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How Much Content Can You Give Away For Free

How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeSeriously, how much content can you give away for free?

Bloggers, you work hard all day long to give their readers free information.

Why?

The theory is this.

You blog within a specific niche. Let’s say it’s juicing.

That attacts readers who are also interested in juicing.

When they get to your blog, you give them valuable information about juicing.

  • recipes
  • diets
  • health benefits
  • equipment

Whatever you think your juicing crowd is interested in, you give them information about it… for free, right?

Then you try to tap into their “pain points.”

You see, sales is about 2 things.

Sell people something they either (1) desire, or (2) fear.

The “valuable information” I listed above, is tapping into your readers’ desires. These are things they want to know about.

It’s a good thing to give people what they want more of, and they’ll make a buying decision for your products and services based largely on their consideration of whether or not they want something.

But, a far more powerful motivator for people is fear. And the strongest fear is pain. Not physical pain, but pain of losing out on something.

So what are some pain points for our juicing crowd?

Let’s try these.

  • not knowing what fruits and veggies to juice
  • not being able to stick to a juicing regimen
  • not understanding how to apply juicing to a specific health issue they are facing
  •  not knowing what juicer to buy to get started

Now, you might have noticed something, here.

The pain points are exactly the same as the list of desires I gave you above. But they are what advertisers and copywriters call “pain points” because they remind your readers of what their life is like without achieving those desires.

For instance, if my desire is for good juicing recipes, my pain point is not knowing what fruits and veggies to juice.

Improve The Lives Of Your Readers

Okay, I think it’s enough said.

This is not an article about sales copywriting.

I just wanted to make a quick sketch for you to see what kinds of things you want to give away for free to your readers.

And I want you to see that your free information is only of interest to them if it is valuable, meaning specifically, that it addresses their (1) desires, and (2) fears.

Knowing what is of value to your readers, tells you exactly what to give them.

But getting their interest is only part of the reason you blog.

The other part is to run a business.

So how much of this free, valuable information can you give away before you start to make some money for it.

The answer is… all of it.

You need to give away everything you have, everything you know, everything you’ve heard about that will improve the lives of your readers.

And you need to give it away for free, every time you write a blog post.

Why?

Because this is how you improve the lives of your readers.

That’s the main reason I blog. How about you?

“They Can’t Live Without You”

You might tell me (and this is perfectly fine): “Sure, I like to help people, but I need to make money doing it.”

So, the thinking is that the free content has to stop at Point A, and convert into paid content at Point B.

I’ve seen bloggers try things like this.

Juicing is really great, it will improve your health for all these reasons, and if you don’t juice your health will go down the toilet, and to see HOW to juice so you don’t have a horrible life… just buy this…

So there you have it.

You stop giving away free content when you get to the really valuable content , the stuff that your crowd wants; that they fear so much being without that they can almost feel the pain.

You cash in at the point that folks realize that they can’t live without you.

Is that a workable method for dividing your free content from your paid products and services?

Sure it is.

In fact, it’s probably the most common business model that bloggers and internet marketers use.

They tell you how important something is, then try to convince you that you must do business with them in order to get it.

In that way, they hope to become essential to your happiness.

You’ll never get the hang of this juicing thing without my 87 page guide.

An Alternative

I think all bloggers and marketers use the “you can’t live without me” method at least some of the time.

There’s nothing wrong with it.

You go for a test drive in a new car.

You love it and desire it.

The salesman reminds you that if you don’t think you can swing the payment, then you’ll have to get in your old broken down gas-guzzler and clank down the road while neighbors watch, embarrasing your whole family and making everyone think you’re a broken down loser.

No, that’s not true… exactly.

But, yes, it does accurate portray some of the feelings you already had when you first went looking for a new car, and yes, the salesman is tapping into those pain points.

We can say the saleman is pushy and rude, and it’s true. But it’s also true that he’s only giving voice to the fears you’ve been hiding deep inside yourself. And, he’s giving you a way out of that fear. So he’s really helping you.

I prefer to work from an alternative place for the most part, though.

I believe you have to give away everything you have for free, all the time, for two simple reasons.

1.
Remember we agreed that our main purpose is to improve people’s lives? Well, if you really believe that (and I do), then whose lives will you improve, and whose will you refuse to improve?

It doesn’t feel right to me to just help people that have the money to pay for my content, and shut the door on the others.

That’s why I say give everything away for free all the time.

2.
I know this seems counter-intuitive, but the more free content you give people, the more they buy from you. Not because you’ve slick-talked them into buying it, though, but because they see how being around you has improved their lives for free and now, they want more.

Seriously, one of the biggest problems I’ve had in dealing with paying clients is that I can’t fit them into my schedule. I have to turn them away. I have to say, “sorry, I’m already overbooked.”

This is why I create digital products.

You see, in my business, I give away free content on my blog, and people then pay me to show them, personally, one-on-one, how to apply all that free content to their specific business.

But there’s only one of me and far too many of them.

So, a year ago, I created a membership site called the Whirlwind Success “VIP Club.”

Inside of the “VIP Club,” I do live trainings for members, video trainings and Q&A sessions.

It’s all about giving folks information, tactics and strategies that will improve their lives by helping them to start up, operate and optimize their online business… blog, affiliate marketing, network marketing, whatever.

The training inside the “VIP Club” is not free, you have to be a paying member.

But, in order to help people who can’t pay for a subscription, I’ve decided ( I should say “we” actually, because my husband David runs the “VIP Club” with me)… to make the “VIP Club” free to everyone.

So, as of today, you can register for your totally FREE “VIP Club” membership right here.

Now, this doesn’t mean that there’s no longer a paid membership. There is.

We’re calling it “VIP Club PRO.”

Yes, there is more advanced training with the PRO membership, and we’re even working a coaching component into it. It’s going to be very exciting.
But here’s the thing.

You can sign up for your FREE “VIP Club” membership today, and you’ll always be a free member.  Forever.

