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Building Traffic With Free Resources

By Brian Clark

Seems like everyone is coming up with outrageous stuff that acts as “link bait” these days. Building traffic depends on attracting links, but sometimes going too far can backfire.

A slow and steady (but much less risky) way to catch people’s attention online is to provide good value at no charge, without necessarily trying to make it into a media circus.

When Howard Stern gave away 500 free satellite radios to commemorate his switch to Sirius, he did (naturally) create a lot of media attention. But he also gave away something of value (a satellite radio) that was extremely relevant to his ultimate goal (recipients could now hear Howard’s new show, provided they subscribed to Sirius).

Online, graphic designers give away templates, programmers give away plug-ins, and writers give away compelling words. All in exchange for traffic and attention.

You’d think “free” would be an automatic lock. But online, nearly everything is free.

We’re drowning in free.

In the early days of the web, a free e-book or other gratis resource would almost automatically garner you plenty of viral propagation via email forwards.

Now days, free still works, but it must be something very good, and very relevant. You’ll also find you need to “sell” your free giveaway almost as if you were charging money!

Remember, links are the gold of the web, but getting someone to pay attention carries a cost to both parties as well. Make your resource worthy of attention, but also make your case for why it’s worthy.

Copywriting techniques can help you sell your “free” resource in a crowded online world of free stuff.

Brian Clark is the founder of which provides free Internet marketing video tutorials for starting an online business from home. He also writes about copywriting techniques at his blog

Copyright 2006 Brian Clark

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