My newest newsletter subscribers for the last week or so have been getting an automated message asking what's holding them back in affiliate marketing. While the message is automated, my reading of them and responses are not (my email is something I don't think I'll ever be able to have my assistant handle for me).
A common theme? That a lack of finances is holding them back from getting started.
[Said with tough love] Bullshit.
That's your brain giving you an excuse to not try, because if you don't try, then you can't fail.
How dare I say bullshit? When I started in this industry over a decade ago, I was lucky to be able to pay my phone bill (and many months I couldn't.) I had zero money to start a business. And that's the awesome thing about affiliate marketing – while it isn't “free” to get started, I can't think of any business you can start that's cheaper or has less overhead costs. Hard work can easily replace financial resources in this space.
The hard costs
Let's look at the reality. So you want to build a blog about [doesn't matter what topic here]. In my eyes, the bare minimum you need to get started is a domain name, hosting, a blogging platform and a mailing list.
Domain name: $12 dollars a year… Hosting: $4-10 dollars a month (I know the site looks cheesy, but they're my host and have awesome support – and no affiliate program LOL)… WordPress: Free… Mailing List: $19 dollars a month (you'll kick yourself later if you don't start this in the beginning – trust me LOL.)
That means in order to get started, you'll need to spend $35-$41 in month one. After that, your maintenance costs will be $23-$29 dollars a month. Yearly cost? $288-$360. To start a BUSINESS. Wanna get fancy? Add in the Thesis theme to make your first month costs $122-$128 (your monthly maintenance costs remain the same.) Yearly cost? $375-$447.
How to “find” the money
Now I get it… but you don't HAVE that kind of money “lying around.” I didn't either. So I sold some VHS tapes (not ONE word, it was a decade ago and DVD players were expensive) and a few other things I didn't need anymore on eBay. I also ate hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for three weeks to pay for my first Yahoo listing (good lord does that date me or what?) Mmmm mmm! ;-)
Have a yard sale, make your coffee at home, quit smoking, clip coupons, pack your lunches, switch to a bank that doesn't charge monthly maintenance fees, downgrade your cable package (or get rid of it completely and watch TV for free online), learn 119 ways to cook Ramen Noodles. Do whatever it takes, but I guarantee you that you can find a way to finance your affiliate marketing business if you really want to.
After that, it's all elbow grease. And if you truly put in the time an effort, your site should be paying its own operating expenses within six months or less. If it's not (and you can honestly say you gave it your all), then you'll need to re-evaluate if affiliate marketing is the business for you. But you can't let your mind trick you into believing money is holding you back from getting started.
It's only your mind being scared to fail.
Show it who's boss. ;-)