No trial period, no required upgrades… just free, forever.

I strongly encourage you to jump on it!

Join My FREE VIP CLUB

So, how much content can you give away for free?

You’ll have to make the final decision for your business model.

For mine, I’ve decided to give away everything I can to improve as many lives as I can. That’s why I’ve opened the doors on the FREE “VIP Club.”

Meanwhile, to maintain my business, I’ve added a paid membership side to it.

How can you, or how do you balance the free side of your business with the paid?

Let me know what you think.

Leave me a comment below and please share this article with folks who know, like and trust you 🙂

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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53 Responses to How Much Content Can You Give Away For Free

  1. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    Enjoyed your article Donna. Most people I know get the value of free, but you are right about the challenge of knowing when to shift into money gear. And of course then there’s the issue of targeting your audience because we all know there are plenty of people out there who will only EVER do free. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration … stopped by earlier but comments were turned off.
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The One Word Resolution Reality CheckMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      One of the big complications in this discussion is those “people out there who will only EVER do free.”

      You’ve hit on one of the big reasons many bloggers and marketers try not to give too much free content, because they’ve always been taught to stand clear of “freebie seekers”…. those people who will never buy but always jump from one free thing to another.

      I don’t worry much about that, though. My feeling is, everyone is a freebie seeker prior to becoming a customer. Also, even those who never ever buy anything from you, will spread the word about the high quality of value they get from you. And finally, even if they don’t ever buy, and don’t spread the good word, they are still followers. If you are truly committed to helping your followers, then your free followers need to be included. Not that you can give them the same level of content, but what you do give them should be something that can truly improve their lives.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  2. Dana
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is a valuable post. I know I’ve asked myself this question many times.

    I agree that it’s about how we can help improve the lives of others. In fact, I’ve recently read something where the author was talking about why we should give away more value than the dollar itself. It would take a while to cover the entire concept…so I’ll just say that it resonated with me. There was an energetic component to it, and I believe in this.

    I love the examples you shared here. There IS only one of you, and you have options available to help anyone who needs your help in whatever way they can attain it. It seems that the more information you give away, the more information someone needs. At least, that’s how I’ve experienced it.

    You mention juicing – and your point was right on.
    Once I was convinced that it would be beneficial to add this into my life (after watching a free screening of a film that discussed this), the next step was to follow that up with additional information and products to help me to do this properly. Sure enough, I bought the juicer…and now my health doesn’t have to go down the toilet (lol).

    There is something to the idea that the more you give away, the more that comes back to you.
    Thanks for the reminder 🙂
    Dana recently posted..Healthy Holiday Habits – Fitness Talk with Dana Gore and Tom HuffmanMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      I definitely believe that the more you give away, the more that comes back to you.

      I know many bloggers and marketers that try so hard to not get “taken” by people who only want free content and don’t ever intend to buy anything… or so they think.

      I don’t try to figure out who is a “valuable” prospect of not. To me, they’re all valuable because they are people seeking information and help, and that’s what I’m in business to deliver. To everyone.

      It’s worked fine for me for quite a while now.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  3. Ikechi
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Donna

    What a valuable post and this issue bothers content creators and marketers; how to balance giving your fans free content vs paid content.

    You are so right and it depends on what you want for your audience. I am also an advocate for improving the lives of my readers.

    Wow! Free membership to VIP club. Thanks so much Donna and David for the wonderful gift.

    Take Care and have a swell week.
    Ikechi recently posted..When Positive Thinking Goes Crazy and What You Should Do About ItMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Ikechi,

      Welcome to the new Free VIP Club! We’re going to have fun.

      As for the free vs paid issue, I’ve opened the Free VIP because I don’t think there’s a real divide between the two. If you want to make money blogging, you need to give all the content you can for free because that’s how you build a deep following. Plenty of folks in your “free” audience will become buyers and clients because they want more of the same, and they want your personal assistance (coaching).

      You can never go wrong, in my opinion, by just helping everyone you can as much as you can.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  4. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    Hello Donna, Wowsy what an article and also such a wonderful gift for us! Tis the season HUH?

    Oh Yeh I am all over this one my friend..
    Thank YOU
    Thank YOU
    Love Ya
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..How A Smile Can Help YOU Live A More Positive LifestyleMy Profile

  5. Patricia Dean December 9, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    WOW, a lot of great info. I am going to have to take this in small hunks, read through it several times, as, I have not begun blogging yet, but am planning to, asap. Thanks for the gift, looking forward to using it.

  6. Chris DeeWaard
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great post. Goes along with what you scoped about yesterday.

    I mentioned it then that we need to give away as much value for free to build the relationship where people know, like and trust us. Then, offer them valuable information which costs something, whether it’s an e-book, a video training series, or a membership site, like you have, etc. They will be much more willing to spend once that bridge is built.

    I like the idea of having a free membership site and a paid version which offers more in-depth training. I’m sure you are going to gain many more followers and clients as a result. Kudos!!

    Have a great rest of the week and upcoming weekend………Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted..Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow To Move Towards Your GoalsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      So nice to see you on my scope (Periscope broadcast for those who don’t know what a scope is).

      You’re right It was about this same topic. I should have probably have put in in this article, but I did it right after I published this.

      You have the right idea about the free vs paid issue. Giving free content does, as you say, make people more likely to buy your paid content when you offer it. But that shouldn’t be the MAIN reason for you giving your free content. Improving as many lives as possible (both free followers and paid customers) should be… IMHO.

      See on my next scope 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

      • Chris DeeWaard
        Twitter:
        December 11, 2015 at 12:59 am #

        Hi Donna.

        Of course. It’s one of many reasons we give away content. Creating that long-lasting relationship with our readers by interacting and providing great value, whether free or paid, to help them solve their problems should always be the driving force behind everything we do.

        Like the saying goes, “Don’t chase the money, let the money chase you.”

