Your Own Online Business

A Dropship Business Plan for Good Writers

Upon exploring internet business opportunities, you may become curious about the dropship business model. You do some research and decide that this is something you wish to explore further. You wonder how you might write up a good dropshipping business plan for your particular circumstances and goals.

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Internet Dropship Business Opportunities

People searching for internet business opportunities often hear or read about planning and establishing a “dropshipping business.” However, many of these searchers don’t have a solid grasp of the term “dropshipping.” They begin to wonder if it has something to do with a company “dropping” packages to the customer. Maybe even by helicopter or drone!

From the very beginning, let me erase a common misperception. No, a dropship business plan does not require that you physically ship products from inventory. That would be a warehouse business. It would defeat the whole purpose of having an internet business.

Dropship Business Plan Comparison

In this article, I will start by comparing a “traditional” dropship business model with a different, more powerful version: the network dropship business model.

We will explore why you might want to consider a network dropship business model. I will also explain why such a business might be particularly appealing to you if you are a better-than-average writer.

We will examine the similarities that a dropship business has with an “affiliate marketing” business, which likewise favors good writers. I will then review the “very first steps” that an enthusiastic writer should take. These are initial actions that the writer should seriously consider before even thinking about drafting a dropship business plan.

Finally, I will be a good mechanic. I will provide some of the “nuts and bolts”-type information. If you choose, you can use this information as a blueprint. You may want to write your own personalized network dropship business plan using my recommendations as a starting point.

What Is a Traditional Dropship Business Plan?

Some of us who ponder establishing an internet business consider setting up a “dropship business.” Writing up a good dropship business plan, the gurus tell us, places us on the path to riches. More reasonably, an effective plan can at least provide some decent income.

Let’s break down some of the major steps involved in a typical traditional dropshipping business plan. Then we’ll solidify the idea with a look at a diagram explaining the process. Finally, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of this version of the dropship business model. You’ll want to continue reading further in this article to compare the traditional dropship business model with the network version.

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An Outline of the Traditional Dropship Business Plan

  • A prospective customer reads your blog post or article on your website about a particular product that you wish to promote.
  • The reader sifts through the product information that you provide and perhaps decides to purchase the products.
  • The reader clicks a “purchase” link that takes them to your digital store.
  • At your digital store, the customer has the opportunity to place this item in their cart.
  • With some subtle encouragement (“customers often buy these items together”) the customer might choose to add other items.
  • The new (or repeat) customer selects the “Purchase” button to make the purchase at the marked-up retail price that you establish.
  • The order is sent to you, the “retailer.”
  • The money from the customer is now in your account.
  • You turn around and order the product(s) from the supplier/dropshipper at their wholesale price.
  • The supplier/dropshipper physically ships the product to the customer.
  • Your profit is the difference between the higher retail price that you establish and the supplier’s lower wholesale price.
  • For more business, you continue promoting your blog posts and/or articles.

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The Traditional Dropship Business Plan Diagram

Diagram of Traditional Dropship Concept.

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The Pros and Cons of the Traditional Dropship Business Plan

The Pros

A look at some of the “pros” of the traditional business model:

  • You get to decide how much to mark up the price of items that you present in your digital store.
  • You have the chance to develop a working relationship with both the customer and the supplier(s).
  • Once your digital store is set up, your work consists of writing and interacting with customers and suppliers.
  • You create and update blog posts or articles that will attract readers’ attention to the products you are promoting.

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The Cons

And now some of the “cons”:

  • You are dealing directly with customers and must deal with their complaints, questions, shipping problems, and bad moods.
  • Since you are an intermediary, you may find yourself dealing with an upset customer and a less-than-cooperative supplier.
    • You must decide how you are going to handle unsatisfied customers. Will you refund their money (which may cut into your profit)?
    • Will you require that they return an unsatisfactory product, which is bound to get messy and frustrating?
    • An unhappy customer might think twice about ordering from you again.
    • A disgruntled customer might post a less-than-flattering review of you or your business.
  • Since you are selling products at retail prices, you may need to ensure that your state receives its share of sales taxes.
  • Customers have no strong incentive to refer others to your digital store.

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What Is a Network Dropship Business Plan?

A network dropship business plan offers several distinct advantages over that of a traditional dropship model. “But,” you may ask, “why is it called a ‘network’ business plan?”

The traditional dropship business plan, described above, is not “networked.” Your customers are not “connected” with one another. But let’s assume for a moment that some of your customers are connected to someone who also becomes a customer. This could be a family member, friend, or associate. Because of how traditional dropship works, those new customers will generate some profit for you. However, they will not benefit the original customers who referred them to your dropship business in the first place.

In the network dropship business plan, customers who refer others to your digital store benefit both you and themselves. This is because there are incentives in place for them to do so.

