While creating amazing content, such as e-books and printables, can take a lot of time and work, people give it away for free all the time. Why would they do that when they could just as easily sell it? Today we’re going to explore the advantages of giving away some of your best content for free and why you should do it if you’d one-day like to sell digital products, such as e-courses, e-books, and downloads. Bottom line: if you’re not giving away freebies, you could be hurting your marketing strategy.
Here are three reasons why you should give away free content if you plan to sell digital products or want to grow your readership:
1. It will build your audience.
People love free stuff. While I’m not suggesting you give away something of no value, you can pretty much give away “anything” for free and people will get excited about it. Your readers also have the opportunity to share their new freebie with friends, which will drive even more traffic to your site. Additionally, if you include other people in your freebie, such as quotes from leaders in your field (with their permission, of course!), then those people will likely share your freebie with their audiences as well.
Pro Tip: When you create a freebie, include your website’s URL at the bottom. For example, take a look at our Branding + Blog Naming Worksheet. Including The Nectar Collective’s link at the bottom helps people find us, even if the freebie gets passed around the internet.
2. You will become a trusted resource.
The more you create on-point freebies and useful info for your audience, the more they will begin to see you as an expert in your field. People will begin to look to you for answers on the topics you write about. When you’re known for giving honest and valuable content away for free, people consider you to be a resource. You’ll have the opportunity to become the go-to online library for a specific niche.
For example, if you’re a vegetarian food blogger, you can create free downloads, e-books, and meal plans for your vegetarian audience. That way, when people are searching for any of the above, they immediately think to visit your site, since you’ve handed out so many valuable, credible resources in the past.
Pro Tip: Your freebie should be fun and/or educational. It should be valuable to your audience.
3. You will increase your profits in the long run.
Offering some sort of freebie to your newsletters subscribers is a great way to build your email list. I believe that emails are a form of currency. Why? Because when you’re finally ready to sell your digital products, not only will you have a full list of subscribers, but you will have many people who value and trust your work. A person’s inbox is sacred — if they allow your messages to pop up week after week, they more than likely enjoy what you have to say. And the more you give away, the more your audience will see you as a trusted expert.
In addition to creating a pool of potential buyers, giving away free, digital products allows your audience to see the level of quality they can expect from you if they choose to buy your products in the future. If they loved that free e-book you gave away recently, imagine how excited they’ll be when you offer paid products!
What kind of free digital products should you give away?
Coming up with ideas for your freebies can be difficult. Try the following tips to begin brainstorming:
- Ask your newsletter subscribers what they’d like to learn from you.
- Ask your Twitter or Facebook followers [in your field] what they’re struggling with. A great way to do this is by joining Facebook groups for people in your field and asking the other members.
- Search for freebies on Pinterest to see what people are drawn to.
- Gain inspiration from your favorite content-driven blog.
- Don’t recreate the wheel. You can create content based on information you already wrote in previous blog posts — just spruce it up.
Need ideas on what to create and give away to your subscribers? I created a free, printable checklist with lots of ideas to get your juices flowing!
What is an awesome, my-audience-would-love-this freebie you can give away this month?
p.s. Want access to our library of free e-books and printables? Subscribe to our newsletter for an email invitation!