10 Best and Worst Income Generator Secrets

10 Best and Worst Income Generator Secrets By 52 Experts

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Did you know that content creation and management claim the second-largest share of digital marketing budgets?

Finding the best, and worst ways to generate income for your small business is important, and who better to tell you than over 50 experts?

I came across a great article from Trafeze on boosting income, and the best and worst ways to do this as detailed by 52 experts. I am going to take the 10 best, and 10 worst income generator secrets and share them with you today, as well as giving my opinion.

Best Income Generator Secrets

Email Marketing

Both Jeff Bullas, and Michael Brenner said their best income generator secrets were Email Marketing, and I have to agree with them. I find email marketing one of my biggest ROI and it encourages my audience to engage with me both inside of email, and through social media.

Staying Consistent

Ted Rubin said that his most effective monetisation technique was hard work, consistency and doing “everything he should be doing”. Staying consistent is key to building trust, and relationships online.

Proving A Product/Service Concept

Whilst Nathan Chan only gave a one sentence answer, it spoke volumes. He said “selling something that people want, and selling it before it even exists by testing”. Proving there is a need in the market for a product/service, will definitely be an income generator for you.

Focus On Building Relationships

In the article, three experts; Michael Schaefer, Jan Gordon and Ana Hoffman all said that their most profitable income generator was through the indirect way of building relationships through trust and authority online.

Guest Contributing

Guest blogging is something I do on a regular basis for both Social Media Today and Business2Community as well as other channel partners. Both Gail Gardner and Adam Connell said that doing this was their biggest lead generator because news sites have a large following and this in turn means more exposure.

List Building

Selling to an email list (that has been nurtured and not bought or exhausted) is a huge income generator for both Ryan Biddulph and Michael Brenner and I have to agree. I keep my subscribers engaged by sending out monthly newsletters, latest offers and recent news.

Side Product Marketing

Side product marketing is where you have various side projects which are not considered the main source of income, but drive income nonetheless. Jame Scherer from Wishpond, Christian Karasiewicz and Charlie Patel all said that offering a free/cheap product/service at the end of a blog helps generate a lead which can then be marketed to.

Live Streaming

MaAnna Stephenson said that live video streaming had revolutionised her business and that it allows her to connect with her audience in a more personal, and direct way. I agree, and feel as though live streaming is going to be a real engagement driver for me early next year.


(My personal favourite) If you are reading this and you have been a follower of mine for at least a few months, you will know that I love running webinars, and I run them regularly because of the income I can generate. Ian Cleary said that webinars help him keep his audience interested in his business.

Content Marketing

Whilst I have mentioned various ways of marketing content online as income generators, Jessica Ann said that content marketing has given her the full package to be an influencer in her industry and in turn drive targeted traffic.

Worst Income Generator Secrets

Banner Ads

I wasn’t surprised when I read that at least 10 of the 50 experts noted Banner Ads as their most disappointing income generator and going as far as saying that they would avoid them moving forward at all costs and I have to agree. There are so many better ways to get your business in front of your target customer, which is why Jeff Bullas, Ron Sela, Tim Soulo and Aaron Lee all agreed that Banner Ads were a no-go.

Copy Your Competitor and Hope For The Best

Ted Rubin said that his least effective monetisation technique was hoping others will do the work for him. Whilst this is something I have not done, I have seen various small businesses copying their competitors and expecting it to work the same way and unfortunately it doesn’t.

Failing To Do Your Research

If you are thinking about creating a new business, please do your research. There is nothing worse than coming out with a product/service that hasn’t been tested, or isn’t what your target audience need, which is why Nathan Chan said it was his worst income generator.

Conference Sponsorships

I found it very interesting that Dennis Yu said that paying for conference sponsorships were a waste of money. He said that whilst it drove a lot of foot traffic at the event, his team spent way too much time qualifying leads, and couldn’t find a ROI.

Unclear Strategy

Ryan Biddulph said that his least effective strategy was actually having a strategy he wasn’t clear on. Set goals, objectives and milestones to make sure you are holding yourself accountable, and achieving exactly what you want to achieve.

Affiliate Links

Both Dave Schneider and Jeff Sieh said that they didn’t have success with affiliate links and that the effort needed to go through affiliate marketing, didn’t pay off in the end.

Lack Of Email Segmentation

MaAnna said that she was losing subscribers before she decided to segment her lists so that she could stay laser-focused on targeting the right people with the right products.

Getting Past A Gatekeeper

This, in the past, has been one of the worst parts of generating income for me and Jan Gordon agrees. She said that because companies have so many “layers” she never actually gets to work with the decision makers, and gets “stuck behind” the gatekeeper.

Cold Calling

I gave up cold calling years ago because I knew how ineffective it was for me, and the way my audience wants to interact with me. Codrut Turcanu said that offering services to someone who didn’t know him was a time waster, and did not build the trust he was looking for.

Giving Away Too Much For Free

Matthew Loomis said that he was giving away too much great content to his audience for absolutely nothing in return and this is something I did when I started out in business because I thought that someone would come from it.

To see the full breakdown of expert advice, click here.

What are your best, and worst income generators?


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