You can do and find almost anything on the internet today. This is one of the greatest things about the internet.
Because I believe that almost anyone can start an online business from the comfort of their home. But what’s even better is the cost of starting and running an online business.
When compared to brick and mortar business, online business is 10 times easier to start, run, and even grow.
In this post, I’ll show you how much does it cost to start an online business, but I’ll also tell you how I started making income online and how much does my online businesses cost me.
Therefore, keep on reading as you’ll find answers to all your questions and then even some resources that will get you started working on your own online business today!
How Hard is it To Start an Online Business?
Most people underestimate the power of a website. One website can represent an online business, whether it is a blog, an online store, or simply a niche site.
Not all online businesses have to be an authority site or be an extension of an existing physical business.
In fact, there are millions of online businesses. But that doesn’t mean that all of them own and sell products. There are many businesses that sell a service or don’t sell anything and rather promote and help other stores out.
Therefore, it’s very simple to start a website, however, it still takes a lot of work, time, and dedication to make it a success.
With the help of various online business models – you get to choose a type of online business that would fit your needs the most.
Down below, I’ll show you some of the most known online business models and tell you the pros & cons of each one so you can decide on one.
Types of Online Business Models
I believe that there are 3 most known (and most common) online business models that have been around for a long time – probably since the beginning of the internet.
These 3 main online business models are:
- Affiliate marketing
Of course, there are many other business models – but most of the time, they can be categorized under one of these 3 types.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to start an online business. It can even turn into a passive income.
If you don’t know much about affiliate marketing – I wrote a complete guide on how affiliate marketing works so I highly recommend reading it.
It’s an online business model where you can become an affiliate of any company or marketplace and promote their products in return for a commission.
For example, Amazon has one of the largest affiliate marketing programs that anyone can join.
With affiliate marketing, you can decide on a way to promote the products and reach out to your audience. My favorite way is by building a website, providing value to your readers, and monetizing the traffic of your site.
This is one of the most sustainable ways that will actually help you build an online brand and have a steady online business you can run from anywhere.
Freelancing is more of an active approach to making money online. Even though you might focus on one skill and do everything yourself – but freelancing is actually an online business model.
You won’t only be fulfilling orders, but you’ll also be improving your skill, work on marketing your skills, finding clients, invoicing them, keeping your books, and much more.
Even though you will have to deal with clients and companies one-on-one, the work can be done remotely and is a great way to start making active income online.
It can easily be turned into a business, and it’s up to you to decide how many hours you work in a day, how much money you want to make in a month, and what will your rate be.
I know people who started as freelance writers and have turned their business into a content agency. They hired writers to help them fulfill orders while they focused on the marketing side of the business.
Since the work can be done remotely and most of the work can be outsourced – there is no cap on the earnings you can make by freelancing.
Do you think that in order to start an eCommerce online business, you need to have a product? Wrong!
eCommerce can be done in three ways:
- Build a store for physical products you own
- Dropship products directly from the wholesale seller without having to own the product in person
- Purchase products on wholesale, brand them and sell them under your retail brand
If you are creative and you create physical products, the internet is a great place to market your products and start selling on a worldwide level.
But if you don’t own or create any products, you can always purchase them on wholesale and brand them to sell them under your own brand.
There is also an option to dropship products directly from the seller to your customers. This way, you get to focus on the marketing side and work on getting customers while the wholesale seller will fulfill your orders.
How Much Does it Cost to Start an Online Business?
So how much money does it cost to start any of these businesses? Keep on reading as I break the costs down below!
Cost to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Would you be surprised if I said that you could start some of these businesses for free?
That’s right! A great example is affiliate marketing. You can create a website for free using SiteRubix, find niche & keywords for free using Jaaxy, write valuable content by yourself, and do basic on-page search engine optimization of your site with the help of a free plugin such as All in One SEO.
You could even get free training on affiliate marketing at Wealthy Affiliate.
If you don’t have a budget or you’re on an extremely tight budget – this might be a great way to start your own online business and start working on something of your own that could have a huge potential later on.
