Writing

People Don’t Pay for Content. They Pay for “Organized” Content.

Tim Denning eBook

Photo by Kaushal Moradiya from Pexels

There is free content and paid content. Many content creators never progress to paid content. They get stuck in the weeds of free content.

Why does this happen? Paid content creates a mental block in your mind. The idea of earning money from content either scares you or forces you to overthink.

I thought like that for 50% of my writing career. I was terrified to offer paid content. The idea of becoming a sell-out scared the crap out of me. Then I finally built up the courage to make part of my living from content.

You will think “I can’t charge for that because I said it before”

You can take your free content and make it paid content. This seems counter-intuitive to a lot of content creators.

Let me explain: there is so much content. Nobody has the time to sift through every piece of content you’ve ever created. When people pay for your content all you have to do is organize it in a simple way. Make your content more convenient for the audience and they’ll happily pay for it.

When people pay for your content often it has nothing to do with the content. They buy your content because they like you or they have followed your work for years and want the pleasure of giving you $20 for your eBook.

Even if you said the same thing over and over, you can say it again and charge money for it.

You will automatically add 20% different ideas without trying

The reason you can take your free content and reuse it as paid content is because it won’t come out the same way again.

If you take your most popular piece of writing, as an example, and rewrite it, you’ll say 20% new stuff. Or you’ll say the same thing differently, or better, or in a more concise way. That’s worth paying for to an audience.

Your best ideas come from your existing content

Your existing content has data behind it. You can see what parts of your content people got value from or which pieces of content resonated.

I take my best content and pull out the ideas that helped the audience the most and then form new pieces of paid content from those ideas. The reason people pay money for this type of content is because you can always go deeper on an idea. You can take 1000 words or a 5-minute video and turn it into a more in-depth guide to whatever it is that you do

The stuff you said before is often the best content to charge for.

What does organized content look like?

Organized content that you can charge money for looks like an eBook, an online course, a book you sell on Amazon, a two-hour documentary made from a 5 minute Youtube video you created, a paid newsletter, or a subscription to your website that has content behind a paywall.

It’s worth mentioning you can create organized content from scratch too. I created an online course and charged money for it. I didn’t use my free content to create it, although a few of my free content ideas bled into the finished product, naturally.


The subtle difference between free content and paid content scares us content creators and forces us to be closed to the idea of charging money for our work. It’s really not hard to master paid content.

Organized content is content that saves people time gaining access to the ideas and thoughts that are already validated in front of a free audience, so they’re willing to pay money for it.

Allow free content to lead you to create paid content that can help you pay your bills and live life a little.

Tim Denning
Tim is a thought leader in the personal development, entrepreneur and startup fields.Outside of blogging, Tim works for a large organisation helping fast moving technology companies come to Australia as well as helping Australian tech companies go to the world.

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