One of the ways in which web-based businesses can quickly grow, without investing heavily in advertising, is to incentivise others to promote their services, essentially outsourcing marketing.
This approach is especially common in the highly competitive crypto industry, with increasing numbers of exchanges vying for market share,.
As we explained at the beginning of the section on earning cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency adoption grew initially from word-of-mouth, and still relies heavily on this kind of approach.
The opportunities to earn cryptocurrency by promoting services in this way can be categorised as follows:
Referral schemes simply encourage existing customers of cryptocurrency services, like Exchanges, to recruit their friends and family to become users, in return for a reward both for themselves, and the new customer. They are often called Refer-a-friend schemes for this reason.
The reward can be a fixed payment per user recruited (in crypto or fiat), ongoing commission based on how much customers trade or sometimes discounted use of the service.
Referral schemes are very simple to use, with new customers automatically provided with a referral link or code that they simply share with their friends, along with a persuasive description of the service..
Any new customers who create an account using the specific link or code, will trigger a payment to the customer who referred them, so long as they fulfil certain activity criteria.
This last part is especially important to pay attention to; you are only going to get rewarded for customers who are actively using the service.
Here’s an example from Coinbase:
The referral code you share looks like this: https://www.coinbase.com/join/YOUR_REFERRAL_ID
If your friend visits coinbase.com/trade and initiates a buy or sell of $100 USD or more (or 100 USD equivalent of your domestic currency) within 180 days of opening his or her account, you both will receive a 10 USD (or 10 USD equivalent of your domestic currency) referral bonus when the order completes. Orders can take up to 4 business days to complete.
The Coinbase referral scheme places no limit on the number of customers you can get paid to refer, so your potential to earn simply depends on the effort you are prepared to put in.
Though the reward is in USD or equivalent, you can simply exchange this for crypto in order to build your stack.
To make the most of Referral Schemes you need an audience, so exploiting Social Media - such as on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook - is a great start.
The more people who see your link and sign up, the more you’ll earn. Many people use forums like Reddit where a popular post can boost your exposure, especially if it gets indexed by Google.
A word of warning though: blasting referral links all over your social media may seem “spammy.” Only share ref links for crypto projects that have a positive reputation, or of new projects that look to be building something valuable.
Remember, your reputation is also at stake when you’re encouraging your followers to sign up for a service, so only recommend platforms you can vouch for. If those you refer have a bad experience, they may hold you responsible.
If you are considering just creating duplicate accounts and referring yourself, most referral schemes will have means for monitoring that kind of abuse.
Many crypto companies, including exchanges, wallets, and blockchains, offer both referral and affiliate schemes. They use the same mechanisms - custom sign up links - but rather than being existing customers, Affiliates are independent of the service they are promoting, and generally have a dedicated website or social media; in some cases they are multi-million euro businesses in their own right.
To be an Affiliate you generally go through a separate registration process, specific to the scheme, accepting terms and conditions related to how the affiliate program works, and get access to an Affiliate system showing your referral activity.
This also gives you access to specific marketing materials like banners or landing pages, to help with the job of marketing.
Being an Affiliate is a step-up from simply referring friends and family, requiring a greater level of commitment, but the rewards are much greater.
Affiliates schemes tend to pay commission rather than fixed fees, and are more open to paying in crypto, so if you are able to attract a very active customer the potential rewards are enormous.
By working as an affiliate, you can earn revenue in cryptocurrency, or denominated in a stablecoin such as USDT. Stablecoins are tokens that represent fiat currency on a 1:1 basis. For example, 1 USDT is worth US$1.
Professional crypto traders with a large Twitter following can earn thousands of dollars from referral links, which offer new users a discount on trading fees, and pay a reward to the affiliate.
Affiliate schemes operated by cryptocurrency exchanges, casinos and support services can be found by visiting the website in question and checking the criteria for participation.
You will need to create an account with the exchange that is running an affiliate scheme, and may be required to verify your identity, so consider whether this is something you are prepared to do.