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Further Understanding the Network Dropship Business Plan

One of the little-known attractions of the network dropship business plan is your ability to leverage your outreach. It is, in essence, social (or network) marketing (what used to be disparagingly referred to as “multilevel marketing”). There are plenty of detractors of “MLM.” Nonetheless, it remains one of the most potent and thoroughly legitimate forms of business modeling available to the average person. Several renowned speakers and writers, such as Robert Kiyosaki, of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” fame, thoroughly endorse network marketing.

One of the principal advantages of the network dropship model is that you do not process customer orders. Nor is there a need for you to submit purchase orders to the supplier. Once your writing efforts attract customers, they deal directly with the supplier, which eliminates your role as the go-between. This has huge implications, all of which favor you.

Buy specifically why, you may ask, do we call it a network dropship business plan?

Let’s examine a diagram of the network dropship business plan. Then we’ll discuss the reasons to seriously consider embracing such a business model. As you shall see, network dropshipping has the ability to greatly amplify your efforts.

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The Network Dropship Business Plan Diagram

Diagram of Network Dropship Concept.

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Why Consider Starting a Network Dropship Business?

Man wondering what a dropship business is.
comzeal images via
Diagram showing concept of dropship business: a package being loaded onto truck.
amethyststudio via

Let’s study the diagram of the network dropshipping business plan diagram above. As we do, we begin to see the enormous advantages that this network model has over the traditional version.

The first part of the network dropship business plan is the same as that of the traditional plan. In both cases, a prospective customer lands on your web page (more on this later) where you are promoting a product. If the prospect is interested, they will click on a link that takes them to your digital store. This should look familiar so far.

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You as Distributor

But here is where things begin to change quite positively for you. You are no longer the “retailer.” You are the “distributor.” Your role is that of a facilitator between the customer and the supplier.

As a “distributor,” you no longer present a catalog with your own retail prices. This may sound like a disadvantage because you are not setting the retail price. But stick with me for a moment here.

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Your Digital Store

Your digital store website is provided to you by your supplier. It’s a “turnkey” service that your supplier provides to you, typically for a small monthly fee (around $15/month). You simply customize it for your business. You provide your own name and “About” section, the name that you choose for your distributorship, and your contact information. You will likely be able to upload your own photos to your website.

The product catalog on your customized digital store website is linked directly to the supplier. The supplier fixes the prices. Any price changes are reflected immediately on the catalog that your prospects see and use.

Still, there are tremendous advantages to this arrangement, as you shall see. The earning potential, compared with that of the traditional approach, is enhanced enormously. The reason—in a single word—is “leverage.”

We’re going to look at and compare two diagrams. They are going to depict: 1) the traditional dropship structure; and 2) the network dropship structure. But first, let’s look at the traditional dropship structure.

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The Traditional Dropship Structure Diagram

Diagram of Traditional Dropship Business Plan structure.

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A Critical Look at the Traditional Dropship Business Plan

Earning a Profit in Traditional Dropship

In the traditional dropship business plan diagram, you see how you can earn a profit. Your earnings are derived by means of the difference between the retail product price that the customer pays to you and the wholesale price that you pay to the supplier. You determine the retail price, and you earmark a percentage of your profit to pay taxes on your income.

First, keep in mind that in the traditional plan, you are motivated to attract customers to your digital store. More customers, more profit. However, your customers have no particular incentive to encourage others to become customers.

Your customers might casually gush to their friends and family about a particular product that they like. They might encourage them to order it for themselves. And let’s say that those friends, family members, and associates were to purchase the product for their own use. Your original customer gains nothing beyond the satisfaction of having helped someone they know acquire a worthwhile product. After all, they don’t have websites that capture leads as you do.

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Consumable vs. Nonconsumable Products

Something else to consider: what if the product that your customers order is not “consumable”? That is, what if it’s something like a coffee maker or a bathroom fixture that will last literally for years? These kinds of product orders are not frequently renewed. Furthermore, you, the retailer, must continue to attract a constant parade of new customers to keep your profits flowing in.

There’s nothing wrong with that—it’s just a lot more work than it has to be. As we shall see now, the network dropship business plan is a much more efficient method for earning profits. This is because of its inherent “leverage.”

But now, for the sake of contrast, let’s look at the diagram for the network dropship structure.

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The Network Dropship Structure Diagram

Diagram of Network Dropship Business Plan relationships.

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Traditional vs. Network Dropship Structure Comparison

A quick glance tells us that the “traditional” dropship structure and the “network” dropship structure are quite different. They both incorporate a dropship business plan, but in very different ways. The network dropship structure has several major advantages over the traditional structure. We shall see why this is true.

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The Advantages of the Network Dropship Business Plan

There are enormous benefits baked into the network dropship business plan. Let’s start with two lists. The first will summarize the potential advantages of the network model with respect to the supplier. The second one will summarize the advantages with respect to the customers and distributors. After that, we’ll examine those advantages in some detail.

