Corporate Eye

Is Free Content Always Good Content?

The business model of websites and blogs suggest that if they can get XX amount of traffic to a blog, then they can essentially charge advertiser’s XX amount of dollars to showcase their product or service on said blog. This works well of course for the business that is enjoying the traffic and the advertising dollars. It also works quite well for the company who advertise their product or service and have the opportunity to convince readers to buy from them. But what about the reader: does he benefit?

When you visit a popular or engaging website, or you click on one of your favorites in your menu, you are looking for good, quality information that’s going to help you in your a.) personal life, b.) business life, c.) in finances, or d.) in relationships. Most web-users are looking for information that will either inform or enhance. And, most of that information is readily available all over the web, for free, instantaneously and in massive quantities. But as a reader, how can you be sure that what you’re getting is good information and not some rehashed, regurgitated stuff that can be found most anywhere on the WWW?

In the online world, the word free is good and desirable. Especially given the economy that we are currently experiencing, businesses want as much as they can get for their money. This includes consumers too and no area is exempt. But in an attempt to find bargains, are we settling for and compromising on quality and value? Are we relegated to take what we can get and get out?

There are few websites who actually charge for information that can essentially be found anywhere on the internet with some time and a little digging/clicking. These websites who charge for information are appalling to those who think information should be free and without reservation. But let’s consider this…

Would you pay for content that, let’s say is readily accessible, but that is of higher quality, confirmed facts, real interviews and has limited access? In other words, would you pay for exclusive content that would be available to you if you paid for it? Writers and journalists make their living off of providing information that is of value, much of what I mentioned a few paragraphs up. A writer is only as good as the content they write, therefore the value of their intellectual material is relevant and dependent upon their audience and the demand for the information that they can provide. Question: What makes you want to pay for content?

Personally, I’d gladly pay for content under certain conditions:

1.) The content was not all over the internet. It was/is exclusive and only a limited number of people have access to it. If it news in nature, then there must some higher quality reporting and/or interviews to make it plausible.

2.) The price was fair. I don’t think it’s wise to overcharge, but by the same token, quality costs. So while a news subscription site may cost $20 a month, a few news articles sent to my inbox a couple of times a week need not be $50.

3.) I must see and enjoy the value of the content. How annoying is it to pay for something and then not be able to use it? The content must enrich my life and be applicable in more than one way.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you pay for content online? Would you buy content that was available anywhere else, free or fee? Can you see any inherent value in paying for content of any price? What would be your limit?

Free is good…sometimes. As consumers and as business owners, there must be some take-away value in the service that we’re a part of. What ends up failing is when no one can “see” what they’re getting and cannot maximize its use. When customers realize that what they’re getting is high-quality and of exceptional value, surely they will pay. Everyone wants free, but everyone wants the most for their money. Finding the happy medium is the seeking point. Beyond that, free is not good. It is simply a word that has no meaning. This is when free can be a farce.

Provide value and quality and perhaps you can charge whatever you’d like. Perhaps.

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Bridget Wright

Writer, Blogger
I am a freelance writer, blogger and professional motivational speaker. I primarily focus on business content, offering my clients strategic marketing strategies for their businesses. I have been an entrepreneur for over 13 years, after having worked extensively in corporate America.