        Talk to you soon…..Chris
        Chris DeeWaard recently posted..Kick Fear’s Ass and Take Control of Your FutureMy Profile

  7. Stella Chiu
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi, Donna

    This is a wonderful counter-intuitive post about free gift offer. Every blogger will face this decision sooner or later.

    I support your suggestion that we need to give away every thing we have, we know in every occasion.so that they can’t live without us.

    I like you were using juicing as an example. From that example, we know we will not out give our free offer. We can produce new products from the extension of our free offer.

    Stopped by earlier, wrote the whole comment before I knew the section was off.

    Have a nice week ahead!

    – Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted..What Kind of Giving can delete your Scarcity Mentality around Money?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

      Hi Stella,

      Thanks for coming back to leave your comment again. This was one of those weeks in the life of a blogger… I’ve had multiple technical issues, and my blog comments being turned off was just one of them. It took a while to figure out, but my web master finally got it taken care of, which is why I always like to “delegate out” things that I don’t understand at all.

      I’m glad you like my “counter-intuitive” suggestion to give away everything for free, even your best content. When you give away your very best content, don’t think people will decide not to buy things because they already got your best content. Instead, they’ll appreciate the value of your content and want to get even more of it because, let’s face it… even though there’s lots of information out there, most of it is of very poor quality.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  8. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Donna,

    What a valuable post. Yes, the key is to feel so committed to helping others with what I know that I am happy to give away my knowledge for free. The problem comes when we need money, and need that money now..

    The old saying, “It never rains but it pours” still holds true today. When we are abundant, having to turn away clients because we have too many for our schedule, then we can easily give away freely. And we still feel abundant.

    But what happens when we need money and want people to pay us for our services? Just being in that state of mind often prevents us from receiving the money we want and need. If we are not in an abundant state of mind, it is probably best to get a “job” and first receive a steady income. We can continue to learn and continue to write or even create products, but focus on first earning a baseline of income. Then, when we feel we have enough money for our basic needs, then we can more freely just give away products and services to help others.

    For me, that is an important understanding to have. Yes, there are some people who are able to go out on a limb, spend their last dollar, and somehow manage to rake in hundreds and thousands of dollars. But most of us don’t really operate that way.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Stop the dating cycle and finally get a commitmentMy Profile

  9. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi Dr. Erica,

    You make some excellent points about the abundance mindset, and thanks for that.

    As for people who can’t afford to be doing business online because they have to pay essential bills, then of course, they’re best off to be working a job or whatever it takes.

    You can’t start any kind of a business until you have some free time to do it.

    Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t start blogging or some other kind of online business in your spare time. Plenty of people do that.

    When you are actually in the process of running or starting your online business, you need to be offering a steady dose of free content. That’s the best way to bring in customers who will buy your products and services.

    I should say, too, that it’s not simply a matter of offering lots of free content over a long period of time until finally, one day, you can start pulling in a profit.

    You offer free and paid content simultaneously, and you can offer both on day one. There’s no waiting period of giving free content before you can start asking people to buy things or sign up for something. It can all start at once. What does take time to develop, though, is building a flow of traffic to your content. That, too, though, doesn’t have to take a long time. It really depends on what business model you’re operating with.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  10. James McAllister
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    Hi Donna!

    I know we agree on a lot of things, but I’m not sure this is one of them. I understand the value of free. I really do. I know how effective unique, quality free content can be at getting people to know, like, and trust you. I know how effective it is at building credibility.

    I really do believe there is a point where you need to charge. If I have two people emailing me and one is prepared to pay me, and the other has no intention of ever doing so, I’ve got to place priority on the person prepared to pay. It just makes sense. I place a huge value on my time. Sure, we like to help as many people as possible, but I run a business. The point of a business is to make money. We just happen to make money by helping people, and while that’s awesome and enjoyable, it is not the reason I work.

    It can’t be. I have bills to pay. Ad campaigns to fund. Freelancers to pay. If I cut out areas that make me money and make them free, suddenly all of those things become unsustainable, and I’m no longer able to grow. My number one goal in life right now is to be in a position where I can retire before I have children, so I can be there with them. I will do what I need to do to make money without a hint of guilt on my conscious, because I know whole-heartedly my products deliver more value than what I’m pricing them at. My customers know this too, or they wouldn’t buy them. The difference between me and many other bloggers out there is that I know how to sell that value.

    I know I’d look better if I pretended to appeal to some noble cause, but I am just honest. I see bloggers who go on and on about passion and passion and passion, and ‘it’s not about the money, it’s about doing what you love,’ whatever. These people should not be giving blogging advice to people who want to make money, because it’s just insulting. I spent 2 years working on blogs that never had any potential to make money because I followed that terrible ‘advice.’ And look, I’m not saying passion is a bad thing, but if you want to make money you need to be running a business. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rewarded for your hard work. I know you don’t disagree with this and I’ve gone a bit off-course from what you wrote about, and I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but seriously.

    I don’t care if people charge for their work. I expect them to. Go ahead and tell me you’re in business to make money, I already knew that anyway. Then sell the value of the product to me and I’ll buy it. I say quit worrying about free vs. paid or what price you can charge. What’s the value? Sales are made when the product’s price is equal to or less than the customer’s perceived value. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how much free content you give away, what price you charge, sell the value of the product and people will fork over the money. This is easier when you give a lot for free, but somewhere along the line you’ve got to charge, or you will go out of business.

    Now look, I know you’re not saying to not ever sell anything or have any paid content available, but if you have something valuable that people are willing to pay money for anyway, it’s foolish not to charge for that. People can not lose what they do not yet have. And if I am unable to sell the value of my product to a potential customer when I know it’s worth the asking price, that’s my problem.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
    – James McAllister
    James McAllister recently posted..These 5 Common Blogging Mistakes Are Killing Your ProfitsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi James,

      I’m happy to say that I think we totally agree on everything 🙂

      Thanks for adding a great deal of value to this article by clarifying the point that bloggers, in order to succeed, MUST know how to sell what they’ve got.

