I'll tell you right now, if you're trying to use @randowhale or @officialfuzzy's Whaleshares on your low-payout posts, you're probably just mostly wasting your hard-earned STEEM BUCKS (especially now that randowhale's vote costs 2 SBD). While it may still give your post a boost of several steem dollars, the real way you should be looking to use it, the way you will maximize your Return on Investment (ROI) for the money you spend, is by using it on your older, most VIRAL, and highest paying posts.
For example, while a nice boost from @randowhale on a $10 may jump you to $15 or $20 (or maybe even a bit more if you're really lucky), the same boost when your post is at $200 may boost you to $250 or more! And if you use Whaleshares on top of that, woah, watch out!
Does this "revelation" upset the randowhale? He's assured me that he understands very well how it works (and I don't doubt him), but for some reason he just seems a bit sad in this photo (albeit in a cute way)! Or, perhaps more likely, he's just tired from all the voting he's done the past few days. lol
The reason for this is a certain algorithmic "vote gravity" that takes place the more voting power you achieve on a post. Sort of like "reputation begets reputation". While this may change somewhat in HF19 (due to the expected arithmetic versus exponential weighting changes), it's the n^2 weight-voting algorithm that really drives this effect. From the HF17 proposal discussing the change from to 1/30 payout scheme to the 7 day payout scheme:
Based upon voting statistics, the vast majority of the 30 day payout comes from votes cast in the first week. We also know that there is little difference between weekly active users and monthly active users, especially among those with meaningful voting influence. It is our belief that authors (and curators) will earn more by a single 7 day (fixed) payout period than the combination of 24 (variable) and 30 day (fixed). A single vote on day 3 is worth much more to the author under this system than a dozen votes on day 3 under the old system due to the N^2 weighting algorithm.
So you must factor the effects of the n^2 algorithm into your potential "payout". This also means that an additional vote from a whale (such as randowhale or whaleshares) after you've built up a good deal of "vote gravity" after several days will always move the payout by a larger relative amount than the first, given how the current STEEM algorithm determines reward payouts.
Okay, so this may all sound well and good, theoretically. So, instead of getting all anecdotal here, how about we dive into some examples of the differences it can make.
First off, let's look at @Akrid's recent post where he selected two posts at 0.69 payout for comparison.
So, for all intensive purposes, let's say the two posts he selected were mostly balanced, with a relatively balanced weighting of rando and whaleshales. Here were the results:
This increased the post payout from $4.10 to $6.70. A wonderful $2.60 for the price of 1 SBD.
This time it increased my post payout from $6.79 to $11.01. Awesome, a $4.22 increase this time!
From .69 to 2.38. It's pretty cool that a little minnow like me can make a $1.69 difference using randowhale. However, the 29% vote is not worth the 2SBD that it currently cost.
From .69 to 8.01. WOW I did not expect a $7.32 difference with just 50% from @officialfuzzy for 50 whaleshares.
Now, given the few SBD that were spent, that may seem like a rather decent ROI, but it's still not that great for the risk associated with rando's "random" payouts and the like. And while you may have gotten ahold of some free Whaleshares, is it worth using them up on low payout posts, or is it better to wait for the opportunity to get a much larger "bang for your buck?! So, if you really want a bang for your buck, take this example of where I paid randowhale 1SBD to help give a bit more of a boost to @darthnava's MRI post:
also just sent one in to help @darthnava with his surgery as well! His post jumped another $89, from $10,957 to $11,046!
Wish him the best of luck that all goes smoothly for him!
Link: Fellow Steemers, I Need Help as My MRI Results Are Not Encouraging
randowhale upvote @darthnava/fellow-steemers-i-need-help-as-my-mri-r… (23%)
Now think about that for a moment. I got only a 23% bump for @darthnava's post, yet it bump him up around $89 between before and after refreshes (and that doesn't even consider the additional vote gravity contributed at that new higher level)! But straight off, that's effectively nearly a 50:1 ROI. Imagine how much higher it would have been if I had also gotten him a 79% weighted vote, as I did on two of my own posts!
So, what kind of results did I get on my 2 posts? Well, they were both doing pretty well already, with one showing a payout of around $80, and the other I believe was around $180 at the time.
One post jumped from around $180 to $230, and currently stands at over $300. The other jumped from around $80 to $110, and paid out today at nearly $130. Here are the posts so you can see for yourselves. The randowhale even drops by with a comment for you! lol
Wow... just tested the whole vote gravity thing
New post with 100% Whaleshare - $16 dollar jump
Old post with $55 already pending, Plus 97% Whaleshare... $51 dollar jump
First post that jumped $16 from around $3 to $19 after a 100% Whaleshare drop:
Padawan Learner (Volume 1): Learn About Star Wars Force Abilities
And here's @nepd's post which jumped from $55 to $106 after a 97% Whaleshare drop:
Five Rings, Two Sons and a Goat: Bill Belichick Is In a Good Spot
So, I think you can see that it definitely pays off to further promote your BEST recent posts, as opposed to the weaker ones. Of course, there's always going to be a cutoff as to where that exact "level" is. But the thing is, for the smallest minnows who can least afford it, if you do have some extra SBD you want to put to use, I think you now know the best way to apply it. Summon the whales ONLY on your highest quality posts that have already attracted a good deal of "vote gravity". It's sort of like "pushing the envelope" when you're already "on a roll" with a "hot hand", except ironically enough in thsi case, that's when your risk is potentially at its lowest!
I really don't want to get into a discussion about whether it's right or wrong to use these voting services. There are plenty of others making those sorts of arguments already, and that's really not the purpose of this article. I can, however, refer you to @kyriacos's recent insightful post, "Does It Really Matter How People Make Money on Steemit?"
And I can certainly understand why some would want to consider using these. I'm well aware of the frustration of working long and hard on a post, only to see minimal traction and recognition in return. Just look at many of the earlier posts on my own timeline! All I can say is that with hard work, many high quality posts, and constructive interaction with the community, the rewards will start showing up. For me, using mostly "100% Power Ups" helped me grow faster as well.
For those traders out there, you can think of each post as a stock option. The don't all pay off, but every once in a while, one might pay off big and make it all worth while. The irony is that it's not always the one you worked on the hardest either. Sometimes it's just that short and very inspired post at just the right time that does the trick.