Money for Nothing and Your Clicks for Free

Terrible post title, I know, but recently I have been asked many times over about the general theme of where do I find high quality free easy to get links. But when you are brand new to a network you can't add up all those pieces and expect it to work. Here's why If I know unique and innovative ways to pollute the web for personal profit why would I share them for free with someone who does not have any passion for what they are doing and wants me to value my time at $0 to help them make money?

To be fair, some of the people who asked me were also paying customers, but the reasons I don't push the get as much as you can free without thinking angle are:

  • if you are doing the work for a client and your client has no marketing budget and/or values your time at next to nothing then they are a client worth firing. if they want marketing to be free they should do it on their own dime and time.

  • I think to be good at profiting from algorithmic holes you have to have an analytical mind that is good on picking up on patterns. If you can't identify the obvious algorithmic holes by looking through the search results or looking at this then I am not certain what I can tell you that would help you.
  • as time passes more and more of the easy money market is getting chewed up by vertical integration
  • most sites that are marketed in that "all I can get for free that is easy" manner are low quality sites
  • many people market sites in that manner and leave obvious trails of where they have been
  • search engines probably notice some of those patterns ;) ... you are the company you keep. Sometimes less is more.
  • it may take a year or more to rank if your market is competitive. it may never be attainable if you are not focused on trying to create value
  • it never builds any tangible value. you don't catch and pass the competition just by following them.
  • if you do well and your work is easy to replicate then many others likely will.
  • if your work is easy to replicate a program will probably replicate it thousands of times over, so in essence you are valuing your own time as being worth less than that of an automated software program. is that any way to live?

You can't do well long term just going after the holes unless you know how to spot them and predict them and quickly capitalize on them yourself.

Switching Costs:
While the only 1 click away theory is a nice theory there are real switching costs to changing web services. the same can be said of finding new people / channels worth regularly reading or linking at.

Finding / Creating Unique Content:
If you are trying to build from scratch you need to be conceptually unique, not just textually unique.

If you take the time to look outside the typical sources that most people in your vertical scour over then there is a ton of low hanging fruit for creating / recycling / inspiring ideas

There’s something exciting about coming to musicians when they’re just names, when you’ve no idea who Derrick Harriott looks like, or what his reputation is - considered naff by real dub fans, maybe ? Derivative ? Or maybe ground-breaking ? I know the Stooges were ground-breaking - maybe that’s what has been putting me off. The weight of knowing already how good it’s meant to be. With this compilation, I’ve just ploughed through all these faceless names, liking things I probably shouldn’t (covers of soul songs! Spanish guitar solos!) and maybe finding nothing I like by the supposed classics

Sites like, Digg and Techmeme surely have a techy slant to them, but they surface ideas that interest people daily. Sure some of them will be spam, hype2.0, or garbage, but occasionally some of them will be interesting, and give you ideas of how you can related your site to the link rich populous. Even casinos are doing a good job of it.

Published: June 29, 2006 by Aaron Wall in marketing


July 5, 2006 - 10:12pm

I posted a similar title a little while ago - us geniuses must think alike. ;)

Good humor and nice site - I'll be ordering your book soon.

June 29, 2006 - 7:39pm

With the blog title, I thought for sure this was going to be about Google Checkout!

October 7, 2006 - 11:36pm

Thanks for you always right on the target posts!

June 29, 2006 - 9:21pm

The title is amusing, don't be ashamed of the humor.

It is a very good point that too many people want the easy money. I guess that's what makes Vegas so successful. The truth is, everything's evolving, so the real key is to specialize in evolving.

June 29, 2006 - 9:27pm

i thought it was about Dire Straits...

great observations though!!!

June 29, 2006 - 10:15pm

I just read your book and it's been of good help! By reading this and other articles by you I'm glad that I've started my SEO they other way round. With that I mean that I first built the website (like 12 months hard work) and now i realize that I could get alot more traffic by doing some SEO. I should probably have started earlier though.

Since I'm building a community I will now try to get all my members to link to the site and find some link partners.

Would be nice to read your thoguhts on Google checkout!

Great site!

June 30, 2006 - 7:18pm

this part is classic:

"if you are doing the work for a client and your client has no marketing budget and/or values your time at next to nothing then they are a client worth firing. if they want marketing to be free they should do it on their own dime and time."

It hard to swallow when you are out hustling up customers, but until you understand this, its like swimming upstream!

Thanks for you always right on the target posts!

July 1, 2006 - 3:59pm

Quiet intresting to read this article of your's if you read this article between the lines you will be amazed of what you get. Thanks again for sharing something valuable with us all.

July 5, 2006 - 7:41am

True, the more effort you put into something, the more you get. Sometimes you can spend hours on getting a worthless nofollowed link from a pron site, but that is another matter.

I only advise anyone I consult to create quality work, be it website design, content or anything else. If it is not quality, why waste my time, your time and your clients' time on this?

P.S. Can I get a "Remember personal information" checkbox here? Could be worthwhile for repetitive commenters ;) Thanks.

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