Although the phrase “it takes money to make money” is an old saying that often rings true, the internet presents plenty of opportunities to monetize without investing anything but time. With advertising, affiliate marketing and pay-per-download networks, you can earn cash without putting down a dollar.

Here are a few techniques you can use to make money simply by using social media, free blogs, and pay-per-download (PPD) networks.

Technique #1: The Social Content Locker

This one of the most basic content-locking techniques, and all you need is a social media account and some useful, entertaining, or informative content.

1. First, sign up for a reputable PPD network. For each file you upload, you’ll receive a URL that’s “locked.” In order to unlock it, your audience has to complete an offer, such as a quiz or survey. Each time they do, you get paid.

2. Sign up for a micro-blogging or social media account, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest.

3. Search your PPD network for an appealing offer that users would be willing to complete in order to gain access to your content.

4. Create a page or micro-blog based around the content you’re offering. If you have a simple software tool, for instance, then create a related social media account.

5. Follow as many people or add as many friends as you can to get a following, or use a service such as Social Clerks to boost your social status.

6. After you add some useful, relevant info to your account, start posting your PPD links. Every download will earn you more cash.


Technique #2: Pay-Per-Blogging

Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a domain or web hosting for this one. You do want some content, such as an ebook, a text file of cheat codes, a pack of wallpaper, or a free software utility that you have rights to.

1. Simply find a free blogging service such as WordPress, Blogger, or Blog.com, and create a blog centered around your downloadable content.

2. Start creating informative and entertaining posts around your content.

3. Post PPD links to your content on your blog with an article that tells your users what the content is for.

4. Promote your blog and the locked content. Do this by creating social media accounts that point back to your blog. Create promotional videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Metcafe, and other video hosting websites.

This approach has an advantage because you can use multiple marketing channels to bring people back to your blog. The more exposure you get, the more cash you’ll earn. The more articles you create, the more cash you’ll earn. And the more content you post, the more cash you’ll earn.


Technique #3: Pay-Per-YouTube

This technique works well in conjunction with the other techniques, or you can use it by itself. As with the others, you’ll need a piece of content that’s valuable to your niche audience. Free ebooks, compilations of video game cheat codes, or software tools are good examples.

1. Create a YouTube account around your niche.

2. Upload your content to the PPD network and save the PPD URL that you receive.

3. Create a low-cost promotional video with PowerPoint or use a cheap outsourcing option such as Fiverr.

4. Post your video with the PPD link in the video’s description.

If you want to use YouTube to promote a blog that has multiple PPD links, then send people back to your blog from the YouTube account.


Promotional Strategies

Outsourcing websites such as Fiverr have a lot of options that can help you promote your locked content.

For only a few dollars, social media marketers can tweet your product to their followers, bloggers will post articles about a topic of your choice, and video producers will create video presentations on the topic of your choice.

  • If you don’t even have a few dollars to invest, try getting involved in your niche.

  • Find forums related to your niche and post informative, useful posts about your topic and your content.

  • Provide useful comments on blogs, in order to get traffic back to your website and let others in your industry know that you exist.

  • On your website, interview other bloggers and authorities in your niche.

  • Find out where your audience hangs out online and promote your products there.

It’s not that hard to start promoting content and earning cash online, but remember not to be spammy! If you don’t have money to invest, you have to make the most of your time. It’s best to add as much value as possible when promoting your products and services to people.