Dropshipping and blogging are two popular but different ways to start an online business.

The main difference between dropshipping and blogging is that dropshipping is an ecommerce business model that involves selling physical products through an online store, while blogging involves publishing content on a website (a blog) to drive organic traffic.

The purpose of this guide is to explain each business model, including its pros and cons, and then help you decide which one is right for you.

Let's jump right into the article.

Overview: Dropshipping vs. Blogging

Let's start with a handy overview table that shows the pros and cons of both dropshipping and blogging.

Pros of dropshippingCons of dropshippingPros of bloggingCons of blogging
Low startup costs because of no inventory.Dropshipping stores often have lower profit margins than ecommerce stores.Low startup costs: you only need a domain name and hosting plan.It can take longer to get a blog up and running.
Beginner-friendly and easy to start.Reduced control over product quality.Beginner-friendly and easy to start.It takes longer to see some traction and positive ROI.
Time freedom because of no inventory management.Building a solid dropshipping brand can be challenging. A higher potential for long-term business growth (compared to dropshipping).Writing and publishing great blog posts is time-consuming.
Easier to experiment with new niche products.Niche market saturation due to competition.It’s a great way to learn high-impact digital marketing skills.Mastering important skills can take longer.
It is highly scalable.When working with multiple suppliers, you sometimes can't combine orders.It’s a great way to build a highly scalable and engaged community.Building an engaged community is not always easy and usually takes time.
A chance to learn useful skills like digital marketing.Potential stock shortages since you can't control inventory.Time freedom, especially after creating a traffic and income-generating blog.The blogging business model requires more consistency than dropshipping.

Let's now explore each business model in more detail.

What is dropshipping?

As mentioned in our dropshipping explained guide, dropshipping is an ecommerce business model that operates on a simple idea: an online store that does not own inventory!

Instead, you set up a dropshipping store using any of the many ecommerce platforms.

Then, you find reliable dropshipping suppliers, upload your products to your online store, and market them.

When customers purchase from your store, you forward the orders to your dropshipping supplier and 'pocket' your profit margin.

Here is a handy infographic explaining how the dropshipping business model works:

The dropship model - Infographic

Let's also briefly talk about the various parts of the dropshipping business model to ensure you understand it well:

1. The online store

With dropshipping, the first thing you need is an online store.

Shopify and WooCommerce are arguably the most well-known ecommerce platforms.

Homepage of Shopify

Tip: Have you already created your Shopify account? If not, sign up by clicking this link here to get a free 3-day trial + 1 month for $1!

Get your free Shopify trial

2. Dropshipping suppliers

Dropshipping suppliers are the second part of the dropshipping business model.

The key thing to know here is that you can work with local dropshipping suppliers, AliExpress suppliers, dropshipping agents, and more.

You can also use apps like Spocket, DSers, and Sellvia to find and source the best dropshipping products.

If you don't know which dropshipping supplier to work with, take our simple dropshipping suppliers quiz:

Not sure which dropshipping supplier to pick?

3. Adding products to your online store

After finding a reliable dropshipping supplier, the next step is to get some product samples.

Explanation of what product samples are

Tip: Avoid dropshipping without ordering samples. Samples help you control product quality and get an accurate idea of your suppliers' delivery times and service quality.

After verifying product and service quality, you can now add products to your dropshipping store.

You may need to do this manually, but some dropshipping apps, like Syncee and Sell The Trend, can automate this process and sync supplier inventory.

4. Marketing, sales, and order fulfillment

With your dropshipping store now operational and full of product listings, you can start your marketing campaign.

Examples of marketing strategies you can use as part of your campaign include free marketing and traffic strategies, like Pinterest and SEO, or paid marketing strategies, like Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

From here, when someone purchases a product from your store, you forward the order, the purchase amount, and any fees to your dropshipping supplier.

Your dropshipping supplier then fulfills the order directly to the customer.

Packages falling on the US

Apps like DSers and DSers alternatives can automate the order forwarding process so that you only handle the marketing and customer support parts of your dropshipping business.

If you are completely new to starting online stores, get inspiration from these 23 Most Successful Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples.

