Monday, April 24, 2006

Free For All Sites: Do You Get What You Pay For?

We've all seen them: "Get 1,000,000 clicks for free!". Wow! What a bargain! Just think, one million people looking at this blog! I'll become famous! Come on! Let's get real here! Unless I am Yahoo, I don't think that 1,000,000 people are going to be visiting my site anytime soon...

But then again, I was still a bit intrigued! What is this all about and how does it work? So I looked around and I found FreeViral.com! Here is how it works: It is basically a (legal) pyramid scheme revolving around links rather than money. Visit this site, which has 6 links on it. Go to each one of these links and collect its secret code to paste into the original site. Once you go to all six links, you can now add your link to the six below (while link #6 drops off!). It took about 5 minutes, no big deal, and I signed up using an email that I usually send all of my spam to. So now you need to promote and get people to your FreeViral site to sign up. Hmmm...that seems like a lot work from this point on.

So what am I (and FreeViral) getting out of this? Well, I think I am getting virtually nothing. For one thing, I need to promote this site to get the links out there. Not worth my time! Secondly, and more importantly, what is the quality of these clicks? Are people going to my site because they are interested in my product? Probably not! They just need my secret code. I will monitor this, though, and see if anything comes out of it. It is gets me one sale in the next year (which I doubt), it would have been worth my 5 minutes.

From FreeViral's point-of-view, they get something key: YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! This is what is called an "Opt-In". Now that they have my email, they can target me more directly to sell their own products. FreeViral probably doesn't bring in any money, but can build quite a big email list. Maybe I'll try setting up my own Free For All in the future!