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Analyzing Bounty Reward Programs (Poll)

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It’s not every day that an individual or company receives an offer for free cash, but such has been the case at ThemeForest.net in recent years as the Envato led firm seeks out new talent and products that fall within a particular niche market.

Since late last year, we’ve brought our readers news stories on several bounty reward programs that ThemeForest has offered developers; all with varying participation from the community. The cash incentives (via PayPal transfers) consistently generate interest from well seasoned and beginning programmers who are looking to make a name for themselves on the open market place.

ThemeForest Bounty Program Poster

So what are the benefits involved in “leading” talent into a particular direction? For one, launching a rewards program with a definitive closing date can instantly clue developers in on exactly what products a large company such as ThemeForest expects to sell, or have a need for in the near future. But what are the most important aspects of these promotions? And what can be done to further enhance them to increase overall participation? Would they work for premium theme companies? If so, which ones? All of these are questions that have most certainly been mulled over by those looking to produce the higher quality products that will be marketable for at least a couple of years until the “next best thing” arrives.

Attractive, Top-Heavy Rewards

Hypothetically place yourself into the position of having to attract more readers to your specific website by offering a rewards program of some sort. How much importance would you place on large cash payouts? Keep in mind that the overall scheme must include a positive return and fit well into your budget while hopefully increasing your portfolio, traffic, loyalty, and any other parameters that will assist your site in the long run.

If contemplating this concept on a large scale, how would you handle payments? Someone would have to be responsive for setting clear guidelines and making timely transfers in order to ensure those who are deserving receive what they have worked for. Would you place the highest priority on large, top-heavy bonuses in order to attract the best talent, or would you spare the expense for some other part of the promotion?

Mass Prize Distribution

Much of this analysis is site specific, so opinions will vary in accordance to the needs of your website. Let’s say for instance that you have a $500 budget that you can use to offer readers some sort of incentive for ideas, product creation, traffic generation, security advice, or unique design layouts. In your case, would these funds be better spend by rewarding the top three entrants with payments of $300, $150 and $50 respectively, or would it be of more prudence to grant $50 bonuses to the top 10 and $25 incentives to those who deserve some sort of recognition but didn’t quite make the elite cut?

Multiple Promotions

Another idea is the concept of running multiple promotions that will entice those within the community to invest in your project over time. With the same hypothetical $500 outlined above, you could potentially give away a top prize of $50 to one person each month for nearly an entire year. Of course, the overall budget depends on your site’s ability to absorb expenses, but it is no secret that giving people an extra reason to volunteer their ideas can result in an enormous Return On Investment in the long run.

This Week’s Poll

In this week’s poll, we’re asking our readers to give us input on how they would handle (or are currently handling) such a bounty program. Please take a moment to let us know which of the following options would be the best course of action for the WordPress website you are responsible for.

[polldaddy poll=6830271]

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