This is one of the most frequently asked questions I am usually asked. The reason people ask this question so frequently is that many of them have already been scammed, or have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars to start an online business to make money with, but they have never been able to get anywhere at all.

The saddest part of the story is when you hear that many others have spent tens of thousands of dollars on useless mastermind events and courses, but haven’t been able to make a dime after that, nor have they been able to start any kinds of online business.

People’s strong desire and appetite in starting an online business, and their passion about making money online and through the Internet, has made so many crooks and rip-off artists take people’s money and give them nothing.

In one of the digital marketing courses I mentored in Costa Rica, a retired American gentleman told me that one of these crooks had charged him $10,000 just to set up an autoresponder and mailing list manager.

Yes, you heard right: $10,000 just to set up an autoresponder an mailing list manager, which is what we do for our clients for free. We even host their mailing lists on our own account without charging them a single cent.

So, there are so many scams out there waiting for your hard-earned money, promising to start an online business for you.

I will answer how much online business startup costs here in this article. But there are a lot of other things that you must know before you take any action. Therefore, instead of referring you to some other articles, I try to do my best to enlighten you here and through this article. Please be patient and read the article to the end 🙂

Before You Read the Rest of This Article, please subscribe to our newsletter. You will love it:

Two Main Groups of Online Businesses

Before you know about the costs of starting an online business, so that you can make your decision, you must know what kind of online business you want to start, because there is no one single kind of online business that costs a special and exact amount of money. There are different kinds of online businesses with different startup and maintenance fees.

There are several different kinds of online businesses, that each of them can cost you different amounts of money to start, maintain and promote, while your success with them has nothing to do with the money you spend.

I categorize online businesses that you can start into two main categories:

  • Promoting other people’s businesses through the Internet
  • Starting your own online business

There are some big differences between these two groups. Their costs are also different. At the same time, your level of success will also be different.

1. Promoting Other People’s Business through the Internet

There are so many companies who offer something that we call “affiliate program”. We do it too (read this).

Unfortunately, many affiliate programs are there to take the advantage of you and your efforts. They are after your money too, because some of them have a membership fee when you want to join their affiliate program to promote their business, products and services. So the first important important tip I must give you here is that if you see a company is charging people to allow them to join their affiliate program, forget about them immediately.

The reason is that they don’t want to create a mutual partnership that both you and their company benefit from. They want to take your money for a while and as long as you pay them. But after a while, you will stop paying them, because you will come to this conclusion that you cannot make money with them. So, this will be a win/win deal for the company and a win/loss deal for you. But I believe in most cases it is a loss/loss game for affiliates, because the company doesn’t offer any quality product or service that can make money for affiliates anyways, so that anybody who joins them as an affiliate will leave after a while of paying them.

Therefore, in case you want to start an online business through joining these kinds of affiliate programs, you will have to pay a monthly or yearly membership fees that can be as low as $40 to up to $99 per month or even hundreds of dollars per year.

These apparently legal and legitimate but in reality scam companies do another trick: they may not charge you a monthly or yearly membership fee. But they force you to buy some packages or upgrade to some levels to increase your commissions. For example, they say you will earn 5% commission as a regular member. But if you buy a blah blah package for $3000, you will make %20 commission from the sales you generate. Then they send you some garbage when you buy the package to fool you more. You stay with them trying to promote them for a while, but you give up on them sooner or later, because you don’t make any money with them. Most affiliates cannot even recover the money they spend on the packages.

So, who is the end-loser here?

You.

The company enjoys selling their package to novice digital marketers like you, who want to make some money on the Internet.

Therefore, if you see that a company charges some membership fees for their affiliate program, or sells some packages to increase the affiliates’ commission level, forget about them right away. They are scams, although they are working and nobody has taken them to the court yet. Many of them will be stopped by FTC or other authorities after a while. I have seen this so many times during the past 18 years that I have been in this business.

A legitimate and honest company never charges any fees for their affiliate program, nor do they sell any upgrading packages to increase the affiliates’ commission percentage.

So, at this stage, if I want to answer this question that how much an online business startup costs, I must say that in case you want to join the paid affiliate programs (that are scams as I explained above), then it will cost you some monthly or yearly membership fees, to hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy their upgrading packages.

But the legal and good affiliate programs, like our affiliate program, ClickBank’s or Amazon’s are free to join.

