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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

A Holiday Lesson From My Family: Information Sells

By Mariel Bacci
December 15th, 2012

The Importance Of High Quality Content On Your Site

I have been spending more time with my family as of late and I had forgotten the well of ethnographic experience they have to offer as a culture all their own.  One of the things I observed over the recent holidays that I had never noticed before is their love of secrets.  Or, more precisely, their pride of holding information they think few other people have.

It is awesome to see them brag in their own ways about knowing something another family member doesn’t.  For example, my grandmother might say something to my father over the phone like, “Well, did you know that Mariel went to her aunts house last night and they are thinking about taking a Yoga class together?”  She will say it like it is some sort of backstage access information that my dad should not only be interested in, but that he should hold her in higher esteem for blessing him with the knowledge.  It seems petty-but it matters to your online business.

Who Makes Money With Information?

Access to quality content and “insider” information can give people a reason to love your brand. Take a brand that sells information specifically- TED.com.  TED has been wildly successful, and the essence of what it provides to its consumers is access to information they might have trouble finding somewhere else.  In addition, the way people talk about TED is much like the way my grandmother talks about my personal conversations- with pride.  People that watch TED feel like they are somehow smarter, more aware, and maybe even better than other people.  This access to information is not only beneficial at face value but offers the value of exclusivity and culture.

Another less obvious example is something like P90x.  P90x also sells information; information about how to transform your body from an old rag into a steely combine of will and determination.  People who have bought and used P90x information not only love bragging about it (I know because I tried it and you can bet all of my peers know that I have tried it) but they also relate to  people who have done P90x before too.  This is another example of the fact that high quality and useful information is valuable on it’s own, and also to serve as a catalyst for an exclusive culture.

How You Can See A Return On Investment By sharing Your “Secrets”

How can you use this information to make money for your online business? Give people access to information.  You might have a lot of secret information that you don’t even realize you have. Does the product you sell require installation?  Why not publish the installation instructions on your website?  Information as simple as that will not only help SEO to your site, but will help your guests either install your product themselves, or best case scenario, feel comfortable buying your product because they have reviewed your installation instructions and know they can accomplish the task.

Do you sell cosmetics? Don’t just show the makeup in a tube, show it on someones face.

Do you sell business strategy? Publish an example business strategy road map on your site so that your guests have some idea what they might be purchasing.

The more transparent you are with the ins and outs of your product or business on your site, the closer your guest will feel to your company and the more likely they are to convert. The more high quality and relevant information you provide to your guest, the more they will rely on you and consider themselves part of your team or culture.  This mentality will create an environment for conversion.

Have you seen success from sharing information on your site?  Have you been able to make money off content on your site?  What do you feel are the drawbacks to sharing too many “secrets?”  Let us help you find your well of information that will persuade your guests to convert.

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Comments (56)

  1. Thanks for the article, this is an eye opener. All this time I wrote articles on my blog just for hobby, because I love it. I never thought that it could used to make some money. Thanks for the article Mariel

  2. Most bloggers forget that it is all about information. A blog should genuinely provide good information that people are looking for, otherwise it is useless.

  3. Love your thoughts on giving. It’s interesting to see that people find it hard to embrace this philosophy as they feel by giving away their “secrets” they will miss out on business. It’s completely the opposite as you suggest: the more helpful information you give away the more people will want to trade with you. I always think when someone is giving information without any expectation ” if they giving this away for free, just imagine what I will get if I do business with them”. Nice post.

  4. I have also seen in many business practices that having that kind of transparency is critical to conversion. If the consumer feels they can rely on you and can trust your brand/company, the more likely they’ll invest into it. Its all about making sure the potential consumer won’t feel like they are being tricked or swindled. Very good post! Thank you for the information!

  5. I’ve always thought that bloggers should teach something to the readers. Otherwise, as Sven Raphael Schneider already said, those blogs are useless.
    Thanks for the great article!
    I hope it’s an eye opener for at least some of the writers online.

  6. Content is a main part of website, because without content is nothing. When visitor on your site, they search some new content related product or services or for getting new knowledge..so i think content is a main part of website.

