How much does it cost to start an online business? Wealthy Affiliate Explained

If you are reading this blog, then chances are you are looking for at least researching how to start an online business.

Maybe you’ve seen some adverts on the internet, maybe you’re fed up with your regular 9-5 job and are looking for a change, or maybe you just realise that there has to be more to life than you are getting at the moment and are looking to the internet and newer technologies because you realise that we are in the middle of another work revolution and want to get on the first wave rather than bring up the rear!

Whatever your reason for wanting to start, one of the first questions you need to ask is: “how much does it cost to start and online business?” because without the facts and start-up costs, how will you know if you can make a profit and bring in some extra income?

The quick answer the that questions is easy: it costs nothing to start an online business if you already have access to the internet.

Free membership at Wealthy Affiliate
You can start an online business for free

However, for anyone who is really serious about starting a business, they will know that a more detailed look at the costs including the start-up and ongoing running costs is necessary before making a decision.

There are many, many internet business opportunities out there on the internet but this article will discuss the main start up and first year costs for my number 1 choice for online businesses which is membership of Wealthy Affiliate. I will not go into detail here about why Wealthy Affiliate is my number one choice – you can read my full review here, and another article about the non-monetary benefits of WA here. .

Start-up Costs and Running Costs

One of the main thing that attracts people into owning an online business is the low start-up costs and the ability to work from your own home, at your own pace.

Many people start but often give up early because they fail to realise that running an online business is a LONG TERM COMMITMENT. They may feel that because an online business is an easy thing to start, (and it is), they may then make the mistake of assuming that they will make money quickly – like selling vegetables from a market stall. But this is not the case. An online business (that is not selling products on the internet) requires time for the site to develop, for content to be added and for the search engines to gain trust in the site and start ranking it in their search results.

This is no different to starting a traditional business which will itself take time to become known, establish customer trust and to generate a profit. If you told people you were starting a traditional business such as opening a shop, becoming a freelancer (e.g. plumber, hairdresser, or general home help for example, then you would expect those people to support you and give you at least a year within which to get established.

So let’s look at the costs involved for a one-year membership.

There are really 3 different memberships available at Wealthy Affiliate:

  1. a free starter membership
  2. a pay-monthly premium membership
  3. a pay-yearly premium membership

There are differences in what you can access at WA between the starter and premium memberships which are explained in the table below.


The current costs for WA membership are:

Other costs you might include: Website Hosting

Other things you may need to include could be:

Own domain website hosting

At WA, you can start for free and on the starter package you can start 2 free websites under their SiteRubix banner. That means that your website would have a URL address with the suffix ‘’. If you wanted a site with the title ‘yourwebsite‘ for example, the URL would be:


This is a great way to start but many people soon want to progress and buy their own domain name. In this case, your site URL address would be dependent on the part after the dot. So it could be:


Or whatever else is available and relevant.

If you want to buy a domain and have it hosted at WA for a year, the cost currently is between $13.99 and $15.99 approximately £12 or 13 Euro. Website hosting usually renews each year or two years depending on where you purchase and host your domains but these prices are in line with many on the internet and are some of the lowest around.

Other costs you might include: Security and Site Support

On a starter package you have access to site support and live help for the first 7 days, then if you upgrade to premium, it is included in the package.

As a free member you get the following security features included all the time:

  • Malware & Virus monitoring
  • Hacking and Intrusion monitoring
  • Spam Blocker

If you want to upgrade your site to the HTTPS:// version using encryption to protect your site, then that is only available with the premium membership.

Other costs you might include: Access to Royalty Free Images

WA training will show you where you can get royalty-free images so that you remain on the right side of the law when if comes to using images on your sites. One of the benefits of being a premium member though is having access to over 1 million royalty-free images from within the WA platform itself. This saves a lot of time and ‘faffing’ researching and downloading images from other sites.

Images free at Wealthy Affiliate
Images make your posts stand out

Other costs you might include: Jaaxy Lite – keyword research tool

Research is invaluable and necessary when setting up your site because you need to know which keywords are going to draw traffic to your site. At WA, you have access to Jaaxy Lite, one of the most powerful keyword research tools on the internet. This would normally cost you $49 per month if you were not a WA member but you really cannot set up a successful site if you are not researching your keywords properly.

So what are the total annual costs?

Having broken down some of the costs above, here is a table of costs for starting up a business here at WA. I have chosen the monthly premium membership as the comparison point because I believe this is where most people start and will give you a great overview of costs for the year. Remember that if you stay on the starter membership, your costs would be lower but you don’t get as many benefits, and if you opt for annual membership, then you maintain all the benefits but reduce the cost again.


So there you have it.

You can get everything you need to start an online business for a year for only $590 or $1.61 per day.

This is nothing compared to starting a traditional business – think of rates, rent, insurance, staff, stock, advertising, posters, etc. etc. the list is endless – and so is the bill. I used to own a high-street shop and it cost over £40,000 just to set up without selling anything.

If you want to start an online business they you should be in it for the long term. You need to allow time for your company to grow, your website to develop and your site to gain trust and traffic. Therefore, I would urge everyone who is considering this to commit to it for at least one-year!

That means you should go in with your eyes open and allow yourself to invest in your business over that time.

Yes, you can start for free and yes you can be successful like that, but sooner or later, I guarantee you will want to take your business to the next level. If you are with Wealthy Affiliate you will want to go Premium and get all the benefits that offers.

My advice to you is to GO PREMIUM as soon as you possibly can. Invest in yourself and your business.

Remember, whether you become a WA member of not, the annual cost of both WA Membership and the alternative are still VERY LOW compared to the cost of setting up a traditional business – less than the price of a daily coffee – a small price to pay for your own business!

So take action today, sign up for premium WA membership by clicking on the banner below.

Wealthy Affiliate









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  1. Wow! I new I found a gem with Wealthy Affiliate but I haven’t ever seen it laid out comparing it to other start ups. I am amazed by the support from the community. Truth is, I have started at a lot of things, but never quite got them up and running. Always fizzling out. WA has helped me stay motivated with so many lines of encouragement and super accessible help at each bend in the road.
    How can you beat something that has a free starter package so you can sample all the goodies.

    1. Hi David. Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the post useful and the information it contained. I totally agree that you have found a gem with Wealthy Affiliate – I feel the same way too and I know many of the other members on the site do as well. It’s sometimes hard to convince potential new members that we are not all ‘just saying that’ but in my experience, when people do sign up, they quickly realise that we aren’t and we mean every word! All the best with your own online business. Gail

  2. Hi Gail,

    Great article.

    Wealthy Affiliate definitely sounds like the best program to start an online business with. I’ve tried a few before and I lost quite a lot of money as they turned out to be scams.

    How successful have you been so far with Wealthy Affiliate? If you don’t mind me asking.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Tom. Thank you for reading and your comment. I have found Wealthy Affiliate a wonderful place to start – you will not be disappointed if you join. The training is second to none, and like you, I have tried out a few. I made some money online after the first 2 months. It was not a lot, but it was a start. I have recently made over $100 in month 6 and I expect this to rise a my site increases in trust and I have more blogs. There are many people at WA who are making 4-figures easily per month but like I’ve mentioned in my article, it takes time. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scam, but it is a legitimate online business. If you approach it from this perspective, you will do well. Thanks for commenting. Gail

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