If you have been following my posts, you know that I run a few affiliate websites in online trading niche. It goes without saying that this niche provides high payouts, but the competition is severe.
Even though you can implement a few tricks to boost up your traffic (here is one that I explained last month), it is still very challenging to get traffic, unless you want to pay for it. Well, and if you want to pay – it just will be terribly expensive.
This is why you might think of various “free stuff” or “free download” websites. Those should generate lots of traffic, right? But is that possible to monetise on such pages? I am not sure about all of the niches, but here I will share my experience with you.
Getting Free Books About Trading
Back in September 2015 I was browsing through Flippa – an online marketplace for domains, websites and mobile apps. I don’t even know how I ended up there, but once I visited the page I decided to run a query for the keyword “forex”. Guess what? Surprisingly I found a website in my niche – Forex Books Library.
It didn’t look the same that time. I don’t actually have a screenshot of it, but here is the one I picked up from web archive.
Essentially it was a website that had some 25 blog posts and a main page that simply lists various trading books available for instant download. It did have some traffic, around 120 weekly sessions coming from search.
But as you can see, within less than a year I increased the search traffic for more than 4 times.
How did I do it and was it worth it? Let’s find out!
Free Download Website Total Revamp
When thinking of purchasing this website I was certain about one thing – I would need to put in tons of efforts to get something out of this.
I am neither a perfectionist nor a design freak, yet looking at the website was just hurting my eyes. I couldn’t stand working on something so ugly, so the first item on my list was to improve the looks of it. This is how the website looks now.
I wasn’t too creative here, I just took the most widespread theme for books and ebooks – BookRev Lite.
How About SEO?
What I have noticed is that most of the search traffic was lending on the home page. The reason for this was rather simple, the website was (and still is) #1 at google.com for the keyword “Forex Library”. However, it hasn’t provided much of the traffic.
This is why I decided to actually prepare a separate page for each of the books. My vision was to get on the first page of google for various book download related keywords. For example, the page that contains a Trading For a Living book was designed for such keywords as:
- Trading for a living free download
- Trading for a living pdf
- Alexander Elder trading for a living download
- Elder trading for a living free
- and so on
Implementing such pages quickly resulted in a doubled SEO traffic.
I also wanted to capture the lead information, so if someone wanted to download the book, I was requesting his email so I can send it. This way I hoped to generate some sales with direct email marketing.
Next to this, I added a few display media units and hoped to monetised on that.
Now let’s see how it worked for me.
By now I own the revamped version of the website for around 9 months. I have noticed a direct correlation between the search traffic that I get and the amount of books I provide. Hence, in terms of traffic it has quite some potential.
Even though the search traffic is growing, I do consider this project as a failure…well, at least from the affiliate marketing perspective.
What I am sure about is that if a visitor comes to a free download website, he is not interested in anything else except getting his free download. There is no intent to purchase a product, browse through other website content and so on. Download & leave – that’s what 95% of free download website visitors would do.
By now I have hardly achieved break-even point if take into account website acquisition price.
But if we think of the wasted hours on its redesign, new content, promotion and so on – I am definitely losing a lot here.
The only way to monetize better would be by requesting a user to provide his phone number so I can sell it further and / or redirect a person to hundreds of pages before, during and after the download.
So, next time you have to struggle for a few minutes to download a certain book or a piece of software – be sure that there is an affiliate on the other end struggling to monetise the website
From a regular human perspective, I do feel that this project is not that bad. Even though I don’t make money on it, I make something useful for the people. Online trading might be a profitable activity, yet most of the people lose money. As I provide sources of knowledge, I feel that I put my efforts making online trading more useful.
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