34 replies
I saw a vid today that recommended this...

Find an existing online free report (basically an online article or link with info), then use that content as bait for your own squeeze page -- that is, get the name + email in exchange for providing the "service" of sending the person to a particular free page that already exists on the web.

Is that doable? Is that black hat? -- or did I hear that vid wrong?

Please advise.

Thanks.

-- TW
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Just because something is free doesn't mean it doesn't have copyrights attached. That is someone ELSE'S freebie, not yours. Check to see what the rights are for that product before you go handing it out as your own freebie.
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  • Profile picture of the author roger123
    There are many PLR and MRR products which you can use as a bait. And if you don't want to invest in these products you can take an inspiration from freebies available on the net and create your own .. so that you don't get caught in any copyright infringement issues
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
    That's just it. I'm not saying I do this -- I'm telling you what a vid I saw recommends (I think).

    The suggestion is, you are not giving it out through your own system -- you are not branding it as your own -- you are not "stealing" the content -- you are *using* the content -- you are setting up a virtual *tollbooth* between the visitor to your landing page (YOU got them there as traffic), and the webpage (link) that already exists on the web (free).

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    For instance, I could have a squeeze page that offers a "free report" on
    >>> How to tie your shoes <<<
    (in exchange for the visitor's name + email)

    Then they get sent the *already existing (free) link* to this page... How to Tie Your Shoes - wikiHow

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    See? The info was not stolen or lifted or copied, just utilized.

    Is that kosher? Or is it black hat?
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    • Profile picture of the author jaywilsonjr
      Yes it is ok...

      It IS NOT black hat...

      Lets say I have a video or report on my site that teaches people how to get 300 optin's a day using free traffic. You come along, go through my material and realize it is top notch. Rather than rip off my method and repackage it as your own, you simply create a squeeze page that promises to revel how to get 300 optin's a day (or whatever angle you want to take)....

      Once the user opt's in they are taken to my site where they get what you promised. You just got a optin, and I just got a new visitor to my site. (woo hoo for me!) Everyone is happy all the way around...

      By the way feel free to set up toll booth pages for any of my material


      Cheers,

      Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
      Originally Posted by -- TW View Post

      That's just it. I'm not saying I do this -- I'm telling you what a vid I saw recommends (I think).

      The suggestion is, you are not giving it out through your own system -- you are not branding it as your own -- you are not "stealing" the content -- you are *using* the content -- you are setting up a virtual *tollbooth* between the visitor to your landing page (YOU got them there as traffic), and the webpage (link) that already exists on the web (free).

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++

      For instance, I could have a squeeze page that offers a "free report" on
      >>> How to tie your shoes <<<
      (in exchange for the visitor's name + email)

      Then they get sent the *already existing (free) link* to this page... How to Tie Your Shoes - wikiHow

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      See? The info was not stolen or lifted or copied, just utilized.

      Is that kosher? Or is it black hat?
      I think this is not black hat at all, and think it is a VERY GOOD IDEA,
      why? because you are not wasting your time on creating a product,
      you are leveraging your time with another product that somebody
      else create without "stealing", in deed you are focus on the activities
      that will help you to build your list: Copywriting skills to show them the
      benefits of the report and how is going to solve their problems and
      creating traffic solving other people problems, I think it is a great idea
      and I do not see anything wrong with it, actually you are getting a
      very nice approach.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Please see the specific example in post #4 for clarification.
        That relies on the signups you get not knowing enough to understand what just happened. Some people would realize after the fact - and the reaction would be "I've been had".

        I'm creating a tollbooth where none existed before.
        It's more like riding a bike by holding on to someone's car without their knowledge....or setting up speed bumps in someone else's driveway.

        you are not wasting your time on creating a product
        Right - why should you have to waste your time providing value to someone who signs up to receive YOUR promotional emails....when you can just "borrow" someone else's work without their knowledge.

        I would never do something with someone else's site or product that I don't want them to know about - or without asking permission.

        But - that's just me.

        kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Keeping in mind the caveats about not violating copyrights and not sending them to a second opt-in page on the first link, which you've largely avoided...

        You can do this without anyone being annoyed. The process is simple: Tell them you're going to send them to a great resource on "XYZ," created by Joe Content, and that you'll be recommending other resources in the future via your emails.

        Poof. Problem gone.

        And, if the content is really good and you've let them know they're going to get a few more like it in the welcome email after they confirm, they're going to be primed to read what you send.


        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    It's black hat. You are pretty much stealing optins from someone else.

    If you are that desperate for optins then create your own product to give away free. Getting someone to opt in to your list just so you can send them to someone else's freebie crosses many boundries, not least of which would be the ethical one.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaywilsonjr
      Originally Posted by Johnny Slater View Post

      It's black hat. You are pretty much stealing optins from someone else.