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Advantages for Suppliers/Dropshippers

With regard to the suppliers/dropshippers, some of the advantages of a network dropship business plan are:

  • Suppliers are often nationally (if not globally) recognized, respected, and authoritative in their fields.
  • Many of the suppliers have been stable and successful for decades.
  • The supplier receives orders directly from the customers, eliminating the need for you to be the “middleman.”
  • The supplier takes care of any state taxes that must be paid due to revenue from the sale of goods.
  • The supplier may provide a 100% guarantee of customer satisfaction, handling returns of products and refunds.
  • The supplier prefers to pay its customers and distributors—not advertisers—to “spread the word” about its products.
  • The supplier may provide well-organized, effective training in different forms—much of it free.
  • The supplier may offer local or even global conferences in major cities where in-depth training, networking, and entertainment are available.

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Advantages for Customers and Distributors

And here are the possible advantages of a network dropship business plan for the customers and distributors of a supplier:

  • You, the distributor, do not have to deal with any of the logistics problems regarding product orders that may arise.
  • For considerably greater income, you may be given the option to train and help others to establish their own distributorships.
  • You, the distributor, receive the profits, bonuses, and other benefits directly from the supplier (not from customers).

Customers who decide to become distributors like you have powerful incentives to acquire other customers in order to grow their distributorship. This, in turn, benefits you.

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A Deeper Look at Earnings and Incentives

Take a look at the diagram below. Notice the dramatic differences between the traditional and network dropship business plans regarding sources of income.

The traditional model offers essentially one source of income. This is the marked-up difference between the retail price (which you determine) and the wholesale price (what you pay the supplier/dropshipper for its products). This difference between the prices is known as the “price differential.”

The network model, on the other hand, offers potentially at least six sources of income to the seasoned distributor. You do not earn all this when you start. Initially, your earnings are derived from 1) the price differential, and 2) before long, your Personal Group Bonus (explained below).

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The Six Sources of Income in Network Dropshipping

Now let’s delve into the six possible sources of income (depending on your supplier). Two of these, as explained above, take effect relatively quickly.

  1. Price Differential: the difference between the lower prices for products in your distributor price list and the higher prices that are in your customers’ price list.
  2. Personal Group Bonus: The supplier pays you a percentage of sales in your group, which includes you and your customers.
  3. Leadership Bonus: You are eligible for this bonus once you have helped one of your customers create their own “distributorship” (if you choose to do so). A distributorship is a group of consumers who generate a certain minimum in product sales. You have a financial stake in your distributors’ success. The more successful they are, the greater your leadership bonus. You can even earn leadership bonuses on the distributorships that your distributors form.
  4. Paid Vacation Trips: These become available once you have created a network of distributors with an appreciable volume of sales.
  5. Misc. Incentive Cash: When the supplier is interested in promoting certain products, it can offer you “incentive cash” for your sales as well as for those within your organization.
  6. Car Payment Subsidy: At least one possible supplier offers this subsidy once a certain level of sales volume is achieved.

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How Much Income Are We Looking At?

Of course, nothing is promised in terms of income for your dropship business. Furthermore, it would be unethical to cause a dropship distributor to think that they can achieve riches beyond their wildest dreams by “recruiting others” and having them “do the work.” That sounds like a pyramid scheme—not a legitimate business.

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The Lower Income Option

One option for you is to simply develop your own dropship distributorship without teaching others to do the same. Your needs may not be great. You may be perfectly happy with the average annual income of approximately $12,000 for a typical distributorship. Or you may be content with this figure as simply supplemental income. As the sales volume of your distributorship grows, of course, this income figure grows along with it.

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The Higher Income Option

On the other hand, you may decide to take this business very seriously. After all, the “high rollers” in this industry earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. That’s not a typo…yes, per month. But really, even an extra $1,000 – $5,000 per month could make a profound difference in your lifestyle. It all depends on your level of effort.

The $5,000/month is Shaklee’s official average figure for the highest one-third of Distributors who have taught two other Members (i.e., customers) to become Distributors (now referred to as “Ambassadors”).

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Consumable Items Are the Key

An important caveat here is something I have already mentioned. The ideal drophip business offers consumable items to its customers. Consumables are products that are ordered and then consumed on a daily—or at least weekly—basis. This minimizes the amount of work required of you.

There’s a definite advantage for the network dropship business plan that deals in consumable products. Satisfied customers—and even more ideally, their customers—will order these consumables from your supplier repeatedly. Some suppliers even offer the opportunity to ship products to customers automatically on a regular, but flexible, schedule.

This automatic shipment, completely under the control of the customer, is the key to generating automatic wealth. This is the kind of wealth that has you earning income, day and night, over and over. And this is for work you’ve done in the past!

