Eight Ways To Get Paid For Producing Free Content

Writers, artists and and all variety of content creators struggle with this riddle: How to make money in an environment where much of the literature, journalism and art that fills ones day is free of charge?
We know for sure that putting the genie back in the bottle if a futile waste, even though many of us continue to exist on that brain drain of a page. Thankfully, there are other answers and Kevin Kelly of Wired has them neatly packaged in a Change This PDF called Beyond Free.

From my study of the network economy, I see roughly eight categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free.
In a real sense, these eight things are better than free. Eight uncopyable values. I call them “generatives.” A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing cannot be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is genuinely unique, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold.

Kelly then lists these eight generatives and explains the value of each:

  • Immediacy
  • Personalization
  • Interpretation
  • Authenticity
  • Accessibility
  • Embodiment
  • Patronage
  • Findability

Download the PDF to see what Kelly has to say in detail. Personally, I love what he says about patronage.

It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators…But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.

I’ve had a “donate” button on Burnin’ for some time, but it’s very subtle and not many people read my personal site. Here it is in all its non-glory:

If you’d like help to support the AdPulp cause, I guarantee you whatever “reasonable amount” you “easily” chip in will “directly benefit the creators.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.