How to Create Content You Can Sell, Not Just Give Away

Create Content You Can Sell,

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Last Updated on August 15, 2021 by Work In My Pajamas

Giving away content can be a good way to generate leads, cement customer relationships, attract media attention and generally build your company’s brand. However, creating content of sufficient quality to achieve these goals takes an enormous amount of effort. And whether the writing is done internally or by an outsourced writer, all that time and money adds up – eventually reaching the point where business owners and leaders ask, “Is this really worth it?”

How Do I Create Valuable Content?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could create content you could sell, and get a little direct ROI from your investment in content marketing and PR? You may be able to. None of the ideas that follow will generate millions of dollars of revenue, but they may generate enough return to make you feel a lot better about your overall marketing investment. Better yet, paid content, if marketed properly, can enhance, not detract from, the benefits of free content I mentioned at the top.

1. Proprietary Research

If you are in an industry where data is hard to come by, you can share yours and create research PDFs other companies in your industry and related ones will pay for. A couple of examples from industries in which I worked.

” Packaging companies, like many others, are quite secretive about sales, customer and product cost details. Companies that publish research about sales trend by product line, customer acquisition and retention, raw material costs, etc., provide reliable benchmark data, provided the research is solid and the data is large enough.

” In the world of SEO, Google shares very little data or insight about its organic search algorithm. SEO companies that conduct tests, for instance, to measure the effects of keyword density on rankings, can charge for a detailed look at their results. Often, the market approach is to give away some teaser data, and then offer the complete download for “x” dollars.

2. E-Books

Publishing an e-book to sell on Amazon and/or through your website is an excellent way to generate revenue – and even better, you can do it without creating any new content.

A good technique here is to compile existing content on a particular theme that you’ve already published. For instance, maybe over the past five years you’ve written a lot about creative applications for a particular product – in blog posts, sales collateral, off-site articles, press releases, etc. If you collect all of this content, edit for consistency, update and create some headlines and transitional paragraphs to tie it all together, you will have created an e-book that people will buy – because it saves them the trouble of culling through all of your content to find it.

In terms of what to charge, it’s going to be a judgment call based on the quality of your content and the demand. In general, people are willing to pay at least a nominal fee ($1-500) for a book.

3. Webinars

Hosting a webinar on an important industry topic is a fruitful marketing technique for many reasons. If you have speakers who are truly authoritative, if you field questions from attendees, and if you provide great solutions to problems your customers face, then you have the makings of a downloadable recording for which people around the world will pay.

I’m not suggesting you conduct webinars for the primary purpose of selling them. However, if you’re hosting webinars anyway, it would be a shame not to reap additional benefits by offering them for sale on your website and/or through podcasting sites.

4. Marketing the Content

Posting content to sell on your website and off-site is not enough – you still have to let the world know it’s there. Consider your options carefully. Three excellent approaches are through press releases, social media and PPC advertising. You may also find that your industry has association/trade show websites that would be happy to promote your content through their websites, email campaigns and printed collateral.

If the information is useful and there’s demand for it, there may be value there for the taking.

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