The End of My No-Voting-Bots Experiment - Results, Drawbacks & Future Plans

in #steemit6 years ago (edited)

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It's been well over a month now since I've started my challenge of not using voting bots for at least a month. The time has come to share my findings and lay out a plan for the future.

A few days into the challenge, I had made a follow up post where I spoke about how I was never going to use them again in the future. Mostly because they gave me a false sense of accomplishment.

I'm certain that I will not use them [voting bots] again in the future. I'd rather take the hard road from now on, by growing on the basis of merit, instead of just buying my success. Even if it means that it will go 100 times as slow as before.

This sentiment still holds true today, it has been very refreshing to see some of my posts do rather well, despite not having used any artificial means for promoting them. Though there are some minor issues I have found out during the past month, which have caused me to slightly adjust my plans.


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As you can see in the screenshot above, my rewards have been pretty decent in my opinion. Anything above 1 dollar is pretty good in my book! Do I want to stay at that level? Heck no, but rewards will not increase without more work on my part!

I've been pretty busy in real life, so most of my articles weren't as long as usual, this might have skewed the results a little bit. Currently going through a heat-wave here as well, so any leisure time was spent huffing, puffing and sweating... My little Belgian brain just doesn't work at 30°C!

In conclusion, I'm very happy to keep doing what I'm doing now for the absolute majority of my posts. Which means I'll not be using vote bots for them. I have found some exceptions however, which I'll show you below.


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These are two types of posts I might still use voting bots on in the future and for good reason in my opinion. My Pixabay Curation Magazine rewards artists on Pixabay that are featured in each issue, with a part of the post rewards. I've come to the conclusion that this series could use a lot more additional promotion, just to get the word out there.

Any additional post rewards on those articles will flow right to the Pixabay artists. Any additional SP that I receive from it, will be delegated to different community initiatives (300SP currently delegated to @helpie & @thesteemengine).


The second type of posts I might use voting bots on, are those on which I've spent a great deal of time writing them and also benefit the community directly. It is my goal to offer, as many people as possible, ways to become financially independent through cryptocurrency-related endeavors.

On my ICO Bounty Hunter Platform List, I had spent at least half a day researching the mentioned platforms and writing personalized reviews, while it was probably only seen by a select number of people.

I feel that some additional promotion would help getting these types of posts noticed a little bit more.


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Source: User Goumbic on Pixabay

I'm looking forward to doing some more direct comparisons between posts that have been upvoted by bots and those that have not. It will be very interesting to see how they really compare and what kind of an impact these bots have. Hard numbers don't lie and it's fun to do such experiments. It will give a more clear picture than this past month long challenge.

In reality, around 90% of my future posts will not be affected by the bots. I'm not planning on using bots to promote personal blogs, since they do not really benefit the community. My main focus will still go towards powering up, I've almost reach 1500SP, I'd like to keep that up!

The fact that I'm going to use vote bots again in certain instances does feel like a bit of a cop-out. In the end I'd like to see Steemit do something to disincentive their use or even completely make it impossible to use them.
In the meantime, I'll occasionally use them again on the types of posts I've mentioned previously.

Let's get the discussion going again! Please do share if you know of any other strategies to combat the problems I've mentioned!


Source of first image: Image created by Goodfreephotos and released under Public Domain; Modified by @daan using Gimp


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@adsactly

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Your post has been selected as #adsactlyspostoftheday :)

Join us in our Discord channel here to drop your post in our post promotion page, and make sure to use the @adsactly tag in the post itself.

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Wow thank you so much! I've edited my post and included the logo, linked to @adsactly discord.

I know you have put a lot of time and thought into your decision. I fully support you and your choice. I think your pixabay curation project is a great initiative and those contributors deserve the highest reward possible. Keep doing what you do!

Thanks @bozz! Yeah I wouldn't mind if that got a little bit more exposure. That one also takes quite a bit of time to put together, so I'd like it to be a little bit more visible on Steemit.

I have made a similiar plan and have not boosted some of my personal blogs. Well most of posts are personal ones and I think it is good that you decide that you will only boost certain posts.

I am amazed that you are already at 1500 SP! I just hit the 1K SP mark a few days ago.

With the discord groups, we already get quite some support. Without them it would be very hard to get over 1 dollar in earnings I think.

The ones you put extra effort in are alright to use bots on, but that's just my opinion.

Yeah it's going pretty fast for me, but I have invested quite a bit. So it's not all from posting :-)
1K SP is also very great, all on our way to dolphin status!

Very interesting post!
I think when I'm reaching $1 per post without having to boost, I will reconsider. Right now, I see it as a way of increasing my SP earnings at a time when STEEM is low anyway. I only use three (small) upvoters at the moment.

@Minnowbooster, which I was invited to.
@thundercurator - who curates manually and makes sure the posts are kosher.
@treeplanter - who plants trees in Cameroon, so is a noble cause. (I'll probably continue using this one even after my posts increase in natural value.)
It definitely doesn't make me more SBD total! But, it does help me increase my SP faster, which is important to me.

To me, considering that Steemit promotion can be as much a matter of luck and popularity as it is of quality of posts, upvoters (used responsibly) can be an important boost to minnows.

I'm so glad that you're now reaching the $1+ level without boosters though - such a great achievement!

Interesting to hear your results @daan. Thanks for sharing them.

I'm curious though. On the posts where you will use bots for more visibility? Where do you think the will be seen and by whom?

It would be great to do a test of 2 similar posts, one with bots and one without bots to see if they bots really do get a post seen but people who you'd like to see it.

I would be surprised if it did but it would make a good test. 😁

I've noticed in the past that they got a bit more attention and exposure on the 'Hot' section on Steemit. Also, @buildawhale has a pre-vote curation group from which I've received quite a lot of additional upvotes.

Oh. That's interesting @daan. I forgot about the hot section.

What's a pre-vote curation group? 😂

When you submit a bid on buildawhale, they go through the posts and manually upvote the good ones.

Oh. I see @daan. I can see why you might want to use them then in preference to other bots. 😊

YAY! Good going dude, this feels so much more fair.

And again, I love the pixabay curation initiave, so many beautiful and not recognized artists on there. Such a good spirit to send the sbd to these artists! Steem on mannn

Congrats on your journey and I think you will be happier in the end. It is nice to see how your posts really do and who is really supporting you. Besides, the bots often cont you more than what you get in return not to mention that everyone that sees your posts immediately sees that bots were used. There is a potential negative impact to this.

The negative impact is usually when people use multiple upvote bots to get low-quality posts to trending. (at least that what annoys me most)

When I've used them in the past, I just pick 1 or 2 bots and spent like 2 or 3 STEEM. I wanna run some comparisons to see exactly what difference it makes though.

Very interesting! I think a few bots vote on my stuff, but I never signed up for them. I think someone else did, to be nice...
Im kind of a noob on Steemit, so maybe in the future it would be something I might try, but for now, like you, Ill be just working on my posting and getting by on my own 'steem'. ;)


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

I think we have come to very similar conclusions. I have also decided (in part due to the relative lack of SBD in rewards) to stop using bots as a general rule. However, for posts that I have put a great deal of effort into, I am likely to throw a bot at it.

I have seen a better engagement due to the policy of giving a small upvote to good comments (hopefully my commenters are subscribed to dustsweeper).

Yeah that seems pretty fair and I've received quite a lot of similar responses actually. Do you think you get more engagement when using them?

To be honest, not really. Most engagement comes from Discord promotion. I notice if I don't promote a post on Discord, I get much fewer comments!

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