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Affiliate Marketing On A Tight Budget

Aug 17, 2007
You want to start an online business, but don't have what it takes to start with your own products. You have the option of starting with affiliate marketing, selling other peoples' products for a commission. Affiliate marketing is a fabulous way to make money. In just the last few years, affiliate marketing has become a very powerful force in ecommerce. Every day, thousands, if not millions, of merchants rely on affiliate marketing to drive their businesses.

Is the online affiliate market the way to go? You will never know unless you take the necessary steps. If you never try, then you cannot expect to succeed. Make today the day that you commit to changing the direction of your life. Keep in mind, however, that affiliate marketing cannot guarantee you instant success if you don't work at it.

But before you succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to spend a little bit of money so you can reap the reward later. Through proper budgeting, your investment can be lower. Now that you know you must spend some money, it's time to decide how much money you can afford to invest in your affiliate marketing business.

There are some expenses that you will have if you want to be successful. There are others that you can put off until the time you start earning income from your affiliate products. Some items that you will need to budget:

Domain Name. You must have a domain name. The domain name should relate to the subject. Keep your domain name simple and easy to remember. There is quite a span between the low-cost and the high-end cost of domain names. If you shop around, you may even be able to find something less expensive. But make sure it's a well-established company! You don't want to lose your domain name once you have decided on it! You will likely get a better deal if you register your domain name for two or more years in advance.

Website Hosting. Fees for web hosting can vary dramatically from company to company. Set up a comparison chart and write down each company you are considering. Some companies offer rates as low as $2 a month, while others charge over $100. The highest rates don't always translate into the best service. Some of the lower-priced hosts offer a reliable, stable environment that allows your website to be accessed around the clock for years. Shop carefully.

Merchant Account. You don't have to invest thousands of dollars to open a merchant account. Find a merchant account vendor through a local financial institution, like a bank, and discuss the possibilities that will best suit your business and your customers.

A merchant account will let you start accepting credit card payments for customer purchases, which will enhance the shopping experience for most customers and earn your company a progressive reputation. Never assume you will have extravagant monthly charges when you open a merchant account. Shop around, ask questions, and compare costs to get the best low cost merchant account available for your business. Your customers will thank you with repeat and additional business.

Software and Scripts. You will need spreadsheet software to track your expenses and income from your affiliate business. This is a suite of tools that works like Microsoft Office. You may or may not need website scripts depending on how elaborate you want your website to be.

Advertising. The best marketing tip you will ever hear is to advertise your product or business. In today's market, anyone in business knows that advertising is the backbone to your success. Even with the greatest product on the planet, a product that you know everyone needs and wants, without advertising, it's just an idea going nowhere. Make sure you check out the best ways for you to advertise your business. It can be a very fun, profitable, and easy experience with the right tools.

Education. Ongoing education is going to be extremely important to your affiliate marketing success. You will not have to purchase a lot of educational materials if you don't want to. There are many free resources, such as newsletters, that you can study.

Seeing your expenses for the whole year is a great way to keep them under control. What is the final total? Does that seem extreme? Remember, this is for an entire year. Keep it in perspective. If you intend to have a real business, you must treat it as a real business.
About the Author
Don Resh is CEO of WebForce, Inc. A more detailed bio is available at:

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