An FFA page is a free for all page. Its operation is very simple. You submit one line of text to the page and when other people see it, they pick up the link and go through to your page. The concept sounds very simple, and it would be if it actually did what you wanted it to do. Which is generate traffic consisting of interested buyers instead of generating a huge load of emails from people just like you who are trying to promote a product. The truth is that for most people, FFA pages have not produced the returns on income necessary for me to be able to recommend FFA's as something you should put your money into with high expectations of return.
There are a number of reasons why this form of advertising has not promoted much for its users. First, your ad is one line among hundreds or thousands of one line ads. On top of this the few people who might see this page are the other advertisers who have submitted ads to this page, not shoppers looking for your product.
Another problem with FFA pages are they are usually designed to scroll. As new information is added the older information is advanced off of the page and out of sight. Before FFA pages were as popular as they are now, your line of advertising may have been visible for a day. That is why the FFA hosts had instructed you to submit your information to the FFA page daily. Today, now that FFA pages are a dime a dozen, your submission may be scrolled out in as little time as half an hour. This in turn means that you have to go and submit your information again and again throughout the day. However, you still have the first problem to deal with. People who look at FFA pages are there to sell, not buy.
A third problem with FFA pages are that sites known to advertise on them are in a number of instances either banned or ignored by the search engines. The search engines look at FFA pages as a page filled with irrelevant links, and whenever a search engine is aware of an FFA page it avoids that page whenever it can. The goal of search engines is to look for information/links that is highly regarded as helpful by other users, to pass on to their current users, and FFA pages produce links without producing the high quality information that the search engines are looking for. As a result, instead of giving you credit for your link, the search engines penalize URL's that come from known FFA sites.
You see the people who run FFA pages are just a little bit ahead of the game than the FFA page submitter. The first thing you are asked to do on an FFA page is to register your email address. This way the user has your information and is able to promote his products to you at will. So the ones to benefit most from FFA pages are the ones who actually host the page.
So are FFA pages a waste of your time? Maybe they are, maybe they are not. If you go there as an advertiser, it may be a huge waste of time. But if you go there as the FFA site host, you may have just hit the jackpot. When FFA users sign up to post their information on your FFA site, you will advise them that when they post to the site they also have to agree to get emails from you as well. Herein lies your opportunity to promote, and herein lies the way you can probably take best advantage of using FFA pages and sites.