Does Anyone Pay For Information These Days?

Does anyone pay for information these days

My husband Graham and I were sat in a bar during Bristol Harbourfest (dodging the rain) last weekend, and ‘Stealers Wheel, Stuck In The Middle With You’ came on…

(I recommend listening as you read – it’s a great tune…)


resevoir dogs

Image Credit:

It spurred on a conversation between us about ‘that scene’ in Reservoir Dogs… for the life of us, neither of us could remember the name of the actor playing ‘Mr Blond – Vic Vega’…







Now, if you have a question about something, anything, what’s the first thing you do?

…Google it!

You can find out pretty much anything on the internet these days. You don’t even have to wait until you get home – boot up your PC and hang around for 10 minutes while it whirrs into life – you have everything you need, right there, at your fingertips on your phone…

For Graham and me, it was a point of pride, NOT to look up the information! In fact, the first one to get their phone out would be considered the loser and would have to get the next round in!

It begs the question (and one I am frequently asked by my clients) – “Why would anyone pay for information these days when you can look it up for free online?”

Well, here’s the answer… (finish enjoying Stealers Wheel and watch this):


We often underestimate the value of the knowledege and expertise in our businesses.

Who Owns Our Content?

When we think about the ‘value’ of our business, in financial terms, we think about the actual physical assets: the furniture, the hardware, the buildings etc. and the value of our ‘Order Book’. But there is huge value in the Intellectual Property in our businesses.

If you pay a copywriter to write your blogs for you, yes, you will  fulfil the immediate marketing need of having live content on your website (and a good writer will use the keywords needed to get that content noticed) – however, who ‘owns’ the intellectual property of that content?

Do you, or your writer?

And how would you feel about ‘passing off’ that content as your own and repurposing it – even if your copywriter was happy for that to happen?

If you create your own content, you are creating an untapped seam of potential value in your business. You have created an information resource you can repurpose, package and sell.

Two Reasons To Pay

In summary, from the video, there are two reasons people will pay for information:

  1. To save themselves time (which will save them money)
  2. To get that information from a trusted source and have the attention of that expert so they can act on it

Yes, you can find a lot of information on the internet for free. And yes, you should continue to create free content; because you’re giving your prospective customers a sample of what you know, building up your profile as an expert in that topic and making you a trusted source of information.

But remember, even information you give away for free can then be repurposed into information products such as books, talks, workshops and online courses.

In short – people DO pay for information… if it’s worth their while!


Ps: The actor who played Mr Blonde was Michael Madsen… (we both guessed it at the same time!)



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