I’ve always heard and known that giving anything for FREE is a great way to gain exposure. It has been interesting to watch the effect of “free” by checking out the website statistics for two of my websites that I haven’t promoted almost at all (excluding the times I’ve mentioned them here on this blog).
Highpiled.com got 254 visits in February, 350 month after that, 502 the month after that and now 991 visits in May. In comparison with CelticHill.com: 100 visits in Feb, then 86, then 96 and finally 83 in May.
I haven’t promoted these sites in anywhere, besides mentioned them sometimes in my blog. It’s quite interesting that Highpiled climbed to almost thousand visitors in just a few months (without me promoting it) and I recently got request from PCZone to include the free game on their magazine (naturally I said “sure”). That probably will bring some more exposure and traffic for Highpiled. Celtic Hill traffic on the other hand has stayed quite steady.
Highpiled is free, Celtichill doesn’t. Free works.
Same thing occurred with my newsletter subscribers. In just couple of days after announcing my free game production e-book the subscriber amount pretty much doubled from 200 to 400. (And still growing nicely).
Naturally the growth can stop: if Highpiled wouldn’t be fun to play (at least for a while), I’m quite sure people would stop coming to the site. If I’d send totally worthless emails to people on my mailing list – the subscribers would disappear. “Free” equals to “Good”, but the moment you combine “free + trash” then it gets you “disaster”. Spamming people, attempts to trick people or making your game inaccessible are couple of examples that can get you to the dark side.
But when used in the right side – free may equal good to everybody.