The great bid bot experiment - Results from week one!

in steemit •  last year 

Two weeks ago I started the great bid bot experiment, to gather some insights into bidbots and how they are affecting post payouts and profitability. The payouts for the first week where I used bid bots on every post have matured so I thought I'd share some statistics and insights

The experiment

For the bid bot experiment I have spent one week using upvote bots (and resteem bots) on all posts, (expect freewrites, memes and contests - I explain why in the initial post). For the second week I used no bid bots at all, and no resteem bots. The idea is to see how using bid bots affect profitability, as this has been a major talking point on Steemit.



For the full rundown of how I am running the experiment check out the link in the introduction.

Some statistics from my week of bots


The results are in, and they aren’t as pretty as I would have expected! From this short experiment it seems that bid bots aren't all they are cracked up to be….

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In terms of $USD I spent $55.92 ‘promoting’ 6 posts across the first week - leading to an average of $9.32 spent per post. The most I spent on a post for a bidbot was 5SBD ($18.71) and the least was 1SBD ($4.02). Interestingly the post that I spent the most on ended up with a negative ROI! The most profitable post, interestingly, was the introduction post to the experiment - so it seems people are interested to see how bots affect profitability. Out of my 6 posts, two of them had a negative ROI, and 4 generated a profit.

The overall profit for the week was a meager $11.31, or an average of $1.88 per post….

I put a small limit on how much my maximum bid would be (5SBD), so it would be interesting to see how profitable it is when you spend more than 100 SBD per post.

Renewed thoughts on resteem bots


From early on my Steemit journey I have been an advocate of using resteem bots - I mean it seems a great idea to pay as little as 0.1SBD to get your content resteemed to 1000s of eyes. But I have been thinking, and now I think they actually offer little to no value, and I will be discontinuing their use. WHY?

  1. They are largely ‘follow for follow’ accounts - they have a large following, but alot of the following is inactive, or not the best quality.
  2. Because of their nature, they resteem alot of posts, so your resteem will reach ALOT less than what you think.
  3. Alot of their following is actually bots/dummy accounts. I read a post about this recently but can't find the link (i'll post it in the comments when I find it!)

Week two and no bots


The second week of the experiment has just come to an end (payouts will be all matured in 7 days). So before I can make a comparison in terms of overall profitability I thought I would share some thoughts on how my bot free week went.

I was AMAZED how well it went not using bots. What I noticed is my posts got more ‘manual curation’ from account with more SP - and I even got an upvote from @curie for my post about heavy metal music in New Zealand. I also had a couple of comments from curators for @aspers, and it seems they have their eye on my content. Also today I got a comment from @trufflepig on this post saying I had made their list of underrated content.

Concluding reflections


It seems that in a way by using upvotes minnows could actually be doing themselves a disservice - posts with more than a few dollars are generally ignored by manual curation services such as @curie, as they are looking for ‘undervalued’ content - this doesn't matter if it has been artificially increased in value by bidbots. So although it seems like your posts are earning less, if your content is good then you have more potential to get noticed by manual curation services.

I think, for me anyway it is a bit disheartening when you spend hours writing a post and after 5 hours its only earnt a few cents. From a physcological standpoint it makes you feel better to see $10 next to your post, even if it has been paid for!

Id love to hear your thoughts on this debate!

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Congratulations @conradt, you were correct we have been watching your work, your post has been selected by the @asapers for a resteem and a feature in our brand new curation post. Issue 48

What does this mean for you? Well first an upvote from some members of the team, we are no @curie or @ocd but who is going to be unhappy with some extra upvotes. Also each post featured in the article will receive a 10% share of the SBD generated from the curation post.

Keep up the great work and please consider supporting the @asapers with an upvote and/or a resteem on the post you feature in. Please wait seven days for payout.

Your friendly @asapers

Giving back A.S.A.P

Read Me ASAP.png

Thanks so much @asapers for all the hard work you put in! Steemit needs more people like you!

Idea for the resteem bots, have you checked their followers vs http://www.steemspectacles.com/ ? If not maybe see if checking how many 'live' followers they have influence the effects.
On the last post I bought votes for I had a profitable ROI but I was using flat-fee ones, but I still only made $0.60 off those. All in all I only made about a dollar (USD, not steem or STU) but it looked like I made $6 to anyone browsing casually. I think this does change whether people will vote for something. Although there seems to be a % of people that might vote simply to join what they perceive to be the crowd. It's the empty tip jar idea, I heard to never have an empty tip jar because then psychologically for some reason they won't tip. Guess it works the other way too if people think you've gotten too much.

Lolz i can't help but agree to your last stated facts about the tip jar. Nice observation!

I've heard the idea of putting money in the tip jar to inspire others as seeding or salting the tip jar. https://www.marketplace.org/2013/02/18/business/baristas-take-note-how-get-more-money-your-tip-jar
And while it's not exactly tipping here maybe some of the psychology lends itself over.

Thanks yea didnt think of that either but makes complete sense!

Id say that the active followers for resteem services would be very low.. I followed some when I first joined but I just got so annoyed that my whole feed was just resteems!

