142 replies
After being a paid consultant and website marketer for 5+ years, it seems to me that the genre of "making money online" by asking people to "Pay" for information is the way of the past and dying. How many crappy, spammy websites do we see asking for you to enter your credit card or signup?

It seems that websites like: http://smartpassiveincome.com (Pat Flynn) are making 10x more giving away everything for free and just being genuine about what they're doing. Of course they promote affiliate products on the back end but never ask for any money for information for their help.... Im trying this model.

What do you think? Will FREE information sites take over Paid information sites? Whats more profitable? Pros/Cons?
#blog #free #paid #smart passive income #website
  • Profile picture of the author thevoyager
    It's really impressive what Pat Flynn has achieved by now. To my opinion the most important factor for his success is that he's proving that he is genuine.. This model is going to take over paid information sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by thevoyager View Post

      It's really impressive what Pat Flynn has achieved by now. To my opinion the most important factor for his success is that he's proving that he is genuine.. This model is going to take over paid information sites.
      great point "proving that he is genuine" I agree.... i think that the internet is saturated with crappy websites and that the "transparent website" will become the most profitable, and rewarding
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      • Profile picture of the author successproducts
        Internet is definitely having bad reputation at the moment with lies lies and lies. I absolutely do not like to be lied to. In any case, genuine or not we all have a need to make money and so FREE is probably a good way to go to prove one's worth before one asks for money. Tell it like it is but with love seems to not happening any more. Either people gives false witness and/or write in such a way that gets us take out our wallet and buy ...

        I do also feel that making money online is not as hard as it sounds but making lots of money require great timing, luck and know some people in high places. You can make $1.00 a day with adsense but can you live with that?

        The list is a great way to go and what is the best way to start such a list? give away free report.

        It's very tempting to jump in and make money and think of everything in terms of how much money one can make .. but if you want to build a business you must do what others have done before - give away free something at first and continue to give and give and then sell.
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        • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
          Originally Posted by successproducts View Post

          Internet is definitely having bad reputation at the moment with lies lies and lies. I absolutely do not like to be lied to. In any case, genuine or not we all have a need to make money and so FREE is probably a good way to go to prove one's worth before one asks for money....
          That is the feeling that i kinds get with all the "get rick quick" websites that pop up every 2 seconds
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  • Profile picture of the author damasgate
    I don't paid information is going anywhere soon. I just think the way those spammy site present them are dying.

    People are understanding that they're obviously a scam. I think that giving away free gifts and promoting affiliate product on the backend is stilll selling information.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by damasgate View Post

      I don't paid information is going anywhere soon. I just think the way those spammy site present them are dying.

      People are understanding that they're obviously a scam. I think that giving away free gifts and promoting affiliate product on the backend is stilll selling information.
      I don't believe its selling information, you give away all the knowledge that you have on a given subject for free... the affiliate items are just products that are used to complete the goal.

      Its like giving away "free cars" and suggesting where they should buy gas... they must buy gas anyways, might as well make a commission
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  • Profile picture of the author Francis Ochoco
    Both are still very profitable. The purpose of free information sites is just to collect leads and for relationship building. You should use both free and paid sites in your marketing mix.
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    • Profile picture of the author ldbjr
      Originally Posted by Francis Ochoco View Post

      Both are still very profitable. The purpose of free information sites is just to collect leads and for relationship building. You should use both free and paid sites in your marketing mix.
      I agree. It's kind of like giving away "stuff" for people to sign up for a newsletter. But I must admit that Pat has an impressive site and seems like the real deal. That is certainly the first step in building a good online relationship.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by ldbjr View Post

        I agree. It's kind of like giving away "stuff" for people to sign up for a newsletter. But I must admit that Pat has an impressive site and seems like the real deal. That is certainly the first step in building a good online relationship.
        i think that its interesting that such a successful website like Pats can be done by just telling the truth and genuinely helping others with their business...
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  • Profile picture of the author Simmeon
    It's just two different ways of reaching the same goal. Paid gives the impression that information is unknown, limited, untapped, profitable. While giving information away FREE make lots of people gather towards, but maybe you would assume methods he speaks about are saturated and don't work.

    Both are great. But I don't see PAID information going anywhere soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    If paid information is dying, how is Mr. Flynn going to monetize his site? Is he doing it for charity?

    No. He isn't. If he's doing affiliate promotions, then SOMEONE is asking for money.

    Sorry, but you're logic is completely off base.

    The marketing technique of giving something away for a signup is as old as the hills and is effective. It doesn't act as a replacement for paid info, it acts as bait to get people to trust you. The paid info comes later (later as in 5 minutes or 5 days or 5 months...)

    Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post


    Its like giving away "free cars" and suggesting where they should buy gas... they must buy gas anyways, might as well make a commission
    I suggest you try to build a car and then give them away for free, just taking commissions on the gas.

    Let's do the math on this...

    I worked in the car business. The cost to build a cheapo entry level Ford is about 5,000. In order to "give away" and make profit, they would first have to:

    1. Work out deals with the Oil industry.

    2. Share the profits.

    Assuming that this could be achieved, 50% to the manufacturer of the car and 50% to the oil company...we are talking about maybe a buck or two to each one.

    That would be roughly 250 fill ups to break even on two dollars to the manufacturer per galleon.

    That is 5 Years, At MINIMUM, Before the Manufacturer Makes Money...

    And what happens when Mr. Freebie Seeker comes and wants a new car in 2 years?

    The car manufacturer goes out of business. That's what happens.

    Sorry, but the economics of "free" don't work.
    Rob
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Rob Howard View Post

      If paid information is dying, how is Mr. Flynn going to monetize his site? Is he doing it for charity?

      No. He isn't. If he's doing affiliate promotions, then SOMEONE is asking for money.

      Sorry, but you're logic is completely off base.

      The marketing technique of giving something away for a signup is as old as the hills and is effective. It doesn't act as a replacement for paid info, it acts as bait to get people to trust you. The paid info comes later (later as in 5 minutes or 5 days or 5 months...)



      I suggest you try to build a car and then give them away for free, just taking commissions on the gas.

      Let's do the math on this...

      I worked in the car business. The cost to build a cheapo entry level Ford is about 5,000. In order to "give away" and make profit, they would first have to:

      1. Work out deals with the Oil industry.

      2. Share the profits.

      Assuming that this could be achieved, 50% to the manufacturer of the car and 50% to the oil company...we are talking about maybe a buck or two to each one.

      That would be roughly 250 fill ups to break even on two dollars to the manufacturer per galleon.

      That is 5 Years, At MINIMUM, Before the Manufacturer Makes Money...

      And what happens when Mr. Freebie Seeker comes and wants a new car in 2 years?

      The car manufacturer goes out of business. That's what happens.

      Sorry, but the economics of "free" don't work.
      Rob
      I see the point that you are trying to make, the thing is.... his website really does give away his info for free, for over two years, no bait and switch as of now. And hes making Huge profits from "true free model" that's what is so unique
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    • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
      Originally Posted by Rob Howard View Post

      If paid information is dying, how is Mr. Flynn going to monetize his site? Is he doing it for charity?

      No. He isn't. If he's doing affiliate promotions, then SOMEONE is asking for money.

      Sorry, but you're logic is completely off base.

      The marketing technique of giving something away for a signup is as old as the hills and is effective. It doesn't act as a replacement for paid info, it acts as bait to get people to trust you. The paid info comes later (later as in 5 minutes or 5 days or 5 months...)



      I suggest you try to build a car and then give them away for free, just taking commissions on the gas.

      Let's do the math on this...

      I worked in the car business. The cost to build a cheapo entry level Ford is about 5,000. In order to "give away" and make profit, they would first have to:

      1. Work out deals with the Oil industry.

      2. Share the profits.

      Assuming that this could be achieved, 50% to the manufacturer of the car and 50% to the oil company...we are talking about maybe a buck or two to each one.

      That would be roughly 250 fill ups to break even on two dollars to the manufacturer per galleon.

      That is 5 Years, At MINIMUM, Before the Manufacturer Makes Money...

      And what happens when Mr. Freebie Seeker comes and wants a new car in 2 years?

      The car manufacturer goes out of business. That's what happens.

      Sorry, but the economics of "free" don't work.
      Rob
      Lols... this example you give of the auto industry is exactly how most cell phones are sold... they give you the phone free so you can signup for the plan.

      Google gives away brilliant services for FREE, and then uses the 3rd party model to sell clicks & impressions.

      Free models totally do work.

      Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

      I see the point that you are trying to make, the thing is.... his website really does give away his info for free, for over two years, no bait and switch as of now. And hes making Huge profits from "true free model" that's what is so unique
      It's actually called the "3rd Party Model" because a 3rd party is doing the selling.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
        Originally Posted by Doctor Derp View Post

        Lols... this example you give of the auto industry is exactly how most cell phones are sold... they give you the phone free so you can signup for the plan.
        No it's not. Not even close.