      If you are that desperate for optins then create your own product to give away free. Getting someone to opt in to your list just so you can send them to someone else's freebie crosses many boundries, not least of which would be the ethical one.
      Looks like we were posting at the same time, lol...

      Don't have people optin on your site only to be redirected to another optin page to get what you promised. Nor should you bypass someone else's optin page and send people straight to their goodies/download page. That would be steal optin's from someone else...

      Though from reading your original post I don't think that is what you had in mind...

      I think you were more interested in creating a squeeze page and then sending them to a blog/forum post or article that provides whatever it is you promised on the squeeze...

      What I just described to you is perfectly legit...


      Rock on,

      Jay
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        (basically an online article or link with info)
        Let's see if I get what you are saying.

        You find a freebie on another site - it doesn't require an opt-in (which probably means it is not a download but an article on someone else's site or a tutorial on someone else's site) If you send them directly to an inner site page - are you bypassing the signup on that site's home page?

        You create a page telling people you can give them so-and-so and they sign up and you send them to the other site's page.

        I don't think the method is good enough to be black hat - don't think it's worth enough to be white hat....I'd call it tacky hat..or maybe leech marketing?

        I think it could backfire and I doubt many site owners would appreciate it. I'm sure this is done - just saying it's not something I'd do. I'd rather write up a report of my own and offer that for signups.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author Manie Amari
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Let's see if I get what you are saying.

          You find a freebie on another site - it doesn't require an opt-in (which probably means it is not a download but an article on someone else's site or a tutorial on someone else's site) If you send them directly to an inner site page - are you bypassing the signup on that site's home page?

          You create a page telling people you can give them so-and-so and they sign up and you send them to the other site's page.

          I don't think the method is good enough to be black hat - don't think it's worth enough to be white hat....I'd call it tacky hat..or maybe leech marketing?

          I think it could backfire and I doubt many site owners would appreciate it. I'm sure this is done - just saying it's not something I'd do. I'd rather write up a report of my own and offer that for signups.

          kay
          First Congratulations! For believing in BUILDING YOUR LIST!
          A decent freebie>>Squeeze Page>>LIST>>Relationship>>$Sales$

          I think Kay has made some good points here. However moreover, why would you want your potential prospects going to someone elses page?

          Despite the fact that they have killer info to offer.....

          I think your trying to find an easy way out to gaining the opt-ins.

          If you can't be bothered to go through the trouble of creating your freebie just buy one with giveaway rights and offer that on your squeeze page.

          There are many killer ebooks with master-resaller & giveaway rights under $20 out there. You just have to look a little harder.


          Don't other think the game here. I always try to keep it simple.


          Kindest


          Manie
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        • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          If you send them directly to an inner site page - are you bypassing the signup on that site's home page?

          kay
          No. Not bypassing anyone's sign up page. Again, see example on post #4.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
    To Slater...

    I'm not trying to belabor this -- really, I'm not. I'm not trying to defend this idea, either.

    But the optin "issue" is really not an issue -- the page in question does not require an optin -- so I am not "stealing" their optins -- they don't have (or require) any.

    I'm creating a tollbooth where none existed before.

    (again, *I* have not done this technique -- I'm just trying to get an idea if it is doable (as white hat).
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
      The example you gave above cleary spells out that you are getting an opt in to send people to someone else's content, which in itself doesn't require an opt in.

      You are building a list off of someone else's work. Which is wrong.

      Your list is pretty much useless since it is built on a lie to start with, and since your sending them to someone else's site they actually have no incentive to listen to what you say later on.

      It is very very lazy to try to build a list off of someone else's work when it is so freaking easy to just create your own content and have people opt in to access that. At least that way your not building a list on a lie and you are actually building your own business instead the business of the person who actually took a little time and did some work.

      Saying this method isn't stealing anything from the original creator is nothing but justification hunting. Easy answer, if you are so unsure of it that you have to ask here, then you have your answer before you asked the question. You know it's not right or you wouldn't have bothered to ask looking for someone to come in and justify it.

      Originally Posted by -- TW View Post

      To Slater...

      I'm not trying to belabor this -- really, I'm not. I'm not trying to defend this idea, either.

      But the optin "issue" is really not an issue -- the page in question does not require an optin -- so I am not "stealing" their optins -- they don't have (or require) any.

      I'm creating a tollbooth where none existed before.

      (again, *I* have not done this technique -- I'm just trying to get an idea if it is doable (as white hat).
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Striker
    So in summary from the above.
    If you are directing to a page where there is no optin required it's all good everyone wins.
    If you want to direct to a site that has an optin, not so good, don't go there.
    Does that pretty much sum it up guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Setting aside the ethical and hat arguments, it's pretty silly advice if you ask me.

    - It's helping build someone else's brand instead of your own.
    - It's not establishing your own expertise.
    - It's not building a real business, it's only playing at the edges.