      I think the key in what I was trying to get at in this article is that getting high quality customers and clients is, as you point out, far “easier when you give a lot for free. That’s not to say to ONLY give stuff for free.

      Now, just for an example, I have my membership site, the “VIP CLUB.” It’s a premium site I’ve developed over the last year with strictly paid content.

      Now, I’ve decided to make the VIP CLUB totally free for anyone, for as long as they want to remain a free member. They don’t ever have to upgrade to PRO. I am moving my paid members over to the “VIP CLUB PRO.”

      So, in essence, I’ve said ok, I have paying clients, great.

      But I’d like more people to know what’s going on in the VIP CLUB, plus, I really am interested in helping as many people as I can. So, I’ve added the FREE VIP CLUB. Of course, the content on the free side will not be as well developed or as detailed as on the PRO side.

      But it will be great content that really can help people move forward in their online business.

      So, is it a good business decision to add “free”?

      We can talk about it 6 or 8 months down the road.

      Keep in mind, though, that the free content is digital. In other words, I create it once, and 2 people can consume it, or 2 million. Makes no difference to me. Also, every single piece of free content I add to the FREE VIP CLUB will be lead magnet that I can use to attract cold traffic from Warrior, JV Zoo, solo ads, FB ads etc etc etc….

      So for each single piece of free content I create, I can grow my FREE VIP CLUB in many, many ways.

      What good is it to me if it’s free?

      That depends on the quality of my free content.

      The more I work to make my free content amazing, the more people will want to upgrade to PRO. These are people that wouldn’t even know what the VIP CLUB is about otherwise. Once they’re members, they’ll be reminded over and over again what it is, and how to upgrade.

      We need to position a product 7 times before someone will buy?

      How effective is a solo ad or FB ad if we can only get them to see it once?

      How good is an email list if people aren’t engaging?

      Free content, high quality stuff that will really improve lives… will also improve my business for a fraction of the cost of continually paying for ads to draw cold traffic. Now, I’m converting cold traffic into warm, even hot followers.

      Hey, we could go on with this forever.

      Bottom line, I think we agree totally but are looking at the same thing from different angles.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  11. Sue Bride
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Even if you have a huge market for a service or product I don’t see how you’d sustain it without continuing to provide value in some other way. You’d need to keep marketing to bring in new people and to offer something new to current customers or clients.

    This means continuing to offer value with content, giveaways, and other free or discounted offerings. The top retail outlets do it all the time. Sure these wouldn’t have to be as frequent but you need to stay visible. The number of top marketers using Periscope is a prime example of this.

    Your free VIP club is a superb service. Those who join will not only benefit by what you provide in training but by being a part of a community. I already know you to be knowledgeable, experienced and helpful but those who don’t know you can experience this first hand. What better way to learn that your premium services are going to be worth it.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Free Social Media Christmas Greetings ImagesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 10, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      You’re so right, Sue, about having to continually provide valuable content to keep bringing people into your business model/sales funnel.

      So, yea, you have to keep marketing and/or offering free incentives for people to follow you. Your example of Periscope is a perfect one. Many top marketers are beginning to realize the tremendous value of Periscope because it keeps you front and center in your target market’s sights.

      That’s the whole point to the FREE VIP Club, so it’s pretty exciting for us to be starting this. See you there 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  12. Mark
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome blog post Donna!

    And I love the way you distinguished between the two
    major “pain points.”

    Because, we either want something enough to go after it
    or dread something so much, we’ll do anything to avoid it!

    And you definitely summed it up so well.

    And consistently providing quality, problem solving
    content for our specific niche, is just another
    proven strategy to serve our specific target market!

    Big congrats on launching your brand new membership site BTW..
    And you better believe, I just enrolled in your new free membership site!

    It sounds like a very nurturing community, to be exposed to even more
    influential bloggers and marketers, to help us continually grow our business! Thanks!
    Mark recently posted..Three Incredibly Simple Ways Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Create 25% More Profit With Less Money!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Glad to see you’re in with us on the FREE VIP Club, and look forward to getting together there.

      As for the pain point sales strategy, it’s what we call negative advertising. It’s negative in the sense that you remind people of the negative consequences of not buying your offer. The positive ad on the flip side reminds them of the positive consequences of buying it. It’s the same offer, same pitch, but from two different perspectives. The negative or pain approach is usually far more effective than the positive or desire approach.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Mark.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  13. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    I think it’s an intriguing question, one that my mind has gone back and forth on over the almost 11 years of blogging. Yet, I’ve always stuck to the side of pretty much giving things away for free on my blog.

    Why? Because a lot of it isn’t all that easy for people to do on their own, even with the information. On my IJS blog for instance, sometimes I write pretty technical stuff in detail, knowing that it’s going over the majority of readers heads like it would mine if someone was going to try to tell me how to change the oil for my car. On my business blog, I recognize that no matter what I write about, even if I see concepts as being pretty easy and general, others aren’t going to see it the same way.

    In both cases, if anyone wants more… well, I’m here! 🙂
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..10 Quick Ways To Help Relieve StressMy Profile

  14. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi Mitch,

    I guess, for me, it’s not really about deciding between offering either free or paid content. I think one of the points I’m trying to make here, is that you can offer both free and paid simultaneously.

    I don’t think it’s the best business model in the world to offer only paid content. You need to include people who can’t afford your top tier training at the moment. They’ll either become a paying customer down the road, or they’ll be an appreciative and loyal follower on the free side of things.

    I also don’t think it’s the best idea to offer only free content.

    I work with frustrated bloggers all the time who are fed up with just delivering free content all the time, but never make any money for their effort. If you’re blogging as a business, you must learn how to monetize your blog in order to stay in business. That’s one of the most common things people ask me about.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

  15. Jane
    Twitter:
    December 10, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    That’s a quite interesting question. Most bloggers don’t know where to draw the line – they end up giving it all away for free which is a suicidal mission as far as business is concerned. Some hold back and try to sell anything and everything – this will put people off.