Although the dropshipping business model is easy to understand, like most business models, it has pros and cons.

Ready to level up? Our ultimate dropshipping guide for 2024 is full of our best insights, ideas, and steps to follow.

The pros and cons of dropshipping

Since we have a more detailed guide covering the pros and cons of dropshipping, here is a handy overview of the main ones:

Advantages of dropshippingDisadvantages of dropshipping
Dropshipping has a low startup cost because many dropshipping suppliers have low minimum order quantity requirements.Because dropshipping has become very popular, niche markets can get competitive and saturated with look-alike products.
Most dropshipping platforms and ecommerce marketplaces that support dropshipping are easy to use. Dropshipping stores often have lower profit margins than conventional ecommerce.
Dropshipping stores save time by outsourcing product management, handling, and shipping to a dropshipping supplier.Building a high-value dropshipping brand can be especially challenging when you only control some aspects of the business.
Since dropshipping has no inventory obligations, it's easier and cost-effective to experiment and stay competitive.Dropshipping stores rely on dropshipping suppliers. This gives them reduced control over product quality.

If you prefer visuals, here are handy infographics of the pros and cons of dropshipping:

The advantages of dropshipping - Infographic

And here are the disadvantages of dropshipping:

The disadvantages of dropshipping - Infographic

Let's now turn our attention to blogging:

What is blogging?

You already know what blogging is (from our earlier explanation), but let's go a bit deeper:

The classic blogging business model has a few 'wheels' that run the operation. Below is an overview of the main ones:

1. The blog

Do Dropshipping blog

A blog is the first part of the blogging business model; it's the first thing you need.

In its most basic sense, a blog is an informational website that regularly publishes different kinds of content on a specific topic. Do Dropshipping is an example of a blog.

You can use various Content Management Systems (CMSs) to create your blog, but most people consider WordPress the most popular and safe bet.

It commands a sizeable 64.1% of the CMS market share and powers 43.1% of all websites on the internet, according to Search Engine Journal.

Here is a summary of the steps it takes to start a blog:

  • Pick a niche. A niche is the topic/topics around which you will create and publish blog content. You can choose any topic, from health and fitness, finance, fashion, lifestyle, etc.

Tip. Please research each niche you are thinking about getting into and use search data to narrow it down to the most compelling one.

Once you have a solid niche idea, brainstorm and create a list of 50-100 or more possible articles or content ideas you can write and publish.

  • Buy a domain and hosting plan. Technically, you can start a free blog with platforms like Wix, Blogger, etc., but self-hosting is better because it gives you more control over the blog.
  • Design and customize your blog. Depending on your CMS, you can use the dashboard to create various pages and customize your blog using various tools, including themes and plugins.
  • Write and publish blog content. This is the second 'wheel' of the blogging business model.

2. The blog content

Blog content is the heart and soul of the blogging business model. A blog needs good blog content, just like a dropshipping store needs good dropshipping products.

The primary thing to note about content as part of the blogging business model is the importance of publishing relevant, helpful, and thematic content (content focused on a specific topic).

Additionally, it is best to create a content strategy that aligns with your monetization goals. For example, let's say you want to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing.

In this case, from the start, you can create and publish relevant content, like honest product reviews and comparisons, tutorials, buyer guides, how-tos, etc., and insert your affiliate links at appropriate points in the articles.

Types of evergreen content
Source: Seobility

According to Statista, how-to articles are the most popular blog content format, so you may want to create more of those.

Popular blog content formats

3. The traffic

Like content, traffic is a key 'wheel' in the blogging business model: the more traffic you get, the better.

An interesting web traffic statistic. An analysis of over 3.25 billion websites shows that search or organic traffic is the largest source of traffic for most blogs or websites. It accounts for more than 50% of all web traffic.

There are tons of ways to attract traffic to a blog. Prime examples include SEO, social media marketing, link building, content marketing, guest blogging, etc.

Ultimately, creating and publishing valuable and targeted content is the best way to attract high-quality blog traffic.

Ideally, you should create content around keywords your audience is already searching for; this way, you can take advantage of organic traffic, which, over time, can really snowball.

