How Giving Away Free Content Will Help You Grow Your Blog
How Giving Away Free Content Will Help You Grow Your Blog
Giving away free content is one of the most powerful marketing concepts in today’s world. It helps build a relationship with and earn the trust of your audience while having the opportunity to monetize your blog. When you give away free content, it also allows you to engage with more people while growing your brand exponentially.
So what is the most important thing to do when you are promoting your new blog or planning to reach out to uncharted territories? You need to gather a sizable audience and start providing value. And one of the best ways to do that is by offering free content. In a digital centric world, you don’t need a brick and mortar business and you don’t need to give away real gifts to your audience. Instead, you can turn to content marketing. Content marketing is one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing strategies in today’s world. You can deliver a powerful message, interact with your audience, and generate interest around your brand.
Content marketing is a $5 billion plus annual industry and everybody, from Apple to a new start-up, is drawing leverage from this concept. It has broken the traditional barriers of time and space and creates a level playing field for every business (from ones being conceived in garages to multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 enterprises). As a blogger, if you’re ready to try out content marketing, you have to choose between giving away free content and locking it up behind a paid wall. If you end up going with the free route, every hour that you spend creating content will end up being worth it. Now let’s look at why you should dedicate time to this:
Everyone Loves Generosity
It is a known fact that generosity always finds takers. People immediately tend to see and find incentives in what comes to them for free. So if you have a new idea, when you’re going to introduce it to your audience, providing it for free can help you improve visibility and reach more people. You might think that a zero price tag would devalue your brand but most likely it will do the opposite. It is the best way to reach out to people who wouldn’t have spent time getting to know your brand, start building a relationship with them, and eventually have an amazing community who loves you and your blog.
Positioning As An Expert
The Internet has replaced all traditional mediums of research. Whether a person is looking to buy a smartphone or subscribe to a service, most likely they’re going to turn to the Internet to gather more knowledge and make an informed decision. This is where you can position yourself as an authority or expert within your niche. The higher your authority status, the faster your blog is going to grow. Therefore, when you’re constantly giving away free content that is jam packed with value, more people are going to see you as an expert in your field.
Pro Tip: When you think of giving away free content, you probably think of your blog posts. However, there are a lot of other freebies you can give away as well. A few of them include free worksheets, checklists, recipes, logos, swipe files, or digital fonts. If you want more ideas (and how they can help you grow your email list) check out this article.
Differentiating Your Brand
There are two things a brand needs to do in order to succeed – it needs to differentiate itself from others and it needs to solve problems that other blogs have failed to address. And the best way to differentiate your blog from the competition is to share your story and what makes your brand unique. Doing so using the traditional medium of advertising (through print or electronic media) is expensive and not a realistic option for most bloggers. This is where sharing free content comes in. It serves as the perfect platform for the most powerful marketing concept aka ‘word of mouth’ marketing.
Developing Insight into Your Audience
Most brands start out with a clear idea about its target audience based on age, gender, ethnicity and other demographics. However, a lot of brands are surprised along the way. Some groups that you assumed to be your core audience may end up not responding that well. While another group you never thought of may end up loving everything you create. Free content lends a helping hand in gaining deep insights into your target audience. When you let people read and share content freely, you are more likely to build a large pool of raving fans. And then you can start mapping and segmenting this user base to find out what type of products or services you can create for them.
Pro Tip: If you’re creating free logos, swipe files, digital fonts or something where you’ll need an editing software, I love Affinity Photo and PicMonkey. I go over both of them in this article.
Generating Strong Leads
The term ‘free’ in content marketing is often misunderstood. You aren’t giving away free content just to be nice (even though that’s an extra perk) or because it’s not worth putting a price tag on. You’re doing it to promote your brand, grow your audience, generate strong leads, and eventually sell your products or services. Just like what we were going over before, the fact that you aren’t charging people to consume content allows you to reach out to a broader audience. The more eyeballs you attract to your content, the larger your community will become, which will help you monetize your blog.
Showcasing Your Priced Products/Services
When you’re giving away free content, it also serves as the ideal platform for showcasing your paid products and services. Free content acts as the perfect hook to attract your audience towards your brand, introduces your paid products and services, and then helps sell them down the road. It’s different from traditional marketing strategies where brands act more like a salesperson which can end up scaring away loyal fans. With content marketing, you start building a relationship with your followers way before you sell anything.
To sum it up, giving away free content is one of the most powerful ways of marketing your brand. You get to build your authority, develop a stronger relationship with your audience, generate leads, and monetize your blog. Content marketing also helps you educate your potential customers on what makes your brand unique and how you can add value to their lives. So the sooner you start creating and giving away free content, the sooner you’re going to build trust and grow your brand.
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