    I can guess why that advice is given -- it's the lazy way out. It appeals to lazy people. Lazy people seldom find high success.

    It's so easy to create your own free report, and have something totally unique, that helps establish your business and establishes you as a go-to person, it's just pure laziness to do it any other way.

    Let me know if you want to give away my free reports, I'll let you help build my business all day long.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
    Please see the specific example in post #4 for clarification.
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  • Profile picture of the author thewealthywiseman
    It is definitely Not black hat. I would think as long as you put in a disclaimer regarding the fact that you have no affiliation to the site your legal. Will that site owner be mad at you? ... maybe.
    You are basically acting as a directory for the subject matter the end user wants. You googled it and read some sites and picked out the best source of info based on your own opinion ( expertise ).
    Now depending on the subject , your experience and the end users lack of experience -- you have provided them ( the end user ) with value. You have picked a great info source for them based on your years of experience in that topic.
    Harvard Law school uses a similar method of education -- is that a scam?
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  • Profile picture of the author Herschel-W
    In my view you should first check out the free report the you will be giving away. There might be rights attached to it such as "NO giveaway rights".
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  • Profile picture of the author good2go4
    Although I think I understand what you want to do I personally think you would be better to get your own free report and offer that as an incentive to your readers to optin to your list. That way you have more control over the subject matter and the quality of the free gift.

    I get a lot of emails promoting special offers that take me to an opt in page that promises me a free report and then instead sends me to a sales page - I am just not bothering to confirm my email address when that happens - why? Because I think my time and my contact details are worth something and I would hope that the list builder I joined up with felt the same way. If I have to opt in to two different sites to get my free report I would feel just as p***d off and just wouldn't follow through.

    It might be an old fashioned idea to some people but offering value is still key to making a living online IMHO. Don't sabotage your business before you even start - I can see your logic, but am not sure about the ethics.

    Best of luck
    Lisa
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  • Profile picture of the author KevL
    Yep - very good idea, win win.

    As long as you're not scraping the content into your own pages & ripping off the creator of the material - obviously that's completely wrong, not just black hat but it's illegal, it's theft of intellectual property - but the method you're describing here is very clever.

    What's more, if you send the new subscribers to a page using your affiliate link - even better, because as well as getting the subs, you'll pick up some affiliate commission also.

    No product creator will have a problem with this - for instance, see my links below including the list building tutorial I'm currently giving away free - or any of my other material, I would be more than happy for you to use my material to build your list, as long as you're sending them to my material once they've signed up to your list, as you're bringing me new traffic.

    Cheers

    Kev
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    Small business SEO / Web Marketing Tips.
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  • Profile picture of the author PTaubman
    To me, you sound like a promoter of a Rock Band (follow me through on this)...

    The Band creates a CD that they are giving away on the Band's website. You go out and market the band and their music, get ranked in the Search Engines and start to get traffic to your page. On your page, you say, "Give me your email address, and I will share with you the page where you can get the Band's free music." Now the Band has the music on their site with OUT an opt-in page, so it SEEMS ok..... (Do you see how the SEEMS is emphasized???)

    I think the main part that seems to be missing in this thread is your intentions. Sure, you probably want to sell them something, but what? If you have a service to give them a list of sites where you can download legit, free, music, you may be ok. After all, that is the service you provided them. When they filled in your opt-in page, did you explain (or will you explain) that you are promoting sites where you can get free music? If so, I would say you are ok. You are positioning yourself as the "Free Music From Others Guy"

    However, if you start to sell to your list and your product is T-shirts from the Band, I would say that is a bit cheesy. In my opinion you would be leeching of of the band. You would be the sleezy promoter looking for a quick buck and you will only end up ticking off people on your list!

    On last thought... If I were to become the "Free Music From Others Guy", I would contact each band and let them know what i was doing and get permission to "promote" the band. Which band would say no?

    Good Luck
    Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    If I understand you right, it would be like getting people to opt in to see a video on ________, then once they opt in, directing to a video on YouTube (not your video).

    It's not unethical as far as the content is concerned. The content creator is having his content viewed the way he intended.

    However, think about your visitors. Don't you think they'd feel somewhat cheated? Even though all they gave was an email address, they deserve better than a simple redirect to someone else's stuff.

    Now if you sent them a report that was a list of resources (and that's what they were opting in for), that would be perfectly acceptable. Throw in a scattering of affiliate links within the list and give distribution rights, and you're golden.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I'm not even going to touch the questionable ethics of this method. It just sounds like a way to prove to your subscribers that you have nothing to offer.

      I once sent away for a "sample list of business to business leads" for a particular category. What I got back was a handful of pages ripped from the Yellow Pages.

      Did I get what I was promised? Technically, yes.

      Did the Yellow Pages get harmed? Probably not.

