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What’s the Point of Free Stuff?

Written by Ryan Ambrose  · September 26, 2008

How do you make money by giving away free stuff? You may have seen other entrepreneurs around the Internet doing just that, and it is possible. Occasionally, it’s even the best way to go.

You’re not taking the direct route, of course. You don’t make money from a sale on the spot if you give something away for free. Doing this is always a part of a longer term strategy, and you can have any of several when distributing freebies.

  • Driving traffic: The whole purpose of a viral report is to drive traffic to your site by building your credibility and putting your links in front of other people’s eyes. You do this by not only giving that viral report away, but by letting anyone who has it give it away for their own benefit. Done correctly, your report and your links spread far and wide.
  • Building your list: One of the long-time tried and true tactics is to give away a goodie in exchange for a name and email address, which you put on your list for future marketing pitches. It doesn’t make you money in the near term, but you could wind up with a lot of repeat income down the road from the list it built.
  • Building your credibility: Article marketing is a big example of this one. While you’re also trying to create backlinks and build traffic, another big reason for article marketing is to build your credibility as an expert in your field. It works for any niche and it’s free to you too, so if you haven’t considered article marketing before, do so.
  • Letting your product sell itself: I see a lot of this with software like Fraps or the Sony Vegas Movie Maker. Fraps gives you a limited version of its product, and spends a lot of time trying to sell you the full, paid version. Sony Vegas gives you a complete version of its product which expires in 30 days, and while you try it out, you become accustomed to it and how it works. In either case, these freebies are intended to sell you on the paid versions of themselves.

Giving away free stuff isn’t the direct approach to making money online, but one or more of these strategies could end up selling more for you in the long run. That’s why you see entrepreneurs on the Internet giving away free stuff.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

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6 Responses to “What’s the Point of Free Stuff?”

  1. CoolProducts on September 26th, 2008 9:48 am

    Essentially, giving away free stuff is a way to get your product in the hands of a consumer who normally wouldn’t invest in your product with the hopes that once they’ve experienced your product, they’ll become a customer. Therefore, you’re very correct in your statement that giving away freebies isn’t a short term money making approach, but more of an lure to draw them in for the long-run.

  2. WebDesign on October 2nd, 2008 11:34 am

    If it is a quality stuff, it makes you look good in the eyes of many potential customers and that is priceless, because one day or another a good number of them will choose your services or products.

  3. Codrut Turcanu I Amazon Associate Program on October 10th, 2008 12:50 am

    yeah—it works! otherwise I see no reason why big companies and small-businesses are giving away free samples… or why bloggers offer free blog alerts…

    Just think why marketers are having free eCourses … lol

  4. Shanita on October 21st, 2008 9:50 pm

    “I always used to say Nothing comes for free.” If they say its free its definitely not it will cost your system privacy the least ! but now I understand its given to customers for free indireclty to get traffic to the site etc .. That’s a nice idea šŸ™‚ . Now I understand how to get more traffic šŸ˜‰

  5. Lazy Slacker on November 1st, 2008 5:05 am

    It certainly works – I use contests with great success to drive traffic to my blog.

    I the first 20 days I was able to get 70 readers!

    I’m doing a stumble me contest and it’s doing wonders.

    Give stuff away is an incredibly powerful way of promoting your site and product.

  6. makemoneyonline on April 12th, 2009 10:48 pm

    Free stuff is one of the best way to drive a good traffic for your wbesite. Some blogs have a good kind of product which helpful for promoting the site.