It’s important to realise that you need to do your own research and come up with your own strategy for cryptocurrency trading. If you are short on time and want to play it safe; the easiest cause of action is to simply diversify into several different coins and then wait a year or more. However, if you want to maximise profits you should learn how to swing trade cryptocurrency.

You could try this instead: You could try to avoid times where you know there’ll be relatively less liquidity in crypto — like nights and weekends — by closing out all of your positions every night and over the weekend. You might also consider maximizing the liquidity to which you have access by trading on a platform that allows you to access many different exchanges at once, rather than trading on only one or two specific exchanges.

If you choose to keep some stored on an exchange or a website such as Coinbase, then ensure you complete a full security setup and ALWAYS setup Two Factor Authentication, I recommend using Google Authenticator for this and not SMS Two Factor Authentication as your phone can be compromised by hackers. Google Authenticator creates a random number string each time you log in to protect yourself in case someone can get hold of your username and password.

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.
I’m not going to go too deep into other ways you can earn money with cryptocurrencies because I don’t do them myself. At least not right now. Passive income is great. After you make an initial investment, you mostly sit back and watch the money roll in. It’s like buying a home and renting it out - there will be some maintenance issues but it’s mostly passive income.
To be able to take short positions, we need to understand margin trading. Trading on margin means we are trading with borrowed money. On exchanges like Poloniex, we can trade Bitcoin with a handful of coins (there are fewer coins offered for margin trading) with 2.5x leverage. That is, if we own 1 BTC, we can borrow up to 2.5 BTC to trade with. To be clear, this is not 2.5 BTC that we own. Now, on a trade that nets us 10% profit, we are bringing home .25 BTC instead of .1 BTC.
On cryptocurrency mining: As noted, one way to invest in cryptocurrency is via cryptocurrency mining. That is a valid way to start investing if say you love computer gaming and need a new rig and want to invest in small amounts of cryptocurrency while maybe making back some of the cost of the rig (and maybe even breaking even) but that is an entirely different subject. The average investor will want to trade USD for cryptocurrency on an exchange and avoid the complexities and investments of mining. In all cases, unless you already have a good rig with a great graphics card, you’ll need to put down USD upfront anyway.

Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.