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How to Create and Make Money with a Free Stuff Site

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When I first started making money online nearly 15 years ago, I was doing quite well in the free stuff and sweepstakes industry. This was way before there were a ton of networks out there and loaded up with email submit offers. Back then the free stuff offers were actually free, and you could get free mouse pads without having to complete an endless amount of offers and co-registration forms.

Nonetheless, many years later and the free stuff market is still killing it and making money for web site owners and affiliates like never before. The bottom line is, people love free stuff and promotions. Thankfully, so do marketers and they also create killer ad campaigns that convert well and almost always make money.

In this long post (guide) we are going to walk through the complete process of how to create a free stuff related web site and focus on how to start making money within a short period of time.

Best of all, there are minimal costs and investments needed to break into this niche and start making money in just a few days!

First Thing First… You Need a Site or Blog!

We are going to focus this post around the concept of running a blog. It’s now much easier to create and update a site through a blog, then a traditional HTML based web site.

If you don’t have a web site or blog, you can sign up for one free at Blogger or WordPress. When signing up for a free account with the services above, you will not have a custom domain name or your own hosting, it will all be shared and hosted under their servers.

It is recommended that you sign up for your own domain name and hosting. The cost is only $10 a year for a domain name and around $7 a month for web hosting. After you are setup with your blog hosting, you can then install wordpress on your server and be ready to go.

If you don’t currently have your own web hosting or looking to have someone install and setup a blog for you, BloggingTips.com us currently running a promotion for a free wordpress installation service, which offers you a premium theme for your site and also installs a bunch of the top wordpress plugins right into your blog for you.

It’s Time to Find Some Free Stuff Offers!

Now that you are setup with your own web site or blog, you can start applying to the many affiliate networks out there. Before applying, it’s important to have some quality content on your web site, as they will be looking at your site before approving you for the network.

The reason you are wanting to join an affiliate network, is because they have a wide selection of free stuff, contests and trial offers for you to promote through your web site. Every time someone completes one of these offers, you will earn a commission.

Two of the best networks to join for free stuff related offers are PeerFly and Neverblue. Between the two of these sites they have several hundreds of offers for you to post to your site.

In addition to posting free stuff affiliate offers on your site, you will also want to list other free stuff offers found around the web. You can find these offers through other free stuff web sites, forums or on brand web sites.

Not everyone wants to sign up for free stuff offers with their email address or complete a survey. By updating your site content with free stuff offers and coupons found around the internet, you are providing real quality content on your blog that will keep bringing people back.

Create a Newsletter to Keep Them Coming Back!

Have you ever heard the saying, “The Money is in the List!”? Well it’s true, and it’s referring to creating a newsletter or mailing list for your web site.

Through the use of a mailing service like Aweber, you can create a free newsletter for your site traffic to sign up to for daily, weekly or monthly updates. The best part about having a newsletter for your web site, is that every time you send out a mailing, you will make money!

Setting up a newsletter for your site is very easy. All you need to do is create an account with Aweber and you will be setup with a subscribe form that you can throw onto your web site. Aweber is currently running a promotion where the cost is only $1 for your first month.

The only other thing you need to setup is a daily newsletter or mailing that you will send out as often as you like. Inside each of these mailings, you should include the top free stuff offers for the day. Make sure you mix in affiliate offers and real free stuff offers from around the web.

To incentivize people to sign up for your newsletter, you will need to entice them with something that isn’t offered somewhere else. This could be something as simple as bundling up the best coupons from around the web, or even offering a unique freebie of your own.

Adding Additional Sources for Revenue Generation

There are plenty of ways to make money and monetize traffic with a free stuff web site outside of just pushing affiliate offers and building a mailing list. It’s important to remember that your free stuff web site will only be as good as the free stuff offers you continually add to the site. As long as you are providing quality offers, people will keep looking through your site and content. Mixed in with the content you can add a nice amount of advertising to bring in addition revenue. Two recommended sources for revenue generation on free stuff sites is the inclusion of Google Adsense or Contextual Advertising to your site.

