I’ve heard several variations of this question, but the most recent one came from an Action Club member. She’s working on a pink spoon for her website, and she’s going to be repurposing some of her blog posts.
She was planning to remove those blog posts from her website, until I strongly recommended she leave them where they are.
“But Linda,” she asked, “If they sign up to get the report and then discover later they could have found the same information without signing up, won’t they be mad?”
I can’t say for sure how every individual will react, but I can tell you that two of my own books (Ten Ways to Thrive as a Creative Artist and Write Your Way to More Clients Online) are made up of content that is freely available on my blogs (Everyday Artist and Content Mastery Guide).
I love the analogy that Andrea J. Lee uses in response to this question. She’ll ask, “Who is your favourite musician?” and then, “Well, if you have their CDs or MP3s, why would you ever go to a concert?”
Did that get you thinking about this a little differently?
The way I see it, there are five reasons people will happily pay (or sign up) for something they can find for free on your blog:
- It’s prettier – The book, report, bundle or package is usually neater and prettier than what they’ll find on your blog (Charie Gilkey took this up a few thousand notches with Living the Good Life, a beautifully illustrated compilation of blog posts, together with audio recordings that tell the stories behind the posts).
- It’s handier – The information is organized for them, and right at their fingertips (saving them time and energy when they’re looking for a specific solution).
- It’s deeper – They’re looking to start or deepen a relationship with you by connecting on another level.
- It’s friendlier – It creates a feeling of belonging to your tribe and being in an inner circle.
- It’s bigger – When you combine many parts to make a whole, you can offer a wider and/or more detailed perspective. You can also combine your written content with other media, supportive services or bonuses.
And it works the other way, as well. You can take pieces of your bigger projects and share those on your blog, or adapt them into blog posts.
I hear just as many concerns about giving away something you’re already selling. Here are my five reasons to post excerpts of your paid resources freely on your blog:
- It’s a reminder – We all buy things and forget about them. Seeing an excerpt on your blog can get your existing readers excited about the product again.
- It’s an update – As time passes and you learn and discover new ideas, you may choose to update the content, and people will appreciate your commitment to their learning and development (and your own!).
- It’s new to someone – What if you’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg of all the people you’re going to help in this world. Maybe some have seen/read/bought your materials, but what about all those who haven’t?
- It’s a backstage pass – It also gives prospective clients and readers a glimpse into that “inner circle” you’ve created of the people who already appreciate your ideas, and are successfully implementing them.
- It’s a sample – Prospective clients and readers will learn more about you and what you’re offering. They’ll also get a sense of whether you’ll be a good fit if or when they’re ready to buy. This is the heart of content marketing.
I know that you have content you could be packaging together or dividing apart. When a new visitor lands on your site, what masterful content will be there waiting?