There are a ton, and I mean a TON, of websites online that will accept articles from just about anyone. They’re called article directories. These sites have info on practically anything you can imagine. A lot of people who are signed up with Swagbucks, Cash Crate, Inbox Dollars, survey sites, and other such things use these directories to their advantage by writing about what they are involved in. They give lots of details and personal experience and then provide their referral links to readers so they can sign up. Some of these article directories will even allow uploading of photos, which means you could take a picture of your payment proof (or a screenshot if you were paid via Paypal) and upload it to show that you were paid.
These articles don’t have to be long and you don’t have to be a professional writer. Just do about 250-300 words and keep things to the point. It shouldn’t be something you spend an hour on writing or really even 30 minutes. Once your content is written, it’s up to you to promote it. You can do this in all the ways we talked about in Part One — Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media you use. Some of these sites, like Hubpages, also have an active community and a forum. You should go and follow other writers and comment on their articles. In many cases, these other writers will do the same for you and you may get some sign ups.
If you want an example, here’s an article I wrote a long time on Hubpages about Swagbucks.
Here’s a short list of article directories you can use to get you started:
Please keep in mind that many of these sites have rules and you generally cannot spam your content with your own links. I believe most of them are OK with about two of your own self-serving links inside your content (I’m pretty sure Squidoo allows way more than that), but check the rules to be sure before you start writing so your content doesn’t get deleted or you get a warning message from them. I remember that with InfoBarrel, you cannot include any of your own links in the first paragraph.
Creating Your Own Blog
You know when you sign up for all these opportunities how most of them give you little banners and buttons you can use to promote? Well, this is how you can put those to work for yourself! You can create your own blog 100 percent for free and embed all the banners and buttons you want in your sidebar, header, etc. This doesn’t mean people will click on them when they visit, but at least the opportunity will always be there. You may also want to stick to just using the buttons and banners for your favorite opportunities. A website that looks too “busy” will run people off!
Another great thing about having your own blog or website is that you make the rules. As mentioned above, the free article directories do not always allow you to put as many links as you want in your content. On your own website, you are free to do this. You should create posts on your blog about the things you are involved in and include your links. You need to make sure that your posts are at least 250+ words long so that they will get indexed by Google. Sometimes shorter posts are not as easily found. Try to create a blog post for every single thing you do. If you start running out of ideas for posts, start making lists of your opportunities. An example would be, “My Five Favorite Search and Win Sites,” and in that list you could include your referral links to all five opportunities. Another idea: “10 Best Paid Survey Sites.”
Here are a few websites that will let you create a blog for free and are also very easy for beginning bloggers to use:
If you begin to get really serious about blogging and you are earning more than just a little money from it, you may want to consider purchasing your own domain name for about $10 a year and getting yourself set up on self-hosted WordPress.org, which costs about $10 a month. When you are self-hosting, you have a lot more control than you do when you get set up on a free site. But I think it’s perfectly fine to use the free sites when you’re just starting out to get a feel for blogging.
There are a lot of question and answer sites out there you can use like Yahoo! Answers, Answer Bag, and Askville (among many others) that have users asking questions all day long like, “How can I make extra money?” and “What are ways to earn cash or Amazon cards online?” By all means, search for questions like this and answer them! Point the people asking the questions to your referral links 🙂 But don’t just give them a short, generic answer. Be honest and tell them what they really need to know before dropping your link.
Keep Your Expectations Fairly Low
Now that I’ve shared with you the best tips for getting referrals, I have to unfortunately add that you should be realistic. People are just much more inclined to sign up for things they come across themselves than they are if someone asks them to do it. Some tend to wonder, “What’s in it for you if I do?” and that makes them suspicious. I can tell you from experience that here I am with a website where I can post my referral links to different things freely. Looking at my stats, I can see that even though the links I share get clicked on, only about 10 to 30 percent of the people who actually click the links go through with the sign-up process. This doesn’t mean of course that you shouldn’t bother trying to get referrals at all — only that you shouldn’t expect tons of sign ups per day after taking action on the things I’ve suggested.
So — your best bet is to promote, promote, promote in as many ways possible while being honest and clear about these different opportunities.
Good luck, and please let me know if I’ve missed any other useful ways to get referrals. I will add your suggestions to the list!