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Is Lead Generation Business Profitable? Can You Still Make Money With This Business Model?

April 19, 2024

The lead generation business is profitable and you can earn $500 to $3,000 per month from owning a single lead gen website. You can start making money from lead generation by creating your own site, landing it at the top of search engine results pages, and then renting it out to businesses willing to pay for the traffic and leads you provide.

To start your own lead generation business, you will generally need to spend on the following startup costs:

  • $10 per year for a domain and $60 per year for hosting (Namecheap, Siteground)
  • $40 per month for call tracking software (CallRail)
  • $6.48 per month for a business email address (Google Workspace)
  • $300 per year for a third-party lead gen software (SemRush, Mangools). 

On a Reddit post, Tech Harry writes that the key to profitability “lies in generating high-quality leads that convert into paying customers.” You are basically a middleman that helps businesses find more people looking for their products or services online. You then get paid as you deliver leads - or sales opportunities - to your clients.

For free traffic lead generation, the main cost is ranking the website. You can charge your clients anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month, mostly from purchasing content and backlinks. As for paid traffic lead generation, customers pay for the clicks, so you may earn around 15% to 20% in profits of the total ad spend.

As someone who has been doing this for years, I say local lead generation is the best way to make passive income in 2024. There's less competition than other online models (such as dropshipping or affiliate marketing), so you can look forward to earning a steady cash flow each month. I started my journey by taking up the Job Killing course by Dan Klein. I’ve since grown my lead gen business and I now own multiple sites, earning up to $52,000 each month.

In this article, we take a closer look at how you can make money with lead generation, its pros and cons, plus how much it costs to start a lead gen business.

Can You Make Money With Lead Generation?

Yes, you can make money with lead generation if you can generate a steady stream of high quality leads. As you build websites that reach the top of the SERPs, you own prime digital real estate. You can then make money as they attract organic traffic because they are front and center of people armed with purchase intent.

According to Yahoo Finance, the industry was valued at $3.1 billion in 2023. Experts anticipate it will reach $10.5 billion by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate of 14.4%. So there continues to be plenty of present and future opportunities to make money with lead generation. You get to create a steady cash flow for your business as you implement effective lead gen strategies.

Organic search traffic can be difficult to obtain, and Google is getting less willing to hand it over. Plus, with its constant algorithm changes, you need the skills to get to the top of the search engines. But you can generate leads organically if you have the skills and understand the fundamentals of the business model. For the most part, making money from lead generation requires learning the following skills:

  • SEO & Google Ranking Factors
  • Digital Marketing & Google Analytics
  • Content Marketing & Copywriting
  • UX (user experience) & UI (user interface)

Once you know how to drive organic online traffic to your lead gen sites, you are basically writing your own paycheck. Plus because the business model is a low-cost investment, you just need to repeat your system. There are no limits to how many virtual assets you can build and own - which means you can multiply your earnings.

Helen's Story

Helen is a 65-year-old grandmother with health issues. She has been bedridden from 2012 to 2015 and found our lead generation coaching program as she was getting better.

According to Helen, taking Dan Klein's course was life-changing. She has become an active member of our private Facebook group where she generously helps fellow students by sharing her knowledge and skills. Moreover, she has made money by building her own lead generation properties.

Although one of her sites - a tree service site - took a year to rank, she learned from the experience and immediately started looking for potential clients. She tapped the Better Business Bureau to find contact information of business owners. After sending about a dozen text messages, she successfully closed a deal after receiving a reply from one business owner despite having no previous sales or closing experience. “When I can get out of my own way and make results, they don't care who I am,” she told Dan in an interview. 

With the help of her children, Helen built 10 more digital real estate properties and now earns $10,000 per month.

Pros & Cons of a Lead Generation Business

Lead Generation Business Benefits

A recession-proof business model that's in high demand and easy to scale.

Low startup costs and you don't need to rely solely on paid advertising. You're also not selling the same leads to multiple business owners like what other lead generation platforms do (such as HomeAdvisor or Porch). 

You own the websites and the leads so you have full control over your business.

Lead Generation Business Difficulties

Ranking a lead gen website can be time-consuming. 

The business model requires a learned skill set.

Finding business owners who want to pay for your leads can sometimes be challenging.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Lead Generation Business?