  7. Thanks for the post and giving me a great idea how to improve our company website! We offer a free 30 day trial of a cloud CRM and lately I have noticed that people have trouble navigating the signup form (not in our hands). A guide to signing up for the trial and purchasing the software is already being planned!

  8. A good lesson for me reading your blog today. Since it’s holiday time – I guess a holiday lesson for me too.

  9. Good content is important, next have to learn how to promote my content more. Happy holidays.

  10. Interesting! Much agreed that content is important — probably the most important thing on a website or blog, but I an intrigued by the notion of “sharing secret information” as a way to attract web users!

  11. This is an open secret. I think that Politicians, Lawyers, Marketers and other practitioners of persuasion have known this for ages. In copywriting world their is a saying that when you provide information it’s not an advertisement and this principle has been successfully applied by copywriters in sales copy. I agree with you that the more information you provide the more closer your clients will feel they are to you.

  12. I agree with this words “the closer your guest will feel to your company and the more likely they are to convert”. This is one of key factor to success our site

  13. Yes Content was KING, content is KING..

  14. I was told that you can have anything you want out of life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want. Sharing information does this, great article.

  15. Such a nice and heart touching post….! Thanks for sharing and Happy new year….!

  16. I have a problem with this kind of thoughs. I mean, it sounds fantastic: You share information and then you have more visitors and then.. then what? What is the ROI?

  17. You see this in professional practices all the time — sadly, doctors and lawyers frequently don’t educate due to some mix of there not being a culture of complete information sharing, also mixed with the highly technical nature of the professions.

    So it presents a challenge. TED is all-purpose content, so less of a challenge to put up videos that are relevant to anyone. But in medicine or law, it’s a trickier challenge.

  18. Thanks for this useful article. Honest is always the best policy. The only way to build a long lasting relationship with your potential customers is to be honest with them. Thanks.

  19. Thank you for the article. I can relate to your “insider” concept here and it is in fact a huge emotional connector that many missed out on.

    Exclusivity and feeling “privileged” is a huge motivation to love a brand.

    Thanks again.

  20. This is a fantastic article and funny too! I totally relate to the P90X as I have done it and brag about it all the time! So true about kids and family with their ‘secrets’. I just recently went through a lot of posts on my website some which were outsourced, and I have changed them all making sure the content is useful and rich. I already have a bunch of other ideas for future blog posts thanks to this article!

  21. Great post, being genuine and transparent while delivering solid content are all necessary tools with Google’s new updates. It’s fantastic that they are finding ways to weed out keyword spammers with weak websites.

  22. Mariel,

    No doubt information does sell. In fact, if you think about it, knowledge is the most precious possession we have. It is the ultimate currency and product for barter. Except for the bare necessities we need for human existence, pretty much every other product is valuable because of man’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

  23. The P90x reference was a good one. They have certainly created a great brand. Amazing results and great information creates a great brand. Excellent article. Thank you.

  24. Informative article about holiday marketing.However marketing success depends on sells parameter , so we have to determine our marketing strategies before starting the holiday duration.

  25. You see this in professional practices all the time — sadly, doctors and lawyers frequently don’t educate due to some mix of there not being a culture of complete information sharing, also mixed with the highly technical nature of the professions.

  26. Anything sells if you apply good marketing. Information is just easier to sell. You have no stock to worry about, no physical stuff. All you have to care of are the clients and your marketing.

  27. Sharing and giving with integrity is one of the best ways to engage trust and build relationships. I find it strange how some find this concept hard to embrace and practice.

  28. [...] Acker in den Laden5 Ecommerce Predictions for 20135 Ways to Use Email Marketing in 2013A Holiday Lesson From My Family: Information SellsLuxus im E-Commerce – ohne Emotionen klappt es nichtThe A-Z of e-Commerce Death StarsHier finden [...]

  29. You’re not kidding. The very first ebook I bought back in 2005 cost $500 and I recently purchased the Inbound Marketing Handbook, which only cost $397.

    Personally, I give away a ton of information but make it back many times over with premium services presold by the free information.

    Great post, thanks for reminding me how much information can sell for!

  30. Great Article. Only good information will sell. Marketing may provide a temporary boost, but the buzz will wear off quickly. People are willing to pay for great information.

  31. I completely agree with you that content is important. It’s itneresting because I’ve always viewed the Internet as part of the “Age of Information” where information was always completely free and open to anyone. However; your post made me realize that information can also profit.

