Faucets are amongst the most popular Bitcoin-related website out there, with the average site getting tens of thousands of visits every day. The same goes for many altcoins, which also have their own faucets (for example, we run ones for Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Peercoin as well as BTC). But why would anybody want to run a website whose sole purpose in life is to give away free money? Well, here are just a few reasons why you might consider running your own faucet:

  1. To give something back: Faucets are a great way to help introduce new people to bitcoin, or to your favourite altcoin. Many faucets provide information to newbies as well as offering them some free coins so that they can ‘try before they buy’, experimenting with a test transaction or two before putting real money on the line. Since this whole area is so new and a bit scary to some people, who perhaps don’t quite trust it with their hard earned cash yet, this is a great way to promote digital currency and bring in new users. If you have done well out of your involvement in digital currency, or if you have made a big investment and want to help it to succeed, then perhaps it’s time you gave something back by running your own faucet?
  2. To get traffic: Faucets are high traffic websites. It is not all that difficult to get a huge number of page views per day to a site which is giving away free money. If you have other content or services you would like to promote to Bitcoin users – especially new users – then a faucet can be a great way to bring them flocking to your site and make them familiar with your brand name.
  3. To make money: Making a healthy profit from a faucet site on its own is a lot harder than just making a popular faucet, but it is still possible. There are a lot of these sites around today, so its a very competitive market, and earning enough from advertising to cover the cost of the coins you are giving away is not easy. Adding additional content to your site, or creating some kind of unique or interesting twist, can help.

How To Make Your Own Faucet

There are loads of great services and tools out there to help you make your own faucet website.

There are also some nice services to help you jazz it up a little – for example Faucet Custom offer design themes to help you get the most out of your site as well as web hosting to keep it running.

#1 Using Scripts

One of the most popular methods for creating a faucet is using micropayment services like Faucetbox, Microwallet or Paytoshi, which provide an API for tracking claims and referrals, and usually provide a website script to get you started with a basic site.

What you will need to get started:

  1. A web hosting account (check out our comparison of shared hosting plans you can buy with bitcoin).
  2. Some coins

Each of the services mentioned above provide their own website script with a choice of design templates and full instructions showing you how to install it and get a basic website up and running on your hosting account. When a user makes a claim it will be added to their balance on this site, which they can then cash out when they reach a certain threshold. The reason for this is because if you tried to send a transaction for each claim, the whole amount and probably more besides would get eaten up by the miners’ fee.

The basic service provided by each one is very similar, but there are still important differences you need to consider when choosing which one to use. Often this type of service will provide the script for free, but charge you a fee each time you deposit coins to your faucet, so you should compare the costs for each one and factor this into your calculations. They will also offer to help you promote your website through their own list or rotator, so you may want to consider which site is most popular with faucet users – Faucetbox seems popular at the moment but that may have changed by the time you read this. Also, each one will offer different template designs, different thresholds for users to cash out, and perhaps different extra features.

#2 Turnkey Bitcoin Faucets

An even easier method is to pay for an all-on-one service, in which your website is set up and hosted for you, and you are just given the ‘keys’ to an admin panel where you can customize its settings.

On example of this is the JackPotFaucet Network. You pay them a one-off fee and they make your site for you and host it forever. You also get to participate in their shared Jackpot, which means your visitors get the chance to win a big prize, which gets bigger and bigger each time somebody visits any of the faucets in their network. They also promise to send you free traffic. Be warned, however, that they do put their own adverts in the captcha mechanism within your faucet, which can have a big effect on your ability to monetize the traffic you get.

#3 Building Your Own Custom Website

If you are capable of doing it then building your own fully independent site is the best way to go. This way you can take the faucet profit and also the profit which would otherwise go to the micropayment sites like Faucetbox. This extra profit comes from the fees that faucet owners pay them, but also from users who never reach the threshold and so never cash out their earnings. You also get much more freedom to create a unique user-experience that will attract people to visit your site over the hundred of others that they could go to.

You have to really know what you are doing in terms of security, however, as people will try to exploit any vulnerabilities in your site to steal your coins.

How To Promote Your Faucet

There are quite a few different ways that you can promote your new site. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Referral program: Most faucets have a referral program which pays out a commission to anybody who sends new users to the site. This is a great way to get an army of marketeers promoting your faucet for you without having to pay any upfront costs. Obviously, the higher the commissions you pay are the more people will promote it, but this is a fine line to walk as there is no point having loads of visitors if you are losing more money than you can afford from each one.
  2. Rotators: Many faucet visitors use rotators, which help them to easily navigate through the best paying faucets. Often, they also help users to keep track of when they can make a new claim at each site. Compiling a list of these services and then contacting them with all the relevant information about your new site (how much you pay, how often users can claim, what referral commission you offer etc) can really help to get things started.
  3. BitcoinTalk: The BitcoinTalk.org forum has an entire section dedicated to service announcements for ‘micro earnings‘. This is a great place to create a thread announcing your new faucet to the world. If you are a regular user of this, or any other forum, then adding a link into your signature is another good way to promote your service.
  4. Social Media: Building up a strong social media presence can be a long and difficult process, but even sharing from your personal profiles may get you a few regular users to get the ball rolling.

Monetizing a Faucet

If you plan on trying to make a profit from placing advertising on your site, then this will be the most important and the probably the most difficult part to get right. Visitors to site like this are notoriously low value, in terms of the advertising income they generate. But there are lots of different methods that you can experiment with:

  1. Google Adsense: Google advertising almost always pays better than any other ad network, but they can be picky about who they accept so if you don’t already have an Adsense account you may struggle to get one. They also limit the number of ads you can place on each page.
  2. Bitcoin Ad Networks: With plenty of highly relevant adverts, niche networks can generate high click-through rates but will usually pay less per click than something like Adsense. You can find more information about ad networks as well as other information you might find useful in our post on earning Bitcoin from blogging.
  3. Affiliate programs: Finding relevant merchants who run affiliate programs can be a good way to boost your income in a way which is compatible with the use of ad networks like Google Adsense. Referral programs from other faucets are a good place to start, although you need to think about finding services your visitors won’t already be familiar with. For example, if you run a Faucetbox site then advertising other Faucetbox sites probably won’t work very well, because many of your visitors will already know and use them. You can find more ideas in our post on the 20 best bitcoin affiliate programs.
  4. Annoying adverts: Certain types of advert, like pop-ups or interstitial ads, can be very annoying to your visitors – but can give you an extra income without having any impact on what you earn from your other ads. If you can work it so that you have a very high payout then people may put up with these annoying ads in order to get that payout, but if you have low payouts and annoying ads then you will probably end up with very few regular visitors.