It costs about $500 to start and rank a lead generation site. So the more sites you own, the higher the required costs. However, your expenses are a drop in the bucket when you consider that the business model can earn you a profit margin of 85% to 90%.

That's the power of selling leads. A lead gen business is particularly profitable because you're providing a valuable service for local business owners. For the most part, you will mostly spend on the following:

Domain & Hosting

$10 to $20 per year for your domain and $5 to $18 per month for hosting on platforms like Namecheap or Siteground

Call Tracking Number

$40 per month with software like CallRail

Secure A Google My Business

You can use a free Gmail account


$6.48 to $21.60 per month on platforms like Google Workspace 

Keyword Research Tools

Free with tools like Keywords Everywhere or Google Keyword Planner

Third-Party Lead Generation Software

$300 to $,2000+ per year with options like SEMRush and Mangools

Lead generation business costs are minimal. They do not cost as much to get started as, say, a traditional business. As you can generate leads that convert, you can keep your clients happy and you'll consistently make money with this business model.

Peter's Story

Peter started doing digital marketing in 2009 as an affiliate marketer. At the time, he “didn’t have the right guidance” which meant failure was inevitable. He joined our lead gen program in the fall of 2016 and while he was “dormant for a few months,” he began taking the business seriously in early 2017.   

“Like a lot of people, I was skeptical at the beginning. So I worked very hard and zeroed in on 3 sites,” he adds. Today, Peter owns multiple lead gen sites that make him money each month. “If I had to do it again, I would have built 25 sites right off the bat and I would have worked 

Also a former real estate professional, Peter says lead generation is a much better business model. “No lead gen site ever called me up at 4 o'clock in the morning because of an overflowing bathroom sewer,” he shares. Plus the opportunity to earn passively in lead gen is the best thing, according to him.  

“Once you've had passive income, you can never go back,” Peter tells Dan. “Once you've had that drug of just having the money just arrive at your door whether you're on vacation or you're sitting on the toilet, it's pretty addicting.”

What Are Popular Lead Generation Strategies?

  • Email Marketing: A lead generation strategy that allows companies to capture and nurture leads into actual buyers. To do this effectively, you need to learn the art of writing concise emails with compelling headlines. Also, take note that emails only see an average open rate of 21.33%, so you should consider investing in tools like MailChimp Drip. These software can help with customized campaigns and marketing automation.

  • Sales Funnels & Landing Pages: This strategy allows you to grab the attention of your target audience using compelling copy and a clear call to action. However, even the best sales funnels and landing pages only get you around 2.4% to 4% conversions. That said, you need to have an irresistible offer - something that will drive a potential lead to click your links and eventually take action. You can use tools like OptinMonster to streamline your process.

  • Paid Advertising: Popular paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, and others can help with lead generation. This can be expensive as they usually require ongoing costs. Also, you need to know how to design a lead generation campaign that converts and sets you apart from the competition.

What's The Best Business Model For A Lead Generation Site?

The best business model for a lead generation site is the rank and rent model. It is a proven strategy, as seen in the videos we've shared in this feature. Personally, I now make an income of $52,000 per month using the rank and rent business model. 

Take note, however, that succeeding in this lead generation strategy requires that you learn the fundamentals of the business. Once you have a proven system, rank and rent lead gen can be a low-risk and low-cost way to make money online. Our program's been live for almost a decade and so far, we've had over 7,000 students and counting. 

The ranking strategies you can learn in our training will help you handle any curve ball Google throws. Our students learn the skills they need to turn a potential lead into a paying customer. Also, our methods relies on effective SEO - not on paid advertising. This allows lead gen business owners to avoid the growing costs of paid ads.

Is Lead Generation In Demand? And Who Are The Best Lead Gen Clients?

Yes, lead generation is in high demand and the best lead gen clients are those aiming to grow their businesses. Leads are one of the most critical factors in a business. Most companies need a constant stream of high-quality leads that convert to keep earning. However, most small business owners lack the skills or don't have time to learn effective lead generation strategies.

Statistics also suggest that 27% of business owners depend on organic traffic for lead generation. So if you can prove your service will increase their ROIs or help them beat the competition, your services will be in constant demand.

