store directly into their game with Shopify's Unity Buy SDK—a decision that resulted in them making 60% of their annual revenue from product sales in 30 days . More

Ecommerce Survey 2017: The Trials & Tribulations of a Booming Industry [Data]

Earlier this year, we embarked on a mission to improve our ecommerce blog. We sent out a 23-question reader survey to better understand who reads our blog, what they’re struggling with the most, and how we can help. We received 1,988 responses from some of our most active blog subscribers. Of course, we’re hard at work putting all of that data to good use, but we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you, the reader. More

Meet the Winners of Shopify's Build a BIGGER Business With Tony Robbins

For the past 7 years, Shopify has worked to inspire, motivate, and push budding entrepreneurs to fulfill their highest potential through our Build a Business competition. But in 2017, we partnered with Tony Robbins to see what would happen if we encouraged existing, later-stage businesses to push even further and grow even BIGGER. “The opportunity to support more entrepreneurs is really what inspired us to create Build a BIGGER Business,” said Harley Finkelstein, Chief Operating Officer at Shopify. Of the thousands of businesses that worked tirelessly to achieve significant growth or scale between March and July 2017, these eight topped the list in both growth and in their respective categories. Let’s meet the winners and learn what’s next for each business as they continue their upward trajectory toward massive success. More

A Step-by-Step Process to Curate Viral Content for Instagram and Facebook

You don't need to create all the content you share online. In fact, content curation—finding and sharing third party content—is a must for growing and maintaining an engaging social media presence. In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from Audrey Castonguay of Wholesome Culture about the process she uses to find and repurpose viral content for her Facebook and Instagram profiles. More

Life Lessons from 9 Inspiring Entrepreneurs Over 50

Every week, we bring you the stories of people across the globe—Shopify merchants of all walks of life, at every age, selling everything from gourmet jam to lipstick to guitars. The uniqueness of the businesses run on Shopify and the diversity of the folks who run them is truly inspiring. Today, we're turning our lens towards a growing segment of entrepreneurs. We’ve noticed a trend in among retired people looking to devote their newfound free time to a hobby business, or to fund their retirement dreams. The data supports it: the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the U.S. has been among 55 to 64 year olds. We spoke to nine store owners about the benefits and challenges to running a business after 50. The consensus? Years of experience—both life and work—create a great foundation for entrepreneurship. More

Food Photography 101: How to Take Perfect Pictures of Your Food

Checking your Instagram or Facebook feed, you’re almost certain to see a constant barrage of food pictures scrolling by like images in a slot machine. Food photography is an almost daily activity for many people. But if you're looking to get serious about your food photos, these tips will make the difference between pictures that are "good enough for Instagram" and ones that people can almost taste through their screens. More

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis (With 6+ Examples)

Running a business is hard work. With so many different things pulling at your attention, it's easy to get caught up in the minutia at the expense of the big picture. The only way to make sure your business sticks around for the long haul is to periodically step back and look at things from a broader perspective. That's where SWOT analysis comes in. A SWOT analysis will push you to look at your ecommerce business's potential. You won't just examine how your company is performing today, you'll investigate how it's going to perform next week, next month, and even next year. More

Why Product Packaging Design Is an Investment, Not an Expense

Your product's packaging is part of the first impression it makes, whether customers find it online or on shelves. It helps your products sell themselves. On this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn about an entrepreneur who invested heavily in her packaging design and the steps she took to avoid common packaging mistakes. Patrice Mousseau is the founder of Satya: fragrance-free, Health Canada approved, certified organic, anti-inflammatory balm for eczema relief. More

New Features, New Categories: Selling on Amazon with Shopify Just Got Easier

With the Amazon sales channel, you can sell on the world’s largest online marketplace simply and conveniently through Shopify. Since the channel’s launch, Shopify store owners have made millions in sales and fulfilled tens of thousands of Amazon orders with Shopify, making it one of the fastest growing sales channels. Today, we’re announcing the ability to create listings in seven new product categories directly from Shopify, and support for the Amazon Brand Registry. Now, more Shopify store owners can seamlessly sell on Amazon’s massive marketplace. You can create Amazon listings, manage inventory, and fulfill orders all from the comfort of Shopify. More

34 Time Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs (by Experts)

Effective time management is important for anyone but it's absolutely crucial for entrepreneurs. Because entrepreneurs are ultimately responsible for every aspect of their business, allocating the right amount of time to the right tasks is critical to keeping your business running smoothly. Better time management isn't just about working harder, it's about working smarter. We asked 34 productivity experts to share their best time management tip. Use this list to experiment and find the tips that work best for you. More

