Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing? | Complete Cost Breakdown

The cost of starting affiliate marketing

Does it cost to start affiliate marketing: If you’re new to affiliate marketing you might probably be thinking, how much exactly do I need to start this business model?

So how much does it actually cost to start affiliate marketing?

Generally, it doesn’t cost any amount of money to start affiliate marketing, in fact, most affiliate programs are free to join and there is no cost to join any of them. However, to make your affiliate business successful will require some initial investment on your side.

One of the most expensive parts of starting affiliate marketing can be setting up a website and investing in marketing tools.

 Read on, as I break down exactly how much you could spend or probably how much you need to start affiliate marketing.

With that being said, let’s roll!

Does It Cost to Start Affiliate Marketing

Though it is absolutely possible to start affiliate marketing at no initial cost. However, to succeed in this business model and probably earn money from it requires an upfront investment. 

You need your own website and tools to do this the right way if you want to be part of the top affiliates who are earning 5, 6, and 7 figures per month with affiliate marketing.

That said… Let’s take a look at the expenses if you want to run a real affiliate business.

The Actual Costs Of Running Affiliate Marketing Business

Just like any type of business out there requires an investment in order to grow it to success.

When starting an affiliate marketing business, you need to at least invest in it to grow it to the point where it’ll start to generate you income in the long run.

So, below I break down some of the things you need to run a real affiliate marketing business and how much you need to spend on them.

To Start A Successful Affiliate Marketing Business You Need The Following:

  • Custom domain: $12 to $50
  • Web Host: $1.95 to  $4.95/month
  • Theme: $50 to $200
  • Email Autoresponder/Landing page builder: $15 to $30/month
  • Tracking Tools: $20 to $200/month
  • Paid Traffic (optional)

In the above-mentioned, the most important ingredients are (domain name, web host, and email autoresponder).

A little cash is needed to set up these three tools properly to speed up your results.


Let’s start by looking at the cost of starting a website or blog.

How much is needed to run affiliate marketing on a blog?

To start a website or a blog for your affiliate marketing, you need a Domain name and Web -hosting.

So, let’s start with a domain.

Domain Name: $12 to $50

A domain is simply the name of your website. It can be the name of your brand or just your personal name.

A domain name is what helps people to find your website or blog.

A good domain name can cost you around $12 to $50 for the first year depending on the registrar you purchase your domain from. 

Here is the price of a domain name on Bluehost:

Top Level Domain Name Registration Price Renewal Price
.com $12.99 $18.99
.net $14.99 $18.99
.biz $9.99 $16.99
.info $11.99 $15.99
.org $9.99 $17.99
the cost of starting affiliate marketing on a blog using Bluehost

Price of a domain name on Godaddy:

Godaddy is the #1 domain registrar in the world.

Top Level Domain Name Registration Price Renewal Price
.com $12.17 $17.99
.in $14.99 $19.99
.club $5.14 $17.99
.live $1.97 $9.99
.org $10.17 $21.17
The cost of starting an affiliate marketing blog using Godaddy

Price of a domain name on Hostgator.

HostGator is also another great platform for buying domains, their service is really awesome. Their DNS or name servers are super simple to do.

It has all the packages you need to build your affiliate blog successfully.

No downtime, they have one of the responsive customer support teams who are ready 24/7 to help you when there is an issue.

Top Level Domain Name Registration Price Renewal Price
.com $12.95 $1899
.net $12.95 $17.99
.org $12.95 $17.99
.site $0.99 $15.00
.Online $1.9 $15.00
how much it cost to build a blog using Hostgator

My recommended domain registrar is Bluehost.

Once you register with Bluehost and purchase your domain, you honestly don’t need to pay for anything else.

Initially, you might get a discount on Bluehost, etc.

A self-hosted WordPress site: $1.95 to $4.95/month

A web host is a place (server) where your website data (eg. files, video, information, photo) are stored and are available online for people who search for information your website provides.

In other words.

 A host is a service that allows you to create or make websites or blogs that can be accessed worldwide by people searching online. 


The cheapest type of website hosting plan is shared hosting, this plan ranges from $1.95 to $4.95/month.

Initially, depending on the host company you’re with.

If you’re just starting out I highly recommend you roll with Bluehost. (fantastic customer service, 24/7 support, inexpensive, etc). 

FREE domain name for the first year.

Here Is A List Of How Much It Cost If You Want To Host Your site with Bluehost:

  • Shared hosting $4:95/mo
  • VPS $17:99
  • Dedicated $73:99

By the way…

Blog Theme: $50 to $200

A theme is just the design or the look of your website or blog. Most often a theme represents whether your site is good, professional, or not.