    The thing is – people like to see and feel your expertise before they are ready to invest any small amount on your products or services. And the free content gives people that chance to see what your expertise is.

    Wow, you are so generous to let everyone in for free in your VIP Membership! I’m sure all your readers will benefit from the offer.

    Thanks for all the effort you put in to teach everyone Donna 🙂 Have a great day!

    Cheers,
    Jane.
    Jane recently posted..How to do awesome keyword research with Semrush? [FREE Semrush Pro inside]My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 11, 2015 at 12:05 am #

      Hi Jane,

      Bloggers do get confused… very confused… when it comes time to turning free content into paid content.

      What I’ve learned is that those who move strongly toward trying to monetize their blogs often come across as overly anxious to promote. Those who only give free content all the time, appear unprofessional and don’t seem to value themselves or their time.

      It’s a tough thing to balance these two things, and that’s why I like to lead heavily with free content while, at the very same time, you are promoting your products, services and expertise.

      I look forward to seeing you as a free member inside the VIP Club, my friend.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  16. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    December 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I’m SO sorry that I didn’t come back around to comment. After I had emailed you I checked back a few times but the comments still weren’t opened so I just got busy. Dang, I hate when that happens too.

    Okay so let me share my two cents if I may.

    I was told in the very beginning to give as much free advice away as possible. I didn’t understand it at first because I’m thinking well if I give it all away than what’s left? Who wants to pay for advice you’re already given away for free. I have two answers for that.

    I’ve given away a lot of information over the years for free yet people have often requested that it all be grouped together and they would be willing to pay for it. Sounds odd right! I certainly thought so but when you really think about it, do you ever really give everything away for free? I mean we share a lot of great stuff and that’s how people become insanely attracted to you because of how helpful you are. In their minds they’re thinking well if they give this away for free then what I would be paying for has got to be awesome.

    We either have to step up and give them our best or we’ll always be sharing information for free and never creating a business around it.

    We just need to give enough to help them but some things take more time and time is what they’re going to be paying for. I LOVE to help people and so do you but we have to charge something eventually in order for us all to succeed.

    Great share my dear, thanks for making this clear. You always do such a great job.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be BloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      So glad you found your way back here.

      I had a lot of technical problems with this site earlier this week, so things got off to a slow start.

      As for the topic, I do agree with you that it’s important to develop great, high quality free content to build trust with folks, and that there must be a clear point at which the free content gives way to paid content.

      This is especially true where you need to get personally involved in delivering things like webinars, coaching and the like. Obviously, where your time is involved, you can’t be offering it for free except on a limited, promotional basis.

      When it comes to digital products like ebooks and the like, you can obviously give it away much more easily, if that’s a strategy that fits into your business and marketing model.

      You make a good point about bundling free content. People will gladly pay for properly bundled information even if it was given for free initially. People want value. If your bundled information answers their questions and improves their lives, then it’s worth a certain price. So, while the line between when content should be free vs paid is not always clear, it’s important that bloggers determine what that line is for their own business.

      The biggest problem I find with many bloggers, and I’m sure you do too, is that they have such a vague notion of where that invisible free vs paid lies, that they either focus too much on free content and fail to build a profitable business, or they just keep trying to sell things and never acquire the trust and rapport that they could be crafting a solid program of free product creation.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  17. Sue Price
    Twitter:
    December 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a great blog post. I agree with the concept of giving content away via our blog posts and it has worked well for a lot of people.

    I am fascinated by the topic of pain vs pleasure. I used to love the idea of selling blue sky the dreams until I realized that pain is a bigger motivator It seems that most people do not take action unless they are feeling the pain of the current circumstances.

    I like you love to help people and most people will stick around and buy from you if they can see you provide value.

    That is a great post Donna.

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted..Why Is Kalatu The Best Blogging Platform For You?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I don’t know why people respond more to fear than pain than pleasure, but I see it in marketing all the time.

      I think that to pursue something beneficial (pleasure), you have a choice. You can take the action to pursue something like better health, higher income etc… or you can choose to stay in the place you’re at. People are comfortable keeping things like they are, even when they know they could do better.

      When confronted with the fact that the status quo is painful though, people are motivated to take actions that will restore them to comfort. So, if you’re convinced that if you keep eating the same thing every day it will make you get overweight and maybe set you up for a heart attack, you’re motivated to do something to avoid pending pain.

      Isn’t psychology fun? This is what’s really behind copy writing and advertising.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  18. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    December 13, 2015 at 6:10 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Interesting post thanks – and the comments are extremely interesting too.

    I found myself thinking much of what James McAllister took the time to say so eloquently – yet still understanding and agreeing with your original point. Quite a dilemma.

    I remember some time ago having spent ages preparing a free eBook on a particular (non-blogging) topic. Then not long afterwards I was sent a review copy of a paid eBook on the same topic. I was pretty gutted because, while the paid book was good, I felt my freebie was just as good. It actually demotivated me so much that I stopped working in that niche altogether.

    Another point about free content is that I’m in so much overwhelm with information overload that with one or two exceptions, I’ve completely stopped accessing free stuff because I know I never get round to doing anything with it and it just gets me on email lists I don’t want to be on. At least if I’ve paid for it I have a better chance of doing something with it – although not always, even in that case.

    I liked Adrienne’s point about people paying for the “collection” of her information – and yes, I bought her course and worked through it in a way that I would never have hunted through her blog to find everything. I guess I’m saying my time is more valuable to me than the few dollars Adrienne was charging for her expertise, and I preferred to pay in money rather than time.

    Haha – the exception to my “make no more requests for free info” that springs to mind was Sue’s collection of Christmas graphics – I find graphics SO hard. There’s that pain point – really painful in my case!

