Clearing up my email inbox, a task which I take an hour in ever week to do, I came across a question that got me thinking a bit.
While the responses on the Entrepreneur post didn’t exclusively apply to an online setting, there are some interesting replies which you might consider if you’re asking this question. The Warrior Forum post does have answers that all have to do with online business.
So the question is “can you start an online business with $100?”
The first thing to note here is that online business isn’t limited to just affiliate marketing which is what I focus on. There are other forms of online business like eCommerce, Kindle publishing, micro-jobs (Fiverr etc), tutoring, digital product selling, drop shipping and even MLM.
The second thing to note is that $100 is not a lot of money to start a business with.
Most businesses cost thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to start and run and you might be wondering if it’s even possible to start any business with $100.
But the internet has made a lot of things possible and that includes starting and running your own online business with minimal investment.
What You Can Do With $100
The short answer to the question posed here is “yes!” You can start an online business with $100 investment.
There are many ways to use that $100 and this depends on the type of business you choose to start.
For affiliate marketing, there are some essential things you’ll need and the $100 can go towards securing everything.
To break it down, here are some of the most important things you’ll need:
- a niche market/website topic
- a website (domain name, WordPress theme, website hosting, content)
- advertising budget
Here’s how you can make $100 work to get started with affiliate marketing.
When you’re starting out in anything, you’ll need to have a step by step training program that you can follow, implement and get quality support with.
Ongoing education is a must even when you already know what you’re doing.
There are lots of training programs available online for you to choose from and the quality varies from excellent to crappy. You don’t want to make a mistake here of choosing the wrong program and then finding out the hard way that you can’t understand the training or you can’t get help.
I’ve reviewed a lot of programs over the years and my #1 recommendation for quality, step by step, tasked based training would be Wealthy Affiliate.
You can sign up for free and complete the first course in the training. The first month of the premium training where you get all the other courses and access to all the top class resources is $19. The second month and going forward is $49/month.
When I get to the other items in the break down, you’ll see why this membership is so valuable in starting an online business.
To really get more bang for your buck, I’d suggest spending as much time as necessary on the free training as it would take to understand and implement before going premium.
Total Spend: $68 (first 2 months)
Niche Market/ Website Topic
As you would learn in any affiliate marketing training course, the first thing you need to start a website is a niche or focused topic for your website.
Get this wrong and you would be wasting your time. Certainly, you wouldn’t want to be blogging about “fashion” or “clothing”. These aren’t focused topics as you can break down these topics into much smaller groups.
Something like “shoes for rock climbing” would be a niche because you’d be catering for a specific group of people with a specific need – rock climbing enthusiasts who need to find the perfect shoes.
You won’t really need any special tools for finding a niche market but you’ll need a keyword research tool to validate your topic of choice and to find keywords to target for content ideas. These keyword tools are available for free although there are some paid ones that make research easier.
For now, you don’t need to pay for something like this and the training will guide you through what you need to do to pick a good niche.
Total Spend: $0
For your website, you’ll need a domain name, a web host, a website builder and a good WordPress theme.
The only thing you’ll need to pay for here if you decide to use Wealthy Affiliate is a domain name. Wealthy Affiliate is a self contained business building resource which means the membership fee gives you access to more than just training.
Wealthy Affiliate has web hosting that is comparable to some of the top web hosting providers on the internet. You’ll also have access to the WordPress based website builder, Site Rubix which itself has a number of unique features to help you build a successful website.
For now, a good free WordPress theme will do until you start making money. Then, you’d probably want to get a premium WordPress theme. There are lots of beautiful themes available when you build your website with Site Rubix.
Wealthy Affiliate also sells domain names which I mentioned is the only thing you’ll need to pay for when building your website. However, I don’t usually buy domain names from Wealthy Affiliate because I find they are too expensive compared to another domain name provider I use.
At NameSilo, I can get a domain name for $8.99 per year or $7.99 for the first year with the coupon code AMVSMLM1.
Total Spend: $7.99/year
So far, it only took $76 out of $100 to get started and that is all you really need to spend at a bare minimum.
Do you need an advertising budget at this point? How will you get people to see your website?
These sound like questions for another Friday Q&A but they’re relevant to this topic.
The strategy Wealthy Affiliate teaches you focuses on getting your websites ranked in search engines and this is a totally free way of getting traffic. It can be slow but it is a sure way to build a long termed business online.
Once you start getting traffic using this method, you’ll keep getting traffic to your website without you having to actively do anything except maintain your website by creating more content.
Advertising can speed up the traffic getting process but it does take money. Stop advertising and you stop getting traffic. You should probably save this option for when you’re a little more advanced.
Alternatively, there are other free traffic methods you can employ to save money which includes doing YouTube videos, posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or collaborating with other website owners.
Total Spend: $0 / Grand Total: $76
You Have Other Options
$76 to start an online business isn’t bad but as the discussion on Warrior Forum suggests, you have other options.
Also, you don’t have to go with affiliate marketing – you can create and sell T-shirts or do drop shipping. How much these options actually cost, I won’t really know because my focus is affiliate marketing but they aren’t that much more expensive to get started with than the method I suggested above.
The important thing is that you get started and that you take action and follow through.
Thanks for reading. This has been another Friday Q&A. If you have any questions that you would like answered, go to the contact page and submit it to have it featured on an article like this one.
In the comments below, let’s discuss other ways to spend $100 on starting an online business.