Building a profitable online business is hands-down, one of the best decisions I've ever made and people are jumping on the digital bandwagon now more than ever.
So what is the cost of starting an online business?
The truth is, not as much as you might think…
Starting a traditional business comes with heavy start-up costs, forcing many aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for business loans, but you can start an income-generating online business for as little as $29 a month ($359 a year).
This includes website builders, hosting, technical support, keyword research tools and full SEO and social media marketing training.
Wealthy Affiliate is the top affiliate marketing training platform that is specifically designed to help you get your business idea up and running. I'd recommend checking out their free beginners course.
Since 2006 they've helped 100,000's of budding entrepreneurs launch successful online empires by equipping them with comprehensive, step-by-step training, state-of-the-art business building tools and 24/7 expert support.
Read my full review at TheMakeMoneyOnlineBlog.com/Wealthy-Affiliate-Review.
Online vs Offline: Why Online Wins Every Time
1. Online Businesses Have A Truly Global Reach
There are 4.2 billion daily internet users buying pretty much anything from groceries, to flights, from clothing to appliances.
The opportunity to earn serious money online only grows by the day. It's expected that by 2021, we will spend an astonishing $4.5 trillion online.
Traditional brick and mortar businesses, bound by geographical location, are quickly getting left behind.
As an online entrepreneur, you are building an online brand that can reach a truly global audience.
You don't need a degree in business or to be a technical genius to become financially wealthy, just a proven formula to follow and a drive to succeed.
There are countless inspirational success stories out there from people just like you who took the first step to starting their online business…
Take Jerry Huang: 12 short months ago he was working in a hotel kitchen to pay the bills. Now he's built a 4-figure monthly income stream for himself at just 21 years of age and his life will never be the same.
2. Whatever Your Passion, It Can Spark A Thriving Online Empire
Google performs 2 trillion searches a day for people looking for advice and tips on anything you can imagine.
Whether it's skydiving or scrapbooking, fashion or football, we all have something that gets us going.
Whatever your passion, you can turn it into a very successful and profitable online venture by helping people, sharing your expertise and making recommendations.
3. Online Businesses Generate Passive Income
When you open up a clothes store or a burger joint, you have to physically be there running the business, managing staff and dealing with issues. Business owners run around like headless chickens working 16 hour days just to try and make a profit.
That is the exact opposite of passive income!
You absolutely need to take MASSIVE action to get your online business off the ground, but put the work in and your website will start generating money for around the clock.
Unlike a shop on the high street that's only open from 9-5, your website is like your virtual store that's open for business 24/7. People are finding your site through Google and social media and you're making sales in your sleep.
Whereas most people trade their time for money (work once and get paid once), online you put the time effort into creating a blog post or video and get paid time and time again.
I started my first affiliate marketing website 5 years ago and haven't touched in it over 3 years, but that website still generates $1,000-$1,500 for me each and every month and probably will for years to come – now that's what I call passive income!
4. An Online Business Gives You The Opportunity To Earn Big With Little Money Down
Starting a traditional small home-based business can cost anywhere between $3,000-$5,000.
Investing in a Burger King franchise requires a ‘whopping' upfront payment of $50,000, with total start-up costs amounting to somewhere in the region of $500,000.
It's no wonder people still stuck in the 20th century way of doing business have to max out their credit cards before they can open for trading…
The monthly running costs are so low because there's no need to worry about shipping costs, purchasing stock, building up an inventory, renting premises or hiring staff.
Stick with me here and I'll show you exactly how to start an online business for $100 or less. Yes, you really can have your first affiliate marketing website open for business and generating profit for as little as $29 a month!
No business loan required!
What Does The Cost Of Starting An Online Business Consist Of?
Let's start with a list of what you need to get your online business up and running.
Then we can look at the best options and costs for you going forward.
What You Need:
1. A Website
You can't make money online without one. The good news is it's never been easier to create a beautiful business website you can be proud of.
For this you're going to need to need to purchase a domain name (www.ExampleDomainName.com) and a secure web hosting package with ongoing technical support.
2. Online Business Training
Whether you already have a strategy to implement or you're looking for an online business blueprint you can follow that actually works, glean from the expertise of experienced and successful internet marketers who are already where you want to be and you'll get there a lot faster.
3. Keyword Research Tools
A good keyword research tool can make or break your business. Armed with the right information, you can focus your SEO campaigns to drive more targeted traffic to your site and increase sales.
There are two ways to successfully launch a profitable online business:
When you're just getting started it's important to consider all your options and choose the path that's right for you depending on your budget and work schedule.
Let's take a look at both and do a full breakdown of the costs:
The Time-Rich/Cash-Poor Option
If you have more time than money then building your online business from scratch with WealthyAffiliate.com is your best option.
