Giving Is the Beginning of Receiving

Yesterday, Richard Lee gave me some link love. It was in return for my linking to him a few blog posts ago and commenting on his blog.

He is engaging in reciprocation. The love is a positive result of one of my business building principles: "Give something away every day."

Giving can come in many forms:

1. Special prices.

This can be low prices on newly released products, specials on existing products or unique bundles that you normally wouldn’t sell together. I am going to start releasing products with my previous buyers list at a really deep discount, my blog announcement list at a deep discount and on the blog at a discount.  In this way I give back the most to the people who have purchased from me before and are likely to do so in the future.

2. Free products.

Just give some stuff away for commenting on your blog, linking back to you, asking the best question. There are lots of ways to give stuff away. And I would imagine you have a lot of stuff you need to give away.

3. Recycling materials that you no longer need.

You can give these courses, books or software packages away or at a deep discount and clean out your closet at the same time! This also exposes someone new to someone else’s work which means this is double giving.

4. Linking to others in posts.

Pretty self explanatory. The bonus is: you can get an immediate link back to you if they allow track-backs.

5. Adding people to your blog roll.

I would only suggest this if this is someone whom you really recommend. If you actually read some one’s blog every time they post – add it. If not, then you’re just trying to get something for nothing here and you probably won’t get any reciprocation. Plus, blog rolls are considered recommendations, so if you recommend rubbish sites then your site is probably rubbish too. You are judged by the company that you keep.

6. Positively contributing on other’s blogs.

This mainly consists of  commenting. The more comments a blog has, the more likely the casual reader will start to think that the blog has an active community behind it. This is a strong persuasion factor and may convince a few more people to stick around the other blog and since you’re commenting on that blog, they will eventually find you! You must positively contribute to the discussion in order to get anything back from this.

Guest posting is another way to contribute. The owner of a blog gets a break and you get show your work to a whole new set of people.

7. Providing testimonials.

You usually get a cheap or free product and exposure for your site on a sales page. Only provide valid testimonials. If you think a product is rubbish but you provide a positive testimonial anyway just to get on a high traffic sales page – once people find out that you recommended a crappy product they’ll think the same about you.

8. Unexpected bonuses.

Look at your last 10 customers and send them a free related product. Send a free e-book to one of your mailing lists. Make sure the bonus has value and is related to the interests of the recipient. Don’t send a book on bobsledding to someone who ordered a book on computers (though I would like to send my computer down a bobsledding run occasionally).

9 Special news or information.

News or info that you share exclusively with one of your lists – like the special information that I sent ONLY to my blog announcement list the other day. Make it helpful, relevant or fun. I sent that info the other day to ensure that there is a very special reason to continue receiving emails from me and they received some very valuable news. (Maybe you should sign up…)

10. Buy a product.

Lots of people are trying to make money online and spreading the wealth is a great way to give and hopefully you get something good in return.

Do you have any other ideas on how to give? Let me know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Giving Is the Beginning of Receiving

  1. Liz

    October 31, 2007 at 11:06pm

    Nice article. I found you over on the Carnival of Small Business Issues. (

    I like your business principle of “giving something away every day”. Too many people are only willing to give if they get something in return – which is really exchange not giving. Giving implies a gift which does not need to be reciprocated. But of course, we can not give to others without receiving something in return, even if it is only a greater capacity to give and an openness to receive.

    (I’ve stumbled this post)

  2. Steven Lohrenz

    November 1, 2007 at 10:38am

    I’ve found that most of the time – people give something back. That’s why I have no fear in giving stuff away.

    You don’t even have to want them to. They just feel compelled. That’s something I hope to cover in a future post.

    But like you say, you grow no matter what.

  3. Michael Lodispoto

    November 29, 2007 at 6:13pm

    Hi Steven
    I have a question for you though on this. Do you get a lot of people that one might call annoying, whether that be on MyBlogLog or on your own site who just comment and say nothing? It reminds me of Myspace ( that I left) and Facebook, that I am no longer using. Everyone wants to nudge you or be your friend then they say nothing at all except throw their links up. About half the time I comment I don’t even put my site as I think it is tacky personally. Even though the biggest people on the net do this constantly. I sort of equate it with saying hi to someone, then handing them your business card. Then seeing them 5 minutes later, then handing them the same card. It is amusing to me and I don’t fault anyone who does this. I just like real relationships and never really dove into the net as I am doing now. I have ot admit that the net ‘friends’ are of so little value compared to real off-line friends.
    Giving is definitely the beginning of receiving ( your title ), but are some really giving? Maybe we need to define what giving is as me just posting my opinion may add value to your site, but is it giving if I like your site, as I do and I post my url ( which isn’t even for business, more fun than anything)?
    From one Netizen to another, I truly wish you the best offline and on.
    “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” Tyler Durden

  4. I Get Comments!

    November 30, 2007 at 7:07am

    [...] 30, 2007I Get Comments! I get comments – this one on Giving Is The Beginning of [...]

  5. John W. Furst

    December 5, 2007 at 1:05pm

    Thanks you for submitting your article to my latest edition of “Webmaster Articles” Blog Carnival. It was my pleasure to include it.

    Yours John W. Furst
    E-Biz Booster Blog

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