A theme is very important for your site’s success. 

If you have a bad or outdated theme on your site it can destroy your credibility.

Your visitors won’t see you as a reliable source. This means they won’t take you seriously.

That said…

There are many free themes out there that you can easily download and upload to your site.

But the thing is if you’re trying to run real business with your blog or site, I won’t recommend you go for a free theme.

Most of the FREE themes lack a lot of functionality which can break or slow down your site.


Find a premium theme that’s best for SEO, user-friendly, and highly customizable.

A premium theme can cost you anywhere between $50 to $200 or more.

Here is my recommended theme for your affiliate blog.

  • Divi Theme: Divi by elegant themes is one of the best themes in the marketplace right now. It’s an excellent theme. It costs $89 a year or you can pay for a lifetime license which costs $289.
  • Thrive Theme: The Thrive theme is built for marketers. Thrive theme comes with a landing page that allows you to capture your visitors’ email addresses and also build your website. The price of a Thrive theme depends on the number of tools you want. Initially, their price ranged from $19/mo and $228/yr. The $228 plan will give you access to all their tools.
  • Acabado: Acabado by Income School is an amazing theme. It’s designed for speed, SEO friendly, and has a clean layout. In 3 minutes you can get your site redesigned in any style you want. Acabado starts at $67 a year or you can buy the lifetime license which costs $179.

The above themes are all customizable; this means you can redesign them any way you like.

Email Autoresponder/Landing Page Builder: $15 to $30/mo

If you’re trying to make money off affiliate marketing, building an email list is very essential.

An email will get visitors (people or your readers) to subscribe to your content. 

It’s also the only way you’ll be able to be in touch with your audience and promote your new content and product to them (and hopefully your own products and services in the future) leveraging the power of email marketing is crucial for your success.

Benefit of email marketing for affiliate marketing

As I said, you need to capture and build an email list of visitors to your content. 

There are quite a few email marketing tools out there that will let you do this successfully.

Such as:

But I recommend GetResponse.

Why? GetResponse offers all the tools you need to run successful email marketing.

It allows you to create a good sign-up form, pop-ups (including exit intent), and so on. 

This will help you grow your list way faster.

GetResponse starts at $12/mo but the price will go up once your list starts to expand. 

They also offer a FREE plan for up to 500 contacts.

You Can Get Started With GetResponse Here.  

Tracking Tools: $20 to $200/month

Tracking tools are also another important tool in affiliate marketing. 

A tracking tool or software allows you to see exactly how your campaigns are doing and what changes or adjustments you need to do.

If you’re someone who works with tons of affiliate products and other online activities. 

You definitely have to use tracking tools, other than that you’ll overwhelm yourself.

And most importantly, you won’t be able to keep a record of how your campaigns are doing and correct them without that data.

One of the best tracking tools out there is Post Affiliate Pro.

Post Affiliate Pro is one of the best affiliate management software for keeping your affiliate campaigns on track.

Post Affiliate Pro comes with multiple options for keeping track of your affiliate account or campaigns.

Post affiliate pro comes with three different plans: 

  • The pro plan cost $97/mo 
  • Ultimate $197/mo
  • Network $477/mo

Additional Expenses Of Starting Affiliate Marketing

Some of the options below are optional but they can somehow be very beneficial if you can include them in your affiliate business.

traffic in affiliate marketing

Paid Traffic (optional)

With this, it’s optional. You don’t necessarily have to pay for traffic. 

However, you can if you have the budget for it and want a fast result in a short period.

But naturally… 

It’s absolutely okay and normal to roll with free traffic especially if you’re just starting out.

You can use free traffic sources such as social media or forums to drive traffic to your blog or an affiliate product.

Site Backup: $1.99 per month

This is not necessary but it’s somehow important. 

Most of the hosting companies are going to have their personal backup service for your site.

But some of them might charge you monthly and some of them might include it in their plan when joining.

But in my opinion, I think having your own personal backup apart from your host is extremely important.

If you don’t want to run the risk of losing your work (content).

Having your own backup can literally save you years of hard work.

That said…

There are a handful of third-party backup services out there. 

I recommend ManageWp

ManageWp is going to cost you $1.99 per month. They’re going to give you a daily and monthly backup.

It’s an amazing service!

Logo: $5 to $500

If you’re going to turn your affiliate blog into a site that’s going to be earning you significant income every single month.

Then you definitely need to have a logo. 

Having a logo allows your readers or visitors to see you and your site as a trusted and reliable source.

