If you're new to Hive, you may not know about one of the best ways to earn curation rewards passively.
What Are Curation Trails?
Curation Trails are a way to piggyback on the votes cast by other big curators in the Hive ecosystem.
Instead of doing the curation manually, which you'll still be able to do anyway, you can delegate some authority and let Hive.Vote find quality content to vote for you.
It's important to note that Curation Trails are not a delegation system.
It's All in the Hive Power You Have
There are 2 things to remember here:
- You need a good amount of Hive Power (HP)
- Curation Trails will affect your Voting Mana (remember, on Hive, every 100% vote you cast will use 2%)
On the Hive blockchain, in general, the amount of HP determines the value of your Vote Value (next screenshot).
For example, I have a very low Vote Value and, therefore, I am making almost nothing with Curation Trails. So having a high HP, and therefore a high Vote Value, is the rule of the game here.
With low HP, Hive.Vote (see further down for the tutorial on this) will not cast low value votes.
The Plethora of Curators Out There
The best part about this is that you can find a great number of curators that focus on different topics and earn you different rewards.
Note: If you want to go the extra mile, you can also delegate your SPT to @monster-curator. Remember, Delegation is different from Curation Trails. See this post of mine about delegating to @monster-curator.
@ecency - This curation trail will help you earn Ecency Points, which can be used for in-app services, like Promote, Boost, Gifting. Ecency Points can be redeemed for promotions or boosts to your posts in the form of high value upvotes (for example, this very same post was boosted with some Ecency Points).
@risingstargame - If you happen to play the Rising Star game, then you should definitely follow this curation trail. The account focuses on upvoting posts about Rising Star, of course, but also other high-quality content about music.
@hive.pizza: This is another one I'd like to get into (oh 🤦♂️ so much to do, so little time!). The team here curates content relating to pizza, gaming, movie, art, and music.
And there are many, many more to choose from. Those ☝ are just some examples I'm looking into at the moment.
How to Start With Curation Trails
This is how you start with Curation Trails.
Sign Up With Your Posting Key
Head over to Hive.Vote (image below) and sign up though Hivesigner.
If you're doing this for the first time, only use your Posting Key with Hive.Vote. The Posting Key can only: Post, Comment, Vote, Reblog, Follow, Profile.
As a reminder, in the Hive blockchain, you have 4 Private Keys:
- Owner: Change Password, Change Keys, Recover Account
- Active: Transfer Funds, Power up/down, Voting Witnesses/Proposals
- Posting: Post, Comment, Vote, Reblog, Follow, Profile
- Memo: Send/View encrypted messages on transfers
And Hive.Vote only needs the Posting Key (the third one from the list above). You only have to use your Posting Key and your Hivesigner password once.
Hive.Vote uses Hivesigner to broadcast the transaction(s) which will allow them to use your account posting authority. Only posting!
Start a Curation Trail
When you're in, you'll have to first authorize @steemauto (which is Hive.Vote). Can you see the "1" in the image below? I've already granted permission to @steemauto, that's why it says Unauthorize (Leave HiveVote). In your case, you'll have to authorize.
After you authorize @steemauto, you want to click on the Curation Trail blue button (number "2" in the image above).
Scroll down and search for a trail, which means you need to search for a username.
Let's try with @monster-curator for example. Insert the username, without the "@" symbol and click search.
You'll get a result just like this. Then, click on Follow.
Now, go back to the CURATION TRAIL by clicking on the left side on the screen (next image).
You'll see something like this.
Click on the gear icon ⚙ to adjust the settings to see something like this 👇
I highly, highly recommend you read the FAQ section. However, I can give you a couple of pointers here.
Following a curation trail will, inevitably, eat up your voting power. Remember the screenshot earlier?
Therefore, remember to adjust the Voting weight (%) from the settings. Default is 50%, and you'll need to find the right balance with a bit of trial and error.
Regarding the Scale and Fixed options for the Voting weight (%):
- Fixed voting weight (default) means you will upvote with the exact percentage you entered.
- Scaled voting weight means your voting weight will be changed (scaled) by the trail's voting weight. For example, if you followed a trail with this option set to 10% then if that trail upvotes a post by 50%, your upvote weight will be 5% (10% of 50%).
Extra tip for beginners:
If you have very low HP (like me at around 30), I recommend you set Voting weight (%) at 100 and use the Fixed voting weight. Else, you won't cast any vote at all, because Hive.Vote won't cast low-value votes.
How to Start Using Fanbase
This is another interesting tool by Hive.Vote.
By using the Fanbase tool, you can automatically upvote your favorite authors (like your friends) immediately after they publish a post.
This is very similar to Curation Trails.
You look up for a user, you follow the user and then configure the Upvote weight in the same fashion that we've explored earlier.
I haven't tried this yet, but it seems promising.
How to See if Votes Are Being Cast
Now that you're following Curation Trails, how can you see if this is working? Hive.Vote doesn't have a section where you can see the votes that are cast.
However, there are 2 ways for you to see if/when votes are being cast:
First, keep an eye on your hiveblocks.com transactions. Go to https://hiveblocks.com/@davdiprossimo (use your username), then CTRL+F (Command+F on Mac) and search for the upvotes.
For example, in that screenshot 👇 you can see that I am searching for the words "davdiprossimo upvote". As you can see, that is an example of an article the system upvoted via Curation Trails for me.
Keep an Eye on Your Voting Power
I said this earlier: Curation Trails will impact your Voting Mana.
Of course, after a few days you use the system, you'll want to adjust your voting percentage up or down on Hive.Vote itself.
Go to Home in Hive.Vote, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Here, you want to adjust the Upvote Mana threshold (see next image).
Look at mine, it's set at 70%.
If my Voting Mana falls below 70%, the account will not cast any upvotes through my Curation Trails until it increases above the threshold.
Again, this is based on personal preferences. It'll take some time to figure out the perfect percentage for you, but it's worth the time.
More Readings on Curation Trails
Special thanks to the following posts for giving me some inspiration on creating this guide.
- Making More HIVE, SPT, LEO, and SPORTS with Curation Trails! - by @shauner
- Curation Trail: Climb Aboard! - by @rosiew
And that's it! If you're looking to earn curation rewards passively, that's the way to go.
Let me know what you think in the comments.