We started out Bidhitter.com as a free chat for stock traders and would post on our blog to keep disciplined in our reviewing processes. Our main lead generator for our chat and blog was actually through twitter and Stocktwits. We would post free trade ideas, videos, thoughts, and more on twitter (which would feed to Stocktwits, twitter for stock traders) and we started gaining some traction. After a few months we decided to start charging for the chat and converted more than 80% of them for $130/month. We eventually closed down that chat and launched instructional DVDs... we got our first three customers there from the chat users and after a free webinar/Q&A!
If you give people quality material for free, then they'd pay big for the really good stuff.
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