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Content Marketing: How to Make Money Online by Giving Away Information

Everyone knows that content is king. Nothing is more valuable to anyone than information. And information is the only thing you can ever truly give someone.

Lots of people all over the internet are actively searching for information about a myriad of subjects. If you can create great content to feed this need for information then your online marketing business will flourish.

You can use content to:
  • Provide value to your audience
  • Engage your audience
  • Reach new people
  • Give away free stuff
  • Provide a call-to-action
  • Increase your credibility
  • Show your uniqueness
  • Build relationships with your audience
  • Get your brand noticed on social media

When it comes to content, there are lots of different types out there. For example, you have email, blogs, advertising, social media posts, and so on.

One of the most effective types of content that you can use to boost your digital marketing business is the report.

Best Way to Use Reports to Grow Your Online Business

Reports are a great tool that you can use to increase the exposure of your internet business to the right people exponentially. You can also use reports for generating leads and sales.

How do you do this?

Take a look below to see some beneficial ways in which you can use reports:
  • Offer the report on your opt-in page as a free gift to get email leads
  • Give away free reports packed full of value to your subscribers to build and strengthen relationships
  • Create a bundle of reports to sell to your list of subscribers. Maybe give them the first one free
  • Get your list to subscribe to a series of interesting reports and charge a flat fee
  • The list goes on…

You’re only limited by your imagination.

Just keep in mind that the reports that you create to sell will have to be unique and more robust than any that you give away. Luckily for you, there are tons of different reports that you can create. Some work better as free reports while others are best for selling.

Without further ado, here are 14 types of reports that will generate leads and sales for your business:

1. The General List Report

This is one of the most common types of report out there.

It’s a basic report that outlines the techniques, tips, tricks, strategies, tactics, secrets, habits – you name it – that helps people in a particular niche. These reports are typically associated with a number.

While this kind of report may be simple and straightforward, it offers immense value and helps give people vast insight into any niche. It makes a great free giveaway.

Some examples of general list reports include:
  • Burn More Calories with These 10 Simple Tips
  • Learn the 5 Greatest Secrets of the Best Investors in the World
  • 21 Online Marketing Strategies that Will Boost Your Sales in 2019
2. The How-To Report

People everywhere want to learn how to do stuff. That’s why this report is perfect for those who have businesses where they can teach people a process for doing things in a few easy steps. In this report, you lay out how to do something in a chronological order.

Examples of how-to reports are:
  • How to Lose 7 Pounds in Two Weeks
  • How to Train Your Puppy in 5 Easy Steps
  • How to Make $300 Online Without Investment
3. The Blueprint Report

Similar to the ‘how-to’ report, the blueprint report is something that your reader will be able to follow exactly and get the same result that you got.

It’s like a blueprint for a building, only the topic is presented as a blueprint.

Some great examples of this type of report are:
  • The Marketing Success Blueprint for the Digital Business Owner
  • The Cat-Lover’s Blueprint for Clipping your Pet’s Claws Properly
  • The Successful Blogger’s Blueprint for Writing the Perfect Blog Post
4. Checklists and Planners

Yet another way to express strategies, advice, and tips is to put them into a checklist. If you’re anything like the rest of us, then you just love checking things off a list.

Doing that gives us a feeling of accomplishment.

Providing your audience with a checklist is almost like giving them a planner which they can use to easily stay on target and get through something.

In addition to that, a checklist can be short which makes it a great report to give away for free.

Examples of checklist reports are:
  • The Ultimate Holiday Party Planning Guide
  • 7 Essential Things to Do Before Posting Your Facebook Ad
  • The 10-Item Checklist Every Self-Employed Person Needs to Schedule Their Day
5. The Combination Report

It’s possible to take two different niche topics or even two niches that are closely related and combine them into one report. This helps the reader to gain value from two related topics at once.

For instance, eating healthy and losing weight go hand in hand, as does your child’s education and saving for retirement.

