What are some good "free tools"? Ideally, they shouldn't be expensive,
and ideally, they should be something that every mechanic can use.
I nominate this question as a reasonable source for ideas:
Car enthusiast beginner tool kit
Some of those tools are super cheap, some are more expensive. All of them are relevant.
Would "free tools" attract professionals or just enthusiasts? If it's
just enthusiasts, are we okay with that?
I am firmly of the belief that this is our target demographic: Grassroots Motorsports
The reality is the a professional mechanic already working in an equipped shop isn't going to be drawn in by this sort of offer. However, there are zillions of people all across the world who are making do with what they can afford. Their needs could range anywhere to a fresh box of gloves (I'm personally almost out) to a lightweight jack that they can throw in the back of the car with the autocross tires.
Honestly: is there any one of us who already has too many socket sets? How about ratchet wrenches? Ramps? I know that my needs / desires far exceed my available garage space.
What are some good Google Adwords keywords to target? Should this be a
question we answer later?
I think we need to think about our goals and our limits first. That will help to design our approach.
Who would be interested in posting a blog article once per week/month,
etc? Is this a good platform for publicly announcing a contest (or
some other relevant information) about free tools. How many volunteers
would be enough to consider this sustainable?
Well, considering the blog was my idea, I have to commit to doing at least some work there.
However, the best path I've seen is the meta site: e.g., Gaming Meta. Admittedly, there's a lot of chatter on there but the key points do appear in the community bulletin box on the right of Gaming.
In terms of actual honey to attract the bees, check out the requirements for this free game give-away that they held:
Users with at least 500 reputation are eligible to apply. Fill out a
form specifying one game of your choice of new or upcoming games for
the current big platforms. Up to 20 users will be selected from this
500 is a pretty significant number but it's not unreasonable (in a later contest, it was only 300). You'd have to participate in the site in a pretty significant fashion before you'd make the minimal qualifications.
Now, this contest was much more aggressive with bigger prizes and a more open budget. I don't think we'd go there any time in the near future.
Full disclosure: I'm pressing pretty hard for this idea because I am personally interested in free tools. I think I'm squarely in the prosumer demographic that we want to pursue. I know that there are external channels where I could promote this sort of thing. I've had good luck with pushing concepts with the side-story of "This could be great for you but, if you're not interested, that's fine. I'll take all the free tools for myself...." ;-)