      Did I trust the "list provider" enough to even open future mailings? Not on a bet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
    TW,

    Here's my take on it.

    1) Go to the owner of the article, and tell him you'd like to promote it to your list, site visitors, etc.

    2) If he says, "sounds good", then ask him...

    3) May I use your article/information if I provide a link to your site?

    OR

    4) Would it be okay if I just directed my folks to your site?

    I think by contacting the owner first, you're gonna make HIM/HER happy, and you're going to do it without making waves. After all, you WOULD have permission.

    Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
      Originally Posted by Pete Egeler View Post

      TW,

      Here's my take on it.

      1) Go to the owner of the article, and tell him you'd like to promote it to your list, site visitors, etc.

      2) If he says, "sounds good", then ask him...

      3) May I use your article/information if I provide a link to your site?

      OR

      4) Would it be okay if I just directed my folks to your site?

      I think by contacting the owner first, you're gonna make HIM/HER happy, and you're going to do it without making waves. After all, you WOULD have permission.

      Pete
      Hi Pete -- long time no talk to! How's it going?

      What this is all about does not involve permission (from "owner" of "report/article") -- see example on post #4, above. The "report" is (merely) a "free-standing" page that can be found (by anyone -- not optin) via a web search.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    TW,

    What happens when the site owner removes the content or closes their site and you still
    have people opting in to receive the info and there is no info at the end of your redirect?

    Just a thought!

    Have a great Day!
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      TW, it sounds like you've already made up your mind what you want the answer to be. Go back over the answers given, read the ones that support that answer, and ignore the rest. Then do what you're proposing, and see how it works for you.
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      • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
        Okay, I'll throw in my .02 worth. I think the poster has good intentions, and I think it's to his credit that he is seeking advice to take the higher ground in his marketing. I also believe that perhaps he doesn't feel equal to the task of creating his own product to give away. After all, many of the products that are given away are complete rubbish, overpriced even when free.

        I agree with others who say, "Go ahead, link to my site. Thanks for the customers." But that is, in the end, somewhat self-defeating.

        I think Manie had a good suggestion: seek something with real value that you can have resell or giveaway rights to, and use that as your freebie. As Manie stated, there are a lot of good products for under $20 available, you just have to put forth the effort to find them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goatboy
    Looking at this from the buyer's standpoint, if I opted in so that I could get a freebie and then discovered that the freebie was located on WikiHow, Wikipedia, or someplace else that was easily found in Google, I would probably feel baited and used. At that point I might opt out.

    I think I would also perceive the secondary site where the freebie was located as being somehow affiliated with the list I had opted in on. Which could cause some confusion.

    If that secondary site was commercial in nature and the freebie was a really good one, I might do all of my future buying through that site.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      So you're saying for example...

      Someone sets up a squeeze page promising to reveal the most valuable internet marketing tips known to man. Then you simply redirect them to The Warrior Forum. You get the opt-in and WF gets targeted traffic. Something like that?

      Well, I'd call that Tool Hat. As in...do this an you'll look like an absolute tool.

      If you want to build a list of subscribers that know, like, & trust you, your bribes (or freebies, or whatever you want to call them) should at the very least:
      1. Be Unique/Original - Not something 500 other lazy people are giving away
      2. Be Valuable - Enough so that you could sell it if you wanted to
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    In understand what you are wanting to do and how it may be a quick way to get opt-ins, but why in gods name would you want to do it when you can pick up a PLR report for a couple of bucks and send it to them as their first email?

    Then they would see the value coming from YOU instead of the other guy whose site you directed them too. (and you could put some affiliate links in the report if you wanted and make some money that way).

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      The problem that I see with it stems from the fact that people in general don't like the idea of someone else making money off of their work without their permission. It's not even like you're just linking to the article on your blog or something. You're using someone else's work, without their permission, specifically to grow your list of subscribers. Some people might be fine with it, since you are getting them exposure, but I can also see how it wouldn't sit right with some folks.

      If you're linking to an article on EZA, where people are expecting their articles to get syndicated across other sites anyway, then I suppose that would be okay. Personally, I think your opt-in piece should be an introduction to YOU, not someone else. It's your chance to demonstrate your knowledge so that they look forward to future emails from you. By linking to somone else's work, you're sort of negating that.

      And even if you were going to go the lazy route, there's still PLR and public domain content that you can edit and make your own, along with rebrandable affiliate reports. Any of those would come across better than just a link to someone else's article.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarafina
    I don't see what the big deal is. People pay tons of money for backlink packages that give you a list of free urls that you could otherwise access yourself. Why do they do it? They see value in having those urls assembled by somebody else in one convenient place.

    If you are offering value and asking for an email in exchange, I don't see a problem. Yes the content is somebody else's -- that is fine as long as you are having them go directly there and are not passing it off as your own.
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