        Cell phones are around 50 to 100 bucks to produce. Maybe more. Your monthly contract is 50 to 100 bucks A MONTH. For two+ years.

        They are within profits on the phone within a few months.

        Their model is able to support a free phone giveaway. But that's only on the cheapest models, usually.


        Guys, I run a successful 5 figure a month business without giving away anything up front.

        To claim that "selling info" is dying is complete horsecrap. Because if that is true, then the free model will soon be dead with no one buying anything at all.

        Someone must be selling something somewhere in order for the free model to work.

        Businesses aren't charity.

        BTW - to counter the argument that free is ultimate - Dan Kennedy's book: Amazon.com: No B.S. Price Strategy: The Ultimate...Amazon.com: No B.S. Price Strategy: The Ultimate...
        He has big arguments against free - and how dangerous it is as a mindset.

        I know this other guy you are talking about - but Dan has helped so many small to large businesses throughout his life, his track record has proven itself time and time again.

        Finally, I have absolutely nothing against giving stuff away for free - but it's being put out of context in this discussion. It's a marketing tool used to sell just like every other marketing tool.

        Rob
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        • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
          Originally Posted by Rob Howard View Post

          No it's not. Not even close.

          Cell phones are around 50 to 100 bucks to produce. Maybe more. Your monthly contract is 50 to 100 bucks A MONTH. For two+ years.

          They are within profits on the phone within a few months.

          Their model is able to support a free phone giveaway. But that's only on the cheapest models, usually.


          Guys, I run a successful 5 figure a month business without giving away anything up front.

          To claim that "selling info" is dying is complete horsecrap. Because if that is true, then the free model will soon be dead with no one buying anything at all.

          Someone must be selling something somewhere in order for the free model to work.

          Businesses aren't charity.

          BTW - to counter the argument that free is ultimate - Dan Kennedy's book: Amazon.com: No B.S. Price Strategy: The Ultimate No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Profits, Power, and Prosperity (9781599184005): Dan S. Kennedy, Jason Marrs: Books

          He has big arguments against free - and how dangerous it is as a mindset.

          I know this other guy you are talking about - but Dan has helped so many small to large businesses throughout his life, his track record has proven itself time and time again.

          Finally, I have absolutely nothing against giving stuff away for free - but it's being put out of context in this discussion. It's a marketing tool used to sell just like every other marketing tool.

          Rob
          Hey Rob,

          First, I thought I'd thank you for adding value to the conversation. Your passionate disagreements with "Free" are completely valid and helpful, I think, and I used to share some of your sentiments. Through experience I've changed my views on this considerably, but wouldn't say it's the ONLY way to do things by any means...but I do think it's more than just a marketing hook or tool to use to sell more stuff. I'll try to explain where I'm coming from...

          I should also point out I don't think there's anything wrong with charging for stuff. In fact, I've gladly paid for things I knew I could get for FREE, simply because I liked the way the information was laid out, liked the efficiency increase for the paid tool over the free tool, etc.

          Dan Kennedy setting higher prices for products seems completely reasonable. (Good pick...have to check it out) I'd add that I've always found more success going UP-market rather than trying to drop my price and compete close to the bottom. The buyers are always better in my experience. If you're going to go downmarket, I'd argue you're probably better off by offering MUCH better value and then taking it to free, blowing out the bottom competitors and monetizing differently.

          I'd also say that giving away information or even physical stuff for free does NOT imply that you don't find a way to monetize at all. I think it's just a way of looking at a particular niche, market, etc. and breaking convention to find a way to offer something away for free that's currently costing money...and then finding an interesting way to get paid for bringing that change about.

          While I think this is PARTICULARLY relevant to "bits and not atoms"...as the cost of distribution for bits is next to nothing, this can be done with services and atoms as well, I think. Using an example from Chris's book, RyanAir offers flights that are pretty damn close to free. For example, I just looked up a flight from London to Barcelona for $22.99. That's well below cost...so how do they make their money?

          EVERYTHING is an upgrade. Want to bring a bag? Gotta pay more. Want priority seating? Gotta pay more. Want a drink? Gotta pay more. They make their money charging AROUND the actual service they're providing. (The book goes on to talk about the potential for gambling while in the air...an interesting addition.) Some might even end up paying MORE for their flight if they want a ton of extras. It's an interesting option...one that's definitely disruptive in the airline industry.

          You mention not being able to make cars free. I agree that's a pretty difficult scenario with the high-cost of manufacturing cars. I would point to the fact that there was a company that offered computers for free years ago by placing advertisements all over the place. I don't think that ultimately took off, but the company definitely got their name out there and did well for the period they had this offer. (I don't remember all the details...maybe someone else can chime in here if they remember that, hehe)

          I can CONCEIVE of ways to offer a free car, though. Working out some kind of subsidy with the government for electric cars + advertising on them, offering the baseline car for free and charging for upgrades, etc. The real problem in that industry, I think, is the high cost to getting started and testing it out.

          You and I both run a "non-free" 5-figure business...but neither of us has the capital to even CONSIDER getting something like this started. This would require buy-in and adoption from one of the major players in the car industry or someone outside the industry with a ton of capital and connections to see it through. When you limit your potential starting companies to those something like this is much less likely to come to fruition. The barrier to entry there is just too high and the companies that could pull it off are not those that are likely to be disruptive and break the current model, obviously.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    Knowledge is money - people will always pay for it, if you pack it nicely and market it properly.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Eduard Stinga View Post

      Knowledge is money - people will always pay for it, if you pack it nicely and market it properly.
      I agree with this statement, the main word "properly"
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    LOLz

    I guess you better call Amazon and tell them that they need to stop charging for books!!

    As some people would tell you, Google provides everything you can find in a book anyway, and Google gives it to you for free.

    There are six basic models for creating revenue:

    1. Free Content - Paid Advertising;

    2. Free Content - Paid Advertising, with some Affiliate Commissions in the back-end;

    3. Paid Content - No Advertising;

    4. Paid Content - Paid Advertising;

    5. Paid Content - Paid Advertising, with some Affiliate Commissions in the back-end;

    6. Paid Content - Affiliate Comissions in the back-end only.


    You appear to using #1.

    Your guy Pat Flynn seems to be using model #2.

    I make a decent living with model #6.

    I suspect that maybe you have been drinking a little too much free kool-aid.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMHunter
    If you are giving Free quality information then people would trust and buy from you later on.
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    • Profile picture of the author larryj
      I have to agree with Fancis. You need both free and paid information. If you have good quality free stuff, you can attract good quality leads with your free stuff, and if you develop a relationship with them, they will be more willing to pay for your better stuff.

      If you are in this business to make money, remember no money is made until someone buys something. Paid sites will never go away.

      larryj
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Paid information is still in the loop. Free marketing is cool too, but it will take some time to start seeing alot of results from it. Within 3 months of intense free marketing, you should start to see sales coming in regularly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
    Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

    After being a paid consultant and website marketer for 5+ years, it seems to me that the genre of "making money online" by asking people to "Pay" for information is the way of the past and dying. How many crappy, spammy websites do we see asking for you to enter your credit card or signup?

    It seems that websites like: Passive Income: The Smart Passive Income Blog[/url] (Pat Flynn) are making 10x more giving away everything for free and just being genuine about what they're doing. Of course they promote affiliate products on the back end but never ask for any money for information for their help.... Im trying this model.

    What do you think? Will FREE information sites take over Paid information sites? Whats more profitable? Pros/Cons?
    Go read "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson of Wired, and use it to re-build your business model. You'll love me for it.

    EDIT: Use the free stuff to build relationships & drive sales of your own stuff, and other people's stuff. Pretty simple, but very effective
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Doctor Derp View Post

      Go read "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson of Wired, and use it to re-build your business model. You'll love me for it.

      EDIT: Use the free stuff to build relationships & drive sales of your own stuff, and other people's stuff. Pretty simple, but very effective

      I will look into that.

      And I agree completely with your EDIT.
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  • Profile picture of the author JD Ways
    Yeah Pat Flynn is great!! He gives away a LOT of good information!! His money comes from memberships and all free info rolled up into courses with extra "un free" info. He also monetizes with several links within his sites! I like his business model! But he will have to keep new content coming like the rest of us.
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  • Profile picture of the author brooks28
    Paid content is not going anywhere!

    Heck Gary V launched a PAID email newsletter not so long ago. So did a few other guys that I know... and people are begging them for more.

    The difference between paid and free is the perceived value by the reader and how willing they are to take action on it.

    It's been proven that people take more action when they've paid for the information.

    I could go on and on lol

    Just my 2c
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    • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
      Originally Posted by brooks28 View Post

      Paid content is not going anywhere!

      Heck Gary V launched a PAID email newsletter not so long ago. So did a few other guys that I know... and people are begging them for more.

      The difference between paid and free is the perceived value by the reader and how willing they are to take action on it.

      It's been proven that people take more action when they've paid for the information.

      I could go on and on lol

      Just my 2c
      And how did Gary V build his massive customer list??

      BY GIVING AWAY the BEST FRIKKEN WINE VIDEOS on the INTERWEBZ! For FREE.

      I rest my case.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        If you're an Information Marketer, you need to learn
        the vital skill of how to give away information very,
        very STRATEGICALLY.

        Your free information should lead people to BUY your
        paid information (or affiliate offers).

        The skill is in learning what to give away and what
        to hold back and charge for.

        After all, you don't want to give away the farm now
        do you?

        I ceased being just a free information bureau a long
        time ago!

        In general, people place more value on what they pay
        for than what they get for free.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
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        .

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        • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          If you're an Information Marketer, you need to learn
          the vital skill of how to give away information very,
          very STRATEGICALLY.

          Your free information should lead people to BUY your
          paid information (or affiliate offers).
          Good stuff Shaun, I agree, that's why I recommended "FREE" by Chris Anderson earlier in the thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author brooks28
        Originally Posted by Doctor Derp View Post

        And how did Gary V build his massive customer list??

        BY GIVING AWAY the BEST FRIKKEN WINE VIDEOS on the INTERWEBZ! For FREE.

        I rest my case.

        Touché! Lol
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        • Profile picture of the author lostcyclist
          Great discussion on here! Two quick thoughts:

          I paid $30k for a college degree that is quite useless. It has yet to make me any extra money over my high-school peers. Bad choice in major? Maybe. But I still paid for it. Paying for something doesn't always make it better or more valued to the individual.

          Pat Flynn provides a lot of free information -- but it is the rare individual that can take free information and turn it into a daily discipline. Those who realize they need more of that, are willing to pay more -- such as those who signed up for Pat's niche marketing course -- and will value it more.

          Both sides of the line are right. For some people, you can give free information and they will come back and buy tools and other affiliate products from you. Other's will pay extra for more intense coaching.

          Providing that choice to people is a powerful thing.

          Adsense Flippers, I'll be honest, if I were you, I'd take the ebook off the free list and start selling it. That's a powerful e-book you have and I've sent more than one friend over to give their email address.

          Or maybe that's the exact reason its free....
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          • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
            Originally Posted by lostcyclist View Post

            Great discussion on here! Two quick thoughts:
            Adsense Flippers, I'll be honest, if I were you, I'd take the ebook off the free list and start selling it. That's a powerful e-book you have and I've sent more than one friend over to give their email address.

            Or maybe that's the exact reason its free....
            Hey there!

            Totally agree that both a paid and free model work. There are situations where paid works better than free, free better than paid, etc. We're far from idealists here...even though free does feel/sound a bit idealist, doesn't it. Ultimately, it's quite effective for us and we LIKE it as well.

            Thanks for the ebook appreciation! The funny thing is we've spent the last 45-50 days building out an entirely new, detailed guide. We think it's going to be KILLER. Honestly, if we wrapped some other content around it and different mediums, we think we could price it somewhere between $200-$400 per and get quite a few sales.

            We're going to do a "launch" through a webinar, sending out emails, etc. The best thing? It's going to all be free! :-) That might be taking it too far, but we're going to continue to explore this road and see where it takes us, heh.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jordan J Caron
      Originally Posted by brooks28 View Post


      Heck Gary V launched a PAID email newsletter not so long ago. So did a few other guys that I know... and people are begging them for more.
      Yes but he had to offer lots of free valuable content to get there. Sure his books have added to his rise but the majority of his content is free.

      Someone said that it takes a lot of hard work with the free model which is true. Gary, Pat, Chris Brogan are all examples of this.

      With so much content being published I couldn't fathom paying for much.

      Eric Schmidt: Every 2 Days We Create As Much Information As We Did Up To 2003 | TechCrunch

      How long will it take for the average consumer to realize this and figure out there's lot of great free content out there?
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  • Profile picture of the author D Baker
    I don't think you can come to a conclusion that the "pay for information" module is dead in the water based on one very successful blogger.

    Pat Flynn's success came thanks to a various of reasons and the fact that he gives out free information is just one of those reasons. You can't say that providing free information is better or more profitable based on one case alone. I'm sure that you can find yourself more than a dozen opposite cases that people are making great money with the Paid module.

    Not everyone is Pat Flynn

    I personally also believe in the Free module or as Eban Pagan called it, Freemium (I think) but I can't agree that the Paid module is over. Both modules will work but don't expect to become Pat Flynn and make 50K/m just because you provide free information.

    It will take a lot more than simply that.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by D Baker View Post

      I don't think you can come to a conclusion that the "pay for information" module is dead in the water based on one very successful blogger.

      Pat Flynn's success came thanks to a various of reasons and the fact that he gives out free information is just one of those reasons. You can't say that providing free information is better or more profitable based on one case alone. I'm sure that you can find yourself more than a dozen opposite cases that people are making great money with the Paid module.

      Not everyone is Pat Flynn

      I personally also believe in the Free module or as Eban Pagan called it, Freemium (I think) but I can't agree that the Paid module is over. Both modules will work but don't expect to become Pat Flynn and make 50K/m just because you provide free information.

      It will take a lot more than simply that.
      Not dead.... Dying. You can definitively still make money with the "paid" model, that's how i have paid my bills for the last 5 years... I just believe that long term: there is more profit is genuinely helping people for free and suggesting what additional products they should use (that they must buy anyways) to reach their goals (affiliates).
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    • Profile picture of the author PintOGuinness
      Originally Posted by D Baker View Post


      Not everyone is Pat Flynn
      Pat has done a fantastic job of becoming a "genuine" provider of high quality information to the point of becoming a bit of a celebrity.

      The downside of free for it to become very profitable is you must be exceptional. Not everyone can be above average. As more people begin to emulate Pat with their income reports and free reviews of infoproducts, some good ones are going to standout and begin to crowd the top which moves the bar for average higher.

      With paid modes of business, you can make a living without being a celebrity. You can sell high-quality products that solve real problems or fulfill desires.

      This thread started by comparing Smart Passive Income and scammy paid sites, but the better comparison is between Pat's site and other free information only sites and not to paid sites (scammy or not).

      Are other free sites prospering? My buddies at AdsenseFlippers are making a go of it by giving away their info and selling websites they've built.

      News organizations are sucking a$$.

      The difference being no one really values what in the daily news, but there's a hungry market for the info Justin and Joe have at AF.

      Great discussion going on here.

      Tim Conley
      The Foolish Adventure Show
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by PintOGuinness View Post

        Pat has done a fantastic job of becoming a "genuine" provider of high quality information to the point of becoming a bit of a celebrity.

        The downside of free for it to become very profitable is you must be exceptional. Not everyone can be above average.....

        With paid modes of business, you can make a living without being a celebrity.....
        Totally agree with these points, a big downside of having a free model is you must build huge trust and be very likable which you either have or don't. I guess that weeds of some of the competition in the "free" model
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      • Profile picture of the author Kent F
        Originally Posted by PintOGuinness View Post

        Pat has done a fantastic job of becoming a "genuine" provider of high quality information to the point of becoming a bit of a celebrity.

        The downside of free for it to become very profitable is you must be exceptional. Not everyone can be above average. As more people begin to emulate Pat with their income reports and free reviews of infoproducts, some good ones are going to standout and begin to crowd the top which moves the bar for average higher.

        With paid modes of business, you can make a living without being a celebrity. You can sell high-quality products that solve real problems or fulfill desires.

        This thread started by comparing Smart Passive Income and scammy paid sites, but the better comparison is between Pat's site and other free information only sites and not to paid sites (scammy or not).

        Are other free sites prospering? My buddies at AdsenseFlippers are making a go of it by giving away their info and selling websites they've built.

        News organizations are sucking a$$.

        The difference being no one really values what in the daily news, but there's a hungry market for the info Justin and Joe have at AF.

        Great discussion going on here.

        Tim Conley
        The Foolish Adventure Show
        Excellent observations! I didn't say what Pat does is duplicatible - it certainly is not. You have to be a rock star - no doubt. An average Joe can certainly develop a highly responsive list selling his/her own info. product and can do quite nicely. Thanks for the insight.
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        • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
          Originally Posted by Kent F View Post

          ...I didn't say what Pat does is duplicatible - it certainly is not. You have to be a rock star - no doubt.
          It certainly IS - any business model is replicable... and yes, you DO have to be a badass.

          Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

          The thing that throws me off about Pat Flynn is his site openly says he is not a millionaire.

          He has an Alexa rank of 4,594, but he isn't a millionaire? Seriously? That boggles my mind.

          The guy gets more traffic than Frank Kern's website, yet he isn't a millionaire.

          And you are arguing why his method of free information and free resources beats Frank Kern's method of charging 5k a head for exclusive IM coaching is better?

          Seriously?
          Irwin Kern is a millionaire? Really?
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  • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    Hello,

    I beg to differ on what you say. From my experience people give more 'value' to something which is sold for x amount of dollars, even if it's just $7 or $9.99 - However I have tried offering the same product for FREE and believe it or not, not as many people downloaded it. Oh and btw I didn't even try to capture their email information etc.

    I am not saying that you cannot build a succesful marketing business by giving out free advice and trying to sell via affiliates... but hey you are still expecting to sell something before you make money!
    Well sure, when you just give stuff away for Free without establishing a value as you give it away, it's going to be perceived by your customer as Value-less... thus your customers acquired less of the free version than the paid version because they saw it as of less value.

    This is easily fixed by establishing the value of the product as you give it away.

    BIG caveat: The stuff you give away for free has to be actually Good Stuff, not some random cr@p.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Thanks to the OP for bringing up this topic/discussion. It's very near/dear to us!

    We've started down the "free content" model and it's completely changed the way we do business. Reading Chris Anderson's book on Free changed my views on things at many different levels, but we didn't implement right away. About 18 months ago we made the switch and we're overwhelmed with how positive it's been.

    Someone else mentioned that it can't be free "crap"...we absolutely agree with that. You have to give away content that you would otherwise charge for or that's part of someone else's paid model. It's best when most others are charging for it...you can be the most disruptive that way.

    You might notice an age difference between those who are supporters of free as model/plan and those who think it's not a true option. We've talked to a TON of people about this over the last 18 months. Many of those who are 45+, as a general rule, just don't understand the model at all. Those who are under 30 seem to get it much more readily.

    We did a podcast episode on this very topic. If this kind of thing interests you, I encourage you to check it out:
    Episode 14 AdSense Flippers Podcast: Monetizing Free | AdSense Flippers
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      Thanks to the OP for bringing up this topic/discussion. It's very near/dear to us!

      We've started down the "free content" model and it's completely changed the way we do business. Reading Chris Anderson's book on Free changed my views on things at many different levels, but we didn't implement right away. About 18 months ago we made the switch and we're overwhelmed with how positive it's been.

      Someone else mentioned that it can't be free "crap"...we absolutely agree with that. You have to give away content that you would otherwise charge for or that's part of someone else's paid model. It's best when most others are charging for it...you can be the most disruptive that way.

      You might notice an age difference between those who are supporters of free as model/plan and those who think it's not a true option. We've talked to a TON of people about this over the last 18 months. Many of those who are 45+, as a general rule, just don't understand the model at all. Those who are under 30 seem to get it much more readily.

      We did a podcast episode on this very topic. If this kind of thing interests you, I encourage you to check it out:
      Episode 14 AdSense Flippers Podcast: Monetizing Free | AdSense Flippers
      you and i are in the same boat... " You have to give away content that you would otherwise charge for or that's part of someone else's paid model. It's best when most others are charging for it...you can be the most disruptive that way." Respect.... awesome advice
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  • Profile picture of the author Doctor Derp
    Sweet, I love vindication.

    Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

    It's best when most others are charging for it...you can be the most disruptive that way.
    ROCK ON! Love that twist... crushes the other peeps out of the game.
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    • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
      Originally Posted by Doctor Derp View Post

      Sweet, I love vindication.



      ROCK ON! Love that twist... crushes the other peeps out of the game.
      Definitely...it's a great way to grab people's attention. Marketing is all about capturing and keeping their attention. Free will bring them over, but the real value is in keeping them there and scaling that up, I think.
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      • Profile picture of the author arkpizarro
        I see the whole paid vs. free content issue like this..

        You can go to workout at the gym and be friendly with some of the guys who know how to work out and get some really good tips on how to get a better workout.

        Then again, maybe you're not interested in being social, you just want to get in, workout and move along. This is where a personal trainer would probably fit in nicely.

        You pay, they teach and motivate you and you get the results you want. The web has increased the amount of valuable info we now have access to in just about all areas, but it will never do away with the fact that some of us are willing to pay for what we want.

        Will scammers benefit from this? Probably, but legitimate experts will too. So I think it boils down to going with whatever works for you.
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        • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
          Originally Posted by arkpizarro View Post

          You can go to workout at the gym and be friendly with some of the guys who know how to work out and get some really good tips on how to get a better workout.

          Then again, maybe you're not interested in being social, you just want to get in, workout and move along. This is where a personal trainer would probably fit in nicely.

          You pay, they teach and motivate you and you get the results you want. The web has increased the amount of valuable info we now have access to in just about all areas, but it will never do away with the fact that some of us are willing to pay for what we want.
          Thanks for the comment, but I'm going to respectfully disagree with your analogy. What you're stating implies that the "free tips" are automatically less valuable than paying a "professional trainer".

          While I agree with your use case that says you'll probably get more out of the paid trainer than the buddies you're chatting with at the gym, I'm saying you can take the model even further...way further than that, actually.

          Let's say that THE best personal trainer decides that he's WAY to busy with his clients and wants a better way to do this. Instead, he creates a site, records videos, and walks everyone through the EXACT stuff he would have them do at the gym.

          Wait...he takes it further than that. He creates a forum where he provides personalized coaching for individuals and gives it all away for free. He doesn't hide it behind a pay wall so that ALL can benefit from his advice. He gives his BEST tips away to everyone, for free...

          Here's the funny thing...this is being DONE!
          Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit | Personal Trainer | Weight Loss

          He's been featured on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, MSNBC, etc. He doesn't post his income, but my guess is he's making a KILLING! Even if he's not turning that into dollars (yet) you can't deny that he's produced a TON of value.

          What would have happened if he stayed at the gym coaching clients, do you think? What if all this information was hidden behind a paywall?
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          • Profile picture of the author arkpizarro
            Well said TryBPO. I wasn't saying that those were the only models, nor did I intend to imply that free content is of lesser value, simply that we have options. Depending upon the kind of people we happen to be.

            You went on to mention some good points about a trainer who provides amazing value and that's great. However, my point of view was to clarify that just because someone may charge for sharing their knowledge doesn't automatically make it a bad thing.

            Just because someone spends 30K on an education and feels they got no value from it doesn't mean that paying for an education is a waste of money. Try becoming a physician with the free stuff you learn online and let me know how that goes..
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  • Profile picture of the author gautam42
    Use both methods, what sticks for your level of talent & gives you revenues is king. Use the diversity as a leverage to your advantage.
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  • Profile picture of the author savedbyhim01
    I have seen so many people trying to sell information on the "KEY TO MAKING HUGE MONEY ONLINE" and the like that you really start doubt what you will get if you buy it. How do I know if I can believe these people?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
    Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

    What do you think? Will FREE information sites take over Paid information sites? Whats more profitable? Pros/Cons?
    The reason behind free information sites working great is its a way of building trust. By giving information for free you are building trust in your readers about you and this trust allows to make sales later. I mean if you are providing good information on periodical basis people love to come back to your website and see whats new. And if they find something useful they don't hesitate to buy it due to the trust in you.

    And who says paid sites are dying they are still making good money, just have a look at membership sites. Membership website owners are making thousands of dollars monthly by providing good, unique and informative contents.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

      The reason behind free information sites working great is its a way of building trust. Buy giving information for free you are building trust in your readers about you and this trust allows to make sales later.....

      And who says paid sites are dying they are still making good money, just have a look at membership sites. Membership website owners are making thousands of dollars monthly by providing good ,unique and informative contents.
      Totally agree its all about building trust. You build the trust because you honestly help people reach their goal.... then if you know of products (affiliates) that are the best in the industry for them to use, it helps them out even more. Thus everyone wins

      Paid sites can still make good money, however i believe people are losing "trust" in these sites because they are a dime a dozen and "free information" websites go against the grain and stand out
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      • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
        Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

        Paid sites can still make good money, however i believe people are losing "trust" in these sites because they are a dime a dozen and "free information" websites go against the grain and stand out
        You can say that people are losing trust and the reason is lots of BS in the market and internet is growing faster than before most of the guys have very good idea of what they are looking for and they want to see proof before purchasing the product.. and by offering free contents you are proving yourself that you are an expert and have very good knowledge of what they are looking and seriously help them, once you receive their trust you can build a paid site and generate real good income.

        So in my thinking the best strategy is using both options first free to build trust and then paid one because when people will trust you they won't bother to pay you for the information you are sharing with them. And those who used this strategy are really making good money.
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        • Profile picture of the author PintOGuinness
          Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

          You can say that people are losing trust and the reason is lots of BS in the market and internet is growing faster than before most of the guys have very good idea of what they are looking for and they want to see proof before purchasing the product.. and by offering free contents you are proving yourself that you are an expert and have very good knowledge of what they are looking and seriously help them, once you receive their trust you can build a paid site and generate real good income.

          So in my thinking the best strategy is using both options first free to build trust and then paid one because when people will trust you they won't bother to pay you for the information you are sharing with them. And those who used this strategy are really making good money.
          Ajay, I totally agree. For the last 2 years I've been teaching what I call 3PA -- the Three Product Approach.

          Product 1 is a high-quality, valuable product that can be downloaded without any barriers. Not even an opt-in. Without a barrier it tends to be shared more than something that must be opted into.

          Product 2 again has to be very valuable to your market and quality. This one you use in exchange for an opt-in.

          Product 3 is your paid product.

          My clients, audience and members have been putting this into action and it has worked in all kinds of industries and niches. My former co-host, Izzy, has become a dominant player in the highly competitive area of videography and Final Cut tutorials using 3PA.

          As you said, free is used to get people to know, like and trust you. And paid, well... that puts food on the table.

          Tim Conley
          The Foolish Adventure Show
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  • Profile picture of the author jolarry
    I think, there will always be people to pay, whether for a guarantee of quality (normally!) or to save time. In return, free need quantity!
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  • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
    Originally Posted by backlinkspackets View Post

    Both are still very profitable, but I recommend the paid version.
    I can see if you have a end use product paid maybe better.... but knowledge based websites or "how-to" websites: the free/genuine model is very attractive and makes life easy...just be yourself and expel knowledge
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  • Profile picture of the author Sara Veron
    I believe that you should do both in your marketing business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kent F
      Some of you folks crack me up. Unless you're really needing to broaden out a bit, or get out of the WF chatroom, you know who Pat is. He provides tons of valuable, FREE info. such as videos on how to set up a FB fanpage step by step or a FB Timeline - and he does it better than just about anyone else.

      Sure he could charge $47 or $27/month for this info - yet he chooses to give it away totally free - no strings attached - none.

      Pat was podcasting while most of us (myself included) thought that medium was kind of silly - pretend radio - and yet, go see how he ranks in ITunes now. It's all 100% free - and MILLIONS have downloaded his podcasts.

      His free business model works.

      There are some great info. marketers on the WF, and some really, really bad ones. Both will continue to make money - because people are lazy, stupid or both. Rather than seeking out the Pat Flynn's of the world - who provide a better free video or product - they'll pay Joe Blow with his fake income screen shots - $47 for a business model that is 2 years out-dated. Or, they will let someone else talk them into becoming "lazy" marketers - and push 2 buttons and make $1,000 a day because people want to win the lottery -they don't want to run a business.

      Are all paid info. marketers this way? Of course not. And, there is certainly nothing unethical about charging for information, software or anything else. Heck, remember when water was free? Nothing wrong at all with it.

      To each their own.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
        Originally Posted by Kent F View Post

        Some of you folks crack me up. Unless you're really needing to broaden out a bit, or get out of the WF chatroom, you know who Pat is. He provides tons of valuable, FREE info. such as videos on how to set up a FB fanpage step by step or a FB Timeline - and he does it better than just about anyone else.

        Sure he could charge $47 or $27/month for this info - yet he chooses to give it away totally free - no strings attached - none.

        Pat was podcasting while most of us (myself included) thought that medium was kind of silly - pretend radio - and yet, go see how he ranks in ITunes now. It's all 100% free - and MILLIONS have downloaded his podcasts.

        His free business model works.

        There are some great info. marketers on the WF, and some really, really bad ones. Both will continue to make money - because people are stupid. Rather than seeking out the Pat Flynn's of the world - who provide a better free video or product - they'll pay Joe Blow with his fake income screen shots - $47 for a business model that is 2 years out-dated.

        To each their own.
        Kent, we are not talking against Pat, he is a real expert i believe. but we are talking about free and paid sites. I believe blackfinreality found Pat's site as a best website for showing free site example that is why he used it as an example.
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    • Profile picture of the author lostcyclist
      Thanks for the ebook appreciation! The funny thing is we've spent the last 45-50 days building out an entirely new, detailed guide. We think it's going to be KILLER. Honestly, if we wrapped some other content around it and different mediums, we think we could price it somewhere between $200-$400 per and get quite a few sales.

      We're going to do a "launch" through a webinar, sending out emails, etc. The best thing? It's going to all be free! :-) That might be taking it too far, but we're going to continue to explore this road and see where it takes us, heh.
      Ya'll should get your heads checked. Even the intern.

      Just because someone spends 30K on an education and feels they got no value from it doesn't mean that paying for an education is a waste of money. Try becoming a physician with the free stuff you learn online and let me know how that goes..
      You hint at an important thing, and I don't see it being mentioned much in this thread. That thing is Barrier to Entry

      There's a $200k barrier to enter the Medical Field. In contrast, I read Pat Flynn's blog and dropped $60 to start my first website. (And, it's already made me more than my college degree.)

      I don't believe there has ever before been such a low barrier to enter such a lucrative business.

      So free information is literally changing sociology, imo.

      One other thought: Companies that give information away are often bigger.

      Pat Flynn, Spencer, Adsense Flippers are all huge. Even Onlineincomelab seems pretty large and constantly has fresh, relevant and free content.

      By the same token, there are a lot of one-hit-wonder WSO's out there. Perhaps if they had started or maintained a lot of free, consistently updated content, they would have made it longer?

      Now, there's a question for another thread...
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  • Profile picture of the author dave830
    Selling information will NEVER die.

    How people package and present it will come and go like fads... I think this is what people are observing.
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    I don't have anything to offer, but have a great day anyway!

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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by dave830 View Post

      Selling information will NEVER die.

      How people package and present it will come and go like fads... I think this is what people are observing.
      Dying and Die are two different things....I believe that the most successful websites and blogs will be those that share almost all free information/knowledge vs. those that ask you to signup or enter you CC info immediately

      another example: askthebuilder.com one of the most successful Adsense websites of all time
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  • Profile picture of the author HalloweenKing
    I am online since 2007, I never saw blogs post their monthly earnings in details like -
    Pat Flynn - SmartPassiveIncome.com
    Justin & Joe - AdsenseFlippers.com
    Spencer - NichePursuits.com
    When you read their blogs you feel like you want to give back and thank them.
    Trust can bring you tons of money, especially in a niche like make money online when there are a lot of greedy people.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    I think there's a psychological aspect to free that hasn't been mentioned yet.

    When people offer you true value for free, you WANT to thank them. It creates this sort-of unequal balance where you feel like it's unfair if you don't pay them back in some way.

    Some (very few, I think) will just totally take advantage of this and not care whether you get paid back or not. Others will pay you back by telling their friends, sending out a tweet, etc. Still more will pay you back by specifically seeking you out for an affiliate link or a product/service so that they can buy through YOU.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      I think there's a psychological aspect to free that hasn't been mentioned yet.

      When people offer you true value for free, you WANT to thank them. It creates this sort-of unequal balance where you feel like it's unfair if you don't pay them back in some way.

      Some (very few, I think) will just totally take advantage of this and not care whether you get paid back or not. Others will pay you back by telling their friends, sending out a tweet, etc. Still more will pay you back by specifically seeking you out for an affiliate link or a product/service so that they can buy through YOU.
      Great Point
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    • Profile picture of the author PintOGuinness
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      I think there's a psychological aspect to free that hasn't been mentioned yet.

      When people offer you true value for free, you WANT to thank them. It creates this sort-of unequal balance where you feel like it's unfair if you don't pay them back in some way.

      Some (very few, I think) will just totally take advantage of this and not care whether you get paid back or not. Others will pay you back by telling their friends, sending out a tweet, etc. Still more will pay you back by specifically seeking you out for an affiliate link or a product/service so that they can buy through YOU.
      This is called reciprocity. Gary V has been rebranding it as the Thank You Economy, though it has always existed.

      Is this Joe or Justin?

      t
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  • Profile picture of the author willie robertson
    As mentioned before in this thread, many marketers use "free" as a way to get leads to opt into their sales funnel, as many retail outlets do when using loss leaders to get a customer into their establishments.

    I opted into receive Pat Flynn's newsletter from Smart Passive Income, he provides some valuable content, I would purchase products he recommended through his affiliate links.

    Also, I have received some free items that actually proved to be of more value than some of the crap I paid for.

    Of note: Last week marketer Tosin Adeoti wrote a post on Face Book talking about perceived value.

    He told of someone placing a refrigerator on the curbside with a sign saying, "free", and it is in great working order.

    The frig sat most of the day with no takers. So the owner placed a sign on the frig saying, frig for sale, $50.00. He sold it within an hour.

    Tosin Adeoti was talking about how we value ourselves, but it applies to most everything.

    Perceived value.

    I think both free and paid have a place in the market.
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    • Profile picture of the author Legit SEO
      How about using free AND paid together? Now that is a winning combination. A great example would be Glen from Viper Chill. He has built up a huge following by offering free info and when he releases a product it flys off the shelf (ex:Optin Skin) because people trust him and he can reach thousands of targeted customers just by posting about it on his blog.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by willie robertson View Post

      .....He told of someone placing a refrigerator on the curbside with a sign saying, "free", and it is in great working order.

      The frig sat most of the day with no takers. So the owner placed a sign on the frig saying, frig for sale, $50.00. He sold it within an hour.....
      Great point of view, ironically at one point i owned an appliance business so i can relate first hand to that example lol
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Hey Tim,

    It's Justin. 90% of the time if it's commenting, Twitter, WF, etc. it's me, hehe.

    I'm a pretty bad IMer...I just looked up Gary Vaynerchuk on Wikipedia, lol. I'd heard of him before, but had no idea what he was known for until earlier in this thread. The Intern knows of him and has read his book, Crush It...said it was great.
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  • Profile picture of the author defaultuser
    I suppose you could look at all of his free stuff as a sort of sales copy for affiliate and coaching sales. Just really good, helpful, sales copy.

    Pat's good at what he does. That's why he makes good money.

    I don't understand what all the hub-bub is all about. I see multiple marketing strategies/ideas being used to earn him money. They all seem to be working really well, and they all fit the priorities he has for his life.

    For the sake of redundancy. It's not rocket surgery.

    I met Pat a few years ago at a mastermind group in southern California. At the time I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I was really excited. People in the next county over could tell I was excited. Naturally, Pat could tell too.

    I didn't know what to expect. It was the first mastermind group I'd ever been to. I had never hung out with someone that made over $5,000 per month and had time to hang out at a coffee shop next to the beach on a Wednesday afternoon.

    While there are A LOT of douchebag-gurus out there, Pat wasn't one of them. He was way cool. He answered my wave of questions I had thanks to my stream of conscientiousness rambling, and offered really helpful feedback, and complimented my passion.

    He even gave me advice via email a few months later.

    Smart Passive Income just seems to be apart of who Pat is. He wanted to show people that anyone could earn money online with a little bit of education, and so he did.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by defaultuser View Post

      Smart Passive Income just seems to be apart of who Pat is. He wanted to show people that anyone could earn money online with a little bit of education, and so he did.
      I think that's a huge part of a productive "free" site... you somewhat have to live it, be apart of what you are promoting... great point
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    I totally agree that this is the way of the future. IMO reputation is everything online now, and the more trust you gain the more potential for profit you have.
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  • Profile picture of the author atvking
    Giving away lots of stuff for free is a great way to ruin what ever you are doing. Just look at what happened in adult. Lots of free stuff on offer= people got used to getting porn for free = tubes are basically giving away free porn by the truckload in hopes of converting 1 in 25.000.

    Giving away things for free is something that should be used like seasoning in food. It is not the main meal and should be used very sparingly. One should concentrate on the main meal more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    The thing that throws me off about Pat Flynn is his site openly says he is not a millionaire.

    He has an Alexa rank of 4,594, but he isn't a millionaire? Seriously? That boggles my mind.

    The guy gets more traffic than Frank Kern's website, yet he isn't a millionaire.

    And you are arguing why his method of free information and free resources beats Frank Kern's method of charging 5k a head for exclusive IM coaching is better?

    Seriously?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
      Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

      The thing that throws me off about Pat Flynn is his site openly says he is not a millionaire.

      He has an Alexa rank of 4,594, but he isn't a millionaire? Seriously? That boggles my mind.

      The guy gets more traffic than Frank Kern's website, yet he isn't a millionaire.

      And you are arguing why his method of free information and free resources beats Frank Kern's method of charging 5k a head for exclusive IM coaching is better?

      Seriously?
      What do you mean by that.. i mean are you saying like the website which receives great traffic its owner must be a millionaire.. or he must claim that he is a millionaire and for proof look at my alexa ranking LoL.

      Why you guys try to change the topic of discussion? We are talking about strategy not a specific guy and his earning. You can offer your basic coaching for free at start and then build a list of paid customers later by building trust and your reputation.

      So instead of changing discussion topic and comparing two different guys be on topic and share your views.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zarathushtra
    In my experience, people usually tend to give less value to free things (ebooks, ecourses, or anything else).
    I believe free things are essential to spread your brand, to gain credibility but I would never use only free material to grow my business.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Zarathushtra View Post

      In my experience, people usually tend to give less value to free things (ebooks, ecourses, or anything else).
      I believe free things are essential to spread your brand, to gain credibility but I would never use only free material to grow my business.
      The key is: giving away "quality" things that people would normally pay for for free, thats when you can turn heads and gain traction. As referenced before:

      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      Thanks to the OP for bringing up this topic/discussion. It's very near/dear to us!

      We've started down the "free content" model and it's completely changed the way we do business. Reading Chris Anderson's book on Free changed my views on things at many different levels, but we didn't implement right away. About 18 months ago we made the switch and we're overwhelmed with how positive it's been.

      Someone else mentioned that it can't be free "crap"...we absolutely agree with that. You have to give away content that you would otherwise charge for or that's part of someone else's paid model. It's best when most others are charging for it...you can be the most disruptive that way....
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      • Profile picture of the author Zarathushtra
        Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

        The key is: giving away "quality" things that people would normally pay for for free, thats when you can turn heads and gain traction. As referenced before:
        Yes, of course. If you give people the first plr ebook you find, I bet those people won't buy anything from you.

        If you give everything away for free, what would you sell?
        (unless you are the guy mentioned in the OP, that sells like an affiliate)

        And if you don't give anything, how people will understand the material you promote is worthwhile?

        It is all a game of balance.
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        • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
          Originally Posted by Zarathushtra View Post

          Yes, of course. If you give people the first plr ebook you find, I bet those people won't buy anything from you.

          If you give everything away for free, what would you sell?
          (unless you are the guy mentioned in the OP, that sells like an affiliate)

          And if you don't give anything, how people will understand the material you promote is worthwhile?

          It is all a game of balance.
          Yes much of the free model is based on affiliate products
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        • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
          Originally Posted by Zarathushtra View Post

          Yes, of course. If you give people the first plr ebook you find, I bet those people won't buy anything from you.

          If you give everything away for free, what would you sell?
          (unless you are the guy mentioned in the OP, that sells like an affiliate)

          And if you don't give anything, how people will understand the material you promote is worthwhile?

          It is all a game of balance.
          Why to give out PLR, people want to see your own experience and knowledge not others(i mean the PLR or related product you are giving away), you can write your own reports of different tactics which worked for you and case study for free and then promote related products, whether they are your own products or others. So it's not necessary that it works only with affiliate programs but it work with any niche. The necessity is you must have a good idea and knowledge of what you are doing and how you are going to move ahead.
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  • Profile picture of the author cjw7865
    When attacking a target from 1 angle you have a chance of hitting that target, but attacking it from 2 angles... doubles your chances of hitting the same target. If my target is getting my business to work, then I would probably double my chances by using both free and paid info, but thats just me.
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  • Profile picture of the author clickcentive
    I think the days of black hat marketing are slowly coming to a crawl and white hat (and gray) will win by a decisive margin. Long story short, make your content worth reading and of value to your reader! blasting out a spun article to thousands of directories isn't going to cut it anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by clickcentive View Post

      I think the days of black hat marketing are slowly coming to a crawl and white hat (and gray) will win by a decisive margin. Long story short, make your content worth reading and of value to your reader! blasting out a spun article to thousands of directories isn't going to cut it anymore.
      Yes i think the net is saturated with it...
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  • I think 5000 years from now when humans roam far galaxies information will be sold and people will pay for it, not sure how it will delivered (maybe holograms like in Star Wars)
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  • Profile picture of the author werpetalpushers
    Both can be very profitable it done in the correct way!
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  • Profile picture of the author ishuvonet
    I always prefer the free stuffs than the paid ones.The free ones are more important for list building or for increasing brand image.
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    Shuvo Shahid
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by ishuvonet View Post

      I always prefer the free stuffs than the paid ones.The free ones are more important for list building or for increasing brand image.
      ...and trust, once people trust you they will believe you when you recommend affiliate products that will actually make their lives/businesses better.