The majority of people coming to your web site are going to be looking for free stuff and samples offers. This is a very competitive market which is full of high paying advertisers. If you are going to place contextual advertising or Google Adsense on your site, you won’t have any issues with having your ad space being filled by high paying advertisers. Best of all, your free stuff related traffic will also find these links more relevant than other generic ads.

Grow Your Traffic and Branding Through Social Networks

The amount of people using social networks like Facebook and Twitter is just too big to ignore. Every web site must have a Fan Page and a way to connect and update social networking users. Just a simple search on Facebook will give you an idea of how many people actively search out and join free stuff and samples related pages. The examples below are minimal compared to some of the free stuff sites out there that have hundreds of thousands of fans.

When building a free stuff related web site, creating a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter account is an excellent way to build a loyal audience that is actually interested and will sign up for the offers you promote. Since you are going to be adding fresh content to your site often, that means with each new update, a new status update or tweet will be sent out to your social followers. It is recommended that you build a large following on both Twitter and Facebook, as your latest offers and blog posts will automatically stream to each.

There is also a huge opportunity for niche sites that can be built around survey offers that promote “get paid for your opinions“, but have ad copy based around your site topic. If you have enough volume, you can approach your ad network and they may be able to create custom ad copy or landing pages for you.

Focus on Content, Backlinks and Becoming an Authority Web Site!

As you continue to add daily content your site, you will establish a sense of authority within the free stuff niche. Becoming an authority web site is not easy, and it’s very dependent on the amount of web sites that link back to you, in addition to the amount of content you are adding to your site.

Through the use of link building, you can increase your sites rankings in the search engines. The free stuff niche is loaded with keywords that people are searching for, such as “free stuff online”, “free samples”, “free samples by mail” and a million other combinations. Use the Google Keyword Tool to pull a quick report on what keywords are getting a lot of traffic, but also have a low level of competition. To get even more niche and direct, throw some product and brand names in there as well. When you are building your free stuff site, make sure you build category pages for all of these niche areas. Through link building, you may be able to rank your inner pages on the first page of results in the search engines. Again, this will take time and quality content, but it will pay off greatly as people are always searching for free stuff and brands name samples every day.

The end goal when creating any web site is to provide value and a long term source of revenue. In some cases, you can even build a web site with the focus of flipping your site for a big lump sum of cash. This is seen quite often in the free stuff niche.

Let’s Recap and Get Started!

Now that you have a pretty good idea how starting a free stuff web site can start making you money, it’s time to start the process. The majority of people will just read this blog post and think to themselves about how great the idea and concept is, but many will never take action.

Instead of having to read through the whole process again, a quick summary has been made below, along with links to help walk you through the process.

  1. Setup a Domain, Web Hosting and Blog
  2. Start to Gather Free Stuff Offers and Post to Site
  3. Apply for PeerFly & Neverblue Affiliate Networks
  4. Create a Mailing List for Your Site
  5. Build Additional Traffic with Social Networking Pages
  6. Continue to Add New Content & Monetize Traffic

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Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17

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Thousands of internet marketers, entrepreneurs, content creators and brands will ascend upon Las Vegas this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Not only has Affiliate Summit become one of the largest affiliate and internet marketing conferences in the world today, it’s also one I’ve been closely associated with ever since the beginning. From it’s first conference in a small room in New York City with just a couple hundred people to now having more than 5,000+ attendees and conferences twice per year, it’s always been great to attend as both an attendee and speaker.

At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to discount Affiliate Summit as just another networking of marketing conference. The relationships, businesses and life experiences that are a result of the event is second to none — which I why I always recommend everyone to attend, no matter their current level of expertise.

By the way… if you are attending, don’t miss the awesome “How to Become a Millionaire Blogger” panel with myself, John Chow, John Rampton, and Syed Balkhi. It’s almost always standing room only, and rated as one of the highest attended and most valued sessions of Affiliate Summit.