(Note: some free affiliate programs like Amazon cheat their affiliate through some different ways: (1) When you refer a customer to them, they will pay you commission for their first purchase, but if the same customer buys some other things from Amazon later, you will receive nothing. So, indeed they steal your referrals, make money with them for years, but pay you nothing. Your share is only a one-time commission from the very first purchase your referrals make. (2) Some other affiliate systems change their compensation plans and lower their commission rates once they become popular and thousands of affiliates start promoting them and making money with them. I don’t think Amazon has done this so far, but this has already happened to me with two other famous affiliate systems, during the past 18 years. Of course both of them are not free affiliate systems like Amazon is. So they were already scams somehow, even before they lower their commission rates. One of them has a membership fee, and another one has packages that you must buy to increase your commission rate. But they lowered their commission rates after a while to make more money for themselves and lower the affiliates commissions, and so I stopped working with them. Both of these affiliate systems are scams from my point of view, because they defrauded the affiliates who did their best to take their business off the ground. Once they felt they are big and strong, they got arrogant and greedy and cheated those who had taken them to that level.)

Now, I know that you are saying:

“OK… let’s say I joined a scam or a good and legitimate affiliate program. Does it mean that I have started an online business that makes money for me?”

This has to be covered in a different article. But I can give you a short answer here:

Yes, when you become an affiliate, it means you have started an online business somehow (of course an online business which is dependent on another company’s products/services. It is not your own independent online business), but this doesn’t equal making money. To make money, you must refer customers and generate sales, and to do this, you must do digital marketing (read this) which is another story, and is not everybody’s bread and butter. But be patient. I will tell you what to do. Just keep reading 🙂

2. Starting Your Own Online Business

Instead of joining other people’s and companies’ affiliate programs, you can start your own online business that will be yours, and is not dependent on any other company, or someone’s else products and services.

It may seem too ambitious or technical to you, and so you may say it is not for you. But you are wrong.

It was used to be like that in the past. But not anymore.

In the past, you either had to be a professional programmer, or you had to pay some professional programmers to develop an online business for you. Creating websites wasn’t that easy. But it is not like that anymore. Many of our clients and students who have professional websites/blogs and make money online know nothing about programming and web developing, and they never imagined that having their own online business could be that easy and affordable.

How is this possible?

I don’t know about the other systems and companies. But I can explain about the online business system that we establish for our clients and students, here on this website.

We create professional websites/blogs for them, like my own blog that you are currently seeing and reading this article on, while we continuously support and train them to maintain and promote their online businesses.

99% of the work will be done automatically, because our system takes care of it. You won’t have to be worried about creating web pages, and taking care of your site. Our system takes care of everything, while our team supervise the system, and support you and your online business.

It means, it has become possible to have an online business for everybody. There so many retired senior online business entrepreneurs among our clients, who know nothing about programming and running a website, because they belong to the generations when there was no computer and Internet. But now they have professional websites/blogs and their own online businesses.

How Much Does This Kind of Online Business Cost to Start?

1. You need to register a domain name for less than $20 per year. Yes, less than $20 per year, not even per month.

You can easily register a domain within a few minutes. If you don’t know what a domain name is and how you can register a domain name, please read this article and watch the video I have on the same page, carefully.

2. You need another thing which is called SSL Certificate. It is for supporting a secure connection on your website to protected your website’s visitors.  An SSL Certificate also costs $20 per year.

3. You need a professional web hosting system, and also support and training to (1) have your website hosted on the Internet, (2) have your site developed and launched, and (3) receive life-time and nonstop free training and technical support. These all cost you only $19 per month, and will be delivered to your under our Fully-Automated Online Business System program.

Therefore:

  • Domain: $20 per year
  • SSL Certificate: $20 per year
  • Our Fully-Automated Online Business System: $19 per month or $228 per year

Therefore:

$20 + $20 + $228 = $268 per year

Or $22.33 per month.

That’s all 🙂

You will have a professional site/blog by spending $22.33 per month. You will also receive training and technical support to make your online business start making money.

As you see, your online business won’t be dependent any other business or affiliate program. Your site/blog will receive free targeted traffic from search engines. We convert this traffic into money by monetizing your site/blog. Not only you won’t have to join any affiliate program, sell, refer and recruits, but also you can even offer your own affiliate system on your site/blog, so that other digital marketers can promote your online business and your site to make money for you and receive commissions from you. At the same time, you can join some special affiliate system like ours, (only if you want), just to make more money with your site/blog traffic. But you don’t have to, because as I said, you will have your own independent online business system that will make money for you.

This is how you can have your own legitimate online business, while it costs you $22.33 per month only, whereas with most other affiliate systems and online businesses, you do nothing but paying lots of money, without gaining anything. The membership fees you pay, packages you buy, and the fake mastermind events and classes you attend will only make others rich. They won’t have any advantages for you, nor can they create an online business that really makes money for you. Please correct me if I am wrong 🙂