When I first started earning online 10 plus years ago, getting referrals was an issue. And being new I tried free advertising forums…big mistake as they are just spam farms….everyone dropping their link off…but nobody reads anything. Then there were traffic exchanges…you click on advertisements and earn clicks that you can use for promoting your own programs. But they take up way to much valuable time( unless you buy the ads) .
Over the years I started joining marketing forums….they allow a signature at the bottom of all your posts. But, it is important to follow guidelines and be an active member of the community. They have a low tolerance for spammers. Also it is important to remember that nobody takes a spammer seriously.
Then there are social networking sites…same rules apply…be an active member of the community and no spamming! And with social networking sites you get the added perk of a profile. Be sure to take the time to fill it out completely….it is your “free” opportunity to tell others about yourself and current paying programs. And any other projects that you might be involved in.
Finally the best way…is to create your own website/blog. You earn 24/7 with these. I choose to use adsense(but there are many ad revenue programs to choose from)…I also earn from showcasing my programs that are currently paying me…by gaining referrals from visitors. I do suggest getting your own domain as soon as you can afford to. It looks much more professional.
If you go through all these steps you won’t have to think about getting referrals…it will just happen over time.