The Difference Between Givers and Getters

By | July 31, 2006

Edition #70 – 7/31/2006

As you may know, I’ve promoted some free giveaways lately.

Based on my observations, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of you don’t understand the significance of “free stuff” and how I view it. This is by no means an insult, it just means I need to explain my philosophy regarding free things on the internet.

Free information is an integral part of the world wide web. If I’m looking for a particular piece of information, I’ll always try to find it for free before paying for it. Likewise, the internet has become a primary channel of distribution for free software, games, pictures, videos, and all sorts of other stuff.

Most people seem to have a real “gimme gimme” get-as-much-as-I-can-get type of attitude. I’ll admit, I’m the same way at times. For example, at a recent trade show, I spent most of my time going around and getting as many free autographed books as I could get, and very little time actually doing business.

It’s a part of human nature, I guess. That’s why the “free” model works so well on the internet. Everybody wants stuff, and this is an easy way to get it to them.

The problem I see with aspiring internet marketers, is that they view the free stuff as a means of finding success without having to pay anything for it. They may even get caught up spending vast amounts of time hunting down free information, and downloading free software, in hopes of finding that “holy grail” that will lead them to online riches.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with downloading free stuff. I do it almost every day. Free information comprises a huge percentage of my personal online business education, and free tools comprise a good percentage of the things I use on a daily basis.

However, if you’re viewing the “freebie” game only as a way to GET stuff, then as a marketer you’re looking at it BACKWARDS.

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized is that this is one of the major dividing lines between successful online marketers, and those who are struggling.

There are two types of people I want to look at:

1) Those who are giving away something for free
2) Those who are downloading it

Which type are you?

As I already admitted, I DO like to get free stuff. I’m always looking for good things for free, and I often share those things here in my newsletter. But what you need to realize is that I’m ALSO giving away a lot of things for free.

I may download something for free every day of the year, but at the same time at least 100 people are downloading something for free from me every day.

One of the main things I provide for free is this newsletter. This is 100% free information. I also offer free ebooks, reports, and software in various places.

Why do I give away free things? There are many reasons, including…

– To build a subscriber list
– To gain web traffic
– To create trust
– To help people
– To instill a sense of reciprocal obligation
– To gain market share
– To get publicity
– To sell something bigger
– To promote particular products/services
– To get people to click affiliate links

While unconditional generosity should be a part of our personal characters, when it comes to business it’s OK to give with an underlying motivation of getting something in return. I’m not talking about being deceptive. I’m talking about incorporating giving into your business strategy.

The bottom line is this; if your goal is to be an internet marketer, then you need to be a GIVER and not just a getter. You can be both (like me), but you need to be giving more than you’re getting.

You don’t have to stop downloading free stuff. There are good freebies that come out all the time, like HyperVRE.

I’m also not going to stop promoting good freebies to you. If I abandoned this business model, I might as well not be an internet marketer 😉

When you download freebies, look for ideas that you can incorporate into your own business. For example, are they using a name squeeze page? Did they incorporate viral marketing aspects? But again, don’t get caught up in the “freebie” game, spending your days looking for free stuff in search of the holy grail.

Instead, jump to the OTHER side of the fence and become a giver. You simply need a website, a list-building program, and something to give away.

I’ve talked about this quite a few times, but I’ll just outline it again, in case you’re wondering how to get started…

1) Take $20 and get an Aweber account
2) Get a good domain. (You can register one for under $9 here.)
3) Get hosting. I recommend a $9.95 account at Hostgator. Use the coupon code ERICSTIPSCOUPON to get the first month for 1 cent ($9.94 discount).
4) Find or create a free ebook to give away.
5) Build an opt-in “squeeze page” to give away the ebook. The opt-in form will add them to your Aweber list. (see tutorials in your Aweber account)
6) Promote your giveaway with pay-per-click, free ad sources, internet marketing giveaways, etc.

Have a great day!

