If you follow this site consistently, you know that I’m a huge advocate of treating your affiliate marketing website as a business. This means tracking your time and expenses and calculating, as best you are able, a return on investment for each step of the process.
With this idea comes a need to plan well for resource allocation, but how do you determine the right budget needed to start affiliate marketing? The answer is largely: it depends. In order to do plan correctly, you need to understand both your objectives and your strengths and weaknesses for your site.
Minimum Budget Requirements
There are a few basic budgeting needs that are inescapable, mostly with domains and hosting.
- Domain: $4-12 annually through a provider like GoDaddy or Namecheap
- Hosting: $3-10 monthly through a provider like Dreamhost or Arvixe
- Research Tools: free-$20 monthly through a service like Jaaxy
The domain and hosting is really your bare minimum cost, which would be around $60 annually for the most basic option.
Understanding Your Objectives
The next step to budgeting correctly is to consider your objectives for your new business. Is your goal to create consistent side income to supplement another job, or are you hoping to dedicate yourself full-time to affiliate marketing?
If you’re hoping to build a full-time business out of your site, then you need to be prepared to budget a lot of time towards creating content, or, if you have the budget, outsource your content creation. I find that high-quality articles start at the $10-20 apiece range.
You might also consider employing a part-time assistant to help market your blog on social media, which, again, would have a variable effect depending on your budget. Good assistants start at the $5-10/hour range using an outsourcing marketplace.
Outsourcing will help you grow faster, but requires a larger budget.
Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Your site budget will depend heavily on how experienced you are with internet marketing. The most important expense you will have is to invest in your education.
If you are fairly new to the world of internet marketing, I strongly recommend you invest in a course, which will usually cost around $50/month, or $300-400 for a complete course or annual subscription. While this may seem like a large investment for a business that does not yet exist, getting the education needed to operate effectively as an affiliate is extremely important.
If you are slightly more experienced or want to supplement a course further, you might also consider books and other resources from top experts, readily available on Amazon or elsewhere.
As you can see, your budget for your affiliate site largely depends on you. This is one of the great aspects of affiliate marketing that makes it accessible to anyone, because a minimum budget is only about $60 a year, which you should earn back in no time.
Whatever your budget, always keep in mind to plan in terms of ROI, both monetarily and in terms of your personal time invested into the project.