How Much Does It Cost To Build An Amazon Site?

After building close to 1,000 amazon affiliate sites since our launch in 2013, we figured we are probably quite good experts on the subject.

In today's post, I want to talk about some of the costs involved if you are going the DIY route. ​We'll also talk about which costs are highly recommended, which are optional, and what your other alternatives might be.

What You'll Learn Today

  • How much it would cost you to build a site “our way”.
  • What tools to use and how much they cost.
  • How much “time” you will have to pay.
  • Which order to spend your money.
  • How to get everything at cost price, plus additional training.

​Notes: I would also like to point out a few things. 

  • ​Not everybody builds sites the same, so we will be using our HPD sites as a model.
  • Some investments can be made with money OR time (content creation for example), so we will cover both.
  • A lot of the costs mentioned are not 100% compulsory. It IS possible to start with a smaller budget.
  • Getting a premium site that's already earning revenue & building upon that is also an option, but it's a much larger investment.

What's Our Definition Of A Starter Amazon Site?

Amazon affiliate sites can be built quite a few different ways, but the main difference is the level of content you start with. ​I really don't want to spend a lot of time dwelling on the different options for content, so I'm using our sites as a standard model. Where necessary, I'll point out areas where you could deviate from this model if you wished.

Our goal for today's post will be to calculate the costs to YOU, for building the following from scratch:

  1. 8,000 words of content. This includes a 2,500 word homepage.
  2. Fully researched niche and keywords.​
  3. 1 premium image per article.
  4. Several Amazon products per “best of” article.
  5. A premium wordpress theme.
  6. Premium plugins (more on these later).

Content

Most people will end up using iWriter for their content, and it's definitely one of the cheapest options. Here's how much it would cost you, using the second quality tier:

  1. 2,500 word homepage – $30 (iWriter is more expensive the more your word count)
  2. Remaining content – ​$50

For a total cost of $80, you can get some good starter level content. The advantage of using iWriter is that you can reject poor content without paying anything, and it is all run through copyscape. 

The disadvantage is you get some spun content at the lower levels, and the content still needs editing/proofreading.

Compared with TextBroker, IW is cheaper, with slightly lower quality.

Alternatives – I recommend either writing the content yourself, or using somewhere like Upwork to hire your own writer.

Upwork will get you cheaper content, but you will find a lot of writers who plagiarize or go missing after a week.

Writing content yourself is great and the best place to reduce costs if you're on a tight budget, but it takes time, and a lot of practice.

My first content was terrible, and didn't make me many sales either.​

Other content considerations – You need to know how to format and structure the content, as well as best practices for internal linking, promoting products, and all those on-page SEO goodies.​

Keywords And Niche Research

I really could dedicate a series of posts to this section alone (and I have), so I will keep it short here.

If you know what you are doing, keyword research will likely take you around 5 hours. It will cost you $37 to pay for Long Tail Pro for one month.

If you DON'T know what you're doing, it's going to take you hours and hours of reading, researching, guess work, and ultimately, mistakes.

We sell keyword packs for $75, but let's use LongTailPro as the benchmark and put keywords down as $37 and a lot of time.

Premium Images

Images is one of the places where most people cut corners. I'm not going to go into what I feel about people just finding any old image in Google Image search, and I'm not really a fan of royalty-free images either.

Use free images if you have to (make sure you have the rights to do so though), and use Amazon images for products, but you should really consider adding some premium images to your articles.

Stock photos are the easiest way to “hack” design and make your site look 10x better than its competitors. Unless you've got a knack for graphic design of course.​

For this example, we'll use Fotolia. This is where we get our images from, and they cost roughly $1 per photo, depending on how many you buy in bulk. Let's put this section down as $10, as you'll most likely not get the cheapest rate for just a few images.​

Again, free images are an easy way for you to cut costs, but your site will look so much better with premium ones, and you don't have to worry about finding out fair usage rights. I'd pay $1 per image for that every time.​

​Premium Theme

Like images, a theme is something you can save on, and get yourself a free one initially. There are hundreds and thousands of free themes out there, and quite a few of them are good.

However, you really need a premium theme. I don't know many successful sites biult on a free theme, and that's because they look like “blogs” rather than legit websites, and they lack of lot of functionality.

If I were you, I'd start with a free theme in the beginning, until you are confident in the niche, or you have your content up, or you simply have a bit more spare cash, then buy yourself a premium one.

You can get access to every ElegantTheme theme for about $79, and you can get a single Thrive theme for $49, so it's not a huge expense.

