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How to Monetise Your Content With Coil and Brave BAT

I recently started monetising my blog, (don’t worry there’s no paywall!) this isn’t a new thing as I originally did something similar with Brave and the Basic Attention Token (BAT) back in 2018 on scottspence.me.

So what is web monetisation? It’s an alternative approach to payments that doesn’t rely on advertising or stealing your data and selling it on.

This time around I’ve re-enlisted the Brave BAT for scottspence.com but also started using Coil, Coil was announced on the Dev.to community back in June as a way of streaming micropayments to the creator of the contents you’re consuming.

Coil is a paid service (~£4.17 a month) that allows you to access web monetised content. “So you said there was no paywall yo!?” There isn’t but there can be, this can be for Coil exclusive content and other services like accessing the entire Cinnamon video library.

There’s also imgur Emerald and a Twitch Coil Twitch Bot that pays the content creator as you watch, this is as long as you (the watcher) have a Coil membership and the Coil extension installed on your browser.

Wait it’s Monetization not Monetisation

I’ll use the american spelling when referring to a location of a setting on a site or the actual monetization tag name.

All other times I mention it I’ll be using the usual UK spelling for it.

What you need

If you’re a content creator and you want to monetise your content, like your site, your YouTube videos or your Twitch streams you’ll need a few things.

1. Set up a web monetised wallet

You’ll need a web monetised wallet that supports web monetisation, although there are wallets that support the Interledger Protocol (ILP) it only appears that Uphold and GateHub support web monetisation.

I had a Uphold account since I set up the Brave BAT back in 2018 so there was noting for me to do there.

2. Get your payment pointer

Now that I have a web monetised wallet I need to get the payment pointer. In Uphold you do this by clicking on the currency you want to receive your web monetisation in. In my case GBP, on the GPB card there’s three options, Use Funds, Add Funds and Activity.

Clicking Add Funds take you to the various ways you can add funds, one option is to fund ‘from Interledger Payment Pointer’, there’s an option to generate a payment pointer. As I had already created one I could copy pasta that for later, my pointer looks like this: $ilp.uphold.com/bzPBWkMBzLmN

3. Create your monetization meta tag

Time to get the payment pointer into a monetization, <meta> tag.

The tag’s name is always monetization. The content is your payment pointer. My example meta tag here:

1<meta name="monetization" content="$ilp.uphold.com/bzPBWkMBzLmN" />

4. Add the meta tag to your site

Now I can add the meta tag to my site, I use Gatsby and of course ”there’s a plugin for that” but I’ve gone with adding the tag to the head of my site with React Helmet.

I have top level module that wraps my whole site so I’m going to slot my monetization, meta tag in there.

Brave Rewards

Brave rewards I’ve amassed a total of 0.95 BAT since I implemented the BAT on scottspence.me in 2018, I used the same approach to add the BAT for scottspence.com.

To create a BAT I logged in to the Brave Rewards admin panel, I don’t recall the sign-up process but do know there’s not a password username system but a magic email link sent to you each time you want to use it.

From the panel I can use ‘Add Channel’ to add a website, YouTube channel, Twitch channel, Twitter account, Vimeo channel, Reddit and a GitHub

In my case I’m adding a website where I’m asked to choose one of two verification methods, add a trusted file to your site or add a DNS record, I go with the trusted file.

I’m them prompted to add the file brave-payments-verification.txt and it’s contents to a .well-known folder, I have this in the root of my project and copy it into the public folder of my site as the last build step, here’s the package.json script:

1"scripts": {
2 "build": "gatsby build && yarn wellknown",
3 "wellknown": "cp -r .well-known/ public/"
4}

Coil account

You don’t have to have a Coil account to benefit from web monetisation.

Dev.to are using web monetisation too

Like I mentioned earlier, Dev.to are now web monetised but it looks like the monetization tag on Dev.to is their own tag whilst they test the viability of it before letting authors to set their own pointers.

Here’s the source comments from one of my Dev.to posts, notice the pointer is different:

1<!-- Experimental web monetization payment pointer for micropayments -->
2<!-- It lets readers make micropayments to websites they visit. -->
3<!-- This is step 1: Get live in production to test for platform-wide payment pointer. -->
4<!-- Step 2: Allow authors to set their payment pointer so they can directly monetize their content based on visitors. -->
5<!-- Step 3: Enable further functionality based on what we learn from this experimentation and how the ecosystem evolves. -->
6<meta name="monetization" content="$ilp.uphold.com/24HhrUGG7ekn" />

To set up your Dev.to posts to be web monetised you can add your payment pointer in the settings panel under ‘Web Monetization’.

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