    At the moment the money is chasing me in my offline business, so online is just ticking over with my blog etc. But when there’s a lull offline, the online should still be in reasonably good shape for me to implement everything I learn as I go along.

    Thanks for making the brain cells work, as ever 🙂

    Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Review Of Email Marketing Success by James McAllisterMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      Glad to make your brain cells work over time, ha ha.

      This is such a tough issue for bloggers to get right, and the truth is that there’s no one answer for everyone.

      I’ve talked to some other pretty active product creators who think I’m crazy for opening a free platform within my VIP Club. They tell me many of the things I’ve heard here about attracting only freebie seekers, they’ll never buy, I’ll have to work too hard to keep giving them free content, etc.

      The truth for me, is that I’ve always done business this way, both online and offline.

      In my intuitive consulting practice, I’ve done many free sessions for offline clients. Some of them were people who I knew could not afford it, but others were regular paying clients who I would just give a complimentary session from time to time. In both cases, giving freely in this way always… always paid off in terms of more business, more referrals, and just a lot of great word of mouth. I’ve never, to this very day, paid for advertising and I literally have to limit my practice because I have more people trying to book sessions than I can handle.

      In my online business, the same thing can be said. Every time I’ve given free content, I get so many more paying clients overall, that it’s always been well worthwhile.

      Now, that’s me.

      It may not be your story, exactly.

      I’m able to produce a lot of content, both free and paid, because I have a system in place that works really well for me, and I work with David, so it’s a 2 person enterprise, not a solo.

      So, each of us has to find the sweet spot in our business where we can offer free content and have it blend seamlessly into paid, so that many of our “freebies” turn into repeat, paying customers and clients.

      Sounds like you’ve given a few things a try, but sometimes it takes working a plan for a pretty serious amount of time before we can really know if it “works” or not. Sometimes we drop a course of action, only to learn where our mistakes were, and get back to it again later.

      I’m glad your offline business is doing so well, in the meanwhile.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  19. Shamsudeen
    Twitter:
    December 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Neil Patel is one of the most successful internet marketer the world has ever produced, yet he is one of the few authors I know that never hide anything away or hold something back when it comes to giving out information on his blogs.

    In fact, and for the record, he once created a guide spending $40,000 (fourthy thousands dollars) on a particular internet marketing topic and give it away as a “FREE” resources on his blog….the link is right there on many of his post to download it for free even without asking for an email address in return.

    How many of us can do that?

    What I believe is, though you’ve already said it in the post, the more valuable free information you give out your audience, the more the potential to make more money from them.

    This is because each useful information you give freely position you better as an expert, someone they can confidently use his advice to better their life.

    Someone that knows what he is talking about; and all these factors contribute to people buying from you.

    What more interesting is when you’re ready to sell them something, you can still packaged some of your best contents as an ebook, video courses, podcast or in whatever format best fit your audience and sell to them.

    In my experience, people will appreciate it better that you make all the valuable piece of information on your blog accessible to them in one complete package.

    Thanks Donna, nice reading.
    Shamsudeen recently posted..7 Proven SEO Copywriting Best Practices Guarantee To Increase TrafficMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Shamsudeen,

      I really appreciate your comment and your mention of Neil. He’s one of my favorite folks out here, and you’re right, he’s a great example of “over-giving.”

      I really do understand people’s hesitancy at giving away too much free content, but I still believe that, as you’ve said, the more you give the more you receive.

      So, how can you give away too much? It only means you’ll get that much more in return.

      Now, I also understand that to keep giving free content is a bit of an art, and it’s one I’ve got a pretty good handle on. Not everybody does.

      I can literally produce a free training on a given subject in one day. I know that for someone else, that may be a 6 month project.

      It’s not because I’m so much better at it, but that I’ve been doing long enough to have created a really tight system for myself that works. I actually have a paid course on how to do that 🙂

      I know Neil works like me, so that everything he does fits like a piece to the puzzle that is his larger business. He also has a sense of how to build a sales funnel so that everything he does, whether it’s free or paid, moves people along in that process. Not that everyone will become a buyer, but everyone will have that opportunity.

      One other thing. Isn’t it interesting that you can create 3 free products, give them out all over the place, then combine them into one paid product and tons of people jump in to buy it. It’s like you said… you’re combining stray pieces into a package that makes the content more readily accessible to folks. And, the love it. And, why not? It’s good stuff that will make their lives better. Who doesn’t want a better life? :}}

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Ashok Singh
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Hello Shamsudeen,
      Apologize Donna for jumping in between, hope you don’t mind.

      The power of free content??? Honestly I just started my blogging Journey 20 days back and ultimately he is one of the most featured SEO guy to listen. I have started reading a lot of SEO blogs and and each somewhere he is mentioned.
      Like one of the post “How Spending $162,301.42 on Clothes Made Me $692,500” Man he is like a Giant now… In his industry he gives everything for free as much as he can and the result is all of the Big budget companies hire him based on his reputation.

      The Real power of Free Content??? Indirectly he is showing what he is a SEO Master.

      Donna, I just started my blogging journey as I already mentioned so I planned to keep on giving Information as much as I can and keep on building authority so that I can retain the visitors so that I can start a new section where we can feature new companies or the one who need a Brand Mention.

      Personally I will try to keep it free forever as with my little knowledge having a email list / User Database is the biggest investment we can make for future passive income.

      But each blog and niche have different aspects and approach.. at last to run a successful blog we need income for long run.

      Back to you Donna!! 🙂

      • Shamsudeen
        Twitter:
        December 14, 2015 at 3:40 am #

        Hi Ashok,

        Not at all, you’re not jumping in, or anything of sort.

        In fact, your comment is a confirmation of what Donna and I was talking about Neil Patel; and you’re right about everywhere you read on the net concerning SEO and content marketing the name Neil Patel will mostly comes up.

        This is what Google loves, establish yourself as an authority in a particular niche, makes it impossible for people to talk about such topic without a mention of your blog/brand name – when you achieve a feet like this, getting earned links becomes a breeze.

