Referral Links: A Quick and Easy Way to Earn a Few Dollars
Do you want to make money by barely lifting a finger? Who doesn’t!
Referral links are a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. They’re basically outsourcing marketing to end users, who they’re hoping will happily and readily encourage others to sign up for the product too in exchange for a little incentive.
I now have a slew of referral links from some of the core products and services that I use. I’m going to share them and talk about this path to side income.
Are affiliate links really a fast and painless way to earn money?
Well, click this link right now, sign up, and I’ll tell ya
My mom told me 2-3 times about Ebates as a way to get money back from shopping online. I ignored it the first time. The second time she shared precisely how much she stood to make and how much I would make if I signed up. She didn’t walk me through the product, except in the most general “It’s easy to sign up, just go there first before you buy stuff online” way.
I went there seeking my $10 bonus. It wasn’t super super easy. It wasn’t flawless. I was mad I didn’t realize that my $10 bonus is contingent on me buying $25+ worth of qualifying purchases through the site. I bought $24 worth of T-shirts at Old Navy as my first Ebates purchase and then realized the $25 price point requirement. I’m still stewing on that. A few weeks later, I then bought things through Target.com instead of Amazon.com as I wanted to get my Ebates deal. Only later realizing most items were in categories that aren’t counted towards the deal. Getting free money was turning out to be harder than it first appeared.
Now, don’t let my first bad experiences turn you away. Ebates may still be a killer deal for me (or for you). But you’ve got to pay attention to what counts and what doesn’t. And, as always, don’t modify your spending in search of a deal.
If you’re not already using the service – use my link to check it out!
Credit Card Companies Love Affiliate Marketing Programs
I’m not a Super-dee-Dooper-dee-Booper Special de luxe a-la-Peter T. Hooper affiliate linking blogger, but even I have access through my current credit cards to basic referral links that will pay me cash if I get others to sign up for the same cards.
This one I’ve held just shy of a year and it’s pretty awesome. I rocked out the 12 month 0% financing I got when I signed up. I also enjoyed some sweet rewards. I literally yesterday paid off the huge balance on it as interest was coming!
- 3% Cash back on groceries (US Supermarkets, up to $6,000/year in purchases, above that it’s at 1% cash back)
- 2% cash back at US gas stations and select department stores
- 1% on all other purchases
You get an additional $100 if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
A solid rewards card with bonus 5% categories that change quarterly. This is my second oldest credit card. It’s been good to me over the years, with the lowest interest rate of all.
You can earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
A fancy pants card for high roller spenders. It’s so heavy and thick. You get 50,000 bonus points after spending $4000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s like $500 or even more in travel spending money through their site.
They’ve got 1% rewards generally, and 5% categories that change each quarter. Now – September is restaurants. October – December is Amazon.com and Target (up to $1,500 per category per quarter).
Become a Discover Cardmember and get a $50 Cashback Bonus or 5,000 Miles when you make your first purchase within three months. Then, earn rewards with every purchase after that.
Other Businesses that Offer Special Links for Sign Up Bonuses
Many other companies either regularly or for short term specials create incentive offerings using referral links to get the word out about themselves. Startups especially love these as they’ve got piles of venture capital money to spend and need to prove they can find and maintain a large customer base.
Gives a “share code” encouraging you to “Invite your friends and family. Share the Uber love and give friends free rides to try Uber, worth up to $20 each!”
Once you download the app for the first time, use my share code for a free ride: katrinad126
Get $20 when a person you refer takes their first trip of $75 or more.
Get $75 when they welcome their first guest.
Small Leagues Versus Big Leagues in Affiliate Advertising Programs
Now, what I described is the small scale, using the links already available to you as a basic consumer to bring in some additional money. Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom for instance, limits it to 5 referrals a year with this basic level code. Discover is a max of 10 per year.
There are many many others out there in the world.
If you want to go big leagues, there’s lots of posts out there, like this one on Minterest, that delve into the best affiliate programs and networks.
How Much Money Have I Made On Affiliate Links:
To date, I’ve made $0.
I’ll update this tally as I experiment with how lucrative this market can be for a small investment of time.
My affiliate link philosophy:
I’m interested in generating affiliate revenue to earn an income from this site. I’ll always disclose anytime I mention a brand or product or service that gives me a financial incentive to do so. Brands mentioned in this post would give me an affiliate incentive if you sign up with them. I seek to share affiliate links for products I actually use myself or would encourage others to use and form their own opinions on if they find it valuable or not. So, I won’t link to credit card offers I think are junk or companies I hate hate hate (Walmart). But I will link to things like companies I find a little bit evil but actually still use (Uber – they’re at least now working on being less awful to humans).