Does Affiliate Marketing Cost Money?

The short answer: to get started with affiliate marketing you will have to spend some money.

Now the good news is, this doesn’t have to be much at all. In fact, when you’re just starting out, your upfront costs can be well under $100. And this will cover an entire year of business expenses.

In this article I’ll give you the exact cost breakdown for getting started with affiliate marketing.    

A cost breakdown of doing affiliate marketing

I’ll be first talking about the absolute bare minimum amount of money you’ll need to get started.

But if you’re willing to spend just a few bucks more, you can make your life a lot easier.

Here’s the bare minimum you have to spend to get started

To get started with affiliate marketing, you’ll need a website. The vast majority of people use the free content management system WordPress.

In order to launch an affiliate website with WordPress, here’s what you’ll need and what you’ll need to spend:

  • A WordPress theme – costs: $0. A WordPress theme is responsible for much of the functionality and looks of your site. The great thing is that the best WordPress themes for affiliate marketing have a free version. The free version of the theme I use – Kadence – is so comprehensive, that in most cases you won’t have to upgrade to the paid version at all.
  • WordPress plugins – costs: $0. WordPress plugins are apps that you install on your WordPress website. They offer extra functionality, such as help with your SEO or a contact form. As with WordPress themes, many great plugins are either 100% free of charge or have a free version you can use for as long as you like. Take a look at the best plugins for affiliate marketing.  
  • Domain name – costs: around $10 per year. Your website will need a name people can type into their browser. This will cost you – depending on the domain extension (e.g. .com or .org) – around $10 per year.
  • Web hosting – costs: $50-100 per year. Web hosting is where your site lives on the internet. It’s where all of your site’s files (such as text, images, and code) are stored. When starting out with affiliate marketing, this will be your biggest expense. Here you can find my favorite hosting providers for affiliate marketing. Many hosting providers offer an attractive promotional rate for a full year.

As you can see, the only costs involved with getting started with affiliate marketing are a domain and web hosting. You can choose a free WordPress theme (Kadence) and the plugins you’ll need to get started  

Keyword research (the art of finding topics to write about) is something that you could do for free, too.

For instance, you could use Google auto-complete functionality to figure what people are searching for. Pick any of the queries and see what kind of websites come up. If these websites are smaller blogs and forums, you have a decent shot at writing an article that will rank.

Google auto-complete

Spend a little bit more to make things easier for yourself

Spending the bare minimum above can definitely get you started. But you can make your life definitely easier by spending a bit of extra on the following.

Although Google auto-complete can help you find keywords, it doesn’t help you check what keywords competing websites are ranking for. For this you’ll need an SEO tool. One of my favorite tools is Ahrefs. Ahrefs comes with a hefty price tag (around $100 per month), but you can spend $7 and try them out for a full week.

I recommend you do this. Use this time to the fullest (as in, spend several hours a day), and check all interesting keywords that competing sites are ranking for, analyse their backlink profile etcetera.

Getting started with affiliate marketing

Getting started with affiliate marketing is much easier when you’ve a guide that shows you the process step-by-step.

In this this guide I’m laying out the entire process. From finding a profitable niche, picking an affiliate network to getting a website online.


So, does affiliate marketing cost money? The answer is yes but we’re talking about a modest amount. In fact, if you follow the advice in this article, you keep your costs for the first year well under 100 bucks.

If you have any questions or thoughts you want to share, then drop me a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *