How much information do you give away for free on your site/blog (selling info product)?

32 replies
Hi,
I sell my info product and it had been successful until one of the Google's updates and my rankings went down a lot. Now the best SEO strategy seems to write good content articles rather than getting more and more of backlinks. Anyway, to do that, I have to write many high quality articles on the topic, and it is kind of impossible to do so without revealing the content of the paid product. I wondered how other people(info product sellers) were dealing with this part and did some Googling, then I found this article.

Here, the author says that the primary reason people buy is not the content itself, but more about experience, access, convenience etc. so it is OK to give away most of the information on your blog, and he says he generally goes with the 80:20 ratio.

He says that people think that "if the free information is this good, the paid product must be really good." and end up buying the product.

While I understand what he says, I'm not convinced if the customer is 100% happy if she/he noticed that information was available on the blog etc. They may be disappointed because they think there is nothing new.

So, my question for you guys is

(1)How much information do you give away for free?

(2)If you give away a lot for free, have you ever gotten complaint from a customer of the paid product saying they couldn't find anything new in the product?

Thanks!
#free #give #info #information #product #selling #site or blog
  • I give away TONS of free information. More like 95% free, 5% paid for my site.

    A lot of the information in my paid products is in my free posts too, but the paid product is formatted in a way which makes it MUCH easier for people to digest and take action on. Plus my paid product comes with free one on one support, which is nice.

    Give value first, then sell something (that is also of value) and you'll do well.

    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
    Would also be interested in hearing replies to this...
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  • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
    Right now, I give away EVERYTHING free.

    100%.

    But that's only for the beginning. Later on, I'm gonna create a few fantastic products and market them to my e-mail list.

    Regards,
    JR John
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I give away quite a bit of content on my site. I have a:

    1) Free book

    2) Articles

    3) Blog

    It's all about perceived value. The more they love your content, and the more you seem to cover a WIDE range of topics... they will perceive you as an expert, and will naturally think that your paid product has a ton of advanced information that can put them on top of the pile... lol money wise.
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  • Profile picture of the author larry50
    First, your blog should be event driven content which makes it inherently different than the same information in a book. People love to read about other peoples experiences. But if your only interest is to drive people to a book you are selling yourself short, why not create an up sell product that is a recording of the book, or do a video series.
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  • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
    Thank you guys for your replies.
    I'll stop worrying about it then
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  • Profile picture of the author K Mec
    Taking action is important rather than just trashing the information on pc.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamalanwar
    One method is to give away,

    THE TIPS

    And sell,

    THE CURE

    Like you can write about industry news, best practices and trends and sell a method/guide.

    This may not apply to all niches so try this:

    Write about, give away text and sell video courses.
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    Tamal Anwar C.
    I transform old outdated 1990s/2000s websites
    into a fresh site of present time
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  • Profile picture of the author dengkane
    Just my 2 cents. There are many sub topics in one niche topic, we can give away a report on one sub topic for free, and the content should be excellent, then it can attract readers to consider buying your complete e-book on the general niche topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi,

    Think abundance. Give away free information and darn good information at that and the money will flow in eventually. Sow. Reap. You can never be cheated in this world.

    Holding back creates a scarcity mindset which scares off money. Giving freely creates and abundant mindset.

    If you create a stunningly good product people will buy it, and be dazzled by it. Go above and beyond. Most people who make a ton of money online or offline gave away free, valuable content or some service for months or years before making it big.

    Sow. Reap.

    Enjoy your day!
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    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    The 100% Free Content Vs. Paid Content arguments can get intense.

    Ultimately, it comes down to which you feel is better for you strategically.

    We went the 100% Free Content route because we had our "main" business covering the bills. Our thought was that we could afford some deposits in the value bank and cash out later.

    Ultimately, we found that selling products/services around the free information seemed to be the route we felt the most comfortable with. Those without cash could read and then follow the steps themselves. Those with cash could buy products/services that would get them there faster and speed up the learning curve.

    We ended up giving away our niche site guide for free. It cost us (around) $7-9K to create, but we ended up with more than 30K downloads for those efforts.

    I don't know how things would have worked out would we have charged for it, but I'm pretty confident we wouldn't have had the distribution.

