Many people underestimate the advantage of providing users with free factual information and instead want to charge users for use or somehow get users to buy into a system. In some cases, such as CMEs or custom eLearning tools, I would agree that charging a nominal fee is the way to go. But, in the case of providing product information, reviews, how-to guides, and more, free is the way to go. You may be wondering, how does it help me to spend time and money to develop this content if I’m only going to give it away for free? Well, it requires you to think long-term and with some perspective. Here’s a good example I can think of: you are a successful chef and restaurant owner looking to expand. In an attempt to get your name out there more, you write a cook book that gives away some of your best recipes – not all of them, of course – but some along with other recipes that are not featured in the restaurant. If you search Amazon, you’ll find thousands of cook books from top name chefs all over the world. Why? It gets their name out there even more. People who buy the book will be likely to visit the restaurant to try the original. The chef will become a reliable source for cooking. This goes on and on.
It is no different when you build an online presence, and something we encourage at DDA. The more you give the user, the more your online business becomes the trusted, reliable source for information. Plus, the more original content you build, the more search engine optimization potential your website has. When this happens, the visitor is not only a willing participant who found you, but in turn they almost become an automatic customer because you provide the products or services they were looking for. What’s not to like about that?