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What Advantages Do Good Writers Have in the Dropship Business Environment?

Woman writing her dropship business plan.
electravk/Getty Images/

Good writers have multiple advantages over those who struggle with this skill. Readers judge our trustworthiness, our credibility, and our authority on a subject from the quality of our writing. If our articles are filled with typos, spelling errors, and grammatical missteps, we may not be taken very seriously.

We writers are evaluated according to the excellence (or lack thereof) of our writing. It doesn’t matter whether we are writing a university-level thesis, an article about products, or simply background information. We are constantly being judged, which can bring us success as easily as it can failure.

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An Opportunity for Writers

The network dropshipping model, then, presents a dazzling opportunity for writers to exercise their skills to earn automatic income. Let’s take another look at what “automatic income” means.

Some writing freelancers decide to write articles for websites, blogs, organizations, or companies. These entities pay the writer, sometimes very well, for each article or blog post that they write. Some writers may agree to receive pay for a certain number of articles, let’s say, every month.

Some writers enjoy putting their college education to work by proofreading documents. These might be student theses, scripts, transcripts, medical or legal papers, etc. They are typically paid a set rate per thousand words. Papers available through an agency’s document queue might pay, for example, $14 per thousand words.

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One-Time vs. Automatic Pay

But here is the crux of the matter. When you stop writing articles, or when you no longer proofread papers, you no longer receive pay. When the work stops, the pay stops.

There’s nothing “automatic” about this pay! Automatic pay is available to a writer who develops a business according to a network dropship business plan. Automatic pay is like a flywheel. Once you get it spinning, it takes a long time for it to slow down and ultimately stop. On the other hand, once your flywheel is spinning, you can keep it spinning. Simply give the flywheel an occasional “nudge” (for example, by updating blog posts or creating more content in the form of posts, articles, videos, your own podcasts, etc.).

Main elements of SEO.
mirsad sarajlic/Getty Images/
Explanation of SEO acronym.
vosmanius/Getty Images Signature/

These are the three main objectives of the writer who wants to generate automatic income:

  1. build a blog site;
  2. populate that site with “structured” articles and other content related to your business and that are optimized using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques;
  3. keep adding content and/or tweaking and updating the existing content.

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Google: The Stern Schoolteacher

Google is like a stern English schoolteacher. It evaluates and ranks your writing content according to whether or not your readers find your articles useful. After all, Google’s mission is to give readers the best possible answers to their questions. Google scrutinizes the degree to which readers stay on your web pages. It devalues your article content if you don’t use your chosen keywords often enough. It also devalues your content if you dare try “stuffing” your content with your keywords. Google rates your content by checking how you are including images and videos. Google even wants to know if you make things easier for the visually disabled. Do you include “alternative text” with your images? The list of criteria that Google checks goes on and on.

There are many things that you can do to check the quality of your blog posts. Do you embed images in your posts? Do you use enough headings to separate blocks of paragraphs?

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Levels of Income for Writers

Good writers are used to paying attention to the quality of their writing. For this reason, I’m convinced that writers are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of their education. With the proper information, they can profit handsomely from it.

We don’t have to wait for our “novel” to become a blockbuster, high on the charts. The odds are that we would wait for a very long time. Also, many beginning writers are not aware of the considerable amount of time and money that they must invest in their books just to make them known to the public.

With a good network dropship business plan, writers can put their knowledge and skills to work. And they can earn either a hefty supplemental income or a reasonable primary income. It all depends on their needs and their level of effort.

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Comparisons Between Dropshipping and Affiliate Marketing

Diagrams: dropship vs. affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Mktg: Mazirama/Getty Images/ — Dropship graphic: Uniconlabs/

Let’s begin comparing affiliate marketing, traditional dropship, and network dropship business plans. Here is an illustrated summary of the three plans that were shown above in detail:

Affiliate Marketing concept diagram.
Diagram of Network Dropship Concept.

The affiliate marketing plan is similar, in many respects, to the traditional dropship business plan. However, neither has the power and leverage of the network dropship business plan.

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Similarities and Differences

Here is a list denoting some of the main similarities and differences among these three marketing concepts. Note that:

  1. in affiliate marketing, the customer orders from the supplier’s/manufacturer’s web page, whereas in traditional dropshipping, the customer is directed to your digital store;
  2. in affiliate marketing, the supplier/manufacturer pays you a commission, or a “stipend,” for referring your customer to them through your blog post or article; on the other hand, in traditional dropshipping, you determine your commission depending on the degree of price markup that you implement;
  3. in affiliate marketing, you normally do not have direct contact with the customer, which is also true in the network dropship business plan; in other words, you are “out of the loop” as far as the purchase transaction is concerned;
  4. in both affiliate marketing and network dropshipping, the supplier/manufacturer pays you directly according to the agreement that you have with them.