It also helps you build authority in your space as others start to see you as an expert in the niche.


If you’re a designer yourself then you can create your own logo and apply it to your site.


If you don’t have any expertise or knowledge in that area, then you should definitely hire an expert in that field to help you out.

One of the best places to find professional logo designers is 48hourslogo

The cost of getting a good and quality logo on 48hourslogo is around $130.

Images: $1 to $2

Images can cost a little bit of money especially if you’re someone who publishes tons of content per month.

That said – If you have a camera, you can take your own picture and upload it on your blog, you’re going to do just fine that way.


Depending on the niche you’re in, you might want to go for a stock photo.

A stock photo can cost a little bit if you buy it based on credit.

That said… 

Normally most stock photos cost around $1 to $2.

Plugins: $1 to $15

If you want to add some functionalities to your affiliate blog or website, there are some really good plugins that can help you with that.

Most premium plugins can cost about $1 to $15 or more in some cases depending on the plugin.


When you start your affiliate business I suggest you consider investing at least something, don’t always try to do things for free (there is no free launch anywhere).


Well, trying to do everything for free might delay your success, or who knows, it might lead you to failure.

It doesn’t take a lot and it’s definitely not going to break your bank account. Invest in the right and necessary tools to grow your business.

So How Much Does it Cost In Total To Start A Real Affiliate Marketing Business?

Here’s what I recommend as a minimal investment for someone who wants to build a successful affiliate business.

First and foremost, you don’t necessarily have to invest millions of dollars when starting an affiliate marketing business.

However, there are some necessary costs that I’ll strongly recommend you invest in and thus:

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • WordPress theme
  • Email autoresponder

Most of that you’re going to pay upfront so it usually going to cost you between $135 to $360 but on the low end, it’s more like $60. The cost will really depend.

BUT REMEMBER: As your business grows, your expenses are as well going to rise but guess what in the end the reward is really worth it.

Tips To Keep Your Expenses Low In Affiliate Marketing

In this section, I share with you some practical tips to help you lower your expenses in your affiliate marketing activities.

  • Budget Wisely: You want to set a budget for your affiliate marketing business and stick to it. Prioritize your spending on strategies and channels that offer the highest return on investment (ROI).
  • Track Expenses: Keep track of your expenses and regularly review them to identify areas where you can cut costs or reallocate resources more efficiently.
  • Utilize Free Traffic Sources: Invest in strategies that drive organic traffic to your affiliate offers such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. These channels can generate significant traffic and conversions without having to invest your hard-earned money on advertisements.
  • Use Free Tools: Take advantage of free or low-cost tools and resources for tasks such as keyword research, content creation, analytics tracking, and social media management. Many effective tools are available at little to no cost, saving you money on expensive software subscriptions.

PS. Can You Lose Money With Affiliate Marketing

Do I Need To Invest In A Course To Start Affiliate Marketing?

paid affiliate marketing courses

Certainly yes!

It is important you educate yourself on the topic of affiliate marketing, what it is about, how it works, and how to really approach it the right way to find success.

Affiliate marketing is a broad topic, if you don’t have very GOOD knowledge about it, you might probably not do well in this industry.

So, investing in affiliate marketing courses is worth it.

But Is It Possible To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?


There are tons of people who are doing affiliate marketing without any investment but it could be a little bit overwhelming and it takes you more time if you are just starting out.

That said, if you are going to do it 100% free then you want to take the right approach.

I mean find and follow people who have already done it successfully and learn from them.

NOTE: Don’t Try to follow everybody as there are tons of fake gurus out there with misleading information. 

And more importantly, make sure you have the mindset for success.


Having the right mindset + consistency are the main keys to success in Affiliate Marketing.

Try Producing the best possible content that helps solve your audience’s problems before trying to sell them.

Don’t go straight in for the sale, instead, try solving their problem first.

Best Ways To Do Affiliate Marketing For Free Or With No Investment

If you want to start an affiliate marketing business for free without investment

There are many GREAT ways you can go about this without investing any money and still be successful.

Best ways you start affiliate marketing for free:

1. Create YouTube Channel

YouTube is a perfect start for beginners who want to do affiliate marketing without spending money.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, apart from Google. 

YouTube receives hundreds of thousands of video views per month and it’s owned by Google as well. 

You can leverage the power of YouTube to grow a profitable affiliate marketing business by creating valuable video content that helps teach & educate others.

And at the same time congruent to the affiliate product you promote.

And then leave a link to your affiliate offer in the description box down below the video.

And if your viewers or subscribers click and make a purchase, you earn a commission.

