How to Make Money Online by Giving Away Free Stuff

If you want to make money online, affiliate marketing is a great way to do it. Did you know some affiliate programs actually pay you to give away free stuff? I’ve included 11 such affiliate marketing opportunities in this post, plus some of my best affiliate marketing tips so you can get started on your affiliate marketing side hustle!

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here. Thanks for reading!

Really? Make money online by giving away free stuff?

Yes, really!

And c’mon… who doesn’t love free stuff? I know I do! It started in childhood: there used to be a book series called Free Stuff for Kids that I loved. They came out with a new edition every year, and it was full of up-to-date places you could (snail) mail to receive something fun (pencils, stickers, magazines, notepads) for free or close to it (sometimes you had to pay for postage).

Even better than free stuff would have been the opportunity to make money by telling my friends about this free stuff. I was bit by the entrepreneur bug at age four, so I would have leapt at the chance to make money doing such a thing. Unfortunately, that kind of opportunity didn’t exist back then… but it does now!

It might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. Through specific affiliate marketing offers, you can actually make money by getting people to sign up for free offers. Sometimes these free offers are completely free, and sometimes they’re free trials of services the advertisers hope people can’t bring themselves to cancel after the free trial period ends. (Like Netflix. Does anyone actually cancel Netflix after the free trial?)

Before I reveal the list of eleven affiliate programs that will pay you to give away free stuff, I first want to tell you about my freebie to you:

Increase Your Income With These Five Must-Join Affiliate Networks!

To help you succeed with affiliate marketing, I’ve put together a list of five must-join affiliate networks. Not all affiliate networks are created equal, so I’ve handpicked five of my favorites. (I’ve made nearly $50,000 from affiliate marketing, so I know what to look for!)

[thrive_2step id=’1406′]Click here to get your free copy![/thrive_2step]


Okay, now that you’ve grabbed your freebie from me, let’s get to the list!

Affiliate Offer #1: Ibotta

Ibotta is a really cool cash back rewards app that is completely free to download and use. Although users can save with Ibotta at online retailers like Amazon and Jet, the most exciting part of the app to me is the ability to save at local retailers. From local grocery stores to Target to CVS, there are tons of cash back offers in the app for both specific brands and general items (e.g., any brand of shredded cheese or eggs).

Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to get people to sign up for Ibotta. Best of all, the rewards are very generous for doing so:

  • You earn $5 for each person you refer to Ibotta who redeems their $10 Welcome Bonus in the app. (It’s very easy, and also free, to redeem the $10 Welcome Bonus.)
  • You also earn escalating bonuses: a total of $20 for two successful referrals, $50 for the next five, and $100 for every ten after that.

FYI, the rewards listed above are actually rewards through the referral program that anyone using the app can join. There is also an actual affiliate program, the Ibotta Preferred Partner Program, that offers “competitive referral rates” for those with a website, blog, or other media platform. You can learn more about the Preferred Partner Program here.

Affiliate Offer #2: MyYogaWorks

MyYogaWorks is an on-demand collection of over 1,000 premium yoga classes taught by professional teachers. No matter if you’re new to yoga or an advanced yogi, you’ll find a class to suit your style. MyYogaWorks offers a free 14-day trial, and if a user chooses to continue after the trial, it’s only $15 per month.

Through the ShareaSale affiliate network, you can earn $5 per free trial sign up.

Affiliate Offer #3: PaleoPlan

PaleoPlan meal plans make committing to and sticking to the Paleo Diet a breeze. Every week, PaleoPlan members receive a week’s worth of meal plans, including recipes and shopping lists, delivered straight to their inbox. After a 14-day free trial, PaleoPlan is only $9.99 per month (or $49 for six months, $89 for 12 months).

Through the ShareaSale affiliate network, you can earn $5 per free trial sign up.

Affiliate Offer #4: Child Safe Kit

The Child Safe Kit is a completely free kit that helps parents, grandparents, and guardians record important information about a child in case the child goes missing. The information recorded in the Child Safe Kit can give authorities valuable information to assist in locating the child.

Through the ShareaSale affiliate network, you can earn $1.60 per free kit request. (Note that the kits are not available in all areas and are limited to a certain number monthly.)

