Free Content

Free Content

Giving away details on how to do it yourself

A little while ago I blogged about a few pages I put up on bluechill which deal with the rather nerdy subject of Cemtex ABA batch transactions.  Now unless you’ve dealt with these files, you’ve probably never heard of them. But if you have ever had to do a batch bank transaction in Australia you’ll understand what a pain they are and what limited information exists online.

To address this I put up a series of pages which describe the format in detail, provide tips on how to write your own and even built a free online ABA file generator.

In just one month these three little pages collectively account for 30% of visitors to the site.  This resulted in four “goals” being achieved (people filling out the contact form) and we have sold software services to two of them. It has also opened the door to an additional passive revenue stream (online excel to aba conversions) which will be formally released soon (currently available by inquiry only).

Not bad for just publishing what I already had documented anyway.

So why does free content work?

Well to put it simply, we all love a freebie.  However in the online world, we’re drawn away from sites that shout the word FREE about, in email subject lines it’s even considered a SPAM word punishable by filtered death.  (At the risk of being filtered myself, think “free penis enlargement pills”)

The approach above deals with this by providing useful content for free. Content which people can actually use without feeling like they’re being sold something.  After using the content, the consumer is in the power seat and can choose whether to engage your services, they’re in control which is why it works.  In the case of the ABA file format pages, the content also has the upshot of showing just how damn confusing the files can be!

Giving away AutoCarLog

After seeing the success in bluechilli’s free offering, I decided to offer something for free on the AutoCarLog website.  Rather than giving away the actual service, I decided upon publishing a complimentary product, a free to use and downloadable excel car mileage logbook.  It’s early days, but it’s received 150 people since google indexed it a few days ago, and we’ll just see how well this does in conversions!

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