That said, not all clients are a good fit for the business model, so you need to do some research . Consider the following questions before choosing a niche for your lead gen site: 

  • Do they provide a product or service that people search for online? 

  • Is there a high demand for them in the market? Do they have a good product-market fit?

  • What's the level of competition in this niche?

You want to pick a niche with enough demand and competition to have options when it's time to sell your leads. So leverage a third-party tool like Whitespark or SEMRush to check out the competition and assess how feasible it will be to rank your lead gen property. 

Pro Tip: Organic traffic takes time, but it's more sustainable long term than paid advertising. Plus, you can earn a steady cash flow for your skills and scale your lead gen business to make a passive income.

Paid ads are one way to generate leads quickly. If you run paid ads, you have to know where your audience hangs out and make sure you're advertising on the right platform for maximum exposure. Also, be sure to bill your client's ad spend separately from your fee, or you risk making no profits. You can use sites like Google Analytics or a lead generation tool like LeadFeeder to optimize your marketing strategy. Just be ready to shift gears fast when things aren't working.

How To Become A Digital Landlord

You can become a digital landlord by building and ranking your own websites. These sites become your digital assets as they reach top search engine results and produce leads. You can then make money by selling those leads to local business owners for profit. Technically, your lead gen website is like a physical real estate property. You own the site, the tracking number, and the leads. You're earning per month as you charge clients who use your digital asset.  

Lead generation is a low-cost way to start and scale an online business. Unlike conventional real estate, you don't need significant capital to establish your online assets. Domains cost around $10 per year, and hosting sits at about $25 per month. Add in costs for your tracking ($15 per month), and you own an entity that can earn you $500 to $3,000 each month. 

Building a site like the one above takes about 10 to15 hours, plus ranking them only takes around 6 weeks to 6 months. Once your site is at the top of Google results, it has insane value. It requires little to no maintenance, allowing you to earn consistently and have more time to grow your business.

Kelly's Story

Kelly of North Carolina formerly did cold calls for a living. According to her, it was a tough job but the experience taught her a lot. Eventually, she joined our lead gen program, which proved to be a wise decision.  

In an interview with Dan, Kelly reveals she’s now earning $5,900 per month from owning 6 lead generation properties. One of her top-paying websites is in the hair salon niche. Her client initially had trust issues after having worked with previous marketers that failed to deliver ideal results. Kelly, however, showed how effective her system is in generating leads. In fact, she successfully increased their leads to 150, making their business an extra $360,000 that year. Today, her happy client pays her a steady $1,750 a month or a total of $21,000 per year. She also gets free haircuts from their salon. 

“I'm in the process of making more 6 lead gen sites at the moment,” shares Kelly. She also adds that she likes aiming high and is hoping to make a monthly income of $20,000 from her lead generation company.

Is Lead Generation Worth It?

Yes, lead generation is worth it. By generating leads, you are providing service and value for your clients and are helping them grow their businesses. In return, business owners willingly pay you serious money to rent your digital real estate and benefit from the quality traffic and leads that you bring them.

Another advantage is that you can start your lead generation company from anywhere in the world. You also don't need to spend much cash to make big bucks in this business model. Although it may take a while to rank your sites, the time investment will be worth it once you reach the top search engine sports. Your lead gen sites work like digital billboards that produce a qualified lead stream you can sell for profit.

Why Local Lead Generation Is Our Number One Recommendation

Local lead generation using websites you build and rank is our number one recommendation among all online business models. Not only is it the most effective lead generation method but you don't need to rely on paid advertising. Plus with over 41,683 ZIP codes in the USA, the opportunities are endless since each ZIP code represents a targeted area. 


As you dial down and get niche-specific, you will have a unique site that eliminates major competition and is not easy to duplicate. Of course, it takes time to rank your sites, so you need to do research and have a solid marketing strategy. However, learning how to leverage Google and use SEO tactics for each campaign will lead you to the best results.

With skills and knowledge on lead generation, you can get your digital property to the top of the SERPs in as little as 6 weeks. You can then make up to 95% profit margin as you rent out your digital real estate to local businesses that need leads.

More importantly, you are in total control since you own the websites and leads. So if you find a business owner that's not an ideal fit, you can check out other similar businesses and offer them your services. You can continue earning money with minimal or zero effort on your part.  

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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