However, if you aren’t on a tight budget, you don’t need to rely on freebies.
Instead, you can purchase a quality hosting to host your website, find a premium theme that will make your website stand out, pay for a premium version of any keyword research tool, hire someone to write content for you, or even hire someone to help you optimize your website for search engines.
I wrote many posts on these topics and I’ve linked out to the right in this post – so you can even get a lot of free valuable information right here.
So you’re in the right place if you’re looking to start an online business today.
Cost to Get Started with Freelancing
All you need to get started with freelancing is a portfolio, and that’s pretty much it. You can create your own portfolio for free with SiteRubix, or you can create a temporary portfolio at websites such as LinkedIn, Contently, or even Medium.
There are hundreds of ways to find clients so you won’t even have to rely on overcrowded freelancing platforms such as UpWork or unfair platforms such as iWriter.
Cost to Get Started with eCommerce
If you’re thinking of doing eCommerce the right way – this is one of three business model types that will require some higher up-front investment.
In order to create a store, you would want to use Shopify which is one of the top platforms that helps sellers create a store online.
Along with the Shopify fee, there will be an additional cost for some plugins that will help you design your store, and then there will be the most important investment.
With affiliate marketing, it’s a fairly simple process to rank your site in search engines and acquire free organic traffic (even though it’s a long way).
The easiest way for store owners to acquire traffic that will have an interest in their products is by running ads on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
Even eCommerce can be done on a budget – however, it’s highly recommended that you have a certain budget set aside for eCommerce.
So how much does it cost to start an online business? Not a lot of money – and once you start making money, you can re-invest it into the business.
How I Started Making Income Online?
When I looked for ways to start making money online – the first thing I came across was affiliate marketing. At that point, I already knew about blogging and how bloggers are able to make money with their sites.
However, I didn’t know a lot about affiliate marketing. I started learning everything there is about affiliate marketing on an educational platform Wealthy Affiliate.
I’ve started with two sites that picked up pace pretty good, however, I got impatient. I needed income due to my personal situation in life.
I found out that freelancing could help me generate active income online. I successfully sold my two affiliate sites and I got into freelancing.
Today, I run a successful content writing & marketing business, and I got back into affiliate marketing to work on my passive income.
I’m happy to be able to make full income online, work on my own terms, and have no cap on the earnings I can make.
However, I am not stopping here. I am improving my skills, improving my sites, and continuing to look for ways to re-invest revenue into my businesses.
What I found out is that the beginning is always the hardest. But once things pick up – it all snowballs from there.
Therefore, I highly recommend you pick one online business model (all of the mentioned models work, no worries there), and do your best to stay consistent with it.
If you’re looking to generate active income online – freelancing is the best step to make.
However, if you have a full-time job and you’d still like to create an online business on the side, no matter how long it takes – then affiliate marketing is a good choice.
But if you have a budget and you’d like to invest in a start-up online business, eCommerce might be the best way to do it.
Cost of Running my Online Businesses
The great thing about my online businesses is that they don’t cost a lot to run at all!
I cover the following:
- Website hosting
- A couple of domain names
- Wealthy Affiliate premium membership
I think that this is pretty much it. Occasionally, I spend some money on other business-related things. However, these are the main on-going costs of running my online businesses.
If money is stopping you from starting an online business – there’s definitely no more excuses! It’s very simple to get started, and anyone can do it.
However, the hardest part is follow-through, stay consistent, and not give up along the way.
Just because it is online – that doesn’t mean that it can be done overnight. In fact, if you come across an “opportunity” that promises you to make thousands of dollars overnight – don’t fall for it!
If it’s too good to be true – it probably is a scam. Therefore, decide what are you looking to get out of your business, how much time do you have, and how urgent it is for you to start making money as soon as possible.
This will help you choose one of the business models mentioned above, and once you make the choice – stick to it and don’t give up!
Did you ever try to start an online business? Are you still wondering how much does it cost to start an online business?
Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below. If you don’t have any questions, I’d appreciate it if you would share this post on social media!