Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2004
According to the goto.com search engine, in September of 1999 51,103 people at their Resellersed using the keyword "free" . The related term "free stuff" was typed in by 33,556 visitors . Something for nothing is a universal passion and successful webmasters are aware of this aspect of human psychology. A very effective method to increase your customer base is giving something away. The following are several popular items that will draw people to your site and keep them returning:
2) Join a program that enables you to offer your visitors free software, free e-mail, contests, sweepstakes, vacations , gift certificates and other merchandise. Two companies that do this are:
They require that you have already 350 visitors a day in order to be accepted as an affiliate. You also are paid a small bounty fee each time someone fills out a form and this itself can be a nice revenue. If you do not have enough traffic to be accepted, (http://www.clickxchange.com) is a company that may be more appropriate. They have less stringent requirements and will pay you for clicks, leads and sales received from your website. You can offer free travel resources, jokes, newsletters from all the sites listed above.
3) The latest craze is to give away e-books from your website. E-books are small books either in exe files or zip files which educate people on topics such as press releases, marketing and even how to compile an e-book. The author has a lot of relevant information plus includes a link to his website in the e-book. This can be offered on his own website as well as given to other webmasters. If you are interested in compiling your own e-book the following resource will be helpful:
To search an index page which hosts a number of e-books visit:
If you do write your own e-book be sure to have it listed at the many websites that have e-book libraries for their visitors. Each person who downloads your e-book will be getting the url to your website within the book and can click to your site while reading it.
4)The word "Jokes" is a very popular search term. "Joke of the Day " Newsletter has over 180,000 subscribers. It is easy to start an online newsletter (also called "ezine") at (http://www.listbot.com) Then list it at the following free directories:
Of course, if you find this too time consuming you can join an affiliate program through (http://www.clickxchange) that will pay you to link to them. Ezines, unlike e-books, are not files that one downloads (ie zip or exe files), but are sent via e-mail to subscribers.
A good resource to use to brainstorm for topics is at (http://www.goto.com/d/top100/) .Look at the top 100 popular search terms. Do you have background in any of these areas that would enable you to create a newsletter? Some of the top clickthrough terms for the month of September 1999 were:
"travel"," health", "recipe" and "web design"
If you don't have the background yourself or the time to write a newsletter you can always do interviews. For example, each week you can have a recipe from a popular restaurant. Call a number of restaurants and you'll find that if you give them credit they will allow you to print one of their top recipes in your newsletter.
Once you have a number of subscribers, you can trade ads with other ezines and/or sell ad space.
5) A very well received offer is to give away free mousepads.
The company will put your url on as many mousepads as you can give to others.
6) Offer a contest and have people fill out an entry form. This is good to customize around one's website: If you have a pet website, give away a book on pets or a free pet supply or free consult. A website based on music could give away a CD, tape player or concert tickets. When you receive the entries you can e-mail those who Submited entries in order to announce the winners. You can list in that e-mail some additional items of interest about your services and opportunities in this e-mail. Plus, don't forget to advertise your contest on sites that list sweepstakes and contests. Do a search on Altavista or Yahoo for "Contests", "Sweepstakes" and "Free Stuff". E-mail the webmaster if there isn't a form to fill out on the site. Because free offers need to be updated often this is a database that constantly needs new listings.
In addition, if you send a press release to your local newspaper they are likely to list it. Don't forget the free publicity for your website that is available to you using press releases and announcements. Check your newspaper and find "Community News" ,"New Prodcuts","Local Announcements" and other areas that might list your contest information.
Remember that giving something away for free is a powerful traffic generator as well as a way to have your visitors gain trust in you. Offer something of substance and your customer base will build significantly as will the confidence in your services.
About the Author
Debra Cohen, LCSW is a licensed social worker in Florida and an online entrepreneur. Get philosophy quotes 5 times a week delivered for free to your inbox. Subscribe at (http://www.outside-the-box.net) Create an ebook with your knowledge. Free 5 day course tells you how: Send an email to email@example.com