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How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free

+Chris Garrett is a quiet guy. But he's a workhorse. And insanely smart. We are rich to have him on our side. 

And you'll get to see some of his brilliance in tomorrow's post when he rolls out a list of content that you should give away free ... and a list of content you should never give away free. 

He also explains why. Stay tuned. Update: the post is live: 

And if you haven't already, get Copyblogger delivered directly to your inbox:

By the way, Chris is speaking at Authority Intensive in May. It's sold out, but you can take a peek at what you are missing here:
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I always wondered how +Chris Garrett looked ever since I heard his voice o the Authority videos. Now I know.

BTW it's gold worth knowing what content to give away for free. I strongly recommend listening to this.
This article is a great summary of a lot of content on Copyblogger. As someone still finding her way around, it's appreciated. I think it also shows that in the content cycle, you need "reminder/summary" articles like this to bring the pieces together in your customer's head.Thanks!
I left my comment on Brian Clark's share.  Thanks for the helpful post!
My mentor always used to say ... provide useful but incomplete information.
+Yoav Ezer Smart mentor. Joe Sugarman, grand copywriter, said that curiosity is the most powerful motivator when it comes to information.
Fantastic post.  I'm still working on what to give away because I want it to be something worthwhile. Thanks for sharing!
Excellent advice, and for me timely -- also since I have a tendency to give a lot away. That said, I'm wishing there were something like Performancing again where I could give some content away.
What's not to love about +Chris Garrett? From personal experience, I am in whole hearted agreement. Be generous with your ideas and opinions, but guard your time and energy. While I'm recovering from my accident, I've found that the best use of my time and energy has been to invest in my own knowledge-base and authority. I'm a proud member of Authority, I've taken advantage of further opportunities inside (reference to +Sonia Simone's cryptic blog post on Monday), I've gone through the coursework for Jon's GB (code for copywriting) class, I'm a member of +Ronnie Bincer Hangout Mastery, I'm currently in +Mari Smith's FBMM (code for social media/editorial calendar strategies), and I've just signed up for +Henneke Duistermaat's Enchanting business blogging course. I add an advanced meditation class to the mix starting next week. Why? Because with limited bandwidth and energy, I would rather invest in myself than in attracting clients that might not be a fit. All of my free content helps build my online rankings and visibility. So in a very real sense, I'm getting a return on my time and energy investment, even if the access is free for any potential client.
+Chris Garrett, thanks so much for this comprehensive post. I LOVE your thoroughness (did you give away too much?) ;-)
Any thoughts on where to give away free content -- what goes in the newsletter, what goes in the blog, etc.?
+Pamela Miles you will notice I told "what" and "why", not "how" :)

"Where" is an interesting question.

On your blog and out on guest articles you need to be attracting your target audience. Content around problems and solutions works well for finding the people who you can most help, then lead them to your email list.

On your email list, because an auto responder is in sequence, you can build a narrative that takes them through drilling down into the problem, your approach to solving it, why you and your approach might be a good fit, and some steps to their goal. 
This topics is quite interested to me. I do believe it can be applied to many area works, personal or hobby. Thank you  for sharing this:)
+Brian Clark Ah, thanks Brian. Is it as easy to write for CB as Pf? I a little birdie told me there's a long waiting list. How do I start pitching? (Though the content at CB is several steps above anything I wrote on Pf, and I tend to write on technical processes of blogging.)
Thanks +Chris Garrett for this post. We've been dealing with this very same issue as we've been developing our new marketplace and platform for independent consultants, +Pipevine  Especially in the early stages, if in doubt, we've been defaulting to "free" over "paid" as our first concern is growing our user base to sustainable levels.  

Another way we're looking at it is that people are very reluctant simply to pay online for information. If it requires someone to think for more than 2 seconds whether to take the credit card out of their wallet, chances are they're going to balk. Best to get them in the door, establish rapport and trust, and seek to build long-term relationships.
I have the same issue with my golf blog. There's heaps of free information out there online and difficult to know what to hold back and try and sell to people.
This is excellently written, easy to read, current and to the point. Thank you
Thanks +Chris Garrett for this amazing post! This can certainly help me in my craft since I'm usually asked to write giveaway and upsell content :)
People appreciate when we share content, especially if it brings value.  And the more we give valuable information, the more they get to know, like and trust us.  So when we are eventually selling books, coaching programs or trainings on line, because they know what to expect, they will likely buy from us.  

Thank you so much for this superb and very useful post!
I struggle with this. I just had my first potential really big client but, despite his politeness and business acumen, he wanted me to send him entire first proposal with the hows. He asked for tangible ways that I was going to achieve the goals I set forth for him which would have filled out my proposal enough to give him completely free social media hows and campaigns. How do you find that balance to demonstrate your value without giving everything away?
Send him a copy of your contract. Divide your task into two categories give free and paid for giving. 
Jay Oza
I think you can even give away 'how'  since everyone's 'how' is very unique.  I go on You Tube that shows  how to fix my fan on my laptop but I am not going to do it since I don't think I can put the whole thing together once I take it apart.  The how gives me an idea of the scope of the work so I don't get ripped off.
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