Giving Away Free Ebooks

by aleong
17 replies
Hi everyone! Do any of you use the model of giving away a short but helpful ebook or report with affiliate links? Is there a resource available that outlines the steps to take to be successful with this model? Obviously, you want to put the free ebook/report on your website.

There are a number of sites where you can upload free ebooks but I'm not sure whether they allow affiliate links. I would think participating in forums and having a signature file with a link to your ebook might work too. With so many unanswered questions, I'd like to find a resource, paid or free, that would answer some of these questions. Is there one out there?

Thanks for your help!

Kristie
#ebooks #free #giving
  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    Hey.

    I think since services are always changing, that it's difficult to hone in on just one single source for learning this method.

    I've been doing it for a while now...

    (I actually gave away hundreds of ebooks as free WSO's over the last 3-4 months or so).

    Naturally, there were some affiliate links in them, and I grew my list with some easy subscribers during this time.



    As far as what websites will accept affiliate links, there is no central data set that clearly specifies this.

    I honestly think it's a "case by case" basis.

    My opinion? Giving away information for free is still a great business model, as long as you can add them to a list, or monetize them on some type of thank you page.

    I realize this answer doesn't really help you in actively seeking some type of centralized hub for with more details, but I wanted to brainstorm and share my experience nevertheless.

    I wish you the best.
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    • Profile picture of the author aleong
      Sarekov, your input was very helpful. It's good to know this business model works. Thanks for the reply!
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    • Profile picture of the author aleong
      Ben, that makes a lot of sense. I think I'll do it that way too. Marketing Bob, thanks for the blueprint to help me get started. Randall and Derek Brown, appreciate your input too. :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        Just wanted to add my 2 cents...

        If you link to affiliate products, purchase a domain name and redirect through it. And then make sure you keep it current!

        You can also use things like Pretty Links on your own blog etc. But the reminder below still applies:

        I've had an issue with letting a domain name expire that was in a LOT of my ebooks and it was then purchased by some Japanese porn site and I was shocked to discover what it showed.

        Yikes!

        So do this only when you're SURE you'll be able to hang on to your domains...

        I will try to buy it back at some point - they might let it go if it stops bringing a lot of traffic...

        But better not to drop it in the first place.
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        • Profile picture of the author aleong
          Wordwizard, thank you for the warning. I will use a domain to re-direct my affiliate links to. Sorry to hear what happened to you. What a nightmare! I'm going to check the expiration date on my domains. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author bobtracz
    Yes there are many books available some free some paid. Look for books on affiliate marketing and list building.

    Here's the tried and true process:
    Find a niche.
    Create a freebie it wants.
    Create squeeze page
    Make your free offer.
    Create a sales funnel with upwell(s) and downsell(s).
    Drive traffic with solo ads.
    Use money you make to pay for the solo ads and grow your list.
    Make more offers.

    No magic here, just a process

    cheers...
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingBees
      Originally Posted by bobtracz View Post

      Yes there are many books available some free some paid. Look for books on affiliate marketing and list building.

      Here's the tried and true process:
      Find a niche.
      Create a freebie it wants.
      Create squeeze page
      Make your free offer.
      Create a sales funnel with upwell(s) and downsell(s).
      Drive traffic with solo ads.
      Use money you make to pay for the solo ads and grow your list.
      Make more offers.

      No magic here, just a process

      cheers...
      From "Drive Traffic with solo ads" and onwards, it's only really effective in the internet marketing/biz opp type niches. It's pretty hard finding solo ads in other niches.

      So although it's a process that works, it's pretty restricting.
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  • Profile picture of the author derickbrown
    Yes always try and give more free content and actually provide useful information. I have added affiliate links to free eBooks and had some success but not too much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by aleong View Post

    Hi everyone! Do any of you use the model of giving away a short but helpful ebook or report with affiliate links?
    Yes, i do, but not with affiliate links. I promote my own product - and my product only. But it's a method that works no matter if it's an affiliate link or your link. I typically do this on my homepage. Get a lead and then allow to them to download my free ebook. I do have to say that i throw in an offer tho, but they aren't surprised by that. They know what time it is. You should offer a free ebook on the homepage of your site. I think it will boost your sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    I'll add that the links to anything that you pass out should route through your website. Never include a link that goes where you can't control it.

    I'll have a link, for example, to a great hosting package (an affiliate link) - but I put the link in the form of "mywebsite.com/hosting" - and it jumps through my Pretty Link plugin before heading out to the hosting affiliate offer of my choice.

    That way, if I want to change where that affiliate link goes to - I can change it instantly. (Same with Kindle books, I don't need to modify them in any way... if I want Kindle traffic to go somewhere else, I just change the end destination of the Pretty Link.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    From my own testing it doesn't work as well as it used to. People have the attention spans of a goldfish these days. Many will download the book but very few will ever read it let alone click on links in it.

    There are ofcourse exceptions to the rule. Your content needs to be short and succinct and solve a huge problem for that person. Anything short of that and you'll likely be wasting your time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    As many others have said. Offer something of value to your reader first to capture their email.

    Than you can follow up in a series of emails promoting an affiliate offer, or better yet your own product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Angshuman Dutta
    Don't reply on other platforms to give away free information. Host the information on your site (that people would access after going through the autoresponder loop) and drive traffic to your site.

    One more thing - why just affiliate links? If you are sharing free information then you must be having some expertise in the area and if that's the case, why not sell "premium" info (something more advanced compared to the free info) for a fee? That would be an extra income stream for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author wiifm
      If you give away free ebooks, you build a list of people who want more free ebooks and probably use junk email addresses to get them.

      So why not skip the squeeze page and SELL them a high value ebook at a very low price? Then you can respond with a thank you email and and maybe another gift as you explain you would like to provide more value if they stick around, but they can request to be removed at any time.

      I started doing this myself and have had no complaints (and no requests to be removed so far).
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Hi WiiFM:
    I use to sell 99 cent e-books on amazon. However, they do not want links any more. Well, we believe they still allow a few at the end in the resources area. I did like to add links to page one. They are visible using LOOK INSIDE that way. Hey, you could get some traffic for free, but those days are over.
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  • Profile picture of the author zimzalabim
    Kristie,

    Giving away free ebooks "seeded with the occasional, relevant affiliate link will generate income. Though just giving the ebook away alone isn't enough. Build that email list in return for the books. That's the smartest thing you'll do. Your lists will become an extremely valuable asset to your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author aleong
    Thanks to each of you for your advice. Gives me a lot to think about. Sounds like I need to capture email addresses so I can market to them again in the future. Good point. Offering premium information sounds like a good plan too. I'll give you an update once I get things rolling. Thanks again!
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