If you have played World of Warcraft for any amount of time, you have probably made use of at least one free leveling guide. These guides can be a great help for beginners as they try to learn the ropes of WoW. Finding a free leveling guide is not difficult to do and they serve their purpose well. It can be time consuming, but generally, you will make some progress using them and learn basic skills more quickly than if you just played World of Warcraft without any guidance.
Once you have spent large amounts of time studying these free guides however, it may occur to you that everyone else is looking at the same free material as well. Obviously, if the information is free and available to anyone, pretty much every person with an interest in playing World of Warcraft is going to have access to it and take advantage of the information to the best of their ability. At this point you may start to wonder whether it is worth investing a small amount in a premium leveling guide. This is an individual choice that depends a lot on your view of playing the game. Many people prefer to figure out everything about the game on their own. Others, figure that they are paying a monthly fee to play the game and would prefer to spend their time doing something besides menial tasks that make them just enough gold to survive.
Another thing you may have noticed, if you spend much time playing World of Warcraft, is that there are some people who have plenty of gold and all that it can buy, while others struggle just to get by with the bare minimum. For those people who struggle, playing WoW has probably become more of a job than a game. Personally, I would probably quit playing at that point or change my playing strategies drastically.
Just like in real life, if you want to truly succeed in World of Warcraft, you need to look at what the best of the best are doing and then emulate it. Following along with everyone else will bring the same mediocre results that they are getting. That isn't to say that there is anything wrong with playing that way, just that you probably will not set yourself apart by following the same free advice found in the leveling guides that every other player is using. It is unlikely that the best WoW players are using the same methods as everyone else. If they were, they would never have been able to separate themselves from that pack like they have.
The best of the best would be silly to just give their information away. That is why premium leveling guides have surfaced and survived so well. Now, obviously, if you buy one of the premium guides, there will still be others who make the same purchase. The number of players with that inside information will be considerably less than the hordes of players wallowing in mediocrity however. Combining the skills taught in a premium leveling guide with a player's own creativity can be the difference between excelling at World of Warcraft and staying put in the middle of the pack.