While it is possible to get started with affiliate marketing at virtually no cost, if you want to succeed in the industry and make some money, you should be prepared to spend some money first. Think of it as a necessary business investment. Here are the typical costs you’ll be looking at if you want to set up your own business as an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing costs
I assume that, since you are reading this, you already have a computer that is connected to the internet. So the next things you need to get your affiliate marketing business up and running are:
A domain name
You’ll need a website. And for that you need a domain name. You can register a domain name with Namecheap for as little as $4 per year.
You’ll need somewhere to host your new website online. Hosting can be purchased for as little as $6-7 per month. Check out HostGator or choose a domain and hosting package with Namecheap.
That’s it. You’re ready to go. Just add content and affiliate links to your website and you’re now an affiliate marketer.
Is that really all there is to it? Well, you could stop there and not spend another dollar. But I suggest you keep reading.
I say optional, but if you’re really serious about your affiliate marketing business, these are a no brainer. A domain name and website hosting may be all there is to getting a website, but there’s more to affiliate marketing than simply having a website.
Investing in some of the below will definitely make your life easier, and dramatically improve your chances of having a successful affiliate marketing business.
SEO and Keyword Tools
Effective keyword research is crucial. You’ll need this for your SEO (and PPC) efforts. There are free keyword research tools, but some are well worth the money you need to pay for them, such as SEMRush, from $69.95 per month which also offers plenty of analytics reports and more.
Done wisely, Google’s paid advertising system can give you a great return on your investment. You set the amount you are willing to pay for each click your ad receives, but you’ll also be competing with other advertisers who are bidding on your keywords too. So it can be all too easy to get carried away and spend beyond your means. So do NOT attempt PPC unless you know what you are doing first, otherwise you’ll be throwing money down the drain.
Expect to pay on average between 20-50p per click for non to medium competitive niches, to 50p or more for competitive niches. Plan a daily budget of around £10, although it’s advisable to put aside a budget of around £100 ($150) with which you can test and determine whether or not you are getting a good return on your investment.
Email marketing is a very important marketing tool, enabling you to quickly and easily reach large numbers of potential customers. AWeber is the best. Depending on how many subscribers you want, you’ll be paying from $19 per month, but you can try it free for 30 days first.
If you want your website or blog and its content to have a professional, quality look, you’ll need to invest in some stock photography because, due to copyright laws, you can’t just use any image you want that you found online. Sites like Dreamstime enable you to buy credits which can be used to pay for downloads. Credits for up to 11 images are available for less than $10.
You can’t expect to know everything about affiliate marketing, and realistically, you can’t expect to do everything yourself. So rather than trying to do it all, at some point you might want to get some help by outsourcing some work. Enter the freelancer. You can pay someone who has the skills and knowledge that are missing to do anything from improving your website design to creating converting content for it.
Check out Elance and Upwork for freelancers specialising in the skills that you’re lacking. Expect to pay at least $15 per hour/job to much more, depending on the individual freelancer and their experience.
Freebies You Can Use to Start Affiliate Marketing
Luckily, there are plenty of free tools online that you can use to your advantage. So make the most of them.
Every affiliate marketer needs Google Analytics. It’s the best free analytics service available, and without it, you might as well be running your affiliate marketing business completely blind.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Although free, the Google AdWords Keyword Planner does require you to have an AdWords account to use it, which can be a hassle if you’re not looking to do any PPC. But it is generally regarded as the best, and will provide you with some good stats to go with your keywords such as competition level, average CPC and more. Less hassle, and still free, is Keyword Tool.io.
Don’t waste your money on books, guides and expensive affiliate marketing training. There is a wealth of information to be found freely online and plenty of free training programs such as our Affiliate Training Course. But don’t spend so much time trying to learn everything you possibly can that you fail to ever get started. Sometimes the best learning method is to just jump right in and do it.
What are the basic costs when you just starting affiliate marketing
If you were to just pay for the most basic costs of setting up a website, you can expect to pay less than $10 per month. That’s less than $120 per year. Not much is it?
But your money making potential really depends on whether or not you have the right tools.
So when you give some serious consideration to the huge difference all – or even just some of those extras above will make to your affiliate marketing efforts and the success you reap from it, you’ll realise that the extra investment is well worth it.
Make sure you have some cash flow to get started, and only use money you can afford to lose. Because remember, affiliate marketing, like any business, is not a guaranteed way to riches!