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How to compete with free?

How creators can compete with free products and content.

Anna Grigoryan
Anna Grigoryan
5 min read
How to compete with free?

Every industry and niche has a plethora of free content coming from casual bloggers and also the companies working in that industry.

Why it matters:

Creators are currently in a tricky position trying to position themselves in the free sea of content. The virtual competition is between:

  • Well funded marketing departments of companies and startups in the niche.
  • Established creators who are dominating the niche with big catalog of existing content.
  • Other small creators.


  • Only 2% of online creators are making a livable income from their creative work (according to Patreon and US standards).
  • There's Lack of sufficient discovery tools for different types of content (long form podcasts, books, audio and video essays, etc) makes it hard to build the audience required for monetization in the first place.
  • Small creators burn out in the never-ending process of trying to appeal "the algorithm", talk about things they are personally interested in and differentiating themselves from other creators

What to do?

In this article I'll discuss strategies to apply for your content if you are in an overcrowded niche.

  • Differentiating by finding a unique angle.
  • Shifting your medium in the same niche.

Also we'll entertain the question, should you even stay in an overcrowded niche?

With the spice of my experience of writing about the community management, at a time when every major company was getting into community management.