You can make a decent income from affiliate marketing just by creating valuable content in the form of videos that people would love to consume. 

And all you need is a camera to record your video.

Why YouTube For Affiliate Marketing?

YouTube is a search engine & it’s SEO friendly, which means your video content can usually show up on the first page of YouTube AND Google search depending on the keyword you used.

And this means, free traffic for you.


In my opinion, YouTube is the best and an amazing platform to do affiliate marketing as a beginner for free.

best and easiest way of making money with affiliate marketing

Join Forums And Participate In Discussions 

Forum marketing is also another great way to start affiliate marketing for free without investing any real money.

You can join Forums like: 

And engage with members of the community by providing helpful, relevant, and high-quality content that helps solve or answer a particular problem or question they’re asking in the forums.

And then add your affiliate links at the end or within your content. 

But remember NOT all forums allow affiliate links or sending people to different websites…

Some will only allow you to add your affiliate links in your bio. 

The Right Way To Run Affiliate Marketing Business And Be Successful

Build TRUST and Relationships with your audience – Online trust really matters. 

The only way people are going to feel connected to you and eventually buy what you recommend is when you build a strong trust and relationship with them.

So how do you go about this?

Well, you do this by simply providing useful value to your audience instead of just trying to make money from them all the time.

Money follows trust. 


First, just focus on helping your audience and the money will naturally come.


Well, the thing is, online people hate to be sold to.

So, you want to provide them with FREE valuable content to win their attention and also get them into your email list.

Now, once they’re on your list don’t try to sell to them instantly, continue to add VALUE to their lives.

Over time, they’ll begin to Know, Like, and TRUST you and even start to see you as an expert in the industry.

And as they start to TRUST you, they’re more likely to buy anything you recommend to them. 

And this is where the money-making starts.

P.S. I have another post where I share with you 10 ways to really succeed with affiliate marketing. You can check it out.

| Check Out This Complete Guide Of How To Start And Make Money With Affiliate Marketing Here | 


Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing?

Wondering how much is required for starting affiliate marketing? Well, technically, it depends on the nature of your business and your plan. Affiliate marketing is a free online business model, you do not necessarily have to pay money to start. Most affiliate programs are free to join and you can pick a free advertising platform like YouTube and begin sharing your affiliate link. 

However, if you ask for my advice, I’d highly recommend you start a blog, because with a blog you own it and you can share your affiliate link on your blog without any third-party restrictions.

Find hosting services that offer cheap web hosting and start with them. 

Cheap web hosts cost about $2 to $4 and a domain name costs around $10 to $12 for the first year.

One of the cheapest web hosting services is Bluehost. Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year.

You can find free email marketing services to begin with, like GetResponse.

How Much Does The Average Affiliate Marketer Make?

An average affiliate can make anything from $50 to $100 per month or more depending on their level of experience. People with more experience can average around $1,000 to 10,000 per month or more.

Honestly, how much you can earn doing affiliate marketing will very much depend on the product you’re promoting, the number of followers you have, your skillset, and your level of knowledge about your niche.

What Is The Best Way To Find An Affiliate Product

The first step in finding a good affiliate marketing product is to find affiliate programs based on your niche and what you think your audience is in need of, not the one YOU think they are in need of.

That said, the best and easiest way to find a product related to your interest or niche is to run a simple Google search.

Simply type (your niche + affiliate program) and you’ll discover some really great ones. 

After that, you want to do thorough research about the product to see if it’s of good quality or not.

How Can I Increase My Affiliate Income?

One of the best ways to increase your affiliate revenue is by getting more people (traffic) to view your affiliate link. 

This can be achieved through search engine optimization but one of the best ways to achieve this in a short period of time is to run paid advertisements.


You want to make sure you add your affiliate links in strategic places within your content & your site so your visitors will see them easily and click on them.

Can I Start Affiliate Marketing For Free?

Yes, you can. If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing, never invest a ton of money in any tool and advertising. Free marketing is the best way to start. 

Even though it is not advisable especially if you’re trying to build a long-term affiliate business.

But that’s the best way to start as a beginner.

That said, the only thing you should invest money in is when you run your affiliate business through a blog.

That way, you need to pay for your domain name and hosting.

Aside from that, do not spend a ton of money on anything. You can do that later once you start generating enough profit from your business.

Is There A Fee For Affiliate Marketing?

No, there’s no fee or expense to do affiliate marketing. The only expense is if you want to do your affiliate marketing through a blog or website. This way, you’ll have to pay for the domain and hosting. But other than that, there’s no fee for doing affiliate marketing or joining any affiliate program.

