Ever since I started getting free stuff like an Xbox 360 Elite, Halo 3, 12-month subscription to Xbox Live, a 16GB iPod Touch, and now $580 cash from freebie sites, the comments and emails I get are, “Wow, I want to do this, too, but how can I get people to sign up under my referral link?” Here are some ideas.
1. Be patient.
The key this is patience. We’re all excited by the prospect of getting such cool gadgets or cash for free, but it will take some patience. It took me almost 3 months to get all the referrals I needed for my first freebie — an Xbox 360 Elite — because people think it’s a scam or are naturally skeptical (as I was at first). But after my Xbox finally arrived in the mail and I had physical proof that it’s real, it’s been a lot easier. In fact, after I had proof from the Xbox, the iPod Touch freebie site only took me 5 days to get the 8 referrals I needed for the 16 GB version! (In fact, I even went over by 2.)
From what I’ve seen around the Internet, the story is true for almost everyone. The first freebie takes a while to get, but after it shows up in the mail and you have evidence for your friends, the rest of the freebies roll in a lot easier. So, be patient, stick with it and you’ll get free stuff faster after you complete your first freebie site.
2. Talk to friends.
This is probably going to be your best bet for getting referrals. Just bring it up and tell people about it. Not everyone will be interested, but you don’t need everyone to be interested — you only need a couple. “Hey, do you have an iPod?… Do you like it?… I don’t have one, but I’m trying to get the iPod Touch for free… It’s actually really simple. It works like this…”
3. Post a note in Facebook.
When you post it in Facebook, chances are many of your friends will see it. Don’t write a 5-page essay or something people won’t bother to read — keep it short, sweet, clear and concise.
4. Write about it on your blog.
If you have one, copy and paste your Facebook note to your blog.
5. Post your link in the sidebar of your blog.
Since blog posts quickly get pushed off the front page and buried in the archives, put a link to that blog post in your sidebar so it appears on every page of your site. See my site for an example.
6. Email all your friends about it.
This probably doesn’t need much of an explanation. Mass email to your address book!
7. Put the link in your email signature.
Put either your referral link or a link to your blog post at the end of every email when you sign your name. Most email has a featured called “email signature” that will automatically attach whatever text you want to the end of every email when you send it.
8. Put the link in your forum signatures.
If you’re active on any forums, put your referral link or a link to your blog post in your signature there. That way it will appear every time you reply or start a new thread. If you have a reputation for being helpful and honest, you’ll probably do pretty well there.
9. Put the link in your instant messenger away message.
Those who use instant messaging software tend to have pretty extensive buddy lists. Put your link in your IM profile. When you’re away from the computer, put up an away message that displays info about how you’re getting a certain prize for free and how they can too.
10. Use the freebie site’s promotional tools.
When you login to your account at a freebie site, they provide you with a couple great promotional tools, including HTML and forum code you can copy and paste into your blog or forum signatures, and professional graphics to use. Take advantage of these tools. They want you to refer people to their site just as badly as you do, so they’re more than happy to help you do it. (Find some of these tools in your Bonus Network account by clicking on the “Account” tab at the top of the page.)
Wait a second, what in the world is a freebie site?
If you’re reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about, basically there’s websites out there that will give you cool electronics or cash for FREE if you sign up on their site, complete a couple trial offers from one or more of their partnering companies and then refer a certain number of other people to do the same. These freebie websites send potential customers, like yourself and your friends, to companies to try their products and services with no obligation. (Although you can cancel at any time, I recommend you be fair to the company and give them a try since they’re helping you get your free stuff). In return, the freebie website gets a commission from the company whose trial you signed up. The freebie website then spends part of it on sending you a nice thank-you in the form of cash or a cool gift like an Xbox, iPod Touch, iPhone, even HDTVs. It’s all 100% legit. I know because I’ve received several gifts myself. See here and here for proof pictures.
How much is this going to cost me?
It depends on which trial offer(s) you decide to try. Some, like trying Stamps.com for a month, are complete free and won’t cost you a penny. Others, like PhotoStamps.com, require only a 1-time cheap purchase and that’s it. Every company is real and legit and most are offers you might want to try anyway, like a month of Blockbuster or Netflix.
If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. I’ve cashed out on a couple sites already, so I’ve been through the process several times.
Posted on January 11, 2008