“Free” has freed my life. The concept of giving out free content in order to improve visibility, obtain new leads, and gauge interest has served me rather well in my blogging career.
My latest example of “Free” can be found in the $50,000 Website Report, which goes into great detail surrounding the building and selling of my first website for, you guessed it, $50,000. It doesn’t get much “Free-er” than this report, with no sign ins required to access the valuable PDF document.
“Free” was my secret weapon that I used in the process of growing my site to the point where it could be sold for so much. Too often today, internet marketers and bloggers alike have a “tit-for-tat” mentality. They think that just because they link to you or discuss your site that you should in turn link to them. The reality of the situation is that the internet just doesn’t work that way. People, successful or not, will link to what they care about because they care about it, not because they owe you anything. “Free” happens to be one of the few things that people universally approve of and will therefore be more likely to link to.
So what is “Free” and why is it so useful?
1. Free Off Site Content Builds Web Presence
This is content that engages others in conversation about problems in your niche. The key is that the content is in no way hosted on your own blog. Over time these pieces of content act like a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to your site and create a social presence that testifies to your expertise in the niche. By the time someone actually visits your blog, they will have seen you on numerous other websites and social circles that have convinced them that you are the right person to fix their problem(s). “Free” allows you to reach people in their comfort zone without spooking them.
2. Free Creates a Great Reputation
“He gave his report out for free?!” “Wow man, you really care about your audience!” “You could have charged serious money for this… thank you.” These are the kinds of responses I saw when my $50,000 Website Report was released. They were right too, I could have charged probably $10-$25 for the report. Why didn’t I? Because I do actually care about helping others and sometimes I am willing to do it for free in exchange for great visibility. I also could have required a sign-up for people to download the report. Why didn’t I? Because I would rather you took the time to visit my site to do that, otherwise I don’t want you to subscribe and fill up my list with unresponsive emails.
3. Viral-bility Increased
It has been my experience that free content spreads very quickly among social media and people are more willing to talk about it than they would be with a paid product. If you want to maximize the number of people who see your content, then “Free” is the way to go.
There is a time and place for a well constructed sales funnel, as I go into great detail with my $50,000 Website Report, but don’t knock the power of “Free” in your marketing plans.
Have you used “Free” at all? In what way? Was it far more successful than you thought it would be?