Let's put the price here down as $49. You can probably get Thrive membership instead down the road, but I want to show the minimum.

Premium Plugins

There are a lot of different plugins that are recommended for Amazon sites, but the following is a list of the most often used, and their pricing.​

Name

Function

Retail Price

EasyAzon Pro

Amazon Links and Images

$47

Thrive Content Builder

Drag and Drop Editor

$67

Thrive Leads

Opt-in Forms

$67

Gravity Forms

Contact Forms

$37

Backup Buddy

Backup Your Site

$80

​Out of all of these, I would say that Gravity Forms and Backup Buddy are the least necessary. There are free contact forms that will work fine (We used to use Contact Form 7 but it's a pain now). For backing up your site, you can do it manually if you want to as well.

​EasyAzon Pro, Thrive Content Builder, and Thrive Leads are the most important. If you don't think you'll want to build an email list, you don't need to go with Leads, but again, we include it with our sites and we're using these as a model.

Thrive Content Builder isn't essential, but you can produce some seriously good looking content with it, and I found that whenever I've optimized a money page with Thrive, it's always had an uptick in sales and conversions. For me, Thrive pays for itself very quickly, so I recommend it.​

EasyAzon Pro saves you so much time that at $47 it is basically free.​

To learn more about the individual plugins, what you get with our sites, and what their functions are, read this specially prepared post.​

What's The Damage?​

So if you add everything up that comes with an HPD site, here's what you have:

Item

Description

Retail Price

Content

Needs no introduction

$80

Keywords

Makes or breaks your success

$37

Theme

Easiest way to make your site look professional

$49

Images

See above

$10

Thrive Content Builder

See above + great for conversions

$67

Thrive Leads

Email list building

$67

EasyAzon Pro

Essential for Amazon sites

$47

Backup Buddy

Backs up your work to dropbox

$80

Gravity Forms

Useful contact form + other features

$37

Total

$474

Of course, you don't have to include all of these things, but for almost everything you cut out, you'll have to invest a huge amount of time to make up for it (especially things like content). If you are experienced enough, I would say to always outsource content.

Interestingly enough, our sites cost $499 for the same amount of content. For $25 extra, you can get everything done for you, the correct keywords researched…plus all the tech support, email support, and training videos we can send your way. We know how to write content that converts, we know how to do on-page SEO, and we know which niches can be profitable too.

Oh we also have a Facebook group for our customers.

If you're wondering how we can make a profit when we include all of these things, it's because we've invested in bulk purchases, developer licenses, and lifetime passes for all of the above.

This means we pay a large amount upfront, but then have no ongoing fees and can legally install the plugins/themes on a site we build for a customer, as many times as we want. Essentially this means you get to benefit from our investments.

Can You Build A Site For Less?

Lastly, I'd like to talk about how you can build a site for less than $500 if you really don't have much to spare.

Here are my suggestions:

  • ​Use free theme, images, until you are ready to spruce up your site.
  • Write your own content
  • Use free versions of backup and contact plugins
  • Add paid versions as you get more money or as the site becomes profitable.

Doing the above can reduce your costs significantly, and you CAN still succeed with a site this way. The problem is, it becomes much more difficult, and your site will look a lot worse as a result.

I do like the idea of starting on a smaller budget, and adding more things as you get more money. Whether this means the site starts to earn, or you can save some more money from your job, it's possible to get started without those expenses.

Or you can just pick up one of our sites and have the training and support bundled in for free.

8 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost To Build An Amazon Site?”

    1. Sounds like you were using WordPress.com rather than the free WordPress software you get from wordpress.ORG. WordPress itself shouldn’t cost anything other than hosting fees.

  1. kundrapu sowjanya

    Hi Wells,

    You missed the main part: hosting and domain registration. This would add up +50$/yr to the above expenses.

  2. Ndayishimiye Boaz

    Hello Bryon!
    Would you please in summary write for us willing to buy ready made websites what’s the work involved after?

    Because sometimes it seems like I won’t be able to do it/it is still going to take a lot of money before profit (Here I do not mean time because this is obvious) and other things like that.

    Thank you very much.

  3. Hi Bryon, love what you are doing here. But it begs the question, why do you sell these sites to others if they can make money? Why aren’t you building them up yourself? Seems too good to be true!

    1. Hey Matt, the simple answer is that I am building sites for myself at the same time. Since March I’ve added a few new sites to my own portfolio and got 2 of them earning money, but if I also have time to build sites for others while my own sites are going through the process of ranking and scaling, and there is plenty of demand for it, why not do it? I can’t work on 50 sites at once but 50 people can work on one each.

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