I started InvestFourMore in March of 2013. It is hard to believe I have been blogging for over five years. When I started the blog, I was still working with my dad, did not have my own team, was still selling a lot of houses as a real estate agent, and had barely written anything except a simple letter since college. Since then, I have written hundreds of articles, recorded 145 podcast episodes, shot hundreds of YouTube videos, and published a number of books. I had no idea what would happen with the blog when I started—I just started writing.
How did I come up with the name InvestFourMore?
In 2013, I was still working with my dad as a real estate agent, flipping houses, and buying rentals as well. A friend decided I should start a blog on real estate. I loved rentals and thought I could provide the most valuable information on them. One of the biggest hurdles I overcame with rentals was getting more than four mortgages. Most banks will not let a person have more than four mortgages in their name. Some banks will flat out tell you it is impossible to get more than four mortgages. However, there are local banks and other options who will lend many more than four mortgages to a single person. I own 19 rentals and have loans on 15 of them with one bank. I also have a number of loans on my house flips with that same bank as well. The name InvestFourMore came to me as a play on getting more than four mortgages on houses.
What was the most exciting thing about starting a blog?
When I started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I had never written a blog article, or really any type of article, except a college paper. I did not have any vision for what the blog would become or have any plans for making money with it. I just started writing. I was not a good writer and still face many challenges with writing. I have always tried to write in a simple way that is easy to read and understand. I had many things to write about and put out three articles in a week in the beginning. People started to find me, like my stuff, and say it actually helped them! I had no idea how good it would feel to have someone say something I wrote helped them learn something new. That encouraged me to keep writing more and more.
Eventually, I went back and edited my first articles because they were horrible. I had so many typos and grammar mistakes. Now, I have someone edit all of my articles before they get published. After the blog saw huge increases in traffic, I tried to figure out ways to make money from it. Yes, I make a lot of money from real estate, but the blog was taking a ton of my time. One cool thing about real estate is the passive income you can create. You can also do that with a blog as well. I was able to create income in a number of ways that keeps coming in, whether I work on the blog or not.
How has the blog progressed over time?
I am not someone who can do the same thing over and over again. I need change and exciting things to happen in my life. Sometimes, things get a little too exciting with my business, but it usually works out well in the end. That is why I have tried many new things with the blog and not just write an article every week. Here are a few statistics from over the last five years:
- Published over 600 posts
- Published over 500 articles
- Published 145 podcasts
- Received almost 10 million views
- Received over 7,500 comments
- Published over 250 videos on YouTube
- Published 6 paperback books, 3 audiobooks, and ten eBooks.
I have tried to provide content that helps people, whether I make any money from it or not. I have never been one to withhold the real information until someone pays for coaching. I do have coaching programs for those who want personal help from me or want a quicker way to get through all the content.
I mostly wrote about rental properties in the beginning of the blog, but then I added house flipping and real estate agent articles as well. I started to add videos to supplement the articles since many people prefer to watch than to read. I started my podcast because I surveyed my readers, and they thought a podcast would be a great idea. I started recording videos of all my flips and rentals to show what they looked like before I bought them and what we repair on them. Below is my latest completed flip.
What has not worked well with the blog?
Many things have gone right, but not everything. I have had my share of what I thought were brilliant ideas that turned out to be worthless or at least not worth my time. Here are some of those:
- I wanted to create an awesome rental-property calculator. I did create a simple one, but I wanted one that would be able to figure the returns on multiple properties over many years or time. I have spent money and time on this but was never able to get it right. Maybe someday it will work how I want it.
- I started a forum which had some great conversations. However, the spam in the forum was out of control, and ot took us forever to figure out how to combat it. I still have the forum, but it is not very active.
- I have hired a number of companies to help me with SEO, design, and other improvements. Some of those companies have been great, but others are a huge waste of money.
- My traffic on the site actually peaked in the beginning of 2016. It has steadily declined since then. I think a mixture of fewer articles, how Google ranks articles, and the popularity of video all have something to do with that. It was super motivating to write all the time when the site kept gaining traffic. When it has been losing traffic, it is not nearly as motivating.
What are my future plans for the blog?
While traffic is not as high as it once was, I still do very well with the blog. I am not going to retire or quit, although April Fools Day was yesterday. I like writing and helping people, but what I have really grown to love are videos. Part of that comes from getting 1,000 views per day on YouTube for most of last year to seeing that climb to over 15,000 views per day this year. I am also able to film videos faster than writing and sometimes convey the information better.
I plan to keep writing at least one article per week, but I want to expand what I am doing on YouTube. I have had a number of television producers approach me about starting a house-flipping show. I have gone as far as to interview with HGTV, but nothing ever came from those interviews. Someone asked me: why not just make your own show? That is a really good question! I am working on putting together some long flip videos that go through the entire process of flipping a house. From finding the deal, to repairing it, to financing it, to selling it. I hope to have my first one ready soon. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
I plan to keep doing the podcast as well, but that is something that I am not super passionate about either. I have not seen much growth in the views, and I don’t have a lot of time to spend finding guests for the show. I also have to write show notes for every episode, which takes time as well. It has been in the back of my mind to end the podcast at some point.
It is crazy to think I have been blogging for five years! Over the last five years, I bought out my dad, created my own team, created a blog, flipped over 70 houses, bought 12 rental properties, and I will be starting my own brokerage very soon. Someone asked me today if I want to retire, but I am having way too much fun.