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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Giving away a Free Theme for your Blog

There are some out of the box ways which people adopt to get links and traffic to their site like guest blogging, giveaway etc. Now when we have a look at Techmaish we can see that Bilal gives away a free theme to all those who need it. Even my blog uses the free Techmaish theme and I am glad that Bilal has created a theme of such excellent nature and is giving it away for free too. I tried lot of free themes before but none of them gave me the ability to customize and play with my sidebar and design as much as Techmaish gave.

Now the real reason of the post is not to discuss the benefits of his theme but what can be the advantages of using a free theme or skin giveaway to your blog readers.

If its a blog on blogging then most probably your readers would be bloggers and such a giveaway would find a good acceptance rate amongst  an audience of this type but then if your blog is on health & beauty then I don’t think a free theme would get a high going rate. However you can give away a bottle of scent.

The advantages of giving away free themes, plugins:

* You get a link from the person using the free theme on their blog and possibly Page views from that blog too. Possibly we can expect an increase in Page rank as we can see that Techmaish has gone from a PR 2 blog to a PR 4 blog.

* If your theme is good enough then you get listed on all the lists featuring the top free themes. As per Google keywords tool free wordpress themes get 787897 searches. So not only do you get a link from many sites but also you get featured. As an additional advantage more people come to your site hearing about the free theme. You get popular. As in the case of Techmaish the theme is extremely good and the blog has become a brand.

* One clever thing about Bilal is that whoever needs this free theme has to get registered to this site. Once registered he would send an e mail telling that if you need future updates you need to sign up to the email list. We all know that the money is in the list. Its a great list building method since you get people who are bloggers and potential money spenders.

The disadvantages of giving away free themes and plugins:

* You have got no control over who links to your site and you may need to use the Google disavow links tool to get rid of the spammy sites linking to you if any. As per Google’s amiable engineer Matt Cutts, blog roll or site wide links acquired by giving away themes are not bad until you are linking to irrelevant sites like porn or forex trading sites. The links like “Theme by so and so” do not carry much weight and in the past we have had examples of sites like Quickonlinetips and wpmu being penalised because of this very reason.

In the case of of wpmu only three spammy sites were linking to it but the traffic from search engines dropped from 8k per day to 1k.

One tip I would give for all such cases is to make those links “no-follow”. Plus use the Google disavow tool too.

* Google doesn’t exactly like this thing known as a site wide link. You do get links but then there are enough disasters already from Google and the next one maybe for the site wide links.

* The links may be short lived. As and when the bloggers start making money they would tend to go to a premium and more good looking theme no matter what. Most of the times the good sites don’t stay.

Author Bio:- I am George owner of seekdefo.com. I am a passionate blogger who loves to write about blogging, and my own case studies and experiments on making money. Check out my latest post on hostgator coupons 2012 at seekdefo.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Guppu Boss @ InternetDreamz

    November 24, 2012, 8:27 pm

    You mentioned some good points. One of my friends website also effected. He gaveaway a free wordpress plugin. every thing was ok but after penguin algo his constantly effected by updates. so its better to make such links nofollow

    Reply
  • george@seekdefo

    November 25, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Yes you are right

    Reply
  • marathimatrimony

    March 5, 2013, 1:15 am

    its very good and informative article on advantages and disadvantages of free wordpress themes thanks for sharing such good information

    Reply

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