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.
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.