I like Cory Doctorow. He’s the Che Guevara to the geek set. Cory has proven you can make money by giving away content. If you don’t know, Cory writes science fiction (he also a co-editor of BoingBoing and Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation). Cory makes his books available for free electronically via a creative commons license and also sells dead tree editions.
I know that giving away content can be profitable. I blog about how Social Security disability works and try to demystify the interconnection between regulation. My now generates about 50% of intakes at my Colorado Social Security disability law firm.
I use blogging so people can obtain general information, establish myself as an authority in this area, and let people get to know me so they want to contact me and retain my services. It is generator. You could describe it this way:
General information is free. If you want all the pieces connected and applied to the specific circumstances of your case, hire me.
However, THATS. NOT. THE. SAME. THING. I am not giving away the exact same thing I’m selling. I am not giving away legal services.