        And Google have no choice other then to rank your webpages top for relevant search phrases.

        Thanks Ashok, nice meeting you.
        Shamsudeen recently posted..10 Link Building Strategies Guarantee to Increase Your Search VisibilityMy Profile

        • Ashok Singh
          Twitter:
          December 15, 2015 at 2:27 am #

          Appreciated Shamsudeen,
          Nice meeting with you too 🙂

      • Donna Merrill
        Twitter:
        December 15, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

        Hi Ashok,

        I’m glad to have you take part in the conversation.

        You may be new to blogging but you seem to have exactly the right mindset to be an excellent blogger.

        The very nature of blogging requires, of course, that you always give lots of high quality content to your readers, whether it’s free or paid. The only way you can do that is to be truly knowledgeable in your niche, and to project your leadership and authority.

        And as Shamsudeen mentioned, your ability to project your authority is very important to Google and your SEO strategy. So, it’s absolutely the path to walk.

        Welcome to blogging. I hope to see a lot more of you here.

        -Donna
        Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  20. Glenn Shepherd
    Twitter:
    December 13, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love this post, I think there’s a lot that can be learned from it.

    Many people approach the giving of their free content with a somewhat guarded mentality, almost as though it will be a total disaster if they step over some imaginary line and give away ‘too much’. But what I have come to appreciate more and more is that the content itself is largely of lesser importance.

    You hit the nail on the head, I believe, where you talked about improving the lives of your readers. This is exactly what I tell people, that even if they don’t realise it, people are investing in you rather than your product or service. They have some kind of need that they want met and they choose you to attempt to fulfill that need. The product in itself (or content, to keep with the specific theme of your post) is, to a degree, of lesser importance.

    The other factor is that a lot of the time people don’t pay sufficient attention to the content they’ve received, or they fail to recall it. So, as you mentioned, when they get, say, paid coaching from you, they are often taught exactly the same things that they’ve already received, but it’s often a revelation to them because to have that personal coaching sheds a whole new light on things. I’ve seen this first-hand where people will have live coaching on a given subject and afterwards they say things like, “Wow, I never knew that! The way you explained X, Y and Z was a revelation!”. I’ve thought, “Hang on – all that stuff was one of the first things they were taught at the beginning!” But it seems that the live training, even though it may not actually cover anything new that they’ve not heard before, can make an enormous difference. Of course having a person teach you is always going to be different than, say, reading an e-book on your own, but it seems that people just don’t assimilate certain kinds of content the same way as they do others.

    I’ve experienced it myself when I’ve received compliments for training I’ve done on, say, content in a webinar or video that I know for a certainty the person has already been taught by me before in another format.

    Obviously we need to be mindful of charging for certain content or services, but I think where some may go wrong is focusing too much on the content itself rather than the end result that the person can get from them. It’s like when people say, “Why would someone listen to me?” The answer is: “Because you are YOU!”. It’s not blog content, products or courses that make you who you are. Rather, it’s you who make those things special and unique.

    At the end of the day, it’s very rare for there to be anything totally new in the marketplace, but it’s the individual behind it that makes it unique. And it’s that that potential customers and clients will identify with. If you focus on the HOW rather than the WHAT then you’re on your way to nailing it, I think.

    Thanks again for a fantastic post as always, Donna. I hope you’re keeping well and wish you a great week ahead. 🙂

    »Glenn«
    Glenn Shepherd recently posted..What Hiking Can Teach You about Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

      Hi Glenn,

      You raise a really important issue, here… your content itself is of less importance than improving peoples’ lives.

      That’s so critical to understand because somehow, bloggers and marketers think that their readers and followers want “information” primarily. They do not.

      Their primary concern is learning how to make their business more effective. That can mean coaching, training, demonstrating… but the information itself is not why they follow you.

      They can get the same or similar information anywhere. They want your help, assistance and unique perspective. If you’re only informing them, they’ll find somewhere else to go.

      As you say, people are looking for “the HOW rather than the WHAT.”

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  21. Kim Willis
    Twitter:
    December 14, 2015 at 4:56 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for your thought provoking post!

    My attitude is that we should build an audience of believers and supporters first, and worry about the money second. That said, it doesn’t have to be a drawn out affair before newbies start making money.

    Bloggers have to monetize at some point. Therefore, it is wise for them to have a monetization game plan in place that identifies which money making strategies will be deployed.

    Regarding the actual strategies I like the free membership site idea, and in fact, I’m doing the same thing myself in a different niche. Like you, people can upgrade to the paid membership when they’re ready.

    To newbie bloggers who have a hangup about packaging information and selling it for money, they should take note of the thousands of marketers (including me) who sell information products. People will pay for information providing it is packaged correctly, and marketed effectively to the right audience.

    Final point. This one is about fear versus desire. In essence, I agree with the sentiment that fear sells. I used to believe that using fear to motivate people to buy something was the best marketing technique. But I’ve modified my view in light of experiences I’ve had with products that are more about expanding people’s vision than solving a problem. It’s amazing how much money people will spend when they get excited about something, particularly if it offers the hope of a better tomorrow (yes, hope sells).

    Thanks, Donna, and good luck with your new free membership program – it’s a splendid idea.

    Kim
    Kim Willis recently posted..6 Ways Your Website Can Generate More Leads and Sell Up a StormMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 15, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

      Hi Kim,

      Nice to see we’re on the same parallel paths. I’d love to hear how you’re membership program fares, as well.

      It’s interesting that you’re leading with hope more than fear. I like to think that’s the better way to go, but I haven’t seen it myself. Maybe I need to do some more testing on that end of the spectrum.

      Thanks for the tip.

      We’re certainly on the same wave length in terms of building a satisfied audience with great content and by helping them achieve the goals that are important to them. As you say, it just needs to be packaged and marketed properly.

