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The Lead Magnet: How The Free Content Myth Got Busted

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Give as freely as you have received! (Matthew 10:8, NLT)

A Word For Writers

A lead magnet is a free piece of content

The Lead Magnet and The Free Content Writing Myth with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #devotionals #FreelanceWriting #ChristianWritingResources

During the first days of online marketing, a lead magnet – then, usually an eBook or a PDF download – was a novelty. People were used to paying cold hard cash for books and information products. Who gave away free books, especially good ones?  

Lead magnets revealed The Myth of Free Content. That myth was based on a few erroneous assumptions. 

  • Free won’t last. There’s was a catch to “free” so it’s best not to buy in from the start.
  • Free content is low quality. People only give away their leftovers, not their best content.
  • Free means loss. If you give away your best content, you’ll have fewer followers and fewer sales.

Lead magnets helped bust The Myth of Free Content.

  • Free has lasted: now it’s commonplace to offer a lead magnet (free download) on your website and there’s no catch. You can opt out anytime you like.
  • Free content is high quality: since lead magnets are now the norm rather than the exception, publishers like you and me have learned that ours must be well-written or readers won’t download it.
  • Free content is a proven route to more readers. The more high-value content you give away, the more people trust you.  

The Myth of Free Content demonstrates what the disciples learned firsthand when Jesus sent them out on their first mission trip: “Give as freely as you have received” (Matthew 10:8). They came back rejoicing at the impact of giving.

It’s human nature to fear giving away too much for free. If that’s a wrestle for you, ask yourself this: who gave you the information and expertise you have acquired in the first place?

If He can give freely, can’t you?

A Wise Word

A lead magnet is the opportunity to give away free, quality content.

A Word To Pray

Loving Father,

Thank you for giving to me so freely. I want to be generous and share content freely, but I confess that I can be afraid. Forgive me. Show me how to give freely to others because all that I have is from You, anyway.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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