Making Money with Referral Programs

There are lots of ways for bloggers to make money. We have already discussed AdSense, Adgitize (which, by the way, is running a free advertising campaign through July 31st), 5 other “click” networks, and selling your own ads. Now it is time for one of my favorite ways to make money, referral programs.

Referral programs are different than click or affiliate marketing. My favorite part about having referral programs on my blog is the fact that they are great companies that I can promote without having an ad. They are companies that I would promote anyway and I get a “bonus” for doing it. That is the best and easiest type of advertising.

The other nice thing about referral programs is that you have one link and it never changes. You do not have to update ads or find new affiliate links. Your link will always be the same and you can promote it however you like.

There are three referral programs that I use on a regular basis and three that I have used in the past. The ones I use on a regular basis are rebate sites that offer referral bonuses when you refer people who shop through them. They get affiliate credit for the people who shop using them and they share that credit in the form of a rebate with their users. You can always refer your readers straight to the deal and get the full affiliate credit yourself. I try to give both options in my posts since this site is about saving as much money as possible (not how much I can make in affiliate income).

Ebates – I did a full Ebates review a few months ago, but here are some of the main points for referrers. Ebates offers $5 for each person you refer. This can add up fast. The downside is that the person you refer must purchase $20 in items through Ebates before you get the bonus. In my experience you will get the $5 bonus for 5-10% of the people who sign up under you. The rest either forget about it or never reach the $20 level. Ebates also has referral contests. The one running right now is giving an Apple iPad to every person who refers 50 people and a Hawaii vacation to every person who refers 300 people (on top of the $5 bonus for each). You have until July 31st to qualify for the bonuses.

Mr. Rebates – You can read my full Mr. Rebates review, but here are the main points. Mr. Rebates gives you a bonus equal to 20% of the rebate your referral received for the life of their account. If your referral earns a $1 bonus then you get $0.20. This is a consistent income. For as long as Mr. Rebates is around I will be earning credit through them, even if I stop blogging.

Cashbaq – You can read my full Cashbaq review, but here are the referrer points. Cashbaq gives you a bonus equal to 10% of the rebate your referral received for the life of their account. They also give you a rebate of 5% for any rebate your referrals referrals receive and a bonus of 2% for the tier below that one. Cashbaq has never been one of my big income generating sites, but it has promise for becoming one of them in the future because of this large tier system.

Once you are large enough these sites can bring you a decent amount of referral income. A site like Ebates can bring you referral income even if you are small. They are easy ways to monetize your site without having to add ads.

TASK – Look into the different ways you can earn referral income and brainstorm how you can drive traffic through your affiliate link without adding an ad box to your sidebar.

Today you can gain an extra entry into the giveaway by stumbling one of the posts on Little People Wealth.

Tomorrow we will talk about making money with affiliate programs.

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