Starting from as little as $29 per month, the Premium membership gives you full and unlimited access to their all-in-one training platform that has all the newbie-friendly website building tools, domains, keyword research tools and web hosting you need to succeed.
Wealthy Affiliate is perfect for beginners as they have the biggest online community of experienced internet marketers and experts who are on hand to offer help and support when you need it most.
This is actually the place I got my start back in 2014 – I joined as a free Starter member and upgraded to the Premium membership a few days later, launched my first site and I've never looked back!
The interactive Online Entrepreneur Certification Course will guide you through the process of how making money online works step by step. By going through the video lessons and completing every assigned task you end up with a fully-fledged, profitable business on your hands.
Wealthy Affiliate Start-Up Cost Breakdown
Though you can try out the platform for free as a Starter member, if you're serious I recommend upgrading to Premium as soon as you're ready.
As I say, I started at Wealthy Affiliate never having run an online business before and I owe my success today to their step-by-step training and friendly and helpful community.
There are 3 Premium membership options you can choose from:
After deciding to go Premium, I was paying $49 monthly for a good 2 years or so before changing to the pay yearly option of $359 which works out at $29.92 a month.
I really like that I can access everything under one roof for one low monthly (or yearly) price. The only other thing you need to account for is the cost of buying your website domain which is $13.99 per year.
Premium membership ($359) + website domain ($13.99) = $372.99/year
This is really all you need to spend. That's just $1.02 a day to have everything you need to run and operate your online business and grow it to scale at your fingertips!
The Cash-Rich/Time-Poor Option
HumanProofDesigns.com are the number one affiliate marketing outsourcing specialists online. If you have the money to invest, then hiring their team of experienced professionals to build your online business for you is the way to go.
These guys offer a wide range of services from niche and keyword research, to website building and content creation. You can choose from their library of done-for-you affiliate websites with existing traffic and sales, or ask them to make a custom site for you.
With 95% of businesses failing in the first 12 months, having experts on hand to the groundwork for you will give you the best chances of success. They know what works and what doesn't, they know how to find the best niches and keywords and they know how to create content that converts.
I outsource article writing to them regularly and I can personally vouch for their high-quality content and after-sales care.
The HumanProof Method Membership program gives you access to monthly training from top industry leaders, group coaching and a membership area where you can get ongoing support.
Their extensive training library shows you how to grow your new online business to it's fullest potential and maximise commissions. All this means you can avoid all the biggest mistakes newbies make and fast track your earnings.
Human Proof Designs Start Up Cost Breakdown
Done-for-you affiliate marketing websites range from $798 – $1,298.
They offer a whole variety of packages and services to help jump start your business with Basic, Standard and Premium plans to suit every budget.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Successful Online Entrepreneur?
This is a question I get asked often so I thought I would quickly touch on it here.
Starting a business is more than a financial investment; you invest your time and energy too.
Whether you're creating your own online business or outsourcing it to others, you've still got to give you and your business time to grow.
The truth is this is not a get rich quick scheme, results won't come overnight.
It's worth remembering we don't get to where we want to be in one giant leap, but rather by taking small, yet consistent steps over time.
How long will it take before you start seeing a return? How long it takes is really up to you.
I sat in an upstairs bedroom of my mum's house and hustled like crazy those first few months, often late into the night whilst everyone else slept. I was drowning in debt, forced to work at a job I hated and living a life I never wanted – I guess you could say I was motivated!
And then it happened… after 2 weeks I made my first ever commission!
I remember it like it was yesterday. After dancing around my room a few times (at 2 in the morning) I shared my first ever commission success with fellow Wealthy Affiliate members.
I had just made $1.20 but it felt like I had won the lottery because I knew this was just the first of many commissions to come…
Spurred on by my initial success, I knew I was on the right track and I just had to keep going. And so I did…
Slowly but surely my website started getting higher rankings in Google search results…
Traffic started trickling in and as it grew my income grew with it…
At the 6 month mark, I was making daily sales consistently.
By the 12 month mark, I was earning more from my sites than I was at my full-time job, so I quit and never worked for anyone else since.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I know they'll be times when you'll doubt if you even have it what it takes to start a business. You'll wonder if you will ever reach your online income goals and if your hard work will ever pay off.
I'm here to say you CAN and it WILL.
It's the entrepreneurial spirit inside of you that will drive you to success. The urge to create something out of nothing, to achieve true financial freedom and live life on your own terms.
If you have that then I believe you have what it takes.
Ignore the doubts, pay no attention to the naysayers, be bold and take the critical first step.
That's what I did.
That's what anyone who achieved anything worthwhile did.
And this is what you will do.
If you want to win.
Simon Crowe is the founder of The Make Money Online Blog and is on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
Get his free Affiliate Marketing Guide For Newbies to learn exactly how to build a real income online and make your dream business a reality.