So, you’ve decided to start up your own online business. You’ve made the decision to be your own boss, and work at home as an Internet Marketer, or professional blogger or copywriter. Well done, we wish you the best of luck :) After you get through reading the basics, the pressing question remains: you’ve found out what you have to do in order to be successful at Internet Marketing and making money online. But how much exactly will it cost? We’ve broken down the main things you’ll have to pay for when maintaining an online presence, whether a blogger, photographer, marketer, reseller, you name it. Keep all this in mind when thinking how to budget your your soon-to-be-booming business.
1. Registering your Domain Name. There are a few ways to have a website or blog for free. All of these ways mean that you won’t have your own domain name, though. Think about it yourself: doesn’t it look so much more professional when you see a website with its own domain name? Websites that have Blogger, WordPress or Blogspot domains don’t look so catchy or serious. Of course, there’s no shame in having free hosting for your own personal website or blog (heck, you can even have just a free fanpage on Facebook!) but it’s professional murder if you want yourself and your business to be taken seriously. Check availability for the best domain name for you and your business or trade. You can search on the internet for domain names you like, or check out services like GoDaddy. You’ll need to “rent out” a domain name. If you want to buy a domain name off another owner then the cost of the domain range according to its popularity. In a nutshell, a new domain name will cost you around $10 per year. 2. Website and Email Hosting. Just like above, you’ll need some space to host your website and have email addresses set up. No one really likes (or trusts) people that send them emails from public domains, like Hotmail.com or Gmail.com. Exactly like above, you’ll need to “rent out” a place to host your website. Check out several different website hosting services, and check out their prices. Normally, $5-$10 per month should be more than enough for a starting blog. Be sure to check out email and data storage sizes, so you’ll get what you need according to your niche (for example, if you need huge images, as in photography, you’ll need a lot of storage space. If your business is email intensive, as in help desks and support, you’ll need lots of email storage.) For a website with normal needs, a HostGator Baby Plan is more than enough. For a high traffic site receiving more than 10,000 visits per day, you will need a more advanced hosting environment. While we are not a hosting company, having had problems with hosting our high traffic sites for many years, we might be able to help you host your properties on our servers. While not suggested for small to medium sites, if you have trouble with your current host, contact us and let’s see how we can make things right .:) 3. Templates and Website Design. A wonderful professional appearance is crucial for your online presence. But who has time to learn web design? No longer are the days when you needed to be a web designer or programmer to complete your wonderful website or blog. Now, it’s easier than ever to create a beautiful, pleasing website that will catch your visitors’ eyes. This is magically done with the help of CMS (Content Management Systems). The most popular ones are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. There are tons of templates or themes that work with each system, and many categories for each business or niche. If you’re a photographer, you can choose from the myriad photography themes available. If you have a magazine or news blog, you can check out the Best Magazine WordPress Themes on Best WordPress Themes. Generally speaking, going with WordPress is the best solution nowadays because you’re able to do almost everything that a website could do, fast and easy. Even if you’re a newbie at websites which in that case you should visit ccsspower, WordPress is tremendously easy to set up. The other two popular systems require a bit of coding and programming for that extra expert touch. Give it some good research, and find the best CMS theme for you and your business. WordPress Templates come in free and premium flavors, but for more flexibility and options, you should usually go for a premium theme for a one-time cost at about $35-$100. Of course, make sure you check out the free ones too; you might find something exactly to your liking for free. 4. Various graphics and logos. Every and any business (or even person) that respects themselves has their own personal logo. This is very important for branding your business, or even your own personal brand, so that your readers and subscribers can pick out and recognize your brand or website in a jiffy. We all know Coca-Cola’s brand, or Google’s logo. It’s a wonderful idea for you to have your own logo. This can be outsourced to a graphics designer in your neighborhood, a friend, or even online at outsourcing sites like oDesk or go to 99Designs and host a competition for your logo. 99 Designs is amazing to get even a hundred of design suggestions for a logo before you choose the one that fits your needs. Outsourcing for consultation and design of a brand logo can go anywhere from $50-$200, but that’s just depending on the source and the quality. Prices here will vary according to the designer, and your tastes! 