Some examples of reports that bring two topics together include:
  • Make Your House Warmer This Winter AND Cut Your Energy Bill
  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Grades AND Have Even More Time to Yourself
  • How to Discipline Your Teenager AND Still Maintain a Good Relationship with Them
6. The FAQs Report

People always have questions, and no matter what niche you’re in, you’ll be able to use the FAQs report. You could bundle up the most relevant FAQs from every resource you can find into an all-encompassing FAQ report.

Now, who wouldn’t want to have all the answers that they’re seeking in one place?

It would save them the time, energy, and frustration of searching for the information and possibly having to sift through dozens of articles just to find a relevant answer. Also, such a report gives you more credibility.

Here are some examples of FAQ reports:
  • Top 5 Questions About Growing a Vegetable Garden
  • 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Writing a Book
  • 21 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
7. Source of Ideas

When it comes to generating ideas, some people need to be given some direction.

They may know what they want to accomplish in general, but they have no idea how to get started or the steps to take to make it happen.

In such a situation, this kind of report is invaluable to them as it will give them ideas that will help guide them to succeed in their endeavor.

Some examples of such reports include:
  • 101 Magnetic Headlines for Your Content Marketing Campaign
  • 25 Creative Gifts for Mother’s Day That Your Mom Will Actually Use
  • Top 10 Yachting Destinations for Your Summer Boat Holiday
8. Compiling Resources

Searching the internet for resources these days can be an overwhelming experience.

There’s just so much going on, and whatever you’re looking for, you will get a sea of results for every search query. It’s a total pain trying to decide among the thousands of options available to you.

What if you could offer your audience reports that are niche-specific and provide them with the exact resources that they are seeking?

Wouldn’t they be more than willing to pay for it rather than spend hours or days searching online? In this type of report, you could list the resources in alphabetical order.

Make sure that you include all the relevant information such as the website URL, their physical address, contact details, and prices.

Some examples are:
  • The Ultimate Guide to The Best Pubs in the UK
  • The 20 Most Educational Apps for Kids
  • The Top 10 Recommended Resources for Publishing a Book
9. The Niche Marketing Report

This type of report involves taking what you know about a general topic such as email marketing or Internet marketing and targeting niche business owners.

You could narrow down the information in your report so that it’s specific to the needs of a particular niche. This gives you an uncommon angle on a subject that is very common.

This helps you to stand out in the niche.

This kind of report is extremely versatile and after generating one for a particular niche, you can tweak it a little so that it’s relevant to a different niche.

Examples of such reports include:
  • The eCommerce Guide to Successful Marketing
  • A 21-Day Plan to Promote Your Photography Business
  • The Quickest Way to Making eBook Sales
10. The Beginner’s Guide

No matter what it is we do well today, we were beginners once. And most beginners need as much help as they can get.

Craft guides for beginners in any niche that you’re in. Fill these guides with useful techniques and strategies and you’ll soon have yourself a devoted following.

Some great examples of beginner’s guides are:
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Internet Marketing
  • A Guide to Forex Trading for the Beginner
  • 10 Beginner’s Tips for Winning Online Poker Games
11. The Advanced Guide

Follow up your beginner’s guides with advanced guides. You can either give these away or sell them one after the other so that you deliver maximum value.

Take it to the next level with your advanced guide and make sure that you include lots of information that is way beyond the beginner’s level.

This will appeal to those people that already know their way around a little.

Examples of this type of report include:
  • Price Action Strategies for the Advanced Trader
  • Advanced Email Marketing Strategies to Grow Your List Fast
  • An Advanced Guide to Planting Your Own Mushrooms
12. What to Expect the First Year

This is a different approach to the beginner’s guide. You can create a report that gives tips for the first year.

This is great for people who are into something that will go on for a while and requires some sort of adjustment period.

The people in these kinds of situations will really appreciate your advice during that challenging time in their lives.

See below for what examples of this type of report look like:
  • What to Expect During Your First Year at College
  • What to Expect in the First Year of Parenthood
  • What to Expect During the First Year of Your Digital Business
13. How To Save Money

Everyone wants to save money and writing a report that tells people effective ways of saving money will definitely help you make some serious headway in the battle for eyeballs.

The report will be an even bigger success if it shows them how to save money on something that they do regularly.

You can sell this report for ten bucks or more. After all, if you’re going to save them $50 or more, why not?

