Monetizing my free users the best way?

4 replies
Hi guys,

I run a site that makes money in adsense and digital product sales. A lot of my users send me messages asking for free products which I don't currently offer, but I'm starting to think I could add free products IF I can monetize it somehow.

My first thought was having these guys go through filling out a survey or something (offered by some ad network) that would earn me a dollar or two and when it's complete then I allow them their free download. Is this possible? It's hard to find companies that offer this so if anyone knows them please share!

Also, I'd love to hear other suggestions if anyone has other ideas? Most of my users seem to be younger say 13-25 and into video gaming and youtube channels etc. I have a lot of people from USA and also India as well.
#free #monetizing #users
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by bigja99 View Post

    I run a site that makes money in adsense and digital product sales.


    It's a little hard to help you without knowing what niche you're in and why users come to your site. What's on their mind? What are they looking to find? What kind of digital products are making money for you?

    Next, I would ask: Are you getting subscribers onto a mailing list somehow? That should always be a top priority.

    Originally Posted by bigja99 View Post

    A lot of my users send me messages asking for free products
    This is not necessarily a positive thing. If you're in this business to make money, you need to be gathering an audience that is willing to spend money. Sometimes "freebie seekers" can drain a lot of your time and resources with no intent of ever spending any money at your site.

    Originally Posted by bigja99 View Post

    My first thought was having these guys go through filling out a survey or something . . . Is this possible?
    Certainly, it is possible; however, you don't stand much of a chance to build a solid business earning one dollar at a time. If you're going to make the effort to build a real business so that you can generate real income, you need to be selling things (1) that you control, (2) that prospects are asking for, and (3) that will give you a profitable return on your investment of time and money. I don't see survey commissions doing any of that.

    Originally Posted by bigja99 View Post

    Most of my users seem to be younger say 13-25 and into video gaming and youtube channels etc.
    Ouch! Generally younger users like this are a fickle audience - after entertainment and thrills, but not thinking much about spending money for products . . . though there are some exceptions. Many in this group won't even have the ability to spend money with you (no CCs).

    Personally, I think you're in a difficult position and earning money through ads on your site may well be the best use of your traffic. For this kind of a business model, getting the most traffic you can will probably help you more than anything. Advertisers want "reach" and maximum exposure so the more eyeballs you can get at your site, the better.

    I won't comment on what I would do with "free users" as you call them because I don't know what niche you're in. I will just say that I think trying to make any sizable income given the profile of your average users is going to be very difficult.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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    • Profile picture of the author bigja99
      Thanks Steve for the detailed answer, some great points.

      I don't want to share the details of what I do here but my website sells videos that people use for business videos, youtube channels and so on.

      I guess I wasn't 100% clear in the original post but my customers are quite a varied demographic and in general it's mostly the older business customers that are buying things directly. It's the younger 13-25 year old "gamer" types that seem to want stuff for free.

      I've been effectively ignoring them for a while because it's more important to improve the site and make things better for the actual paying customers. But recently I realized I had this large amount of users that come on the site and want videos but can't afford or don't have credit cards like you say. I figured as they are already visiting the site regularly I wondered if I could extract even a little value from them and they can get what they want back then it's a win-win.

      I'm well aware that $1-2 a time isn't a solid business but that's not my business, I make all my money via the other customers. I could be a good supplement though.

      Do you have any suggestions on ad networks or ad companies that offer things like surveys and so on? I can't seem to find anything searching google just those survey sites you must self-fill, not ones you can have your users fill and earn money on. Thanks again
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Adamson
    1. Build a list. Your visitors want free stuff. They have to give you a valid email address to get free stuff.

    2. Send an email every day. Find 7 authors in your niche who want to get exposure and ask to republish their stuff. You now have a content-rich ezine and a list to send it to.

    3. Segment your list. 13-25 is an enormous spread, ranging from no money and no credit card to working full time with disposable income. You need to find out who has the cash. Partner with somebody on JVZoo for an irresistable offer for $1. Yes, you can do that. Your partner wants to build his/her list, and many will sell something for that price. I have bought some of them myself.
    Now you have a list of people who actually buy stuff. This is your gold list. It may only be 10% of your larger list but you want to grow it.

    4. Rinse and repeat. Keep mailing 7 content emails a week and 7 product promos. If you get $0.50 per month per email address you can build it into a business.

    5. As you say, the part of your list that never buys anything may be interested in make-money ideas like online surveys. Further segment your list by region. Clearly there is potential in India for doing online surveys where your average US youth may not consider it worthwhile. So you need to find out where they are.
    Your email service provider (aweber, getresponse...) usually includes this information since they have the subscriber's IP address when signup occurs.
    Could You Be Squeezing More Sales Out Of Your Traffic ?
    Free Report
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  • Profile picture of the author Kumar Rahul 13
    You can give a try to affiliate marketing network- where you can choose your nice related offers and see if you are getting good payouts through the network.
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