the content

This Free and Open Website Reaches 6 Million Monthly Visitors

6 Million Monthly Visitors / 4.5 Million Backlinks

I honestly think that if you came across the website I’m about to share with you randomly, you wouldn’t stick around for long.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but it looks a bit plain and simple, and the kind of website that torrents PDF’s of books so you don’t have to purchase them.

Because I found them when looking through SimilarWeb data, I was able to learn they reach six million monthly visitors before clicking away from the site, which encouraged me to dig deeper.

While you might expect that a site reaching so many visitors would have a prominent source of traffic (like search or social), OpenCulture actually gets 29% of it’s traffic coming directly to the site, 30% from search engines and 32% from social media.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a split that close before.

So what does the site offer? In their own words, Open Culture shares “the best free cultural and educational media on the web.”

Free is no doubt a key to their success. They highlight incredible videos, books and presentations on a variety of topics that won’t cost you a penny to learn from.

Some of the search terms the site is ranking for include:

  • Free audio books
  • Free textbooks
  • Free audiobooks (one word)

The first term on that list is estimated to be sending them around 200,000 visitors per month.

The site makes money from donations rather than ads, so it’s almost like the Wikipedia of free online educational content.

I’m not saying you should go out there and create a side project which does the same (though I do think a niche version of this site could work well).

Instead, I’m asking you to continue to think about the power of free content and sharing the best work of others, rather than just your own.

The Penny Hoarder created a blog post which was wildly successful with a similar idea.

As did Speckyboy, which resulted in them picking up links from 338 different websites.

The ‘Essentials’ list in their sidebar could give you some inspiration, with enticing titles like:

  • 300 Free Language Lessons
  • 150 Free Business Courses
  • 1,000+ MOOC’s

What could you curate give away for free to your audience?

You may just find yourself with more visitors than you know how to handle.

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