Why I’m Giving My Content Away to Social Media Informer for Free

You don’t need me to tell you how valuable content is. After all, how many times have you heard the saying, “content is king?” So if content is so valuable, why on earth would someone give their content away for free? I’ll tell you who… me. And Chris Brogan. And Simon Mainwaring. And Dave Fleet (along with another 40+ bloggers), that’s who. We’re all doing it on the Social Media Informer (billed as the “best social media content for business”). The reason? For me it was twofold:

  1. Distribution – On average, I get somewhere around 4,000 unique visitors/month (plus another 4,000 or so that read my blog via RSS). While that’s not a bad number, why not add several thousand new eyeballs?
  2. Influence by association – Being included in the company of lots of other smart, well-respected people doesn’t hurt my (or my company’s) reputation. Quite frankly, I learned this lesson a few years back when I started podcasting and so far, it’s worked!
What I like is that this model ends up being a win-win all the way around. The Social Media Informer gets great content. This enables them to find sponsors to help pay the bills. The bloggers get distribution and additional legitimacy. The readers get curation in the form of hand-picked content creators and business practitioners that they may not have found on their own.
Is there a lesson here for small and big business? You betcha. It’s the concept of reaching out to their partners, customers and employees to create informative videos, podcasts, blog posts and tutorials. Yes, in some cases paying these folks wouldn’t hurt. But if your company can offer legitimacy and distribution to key stakeholders in exchange for great content, what’s not to like?
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