New cryptocurrency projects that are building tools such as blockchains, wallets, and applications for interacting with blockchain technology also offer affiliate and referral schemes because they need to attract users fast. Try searching on Twitter and Telegram for referrals you can participate in, using keywords such as “crypto affiliate” or “cryptocurrency exchange referral.”
Referral and Affiliate Schemes are great ways to earn cryptocurrency while promoting crypto products and services you believe in.
This can be especially effective for crypto networks with their own native tokens. The value of the project’s token may increase over time, in turn increasing the return on the effort you have invested.
These network effects compound, with increased adoption of cryptocurrency creating more evangelists who are incentivised to spread the word about the benefits crypto can provide – while earning a commission into the bargain.
This works best when you promote a project at an early stage - see our article on how the original Bitcoin faucet was giving out 5BTC for clicking a button - but you need to balance the potential upside, with the risk of promoting a project that will end up going nowhere.
Another way to earn cryptocurrency is by participating in what are known as Bounty Programs.
A bounty is a crypto reward that is offered to anyone who can complete a particular task or set of tasks. Bounties tend to be set by crypto projects that need to attract new users and to grow their community.
Thus, you might be offered a reward or bounty just for completing simple tasks like following the project on Twitter, joining their Telegram channel, and retweeting one of their tweets or blog posts.
When a new project launches, there are loads of tasks the team must tick off, including marketing, promotions, and competitions. Often, these tasks are assigned to the project’s community in the form of a bounty. Anyone who completes the assignment will be eligible for the reward on offer.
This might take the form of a meme competition, in which community members who create the funniest or most original meme will receive a bounty. There are also more advanced bounties issued, however, that reward users who possess particular skills.
A project might issue a bounty for anyone who can create a three-minute explainer video about their technology and share it on YouTube. Or they might allocate a bounty to anyone who can design their new logo or sign up for their new application.
If you have particular digital skills, including coding, web design, copywriting, and graphic design, bounty programs can prove a useful way to earn crypto. Coindesk was reporting on the growth of Bounty Campaigns back in 2018.
When a video game developer launches a new release – say, GTA5 by Rockstar – there is a huge amount of work to be done in bug testing. Gamers who are hired for the task can earn bounties for exploring the world in detail and noting down any errors they encounter.
Well, it’s the same with crypto: new projects need users to test out their services, provide feedback on ways it can be improved, and report any bugs they encounter.
While some of this work requires experience of coding, there are tasks that are suited to end users with no programming experience. Just for downloading a crypto app, testing it out and reporting bugs, you could earn a bounty.
This is an effective way of expanding your crypto knowledge and gaining a deeper understanding of how different crypto components work while being rewarded for your time.
The biggest crypto communities tend to run the most organised Bounty Campaigns. The original bitcoin forum - www.bitcointalk.org - has full-time Bounty Managers running schemes and recruiting users.on behalf of crypto services. Here’s a recent list of active Bounty campaigns.
You’ll need a Bitcointalk account and crypto wallet to participate in a Bounty Campaign. Be careful to vet campaigns as much as possible in advance. Other similar forums such as www.cryptotalk.org run similar schemes
You can also find Bounty Programs by following popular crypto projects and crypto personalities on Twitter, as well as checking out crypto channels on Discord and Telegram. The Beer Money subreddit is also a good source while specific Bounty platforms have emerged promoting schemes for a fee. Just google Crypto Bounty Programs.
Crypto projects need people to promote them. Everyday users just like you, who are actively interacting with them and incentivised to spread the word. Affiliate, referral and bounty programs give you a chance to earn crypto just for sharing links and completing simple tasks. Like anything else, what you get out will depend on what you are prepared to put in.
Unless you have a large social media following, or are an experienced coder with blockchain experience, you probably won’t earn a lot from promoting crypto projects.
You should be able to earn a base amount, however, and the more programs you participate in, the quicker your rewards will start to stack up, especially if cryptocurrency continues to rise in value.
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