Internet Marketing CostsInternet marketing costs have been covered in other places but as this is a question that keeps coming up, I’ll dig a little deeper and wider.

The costs are more than financial. No matter if you’re only able to work on your business an hour or so a night, or you can spend full working days, time is still a crucial element of cost – and it’s related to the financial side. If you have a job which pays you so much per hour, ask yourself if you’re making that amount from your online information business. The odds are that you aren’t because most people don’t make any money online or it’s erratic. So you can see how your use of time, in that sense, could be seen to be losing you money, besides your actual expenses.

Costs also involve the expenditure of effort, even though the dream is constantly sold of an easy life with your business being like an ATM machine. Again, think about having a job. Accepting the fact there can be other stresses, you don’t have to spend nervous energy on paying tax and getting right or being concerned how to get a regular and consistent income for yourself from the business.

If the energy expended isn’t worth the income generated, could that energy be put to better use? Many people decide it can once they’ve made the effort but not got the returns.

It’s in these contexts, then, you can place the financial¬† costs. They’re all tied together, and particularly related to how much you’re making so you can develop your business, and pay yourself a regular income.

Online business costs financially

You can get free or near-free services to begin. But you need the basics: hosting for your website, and an autoresponder to communicate with your subscribers and customers. You can install a blog for free through your hosting account. Basically, then, we’re talking about hosting and an autoresponder. At present, you can do this for less than $30 a month and with good quality services. This is one of the things that makes online business so attractive to new start ups: it easy to set up, it costs so little and if it doesn’t work out they haven’t lost much. But is this the right way to look at it?

Let’s look at it from the opposite point of view. That is, instead of just starting and spending money, we see it from the angle of having developed the business and making money, in fact making a profit so you can pay yourself an income.

It will cost you more money once you start to develop the business. For example, you can send information products as email attachments via your autoresponder. But you might want to have a download system as time goes on. These vary in price from cheap to expensive, but even the cheap versions still take money from the business unless they can be justified as increasing sales because of their use. This is one example of on-going costs you might incur.

But what if the business doesn’t work out. Instead of generating an income you just continued spending money. As said, on top of that your income per hour or day has been nothing or even negative. You’ve spent the time and energy but nothing’s come in. You’re back to square one or worse: if you’d worked at a job in some way you would have made money.

Costs in time

Now it can be argued that once you’ve tried something and it doesn’t work out, you have learned something one way or the other. Maybe it’ll help you start another online business but more successfully. In any case, it isn’t time itself which is critical but your, and the business’s, use of time. Is the business set up efficiently and effectively enough to be helping customers as well as it can while making as high profits as possible? Only working through its systems, processes and overall structure will bring this about: testing what works and making changes. The odds are against it working straight off the bat.

The implication, therefore, is that your use of time, what actions you take when and in what order, will influence whether you reach an effective business operation. Basically there is no one blueprint or one set of steps for everybody and every online business. It comes down to: how much is your income per hour or day? If you’re working on your business, for example, 18 hours a day and you’re only making a few dollars per hour each day, then either something has to drastically change or the business needs dropping. People can put themselves under so much pressure because of their own disorganization or promises they’ve made to themselves or others, so they feel they have to keep working at it. So, time in itself is a cost and a financial cost.

Costs in energy

You can read the end of the last section again, and see how effort misapplied can produce negative instead of positive results. This can happen in an online business because it’s made to sound easy, and usually with fast results. You could get fast results with a new software that increases traffic to your site. But the traffic level needs to be maintained for you to able to develop your business. Often, search engines don’t like such software, for instance, to do with backlinking to your site automatically.

Internet marketing costs involving finances tie in with your use of time and the actions you take working on your business. Return on investment is not only about money returns but also what is done in the business to have that financial return happen.