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The Superiority of the Network Dropship Business Plan

Now let’s review the reason that the network dropship business plan is so superior to the other two.

We recall that “automatic income” is like the flywheel: Once you get it spinning, it’s hard to stop. In order to keep it spinning (i.e., generating income), you need to give it only a small impulse on a regular basis. That might mean posting a new blog article or updating something on your website.

Automatic, substantial income, in the long term, requires considerably less effort than the you-work-once-you-get-paid-once method. Basically, this latter method means that when you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

All three marketing methods that we are exploring in this article offer some measure of automatic income. After all, satisfied customers might very well return to your website and click more links to make more purchases.

However, that ability to earn automatic income is amplified enormously in the network dropship business plan. The incentives that are in place for both you and your customers are drivers of that automatic income. This kind of income is the holy grail of business ownership. In a 9-to-5 job, and in most freelance businesses, income is not at all “automatic.”

Also, let’s review the sources of income for the three business models we’re discussing with this diagram:

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Comparison of Traditional vs. Network vs. Affiliate Diagram

Diagram showing traditional dropship, network dropship, and affiliate marketing income sources.

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Implementing the Network Dropship Business Model

Within the affiliate marketing and traditional dropship business plans, you are able to promote the products of several suppliers at the same time. However, it is advisable to stick with a single supplier/dropshipper that offers consumable products when implementing the network dropship business model. There are several reasons for this. With a single supplier offering consumable products, you are able to:

  • become your own best customer;
  • purchase your supplier’s products at a discount;
  • use them regularly, thereby adding to your group volume of sales (higher income for you);
  • more easily write credibly about the products.

With a good, specialized supplier/manufacturer, you will have a multitude of products to promote under the same roof. It’s much easier to “focus” on products that have a single source.

You will become known as an “expert” in a particular brand of products. You don’t want to be perceived as a “jack-of-all-products” with scattered interests.

Suppliers that offer network dropship business opportunities tend to have more complex marketing plans than the affiliate and traditional dropship versions. It requires more effort to take advantage of all the opportunities that they offer.

It is best to commit to one network dropship supplier. This way, you can concentrate on offering your more enterprising customers the ability to learn and copy what you are doing.

Customers who emulate you and begin earning income create more automatic income for you.

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What To Do Before Drafting Your Network Dropship Business Plan

Woman contemplating before writing dropship business plan.
Yaroslav Shuraev/Yaroslav Shuraev Collection/

Before you even begin to sketch out a network dropship marketing plan, there are two things you need to decide:

  1. Your supplier/dropshipper
  2. Your “niche”

Your Choice of Supplier

Your choice of supplier should be influenced by your general interests and what you are passionate about. You need to know what you feel confident writing about. If you have an intense interest in the preservation of the environment, you probably shouldn’t choose a supplier that specializes in car parts.

On the other hand, you may have some background in skin care. In this case, you will want to seek out a supplier that offers skin care products.

Suppose you are passionate about outdoor endeavors. You may then want to search for a supplier that provides outdoor gear or wholesome food that is compatible with life in the wilderness.

Likewise, your background might be in diet and health. Or you might wish to force yourself to learn more about it. In either case, you may want to pursue a supplier that is a known authority in this field.

Whichever supplier you choose, make sure that it offers consumable products that you yourself would purchase on a regular basis. If nothing else, you would simply be replacing some of the same kinds of products you are already purchasing. You are already purchasing consumable products at your local stores. You might as well “buy from your own store” instead. Not to mention that you would be eligible to purchase products at a nice discount.

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Choosing Your Niche

Let’s assume that you have chosen a possible supplier, or at least narrowed down your list of candidates. Now it would be wise to decide on a “niche” within which you will write and provide information. A niche allows you to become that “expert” whom others are seeking. It also allows you to narrow your endeavors. Having a niche ensures that you won’t scatter your writing energy all over the blogosphere.

My chosen network dropship supplier is dedicated to optimal health and fitness. My blog posts, which are on my website, are dedicated to 1) health and fitness, and 2) establishing one’s own network marketing business.

Later we’ll discuss how to be found by those who are seeking what you offer (hint: it’s called “SEO”).

