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How Much Money Do You Need To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing?

In these uncertain economic times, figuring out how much you need to get started as an affiliate marketer is a concern, especially if you’re holding down a 9-to-5 job. But there’s more than just the cash at stake.

The one key issue to realize is that whatever you do, it’s a toss up between time and money.

If you are short on money, you will need to invest the time to do everything yourself.

If you’ve got the money, you can hire an employee, outsource a task, or otherwise pay someone to do your work for you.

time is money

Realistically, you can’t expect to do everything yourself, so you will still need to budget funds for a designer or a programmer, or a writer if any of those are your weak areas.

Going long-term, you need to build up cash reserves to parcel out the lower-value activities, so you can focus on tasks which will grow the business and generate more profits.

The days of $0.05 pay-per-clicks are numbered and probably will result in poorly converting traffic.

Even if you’ve moved on to cheaper traffic at Facebook Ads or MySpace, or YouTube, you’d still need to have enough cashflow to get started.

Just as you realistically couldn’t start a brick-and-mortar business without a single dime to your name, likewise, just because an Internet-based business is virtual, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require real world funds.

Even if you’re not paying cold hard cash to launch your marketing campaign, you’re still investing your time, which has a monetary value – that same amount of time could be spend working at your regular job or on a project that someone has assigned you.

Budgeting is a function of the type of traffic you’re planning to generate. Pay-Per-Click campaigns are a little more straightforward. Media buys and Pay-Per-View traffic can be a little trickier, especially in managing decent ROI (return on investment). Social media, social bookmarking and linkbaiting campaigns are probably one of the trickiest in the lot, because the effects might be more spread out and the traffic comes in a flood at the beginning and continues to trickle in.

So back to the original question – I’d suggest that ensuring you have savings to cover at least 6 months’ worth of expenses to tide you over if you’re single is a good benchmark, a good proportion of everything else can go into the business.

If you’ve a family or other financial obligations, keeping savings to cover a year’s worth of expenses, can be quite a hefty task. At the same time, it can be one of the precautions you take in order to get a good night’s sleep.

7 comments on How Much Money Do You Need To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing?

  1. ppc.bz
    May 14, 2009 at 1:55 am (4032 days ago)

    I started with 25 grand and I’ve lost it all in 2 weeks. What am I doing wrong Andrew Wee?

  2. Paul Graham
    May 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm (4031 days ago)

    Great article Andrew!

    @PPC.BZ — doing some research before blowing $25K would probably have made sense ;-)

    ~ Paul

  3. Finch Sells
    May 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm (4031 days ago)

    I started on AdWords vouchers. I pretty much stole the inserts from the local magazine store. How’s that for business ethics!

  4. Erica
    May 14, 2009 at 9:10 pm (4031 days ago)

    Good post. All beginners should read this and have an idea what they are getting into. Several people get into internet marketing thinking that it is the next get rich quick scheme. What they fail to realize is there is a massive amount of time, money and hard work that needs to go in before they will have success.

  5. Cary Bergeron
    May 21, 2009 at 12:03 am (4025 days ago)

    You don’t need any money to get started “making money” online. That’s the funny thing about it. Lots of people spend tons of money finding out ways to make money.

    Stop, look around, see what other people are doing and then come up with your own product or site.

    With all the free blogs out there you don’t even need a host.

    To get started that is…

  6. Autopilot Niche Business - Alex
    November 16, 2009 at 9:22 pm (3845 days ago)

    I would say, you do need some. At least for the domain name and hosting. But probably, not more than $25, if even that. All you need is lots of your time and devotion. If you do take action and follow what the successful people do, it is impossible to fail.

  7. Deandre Klosowski
    August 27, 2011 at 5:37 am (3197 days ago)

    What a thought provoking article, how can I make is so that I get an alert email whenever you publish a fresh post?

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