Offering Free Tools From Your Blog to Get Crazy Traffic

Note: This post was guest blogged by me, Mitchell Harper of I’m filling in with a few posts while John’s out and about on his well deserved Canadian holiday ;)

We offer free website templates from our site and it drives a ridiculous amount of traffic to our site every day. We rank on the front page of Google for every single search term relating to free website templates, and the flow-on effect is that 1 out of every few dozen people who arrive at our site to download free templates will eventually buy one of our products.

Have you thought about offering something of value absolutely free, no-strings-attached from your blog or website to attract a massive amount of traffic? Depending on what you blog about you could offer free software or even a repository of a few dozen links that will take your visitors to free resources relating to the topics you blog about.

There are so many benefits to offering free tools from your blog, but the most important one is credibility. When you give something away and expect nothing in return people ask themselves something like this:

“This site just gave me something for free and didn’t ask for anything back. What gives?”

It’s a persons natural instinct then to navigate around your site or blog and see what you do and why you’re offering the free tools. Sure, a lot of people will take your freebies then leave but you’ll also get some people reading more about your products/services, bookmarking your site and coming back at a later time to buy something you sell. You’ll get A LOT more people if you offer a free newsletter and ask them to subscribe to it from your freebies page too.

Besides starting a blog, the fastest way to get traffic for $0 is to give away something of perceived value for absolutely nothing at all. Word spreads quickly because very few people do it.

Can you offer a free tool from your website to boost your traffic?

42 thoughts on “Offering Free Tools From Your Blog to Get Crazy Traffic”

  1. Rehuel says:

    Seeing the title of the post in my feed reader, I knew at once that this was another MH guest blog.

    I fully support your “alternative way to attract visitors” idea.

    1. Dave says:

      I agree, Mitch has some great ideas about building traffic.

      1. Marc says:

        While I agree and have personally seen the traffic spikes created by this kind of promotion, the real question is, does this traffic convert?

        In my experience not so much. That’s just my experience mind you.

  2. Thanks Rehuel 🙂 I just saw John’s last post and people were asking how to workout which keywords people are using to search for your site on Google and then taking them to a page based on them, so I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

    John, maybe you can flip that method into an evil way to get traffic 😈

    1. UberDan says:

      Good post on what seems like a proven method. I would add though that I hate subscribing and it makes me suspicious. Subscriptions in my experience hardly ever offer more value than what you can get on the site and you know you’ll end up with more spam 👿

    2. Simonne says:

      This gouide is very useful, thank you for sharing it.

  3. It’s like you read my mind. Just what I was looking for. 😉
    Thanks again

  4. blogcrowds says:

    From personal experience I know this technique works very well. Take for example, even mentioned on ProBlogger.

  5. Chris M says:

    I totally agree! I run a small website, which I have just started called which is based on the concept of pixel advertising thanks to Alex Tew.

    The difference is.. this site is free, no costs, no catches, just an huge grid to fill up with bloggers. Free back links and a little extra traffic for everyone.

    Don’t know if that really falls under free software , but it does fall under free advertising 🙂

    Thanks for keeping Johns blog alive!

    1. Dave says:

      Everybody likes free advertising 🙂

    2. Simonne says:

      Interesting! I’m going to give it a try.

  6. James says:

    While not a new idea, you got me thinking about this a bit more. It is something I will probably start doing.

  7. Sounds like another evil idea 😈

    I’m planning to do this, but I’m not sure what tools I could offer:

    > theme(s)
    > financial tool(s)
    > plugin(s)
    > spreadsheet(s)
    > free pdfs
    > …

    what other stuff can we offer?

    1. Dave says:

      Try to come up with stuff that’s not available anywhere else

    2. Gath says:

      > Programming aids
      > Imaging tools
      > Web service (eg nichebot)

      I give away stuff on my site, and I also submit the programs to download directories to get extra traffic from there.

    3. Marc says:

      Themes are great because you don’t need to have a revolutionary idea to create something unique. You can also embed links as credit for your work.

  8. Miriguy says:

    Come up with a tool that can help us blog effectively. Something that even Darren Rowse or John Chow himself will use 😮

    1. Dave says:

      Much easier said than done Chee! 🙂

      1. Marc says:

        Exactly. While that’s certainly a quick way to fame and fortune, it’s one of the hardest.

  9. thesilly1 says:

    This is a great idea and I’ve found myself going around sites to figure out what the deal is…. good analysis. Now I just need to find something to give away free.

  10. How is it that you “rank on the front page of Google for every single search term relating to free website templates” when you’re not on the front page for terms such as:

    web templates


    website templates


    1. Add the word “free” to those terms and we’re on the front page. I should’ve said *most*, I guess. 😈

      1. Marc says:

        You can also go for the long tail. Even if you can’t get the meat and potatoes of the money terms, there’s still tons of traffic to be had. Comb your logs or use something like hittail to help you out.

  11. Chris M says:

    Tools to make blogging easier..

    Take a read..

    Blogging Software

    It’s a windows software application, which allows you to post articles, track articles, updates articles, without having to login to wp-admin (for wordpress). It also supports other blogging communities.

    Take a read, I tried it, and am addicted now! 🙂

  12. InvestMe says:

    great idea john! i will try this 😉

  13. That is really a good idea, specially because you can put a link to your site on the web templates also, and you get link back for free!
    Specially using the line:

    Designed by: xxxxxxx where xxxxxx could be the anchor you want.

    1. Gath says:

      That is exactly right – targeted anchor text.

  14. Yet another IM gimmick =P…Old trick… LOL…

  15. Totally true Mitch.

    I just realized all the crazy SEO shit Aaron has on…holy **** there is a ton of stuff there. All the keyword tools and stuff…

    Even though he’d have a lot to offer with his blog on its own, he has his SEO Book and these tools…it just drives the (value) points that much further.

    1. Sure does, Josh. Aaron is a beast and that’s why he’s one of the top handful of guys for SEO in the world.

  16. Simonne says:

    This is useful, thank you for sharing. I’m going to see how those layouts look like 😀

  17. Thanks, Mitch — great post and even a bigger pat on the back for the free layouts. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it on here before, but I truly enjoy your blog as well.

  18. BundaWAH says:

    Thanks for sharing Mitch. Great idea, worth to try.

  19. Another great tip

  20. Amanda says:

    Actually thats really good the only problem is how to get those free things 😛

  21. David Mackey says:

    Good suggestion. The problem is building something free of value.

  22. Coming up with a novelty idea as far as free stuff you can offer on your site is kinda hard, isn’t it; hard but definitely do-able.

  23. Jauhari says:

    Just Free Templates is Cool 😀

  24. Ades says:

    It does work! But the free stuff that you offer should be of value, something that the user like and will definitely use.

  25. blogdinero says:

    Yo can avoid all this, and make spam, jeje

  26. Russ says:

    Good idea! Mitch always finding ways to build traffic heh

Comments are closed.