The Real Cost of Starting An Online Business in 2018

I’m a strong believer that you get what you pay for. You can’t pay for a cheeseburger and expect filet mignon.

It just doesn’t work that way.

So when I hear people online boasting about a free make money online opportunity, I know it is of no value and it isn’t worth my time.

It attracts the wrong people and quite frankly, it gives us affiliate marketing entrepreneurs a bad reputation.

While it can be very inexpensive to start an affiliate marketing business, by no means is it going to be free.

Which is why I decided to create this blog post. Today I’m gonna reveal the real cost of starting an online business in 2018. This way you can see for yourself if becoming a digital entrepreneur is the path for you.

Let’s get started!

Startup Costs

The getting started part is always the hardest, but once you get past that first step, things get a lot easier. This can be applied to any aspect of your life; primarily entrepreneurship.

One of the reasons so many people are skeptical about starting an online business in the first place is because they’re afraid it’s too expensive.

But the wonderful thing about starting a business online is that the costs are much lower than if you were to open a brick and mortar business like a pizza shop. 

When you first decide to get started with affiliate marketing, the only costs you have to worry about are the cost of your domain and the cost of hosting.

Your domain name is the basically the name of your website or blog and they usually start off at $10 a year. If you want to save some money, you can type into Google: 99 cent domain names, and GoDaddy might just have a sale. This means you can get your domain for less than a dollar your first year in business!!

I however, recommend using Namecheap. Not only do they provide excellent customer service and they make it easy to manage my domains, but included in your subscription is free Whois Guard.

Whois Guard is crucial to your business because it keeps your personal information safe. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I decided to Google myself and found my adress listed under the location of who owned my domain!

Yeah… one of the best investments you will make as a digital entrepreneur is Whois Guard.

So for $10.69 a year, Namecheap is the way to go.

Next up is hosting. Hostinfg is your business’ address. It’s where you can find everything associated with your website or blog. It’s where all the data is saved and it’s important to purchase hosting that will provide your readers with the best experience. Hosting can start as low as $3 a month and hike up all the way to $200 a month. I recommend paying $5 a month for hosting… but keep in mind that it gets paid annually.

So far, just to get your business off the ground, you’re looking at a $70 startup cost give or take.

Not bad for a business that can potentially make you a six figure income right??


Now that you’re on the path to starting an online business in the affiliate marketing industry, you’re gonna need some tools to take scale your business as quickly as possible.

The foundation for any online business is traffic. I’ve explained this before, and I’ll repeat it… the more traffic you have, the more money you make.

Free methods work great, but they take time. If you’re fed up with your current job situation or you’re not getting the results you want, then scaling is your option.

In order to scale your business, you’re going to need tools. These tools are going to help you grow your business hands off. This is where the term passive income comes from.

Because the goal is to work less and make more money right? That’s what My Millionaire Quest is all about guys!

The first tool I recommend is an email auto responder. An email auto responder is a tool that takes care of emailing your subscribers for you on auto pilot. And it all begins with your blog. By collecting emails via sign up form on your blog, you have the advantage of retaining your readers. If someone just stops by your blog and then leaves, you have no way of ever building a relationship with them, let alone get a sale.

There are many email auto responders out there.

Get Response- $15/month

Aweber- $19/month with a free 30 day trial

Infusion Soft- $80/month

MailChimp- Free up to 2000 subscribers

These are the most popular email auto responders in the industry right now; and I highly recommend using Aweber. It’s the one I’ve used it for years and it is very user friendly. While MailChimp is free, it doesn’t allow the use of affiliate links in emails so it kinda defeats the purpose of building a list for an affiliate marketing business.

Next up is a Landing Page or Capture Page software. This tool comes highly recommended if you want to collect emails for your list with your social media accounts; as well as paid traffic.

If you share your affiliate links on your Instagram bio or Facebook Fan Page, what happens is, most people won’t buy, and you’ll never be able to get in contact with them. But by using a landing page, you collect their emails and can sell to them at a later point in time.

This tool is totally optional and you can just stick to a sign up form on your blog… it’s up to you.

The top contenders for landing pages are:

Online Sales Pro- $37/month

LeadPages- $37/month with a free 14 day trial

ClickFunnels- $97/month with a free 14 day trial

I recommend going with either of the two that offer a free 14 day trial so you can see if it’s right for you.

Adding ClickFunnels and Aweber brings your total up to $116 a month to run your affiliate marketing business and just $70 a year.