Is It Free To Start Affiliate Marketing?

You can start affiliate marketing for free if you don’t have any money – but it takes a lot of time and hard work before seeing any decent results from your affiliate business than if you invest money.

Can I Learn Affiliate Marketing For Free?

Yes, you can learn affiliate marketing for free without investing a budget. There are a lot of blogs and YouTube channels about affiliate marketing that can help you learn more about affiliate marketing and how to get started with it.

Can I Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?

Affiliate marketing with no money is the best option or way to pursue especially if you’re just starting out online. There are tons of affiliate programs that you can join without having to pay any money. Never pay a fee to join an affiliate program.

Does It Cost To Be An Affiliate?

Affiliate marketing is one of the best online business models, it doesn’t require any capital to be an affiliate. Anyone can start affiliate marketing with zero money using free traffic sources. All you need is to sign up with an affiliate network and pick a free traffic source and start promoting your affiliate product.

How Do I Create An Affiliate Link For Free?

Creating affiliate links is quite simple. One of the best places to create an affiliate link for free is ClickBank. Simply sign up with ClickBank as an affiliate, once you have an account with ClickBank, you can use tools like Pretty Link to create a custom affiliate link by entering the URL of the product you want to promote.

How Do I Join An Affiliate Program For Free?

1. To join an affiliate program first you want to decide on a niche. 
2. Pick a free advertisement platform.
3. Look for free affiliate programs and sign up with them.
4. Produce useful content to build trust and relationships.
5. Build an audience or following.
6. Share your affiliate product with your audience.
7. Follow the FTC’s regulations.
8. Respond and chat with your audience.

What Are The Best Free Affiliate Marketing Program For Beginners?

There are many affiliate programs you can join for free. But some may require that you have your own personal website and a number of followers, or subscriber before they can accept you into their system. ClickBank has an affiliate program that you can join for free as long as you meet their criteria.

Do You Have To Pay To Be An Amazon Affiliate?

No, the Amazon affiliate program is free to join. Amazon associate affiliate programs allow affiliate marketers or bloggers to earn money for every referral that buys any product from Amazon. Becoming an Amazon affiliate is completely free and easy.

Do I Need Money To Start Affiliate Marketing?

There are many great ways to make money with affiliate marketing without money. The best way to make money with affiliate marketing with no capital is to pick a niche that interests you, then find a product you believe in, then after that pick a free marketing platform like YouTube and build an audience who will be interested in what you have to say and offer.

How Do I Start Affiliate Marketing For Free?

1. Decide On A Niche Or Topic.
2. Research And Sign Up For Free Affiliate Programs.
3. Pick A Free Traffic Source Like Social Media Platforms.
4. Create Content To Build Trust And Relationships With People.
5. Grow An Audience Or Following.
6. Engage With Your Audience.
7. Sell To Your Audience.

Is It Too Late To Start Affiliate Marketing?

No! Affiliate marketing is here to stay and it is just getting better. It is never too late to start affiliate marketing. You can start at any time, at any age. Honestly, the affiliate marketing niche is not saturated or flooded because new companies are coming on board and the vast majority of affiliates you see do not have the patience and persistence, they give up too early and most of the so-called gurus are not successful.

Can Beginners Do Affiliate Marketing?

Plainly put – yes, you can do affiliate marketing as a complete beginner. However, to make sure you succeed, it is important you follow someone who has already done it successfully and learn exactly from them, do not try to reinvent the wheel.

How Many Followers Do I Need For Affiliate Marketing?

You don’t necessarily need a following to succeed in affiliate marketing but the point here is if nobody is watching or engaging with your content or affiliate link you’ll probably get no clicks on your affiliate link and sale.

That said, one of the best ways to go about that is to run a paid advertising campaign to get targeted traffic to your affiliate link.

How Much Traffic Is Needed For Affiliate Marketing?

Well, it depends on the quality of the traffic, you can have 50k visitors a day and still earn little or no money. You can have 50 to 100 real visitors and earn more money. So, it is not about if you receive a lot of traffic to your website means you’ll make a lot of money. The quality of the traffic is what will determine whether or not you sell your affiliate product

That’s It Folks!

Wrapping out on does it costs to start affiliate marketing? Affiliate Marketing does not cost that much to start and will not break your bank account.

Just a little investment and you’re off to go.

There are some resources you need to make use of in order to be successful with this business model.

Resources like a domain name, web hosting, and an email autoresponder, but apart from that it doesn’t cost any money to join affiliate programs.


Affiliate marketing has a learning curve and you need to invest in training to learn how to do it right.

The cost of starting affiliate marketing