5. Imaging and photographs. Especially if you’re into blogging, article writing or copywriting, you’ll want to enrich your site with image content along with your text. This goes without saying – it’s no surprise that powerful imagery is crucial for your website or blog. Read up about the importance of use of images for a blog. Besides, with all the hype about photo-intensive social media like Facebook and Pinterest, you’re definitely going to need pictures that tie in with the content you’re going to submit. There are lots of stock photo websites to choose from but I’ll suggest the new player in the market, PhotoDune. Since it’s a new service the average photo will cost about $1-$5 according to its size and resolution. Try to include at least one photograph for every article you’ll write, and don’t forget, if you have more than one online presence, you can always reuse the photographs you purchase. Just don’t get too redundant! 6. Advertising. This is probably the most expensive, and most important, part of it all. There are so many ways to advertise yourself and your websites online that’s it’s too easy! You can choose from banner advertising, Google AdSense, Pay Per Click efforts, paid Facebook ads, even good old paper written media like flyers, posters, ads in the newspaper and business cards. Let’s focus on online advertising. On this website, you’ll find many articles on how to successfully advertise your online presence. For starters, check out the article on how to lower your AdWords campaign keywords’ average cost per click rate, so you are able to advertise your web property much cheaper, and the best link building methods so you can get more organic traffic. It all depends on your business and your budget. How much are you willing to spend for advertising? How much can you actually afford? There’s no limit to advertising: it can be from nothing to everything! There are even stories of people spending on Facebook and Google advertising more than $25,000 per day! What I would suggest though, is to start spending your time first, testing the waters and getting the word out before you start paying for visits. 7. Outsourcing. Sometimes (hopefully eventually!) you won’t have any time left to write and post your own stuff! This can be for site maintenance, graphic design, helping out with content, ghostwriting, social media promotion, advertising, etc. It’s no shame to outsource someone, like we said before in the logo design part, to create something for you. It’s giving someone else a job, as well! Like the aforementioned oDesk, there are so many online marketplaces you can find someone exactly for the job you want, that it’s crazy not to take up on contractors’ offers when you really need it. The price of each job really depends on what you’re interested in, and whether it’s a one-time job or a contract, so it all boils down, once again, to how much you’re willing to spend on outsourcing. Remember, your own time is money as well. 8. Affiliate Marketing. This could have gone into the “advertising” part, but it’s actually a whole different story. If you engage in selling an online or tangible product, you can utilize affiliate marketing to help get a hugely wider reach of potential buyers. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is “recruiting” other webmasters, bloggers and people with online presences to help sell your product, in return for a commission that you’ll set. This may not exactly be a part of your monthly expenses, since you’re going to be giving a part of the sale price of your product, but it’s something you may want to keep in mind when you try to calculate your sales revenue. Just think that instead of getting the 100% of the market price on your product, you’ll only get the percentage left off after you subtract the respective reseller’s commission. You can use an online marketplace like Clickbank. Read up more about getting started with Affiliate Marketing here. Are you aware of any other budget-busting expenses for your blog or website? Share your experiences and ideas with us!
I was listening to a good friends radio broadcast yesterday, Nicole Fende from small business finance forum and she was going on it’s important to set up your customers expectations early so they know what they are buying and not setting their own high expectations of what your service offers.
The reason I bring it up here is she also discus an element called time. She actually encourages use to put a price on the time we spend doing anything, in this case the time would be blogging, and so forth.
I know you sort of mention in #7 outsourcing but in fact I think it could be your #9 Time. We have to think, what could we be making working for someone else. What s our time really worth.
Absolutely true Brian!
I’m already doing that but in a more down to earth approach, I’m taking my end of the year profits and then divide them by days working days and then by 8 and if the number is greater than what it would cost me to outsource that task, I’m going for it :)
This way I am always able to pay for outsourcing tasks and at the same time stay positive on my expenses :)
Thank you for your comment!
Have a Super Tuesday!
