Free vs Paid Content – What’s the Big Difference?

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As a digital entrepreneur, you’re already aware there’s a ton of content out there on just about any given topic. And you’re also well aware some of it is free while some of it is locked behind a paywall.

You know you need both types of content to grow and create profits for your digital business, but figuring out what content should be free and what you should charge for can be tricky. 

So, what exactly is the difference between free and paid content?

Well, while every creator will have different guidelines about how much they choose to give away, there are some things to remember that will help you differentiate between the two. 

Keep these 3 things in mind when you’re deciding whether your content should be free or paid.

Thing #1: Free content only gives away part of the total solution. 

Anyone can access free content, and you should try to expose as many people to it as possible. People find your content because they need information on a particular subject, but it’s important not to tell them everything they need to know. If they get everything they need from looking at your freebies, they’ll never be motivated to make a purchase for the full solution. 

Your paid content, on the other hand, should be a comprehensive solution to the pain point. You never want a paying customer to feel like they still don’t have any idea what they’re doing after using your product, so always take the time to craft your most in-depth and complete content for your paid products.


Thing #2: Keep your audience coming back for more.

Your free content isn’t just valuable for new viewers – it should be able to keep your regulars coming back for more. Most people in your audience won’t make a purchase after reading just one free piece of content, and that’s okay! But if your free content is valuable and unique, you’ll keep those audience members interested in what you do and coming back to your site for more.

As you use this free content to build trust and generate interest in your business, more and more of your audience members will begin making purchases and buying into what you’re selling. And once they’ve purchased a solution from you and see real results, they’re even more likely to be repeat customers. 

Thing #3: Remember, it’s possible to give too much away. 

Some creators make the mistake of giving all they’ve got away in their blogs, to their email lists and on their social pages. But if you give all of your content away for nothing, there won’t be anything left for your customers to pay for! Some people object to paying for digital content, saying it can all be found for free elsewhere.

But gathering all of the necessary information from various free sources takes time and effort. Remember … you’re selling total solutions to help people overcome their pain points.

Figuring out where to draw the line between free and paid content can be tricky. But if you remember your free content should be used to grow your audience and build trust while your paid content should be total solutions, you should be able to strike the perfect balance.

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