This will only take you $25 (or less) and 2hrs time (or less), and save you potentially hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the years, vs paying for backup or cloud-sync storage.

Limited Time Opportunity

The key here is Copy, a new DrobBox-like service that’s trying to grow it’s userbase quickly and virally. They’re offering a limited-time offer (they don’t say when it will end) where you get 15GB of FREE space for signing up and another 5GB for verifying your email and installing the desktop app. So we’re already to 20GB—way more than you’re ever likely to get on DropBox. But—here’s the kicker—you get another 5GB for every person who does those same things using your referral link. What follows is a guide on how to take advantage of this opportunity to amass a lot of free cloud-sync storage for yourself. A guide based on my own experience over the last 9 days.

How Does Copy Compare?

Copy is great, it has all the features of DropBox, plus some DropBox has failed to produce. And we like it better than Skydrive, or Google Drive (in some aspects), for its simple, “set it and forget it,” clean interface. What sets it apart is all the free space. Here’s the skinny:

  • 15GB FREE space: even when they go back to their standard 15GB, that’s a lot more than DropBox
  • “Fair Sharing”: Copy splits the size of a shared folder, equally between all people it’s shared with, rather than counting it’s total size against each person’s account. They call it “Fair Sharing.” Basically it means your gigabyte-age will go way further than the same amount would on DropBox.
  • Sync “In-Place”: unlike DropBox, you don’t have to move folders into your Copy folder, to sync or share them. You can simply create a shortcut to the desired folder and place it in your Copy folder. It will then sync as if you’d moved it there.
  • Permissions & Companies: Sync keeps it simple, but still offers a few more advanced options to share with others. Basically you can retain more control if you want. But you still have the same options as DropBox including a simple link to share a folder or file with somebody, without a Copy account.

Learn more about Copy here.

Sign Up for Copy Now!
(This button uses my referral link. 2 other individual’s referral links provided below, if you’d like to provide them with thanks for certain aspects of this guide)

1. Share Something, Ask for Copy In Return

[highlight]Minutes: 30. Cost: 30-cents. Free GB: ~80. Running Total: 0.5hrs, 80GB, $0.30.[/highlight]

When I say “share” I don’t mean post it on your social networks, I mean really offer something that takes a little of your time and/or money. This helps guarantee more of a response than simply sharing your referral link.

To illustrate: recently Google announced that you can send money in Gmail with an upgraded Google Wallet account. They’re releasing this feature virally. Google employees and Google I/O attendants were given it first. Then if/when they send money to somebody, the recipient is able to get the feature as well. A Google employee I follow on Google+ asked if anyone would like for him to send them a penny, so they could get the new feature. Being the techie that I am, of course I wanted it asap!

I (and he) felt that returning the penny was silly. But I found myself wanting a way to return the favor. The only one he offered was to pay-it-forward and share penny’s with others. I gladly did this, but was left feeling like I wished I could do something else to show my gratitude. Realizing my G+ friends/followers would probably want to return the favor to me—just as I did to him—I offered them an option: sign up for Copy using my referral link. This is probably a post in itself, but I think there’s some real social psychology going on here that makes people as eager to return the favor, as they are to get what you’re offering.

2. Run an Adwords Campaign

[highlight]Minutes: 45. Cost: $25. Free GB: ~120. Running Total: 1.25hrs, 200GB, $25.30.[/highlight]

If you don’t know much about Google Adwords, that’s okay. It’s just the ads that show up before your Google search results and to the right of them. Basically, you can pay Google for clicks on your ad. They charge per-click (PPC), rather than per-view (PPV). You essentially write your ads and choose the search phrases (keywords) you’d like to display your ads with.

Adwords Promos = Free Money

Here’s the trick: you need to turn $25 into $125. How? Well Google gives out free promo-codes all the time. If you’re lucky you can get $100 free just for opening a new Adwords account (linked to your Gmail/Google account). Those are less common these days though. More typical is get $100 free, when you spend $25. That’s what I did. I received a code from my old domain registrar (they still have a few of our company’s domains).  If you haven’t received one, check with your hosting company or ask a friend with hosting or a small business owner. You could even ask on your social networks if anyone has one they’re not using.

Once you have the code, it’s time to setup the campaign. Just go to: adwords.google.com and use your Gmail/Google account and follow the steps. To make setting up your campaign really easy on you, I’ve created this Google doc with all my campaign settings, most effective ads and keywords. You can mimic my settings and ads, and copy/paste my keywords. Just make sure to use your Copy referral link in the “Destination URL” field. You’ll find the spot to enter your promo code under  Billing>More Actions button>Apply a promotional code.