Affiliate_Summit_West_2017_Agenda2_-_Affiliate_Summit

Over the years I’ve literally met thousands of people through the conference and built many powerful relationships and business opportunities as well. With each new year, new speakers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers will take the next step in becoming financially independent, starting a side business or simply changing the world in some way or another.

To help you not only get inspired for this year’s Affiliate Summit West conference but also get inspired with just a glimpse of the talent at this event, I wanted to highlight some of my previous podcast guests, who will also be speaking at #ASW17. Enjoy, and I hope to see you there!

Inspiring Stories and Marketing Tips from Affiliate Summit Speakers

Below you will find a list of speakers currently on the agenda for ASW 17. However, through my podcast I’ve interviewed more than 80 different industry experts… many of which who will be also attending the event in one way or another. Be sure to check out the full list of interviews here.

Shawn Collins and the Affiliate Summit Empire

Shawn Collins of Affiliate Summit

Shawn Collins the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, which has become the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world today.

I’ve been good friends with Shawn for a while now and we’ve both been able to experience the affiliate marketing industry completely transition and develop over the past 15+ years. We were both in attendance at the Affiliate Force cruise, which was one of the first attempts at an affiliate marketing conference, but knew it could be done better. At that point Shawn and Missy decided they could do it better and the rest is history!

John Chow, the Master of Blog Monetization

John Chow

John Chow is one of the most well-known and successful bloggers in the world. If you’ve ever Google’d “how to make money online” or “how to make money blogging”, you’ve probably come across his name and site several times.

The amazing thing about John Chow was that he was never supposed to make money with his blog in the first place. What was originally just going to be a blog on his personal life and what he ate for lunch, soon became a “money making case study”. As John learned new and exciting ways to monetize his blog content and audience, the money just kept rolling in.

Jump forward several years later and his blog is now generating over six-figures per month, and most of it recurring and automated through his amazing sales funnel system — all of which John talks about in this episode.

Rachel Honoway, From Intern to CEO

Rachel Honoway

Rachel Honoway is the CEO of For Me To Coupon. However it’s not her current position that we are focusing on, instead it’s the great journey that’s led her to where she is today.

The start of Rachel’s journey in the world of online marketing is nearly 20 years in the making. Rachel’s first job was at an internet marketing company called Kowabunga, where she first came in as an intern. As the company continued to grow in size, so did Rachel’s daily tasks and her job title. The company was soon acquired and Rachel was then managing more of the company than ever before. Once leaving Kowabunga, Rachel had a wide range of opportunities over the years before ending up at For Me To Coupon, where she is the CEO today — which is all discussed in this latest episode.

Syed Balkhi, the Wizard of WordPress

Syed Speaking at Fincon13

Syed Balkhi is not only a master at WordPress, but he is also an awesome entrepreneur.

Since an early age Syed has always had a passion for business and building success. This could be seen from the early years of his life when he was just a kid in Pakistan and selling greeting cards. Then later in life while in high school, Syed started developing sites of his own while quickly discovering what the internet had to offer.

Today Syed runs some of the most powerful and heavily trafficked sites in the world… and yes, they are all powered with WordPress!

Stephan Spencer and the Science of SEO

Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He’s also the author of Google Power Search and co-author of The Art of SEO… so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking sites in the search results.

How sites rank in the search results can go all the way back to before 2000, which is when Stephan and his NetConcepts company started getting heavy into SEO services. The thing about SEO is that it’s always changing, so to be one of the best SEO experts in the industry, Stephan is continually at the forefront of the industry and connecting with some of the most successful experts, businesses, and brands in the world.

Geno Prussakov Shares his Affiliate Management Tips

Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov is an affiliate marketing expert, author, and international speaker.