Traffic and Training

These two are probably going to be the most expensive and IMPORTANT costs related to starting an online business in 2018. Like I said earlier, more traffic equals more money.

You can run paid traffic ads to your blog using Bing Ads and Google Adwords. For these, there’s no set price range; it all depends on your budget. I suggest starting out with $5 a day.

Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and YouTube ads are the same thing. With Facebook ads, you can have ads running for as little as a dollar a day or $30 a month. Instagram ads are a little different because their main purpose is to grow your following, not your online business. I’ve run $10 a week campaigns on Instagram to increase my following and it works.

I say stick to running ads Bing Ads and Facebook ads to build your email list and boost traffic to your blog.

Solo ads are a package you purchase from people with large email lists, who allow you to send your offers to their list. These can start off at 50 cents a click up to $5 a click; on average I see these at $50-$100 for like 100 clicks. The more you pay per click, the better the lead, the more likely you are to get a sale.

If you have a low budget, then you can start off with $30 to $50 a month on ads.

Training is a whole other story. If you choose to do things on your own, it can take you years to see any results. YouTube can only teach you so much.

You can listen to podcasts, read blogs, and read eBooks, but the only way to get the results you want when starting an online business in today’s world, you’re gonna need some legit training. Training that can show you how to start from scratch and build a six figure business online with affiliate marketing.

Check Out My #1 Recommended Affiliate Marketing Training to Learn How to Start A 6 Figure Business Online!

My #1 recommended affiliate marketing training is how I learned to build this blog and get it seen by the search engines ad earning commissions.

This is the best training I’ve found online and I’ve been doing this for quite some time now. Plus it’s only $49 a month with a free 7 day trial and a bonus of paying $19 for your first month. This is also where my websites are hosted so it’s one less fee I have to worry about in regards to my business.

Doing the Math for Starting an Online Business in 2018

Adding in the affiliate marketing training and a budget for ads of $50 a month, you’re now up to $215/month and $70 a year.

This is if you decide to play it safe and not invest too much into your business.

Here’s how much it would cost if you’d increase your risk.

Low Risk- $70/year or $5.34/month

Medium Risk- $220-$305/month 

High Risk- $350-$1000/month

By the way, the reason the budget increases is because of ad spend. The more you spend on paid traffic, the higher your monthly expenses.

While these costs may seem a little high, remember that they’re not a waste, they’re an investment. If you can invest $200 a month on your affiliate marketing business and earn $2000 to $6000 a month, I say it’s a good deal.

Wrapping it Up

There you have it folks… a nice little breakdown of what starting an online business in 2018 is really going to cost you. If someone offers you the chance to start an online business for free, they’re either lying or it’s a scam. Or it’s a survey site. LOL

I suggest you stick to affiliate marketing because it’s a real business that costs very little to get started with infinite potential.

Now keep in mind that this is only taking into consideration that you’re just getting started. As your business grows, so should the cost of running it.

This can include logos, professional themes… and so on.

I hope you got some value from this and a true insight to what it takes to run an affiliate marketing business. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment below, and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.

To your infinite success,


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4 thoughts to “The Real Cost of Starting An Online Business in 2018”

  1. This is a great article about the good things and bad things with online business. Being fresh in the affiliate marketing world, I have always questioned how much I will have to spend before I make my first dollar. Though I am very optimistic, I am still unsure on how to get traffic to my site. Thank you for the advice on the different ad engines to try, all of your information is very helpful.

    1. Hey Fred, I’m glad you’ve begun your journey as an affiliate marketing entrepreneur. Don’t obsess over making your first dollar online Fred… focus on providing value in your niche. As far as traffic goes, each piece of content you create, is like a soldier generating traffic for you.

      If you’d like, check out this post I created on Free traffic versus paid traffic HERE.

  2. When you think about it, the startup costs for an online business compared to a brick and mortar business are VERY low just as you said. Getting a domain name, hosting, and a platform to teach you how to create an online business isn’t as much as people think. Once you learn everything, the sky’s the limit on how much you can earn. What are some of the best tools that you’ve used with your online business? Has it been keyword tool?

    1. They are very low indeed. I think many people are afraid of investing so much money into something they don’t understand; especially since there’s no guarantee you will make money unless you put in the work. Versus a job where you are compensated every two weeks for your work. 

      But it does cost money to work a regular job… gas, toll, work uniforms, and of course TIME.

      The most powerful tool I use for my business is indeed a keyword tool. 

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