We all need WordPress themes, and free is very cool. What better theme for expat blogs than a travel theme?
I use this theme on Philippine Expat Guide and I get a lot of compliments on the look of the site.
It’s not only good looking, it’s incredibly functional for a free theme. It has custom widgets for your sidebars, including a Google Maps widget that ties into your posts. It has a Featured Post system that puts your featured post right up in the user’s face! There are three alternate layouts with different sidebar configurations, and so much, much more.
This should be a premium theme, and would sell quite a few copies if that were the case. However, they keep this free for a very good reason. You need to inspect the theme pretty carefully to see why they give it away for free. I’ll explain this “secret” after the jump.
This is a key concept in any kind of online marketing. Give something of value away for free, and you will get visitors to you site. And, you’ll get people talking about your product, just like I’m doing here. I wouldn’t spend a minute talking about Expedia on this site if if weren’t for this group of free WordPress themes. Why did I mention Expedia? Well, this site is run by them. If you look down at the very bottom of the pages on their site, you’ll see a link to Expedia with the anchor text “Travel Deals”.
Now, go to Philippine Expat Guide, and look at the bottom. On this site you’ll see anchor text that says “Cheapest Flights”. This is also linked to Expedia, using a different URL.
By giving away free travel web site WordPress themes, they are creating a huge number of incredibly relevant back-links to their money making site. Pretty smart, huh?
I would assume they change out the links from time to time to get more deep links pointing at various pages of their site. It would seem to be the smart thing to do. In fact, they could have 20 versions of this theme that are randomly selected when a visitor downloads the theme. They could even add weighting to that “random” selection, to automatically promote urls that need more backlinks. I haven’t looked into this, but it would seem to be a great way to optimize back-links.
The moral of the story here is that you get fantastic results by giving things away for free. Do not just put up a link to free stuff. Build a site, or a page, or a post, that gives you something in return. For example, Blogs For Expats is giving away free e-books and WordPress tutorial videos to it’s registered members. All we ask is that you register. Why? So we can build our site in the hopes our members will want to buy some products (coming soon), host a blog with us (coming soon), click on our affiliate links and/or just add value to the site for other members by participating in the Groups and Forums and helping others learn. That’s why membership here is free, and why we give away so much value.
Let’s see if it works, together.