Should I Give Content Away Free (Or Keep It In Storage)?

Mark Masters
Managing Director of Bournemouth based creative marketing company, The ID Group. Helping to position businesses as the authority in their industry and providing advice, opinion and guidance for brands to be the 'go to' choice.
Mark Masters
Mark Masters
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If you give content away free it encourages your audience to see you as an honest and selfless authority within your industry.
corridor-150x150Don’t become a hoarder and keep your expertise in storage and finally open the doors when there is a desperate need for it, when all along the only person who cared about it most was yourself.

Lets look at it this way, you are far more likely to attract customers if you are offering to teach something that is of value to them rather than simply selling your product or service.

There Is A Content Surplus

According to Google’s Zero Moment Of Truth it took 5.3 sources of information before making a purchase in 2010, only 12 months later this increased to 10.4 sources before making a purchase, basically people are now faced with a deluge of content to choose from. To assist the decision process by providing information that your competition aren’t can prompt the final selection by being seen as approachable, knowledgeable and helpful.

Our goal as businesses is for others to look at us as experts who can deliver an open approach to share information for the benefit of others. Why bottle everything up and keep your knowledge locked in a storage room, because if you don’t give generously someone else will and have the opportunity to build a dialogue on their platform while you’re guarding what is ‘precious’ to you.

Should People Be Made To Leave Their Email Details?

A conversation I had last month was that we should have more landing pages for our guides and request email information to push the prospect to customer relationship through the sales funnel process, when in fact people are now becoming more conscious of leaving information and becoming more educated gatekeepers of their digital lives.

What starts off as an agreement to receive information from your point of view should then never turn into stalker proportions of broadcast and ‘buy, buy, buy’ messages being sent to someone who has willingly subscribed.

I believe you should give content away free. Whilst it can’t measure who supplied their email address to access your content, what it does provide is a greater opportunity to be:

  • shaped (you control what you want the communication to say)
  • shared (you decide what platforms you want to distribute the message)
  • spread (downloaded from outside of your immediate sphere of influence)

Why create obstacles and reasons not to download when you want others to understand your point of view and something you have spent energy on. Occasionally if there is a project that you have invested a great degree of time, then there can be merit in requesting information.

We requested email information earlier this year with our project purely based on the time taken to interview and produce the final report. Three months later when this guide was placed freely on our ‘resources’ section of our website, downloads had increased by 25%.

Humanise Our Work

Lets humanise our work and others to put their trust in us. This doesn’t work via the one-off ’10 ways to be x at y report’, but to be consistent and to build depth in our knowledge and industry expertise. People will be more willing to become part of your audience if they know that you share useful resources.

This doesn’t mean that the world will be filled full of ‘what you already do’ DIY experts and being driven by fear that someone will fill our shoes. In the marketing industry, there is nothing that is totally unique that will reinvent the wheel, we all just do things a bit differently from each other but package it up in our own ways.

To Conclude

The key to give content away free is to change a mindset to one of generosity and having visibility in your approach that is relevant and useful.

Those who give content away free and not keep it locked up, will always slay the company who just wants to sell their products or services.


  1. Twitter:
    I have read a few blogs where bloggers don’t give out articles, they felt they are giving away too much just for a link. but such people are myopic- shortsighted –
    Thanks for making people see the important of giving away content.
    Frank Joseph recently posted..Top 6 Free WordPress Plugins to Decorate Your Blog for ChristmasMy Profile

  2. Twitter:
    Free words mean a lot to attract interest. Many businesses apply this concept to get costumer attention to their “real business message”. Last weekend I was attracted to come to hardware store just because I saw the “free stuff” brochure on certain products. Though it wasn’t I looked for but I bought something from my visit. Free stuff offers has made me spent some cash for sure. It’s great and honest strategy in real business.
    Okto recently posted..What to Consider When Starting a Delivery BusinessMy Profile

  3. One strategy we find effective is creating downloadable contents. Normally you can embed a PDF formatted content on a site or blog and give readers the option to download them. Surprisingly, a lot of people download those contents.You can offer those contents to be reposted or curated on other sites. We all know that contents are now very valuable. Once you write good contents, you\’ll see that a lot of people will be interested in what you have to say.

