How to Use Valuable Content to Attract Opportunity

How to Use Valuable Content to Attract Opportunity

Reader Comments (31)

  1. Michael, I think this strategy has pretty much been the norm since shortly after Seth Godin published Permission Marketing, and I’ve been using it myself since 1998 for both offline businesses and online pure-plays. You simply have to be able to stay in contact with people to ultimately convert them, and that means using the opt-in and following up. Even if you publish a general blog or newsletter, you’ll still want separate opt-in channels where you can laser-focus on certain issues and selling points.

    Ironically, the only time I’ve ever released a substantial piece of content such as a report or white paper and not required an opt-in was Viral Copy. I debated it, but the goal for Viral Copy was to attract links (that’s what the report is about!) and to get as many people as possible to read it.

    My estimation of the blogging community at the time was that no one was going to link to something that was “behind the wall,” and I think for the most part, that’s still true today. So, it’s important to understand your goals and your audience, but from what I’ve seen, business bloggers are under-utilizing the email opt-in when it comes to converting passive readers into active prospects and actually selling something.

    If Brian had something to sell, I’d be first in line to buy it.

    That day is coming sooner than you think, and I’ll remember that. 🙂

  2. Hey Brian;

    Looks like you and I are the only late night folks still up!

    Great comment.

    Interestingly enough, if you reveal enough sample and it is compelling and unique, you can still get a lot of folks linking to it AND raise your search engine results.

    Case in Point:

    Google the words white paper and look at where my “How to Write a White Paper” comes up.

    This is an example of what this article discusses.

    The reason it comes up so high is because some many folks have linked to it AND because it contains rich content.


  3. Michael,

    You might be interested in a recent white paper by Enquiro Search Solutions ( They found that B2B customers most desired clear, downloadable content when researching products & services. Useful info they could easily share with colleagues and present to decision makers was what helped the most in converting B2B site visitors into customers. You can get the full white paper for free by registering on their site, or I’ve posted a brief summary on my blog.


  4. Great stuff 🙂

    On the opt-in, I probably did restrict the number of links I got by putting my free ebook behind a subscription but my goal with the pdf was for people to get an idea of my approach and philosophy, it is a way for people to understand what I am about, those that hang around are then on the same page.

    I see blog posts and white papers as free samples, hopefully those small but tasty morsels will be enough to sell them on the full pie 🙂

  5. Hi All, I think that free reports are a great leverage for the sales. I like the system described by Mike:

    1) Teaser sample
    2) Registration in an e-mail list
    3) Allow download of the report/white paper

    At the moment I offer a free sample of my e-book even without registration in an opt-in list. I am using a little bit longer sequense (may be it is not the best, but I am learning on the fly):

    1) I give away a free sample that lead to my blog.
    2) I offer a free and valuable content on the blog.
    3) I offer the opportunity to buy my book.
    4) After the sale I ask the prospect for registration
    5) I know that my opt-in list contains “hot” customers only.

    What do you think about this “system”? Do you think I could improve it somehow?

    I am strong believer in viral marketing and using reports and white papers as marketing tools.

    Congratulations, Mike.
    Great article!


  6. William;

    I do something similar with my hardcover book/ebook.

    I give a free chapter, two different ways.

    One, if they are on Amazon OR on the page where the book can be purchased, I give a sample chapter immediately.

    If they are on my blog, I give a sample chapter if they register for my newsletter.

    Different offer for different location is the strategy here.

    The bigger question is this, why should your readers register? What do they get? A newsletter?


  7. Hi Mike,

    After the sale I ask my customers to register and receive further updates on the book’s content. They get fresh updates immediately after the release of a new information related to the book’s topic.

    I am trying to make updates at least once per month (or better – bi-weekly) – new issues and articles, news, tips and tricks on topic, etc.

    My purpose is to generate valuable content and send it to my customers as book’s updates. It works for me at the moment – at least the feedback is 90% positive. 🙂


  8. People are hungry for knowledge, and if you gain their respect they will be loyal to your writing. Internet marketing is often like this also.

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