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Drafting Your Network Dropship Business Plan

Man drafting dropship business plan in notebook.
bongkarn thanyakij/Pexels/

The Initial Draft

An initial draft for a network dropship business plan does not have to be something elaborate. It does not have to be a formal document using templates that larger, more complex enterprises require. It can consist of a sheet or two with the following tentative information, subject to change:

  • The type of products you intend to promote
  • Your choice of supplier/dropshipper/manufacturer (I will offer a recommendation)
    • Ensure that you plan to purchase this supplier’s consumable products on a regular basis
    • Be sure that this supplier offers a Personal Website (PWS) that you are allowed to customize; it will become your “digital store” (for example, mine is at
  • Your writing “niche,” based on the types of products your supplier provides
  • A general list of topics you want to write about (later on we’ll discuss how your articles should be “structured” for maximum visibility)
  • A list of the social media platforms upon which you might want to share your information, insights, thoughts, ideas, and promotions
  • Your objective: a simple distributorship, or a distributorship with training resources that will allow others to copy what you’re doing (this requires considerably more effort, but could be well worth it)

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Changes to Your Plans

Your initial business plan draft will inevitably change as you click on links and gather information in this and related articles. Over time, more information will become available in the blog posts on this site. Your ideas will change as you begin delving into the intricacies of a network dropship business plan. But we need to start somewhere! This first draft is simply an effort to take the very first baby steps.

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Steps to Take after Drafting Your Network Dropship Business Plan

Diagram of dropship business website connections.
Fantasista/Getty Images/
Young woman at her computer open for business.
Latino Life/

Initial Steps

Here are the general initial steps you would take once you have settled on some of the major items addressed in your network dropship business plan:

  • Sign up as a distributor with the supplier that you select (usually, the cost is nominal); if nothing else, you may be able to purchase this supplier’s products at a discount.
  • Customize the Personal Website (PWS) that your supplier provides to you, often at a nominal cost per month; you will provide a link to your PWS (your digital store) on your website.
  • Decide on a domain name; for example, mine is
  • Decide on a “host” for your website (discussed next). I use Flywheel as my domain host.
  • Decide on a business email provider; mine is Hover.

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Your Platform and Its Support

Now we get down to some of the “brass tacks”—where the real commitment begins:

  • With the help of a website developer (if necessary), decide on a website platform (a popular choice, which is also mine, is
  • With the help of a website developer (again, if necessary), build a website for your endeavors.
  • Choose a file backup service to protect your files (I use Carbonite).
  • Choose antivirus software (I use Kaspersky).
  • You may wish to subscribe to these extremely useful software services:
    • Microsoft 365 (for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
    • An image provider (I use Canva).
    • Ubersuggest (a software service that helps you determine keywords that will draw attention to your articles—this is vitally important to avoid writing about topics that no one cares about).

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Plugins and Planners

Some of the features that you want to incorporate into your website are the following:

  • A social media plugin that allows your readers to send your articles to their friends and followers.
    • Also, they can link to your social media platforms (e.g., your Facebook Page, LinkedIn profile, Instagram account, etc.).
    • I use Social Snap.
  • A social media planner that facilitates your social media post schedule on various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) at the same time; you may want to consider MeetEdgar or Simplified.
  • A plugin that allows you to place forms on your blog posts/articles.
    • These could be for subscribing, signing up for an offer, etc.
    • I use WPForms.
  • A plugin that facilitates the placement of blog posts on your website.
    • With this software, you can create attractive grids featuring your posts and post categories.
    • This plugin helps your readers avoid an endless list of posts that they must laboriously scroll through.
    • I use Content Views.
  • A plugin that indispensably allows you to measure an approximate SEO score for your blog articles.
    • I use the premium version of Yoast SEO, which includes an enormous amount of quality training.
    • This plugin is a must for those who are new to SEO, or who want to refresh their knowledge.

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Start Putting Your Network Dropship Business Plan into Motion

Diagram showing elements of dropship business plan: blog, social media, etc.
matdesign24/Getty Images Signature/

Promoting Products, Helping Other Writers

Let’s assume that your website is established. Furthermore, let’s say that you have some form of the elements that I listed above embedded into this site. Now it is time to get this juggernaut moving and bringing in some money for you. You will do this by helping others acquire the products that they are already looking for. If you decide that you want to help other writers acquire the same benefits that you receive, you will write blog posts or articles and develop resources that will guide them in that process. As a result, you will earn considerably more as a writer/leader/trainer than simply as a distributor. Keep in mind, though, that a simple distributorship (which does not include training others) can still bring in a considerable amount of money, regardless.

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The Importance of SEO

Premium Yoast SEO, Individual Ubersuggest, and other sources offer excellent training in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The role of SEO in your success cannot be overemphasized. Without knowledge of SEO, your articles are lost in the blog universe. They would be like flares that you send up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. No one will see them. For that reason, it is essential that you learn at least the basics of SEO. In this way, you augment your chances of ending up on the first page of Google search results when someone is looking for what you offer.

Once you have some knowledge of SEO under your belt, it’s time to sketch out a pyramid-shaped blueprint for your upcoming articles. In order for you to rank high in the search results, Google has to “like” your website.

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Ranking with Google

There are many reasons why Google might “like” your website and rank it favorably. On the other hand, it could “shun” your website and knock down its ranking potential.