Thank you very much Bob :)
As a webdesigner it is always a challenge to put a price on a website. It all depends on what the customer wants. Most of the time, they don’t know what they want. I put a lot of emphasis on finding out what they want and what their customers want. Before I start building I always tell them to build their website on paper first. Use pen and paper and start creating. Then make a survey for your target audience. It takes a lot of time to create a good concept. This is where I get paid. The actual building is just peanuts. Before WordPress, before Joomla etc. we built everything from scratch in HTML. Now it can take up to 3 days to finish a website. If the concept is churned and thought out thoroughly.
So true Elza! Most of the time it’s us who have to take the initiative and guide the client throughout the whole process of feature selection and help them understand what their needs really are. Thank you for your input!
Thanks for sharing !! Have a great week !!
Thank you Mithu :)
Gia sou Angelos :-)
Dou you know how to integrate a Forum and a shop in a website in the same design? If yes, we should talk about via skype.
Hey Tedora! Replied to your message but either your mail inbox is full or your hosting space is full. Please do empty and tell me to send the mail again :)
Great info, Thank you
Thank you very much Jaeson, glad you liked it!
Yeah these are the usual costs. Plus you will have to pay for the autorepsonder service as well if you want to build a list of subscribers. That costs $ 20 per month for aweber. This is the basic plan; once you cross 500 subscribers you will have to shell out more
You’re absolutely right! While it seems like something you should spend money on a later stage, email marketing with Aweber is a must from the get-go. Maintaining a list is one of the most important aspects of having a website of any kind.
Thank you for the very valuable input Kavita!
I recommend Mailchimp, which has a free account that allows 2000 subscribers, above most clients list size. P.s My website is in limbo right now and under used. I’m too busy working!!.
My hosting doesn’t cost $10 a month – it’s more like $200 a month. Cheap hosting isn’t always the best for every site and a lot of your needs are determined by how much traffic your site gets. Thankfully, I’m a photographer, so I don’t have to worry about sourcing images elsewhere (yet). I also pay a monitoring service that keeps an eye on my social media – but I guess that could be chalked up to advertising? Great post! I can’t think of anything that you left out. Very thorough and informative.
Amazing input Alicia!
Absolutely true, hosting is one of the most essential things someone should look into. It really affects everything, from user experience to even SEO. We’re currently on three fully dedicated servers and hopefully we’re covered for the near future but yes, hosting is our number one expense at the moment, but totally worth it :)
I’ll add the monitoring service tip to the post sourcing you for the tip! Thank you very much for the input, appreciate it.
thank you, great informations.
Excellent post! It’s right up my alley :-)
Thanks Angelo for the great breakdown. I would like to add to this if you don’t mind. You actually left out, as many do, one of THE most critical aspects of your website and that is SEO and SEM. Search engine optimization, SEO, is the science and art of getting a webpage to appear on the google page 1, but most importantly, to get visitors. SEO starts with a keyword analysis of your business niche. This keyword research is used as a foundation for the structure and content of the site.
Secondly SEO ( on page SEO), sets up the website to properly represent the content of each page in a way that google recognizes as “relevant” for the keywords on the page. When a searcher uses your keywords to find something, the best optimized site will get to the top. Finally, you will need to get links to your website so that google thinks your website is important as well. More and more, google is looking to your google + , facebook/twitter “power” to determine if you are page 1 worthy.
When the difference in searches PER DAY on google can vary by hundreds for a word VS its plural counterpart, it is important to know what words users are using to search for your products/ services/ ideas. Once the pages have highly searched keywords in them, SEM, Search Engine Marketing is needed and can be thought of as the counterpart to traditional advertising, only online. This includes Links, contest marketing, article marketing, email marketing, social marketing and more. This was just a primer of course to make sure you realize that to build a site is not enough to be successful, you also need to promote it vigorously in any and every way possible.
Hello Vic and thank you for the input!
True, SEO and SEM are actually where the real cost is. I focused more on creation because it’s the more important step, the start. After that you at least have a property and you can start promoting it, watching the visitors to the site grow little by little every day :)
Very helpful article. I’ve just jumped into the blogging/internet marketing biz, and it’s pretty overwhelming when you start to research all the aspects of how to truly succeed. I managed to find a free theme that works for me, but most of these are essential expenditures.
Thanks for sharing. Great post.
Loved it. My thanks for posting that. I will return to your site to read more and tell my neighbors about this.