      As to new bloggers, they do need to develop a strong monetization strategy. So many of them focus purely on producing good content. They often have little or no idea how to get the traffic they need, or what to do with it if and when it arrives.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  22. Andrew
    Twitter:
    December 14, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Very interesting post here.

    I’m on the fence about this one. I really understand the value of free and giving away information that people want and crave. However, I don’t think giving away ALL your stuff for free is a good idea either.

    I guess it depends on what your intentions are but I think what happens a lot is that some people give away info for free and then use the exact same content with minimal additions to improve it.

    If a person can avoid that and provide high quality content both paid and free, I’m all for it. I’ll continue giving info for free but not give away the farm though.

    Just my thoughts.

    – Andrew

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 12:04 am #

      Hi Andrew,

      It is a bit tricky, especially for people who haven’t started making many sales yet, and are still trying to figure out how to.

      When I say to give everything for free, I guess I could have done a better job of saying give all your “information” for free. The paid part of your business should be focused more on actually helping people to use that information in their own specific business.

      For instance, in my free VIP Club, I give free information. But it’s digital. I have to put in a certain amount of work to produce it, and that doesn’t change whether one person or one million people consume it.

      But at the paid level of the VIP Club, I’m conducting ongoing workshop style trainings showing people not just “what” to do, but “how” to do it… plus I have built in a personal, individualized coaching component into it. That gives me the opportunity to actually work with people on an individual basis to help them achieve their goals.

      That’s my business model.

      People have to think about their own particular business, and try to see how this kind of strategy can work for them… or not.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  23. Sherman Smith December 14, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I can definitely vibe to this. This also makes bloggers like Neil Patel and Brian Dean who they are and shows why they are so successful.

    I do agree to each his/her own on how much free information to give up. There are a lot of bloggers will give you just enough information for you to subscribe or buy their products, while there are others that will give you so much free detail information that they can instantly implement for themselves.

    For me, I really appreciate those that go into detail with their information and I’m sure the rest of their audience does too. But when it comes down to it, your audience are only going to respond positive to you depending on how much you are of value to them. So why not give everything away for free. I really like what you and David are doing. You have made it fair for everyone to benefit from your valuable training.

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Have a great week ahead!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Why Social Media Automated Tools Won’t Work For YouMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      It really does get down to each individual blogger to decide for himself where to cut off the spigot of free, and turn on the Buy Now button.

      As I’ve said before, if you’re producing digital products, like an ebook or blog post or video, then you can certainly give a lot away because it doesn’t cost you anything beyond your fixed cost to do so.

      But you have to have a business model, meaning the free stuff must lead into paid products and services. I think a particularly nice model is to offer endless free products that lead to your back-end services. After all, services can’t be done for a large group, they’re strictly a custom product that is delivered personally for each individual.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  24. William Earl Amis Jr III
    Twitter:
    December 14, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    Donna, no one shares usable information like you do!

    There is always going to be the fear factor. Most people will not even notice what they are feeling. Besides dread if one can not purchase this or that. The feeling of loosing out on something. Just by the way you present such service or product.

    Then, we have desire, which is amazing. Showing just how your service and/or product. Will be used in their lives. How, just making the choice to take action, Now. Has the advantage of price reduction and something thought as a benefit, free.

    You have made your point, very clear to most of us. It is a huge advantage to have over the less experienced person. There is a vast number of impulsive people out here. Those are the ones that are attracted to anything with the word “Free”.

    Donna, you seem to have a way with people. It is a rare talent to have character and intelligence in one person with a teaching skill. Most lack character, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing something worth reading and making others aware of your services.
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..I Have Been Waiting For So Many YearsMy Profile

  25. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    Hi William,

    I always appreciate your interesting feedback.

    I like how you brought up the subject of teaching, because it’s probably one of the things both David and I really love about this business. We get so much enjoyment from having people really see how to accomplish their goals online.

    We do have a business model and definitely charge for our products and services, but it’s great, too, to be able to teach even larger numbers of people to move forward by including plenty of free teaching, too.

    It’s really not terribly unlike what many bloggers do already, and again, we can talk about Neil Patel and Brian Dean, just two names that have been tossed around in the comments here.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Why You Need A Tribe To Build Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  26. Atish Ranjan December 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    Awesome Write-up.

    What all I want is good traffic and better engagement on my blog. Thus, I love to share information for free. If start charging for everything, I won’t get much engagement because almost every type of info you can find on the Internet for Free if you are good at searching. But, as we all are here to earn some money as well from our blogging efforts, we must not offer everything for free. We have to draw a line between what to give away for free and what to sell.

    I really enjoyed this blog post, Donna.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..SlideModel – One Stop Destination for Premium Professional PowerPoint templates!My Profile

  27. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Atish,

    Since you’re just starting out as a new blogger, I think you’re smart to keep posting lots of great, free content for your blog posts.

    To start monetizing your blog, you should be building an email list on your blog. I didn’t notice that you have any “traffic conversion” strategy on your blog, but I just looked quickly. I do see you have a “Giveaway” section, and that might be a great place to start building your list. For instance, you could offer a free giveaway, but ask people to subscribe to your email list in order to get the link to obtain it. You could go a step further by assuring them that they’ll be updated via email each time you offer a new Giveaway.

    That’s a good way to start moving from Free content (your blog posts) to Paid content (once you have an email list you can send them offer for paid affiliate products from time to time, for instance).

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Have You Reached Your 2015 Goals?My Profile

  28. Susan cooper
    Twitter:
    December 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Hi Donna, what a great post. I’m sure a lot of new bloggers thought what the heck I can’t give everything away for free… How in the world am I supposed to make any money? But you broke it down in a way that you just can’t argue with. It just makes sense. Makes me think of the food bloggers who post their recipes and advice for free for the longest time, but then people are willing to pay, for content that was already provided for free and is still available, when it is consolidated into a cook book.
    Susan cooper recently posted..Candied Pecans: #RecipeMy Profile

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