One of the main criteria for Google is whether or not your blog articles are properly “structured.” Here is a quick overview of proper “structure,” as far as Google is concerned:

  • Your long, detailed articles that rank competitively in Google search are considered “cornerstone” articles and are at the top of the pyramid; these are usually articles that cover broad topics of general interest, such as “running shoes,” for example.
  • Less competitive articles with a measure of popularity in the search engines can be found at the mid-level of the pyramid—for example, “shoes for running faster.”
  • At the bottom of the pyramid, we should have topics that are very specific in nature and that have relatively little competition; for example, “shoes for running safely on difficult terrain.”

Google then looks at how these articles on your website are linked together. Google determines your blog’s “structure” by tracing the links. It thereby determines which of your articles are most important and ranks them accordingly. The goal is, ideally, to rank somewhere on the first page of search results for someone seeking what you offer.

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My Recommendation for a Network Dropship Supplier

Shaklee Headquarters Building, Pleasanton, CA
Shaklee Headquarters, Pleasanton, California
Image Credit: Coolcaesar at English Wikipedia, license CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. No changes were made to the image.
Membership Perks Summary: 15% discount, free and flat rate shipping, access to Loyalty Rewards
Shaklee Corp.

There are several good companies that you can explore as possible suppliers for your network dropship business. I encourage you to consider an exceptional network dropship supplier. I highly recommend, hands down, that you consider the Shaklee Corporation. Shaklee has one of the most stable, generous, and reputable dropship compensation plans in the health and wellness industry.

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The Products

Shaklee has been offering consumable products of impressive quality for over 65 years. It specializes in products that are “in harmony with nature.” Although the company was founded in 1956, its first multivitamin was created in 1915 by the founding patriarch, Dr. Shaklee.

The entire premise of Shaklee’s success is this: Rather than paying a marketing firm (big bucks) to promote its products, Shaklee chooses to pay the homemaker, the college student, the retired senior, the couple down the street to accomplish the same purpose.

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Pay and Benefits

Shaklee not only pays its distributors on the basis of sales. It also showers them with other benefits that average employees anywhere would never receive. These benefits include paid family vacations, car payment subsidies, and bonus cash payments. Again, Shaklee can afford to do this because it is not contracting with a marketing firm that charges “hugely.” The company’s founder, Dr. Shaklee, believed in people’s desire to help themselves by helping others accomplish their objectives in life.

Shaklee is a quintessential producer of consumable products, a requirement for the generation of automatic income, as explained earlier. Shaklee’s marketing plan is a perfect fit for a network dropshipping business plan.

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Product Categories

Here is a partial list of categories of Shaklee products:

  • Nutrition
    • Multivitamins
    • Protein shakes
    • Children’s vitamins
    • Prenatal vitamins
    • Personalized nutrition
  • Healthy Weight Management
    • Metabolic booster
    • Balanced nutrition shakes
    • Balanced nutrition snack and meal bars
  • Sports nutrition
  • Targeted health solutions (e.g., bones, heart, digestion, immunity, men’s and women’s health issues, aging)
  • Personal care
    • Body care
    • Skincare
  • Biodegradable, nontoxic household cleaning

A blog writer could choose any or all of these categories as a focus of their articles. A blogger might choose a particular application or aspect of the products. A good writer can develop well-researched, informative—even entertaining—articles with links to their Personal Website (PWS). Informed and convinced readers can then proceed to order products from the writer’s digital store.

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The Rationale for Product Purchases for Self

For Ambassadors (Distributors) to retain certain privileges, Shaklee requires that they purchase a minimal value of products for themselves. This minimum is in the order of $100 per month. But we must keep something in mind here. These are the types of products that we are already purchasing from the store every week or so, regardless.

We can expect to save money in our purchases of these kinds of products. After all, Shaklee offers healthy discounts to its members and especially to its distributors. The nontoxic cleaning products are highly concentrated. This by itself translates to considerable savings for a household.

We are not spending on products we don’t use simply for the purpose of retaining our distributorship. We also have the opportunity to try some new products. We might very well “fall in love” with some of them. Our experiences with Shaklee’s products bestow greater credibility on our articles.

As an example of how our articles can attract sales, note the above link for “Shaklee products” (just above the list of categories). That link takes the reader to Shaklee’s website overlaying my PWS. This way, when readers purchase products by means of a link in a blog article, the writer (me, in this case) receives the credit (and resulting commissions).

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The Shaklee Corporation CEO Speaks

Shaklee lends itself perfectly to anyone who wishes to develop a network dropship business plan that offers high-quality health and wellness products to consumers. Below is a brief video featuring Roger Barnett, Shaklee’s CEO. Mr. Barnett has brought the Shaklee Corporation worldwide prestige within medical and scientific circles. Here he speaks of Shaklee’s commitment to the production and distribution of clinically tested nutritional products (which is rare). He also discusses Shaklee’s nontoxic cleaners for the home:

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Membership vs. Distributorship

Shaklee Membership

Shaklee Membership allows our blog readers to join as “Members” (customers). This gives them the privilege of purchasing products at considerably discounted prices. Again, the link for this membership option is hooked-up to the writer’s PWS. As an example, the link at the beginning of this paragraph directs the reader to Shaklee’s website as it overlays my PWS. Any product purchases are credited to me, and I am paid a commission accordingly.

