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Free Content vs. Paid Content: How to know what to create on YouTube when you have a paid program?

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I recently got a question from a new Video Pursuit Society Member, asking about how to know what content to create for FREE on YouTube when you also have a paid course or program. In this episode, I break down what I do for free vs. paid content, and some things to think about if you’re wondering the same thing!

Listen to Episode 54: Free Content vs. Paid Content: How to know what to create on YouTube when you have a paid program?

Free Content vs. Paid Content

I have recently had this question come up a few times from members of my Video Pursuit Society, in my Instagram DM’s, and in my free Facebook group – Your Thriving Side Hustle Video Creators Community. I want to discuss my thought process in balancing free content with paid content.

The type of questions I have been getting are: “I have a YouTube channel where I create free content, but I also have a course/program/membership. Because I have content that is paid, how do I match that with content that is free? How do I know what to create, and how to decide what goes where?”

What I Do for Free vs. Paid Content

For example, on YouTube I have a free video on how to turn horizontal videos into vertical videos. These are used on social media such as Instagram and Pinterest. This is also a topic I cover in my Social Video Pro course, which is a paid course.

This is a totally valid question when considering free vs. paid content. People have paid money for exclusive content from me, such as in my Social Video Pro course. Now on my YouTube channel I have videos that seem to be teaching the same thing, but they are free.

This may not work for all types of content, and may not be how all creators are doing things. However it works for me on my YouTube channel and in my courses.

My courses move at a much slower pace than in my YouTube videos. They are essentially unedited ScreenCast tutorials that discuss every detailed step in a way that is easy to understand.

My YouTube videos are much shorter and fast-paced. There is a lot of information packed into a quickly moving video rather than all of the details broken down step-by-step. This shows my YouTube viewers what is possible to do, but they still have to figure out a lot on their own. In my Social Video Pro course, I show my students the step-by-step process. I go very slowly so they can follow it.

Give Your Audience a Free Taste of the Paid Program

In some other courses and programs I have purchased, I later see that they created a Podcast episode or a YouTube video or Instagram post where they have given a portion away for free that I have already paid for. However this is always a very small portion of the whole program. It’s never the whole thing that I’ve paid for. This allows their audience who is consuming their free content to get a taste of what is taught inside the program. Because otherwise, how would they know?

I don’t often have content that falls into this type of situation. When I do, I often talk about what’s possible, versus the exact step-by-step description of how to do it. I save those details for my paid program.

Benefits of Paid Program

There are often a lot of benefits of a paid program that aren’t included in the free content. For example, my Video Pursuit Society includes a Facebook group. I also have downloadable, printable worksheets, and other aspects that don’t always come with a free YouTube video.

Advice for Free Content vs. Paid Content

This is of the pieces of advice that I have seen given a lot when it comes to this question: In your free content you share the WHAT of what you talk about, and in your paid content you share the HOW of what you talk about.

That advice might work for your niche. In my free how-to videos on YouTube, I can show you how to use a piece of software from a basic technical standpoint. Whereas in my paid program of Social Video Pro, I’m showing you how to actually edit your videos so people keep watching.

I also include some tips and tricks to make it go faster and keep viewers engaged, and all of those more detailed things. This can allow you to differentiate between your free vs. paid content.

What Can You Include in Your Free Content?

If you’re struggling with finding things to include on your YouTube channel that is not just a repeat of your paid content, think about some of the mistakes that people are making. If your paid course solves a problem and the person who actually does the work in the course goes through some type of transformation, ask yourself this. What are some of the mistakes that people are making when they’re trying to get to that transformation all on their own?

I often look for mistakes that people are making. Or maybe ways of doing things that aren’t as effective when trying to do things on their own. Because I’ve been in their shoes before, I know what mistakes they’re making and why. I know what they’re trying to achieve and why it’s not working.

That’s one way to find some content for your YouTube channel or podcast that’s not a direct competitor with your paid content.

Create Content Around Products and Software Generally Used Within Your Niche

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a review of the product or a how-to. It could be “Top Five Products” related to your niche. If you have experience with any of the products you could also do a review.

This would not be giving away for free what you teach your paying clients. It would be highlighting some things that your clients care deeply about.

Related: Video Editing on iPad Pro 2020

Paid Content is Updated Regularly

Paid programs and products are generally updated regularly. YouTube content tends to be out of date because your videos can live on forever and still bring in views. Your paid programs can easily be changed and updated as needed.

Why WOULD Someone Pay for a Program

If someone can get all the same content for free on YouTube, why would someone pay for a paid program?

My advice is this: Anything can be found on YouTube already. People still pay for programs and pay to learn in-depth from you. This is often because they like your free content. They trust you, and essentially want to hang out with you.

In the case of the Video Pursuit Society, there is support in that community through the Facebook group. I can respond, and other members can respond. You don’t always get that personalized response from leaving YouTube comments, and the YouTube videos themselves often aren’t helpful.

If your underlying fear is, “Why would someone pay for my content if they can get it for free on my channel?” I encourage you to ask yourself, “Why WOULDN’T someone want to go into more detail with me if they’re already enjoying my free content?”

Your Question Might Be in a Future Podcast Episode!

Thank you to all the members of my Video Pursuit Society. I love meeting with you, joining in Q & A calls, and getting great questions like these to discuss in my Podcast and YouTube content.

You don’t have to be a member of the Video Pursuit Society to ask me a question that I may turn into a podcast episode. So if you have a burning question for me about YouTube, video for social media, online business, or building your profitable side hustle, the best place to ask that question is over on Instagram at

So come on over to Instagram, find me at and follow me. Send me a message if you have a question you would like me to address on a future podcast episode!

I often have people asking about free vs. paid content. I'll show you what content to create for FREE on YouTube if you also have a paid course or program.