Why Free Content Builds Authority in Your Marketplace

I just read a great article by Craig Wildenradt in Copyblogger.com called "How the Authority Rules Report Brought Me 234% More Site Memberships."

Craig details the actual results he has achieved as a result of following advice given in Brian Clark's free ebook, "Authority Rules":
  • 234% more members to his membership site.
  • 62% more unique visitors.
  • 48% more total site visitors.
  • 100% more paying clients.
  • 92% increase in visits per day.
  • 12% increase in referring sites
  • 113% increase in search engine traffic

What did Craig do? He first created a free ebook to educate people about his subject matter, along with a supplemental audio program. Next, he made the ebook available without asking readers to opt-in to an email list.

This last part might cause a lot of marketers to pause. Why give away free information without attempting to capture email addresses? Isn't building a list of prospects the be-all and end-all of online marketing?

Not always.

The mere act of requiring readers to submit an email address inevitably causes a large number of your potential prospects to turn away without downloading your information. People are so overwhelmed by the volume of emails they receive each day that they are reluctant to add to the avalanche.

Moreover, making your information available without attaching opt-in strings enables your "fans" to freely share links on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. This means that your information has a better chance of "going viral" and reaching a larger audience than you could ever reach on your own.

Giving your information away does a number of remarkable things for your business:
  • It positions you as an expert in your field.
  • It creates a bond with your prospects/readers who are grateful for your willingness to solve their problems.
  • It triggers the "Law of Reciprocity" which creates a sense of obligation when people receive something free.
  • Educated prospects are the best prospects of all. Ignorance and confusion are the ultimate barriers to buying. Your information removes these barriers.

Check out both Craig Wildenbradt's article and Brian Clark's ebook, "Authority Rules." Both are well worth your time and might just help you achieve the same results that Craig experienced.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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