16 thoughts on “The Difference Between Givers and Getters

  1. Dona Hatherley

    Thanks for this last post. You are very scriptural in your thinking. Jesus said “Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together shall men give into your bosom”.
    I quite agree and appreciate your teaching although I am still a newbie here. Bless you, and your wonderful family. Dona H.

  2. Cliff Hammock

    Eric, there are always two sides to the coin and it is good to hear about how you look at life from both perspectives. It often takes that to be successful in our endeavors.

    Similary I just started marketing a site at and I needed some customers to help kick it off. So basically I am giving away 5 sites for homeschool support groups to get the whole thing jump started. This will help me get some folks using my system and build a knowledge base in my support forums as I answer their questions. I also plan to ask for testimonials once they get their sites up and running. I am running an ad campaign on one of the high traffic homeschool websites to hopefully drive some traffic.

    Thanks for your interesting perspective on life and business. If you get a chance, drop by A Million Dollar Memorial ( to see the site I have built in memory of my brother. I think you will understand my perspective on this. You can also get there using the word BROTHER on the 500Words site. Make a small donation if you get a chance.

    Have a great day!

  3. Suzanna

    Thanks Eric for the Great Tips as always! Yes, I think we are all guilty of looking for Freebies, which is a waste of time that we should be using to promote our products. Although I have a web site and am happy with my content, I am not happy with the limitations of my web host. I will check out Hostgator and see if it is capable of what I am looking for in a web host. Also Love your “Pay for Our New Baby page, will be getting my link soon! Again All Greats Tips, Keep them coming! Cheers and God Bless!

  4. Kirk Kanenbley

    I appreciate the emphasis on giving. I’m brand new to the business and am looking to give away an eBook to everyone that opts in to my email list. I’m trying to decide whether to use aweber or a stand alone responder. I’d appreciate any guidance in that area that I can get. Thanks again for all you do. Kirk

  5. Eric Post author

    Kirk- I recommend using Aweber. I could give you at least 10 reasons why I think they’re the best… deliverability, reliability, compliance, functionality just to name a few. I would never recommend hosting your own list unless you REALLY know what you’re doing.


  6. Kerry Hume

    My problem is that as a result of being unemployed for a year and having to file bankruptsy last year I have no startup moneyand no savings. please can you help

  7. Andrew Larder

    In total contrast to the first comment post – about scriptural matters – I’ll take the other tack.

    From the greedy, nasty, selfish point of view – it’s simply Good Business to give to others – the Whole Butterfly Marketing program – and others that followed – know any marketers who came out with similar products?? LOL – is totally based around giving away a product, course, CDs, etc – getting a list that is gratefull and appreciative – and making money from your list.

    My brain’s not grabbing his name – but “If you do this, then I’ll see you – At The Top” – that guy – LOL – I must be really LOSING it to not be able to come up with the top motivational speaker in the world – Zig Ziglar – I knew it would come sooner or later – think this is edited?? LOL – said that “You can get everything that you want – if you just help enough Other people get what They want”

    It can sound holy, or just good business.

    One extra point that popped into my head while reading your newsletter – and nodding – was that the old, out of date, regular info is available for free online

    But anything that’s HOT, NEW, not overused, the top notch, Pro Level stuff

    NOBODY gives that away for free!

    You get what you pay for – and if you want the very best – I’m thinking software here – you get what you pay for.

    In the information field – people are giving away Blogging books – but not too many sizzling hot, not overexploited yet topics like say Tag and Ping products are being given away

    If you want the leading edge, you almost always pay for that.

    Point being, you can search for free stuff – and its good, basic stuff – but if you want to learn about Ebay’s new downloadable product system – or the newest Google Adwords changes – get out your credit card!

    And being fresh and hot and new – it WORKS better – for longer – than say, a free ebook about using keywords in white on your website ***this doesn’t work, in case you missed it***

    Lastly, many of the top experts charge the highest prices – not too many Dan Kennedy freebies floating around – I could be wrong about that, but I doubt it

    It’s WORTH spending money

    If I could save you an hour a day – what is that worth?

    Or bring 1000 visitors a day/week/month to your website?