View Google Doc

Use Your Mission Language to Reach Fertile Markets

Justin Wagner (https://copy.com/?r=Reb1mI) provided an excellent insight that he’s proven works: Many other countries have growing or booming tech communities that love the latest and greatest from the US. New companies like Copy often start out advertising exclusively in the US. So if you served a non-English-speaking mission, or learned English as your 2nd language, this is your chance to use that skill to target countries and non-English-speaking peoples with your ads. Write your ads in your mission/first language and target it at the appropriate countries. That means you’ll use some of the same settings as my Google Doc, but you’ll need to translate it all to that language, and change the countries.

I ran mine (English only) for about 8 days with a daily budget of $18.85. There’s no way to know 100% for sure, but I estimate around 3-4 confirmed signups per day. So a total of around 100GB free.

3. Tell Your Friends, Family, & Coworkers

[highlight]Minutes: 30. Cost: $0. Free GB: ~25. Running Total: 1.75hrs, 225GB, $25.30.[/highlight]

Let’s face it, there’s no easy way to share photos after an event. Google+ has a pretty cool feature… if everyone is running the G+ app on their phone. DropBox is handy, because you can just create a folder, drop photos in, and share it with everyone who was there… except that you’ll run out of space in no time. Facebook… well I won’t even mention Facepalm.

Enter Copy: as easy as DropBox but with tons more space and “fair share.” Plus it uploads your photos from your phone via the mobile app, automatically. So what’s not to love? Email it to your mom, your spouse, your neighbor, anyone that could benefit from it (almost everyone) with an account. Heck, tell your Family History-buff Aunt Martha it’s a great way to backup all her Genealogy research, automatically. You’re the tech guy anyway. They call you with problems, now help them solve one they haven’t fully recognized yet, and get something in return for once!

4. Get Excited, Share that Excitement

[highlight]Minutes: 15. Cost: $0. Free GB: unlimited. Running Total: 2hrs, 250GB+, $25.30.[/highlight]

I saw Randy Hoopes (https://copy.com/?r=ihxiuj) share Copy on Google+ several times over several days. I was starting to get annoyed. Then I saw a guy named Joost DeValk share it, who’s sorta a celebrity developer/blogger in the WordPress community. He posted a screenshot showing 700GB of referral bonuses. Right after that, Randy shared that he’d hit 150GB (or something like that). The excitement was infectious. I thought “I’ve only got 7.5GB on DropBox, if this is half the service DropBox is, it’s probably worth a little of my time to try and get some free space.”

You can also share in communities and forums. Be sure to check the community guidelines before posting. Using a referral link may be considered spam. In most cases though, if you’re genuinely excited about it and ask for other people’s feedback or thoughts, you’re okay. For example I shared a screenshot of the Android app from my phone, in an Android community on Google+, and asked if others had used it and what they thought. I also shared in a WordPress community and asked if anyone knew of a plugin that would let me backup me WordPress sites to Copy (turns out the API is still in beta, so devs are waiting).

As hinted at above, telling people how much you’ve earned so far is a great way to get them to sign up. To help them get excited, share this post with them, but include your referral link as well, inside the social post, email, chat, or however you share it with them.

NOTES

  • The people you refer must verify their email and install the desktop app in order to get their extra 5GB, and also for you to get yours. So in social media, emails, and person, encourage them to take those steps. Many from Adwords will not do this, but enough will.
  • Don’t expect everyone to verify their email and install the desktop app. At current count I have 55 people who did, and 122 who did not. That’s right at 31%.
  • Also, a cookie is set when a person clicks a link. So whoever’s link they click first, will be given credit for that singup.
  • Adwords will not turn your campaign off when your budget is finished. You need to watch it and turn it off, when you’ve spent your budget.
  • Make sure to have a budget of $15-20/day, minimum. Running over a long time on a smaller budget doesn’t work well.

Bam! That’s it. In around 2hrs and $25, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of money vs paying for a cloud sync service. Copy sells $250GB for $10/month. For the same price Google Drive only offers 200GB. At that rate, if you get at least 200GB of free space from following this guide, you’ll get your $25 back in less-than 3 months!

And the great thing is, Copy is happy about it to0. You’re helping them achieve their goals. No need to feel the least bit guilty about all the free space you just got for yourself! So get started now:

Sign Up for Copy Now!

And let us know your experiences in the comments. Or just say “I just launched my Adwords campaign!” I’d love to know what you do with this post.