Hence, with your own PWS, the reader who joins as a Member automatically becomes a member of your group. Their subsequent purchases add to your personal group volume (PGV), which determines your pay every month.

Membership can cost as little as $19.95 (there are occasional offers of free Membership). But the approximately 15% discount on all products will make up for that many times over as you continue to”buy from your own store.”

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Shaklee Ambassadorship

But let’s suppose that at some point, either a reader or a Member decides to be a “Shaklee Ambassador” (formerly known as a Shaklee Distributor). If they were one of my readers or Members, I would make sure they have the information they need to make this decision. Then I would point them to my PWS and have them go to the link that guides them to make the necessary purchase.

You may, through your written articles, be fortunate enough to attract a reader or current Member who is interested in forming their own distributorship. By investing some time to guide that aspiring entrepreneur toward that goal, your income could increase substantially. They may develop into a Shaklee Ambassador as dedicated as you are. As a result, you could expect to see your automatic income start to rise each month as that distributorship matures.

It is important to understand what a “group” is. A Shaklee “group” is a collection of consumers who order for their own needs. Ideally, they would order repetitively, and possibly automatically, each month. It is not a group of salespeople hustling to make sales.

Shaklee offers the prospective Ambassador an entrepreneurial Business Starter Kit. Most entrepreneurial adventures require an initial investment of thousands of dollars. A Shaklee Ambassadorship is initiated with this kit for $49.95. The novice Ambassador also has the recommended option to purchase an initial set of products to gain experience with them and begin acquiring benefits.

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An Important Note

Ambassadors do not receive any money by simply “recruiting” Members or new Ambassadors. Ambassadors realize their income on the basis of product sales. This refers to sales within:

  • their personal consumer group;
  • any consumer groups that their Ambassadors have developed.

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Services I Offer to Dropship Business Team Members

Dropship business team members connected via Internet.
ismagilov/Getty Images/

In a traditional business environment, we business owners would be wary of the “competition” that tries to emulate us. We would not share our practices and secrets lest the competition cut into our share of consumers.

A member of my group may wish to pursue a dropship business plan with Shaklee as their supplier. It is to my advantage to help that distributor (a Shaklee Ambassador) thrive. After all, the better they do, the better I do.

One of my objectives is to build a “master group” that helps each other. This might be accomplished through a Facebook Page that could include training and explanatory videos. Meanwhile, here’s how I can help an aspiring entrepreneur (free of charge) who commits by joining Shaklee as a dropship marketing Ambassador in my group:

  • Refer to official Shaklee training materials
  • Answer questions and share my experiences as a Shaklee Ambassador
  • Give my insights into building a Shaklee website using the WordPress platform
  • Help setting up the Shaklee PWS (Personal Website—the blog writer’s “digital store”)
  • Meet via phone, text, or social media to discuss concerns regarding a Shaklee Membership or Ambassadorship.

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In Conclusion…

The American Spirit in Business

There are those who disparage the entire concept of network marketing. But I personally know several very successful distributors in the Shaklee organization. Some of them come from exquisitely humble backgrounds—the quintessential American story!

These leaders, I’ve noticed, have a genuine desire to help others, even people who are not in their group. I personally have received some excellent personal business help and advice from other distributors. Some of them gained nothing by helping me since I was not in their group. But that did not deter them.

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Dedication to Science and Success

Shaklee Corporation was founded on the timeless principles of natural wellness by Dr. Shaklee. It is worth noting that his work dates back to the 1910s. He was a man of science who wanted to help the average person attain a healthy lifestyle. For Dr. Shaklee, that included physical activity and good food along with nutritional supplementation. He also wanted to offer a home business opportunity to “regular people.” He wanted to give the everyday person the means to achieve the life that they envisioned.

When Dr. Shaklee and his sons started the Shaklee Corp. in 1956, he imagined that distributors would visit prospects in their homes and in coffee shops. They actually did this for decades. But never in his wildest dreams did he foresee the power of the Internet.

Now we can use online search engines to attract and find those who are particular about their shopping choices. They are looking for the kinds of high-quality products that Shaklee offers. Likewise, we who establish an online business have the ability to find those who are open to doing the same. We invite them to join us in our enterprise and help them create their own business in cyberspace. This will benefit us. But, more importantly, it can also benefit the aspiring entrepreneur greatly.

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By David Magallanes

Freelance writer, proofreader, blogger, and network affiliate marketer.

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