Multiple Revenue Streams Almost Killed My Business

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The concept of multiple revenue streams has been kind of the go-to expected holy grail as far as content creation and online business is concerned, at least for the last decade when I started going down this rabbit hole. But as I publish this on the last day of 2023, I want to tell you how focusing on multiple streams of revenue almost killed my business this year, and the lesson I learned along the way.

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The Temptation of Multiple Revenue Streams

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been enticed by the idea of having not one, but several income streams – ad revenue, affiliate marketing, brand deals, courses, and more. It’s definitely tempting, but as I found out, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

The Power of Control in Revenue Streams

In the race to accumulate revenue streams, I overlooked a crucial factor – control. Having control over your income streams can be the make or break for your business. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that the revenue stream you have the most direct control over is the most powerful revenue stream for your business.

Affiliate Marketing: The Low-Hanging Fruit

Affiliate marketing is like the low-hanging fruit of online revenue streams. It’s easy to start, doesn’t demand a massive audience, and costs nothing for your audience or the company. So it’s a win-win situation. However, the lack of control becomes evident when the affiliate programs change their rules, sometimes leaving you high and dry. For example Screenflow, which I had an affiliate agreement with and made several videos about, canceled their affiliate marketing program. So I’m not going to remove videos that promote ScreenFlow just because they removed their affiliate program. But it does make me less likely to create any more videos about ScreenFlow.

Related: Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

The Uncertainties of Ad Revenue

Ad revenue, especially on YouTube, seems like the best source of passive income. However, as I discovered, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The invalid traffic bug hit me hard, causing a drastic dip in revenue for weeks. It has since been corrected, but the lack of control over such situations can be a a difficult position for any content creator.

The Reality of Brand Deals

Brand deals, a coveted revenue stream, may appear glamorous, but behind the scenes, it’s a part-time job beyond actually creating the content. Negotiations, approvals, and the constant need for alignment with brand values make it pretty time-consuming. And I’m not anti-brand deal. I’m not anti any of the revenue streams that I’m talking about, but brand deals take more time and are more complicated than they look. And, ultimately, your content has to perform well in order for it to make sense for the brand to be excited to work could you again. And that’s not something you can entirely control.

Focusing on What You Can Control

The one revenue stream that I did have control over – my own program, “30 Days to a Thriving YouTube Channel,” is the one that continued to grow in 2023 even as other streams decreased. Focusing on content directly tied to my program, and using a simple YouTube funnel proved to be a game-changer. Inquiries for 1-on-1 sessions increased, showcasing the reliability of your products and programs as the most sustainable revenue streams.

Related: The YouTube Funnel that 4x’ed My Course Sales (BBD Live Recap)


As we step into 2024, remember this – the pursuit of multiple revenue streams isn’t inherently wrong. However, maintaining a balance and prioritizing the ones you can control might be the key to a thriving online business. Reflect on the lessons from 2023, and let’s make 2024 the year of sustainable growth and resilient revenue streams.