Affiliate Offer #5: Cozi

Cozi is another free app that users love. Cozi promotes itself as “the must-have app for families,” and it certainly lives up to that description. It’s a family organizing app that keeps track of appointments, activities, shopping lists, chores, recipes, grocery lists, and more. It’s also a 3-time Mom’s Choice Award Winner!

Through the ShareaSale affiliate network, you can earn $1.50 per free app download.

Affiliate Offer #6: 24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness operates over 400 gyms across 13 U.S. states. As you might guess, many of their locations are open around the clock. They offer a free 3-day trial, and membership starts at only $29.99 per month.

Through the CJ affiliate network, you can earn $1.25 per free 3-day pass sign up.

Affiliate Offer #7: AMC Networks

AMC Networks, as you may know, is an American entertainment company that owns cable channels like AMC (of course!), BBC America, and WE tv. They’ve also launched two streaming video services: Sundance Now and Shudder.

Sundance Now streams “award-winning films, documentaries & binge-worthy TV series.” After a free 7-day trial, it’s $4.99 per month (billed annually) or $6.99 per month (billed monthly).

Shudder streams “horror, thrillers, supernatural, and suspense.” After a free 7-day trial, it’s $3.99 per month (billed annually) or $4.99 per month (billed monthly).

Through the CJ affiliate network, you can earn $5 per free 7-day trial sign up for both Sundance Now and Shudder.

Affiliate Offer #8: brings together over 25 million members in 20 countries who are either seeking care or who can offer care. “Care” is everything from child care to senior care to pet care to home care. A basic membership is free, and a premium membership costs between $35 per month (billed monthly) and $11.67 per month (billed yearly).

Through the CJ affiliate network, you can earn $1 per free basic membership sign up.

Affiliate Offer #9: eCampus

eCampus is all about college textbooks: users can rent them, buy them, or sell them (directly to eCampus).

Through the CJ affiliate network, you can earn $3 per textbook buyback lead (someone who is interested in selling their books to eCampus).

Affiliate Offer #10: CuriosityStream

CuriosityStream is another streaming video network. It focuses on documentaries (over 1,500!) of all kinds: history, nature, science, technology, and more. After a 7-day free trial, CuriosityStream is only $2.99 per month for the basic plan, $5.99 per month for the standard plan, or $11.99 per month for the premium plan.

Through the CJ affiliate network, you can earn $5 per free 7-day trial sign up. If someone converts to a paid subscription, you get an extra $20!

Affiliate Offer #11: SwagBucks

Swagbucks is a cash back site that rewards users for everything from shopping online to watching videos to answering surveys. When users earn enough points, their points can be redeemed for gift cards at a wide variety of well-known retailers (e.g., Amazon, Target, Starbucks). As with Ibotta, it’s completely free to use.

Through the FlexOffers affiliate network, you can earn $3 per sign up.

Yes, You Really Can Make Money Giving Away Free Stuff!

And free stuff makes people happy. Getting paid to make people happy? Sign me up! 🙂

I hope this post was useful to you. If it was, please give it a share on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter using the social sharing icons. Thank you!


  • Sapna Reply

    Thanks for this list! I’ve had both ShareASale and CJ for months, but I’m having trouble finding ones with products in my niche (education/English teaching). I think a few of these may work! (Although I’m not eligible for a couple since I don’t live in the US – my readers do, but I guess that doesn’t count). Great post!!

    • Jessica Roop Reply

      Thanks, Sapna! My pleasure. I’m so happy I could help. 🙂

  • Dennis Reply

    Awesome post, I just shared it in my group:

    I asked my members if anyone ever tried it before, haven’t received any answers yet but definitely planning to set up some sites for these kind of offers and rank them of course as it looks quite lucrative to me.

    • Jessica Roop Reply

      Thanks so much, Dennis! I appreciate the kind words and the share. I would love to hear how the offers go for you on the sites you set up.

  • terril Reply

    great list, thanks. I’m still new to this and always looking for solid info about making money with a blog.

    • Jessica Roop Reply

      You’re welcome, Terril! Thanks for visiting.

  • Leah Reply

    Great list! It’s awesome that so many companies are willing to pay just for leads–makes our job as affiliates much easier!

    • Jessica Roop Reply

      Thanks, Leah! I was actually surprised when I compiled this list that I found so many companies that are still willing to pay per lead. I thought that type of affiliate marketing had died out… I guess not!

  • Rhys Reply

    Thanks for the inspiration Jessica, I’ve shared this with my readers too.

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