      Great discussion everybody!
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by ishuvonet View Post

      I always prefer the free stuffs than the paid ones.The free ones are more important for list building or for increasing brand image.
      As stated here before "giving away" fee stuff is great for list building, we are currently making a free ebook for that purpose
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  • Profile picture of the author RnGWriter
    Whether you go "Paid" or "Free" entirely depends on your perception of information marketing. You can always try to give away stuff for free or for a price but I think it ultimately it depends on your goals. For eg If you are in a niche just because of the money, do not have any knowledge at all about the product that you are promoting and have no future plans for that niche i.e that customer list will be of no use to you then you can charge all the money you want. You are not aiming to build trust with your customers.
    Give away free stuff when you want your customers to appreciate your advice. How many times have you seen a fancy e-book with a flashy cover being given away for free and jumped at the opportunity to download it? That is the strategy of opt-in list building but most of the times (at least in my case) the book or product or whatever was about information that was readily available on other blogs; in short: the book was of no value to me what so ever. I remained a subscriber for another month or so before I opted out. On the other hand, there was another list which I joined and here's the funny thing: they weren't giving away anything for free at all The website was full of useful info, insight and had a lot of attitude. I have been a subscriber to that list for longer then a year and have enjoyed every email they ever sent. If they ever promote something either their own's or someone else's, I will seriously consider buying it.
    People do not mind affiliate promotions but what they do mind is a lack of character in what they receive. Speaking of mailing lists I was a part of, another one was this IM guy who used to send me mails with an affiliate link at least one once every day! And there were no illustrations; just "Make $300 in half an hour with :link:". I have never bought any of his products and anyone who did was either foolish or had a lot of free time.
    Giving away "quality information" for free is definitely going to have long term benefits and short term losses. It cannot be afforded by everybody but is definitely recommended for anyone who already has an established business structure was looking to make a new business venture.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by RnGWriter View Post

      Giving away "quality information" for free is definitely going to have long term benefits and short term losses. It cannot be afforded by everybody but is definitely recommended for anyone who already has an established business structure was looking to make a new business venture.
      Very much agree with that point...
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  • Profile picture of the author Smallwheels
    It seems to me that giving good service is the way to guarantee ongoing income. There are many reviews of products on this forum where the tech help or customer service is non-existent with some product providers. Always the people who had bad experiences say that they will never do business with that person again.

    The good service with relationship oriented sites is the information that is given away and the income is from the products they recommend. Somebody must pay somewhere otherwise there wouldn't be any actual business income.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smallwheels
    I forgot to mention that I've purchased products from marketers that I respected and have been let down in a big way. Those experiences changed my mind about them. They lost credibility and thus my future business.
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  • Profile picture of the author kickar
    Free info sites will always be more popular cause they are free and everybody will to use them!
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  • Profile picture of the author jakecoop79
    He is definitely making his money off of paid content. He's just directing people to it from his site. He's gives good info also, but that is just his marketing strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jerry Higgins
      I don't think there is any such thing as a 'better' or 'best' business model. I've found that it's really important to pick a proven strategy that fits my personalty and income goals and then just stick with it.... no matter what.

      Pat Flynn's approach works really well for him but SPI is not how he began making $. He started out selling a niche site ebook (and he did it exceptionally well). The common denominator for Pat's success, irregardless of business model, is that he works his ass off

      Jerry
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      • Profile picture of the author celente
        Originally Posted by Jerry Higgins View Post

        is that he works his ass off

        Jerry
        There is the key.

        I have never met a success entrepreneur online who got rich by being a lazy ass.

        It takes time, study, mistakes, testing, tweaking, hard work and then more hard work to make a decent living online.

        Pat has a good site and I am a fan, but he does have a good ethic and does generally want to help people out. fancy that.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by Jerry Higgins View Post

        I don't think there is any such thing as a 'better' or 'best' business model. I've found that it's really important to pick a proven strategy that fits my personalty and income goals and then just stick with it.... no matter what.

        Pat Flynn's approach works really well for him but SPI is not how he began making $. He started out selling a niche site ebook (and he did it exceptionally well). The common denominator for Pat's success, irregardless of business model, is that he works his ass off

        Jerry
        This is very true, I definitively agree that you must work your ass off at some point, Pat makes it look easy though....(even though we all know its not)
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by Jerry Higgins View Post

        I don't think there is any such thing as a 'better' or 'best' business model. I've found that it's really important to pick a proven strategy that fits my personalty and income goals and then just stick with it.... no matter what.
        I agree also thinking about a membership addition to my website
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        • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
          I have found that in the long run free is a great model...
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  • Profile picture of the author ashish123
    free mins no many and pade to many..
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  • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
    Can anyone name a "Paid" version IM website that makes more that Pat at Smart Passive Income?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
      I am not able to find any paid website which receives as much traffic as much Pat's website get.. And the reason could be most of the paid membership sites are based on Micro niche and IM is not a micro niche it is huge industry. In IM niche there are lots of the things and lots of BS in market so to reach Pat's website level it is very important to start with providing free information; create your reputation in the market first and then convert them into paid once. And those website which are doing the same as i said, we can not call those websites paid sites because they are also providing something for free.

      For example we can look at other niche related paid membership sites or community sites like for SEO niche.. given below two sites are making huge.. but still they are not a person specific like Pat's website..

      https://seobook.com
      SEO Software. Simplified. | SEOmoz

      And remember one thing most of the website traffic which Pat receives is from his mailing list & search engine, not via any paid advertising or promotion.. his subscribers love to read the contents he share and they share his posts on social media sites and on their websites as well, that gives him more & more traffic & creates lots of backlink to his site as well and help him to improve search engine ranking as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

        I am not able to find any paid website which receives as much traffic as much Pat's website get.. And the reason could be most of the paid membership sites are based on Micro niche and IM is not a micro niche it is huge industry. In IM niche there are lots of the things and lots of BS in market so to reach Pat's website level it is very important to start with providing free information; create your reputation in the market first and then convert them into paid once.
        I was wondering not so much about traffic as generating income....a paid Im website thats doing better than Pat?
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        • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
          Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

          I was wondering not so much about traffic as generating income....a paid Im website thats doing better than Pat?
          Ok so let me show you one IM website .. i believe its generating more income than Pat's site: http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com with its monthly gold membership of $47 and Platinum membership of $97 per month...

          You can find more such websites as well... if you will do little search on google..
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          • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
            Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

            Ok so let me show you one IM website .. i believe its generating more income than Pat's site: http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com with its monthly gold membership of $47 and Platinum membership of $97 per month...

            You can find more such websites as well... if you will do little search on google..
            i couldn't tell how many members they had..?
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            • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
              Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

              i couldn't tell how many members they had..?
              Yep but that site is in business from 2005 .. and i believe they have at-least thousand plus members which is not a big target for a business running from 7 years so if they have at-least 1000 members and all are gold member still that website is making $47000 a month(their actual earning could be much more than that as per the actual members count and platinum membership and also i guess apart from membership they are also providing other paid services in members area)..
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              • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
                Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

                Yep but that site is in business from 2005 .. and i believe they have at-least thousand plus members which is not a bit target for a business running from 7 years so if they have at-least 1000 members and all are gold member still that website is making $47000 a month(their actual earning could be much more than that as per the actual members count and platinum membership and also i guess apart from membership they are also providing other paid services in members area)..
                do you know if they have 1000 members or are you just guessing?
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  • Profile picture of the author Osman_M
    It all depends on the angle you take with each method. Both are successful but it all comes down to approach.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Osman_M View Post

      It all depends on the angle you take with each method. Both are successful but it all comes down to approach.
      Do you use both? which is most effective for you and why?
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    So we have a current offer up that sort-of highlights the Free Vs. Paid argument.

    We just released our free niche site guide, "Building A Niche Site Empire" on our blog about 24 hours ago. We've made it completely free without an opt-in, emailed our list, messaged on Twitter/FB, etc. Within 24 hours we've had right around 1,700 downloads or so. How much do you think we might have had if we charged for it? We put quite a bit of work into it and it took us several months.

    We have affiliate links in the guide, but haven't made much of anything from that specifically in the last 24 hours. I think our real value comes with distribution. By not charging for it, I think it will end up in so many more hands which will expose new people to our brand. That's the good part...the hard part will be keeping their attention. Hopefully, we'll be able to convert some of those new visitors into readers, fans, and superfans in the coming weeks and months.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      So we have a current offer up that sort-of highlights the Free Vs. Paid argument.

      We just released our free niche site guide, "Building A Niche Site Empire" on our blog about 24 hours ago. We've made it completely free without an opt-in, emailed our list, messaged on Twitter/FB, etc. Within 24 hours we've had right around 1,700 downloads or so. How much do you think we might have had if we charged for it? We put quite a bit of work into it and it took us several months.

      We have affiliate links in the guide, but haven't made much of anything from that specifically in the last 24 hours. I think our real value comes with distribution. By not charging for it, I think it will end up in so many more hands which will expose new people to our brand. That's the good part...the hard part will be keeping their attention. Hopefully, we'll be able to convert some of those new visitors into readers, fans, and superfans in the coming weeks and months.
      That is what called building reputation and what i was trying to explain in my previous posts.. i believe your guide have lots of good contents which is the reason behind getting lots of downloads and it's going viral.. you are giving away something for free without asking anything and on other hand it is going to make money for you as well via affiliate links in guide. These people who have downloaded your guide can become potential buyer for you in coming future.

      All the Best and i hope your guide will go more viral and fulfill your expectations..
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  • Profile picture of the author stuff2
    Maybe a split test mite help. I know I like free first if I see value then I would either join or buy form the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Thanks Ajay!

    I was discussing this with my business partner, Joe, about whether or not we'll cover our "costs" through affiliate sales.

    I think we probably will, given enough time. Ultimately, we'd need to make around $3,500-$4,000 to break even on "actual" costs (Costs for our paid intern, webinar, giveaways, etc.), even though much more was put into it in terms of our time spent...

