This technique won't make you rich, but it can make you some extra money.
First, you need something to give away. It could be a report, article, book, video, audio, etc. If you have a band, you could give away your music. If you don't have anything to give away, you could simply find outstanding content and give away the link to it. For example, maybe you found a particularly helpful blog post or funny article – give away a link to that.
Sign up with a paying link shortener such as...
If you're giving away your own content, place that content on a web page. If you're giving away someone else's content on a web page, grab that link.
Place your link it into the URL shortener (such as adf.ly) to get your link, and then distribute that link via your website, social media, forum posting, etc. Don't buy traffic – the link must be distributed through normal organic channels.
When someone clicks your link, they'll see an ad and then the content. You get paid a few cents for each click. Like we said, this won't make you rich. But it is a way to make a few extra dollars, especially if you do this every time you want to shorten a URL.
Here's an idea: Team up with local bands, artists, poets, etc. Place each of their songs/artworks/poems etc., on a separate page, and then make links for each. Let them share the links with their social network, and then split the profits with them.
Bonus Idea: On the download page you create for each item (assuming you're giving away your own stuff or things from partners) add an offer. This might be an affiliate product, your own product, a link to a CPA offer, etc. It should be something directly related to the product being given away.
Done correctly this can double your money.
And here's a variation on this method:
With companies like Adf.ly, LinkBucks and Ulmt.in, you make money when someone views a short commercial before getting access to your link.
Here's a similar concept that pays more: Links are locked until the visitor fills out a short survey – then the visitor gets redirected to the content.
You'll want to prepare the reader for the survey so they don't click away when they see it. But these tend to pay far more than the networks that simply show a short advertisement.
Want more alternatives? You'll find many more companies like those mentioned by doing a Google search for “content lockers.”