Winning the Content Game: Why Posting Free Content Is Better Than Monetizing

Winning the Content Game: Why Posting Free Content Is Better Than Monetizing

5 min read
David Pere

David Pere joined the Marine Corps in August 2008. Since that time, he has lived in or traveled to many unique places around the world, including Japan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as done a combat tour in Afghanistan.

Experience
David got his start as a real estate investor in 2015 and since then has bought and sold over 50 rental units, partnered on multiple fix and flips, and built a growing community of like-minded investors.

Through these experiences, From Military to Millionaire was born with the goal of teaching personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. He is also the host of The Military Millionaire Podcast and created a YouTube channel, where he shares the knowledge that helped turn his life around.

In four years, David has gone from living paycheck-to-paycheck to replacing almost half of his income and more than tripling his net worth. He aspires to help others follow in his journey to financial freedom.

Press
David has been featured on podcasts such as the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #281, What’s Up Next Podcast, and Capital Hacking podcast. In addition, he has published articles on RealEstateInvesting.com and MilitaryDollar.com.

Education
David has an associate’s degree that nobody cares about. He considers his valuable education to have come in the form of coaching, courses, and “YouTube University,” as well as the result of taking action.

Accreditations
Hawaii licensed Realtor-Associate (RS)
Recruiting (Sales)
Command Financial Specialist
Many leadership academies and professional development courses/seminars for the Marine Corps

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The Military Millionaire Podcast

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Content is king!

Phew, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s dig into why content production is so important.

First things first, what do I know about content?

Nothing.

OK, that isn’t entirely true. About two years ago I started blogging about my real estate investing journey. That blog has slowly grown into a community, with a podcast, YouTube channel, decent-sized Instagram, and a lot of military real estate investors sharing knowledge amongst each other.

I will admit that I spent a little money here and there, experimenting with Facebook ads and Google ads. I don’t, however, believe I have ever spent more than $100/month, and most months I spent zero.

That means I can attribute most of my growth to pure, organic content!

I haven’t even had any viral posts (yet), so these are just plain old average results.

Building Trust

The number one reason you should be producing content is for the trust factor. People won’t buy from you (or invest with you) if they don’t know, like, and trust you. Content production is a great way to get in front of people and show your true colors.

When people hear my podcast they get to know me, and my character. When people watch my YouTube videos they feel more connected with me, and get to see my body language and demeanor. And people who follow me on Instagram get to see everything from inspirational quotes and motivation, to my absolute failures and most disappointing days.

Related: The Key to Reaching Your Personal & Professional Goals: Networking

Every social platform gives a little bit of insight into my life and what I’m up to. I have grown rapidly, I believe, because people enjoy how transparent I am about everything that goes well and everything that goes poorly throughout my journey to bajillionaire (or just time freedom)!

By allowing people to peek behind the curtain, they feel as though they know me way better than they would through email or a one-time encounter at a conference.

Content has allowed people to know, like, and trust me, which is beneficial for all of us!

Growing Your Network

Another reason for content creation is networking. Undoubtedly you have heard this before: “You are the average of the five people you spent the most time with.” You’ve probably also heard, “Your network IS your net worth.”

Well, my network has grown exponentially since I started producing content.

Networking through content production!
I met EVERY one of these people through content production and networking!

Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I have a personal relationship with all of the 20,000-plus people who follow me on various platforms. That isn’t possible.

I will, however, tell you that I have built relationships with a lot of them. Many of these relationships are with people I would NEVER have met without the help of social media.

Hell, I can name several people right now who I have been able to build a relationship with that I wouldn’t have been able to without my podcast. I’m sure I never would have gotten through their gate-keeper (secretary) for an hour-long phone call “just because.”

My podcast provides value to the guest by showcasing their expertise and bringing listeners into their circle. This value proposition has allowed me the opportunity to speak with several experts and build relationships with them.

(Side note: I am absolutely NOT saying you can’t network with high-achievers without content. I’m just saying it opens the door to a LOT more networking opportunities.)

You would be amazed by the networking I’ve accomplished through content marketing.

Writing as Therapy

This isn’t as much about the content production as it is about your soul. There is something therapeutic about writing, and I have grown to love putting my thoughts down on paper (or screen).

Don’t get me wrong, I still journal daily about my goals and lessons learned, but writing educational blog posts is completely different.

man sitting at desk working on a computer

Teaching is the highest level of mastery you can attain on a subject. When you have mastered something to the point that you can clearly articulate it to others and help them achieve similar results, it is an incredible feeling!

Writing blog posts has proven to be very rewarding, because it allows me to write AND provides valuable information to give people a leg up on their journey to financial freedom.

I encourage you to try it sometime. You don’t even need to have a blog. Just sit down with a topic in mind, and let the words flow. If you’re happy with the result, share it with somebody as a guest post on their website or on your BiggerPockets member blog.

Broadening Your Reach

Here is the reason you should actually care about content production: If you produce good content, people will share it!

When people share your content, it gets placed in front of an entirely new audience. Suddenly, more and more people are introduced to you and your ideas, and you begin to build a following. This is beneficial if you are trying to raise capital or build credibility.

Related: How to Start a Local Real Estate Investor Meetup (& Why You Definitely Should!)

If you have ever read The Go-Giver, you know that freely giving your time and energy will be rewarded. Some call this karma, others all it reciprocity—but it is the same concept. Whether you believe in the law of reciprocity or not, wouldn’t you rather err on the side of belief? Is it not better to share content without knowing if it will add value back into your life, than to never share content to help others?

Sorry for the rabbit trail there, but just know that if you spend time producing valuable content, people will share it and your reach will grow.

Staying Evergreen

Evergreen is what we call content that stays relevant and searchable for a long time. For example, I published a video titled “How to get rich in the military (with a budget for beer)” on YouTube. This video continues to average 30 to 40 views (daily) despite being posted months ago!

Young woman looking at camera while working on laptop.

I am reaching 30-plus people every single day, with a single piece of content that I created in a matter of hours. That is a much more efficient way to reach people than phone calls and emails!

The point is, great content is evergreen!

Why Not Monetize?

There isn’t necessarily a reason why I would recommend against monetization, but don’t get wrapped around the idea of making money through content. It shouldn’t be the reason you’re producing content; it should be a byproduct.

If you get into content production for the money, you will burn out, wash out, and tap out. Why? Content production does not monetize overnight. It takes time.

You need to focus on what your audience wants, and produce content to help them. If you focus on helping your audience, it will be much more advantageous than focusing on ad revenue or monetization.

Don’t worry, the money will come down the line. But it should not be your focus.

Please, do NOT become the “guru” riding around in a Ferrari with bikini-clad girls and a big mansion. That is what focusing on monetization looks like, and it does nothing to help you actually help others.

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What other questions do you have for me about producing and publishing content?

Ask me in the comment section below.