In the world of the internet, being an expert is key. Geno has mastered the art of affiliate marketing and affiliate program management and through this expertise has been able to grow his personal brand and business at the same time. As the author of many best-selling books on affiliate marketing, and also haven spoke at 50+ different conferences on such topics, Geno is the voice many people turn to when looking for answers to their affiliate marketing questions.

Having trained thousands of marketing professionals through his various books and online blog, Geno also went on to create Affiliate Management Days, which is a conference solely focused on the art of successful affiliate program management.

Oliver Roup Wants to Make Every Link Intelligent and Valuable

Oliver Roup

Oliver Roup is the founder and CEO of VigLink, a company that helps content creators make money through the use of affiliate marketing, while not having to deal with all the complexities of individual tracking, manually creating links and joining multiple programs.

Before getting active in the online marketing space, Oliver had accumulated quite an exciting resume of previous work with Space X, Microsoft, Paul Allen and many others. However, what might be Oliver’s most exciting experience to date was taking his business at Viglink from an idea to the flourishing business it is today.

For Oliver, this isn’t something that would happen overnight. Instead, it was a long journey of meeting with investors and VCs, trying to convince them that his idea was worth their time and investment. After many failed attempts, Oliver finally found an investor that was interested and things started to move fast!

Years later and over $20 million dollars in funding to date, the company continues to grow and scale in size while also helping sites of all sizes make money with their content while also connecting them with some of the largest brands and advertisers in the world.

Russell Brunson and How to Create Killer Sales Funnels

Russell_Brunson_of_ClickFunnels

Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and the founder of DotComSecrets and ClickFunnels.

While finishing up his last year in College, Russell wanted to figure out a way to make enough money so he could continue with his passion for wrestling and to take care of himself and his girlfriend. After dabbling in the online marketing space and going through various failed projects, Russell discovered that one of the most successful ways to make money online was through the use of ebooks, guides and selling information. While messing around with some friends, Russell wanted to create a potato gun and went to the internet to find out how to create one. Once he found that there was nothing out there, he quickly threw one together and made a little course of his own on how to do the same.

Jump forward several years and today you will find Russell Brunson with all of his attention focused on ClickFunnels, a WYSIWYG editor and seamless way to create high converting landing pages and sales funnels. Not only has ClickFunnels become a huge success, it’s also taught Russell how to grow and scale a company, while also learning how to remove distractions and only focusing on what matters most.

John Rampton and Living the Dream in Silicon Valley

John Rampton

John Rampton is an online entrepreneur who has become a master at pay per click marketing, but even more importantly — making connections and networking with the right people.

I first met John Rampton several years back when he came up to me and asked for an interview while at Affiliate Summit. Since then we just seemed to click and started working on various projects together. In addition to being the Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal, John’s writing can also be found on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Entrepreneur and many other top media outlets and news sources.

One of the major reasons for John’s success in the world of online marketing can be attributed to his outgoing attitude, willingness to help others and talking with just about everyone he meets. Each of these are all required skills for making it in the world of business and forming new partnerships. With all of this in mind, it only made sense for him to leave his home state of Utah and make the big move to Silicon Valley, CA — the central economic focal point for everything internet!

Thomas Smale and How to Buy and Sell Websites

Thomas_Smale

Thomas Smale is the co-founder of FE International, a company that was founded in 2010 that focuses on website brokering for mid-market online businesses.

Back in 2009-2010 Thomas wanted to get involved in the world of online marketing, but with little technical experience, his options were limited. It was then that he fell upon the concept of buying and selling websites for himself. With only a few hundred dollars at a time, Thomas began buying and flipping websites and getting quite good at it in the process. As his reputation and experience in this space started to grow, so did requests from other individuals asking for his support in selling their own websites — thus, a new business venture begins!

Today Thomas is the co-founder of FE International, which has offices in two different countries and 11 team members — all with the focus on website brokering and mastering the art of buying and selling websites.

See you at Affiliate Summit West!

