Photo by Martin-Neuhof
“Hey Andrea! When will you release a new post on your blog? Can’t wait for it!”
I’m happy when I receive direct messages like this one. Yes I will keep blogging, I’m just going through an intense period that doesn’t leave me much space for producing ‘free content’ here on my blog.
In the last 6 months business exploded for my team and me at itive. We are taking care of several new projects and have new clients waiting down the line to work with us. This period in which I’m living now got me thinking about the time I spend creating and sharing free value VS payed work for my clients.
The good side of the free content is that it helps me to share snippets of what I do with people who find value in it and end up contacting me when they need help with their marketing, PR, web design, etc. This ultimately translates in more work for my team. Sharing free content on my blog also gives me the chance to exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions with you. Learning from each other is priceless. I am and will always be thankful for what I learned and will keep learning from our conversations.
On the other hand, the client work I do with itive is what ultimately puts food on the table and pays the bills. So when new projects come, I have to take care of them.
I see many other friends and colleagues changing their relationship with the free content they produce. Here are a few names:
- After 5 fantastic years Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson dropped their thursday show condensing the podcast (FIR – For Immediate Release) in one and only weekly monday episode.
- Big changes also for the magic duo Terry Fallis & David Jones that recently left Inside PR in the hands of an outstanding Martin Waxman (@Terry @David: Martin rocks but I’ll miss you guys).
- Dennis Howlett stopped offering free lunches.
- Geoff Livingston shared everything he felt and ended his regular contribution to the Buzz Bin.
- Gary Vaynerchuk is slowing down too because he needs more time to focus on other areas to stay on the edge.
The balance between investments in free VS payed is my dilemma and it’s not something that I extend to the people I listed. Someone might be drowning in new tight schedules, others have less or nothing more to say so they are reducing the amount of time for producing free content to leave space for other activities that add more value at a personal level or for the organization they are working for. Priority is shifting.
I feel that we (content producers) all have arrived to a point in which we are evaluating more carefully where to invest our time, energy and experience.
Am I going to start charing for my content?
I don’t think this will happend anytime soon. Part of the what I produce will keep being released for free, but recently I’ve been thinking about if/how this will change in future.
There’s a wind of change blowing in our industry that is making me and many other content producers think. Do you feel it? What’s your take? And if you are a content producer how are you dealing with it?