This is a second part of the article "How to grow the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem: our vision".
In the first part, we've discussed that in order to ensure that Bitcoin Cash projects stay and grow - their creators and projects need money to survive (and thrive) and to do that they need to repeatedly remind users of their presence. People tend to forget about your project too easily.
We've also discussed our vision, that if you publish your updates on read.cash - at least you get the chance to get paid in hard money (Bitcoin Cash) instead of "karma", "likes" and "claps". It's natural for people after reading the article to want to support the author. With read.cash they're just one click away from doing it (even if they don't have an account) - click the upvote and author gets a few bucks (or cents)! As an added benefit you get an army of affiliates (not yet a hyperactive one, but all the ingredients are in place, it just takes time to boil).
So, let's get to the point.
We promised you something big in Part 2.
At first, we started to research how the donations work in the real world, because effectively read.cash is way to request the donations.
Each upvote is a donation.
And many of Bitcoin Cash projects are either open-source or aren't that popular to bring in the good enough profits, so "donations" is one good way to supplement your income in the meantime.
Donations, kind of, work, but still, people who give out donations oftentimes are not that rich, so they can't give enough to support the author.
So, we dug into the open-source projects world to find projects that are growing. We found an interesting thing. It turns out there are open-source projects, not owned by corporations, but with full-time paid employees in first world countries. Once again - free, open-source software, with employees paid $100k+/year...
How do they do that?
Here's one example: WebPack. It's a very-very popular software for production of websites (we also use it on read.cash).
Can you spot how they earn the money to hire full-time employees?
Look carefully, you might miss it!
Of course, you can - it's right there all over the screen!
Sponsors are not people. Sponsors are companies willing to make a profit.
And the whole Bitcoin thing was actually built on willingness to make a profit. Sure, there are other motives, but the miners won't be mining out of ideological reasons (otherwise we would see Bitcoin Cash chain with double the hashrate of BTC). Businessmen won't create businesses out of fun. They do it to make a profit.
So, why would they pay $50'000 (I'm not sure per month or per year) to WebPack?
Because they want WebPack to promote them to their audience. They want advertising in the form of that logo displayed right in front of the developers that companies are willing to reach.
And that's what WebPack does and quite successfully...
Sidenote: it would not be quite as easy to get sponsors in the crypto world as in the real world, since when you donate money to WebPack - you are donating to a registered non-profit corporation and you can officially write that off as a "donation" in your accounting.
It wouldn't be so easy with cryptocurrencies, since the regulation for crypto is not quite there yet in many countries.
Here's the important thing.
Giving a single $1'000 upvote is not easy for any person (unless you're a billionaire, I guess), but for a corporation - paying $1'000 for advertising per month is often typical and easy expense.
$50'000 upvote is unheard of.
$50'000 for sponsorship of a flagship product in your industry who constantly talks about their sponsors everywhere? Easy!
So, this is our Part 2 of "How to grow a Bitcoin Cash ecosystem": every project in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem should host a "sponsors" page and collect money from sponsors and thank and promote them on every corner.
It's a very easy 15-step process. You just need to:
Create a "sponsors" page on your site
Place a call for sponsorships
Get placeholder logos
Communicate with potential sponsors
Accept a logo with a link from them
Communicate if the logo doesn't fit
Accept a payment from them
(also possibly integrate credit card payments)
Wait for confirmation
Calculate the duration of their sponsorship
Add the logo to your site
Remind the sponsor at the end of the period
Remove logos of the sponsorships that ended
Create an affiliate program so that thousands of affiliates can promote your sponsorhip program
Don't forget to pay your affiliates periodically!
Not impressed? No?
Ok, I guess... we can.. maybe cut off a step here or there..
Maybe just start with a donation page... and hope for the best...
How about this: can you type
Let's see what it does:
Yeah! 🎉 Now that's more like it! One-step process is a much better one!
And it's not something that's only available for us, it's available for everybody in the whole world. Right now! No names, no documents, no restricted countries list! ...and using Bitcoin Cash (deposits and withdrawals to other cryptos coming soon.. if you're into that kind thing... ;) )
So, let me now paint a picture for you. Joe the Developer has busted his ass off and created a great service. He comes to read.cash, in about one minute he registers, writes a simple page:
And that's it. He's ready to accept sponsorships now.
Of course, it's not the end, it's just the beginning. But it removes a lot of friction.
Now all Joe has to do is to link this page from everywhere, so that sponsors can see that their logo would constantly be in front of their potential customers. Then, as we discussed in the first part - constantly remind the world about his project and what's he up to nowadays.
The millions won't start immediately flowing to Joe, maybe it's going to be $0.01/month at first, but it's a start of a snowball.
Right now it starts whenever a writer (anyone registered on read.cash) writes [sponsors] on a single line (like that, in square brackets, no spaces).
After pressing the "Publish" button it'll be replaced with a box with logos, where sponsors can apply and you'll get a notification with potential sponsor's logo, link and title text.
You can approve or reject applications. After the approval, the sponsor can send you money.
There will be up to 3 big logos shown, and up to 8 smaller ones, the rest of the logos will be shown whenever someone clicks "See more..." button.
The payment is direct: sponsor pays 90% directly to you and 10% commission to affiliates/read.cash. We're not holding your money at any moment. Sponsors can prepay as much as they want in advance.
Note that read.cash takes (as with upvotes) 10% of the contribution and uses it to (among other things) pay the affiliates, who will bring in more sponsors for you.
Yes, it's fully integrated with our affiliate program.
Affiliates don't need to do anything special - just share the links to any articles, if that results in a sponsorship (doesn't matter if you invited the sponsor or someone being sponsored) - you still get 3% of all payments for the lifetime.
And we think it gets much more interesting for affiliates too, because if you accidentally invite a project which gets $50'000/year in sponsorship - you've got yourself a nice $1'500/year commission. Ok, it's not like it's a typical result, but you get the idea.
This is our first iteration of the sponsorship program. It lacks a few things like the ability to change monthly donation or request a different logo to be shown, fix a wrong link, but we'll finish these soon.
It should work, but treat it as "beta" quality services. We have warnings about it everywhere.
Right now we wanted to get it out the door as soon as possible to see how it works, because "no plan survives the contact with the real world".
We also require one confirmation for sponsorships, but we're still figuring it out, maybe we'll give authors the way to specify how much they're willing to accept with 0 confirmations, which is always a nicer experience, but carries a bit more risk, since we don't detect double spends (yet).
Have reasonable expectations. Don't expect sponsors to line up to you unless you have a crazily popular project in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. It will take time. It's still better than not having an sponsorship program at all.
There's one more additional ingredient that we need to add to the broth here. The ability to "deposit" and "withdraw" other cryptocurrencies (using integration with external exchange, probably SideShift), because we need to make sure that whoever wants to sponsor you - can do it with any useful cryptocurrency or token.
We hope that when the sponsorships take off there will be many more projects that take off the ground in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem (and stay) without having to constantly worry about where to get the money from.
So... let's do it! Let's grow the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem! And we're off to check another thing off of our Roadmap, where this feature was hiding in plain sight this whole time.
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.