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10 Strategies to Take Your Facebook Marketing to the Next Level

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How should brands that rely on Facebook marketing shift strategy in light of Facebook’s latest newsfeed update (which makes brand pages more dependent on users sharing posts with friends)?

Facebook, with over 1.7 billion users, is a powerful marketing platform for any business. It allows you to reach consumers on a platform that they are already using every day.

But when users told Facebook that they wanted to see more stories from friends and less promotional content, Facebook implemented a news feed update that gave them just that. So what does that mean for your marketing efforts?

Facebook Marketing

Businesses now need to work harder to ensure that their content is shareable rather than promotional. We asked ten entrepreneurs from YEC to share their best tips to ensure that your content still makes it on the news feed.

1. Be the Supplier for News Breakers

Step back and think about the sharing behavior of your own friends. They always want to be the first to share content that others have not already seen. Be fast and be first to break new stories relevant to your audience. Your Facebook page fans are more likely to share exclusive and engaging content to their own personal audiences if they feel it’s fresh and new.

– Anthony SaladinoKitchen Cabinet Kings

2. Stop Selling and Start Engaging

Unless you want to pay Facebook to promote your content, you need to push more content that your audience is likely to share. The more shares and likes you drive, the more reach you get with your content. With Facebook’s recent change, the key is to stop using Facebook to sell and instead use it to educate, entertain and engage your audience.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

3. Pay Facebook

Facebook is a public company. Any updates to its newsfeed algorithm are meant to help the company maximize its return to shareholders. My advice? Play the game. Pay Facebook its advertising dollars to ensure your content gets discovered. The cost to create content (designers, copywriters, etc.) is usually more than advertising. Budget a little extra for Facebook ads to produce your best content ROI.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

4. Embed Interactivity

Reduce the number of links that you post on your page and focus on embedding content – articles and videos – into Facebook instead. Since Facebook users prefer to stay on Facebook, giving them content without sending them away will help to guarantee they actually share your content, which will then place you in front of other audiences. Share stories that are informative, not promotional.

– Marcela De VivoBrilliance

5. Focus on Proven Tactics That Yield More Shares

Tactics like video content and helpful advice are some of the most commonly shared type of posts, so businesses should redirect their content strategy toward these tactics if they haven’t done so already.

– Peter DaisymeDue Invoicing

6. Diversify Your Marketing Strategies

It is not a good idea to be solely dependent on just one marketing platform. In this fast-paced world, change is inevitable when it comes to marketing via various social media platforms. Diversify your marketing strategies across numerous platforms because safety comes in numbers. If changes on one platform don’t suit your business, move your marketing money to another.

– Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty

7. Make Ad Campaigns Pop

 With social media platforms now “competing for screen time,” companies need to make their advertising campaigns funny or memorable. We always remember those funny Super Bowl commercials, share them and talk about them. Making an emotional connection through storytelling will make potential customers remember your brand and create more buzz.

– Nemoy RauUS Biometrix

8. Network and Be Personal

You need to connect with friends and family on a personal level. Then you can market your services, just like you would in real life. You would not consistently blast your friends and family with announcements of your services, so don’t do it on Facebook either. However, a well-placed announcement for something interesting or important can be effective.

– Peter BoydPaperStreet Web Design

9. Make Content Sharable, Then Pay

If you have the right approach, this shouldn’t be a problem. You’re already creating shareable content targeted to the right audience. But even if your content is popular, you’ll have to pay to promote posts to a wider audience. Find out which posts generate the most engagement and pay to promote them. For brands, Facebook isn’t the free ride to huge audiences that it used to be.

– Justin BlanchardServerMania Inc.

10. Provide Value

Facebook is a game changer for any business that can master it. By providing value to the users that share your posts, it will give them an incentive to do so more often. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, offer a coupon code to anyone who shares your post. If you’re providing a service, give the users access to an exclusive blog post for sharing.

– Chad KellerWUDN

 

The answers above are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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Affiliate Summit – Stories and Moments You Don’t Want to Miss

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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