    The thing is - if you're going to give away content for free, you need to quickly find out what it is your readers want and are willing to pay for - and deliver that. The best way is to just ask them and throw up some Paypal buttons to see if it's then true. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
    Thank you very much again for your replies guys.
    For me, the tricky part is my conversion has been good for $200k product without a blog - I used a just 4-5 page website with a long sales letter. It was great until the recent SEO changes hit my site (actually I had several more gateway sites but they were all hit).

    My sales letter talks a lot about "secrets" and, well if I reveal them on the website then they are no longer really secrets.

    Anyway I'll do some more thinking and re-think my strategy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
    Originally Posted by ikuret75 View Post

    Hi,
    I sell my info product and it had been successful until one of the Google's updates and my rankings went down a lot. Now the best SEO strategy seems to write good content articles rather than getting more and more of backlinks. Anyway, to do that, I have to write many high quality articles on the topic, and it is kind of impossible to do so without revealing the content of the paid product. I wondered how other people(info product sellers) were dealing with this part and did some Googling, then I found this article.

    Here, the author says that the primary reason people buy is not the content itself, but more about experience, access, convenience etc. so it is OK to give away most of the information on your blog, and he says he generally goes with the 80:20 ratio.

    He says that people think that "if the free information is this good, the paid product must be really good." and end up buying the product.

    While I understand what he says, I'm not convinced if the customer is 100% happy if she/he noticed that information was available on the blog etc. They may be disappointed because they think there is nothing new.

    So, my question for you guys is

    (1)How much information do you give away for free?

    (2)If you give away a lot for free, have you ever gotten complaint from a customer of the paid product saying they couldn't find anything new in the product?

    Thanks!
    Best way to go about this is to give away so much value that they appreciate you for it and feel a sense or need to reciprocate. Then you can have something that says "If you likes this then I have created a special product just for you which will hold you by the hand and teach you how to make money online" etc which will navigate them to purchase your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I give away tons of information (and data) for free.

    The thing is...

    People forget 99% of what they see.

    And typically, don't focus on free information.

    Selling is all about building up anticipation, and less about the real stuff you give away.

    Just my $.02, some people say to NEVER give away good stuff.

    That's why when you're on one of my webinars? Or in my social media groups? Or on my list? You're in for a treat.

    That's probably why I've had people on my list for YEARS that open every damn piece of mail that I send.

    :]

    (A lot of people say "tell them WHAT to do but not HOW to do it." Well I guess I'm guilty of giving away the farm). Deal with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    More on this: You can basically give away everything 100% free.

    Then literally next week, you can TEASE about the same damn information that you just gave away.

    People will still get enticed.

    That's what causes people to buy information products.

    Teasing, and anticipation. Also, the fear of loss works too.

    Just my $.02.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Here is what I think i would do in your position. Find news items to write about your niche/product, and write articles for guest blogging.

    Find the high traffic blogs in your niche, and write to them commenting on how you like their such and such article or something to make a connection with them and then ask them if they would be interested in publishing one or more of three article titles you have written, minimum 700 words? Make the titles something that would fit into their blog, so it is hard to refuse. With any luck, they will take them all.

    Make sure you pick blogs that don't post multiple articles per day. You want your article to stay on the first page for at least a day or two.

    When you ask them if they would be interested in publishing your articles, tell them al you want is a link back to your site. Have your link in there with your keyword, and you should get some decent traffic from that if you do it a few times.

    Screw Google and their updates. This method of traffic generation should provide you with enough traffic to generate the sales you are missing now.

    Hope this helps.
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author mikehuff
      I suspect the OP is referring to the teachings of Sean Mize. He's a super smart marketer that likes to pass along that there is no real success with out a shartload of work behind it. And he's right. Do what he says, it'll take time, but the traction you gain will be far more than worth it in your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
        Originally Posted by mikehuff View Post

        I suspect the OP is referring to the teachings of Sean Mize. He's a super smart marketer that likes to pass along that there is no real success with out a shartload of work behind it. And he's right. Do what he says, it'll take time, but the traction you gain will be far more than worth it in your business.
        Hi there, thanks for your input. I actually don't know who Sean Mize is :p


        (BTW, I'm not selling IM related products)
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  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    I get the perpetual dilemma underlying the "business" behind giving away too much versus giving away too little.

    You aren't going to make everyone happy.

    Those that are very technical, and are accustomed to gaming systems in general, will find a way to get access to your stuff, whether free or not. The fight just to keep those people at bay can be painful.

    Instead, I'm of the mindset that it's best just to give everything.