    Or show you how to make $5,000 on Ebay, $10,000 with an email list and newsletters, $20,000 with little tiny ads on your website, $100,000 with a JV program – every year for the rest of your life!

    Anybody willing to part with $49.95 for that?????????

    Or do you want to pick up some free ebooks, and try keyword stuffing your websites, maybe submit to some ffa pages, grab some duplicate articles, etc,etc?

    She’s a fast moving world out there in internet land

    Sometimes the most expensive information out there is in free ebooks

    What I want is the BEST – and you can take $50, even a few hundred dollars sometimes – over and over from me – and I am grinning with excitement as I spend it!

    Andrew Larder

  8. Lee

    I LOVE giving things away too Because it is a great way to Share! Also you Reap what you SOW!

  9. The Longest Running GiveAway Event Ever!

    Sound advice as usual. Gotta love this guy!

    Based on this philosophy I’ve taken this giveaway concept to a whole new level. Click my link above for info. I am totally in agreement with “the give and you shall receive” mindset and know that it works. Obviously the concept has a not so hidden agenda, that of making money in the long term, but for now, I am content to help others make some first by giving stuff away.


  10. Graham

    Where’s the blog This is only part of a website isn’t it
    Why do poeople keep inventing new words for the same old thing
    Is it trying to prove how smart they are, or to keep us thinking we are learning new things?
    Newspapers are are now telling us to check out their blogs on their pages
    You, Guru’s make it difficult to trust you when you do this.

    Graham Completely Mixed UP

  11. Henry G.

    As you can see on my page banner at I believe in, and borrowed, Mr. Ziglar’s words as my motto. I could have used a scriptural reference for this too, but the meaning is still the same. This is one of those “Laws of the Universe” things like gravity and planting seed in the ground and such.

    Thank you Eric for your great community building efforts here and all the knowledge that you share. You are a great example to us of the principle of giving.

    I plan to do some giving myself with my new project that launches on August 15th, the Internet Marketing Technology Workshop. For over 12 years I have been working in computer technology and using the Internet to help others build their businesses. (Anyone here remember back in 1994 when Netscape was the only web browser and backgrounds were only grey?) I am currently the I.T. Manager for Becker Furniture World here in Minnesota. I also do Technology Consulting for other businesses and individuals.

    After researching and learning all I can about Internet Marketing for the past 10 plus months…and getting lots of free stuff to learn from… I created a seven day FREE training course called RSS Content Goldmine. I gave this away to as many people as I could for about 30 days and then converted it into a 7 chapter ebook. Now I have people that got the course for free helping me to market it as my affiliates. So, I gave away the free material and now others are helping me.

    My new project, the Internet Marketing Technology Workshop, will nearly be given away for free. I will only charge $1.00 for a 3 month membership to the workshop. I want to give the opportunity to those brand new to Internet Marketing to be able to get as much information about the technology behind the various parts of this business as I can. From my experience in the past several months I see most marketers only focusing on a very narrow part of what people need to know. Many folks have emailed or phoned me asking questions about computers and the technology to make this all work for them. It appears that few others are giving answers to there questions other than you Eric.

    I plan to have the Internet Marketing Technology Workshop provide a great deal of content free to visitors before they even spend their $1.00 to join for the 3 month trial. I want to encourage other marketers to join me to share their insights and skills with the technology that people need to make this all work. I will be using audio and video along with text to provide my content.

    Got to get back to working on my project.

    Mr. Nobody Internet Marketer…but not for long!

  12. Joyce C

    This may sound naive but can you explain just how the “200 Free Things” website works.

  13. Eric Post author

    It is basically a novelty sort of site that is run on a script that was developed by Joel Comm, modeled after his “500 Words” site, which garnered significant media attention and quickly sold out. It was a few years back, when creative forms of online advertising were all the rage (pixel ads, etc.). The script fully runs the site, so it’s basically hands off. The benefit for customers is a link back to their site. However in the last couple years, Google has really frowned on paid links, so this fad quickly died off.


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