Do you want to be able to receive tips from the people that read your content? Among the several options available today (e.g. Patreon or Ghost), there is a completely free option consisting in becoming a Brave Verified Creator and offered by Brave.
Brave is a Chromium-based browser available on all platforms and that you can download here. It is also completely open-source with its code pushed on this repository. The features offered by this browser are manifold and would require a dedicated post to analyse them all, but its raising popularity among the community is clearly due to its privacy-preserving shield. While you surf the internet and access websites you leave breadcrumbs in the form of events and triggers used for advertising and tracking purposes.
Brave is able to block the majority of the ads and trackers automatically and natively, which means without the need of installing any external extension (as it would be required for other browsers). Therefore, if you're concerned about your privacy, Brave is surely a valid option to look at.
Although Brave is able to block all ads on a page, its goal is not to kill advertising. On the contrary, it defines a new ecosystem where:
users have complete control of their privacy and are entrusted to choose if they want to receive ads and their quantity, earning revenues proportionally to the number of received ads;
publishers earn revenues from ads (if they decide to activate them on their domain) and directly from user contributions;
advertisers can run less intrusive and more effective ads without violating privacy.
Using Brave as browser does not oblige the user to accept silently this ecosystem. Indeed the user can decide to completely shut down the Brave Shield or even turn it on just on specific websites. However, if the user decides to take part in this ecosystem, it will be rewarded receiving BAT.
BAT is an acronym for Basic Attention Token and indicates a blockchain-based token used as a currency inside Brave. Brave users receive BAT tokens proportionally to the number of ads they receive on the internal Brave wallet.
They can decide to transfer these tokens in other wallets, exchange them for fiat currencies or use them to reward the web content creators they like in the form of anonymous contributions.
If you are a web content creator and you own a channel (e.g. on YouTube) or a website registered at a specific domain and you want to be able to collect and claim BAT contributions from Brave users, then you must become a Brave Verified Creator, meaning a publisher able to demonstrate that he controls the channel/website to verify.
A Brave Verified Creator is automatically linked with a BAT wallet where Brave converges all the received payments for the channels belonging to the creator. The creator can link the wallet to an Uphold or Gemini account in order to exchange BAT for other tokens or currencies.
To get the badge of a Brave Verified Creator, you must be able to prove you actually own the "channel" where you post your content. The channel can be:
a website (as a blog);
a GitHub repository;
a YouTube channel;
a Twitch channel;
a Vimeo channel;
a Twitter account;
a Reddit account.
Brave can update the list of supported channels, thus it is recommended to check the list of the currently supported ones directly on your "Creator" homepage.
The first thing to do is create an account on the Creators Brave website by inserting your email.
Once received the sign-up link in your mail inbox, click on it and proceed with the sign-up.
After the sign-up, on your Creator homepage, you need to click on "Add Channel" to add your channel and get the Brave Verified Creator badge.
For account and channel options all you need to do is to verify you're the guy owning the credentials to log in.
For the website option, the verification process is more tedious: you must be able to either edit a DNS record or be able to create a folder and upload a file on your hosting domain. If you can't do any of the two options you are not eligible to become a Brave Verified Creator.
If you can access the filesystem of your hosting machine (e.g. a virtual machine hosted on AWS), you can use the option involving the creation of a trusted file. To do that, click on the option "I'll use a trusted file". Once clicked, you should be prompted with the content you need to write inside the file.
On the host side, you need to create a folder named
.well-known under your domain root folder and create a file called
brave-rewards-verification.txt inside the just created folder. Assuming your host machine is Linux-based, you should do something like:
$ cd $DOMAIN_ROOT_FOLDER $ mkdir .well-known && cd .well-known $ touch brave-reward-verification.txt
Then you need to write inside the file
brave-rewards-verification.txt the content indicated in the webpage you landed, which has a format like the following:
This is a Brave Rewards publisher verification file. Domain: test.com Token: 31d19738f1b2192e6f87c739e1edf9b48344159ec47870dcce5c1611fd04e133
At this point, click on the Verify button and your website should obtain the "Brave Verified Creator" badge.
If you cannot create the file on your website hosting machine, you can still complete the verification by adding a DNS TXT record for your domain (a procedure similar to the one used for the domain verification in Google Search Console). The record TXT data looks like the following:
The procedure to add a TXT record inside your DNS varies according to the web hosting provider you use, but the result should be the same: querying the DNS servers for a TXT record on the domain we want to verify should return us the inserted token. On Linux and macOS you can verify running the command
$ dig TXT <your_domain>
If you run on Windows, you can use instead
$ nslookup -q=TXT <your_domain>
If you're not familiar with command-line tools, you can check if the record is propagating by using a service such as DNSChecker.
Once you've added the record, the verification process is not as immediate as the one done by using the trusted file since it requires the propagation of the TXT record among the DNS servers.
Anyway, once you see the record being propagated on the majority of the DNS servers, you can click on the "Verify" button and your website should obtain the "Brave Verified Creator" badge.
To double-check whether your website has been verified, you can go to your website within the Brave browser and look at the BAT icon usually located at the right of the address bar. If your website has been verified, the icon should present the verification badge consisting of a checkmark:
If not present, it could be because the status has been not refreshed. To refresh, click on the BAT icon and then on "Refresh Status" in the submenu that appears:
The checkmark should appear. If not, the cause is likely related to some issues in the verification process and the recommended option would be to perform it again.
As a web content creator is important to provide good quality content and a great user experience, which is sometimes ruined by aggressive ads. Becoming a Brave Verified Creator gives a better experience to the users without necessarily turn down the revenues from advertising. Stay tuned for the next post!