    Seth Godin has revisited the topic of leadership many times.

    He speaks of leaders giving gifts.

    The power of the gift is so incredibly powerful, yet so vastly neglected.

    Hundreds of years ago, lords/kings/knights gave gifts.

    Doing so accomplished many things.

    Should the gift be accepted, it simultaneously displayed generosity, as well as, power, authority and influence in that they were even able to give the gift in the first place.

    Not only that, but it facilitated relationships.

    Instead of trying to figure the perfect ratio behind "giving away" versus "witholding"....I think it best just to give everything away. Loyalty will be fostered. The people who didn't want a relationship in the first place had their minds made up already, and were never going to return (or return, only to never do anything that ever incurs value) anyway. The people who do...will.

    Give. Give. Give. Give some more. And, then, when it is finally time to ask for something in return, let the chips fall where they may. You can't make everyone love you (or your content), so it's not even worth trying.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikehuff
      Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

      I get the perpetual dilemma underlying the "business" behind giving away too much versus giving away too little.

      You aren't going to make everyone happy.

      Those that are very technical, and are accustomed to gaming systems in general, will find a way to get access to your stuff, whether free or not. The fight just to keep those people at bay can be painful.

      Instead, I'm of the mindset that it's best just to give everything.

      Seth Godin has revisited the topic of leadership many times.

      He speaks of leaders giving gifts.

      The power of the gift is so incredibly powerful, yet so vastly neglected.

      Hundreds of years ago, lords/kings/knights gave gifts.

      Doing so accomplished many things.

      Should the gift be accepted, it simultaneously displayed generosity, as well as, power, authority and influence in that they were even able to give the gift in the first place.

      Not only that, but it facilitated relationships.

      Instead of trying to figure the perfect ratio behind "giving away" versus "witholding"....I think it best just to give everything away. Loyalty will be fostered. The people who didn't want a relationship in the first place had their minds made up already, and were never going to return (or return, only to never do anything that ever incurs value) anyway. The people who do...will.

      Give. Give. Give. Give some more. And, then, when it is finally time to ask for something in return, let the chips fall where they may. You can't make everyone love you (or your content), so it's not even worth trying.
      I like it, well put.
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      • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
        Originally Posted by mikehuff View Post

        I like it, well put.
        Thanks, Mike.

        I was going to post some direct quotes from Seth Godin's "Linchpin" here, but I stumbled upon a blog post that had a ton of them already:

        Executive Summary of "Lynchpin" by Seth Godin. Notes and Quotes.Rob Cizek – Practical Leadership

        Here are the quotes I was thinking of when I made my initial post:

        "The culture of gifts has a long history on this planet, and understanding how it brings people together is a critical step in becoming indispensable."

        "Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people."

        "You can always succeed for awhile with the cheapest, but you earn your place in the market with humanity and leadership."

        There are alot of other great nuggets there.

        My take:

        I think, in our innate desire to boost our own egos, it's not so uncommon to hear people incessantly talk about themselves. In just the last few days, I've read people talk about everything from how much money they personally make to how many subscribers they have, and the list goes on and on. There's a thin line between articulating quantifiable results that can make one at least appear to be an authority deserving to be purchased from, and being a human, that gives gifts, and is truly capable of leading. This shouldn't come as a surprise to some (or maybe it is?), but subordinates generally don't like to follow pompous, egotistical braggarts that go on and on about themselves.

        I don't have direct insight into some of their metrics, but I do think that some A-list bloggers and marketers out there are really treading the line with possibly becoming annoying--and, worse, irrelevant and disconnected--simply because things are always about them, rather than their readers.
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        • Profile picture of the author RDInfo
          lords/kings/knights
          bad examples... lords/kings/knights also raided the houses of the defensless people to take their money and their ressources.
          It is as if you explained how the governement is generous with some people when the truth is that they are generous by distributing others people's money. Easy to do.


          Concerning the topic, i think that to give everything for free is unfair to you if you have spent a long time making your infoproduct and if it helps people to understand something or to achieve something which will improve their lives.
          There is no coach, teacher, doctor for free offline, why all should be free online ?
          Of course you will have difficulties to have people buy your infoproduct if there is nothing interesting, valuable, unique, useful, efficient, in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author danix7
    I have applied this methods ocassionally and has worked fine just give away a section of your product making them to buy the rest if they think it is valuable!

    hope that makes sense!
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