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How Much Should You Spend for a Good Start in Affiliate Marketing?

Apr 25, 2008
One of the most delightful things about affiliate marketing is how cheaply it can be done compared to a brick and mortar business. Relatively speaking, you hardly spend anything at all; in fact you can get started for free.

But should you? Let's take a look at how a free start goes.

You start out with a blog on Blogspot. You have a lot of freedom there, and so long as you don't break the TOS, your site should be just fine.

Then you start posting in forums. Your signature link brings in traffic.

Add in some article marketing and posting free classifieds.

How's it working for you?

Amazingly enough, these can all work quite well. It depends on how you use each technique. If you're just spamming the forums, or if you just write junk articles that are little more than blatant ads for your products, you're not too likely to do well. Produce quality posts and articles, and write your classifieds carefully, you can do better.

But it does take time.

Free classifieds aren't for everyone. I know some people swear by them while others say they don't get any results at all. Nothing wrong with testing them; just have an email account to associate with them so that if it gets full of spam you can cope with it.

It's the amount of time it takes to handle forum posting and article marketing that can be the real challenge for a lot of people. Quality takes time, but junk is easy. You have to decide which you want to be associated with.

In both cases you want to lead people to click on your signature link or resource box, but mentioning that directly limits the effectiveness of your campaigns. Instead, you want what you post to lead people to be curious about what you're offering, so that they follow your link for more information without you pointing it out.

Even though you may get immediate traffic from these, it takes a lot of time to build up to a decent level. And while you can get away with the free site, over time having control of your own domain and paid hosting is far more secure. It also doesn't cost a lot.

Paying for these also makes you look more professional, which can matter more in some niches than in others. If you're talking about how much money you make from home, do you really think a free site will impress anyone? Just an example.

Paid advertising can also get you a faster start. Especially in the case of pay per click advertising it can also eat through your money quickly if you aren't careful. But if you can afford the risk, you have the chance to start earning within hours rather than days, weeks or even months.

The amount you should spend depends on what you are willing to risk. If you don't have the money to spend, don't. Given a quality product and the willingness to do the work, you can start out for free. But be prepared to spend extra time before you succeed.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/ for people wanting to get a start in a home business. Get more tips on affiliate marketing at her site.
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