When I talk about free resources to do online marketing, this refers to things like hosting, domains, autoresponders, etc. Can you use these to make money online, or not?

Firstly, let’s talk about the options – if you do want to go the free route:

1. You can get free cpanel hosting.

2. You can get free follow-up autoresponders

3. You can build a business on Hubpages or Squidoo, or you can even (if you own a top level domain) just write articles and submit the to Ezinearticles.com, and redirect your won domain to your affiliate link.

4. You can get a free blog on Blogger or WordPress.com (WordPress.org is the self-hosted option) – and a number of other places.

So – theoretically – you can get everything you need without having to pay for it…

But should you do it?

Well, let’s start off by looking at everything that can go wrong – and remember that, according to Murphy’s First Law, “anything that can go wrong, will – and at the worst possible moment.”

With that in mind, consider the following:

1. If anything is “free”, there’s a good reason for it. It’s either stripped-down (lacking features or capabilities), or it’s useless, or they stand to share the money you make. Of course, as we have also seen many times, “free” could also mean that it will change to “paid” at any given time. Just look at all the third party Twitter tools that used to be free, and ended up up as premium services with a monthly fee.

2. Every free autoresponder service I have come across up to date, sucks in terms of deliverability. I’m not even talking about a lack of features – because you expect that on a free autoresponder. However, you do expect to get your emails delivered. It turns out that not only free autoresponder services, but also many of the lower priced ones, are pretty useless. So – if you are going the free route, building a list is a waste of time.

3. You can get free cpanel hosting for your blog (and even a free domain in some cases) – but besides the fact that the space is limited, it’s SLOW. Having a slow loading blog means that you’ll be losing visitors who don’t want to wait until your page finished loading. And of course, some of these “free hosting” offers require you to do a number of forum posts every month – and you have no guarantee that all of your posts will be counted. In addition to that, you have no idea whether they are siphoning some of your traffic off to an offer of their own.

Note: If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

4. You can build a blog on a free blog host like Blogger, WordPress.com or any of a number of free blog hosts. However, keep in mind that (a) you have limited access to functionalities, (b) it can be deleted at any given time, often for no apparent reason (read: Blogger.com), (c) The service can shut down at any given time, (d) Limitations can make it impossible to do business there (read: WordPress.com), and (e) the platform can add their own (totally irrelevant) ads at the top of your sidebar, spoiling your blog and hijacking the spot where you wanted to place your subscription form.

5. The most important point: If you use free resources to do business online, don’t expect anyone to take you seriously. Your success depends – to a large extent – on how successful others perceive you to be. If you use a free blog, a free domain name, and a free autoresponder…

Your potential customers may very well think you aren’t making any money. Do you really expect them to trust you with their money?

In conclusion:

Any type of business requires some monetary investment. Internet marketing is probably the cheapest form of business to get into – in terms of outright cash payments. Yes, you will still have to put in the work to make up for the money you didn’t put into it (for buying traffic, for instance), but you can make it happen with very little money.

This is the bare essentials of what you need to make money online:

1. Your own top level domain – preferably a .com, .biz or .net domain. Depending on your niche, and whether you target a specific country, you can also explore others like .me or .us or .de. The shorter and more common the domain name extension, the better. Be sure to set up your personal email address at this domain.

2. Hosting – you’ll need cpanel hosting in order to host a wordpress-based website or blog. You can get that from just a few dollars per month.

3. A follow-up autoresponder service. Prepare to spend at least $19 per month, and go for a reputable service like Aweber or Getresponse. If you are targeting a niche outside internet marketing (not relating to make money online, work from home or network marketing), you can also look at Mailchimp – where you can have access to all services and facilities for free until your subscriber base (or your number of monthly emails) exceed their limits.

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