A PRIMER ON HOW TO USE UP-VOTE BOTS AND NOT LOSE MONEY
Hey post promoters! Haven't things changed on Steem this past few months!? It's always interesting to see how things evolve on Steemit, and one great change that I'm sure we have ALL noticed is the use of voting bots! Steem never ceases to amaze me, and paying to promote and advertise your posts.. and then getting that money straight back plus potentially more is just one of the paradoxical things about Steemit when compared to the traditional notion of advertising. The thing is, not everyone does make their money back.. and some people also lose quite a lot only because they don't understand the details of how bots work and how to use them.
Today I have been looking at some of the worst bots out there, and noticing how many people are getting quite upset about losing their money on them. Therefore I have decided to write a post about this so I can explain the most important details so you can choose the right bot for your promotions.
How Voting Bots Work: The Basics
The very basic principal of voting bots is that you send SBD or STEEM to a bot controlled account with a link to a post that you would like an up-vote on. A bot votes once it's voting power reaches 100%, which is normally every 2.5 hours. A bot will divide one 100% up-vote between everyone who has bought a vote in that voting cycle. The value of a 100% vote depends on the bot, and can be as little as $0.10 and as much as $1,500.
Whoever manages a bot decides how fair that bot is. Not all bots are created equally, and indeed some bots are setup to take your money with no chance of you ever getting a fair up-vote. Other bots are designed to prevent you losing too much, and allow you to make money as well. The very best bots ensure that you never lose and only make a profit! So how can you tell if a bot is worth using or not? Let me explain the crucial basics to successful bot voting.
Rule #1. Use https://steembottracker.com an amazing tool created by @yabapmatt
Steembottracker makes is possible to use bots with the best chance of success. Whilst there is a lot of data presented on this page, let me show you what you need to pay attention to:
1. VOTE VALUE:
This is the maximum amount a bot can up-vote. Note that this figure is displayed in $USD by default which can be changed to other currencies such as $SBD .
2. MIN / MAX BID
This is the lowest amount a person can send to use a bot. For some reason it doesn't show the max bid, perhaps because most people don't set one.
3. MIN / MAX ROI.**
This is a super important! The first number shows you how much you are are able to lose at most. If it says none it means there is NO limit as to how much you can lose rather than that you cannot lose anything! The second number is the most you are allowed to gain. So for example the @ecotrain bot currently shows -10% / 10%. This means you cannot lose more than 10% of your investment, and you can gain up to 10%. That is quite a fair bot, and is in fact my bot! Compare that to the bot below it, @pushbot.. ugh! I would never use this bot as it is offers you no protection on losses whilst at the same time limiting your profit to 10%. That is not cool in my opinion. The second bot in the list @voterunner at least offers you an equal chance of losing or gaining.
4. MIN / MAX AGE
This is simply the amount of time that you can up-vote after you post. In most cases you have to wait at least 20 minutes before you can use a bot, and a post shouldn't be older than 3.5 days.
5. TOTAL BIDS
This shows how many people have placed a bid on the current round of voting. It is a useful figure, but actually not necessary to look at as the next option is far better to check.
6. MAX SUGGESTED BID**
This is also a super important field to look at! If you send more than this max suggested bid you will surely lose out. In fact you should ideally bid around 20% less or more than the suggested bid to be confidant of not losing out.
7-8. LAST VOTE / NEXT VOTE
This is the amount of time until the vote happens. If you want to play it safe it is a good idea to wait until the last minutes to place a vote since you stand more chance of getting good rewards. This is because the voting is shared with everyone who bids on each round, so if you can see a good ROI when you make the bid in the final minutes it is less likely too many others will manage to place a vote as well.
Rule #2. CHOOSE A GOOD BOT!
Play it safe:
If you want to play it safe then choose a bot that has a Min ROI set rather than none. There are many bots that give you this including: @smartsteem, @promobot, @appreciator, @postpromoter, @upmewhale, @upme, @ecotrain
If you are happy to take a small risk for the potential to make a a good ROI then you can choose a bot that has no MAX limit but does have a minimum ROI. The best bots for this are: @promobot, @sneaky-ninja, @estabond, @booster. These bots all have a cap on how much you can lose but either a good potential for profit or no limit on profit. Note that since these bots are quite popular it may be hard to secure high ROI even though it is a possibility.
Bots that either provide value to Steem or offer support to good projects are always good to use. Some great examples are @jerrybanfield s bot which donates 110% of its profits to delegators and support great projects on https://fundition.io/. @smartsteem are also whitelisting people who post good content and do their best to ensure that we add value to Steem with good posts.
Bots to Avoid!
I don't have much respect for bots that allow you to lose unlimited ROI but cap your maximum ROI. That means that you can in theory lose a lot but never gain much. The worst bots for this are @buildawhale, @emperorofnaps, @upyou, @smartpost.
Check out Soliciting Power
@roelandp has created an excellent website with a list of fantastic bots that are supporting great projects and initiatives. Let us choose those bots that do good for the world as well as for our pockets, becuase that is how Steem will continue to grow and be even more amazing. Those who only think about their rewards may be missing the great and long term potential of voting bots. we need to choose our bots like we do our shops! You can view this list at: https://solicitingpower.com/
1. Don't use a bot with Max Suggested Bid of 0 Steem / SBD. That bot has been maxed out on the current voting cycle and you cannot make any ROI.
2. If you are going to spend a LOT then it is often wise to bid early in the voting cycle so that others can see and may not use it. Its also courteous so that you don't suddenly place a huge bid last minute and everyone else in that voting cycle gets much less.
3. Steer clear of bots that have a min / max ROI of none/10%.
4. Using voting bots does increase your reputation, and if you consistently spend a lot of money on up-votes your reputation will rise dramatically! That is worth bearing in mind when you see others with very high reputations who are posting less than great content.. they may not be as wonderful as you think!
I'm sure there is more that can be said about being a successful voting bot user, but I hope this has at least given you a good grounding for how to start using voting bots. I would like to add that as a respect to Steem and those who write great content, it is frowned upon to place huge up-votes on very short posts or posts that have low value. People who copy images and poems or content from the Internet and use bots are really not cool, and should be blacklisted.. and often are.
On a final note, I run my own bot called the @ecotrain. If you are supportive of positive change in the world, and want to encourage and support great steemians, as well as real world homesteading and eco-building projects please do use this bot!
You can view and use https://steembottracker.com for the best experience and view of all that I have said. Very many thanks to @yabapmatt for his support and incredible tools. I know he does his very best to keep everyone happy whilst doing what he can to take Steem to great heights.Steem on!!!