Have you spent much time thinking about free content vs paid content?

If you’re sending a newsletter it must have at least crossed your mind.

As a trained-journalist-turned-content-marketer I can get a little paralyzed considering what should be free and what should be paid.

A decade or two ago, being a quality writer meant your income was supported by sponsorships and paying subscribers (often both).

And then, as it became easier for brands to reach audiences via social media and search engines, more and more content became free to achieve traffic. I started getting paid to assign, edit, and write that free content.

Paid and free content battle for our attention.

While one company’s business goal may be to generate free educational content to build credibility as an industry thought leader and attract clients, another might be charging for the same type of content as part of a membership model business.

At the same time, a business publication may be paying writers to produce similar content for their sponsored subscription publication while another may be charging readers $10/mo and offering ad-free content.

This is not The Mandalorian. There is not one WAY.

Sometimes free content is a gateway to purchase a product, service, or solution.

Sometimes access to paid content is worth it to get straight to high-quality information and cut through the noise.

As newsletter creators, we choose which model(s) will help us achieve our individual goals.

We’re not all selling the same thing.

But we are all hoping for opens, clicks, and trust.

So make the things you’re selling worth paying for, and let your free content (whether that’s newsletter issues, blogs, social posts) deepen the reader/creator relationship so that a purchase is a next natural step.

This week’s issue includes advice from people who have faced the free or paid (or combo) dilemma, as well as other common newsletter creator decisions.

Let’s study THEIR WAYS.

Ashley Guttuso  

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Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

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Have a great week sending, y’all.

Thanks for reading,

Ashley @ Opt In Weekly