  32. I think you nailed with the key being transparency! Especially when it comes to intangible products, transparency build trust and value for the consumers.

  33. Great post. That is an interesting strategy of sharing and I believe it fit more with bloggers. It is easier to have a blogger blog about your cosmetics than doing it over your own website.

  34. This is interesting but I think I needed some more info about tangible products!

  35. Completely agree. In fact, who holds the right information, holds the secret of any market or business. If you sell cleaning products, and you post a tip about how to clean wine stains in a shirt, your visitors may end buying some of your cleaning products, or at least getting to know your site.

  36. Completely agree, sharing helpful and inspiring info will make new costumers or followers. If you sell cleaning products and in your website you make a post about cleaning wine stains in a shirt, people may end buying your products or at least getting to know your site.

  37. I have alot of secrets on my website. Doesn’t everyone want insight on a topic that is not fully understand. Information is powerful and knowledge that people possess is greatly appreciated when it is shared. To put a price on information is a sign of its value.

    Mr. MakingUsmile

  38. Everyone likes to be in on a “good secret”. Your examples of the TED site and P90x are perfect– its like unlocking a secret that not everyone has. Great way to catch a readers attention!

  39. I have never heard of the TED.com or P90x websites. Where have I been?? I want to turn my body into a, “into a steely combine of will and determination!” Thank Mariel :)

  40. I was just thinking about how I keep reading “content is king”…I am a newbie, but it’s a little scary to me…what if I can’t find enough articles. How broad can I take a keyword on subject matter…? Nevertheless….I know that I want people to stay on my page and I have figured out that quality info is what will make them just possibly…click on one of my advertisers…. right? :) Thanks so much for the extra push!!

  41. I have observed myself on a webpage – hanging out longer when things are interesting…so true about content.

  42. Really good post – certainly practising what you preach!

    Good information on your website is crucial now with so much spam out there. And by producing it and building your brand your SEO will only benefit in a sustainable way as Google continues to favour ‘big brands’.

  43. Right. I think it’s worth having an aggregate value for anything you do or if you offer services. Always captivate your customers.

  44. Content is king for a reason. Because without content it is nothing. When visitors are on your site, they search for some new content related product or services or for getting new knowledge..so i think content is a main part of any website.

  45. Hi Mariel. I learned a lot from this post. Thanks! Do you have any links to articles that share how to create a connected audience like TED and P90x?

  46. Content definitely contributes positively to the users experience – people who view TED feel smarter

  47. People love to feel they have something unique and exclusive, even if it’s just marketing and tons of people have the same thing in reality.

  48. Without content there is really little point in trying to reach any audience as they will be deterred from your site due to non relevance. Some website owners make the mistake of dishonest content and this can really cripple them long term.

  49. I am running three sites specialized on products reviews and this is really selling information. After a couple of months I was already earning 200$ – now after 6 motnhs I am at 600$…and look at this as a part-time job (2 hours a day)

  50. Two Things are very important here first uniqueness of your content and second its value to your readers. Rest things just follows if you stick to these two principles.

  51. I completely agree with you, the quality of the content is vital. People won’t stay a second on a website that do not focus on UNIQUE and QUALITY content. This should the main focus of Internet: provide the users useful information.

  52. Sadly, most of the people create some ebook of their “secrets” that you can buy for $40 or so… And in the end you will realize that they had no useful information… So yes, share the info and share it for free!

  53. I agree it is really a nice feeling to have something very few others may have. And specially in a competitive market where you find umpteen number of articles written on the same topic saying the same thing, having a different content must make you proud.

  54. What you say makes me think about the blog webmarketing junkie, his author Jean tell the truth to his readers and write about all his business experimentation. Its very important to give real and good information to your readers!

  55. for the groth of any website, needed a very good content because it is well known content is king. . According to me this is a good lesson for professional content writer how to write a good content according to them. thanks for sharing your views

  56. Information as simple as that will not only help SEO to your site, but will help your guests either install your product themselves, or best case scenario, feel comfortable buying your product because they have reviewed your installation instructions and know they can accomplish the task.

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Mariel is a GA certified analyst at FutureNow, Inc.

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