4. The 'money'

A women throwing money in the air

One of the best things about the blogging business model is that there's more than one way to monetize a blog that receives a good amount of targeted traffic.

Some prime examples of how to monetize a blog include:

  • Offering freelance and consulting services in your niche
  • Selling digital products, like video courses, ebooks, SaaS tools, printables, templates, etc
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Paid memberships
  • Sponsored posts and ads (using AdSense and other similar ad platforms)
  • Selling physical products
  • Accepting donations

Truthfully, once you have a blog that attracts targeted traffic, you can monetize it in limitless ways and even simultaneously play around with multiple monetization strategies.

For example, you can monetize your blog using AdSense while also monetizing through affiliate marketing, selling digital products, and offering consulting or freelance services.

This ability to take advantage of multiple monetization strategies is part of what makes blogging such a popular business model among online business models with a long-term view.

The pros and cons of blogging

The primary advantages and disadvantages of the blogging business model are:

Advantages of bloggingDisadvantages of blogging
Low startup costs: you only need a domain name and hosting plan.It takes longer to start a successful blog that generates income.
A higher long-term business potential (than/compared to dropshipping).It can take longer (6-12 months) to see traction with blogging.
It's a great way to learn high-impact digital marketing skills like SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, etc.Mastering the skills you need to create a successful niche blog can take longer and be more involved.
It's a great way to build an engaged community around a topic.Building an engaged community is time-consuming and not easy.
Time freedom, especially after creating a traffic and income-generating blog.This business model requires more consistency than dropshipping.

As you can see, dropshipping and blogging have advantages and disadvantages you should consider keenly before settling on either.

Which business model is right for you: dropshipping or blogging?

A person tracking his profits

Ultimately, the business model that is right for you will depend on the kind of online business you want to start.

With dropshipping, you sell products through a dropshipping store. With blogging, you write articles and publish them on your blog; then, you monetize the blog traffic in different ways.

With that said, here is a summary of when each business model may be ideal for you.

Dropshipping may be the right business model for you if:

  • You want to focus on selling physical products online.
  • You want to see faster traction with your online business.
  • You don't have a lot of time to create lots of content before you start seeing some positive results.
  • You want the ability to experiment with different products to find profitable ones.
  • You have a budget for paid advertising, especially if you want to start seeing some ROI relatively quickly.
  • You are relatively good at creating ads and marketing campaigns and assets, like product descriptions, landing pages, etc., or are eager to learn these skills.

Blogging may be the right business model for you if:

  • You would rather deal in content instead of physical products.
  • You have the time to research, write, and publish articles.
  • You are looking to put in the work now to earn a passive income later.
  • You want to build an engaged community around a niche or topic.
  • You want to learn high-impact skills like effective writing for audience building, SEO, link building, etc.
  • You want to experiment with multiple monetization strategies, like affiliate marketing, selling digital services and products, Adsense, etc.

Ultimately, both dropshipping and blogging can be great ways to start an online business if you have a solid, well-researched action plan and understand how each business model works and its unique advantages and disadvantages.

Compare other business models

Not sure yet if dropshipping or blogging is the right fit for you? Check out our other comparison articles below:

Summary

Before we go to the final verdict, we've created a quick summary of this article for you so you can easily remember it:

  • Dropshipping involves selling physical products through an online store without holding inventory.
  • Blogging involves publishing content and then monetizing the blog traffic in various ways, like affiliate marketing.
  • Both dropshipping and blogging have friendly startup costs. With dropshipping, you need a domain name and ecommerce store. With blogging, you need a domain name, a web hosting plan, and a Content Management System.
  • Dropshipping has the potential for faster results, while blogging results take a while.
  • It's harder to build a dropshipping brand but easier to build a following around a niche blog.
  • Compared to dropshipping, blogging has a higher long-term growth potential. On the other hand, dropshipping usually has faster results than blogging.

Conclusion

Now that you understand the differences between dropshipping and blogging, as well as the pros and cons of each business model, which one do you think is right for you?

No matter which option you choose, please remember that both business models are great, but they both require time, effort, and dedication.

Want to learn more about dropshipping?

Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth guide on how to start dropshipping here!

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