How to Make Lip Balm: Turning Natural Lip Care Into a Homemade Business

Chapped lips are a universal problem—many of us use a balm or stick daily to keep our lips soft and smooth. While chapstick and lip balm may not be something you’d immediately consider when looking for a business opportunity, the growing interest in natural lip care makes this necessity a viable product idea. Yes, believe it or not, learning how to make lip balm is a marketable skill. Avid DIYers who concoct all sorts of creative projects can take that passion and channel it into a side business. Or, for fledgling entrepreneurs on the prowl for a new idea, DIY lip balm is a great product around which you can build a business. In this post, we'll walk you through an easy recipe to create your own natural lip balm and teach you how to market and sell your new product online, in-store, and everywhere in between. More

8 Common Hobbies You Can Make Money From (You Probably Have at Least One)

We’ve all got our hobbies—pastimes that we dedicate some of our spare hours to because we find them fun or fulfilling. But some of these activities, if we’re willing to take them seriously, can be turned into a stream of income. Depending on how you direct your talents and interests, you can get anything from free stuff to extra spending money to a full-fledged business or platform for marketing your own or others’ products—all by doing something you would’ve done anyway. That said, here are 8 common hobbies that you can potentially monetize and some ideas for how to start. More

The Dos and Don'ts of Pitching Your Business on Shark Tank

Getting onto Shark Tank isn't just an opportunity to pitch to a panel of well-known investors, but the chance to earn valuable connections, exposure, and an impressive milestone in your company's story. On this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from a husband and wife entrepreneur team about how they prepared to pitch to Shark Tank investors. Hanna Lim and Mark Lim are the founders of Lollaland: makers of modern infant/toddler goods that are both functional and fun. More

The Beginner's Guide to Ecommerce SEO

Getting more traffic is top of mind for any business owner, so the thought of mastering ecommerce SEO has probably crossed your mind once or twice. Consistent, high-quality traffic you don’t have to pay for? Sign me up. But between search engine algorithm updates and excessive industry jargon, it can be pretty difficult to get the hang of this whole ecommerce SEO thing. This beginner’s guide will take you from newbie to novice as quickly and simply as possible. We’ll cover keyword research, site structure and organization, and on-page SEO. More

How to Write a Blog Post (That Actually Gets Read)

Blogging lets you teach, inspire, and engage an audience—even drive traffic to your products—at scale. It's one of the most accessible forms of content marketing, but that doesn't make it easy. Here's a proven framework for crafting a blog post that actually gets read. More

The “Yes Theory”: What It Actually Takes to Become a Full-Time YouTuber

For four young strangers who came together by chance, leaving their stable lives behind to bet it all on building a YouTube channel full time...didn't go over well with their friends and family. But because of that choice, these guys have gone from living on a mutual friend’s couch in Montreal, Canada to getting their own place in Venice Beach, California while travelling the world to create content for a fast-growing fanbase of over 310,000 subscribers. Their unique brand of videos have made headlines on major media outlets like Buzzfeed and Fox News. They became friends with the Prime Minister of Canada and other hard-to-meet celebrities. And they've exploded in popularity thanks to a partnership with Snapchat. All of their wins and amazing stories come down to a philosophy and a movement that they've dubbed the "Yes Theory". And it's what's helped them succeed in their quest to live out their dreams as full-time creators. More

8 Bots to Help Automate Your Business (and Get More Done, Faster)

As a busy entrepreneur, you’re likely wearing many hats and working long hours, especially in the early days of your business. Maybe it’s too early to hire staff, or you’re still struggling with delegating to the staff you have. It’s your baby, after all, built from scratch with your bare hands. But what if you could automate some of your daily tasks, leaving you more time to do what you do best? Enter bots. We’ve introduced bots for business in the past, specifically chatbots that perform tasks or return information based on a text or messenger “conversations” much like you’d have with a friend. But bots have evolved beyond their chatbot origins, communicating with us through voice, learning and adapting to our needs, and even talking among themselves. In a growing category in the Shopify App Store, bots help business owners run marketing campaigns, pair store functions with smart devices, and access data via chat. Check out our list of 8 bots, bot integrations, and automation tools that work with your Shopify store to help you get more done without actually cloning yourself. More

Selling Digital Products: There's More to It Than High Margins

Physical, digital or service-based products? You've got a lot of options when it comes to what you sell online. But what are the pros and cons of each? In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from an entrepreneur who started a service-based business then transitioned to selling digital products and now to launching physical products—all to the same market. Eric Miller is the founder of UX Kits: a store that sells beautiful assets for creative professionals. Find out what he learned from selling tangible and intangible products, and what you need to consider beyond the high margins of digital downloads. More