Dennis Yu

Why paying for content is like paying for sex

  • They’re doing it for the money, not true love.
  • The quality is never as good.
  • You’re dealing with people you don’t really know or like.
  • The best things in life are free.

Are you looking for a long-term relationship or a moment of passion?

Content marketing, inbound marketing, SEO, marketing automation, social media marketing, and all these things are the same thing.
They’re long-term commitments to building a community aligned around your cause– what you stand for.

I get requests from people who want to pay me to let them guest post their spammy articles on one of our sites.
If your content is good, you won’t have to pay me to promote it. In fact, I’ll promote your stuff on my dime if it’s good.

And there are conferences that cold call us, wanting to charge us to speak.

We had nearly 30 conferences last year that paid us to speak to a great audience, so why would we pay?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run Facebook or Linkedin ads.
There’s a difference between the “amplification” of great content versus shameless advertising of promotional material.
With amplification, you’re paying social postage to reach influencers— buying stamps, if you will.
With advertising, you’re treating customers as targets who need to be pried off their wallets.

Mike McEuen shared the following insights:

“Outsourced writers often don’t understand the true audience, instead taking creative liberties. This produces a cookie-cutter piece that falls flat – resulting in low lead counts and high engagement costs. The audience knows they’re being duped.”

Why paying for content is like paying for sex:

  • You don’t know if the content has been used before.
  • You have no idea what the going rate is for freelancers.
  • You don’t know who owns the content.

If you treat your marketing efforts as a relationship of multiple stages: first date, courtship, first kiss, marriage, etc, then you stage your marketing accordingly.
The AEC (audience, engagement, conversion) funnel enables you to do that.
It’s segmentation and personalization– tying your content to the right audience.

There’s no way some random freelancer can randomly insert themselves into your conversation to say something relevant.
The drive-by marketer is painfully obvious to spot, though she believes she’s taking a clever shortcut.

In B2B, the problem is more severe, since the funnel stages are longer and buyers are more sophisticated.
You might have some great whitepapers, blogs, and product releases to share on your site or LinkedIn.
But unless you time their delivery by the type of customer and where they are in the relationship with you, you’re an inadvertent spammer.

No amount of LinkedIn geek ads knowledge of bidding and targeting will save you if you don’t have your strategy in place.
In other words, GCT (clear goals, relevant content, and target audiences).

AJ Wilcox provided his thoughts:

“Though the targeting on LinkedIn advertising is fantastic, it rarely compensates for failure to create a cohesive content and audience plan that delivers the correct message to that audience. A spray-and-pray strategy is no strategy at all.”

Why Paying for Content is Like Paying for Sex:

  • You regret it after it’s too late
  • You don’t know what you’re getting from them

Buying tools won’t make you a pro content marketer any more than an amateur with the finest clubs will improve his slice.
Outsourcing this tricky issue to agencies won’t help either, though they can help you fine-tune messaging and technical optimization.
The content you produce must come from the heart— the WHY of your business.

That’s hard.
And only you can do it.

Are you paying for content or are you investing in your brand?

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

Ready To Take Your Marketing Game To The Next Level?

Register today for the Dollar-A-Day Coaching Program and accelerate your growth journey!

Scroll to Top