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My dad ran a successful small business his whole life and as he and I sat talking the other day, we discussed how difficult it was to start a successful small business today. The trend is towards big box stores and the small mom and pop businesses that you used to be able to start on a shoestring are quickly fading into the sunset. But all may not be lost for the small business entrepreneur looking to start with limited capital thanks to affiliate marketing and the internet.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a relationship between 3 parties:

The Merchant

The Affiliate

The Customer

The Affiliate is responsible for bringing the Customer to the Merchant and as a result, the Affiliate will receive a commission on anything that is purchased by the customer.

This may be the future for the entrepreneur looking to start a small business on a shoestring and could be the mom and pop businesses of tomorrow.

Costs to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business

An affiliate marketing business can truly be started on a shoestring budget, unlike most brick and mortar businesses today. The only real cost associated with an affiliate marketing business is web design and hosting.

Most mom and pop affiliate marketing businesses design and update their own sites and pay for hosting. Hosting starts at about $4.00 per month for basic hosting, but as you grow you will need to upgrade to more dependable hosting that can handle more traffic. Depending on your needs, this can be anywhere from $2o to hundreds of dollars a month.

How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing

There is more to affiliate marketing than just throwing up a website and recommending products. There is really a lot to learn and the entrepreneurs that are successful have some things in common.

A Well Designed Website – You need a website that is pleasing to the eye, but you also need really good content that engages your reader and establishes your site as an authority in your niche.

High Quality Training – As the old saying goes, “If you think you know everything, you will learn nothing”. Every successful affiliate marketer has a source of training and is constantly learning and seeking knowledge.

A Place to Get Support and Answers to Your Questions – It is very difficult to succeed in a new endeavor on your own. It is so much easier when you have a place to get answers to your questions from others in the same boat.

As I researched affiliate marketing training and where you could find these 3 things, I came across a company called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate appears to provide these important aspects and the more I researched the program, the more intrigued I became. I could not find one negative review of Wealthy Affiliate, very unusual in today’s world.

It seems that the days of starting a mom and pop business on a shoestring may not be long gone at all. The players are the same, but the playing field has changed. No longer is it the corner store, now it is affiliate marketing in the niche of your choice!