Some examples of amazing reports on how to save money are:
  • Top 8 Ways to Save $400 This Summer
  • 10 Best-Kept Secrets on How to Buy Brand Name Shoes at Bargain Prices
  • How to Cut Your Energy Bill by 25% This Winter
14. Common Mistakes To Avoid

A great way to attract interest is to write a report from the angle of avoiding mistakes. After all, no matter what we do in our lives we are always going to come across some challenges sooner or later.

If you can help people be aware of these challenges and teach them how to not fall prey to them, that report will be valuable no matter what niche you’re in.

Some examples of such reports are:
  • How to Avoid the Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Purchasing A New Home
  • 5 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight
  • 10 Mistakes People Make When Setting Up Their WordPress Site

In Conclusion

As you have seen, reports offer you endless possibilities to connect with your audience no matter what niche you’re in. This article serves to give you just a few ideas of what you can do.

The list goes on and on.

Use these reports to engage your audience as well as to inform and educate them. The reports are also great ways of building incredible relationships with your readers.

Just with this list of ideas for reports, you have enough here to help you generate tons of leads and sales in no time at all.

Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published May 31st 2018

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. justin

    Hey this was an interesting article, i really need to start offering stuff like that to my visitors. I have not got an email list set up and i know i really need to do that soon. I do need to get something together so i can offer something for free to people that joins under me. I am really wanting to take my websites to the next level so i can keep growing and expanding.

    1. Steven

      Using a free report as a lead magnet is a good way to entice people to join your email list. Be sure you form a plan to keep them subscribed as well. With a mailing list, you have to keep the value coming, maybe a series of reports to keep them subscribed…

      Thanks for the comment Justin!

  2. Gaurav Gaur

    Hi Steven, That was a thought-provoking article suggesting various ways to prepare Reports for generating business leads and email list. Can you suggest few websites offering this service? It will be best if they provide free service or at least few free reports initially.
    I am new to the Online Affiliate Marketing and learning the business from the portal suggested by you in #1 Recommendation. I would like to Offer a free E-Book to my visitors on my how to make money website. Thanks for the in-depth article.
    Warm Regards,

    1. Steven

      I recommend providing something original, if you are asking about a free report to offer your readers. Anything free is going to be offered many other places lowering its value greatly.

      If I misunderstood your question, rephrase it and I’ll try to do a better job answering.

      Thanks for the comment Gaurav!

  3. Gaurav

    You caught me correct steven. Thanks for the answer. It will take time to prepare an eye-catching free report for my visitors. Maybe I need to do some research.

    1. Steven

      Something original would be best. Using something free that others are using wouldn’t have as much value. Look around and try to find a question that is discussed a lot, then answer that question in an original report. This will surely get a lot of attention.

      Best of luck with your project Gaurav!

  4. Dave

    Hello there,

    I read through your tips here and I felt that I just had to comment and say a big thank you. These tips are quite insightful and I can see how well they are designed to work.

    I have actually tried the first three and they converted so well for me. I was really thrilled by the checklist tip. I am just like others, who like checking things off a list, and find it very fun and fulfilling.

    Funny how I never thought that would work.

    1. Steven

      I like check lists too, they help keep things focused. Happy to hear the article was useful to you.

      Thanks for the comment Dave!

  5. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Steven,

    I definitely took a hell of a lot out of this article!. It not only serves as an excellent article but very good resource on how to create catchy report types.

    Of the suggested 14 types and the ideas and examples given i could not help but notice that they also would make great titles and topics to write long form blog posts about for our readers.

    Thank you so much for this article!

    1. Steven

      Glad you liked the article and got some good ideas from it.

      Thanks for the kind words Derek!

  6. JohnB

    Well, that made for an amazing read. You truly know how to hook up your customer. I have always thought about creating a report for my website although I am not sure whether it would be a good idea for my niche. My niche is PC Hardware and games, but now that I read your detailed report review I think that How-to-do and mistake reports are the best for my niche. I will give it a try.

    1. Steven

      How-to’s would be a great kind of report for PC’s and games. They would make for great lead magnets to add readers to your email list.

      Thanks for the comment JohnB!

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