I take lots of photos for a local pet rescue group. Lots. Hundreds each year. I volunteer my time, my equipment, my editing and my eye, and it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life. Photos — just like blog posts, white papers, videos, articles, quizzes and so much more — are pieces of content that can make or break your website and even your business plan. No matter how pretty the design may be, without quality content, readers won’t make repeat visits to your site.
Content — quality content — is a valuable commodity. More and more, companies large and small are recognizing that it is just as important a piece of the website puzzle as great design. So, why would anyone — individual or business — give content away for free?
- To stay on top of trends. What’s the latest and greatest in your industry right now? Are you in-the-know about the next big social media trend? Be the first to write about it and you’ll likely be considered a thought-leader and expert in your field.
- To make themselves (more) marketable. If your company makes the best widgets in town, you probably know everything there is to know about widgets. That makes you the authority on widgets! When you give away content — articles or videos about how widgets work, for instance — others will then start looking to you more frequently for your expertise.
- To secure clients and partnerships. Sometimes, just like the nibbles and bites we can grab when wondering the aisles of Costco, clients and potential partners want a taste of what’s to come. Although they’ve probably seen your work elsewhere, they may want to know — without spending a dime — exactly what you can do for them. Provide an article for their website, pair up with them to produce an eBook, produce a podcast together. Don’t just tell them what you can do for them, show them!
- To build a portfolio. Sure, a company can build a portfolio based on their work from their own websites or published materials, but if that company has had blog posts or articles published on, say, Mashable.com, SocialMediaToday.com and TechCrunch, they carry more weight. Provide a high-quality piece of content to a big-name industry source for publishing, then show the world.
Have you ever given content away for free? What was your experience?