  4. Hi Julie,

    Great recommendations. One of the hardest deals, when coaching purchasers, is that “giving away secrets” in their blog will not make them expendable, but rather construct trust that will increase enterprise.


  5. Twitter:
    Hey Mark,

    Pretty essential point you made here, By sharing your content (expertise) on various relevant platforms you can easily build your reputation, can attract more targeted audience. And I think that’s what any successful blog needs.. Reputation and loyal audience.
    Pankaj recently posted..Binary Multi Level Marketing SoftwareMy Profile

  6. I am definitely a part of the camp where I feel if you are going to take the guest posting approach you need to be putting major effort into the content produce. It is definitely short sighted to just do ‘passable’ content simply for a link when you are getting so much more. If you are choosing the sites you post at correctly you will be getting exposure to a whole new audience. It makes since to put your best foot forward and offer something that is valuable enough to have people want to visit your site.

  7. Abel Ligas says:

    I think that is needed. If your client feel that they’ve got many things. they will buy our products very easy :)

  8. It’s important to share something valuable to other peoples in free of cost, to help others.. You can use one of the best platform like blog and sell some products and getting earning through it. But you never lock your content and keep it secrets it haven’t any value.
    But if you share through your blog at that time some people will also share their opinion or some advice by putting their comments below the article.
    Nikhil Bille recently posted..UPSC 2014 Schedule, Time Table Exam Date, CalendarMy Profile

  9. Twitter:
    Hey Mark,
    I think giving something valuable for free in blogging helps a lot to gain trust authority, Neil Patel from Quick Sprout is a good example; he gives almost everything for free. . .
    thanks for sharing!
    Adithya Shetty recently posted..Basic SEO Mistakes to Avoid for a Long-Term SuccessMy Profile

  10. Twitter:
    Hello mark,
    I am pretty pleased to know your view about sharing the knowledge, instead of selling things over internet. Being an expert you would be able to earn much more than what you would be able to earn with selling your content. Once somebody is able to get so many things for free from your website, he would definitely not mind something from your website.
    alan recently posted..Whatsapp for PC download, Whatsapp for computer(Windows 7/8/XP/VISTA)My Profile

  11. Twitter:
    According to my opinion you shouldn’t give the content away because content matters a lot if you are having some quality content. If the content is of poor quality then through it away it’s of no use for pro bloggers. Always treat content and readers as king then everything will follow you.
    Nithin Upendran recently posted..Tips To Find Keywordluv/Commentluv Enabled Blogs.My Profile

  12. Twitter:
    According to my opinion you shouldn’t give the content away because content matters a lot if you are having some quality content.
    Completely agree….!!!
    sajid recently posted..Gmail Login – – Gmail Sign InMy Profile

  13. Twitter:
    thanks for sharing great article on content storage. For me its new so i can apply to my blog.
    Syed Aly recently posted..6 Best Polling Plugins for WordPressMy Profile

  14. Twitter:
    Thanks for sharing with us as I also face this dilemma a lot
    James Frost recently posted..Klinker Apps presents its portal applications and updatesMy Profile

  15. Twitter:
    giving away content for free is good sometimes to attract interest. But it can hurt you at the same time, depends…
    J. Wright recently posted..Nike Men’s DUAL FUSION LITEMy Profile

  16. Twitter:
    Hey Mark,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post with us. According to me, if we have some good quality content, then we haven’t just give the content away. We can share some content but not all.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 20000My Profile

  17. Twitter:
    Nice post and the topic you have written about is good. Spreading or we can say letting the content go away freely is not a good choice. We must keep it in storage.
    Prakash recently posted..Download Whatsapp for Windows 7/8/8.1My Profile

  18. Another good read from your Mark, will share this with my fellow bloggers.
    Paul recently posted..The Best American Car BrandsMy Profile

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