Is Lead Generation Legit? 3 Business Models!

Having a side business such as lead generation can be a wonderful idea due to inflation and job uncertainty. The good thing about lead generation is it’s almost recession-proof due to many businesses needing more leads.

Lead generation can be legit, there is money to be made and there are many different business models to choose from.

Keep reading and I’ll share what lead generation really is, and 3 different business models for it. Plus, I’ll share which business model I prefer with the pros and cons of all of them!

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation really is helping business’s find paying customers. I know this sounds super broad and it really is. Affiliate marketing can be considered lead generation.

This is when someone clicks on a link and buys something you will get paid. Advertisements can also be considered lead generation because you are generating a lead for another business.

There is the cost per acquisition marketing that I wrote about HERE. Lastly, you can generate leads for local businesses.

The reason for this post is I wanted to document ALL the different business models with lead generation and maybe it could help you choose an online business to start.

The Blogging / Content Producing Lead Gen Business Model?

This is the business model that I’m currently using and I’m a fan of. You start with a blog post on a topic you want to learn more about.

Then you choose keywords that don’t have a lot of competition and get lots of traffic.

You write a post putting advertisements and affiliate offers in the post. If you are advanced you could set up a landing page, collect emails, and market affiliate offers through email.

The blog post you can also repurpose to get even more views such as using Youtube, Tiktok, Linkedin, Medium, Quora, and more. Heck, you could even use press releases to get more traffic that I talked about HERE.

The good thing with this business model is it doesn’t take a lot of money to start, but can be slower to earn money. Since I’m a HUGE fan of patience this is the business model I’m a big fan of and I currently use.

Plus, it’s really broad and you can create content on anything under the sun. Maybe you want to learn about deep-sea diving, well I’m sure you earn money while documenting your journey.

Another “wonderful” thing about this business model is it can be passive. This means you do the work one time and it can pay you into the future.

There is no dealing with people over the phone and it can be done anywhere in the world. Another challenge is it does take education and I would recommend starting HERE.

The main reason I like this business model is due to how simple it is. There aren’t a lot of moving parts and this means fewer things can go wrong!

How Paid Lead Generation Business Model Works?

As you can probably imagine paid lead generation is using paid ads to generate leads. Google and Facebook are both very popular places for paid advertising.

You probably can get a better deal with lesser-known places such as Bing ads. Bing, you know the search engine Microsoft owns, but not many people use it!

I wrote about how to use Bing for paid ads in this post HERE.

The challenge with using paid ads is it’s easy to spend yourself out of business. It’s also more advanced than using free methods.

What I would recommend is starting with the free ways, then using your profit to re-invest into paid advertising to accelerate your growth if you want.

The advantage of paid ads is it’s much faster to earn money, you’re trying to spend $1 dollar to earn $2 dollars.

You could set up a landing page and use paid ads to do CPC marketing. CPC or Cost Per Acquisition is when you get paid when someone fills out a form. Some CPC offers do pay a lot of money!

Another way (what I would recommend) is to go deeper. The money is made going deep in any topic right?

You could create a landing page and collect emails. Then in 1 niche you could market various affiliate and CPC offers and maybe earn more money.

How Local Lead Generation Business Model Works?

Local lead generation is just how it sounds. You are generating leads for local businesses.

Say you Googled a service and it could be a tow truck in a town. All these websites would come up, right?

If you owned one of these websites you would get a lot of traffic. Then on the website, you could have a phone number and it could look like this.

If someone called that phone number you could use something known as a call tracking number. Call tracking allows you to get information on who is calling, the entire conversation is documented and you can forward the call.

On the website, you could also have a place for someone to enter their email.

The way this business would work is you would build the website first and then you would rank it. Keep the website generic so MANY businesses could use it. Then just like Costco, you would give local business’s a sample of the leads.

Show them you could put money in their pocket. Then after some time (like 1-2 weeks) ask them to make a deal with you to sell them more leads. You want to give them a really good deal.

Plus, if the business doesn’t want to buy any leads you could then sell your leads to another business in the area.

You might be wondering if it’s saturated right? Well, there is a way to go into a small city with 5,000 population and there are TONS of niches to get into such as cell phone repair or towing.

Sounds so simple right?

Of course, I honestly think this is the hardest lead generation business model to get into. 1 reason is there’s a lot more work that needs to get done.

There is a lot of moving parts and things can go wrong!

One thing that could go wrong is your research. You could build a website and get it to the top spot on Google, but local businesses don’t want to buy your leads. Maybe you get a website and you get NO leads.

Still, if you have a few websites then even if a few are dudes you could still be in profit.

Another thing to think about is you will need software to track and forward emails and calls. This company here allows you to get a local phone number and be able to forward it and look at the conversation.

You also need software for email leads and to be able to forward them and HERE is one place.

Next, is the training and they can be very expensive.

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There are MANY different places to get training and one would be Chad Kimballs which you can find HERE. Another place is this place HERE. These courses are between $3,000 – $6,000.

The last thing to think about is if you’re going to rank a website organically you’re going to have to create good content about the topic.

If you have NO interest in (for example) towing you’re going to have to write about a bunch of towing stuff to get it to rank.

Oh, and you do have to manually contact business owners and make deals. Plus, you are going to have to track everything, so there is more hands-on work.


I’m a big fan of being practical and positive. Not to be a Debbie downer, but things usually take longer than we expect right?

Knowing this I recommend picking a business model you enjoy FIRST. This way you are more likely to continue doing it even if you don’t earn a lot of money.

It’s the same with blogging or lead generation. You want to pick a niche that you want to write content about to rank to get the leads.

If you’re forcing yourself to create content on boring shit you have NO interest in then you’re more likely to quit. More hard truth is it takes time to rank something organically in Google, it could take 8 months.

You also have to beat the competition.

No matter what business model you choose, it’s a good idea to stick with it for a long time. Also, having a side hustle is a great idea, but the easiest money to be made just might be by taking bills you are already paying and figuring out ways to reduce them.

This site HERE, has some very interesting ideas that I bet you never thought about! Give it a try, maybe it could put a lot of money in your pocket today, with VERY little work!

I hope this post on lead generation was helpful. Bye for now.


Affiliate marketer for 10 years, domain investor for 2 years, a recent crypto guy, and part-time surfer. Hopefully, this blog can benefit you.

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