I was reading with interest a wonderful post by Seth Godin on his blog about the free-rider benefit. He makes a point about ‘giving away’ your ideas that (to me) neatly explains a lot about how to do really great SEO copywriting (or content marketing as it’s often called).

He begins by taking us through a quick explanation of the free-rider problem, relating it to vaccines and cheating on your taxes. Godin then gives us some solid examples of where ‘giving away’ things to an audience is actually a benefit to the giver – Wikipedia and his own blog.

This is where I started thinking about SEO copy. He made this point about half-way through the post:

“Or consider the art museum that prohibits photography, ostensibly to keep unpaid guests from seeing what’s inside. The thing is, for many people it’s more fun to visit a museum filled with famous images, isn’t it?”

And that is the crux of the SEO copywriting and content marketing issue.

Make it more fun

If you’re afraid of giving things away for fear of keeping free-loaders from ‘seeing what’s inside’ you are missing out on making your ideas (your content and business) famous with your potential audience.

But, giving away ideas is exactly what attracts searchers to new websites. It’s what content marketing and SEO copywriting is all about – key words (ideas) that attract an audience.

It’s more fun to spark desire in a prospect than hiding behind a phone number. It’s more fun to excitedly discuss the latest developments in your niche with interested customers on a blog than it is to shrug off their inquisitiveness with an unhelpful ‘what do you want?’

Give it away now

In fact, ‘giving away’ advice or information has a long and glorious history in marketing.

Fashion retailers have long given away style tips and trend matching advice in catalogues and shop windows. They create this free content for the simple reason that it helps bring customers into the shop and helps move this season’s products.

My mechanic frequently advises me on what really needs mending on my car and what can wait for the MOT. I appreciate this free advice and it is one of the reasons I keep going back to him.

B&Q could just sit back and rest on its size as a retailer, but instead it gives away free advice on its website and its You Can Do It Youtube channel, covering everything from painting a room to DIY decking and more.

Why? Because when someone searches for ‘how to install new decking’ B&Q will undoubtedly come top of the search listings with its articles and videos.

That’s SEO copywriting at its best!

Ideas always win

In a world where we’re bombarded in every aspect of our lives with offers, it’s time to think of something else we can put out there to win customers.

As Godin adds near the end of his post: ideas that spread, win. And with all the channels available to you to create opportunities for your business, it’s time to stop hoarding your ideas and time to start sharing them with the world.

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