Free Services Can Be Costly for Online Businesses

when-free-is-not-freeOn the heels of Twitter going down last week, this week the news is of a popular free service not going down, but closing it’s doors altogether.  Popular with many online marketers who use social media sites like Twitter, tr.im URL shortening announced it is closing it’s doors.  And there’s bigger news, yesterday Facebook Acquired Friendfeed.   These trends are interesting indicators of what is going on with social media services, online businesses must be profitable or their doors will close.  Take note, this serves as a wake up call for anyone serious about building a lasting online business, count the cost and choose wisely.

Free Services Can Be Costly for Online Businesses

Last week Twitter went down (why I didn’t care much) and more than a few people were upset about it, even as I write this, there are complaints that Twitter is slow.  Now with tr.im URL shortening service closing up shop, (thanks to Michelle MacPhearson for her post on this) and a sense that other such services are not far behind (cli.gs), online marketers should pause and ask some questions.

  • Impact: What impact would there be to your business if all the free services on the internet went away?  Not only the services you use but those used by your market.
  • Cost: What would it cost your business if these services go away, consider that against what it would cost you to invest in a paid service (or purchased software that you can host yourself and get support for).

Free Services Will Always Be Around – Some Are Worth Paying For

No doubt there are other free URL shortening service you might consider, just count the cost of using these (here is a paid service for URL shortening and another one I use on this site) but there are some services for your online business that are just worth paying for.

Which Ones Are Worth Paying for? This is an important consideration especially for Internet Marketing newbies.  Email List Management? Hosting? Coaching (information products about your market)?  Chime in with your thoughts in the comment boxes below.
*Image Credit Mijori

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About Travis Campbell

Husband. Dad. Marketing automator. Author. Educating and coaching others in their online business endeavors. Here's his Google profile.

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  • Jennifer

    I have gambled and lost on free services. For the most part they worked, but you are correct that you are at their mercy if there is not backup plan as you suggest here.

    • http://www.MarketingProfessor.com Travis Campbell

      No free service wishes to have a poor reliability reputation…but the reality most of them are in 'beta' and as such there is an excuse when they do go down. I'm not suggesting avoiding them, you must use them, but use paid services to build your list, and further engage your prospects.

  • Jennifer

    I have gambled and lost on free services. For the most part they worked, but you are correct that you are at their mercy if there is not backup plan as you suggest here.

  • http://www.MarketingProfessor.com Travis Campbell

    No free service wishes to have a poor reliability reputation…but the reality most of them are in 'beta' and as such there is an excuse when they do go down. I'm not suggesting avoiding them, you must use them, but use paid services to build your list, and further engage your prospects.

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