    Ultimately, though, we're hoping to make our money in reach, as you mentioned. If we can create enough buzz and get enough people to at least check out our content...some of those are bound to stick around. If they like what we're doing, some will become fans. That then leads to all sorts of opportunities. (Site buyers, partners, Interns, great ideas, etc.)
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    • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      Thanks Ajay!

      I was discussing this with my business partner, Joe, about whether or not we'll cover our "costs" through affiliate sales.

      I think we probably will, given enough time. Ultimately, we'd need to make around $3,500-$4,000 to break even on "actual" costs (Costs for our paid intern, webinar, giveaways, etc.), even though much more was put into it in terms of our time spent...

      Ultimately, though, we're hoping to make our money in reach, as you mentioned. If we can create enough buzz and get enough people to at least check out our content...some of those are bound to stick around. If they like what we're doing, some will become fans. That then leads to all sorts of opportunities. (Site buyers, partners, Interns, great ideas, etc.)
      You will definitely be able to cover your cost.. the only difference between paid and free strategies is paid strategy takes less time and gives fast results but free strategy take enough time and you will see results keep coming for long term .. with that said you will definitely cover your cost and also make some profit as well but that will take some time. But believe me you will enjoy the results and positive feedback which you will receive from the readers...
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  • Profile picture of the author dynn
    the most important is you must be honest to help other people and give them the quality info...once you develop the trust then money will come.
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  • Profile picture of the author JaynKeth
    Always remember to give value, whether its paid or free... if it's something that can help others, it will bring good return.
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    This is the best system to succeed in internet marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JD Ways
    BOTH business models work but it will take more time to see results (money) from the free business model.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by JD Ways View Post

      BOTH business models work but it will take more time to see results (money) from the free business model.
      I think this is correct but...it takes more, but also can be more profitable long term
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  • Profile picture of the author flyviral
    i don't think paid sites are dying, i just think that the crappy scammy sites are.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by flyviral View Post

      i don't think paid sites are dying, i just think that the crappy scammy sites are.
      agree the problem is that 80% of them are crappy spam sites as we have been talking about... i think people are tried of being flooded by crap...
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  • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
    "FREE" sites are somewhat easy to start....just start pouring out free knowledge and you will start to build a fan base.

    What are the first steps of starting a "PAID" website? how do you get the fist wave of people to start buying?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
      Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

      "FREE" sites are somewhat easy to start....just start pouring out free knowledge and you will start to build a fan base.

      What are the first steps of starting a "PAID" website? how do you get the fist wave of people to start buying?
      First Steps of Starting Paid websites is creating and selling products first.. if you have developed a quality product then by investing your money at right place for advertising and marketing and doing JV with big marketers, you can generate buyers database .. Once you have good amount of buyers and affiliates, you can then create membership site based on the niche for which you created products and made sales then invite buyers and affiliates to join your membership program and promote it as much as you can.

      This is what most of the marketers do in paid strategy.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
        Originally Posted by Ajay Tiwari View Post

        First Steps of Starting Paid websites is creating and selling products first.. if you have developed a quality product then by investing your money at right place for advertising and marketing and doing JV with big marketers, you can generate buyers database .. Once you have good amount of buyers and affiliates, you can then create membership site based on the niche for which you created products and made sales then invite buyers and affiliates to join your membership program and promote it as much as you can.

        This is what most of the marketers do in paid strategy.
        Lets be honest... are membership sites worth it for the average IM?
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        • Profile picture of the author DustonMcGroarty
          Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

          Lets be honest... are membership sites worth it for the average IM?
          No offense but I'd much rather spend my time and resources on driving buyer traffic to my sales pages than driving free information seekers to a blog with hopes to make affiliate sales.
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          • Originally Posted by DustonMcGroarty View Post

            No offense but I'd much rather spend my time and resources on driving buyer traffic to my sales pages than driving free information seekers to a blog with hopes to make affiliate sales.
            My thoughts exactly, with one modification: I'd rather spend my resources on driving traffic to the beginning of my Sales Funnel (which might indeed start off with free content), that driving free-information seekers to a blog hoping to make affiliate sales.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ajay Tiwari
          Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

          Lets be honest... are membership sites worth it for the average IM?
          It is completely upon your skill and expertise... Because if you are not able to provide what your customers need and promote your membership site right way, your website will remain in dark.
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  • In my experience, PAID is the way to go. In fact, I am very much against providing endless FREE content (aka blogging).

    The point of free content is to build trust, likability and to hoover new prospects into your funnel... well, you don't need to provide truckloads of free content for that. A well-timed short series of quality free content should get the job done, and from there you can start pitching your premium PAID offers.

    Seriously, why would you endlessly provide free content? You can get someone hooked onto your content with just 3 or 4 quality posts, no more. That's why Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula works so well: give them a few bits of quality free content, and the point them to the premium paid stuff. If they liked the few free bits, they'll be craving for the *advanced* premium stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      In my experience, PAID is the way to go. In fact, I am very much against providing endless FREE content (aka blogging).

      The point of free content is to build trust, likability and to hoover new prospects into your funnel... well, you don't need to provide truckloads of free content for that. A well-timed short series of quality free content should get the job done, and from there you can start pitching your premium PAID offers.

      Seriously, why would you endlessly provide free content? You can get someone hooked onto your content with just 3 or 4 quality posts, no more. That's why Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula works so well: give them a few bits of quality free content, and the point them to the premium paid stuff. If they liked the few free bits, they'll be craving for the *advanced* premium stuff.
      Do you normally sell "paid" information like ebooks? or membership websites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Isaiah Jackson
    He built trust with his audience, showing he is a real person and doesn't have to hide behind anything which is probably why people would buy from his affiliate links.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyler S
    From my experience, I just know that free info sites are always better.
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  • Profile picture of the author getrichinfo
    i think Freemium model and paid model works. As the saying goes " you have to give, to get"
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by getrichinfo View Post

      i think Freemium model and paid model works. As the saying goes " you have to give, to get"
      I like that "Freemium" model..interesting
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  • Profile picture of the author subbun
    I think you always trust a authority website and good quality content sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shubh Ashish
    I think the Blackhat sites are what killing the Information Marketing Industry.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrMysteryBox
      Originally Posted by Shubh Ashish View Post

      I think the Blackhat sites are what killing the Information Marketing Industry.
      Yes but those sites are easily spotted and usually get de-ranked pretty fast
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry Nguyen
    Never really thought about it that way honestly, if it's information I would give it all for free. I really don't get it in this business, why people have to keep information, hold secrets, etc like for reals. I mean if you're going to give information, say it like a confession, everyone wants to hear everything that you have to say. If you're going to say it, say it all... They want to lie in your face just to keep the competition around, spread the wealth and knowledge I don't care cause in this world, when you die you can't take it with you... Real Talk. I'm not even playing I'm tired of this ish.

    FREE over PAID, when it comes to information. I would only go for paid traffic cause in everything you do, you always have to buy. Look, you always talk to experts like legalzoom or any other service and they give you free information, where you get to talk to them and all that.
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  • Profile picture of the author hbhanot
    I don't think Spammy sites going to hurt. If you can remember your early days in online marketing or make money online then you may say I am right. Spammy sites are attractive and new marketer who just step in get caught. And there is no shortage of new people jumping in.
    Marketer like us have reached to a different stage but new marketers are at different stage.
    As you all know we never listen to genuine people in early days but go after Falshing objects all the time. There may be few marketer who get the right directions in their early days.
    For me Spammy And Genuine Info sites will go side by side by till the end of world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
    Originally Posted by blackfinreality View Post

    After being a paid consultant and website marketer for 5+ years, it seems to me that the genre of "making money online" by asking people to "Pay" for information is the way of the past and dying. How many crappy, spammy websites do we see asking for you to enter your credit card or signup?

    It seems that websites like: Passive Income: The Smart Passive Income Blog (Pat Flynn) are making 10x more giving away everything for free and just being genuine about what they're doing. Of course they promote affiliate products on the back end but never ask for any money for information for their help.... Im trying this model.

    What do you think? Will FREE information sites take over Paid information sites? Whats more profitable? Pros/Cons?
    Asking people to pay for information is dying out?

    The WSO section and millions of other garbage websites highly disagree with you.

    When people want a solution to a problem or information, they're likely to spend money.

    "Free" products are usually sought by the people looking for hand outs or a quick "FIX THIS PROBLEM NOW" button which seems to be popular among the lazy and the cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author 07
    If all info on earning onlin was free it could be awesome. Yeah really, everything should be free - like free hosting, free ebooks, etc. And I think this model has muh more potential right now.
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  • Since starting this post I have definitely stated to lean towards the best way to succeed online is to give something "great" away for free for a year or so...then monetize it via paid advertising sponsors, affiliates or a quality product. That thing you give away is almost always knowledge...

    First you have to put in the hard work to gain traction and a following then offer then something they would LOVE to pay you for.
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