Learn Technical Analysis. Technical Analysis (TA) is the analyzing of price and volume data and trying to predict future trends based on that. If you know how to read a chart, you’ll be better able to understand how things like candles, moving averages, RSI, and the order book can clue you into good spots to buy and sell. Crypto defies logic all the time, but basic indicators are still helpful to understand. TIP: You don’t have to be good at TA, you can just follow others who are. Fibonacci support and resistance levels, moving averages (try 12, 26, 9 MACD on 4hr candles), RSI, and a few other popular indicators are vital to wrap your head around. All the pros use these, and all the big players have bots who run strategies based on these (complex versions of these at least). You can’t afford to ignore TA if you are going to trade crypto and not just invest in it. I suggest you get familiar with tradingview.com ASAP. See a basic TA strategy.
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
Not all traders make gains from trading, since this is a zero-sum game (for everyone who benefits someone else loses on the other side).The Altcoins market is driven by large whales (yes, the same ones responsible for placing huge blocks of hundreds of Bitcoins on the order book). The whales are just waiting patiently for innocent little fish like us to make mistakes. Even if you aspire to trade on a daily basis, sometimes it is better not to earn and do nothing, instead of jumping into the rushing water and exposing your coins to losses. From my experience, there are days where you only keep your profits by not trading at all.
Consider Bitcoin as the base layer coin for the market as many of the exchanges price their altcoins against Bitcoin. Also, Bitcoin is often used as your base currency to get started with an exchange. What I mean by this is you will not be able to buy with your regular credit card, you will need to transfer in your Bitcoin and use that as the currency to purchase.
Another tip is to try and determine why the value of a particular cryptocurrency is rising or falling before you make an investment. Buying a coin that’s in freefall and waiting for its value to increase again may seem astute, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll bounce back. Chasing gains by backing a currency that’s surged can also seem tempting, but there’s always the risk of “pump and dump” schemes where the price crashes afterwards. Know the “why” before you buy.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.