How Much Does Affiliate Marketing Cost? (Not much)

So, you have heard rumors about affiliate marketing and its tempting benefits.

& now you’re wondering if you can afford to start your own online business that brings in juicy passive income.

It’s a valid concern since many traditional businesses require massive investments to get things rolling.

But worry not.

The costs for setting up an affiliate marketing business are super low.

Pretty much anyone can build a thriving affiliate empire as long as you have access to a PC.

How much does affiliate marketing cost?

You can join affiliate programs for completely free. However, it’s recommended to invest ~$15/year for a domain name and ~$10/month for hosting to get your own website up and running. Additionally, you can pay for training, tools, and content to become more efficient in affiliate marketing.

In the rest of the post, I’m going to dig a little bit deeper into these costs and what you should do if you want to start your affiliate marketing business.

Let’s get started.

How Much Does Affiliate Marketing cost

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What Kind Of Expenses Does Affiliate Marketing Have?

You might be surprised how little you actually have to spend to create a full-time affiliate marketing business.

While it’s possible to do affiliate marketing with spending as little as nothing, I really don’t recommend going the cheap route. It will just make things unnecessarily hard for you and you may have a hard time making a business out of it.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend fortunes either.

All you need is a simple WordPress website and some training to educate yourself.

Those two rather cheap ingredients alone are enough to build a fruitful online business (as long as you dedicate yourself to it).

Content writers, fancy tools, web designers, and designing a logo are all optional and can come later once you are more established and want to scale your business.

You can easily spend a lot of money on junk that you don’t need when starting so I made a small priority list to follow.

Keep in mind that all the listed items are investments more than anything as they will help you earn more money one way or another.

Domain Name (High Priority)

A domain is the name of your website and you can think of it as the base of your operations.

Just like every brick & mortar business has its own street address, the website domain will be your own address.

Domains are a very cheap investment as they only cost around $15 per year and the first year is usually even cheaper than that.

Here are some websites where you can buy domain names:

You can also use free websites for your affiliate marketing efforts but they are not as professional and don’t rank as well in the search engines compared to paid domains.

Free websites are still a nice way to start your affiliate marketing journey as you’ll get experience on how it feels to manage a website without having to pay anything.

You can create a free website here to see how easy it is.

If you need help choosing a domain name for your website, I’ve written a guide for you here.

Hosting (High Priority)

You can think of hosting as paying rent for having an office and storage space for your business.

In the case of websites, you’re paying a hosting company to have your website content (images, blog posts, etc.) stored in a safe place, and so that visitors can view your content on their web browser.

Hosting costs a little bit more than a domain name, but it’s still a cheap investment since you can build a full-blown business with just a website.

A hosting plan typically costs around $10 per month for a new site without much content and traffic.

Here are good hosting providers for new sites:

Affiliate Marketing Training (High Priority)

Now we have the website covered, but it doesn’t get you far if you have no idea how to actually do affiliate marketing.

I’d say going through proper training can make or break your efforts.

After all, you won’t get results by simply sharing your affiliate link and hoping for sales to happen.

There’s more to the equation.

You need to learn the art of selling with written words and other equally important concepts of affiliate marketing.

You have two options; either free or paid training.

The Internet is full of free YouTube videos and blog posts teaching you the ways of affiliate marketing but there’s always one major problem with free resources.

They always show what you can do, but rarely how to do something in detail.

Also, free information is always scattered all over the Internet and you have to spend precious time finding small bits of information to form a full picture.

On top of that, you don’t have a support group so you can’t ask for help if you get stuck.

Paid training has its own problems as well.

I have reviewed enough “make money online” products to know that majority of them are a huge letdown with over the top price and disappointing training that gets you nowhere.

Some training courses even cost you close to $1000 and in the end, you get a couple of PDF-files telling you what affiliate marketing is and nothing else.

They rarely come with an active community, coaching, and proper step-by-step training which are essential for any new aspiring affiliate marketer.

If I had to name a few courses that live up to their promises, I’d stick to these three:

Tools (Optional)

Now we are getting to the part of the list that’s mostly optional and used to optimize and scale your business.

Eventually, these will come in handy but you shouldn’t worry about them when you are getting started in affiliate marketing.

I’m going to list a few examples of useful tools that you could use in your affiliate marketing business.

  • Keyword Research Tools – Many KW tools are free, but paid products like Ahrefs are good for researching what your competition is doing.
  • Premium Plugins – You can download different premium plugins for your website (e.g comparison charts to increase sales).
  • Premium Website Themes – Premium themes look more professional and have exclusive features.
  • Image Editing Software – Photoshop is a good example of this and unique graphics make your website look authentic.
  • Task Manager Software – These you can use to organize workflows for you and your writers
  • Email Autoresponder – Used to send mass emails to an email subscriber list

These were just the tip of the iceberg and only the sky’s limit on how much money you can spend on different tools.

In the ideal world, you pick these up one by one as your website income grows.

Products (Optional)

Many affiliate marketers do product reviews because they convert to sales easily.

But sometimes the competition is a bit tough for specific products, and in a case like that – you can buy the actual product to get a good first-hand experience and you can take authentic photos for your review.

People enjoy detailed reviews combined with first-hand experience so posts like that have a better chance to rank in the search engines.

How much you can spend on products obviously depends on the type of products you’re reviewing.

However, buying products is completely optional since you can do a very informative review even if you don’t own the product.

Content (Optional)

Blog posts are the food you need to feed your website regularly to keep your business running.

So much so that learning to write the content yourself is one of the most important skills you can learn as an affiliate marketer.

Once you have learned the ropes of writing content, you can outsource this task to writing services or you can hire a writer to do the job for you.

Now, I wouldn’t buy content as a beginner because you most likely don’t know yet what kind of content does well on your website or how to format it properly.

The price of content varies from writer to writer.

Where To Get Proper Affiliate Marketing Training

Wealthy Affiliate

Now that you know a bit about the costs of affiliate marketing, I hope it has inspired you to start building your own portfolio of affiliate websites.

It’s truly a cheap business to start and you can have your own website running today.

If you’d want to get started with the same course I used to build my sites;

You can check out this free-to-join video course.

It’s laid out in beginner-friendly step-by-step instructions and you’ll get your very own free website to test the affiliate marketing waters before you invest anything.

It also comes with an active community and support if you need help with your website.

Photo of author


What's up! I started my first affiliate website in 2018 promoting PC peripherals and since then I've been hooked on making money online with affiliate marketing.

Ever wanted to make money online promoting popular products from Amazon?

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