This manual curator from @asapers is back and pleased to see your conclusions re: bidbots. I too experimented with them when I was new, just to see what they were all about, but soon felt like I was buy and wrapping my own birthday presents :)

I'm going to submit this post for curation and we'll see what happens!

Thanks @lynncoyle1! I am happy to have done this experiment and it has really made me think about why I am using the bots, and also how it affects not only my time on Steemit but also how they affect the whole community...

Yeah I agree, although it feels like you are earning more on your posts it feels a bit wrong to me.

Thanks again!

You are most welcome! I've been reading more and more posts which basically come to the conclusion that it's the bidbot owners who are making the real money! ;)

Yeah I have read the same thing!

Thank you for doing this! I have been reading up all I can. I decided I can learn best from those who have more SBDs to experiment with. It is looking like you second week is going to show some favorable results. I will be interested to see the comparison post.
I found you on the @asapers post BTW

It has been an interesting experiment - looking forward to sharing my final results next week!

I wish I had more SBDs so I could buy bigger upvotes for the experiment .. I see alot of posts on trending and then see how much they spend on upvotes - ALOT!

Thanks for reading!

this is interesting @conradt! :) I know the feeling of creating posts for more than an hour then i only got few cents. it hurts sometimes. :D

Yeah, but over time if you keep writing great content then you will get noticed! But yes it can be a bit disheartening to write for an hour only make a few cents - I think that is why people come to Steem and then leave when they realise that it isnt as easy as people make it out to be.

Thanks for the comment @annefernandez!

This is a good article I was curious of the conclusion!
Psychologically it makes a difference and I value what mind thinks than what is real because the brain doesn't know the difference! Bid bots help minnows to get the courage to continue but as you said it's better to build real community around you than bots because manual curation is better and profitable. Your article opens my eyes thank you 😊 @conradt

Thanks...

Yes this is true and it is nice when you see a larger payout even if it is paid for. Im glad this post has got people thinking about how they are using bots - they are not for everyone.. thanks for stopping by @bmotives!

Lolz truly people want to know your findings, i for example couldn't miss this post because i was very interested in the conclusions you had come to. It's all very confusing really which to do, bid bots or no bots?

Its a bit of a debate alright @dee-y I actually think that aslong as you write good content then no bid bots is probably better!

Yes this settles it all. If you are creating original content, then bots are not for you. Especially if you have been around for months... I can understand the plight of new users.

Yep I think this more and more each day @dee-y!

While I am against bid bots, if you want to maximize their ROI you must use the steembottracker and bid at the end of voting windows (hoping nobody snipes the window with a last seconds bid and crushes everyone’s ROI).

Yeah I have been using steembottracker and iI agree that voting near the end of the voting window is the best approach - however it seems others have the same strategy as vote right at the end and often they end up with a negative ROI

  ·  last year (edited)

That's a very informative experiment. I always felt that those who declined bot assistance were at a disadvantage, but that didn't influence my behavior.

I know Steemit is about money, and that's what distinguishes it from other social platforms. But the bots--they just take the fun out of it. They make Steemit only about money. I wouldn't be here if it was only about money--I'd be in the stock market or some form of currency manipulation. I like writing. I like reading what others have written. I like genuine commentary, feedback. That makes Steemit organic, responsive, vibrant. It's exciting to find one of my posts has been rewarded, and wanting an award is a stimulus to produce. But the meaning behind the award, that people liked my work, that it was found to be worthwhile, that's the best prize. Bots don't give me that.
I'm glad I read your post. It's satisfying going along without bots, even more so now that it seems to be the 'smart' move.

  ·  last year (edited)

I believe it depends on how you use the bid-bots.

While I am new to Steemit and even newer to bid-bots I have learned to only use a bot that's minutes away from giving votes. The reasoning is that I can better calculate if my paid for bid will break even or not.

Also we have to take into account on what tags the bids were placed on. For instance the #mma tag has a following but not a massive one. So a $ 5 SBD bid would likely get a post to the top of the trending page and noticed by the others in that section. The same can't be said if you are using the tag #steemit. In the case you are using the more popular tags your $5 SBD bid will get your post to the hot page for awhile before eventually being lost in the feed.

All $5 SBD bids are not equal.

I agree about resteems. Paid for ones are mostly a money grab. You can find free resteem options that work just as well.

Your facts are absolutely true and i agree with you.
Thanks for sharing with us. @conradt

Interesting to hear about your experiment. I too have been running a similar experiment with bid bots (purely out of frustration for the lack of upvotes i was getting). I was spending a max of $1.50 SBD per post for the last week or so with the idea of trying to keep my posts in the 'hot' category for a little longer - so, in theory, more people would get a chance to see them...and then asapers found me too! Although i do not think that was because of anything i was doing with bots but rather the time i was taking to make good posts. Jury is still out for me too, as it is early days but interesting to see your conclusions so far.

Yeah that was the plan with me aswell to get the post into the 'hot' category where it will get a few more eyes on it.

For me I think I am going to continue on with being bot free for now - although I wont rule out using them completly in the future as a way to boost certain posts for more visibility

To be honest i'm edging that way myself. Good luck to you, I really hope you succeed.