Distributing Your Free Reports & Beyond
We all know that no matter how great a product or service is if it isn’t actively marketed nobody is going to make any money. That is just the facts of marketing… all marketing. The old saying, “It pays to advertise” is alive and well in the market place. There are now and there always has been certain constraints placed on advertising and those constraints get more binding everyday.
There are some things that just aren’t done. It is absolutely illegal for example to send bulk marketing emails to people who have not expressly consented to receive them… that one is thanks to the CAN SPAM act of 2003.
But, what if you aren’t selling anything? What if you are giving something (a report) away for free? Do those same advertising constraints still apply?
Well… sort of.
If within your free report, there is even one link to a product or service that you will make a profit on if it is purchased or even one advertisement by another company for a product or service, then many of the same constraints could apply. It would be a fine line and not one that you should be comfortable getting too close to. The fines are stiff as are the penalties for violating the CAN SPAM act.
The fact that a report is free, however, does take some of the constraints off of marketing it. You aren’t selling anything…you are giving something away for free. If you are into marketing at all, you are more than likely already posting to blogs and forums that pertain to the products and services that you sell. These sites usually have strict rules that forbid posters from advertising their wares.
But… if you are giving something away for free, those advertising rules will not apply. You can post a link to a download of your free report and not be accused of posting advertising on most blogs and forum sites. The people who populate these sites are your very best prospective customers…and giving them a free report can’t hurt.
Another way to advertise your free report that would not be allowed for a product that was being sold is to post links to it on such sites as My Space or Yahoo Answers. Since the free report is not a product that is being sold, you are within your rights to post links to it on those sites.
It goes without saying that you should post a link to your free report on your own website of course, but it would also be worth your time to contact other website owners in your particular niche and offer to let them post links to the free report on their websites. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many take you up on the offer.
Reports themselves are usually too long to be placed on article bank sites. There is most often a limit of about 750 words and a report by nature will be longer than that. You can, however, take excerpts from the report, make articles out of them and submit them to article banks with a link to the full report. When you do this, don’t give the main points away, just use them as a tease to encourage people to click on the link and download the full report.
Reports can be submitted to E-Book banks as they are. Content is still king and website owners and E-zine publishers regularly use material that they download from E-Book banks and repositories to fill all of that beautiful empty space on websites and in E-zines.
You can contact marketers who have nice long lists and offer your free report to them directly. List owners always love to be able to offer something of value to their list members that is not only valuable but free as well. Contacting these list owners can’t prove to be a very effective way of distributing your free report to those who you most want to have it.
Do banner exchanges with websites that sell products and services that are related but not identical to the products and services that you sell. Your banner should be a link to your free report and the banner should say “FREE REPORT” and the name of the report.
Place advertisements for your free report in E-zines that have topics related to the subject of your report and the products and services that you sell. Readers might ignore an advertisement for a specific product or service but they very rarely ignore an offer for something for nothing. Advertising in E-zines is one of the most effective and cost effective methods of advertising available. Make use of it.
Now is one free report is good, just think how great a series of free reports could be! Once you have written articles and submitted them, the second and third parts of your report won’t require that effort or your time. You will have already laid the groundwork for subsequent parts of a report. The same thing is true for link exchanges. Those E-zine publishers and those related website owners will be almost required to use subsequent parts of your free report.
Dividing a very long report down to make three shorter reports will give you more bang for your buck as well as for your time. That is precisely what Rich Schefren did with his “Internet Business Manifesto” free report and it worked like a charm!
All of the above methods of distributing your free report are doable. They will all require some time, effort and energy from you but it will be time, effort and energy that has been well spent. Now, if you are fortunate enough to have been born rich, there is one more way that you can distribute your free report.
You can do what Mike Filsaime did with his free report called “Death of Internet Marketing”. He simply paid other marketers for distributing it for him. It has been reported that he paid out over $100,000 dollars in commissions. You can bet your bottom dollar that Mike made that money back in short order and a whole lot more to go with it!
Hope you enjoyed this series.
Next post: To Be Announced , until then, see ya later…