free content marketingHave you heard the phrase, “moving the free line?”

You probably have.  Simply put, it means that information, content, and software which you used to have to pay is now being given away free.

It may be an ebook, a blog post, or a free video.  It could even be a fully working version of software.

Somewhere they’re likely giving it away.

You just have to sort through all the garbage to find it. 

A lot of people make the mistake with information businesses thinking they have to have something you could never find in years of searching online. 

I don’t feel that even exists anymore.  You can eventually find almost anything if you’re willing to put in the time.

But if something will take me 35 hours to find out on my own, then you better bet I’ll pay you $100 to share it with me now…as I earn way more than $3 an hour for my time. 

The question is what should you give away?

And what should be for paying customers only?

Tough question…isn’t it?

One side says “Give your best stuff away!”

But if you give your best stuff away for free, how would a customer feel when they purchase the leftovers?

There are a couple of marketers that I’ve purchased from where I felt like a sucker, because their free information was better than what they sold!

Needless to say I’m still on their lists because they give away great value for free, but I won’t make the mistake of buying from them again.

But you can also go too far the opposite direction.  There are some out there who tell you to simply tell people WHAT to do, but never tell them HOW to do it.

That’s going to miss the bulls-eye also.  Sure, sometimes you can tell people the WHAT.  In a blog post sometimes that’s all you have room for! 

Other times you should tell them HOW to do it.  It’s those posts that will often be shared around the web for you.  They’ll bring in new visitors.  And they become a form of proof to what you’re selling.

People will think, “If your freebie is this good, how good is the product you’re selling?”

What you want is to give away good information that helps your readers.  They’ll agree this is useful.  But it doesn’t fully solve the problem on its own.  

I remember Jimmy Brown as the first person who said, “useful but incomplete.”

And that’s still a great phrase to describe valuable information that sells.

You want it to be useful information, but incomplete on its own.  

Here’s a great example of a blog post that’s useful but incomplete:
http://www.payperclicksearchmarketing.com/my-2nd-best-email-subject-line-ever/

Glenn Livingston gives you his 2nd best subject line ever…

Read the post.  It’s full of great information.  It gives you ideas for your own subject lines.  It even destroys a major myth about emails.

But the post is achingly incomplete.

It’s OBVIOUS what’s missing in the post.  And he even mixes in a shameless plug right in the beginning that points at it. 

How do you do this?  How do you find this magical content bulls-eye?

Start at the end result.  What are you selling?  Where is the end goal, the point of the map you’re traveling to?

Then work backwards from there.  What do you have that’s useful and immediately usuable for your audience? 

Does your product or service offer make this useful information “Complete?”

Your content becomes even better if you can mix in a personal story or case study to make it entertaining (and credible).

And here’s one more little tip that really puts the icing on top…make sure that the free content you share is contrarian.

If you’re saying the same thing as everyone else, there’s no reason to listen to you…


Terry Dean
Terry Dean

Terry Dean has been in full-time internet business since 1996 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started online through his articles and products. He lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife and 2 dogs. Find out more about how his step-by-step courses can help you today.

    3 replies to "Free Content Marketing That Really Works"

    • Great post, as usual, Terry. You are one of the few marketers I know that actually “give away” very valuable tips to fellow IMers. And, simply put, that is exactly the reason I’m a regular visitor!

      You rock, man. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned by osmosis just paying attention to what you’ve done over the years, and continue to do.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

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    • I don’t remember which email it was that you sent out about writing posts or emails that had to do with 3 ways to X or top 5 things for X….

      Anyways, it was a way to put out great content like this blog post and ever since I started doing so, my website started getting more traffic and more sales… but even more so important, I started getting emails from people on my list ‘thanking me’ for sharing the great content…

      I used to be afraid to give away free content until I heard that techniques are easily found online, but when you sell a product you are not selling a technique but rather a method which is a way of putting multiple techniques together to get a result… and that’s what gives it 10 times more value than just sharing a technique for free…

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