Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by Ava
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Hello and welcome to The Candid Cashflow Podcast, Episode 7! I’m your host, Ava Fails!
This episode is sponsored by Thrive.
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A Little Housekeeping…
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Onto Today’s Episode…What the Heck is Steemit?
Some of you probably saw the word “cryptocurrency” and were like NOPE!
That’s okay, I don’t blame you. Honestly, I understand very little about how it all works myself.
What I do understand is writing, and that’s where Steemit.com comes in. Steemit is a blogging platform built on blockchain technology.
My very elementary understanding of blockchain technology is this…
The blockchain is like a chain of blocks (I said it was elementary :-D) that fit together like puzzle pieces. The first block, or genesis block, is the beginning. Each block of data after that is added to the chain in chronological order.
A number of systems can be built on the blockchain like cryptocurrency transactions and Steemit, but governments are also adopting the technology to run their systems as well.
Apparently there is a strong and stable archive element to this technology that makes it appropriate for this application. I don’t understand it enough to know as I said.
A Tiny Bit of Bitcoin Backstory
All of that being said, blockchain technology began alongside Bitcoin back in 2008. Even if you haven’t heard of any of this other stuff, you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin because of its soaring value.
Cryptocurrency values fluctuate constantly, moreso than precious metals, but Bitcoin reached $20,000 per coin in December of 2017. So, if you happened to be someone who bought a few Bitcoin back when they were just a few cents each, your profit margin is off the charts.
Bitcoin has made a few accidental millionaires.
Back to Steemit
As I said, Steemit is a blogging platform.
I say it’s like Medium and Reddit mated, and Steemit is their love child.
Steemit is built on the STEEM blockchain. STEEM is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. When you create a post on Steemit, other users and can upvote and downvote your content which results in you earning STEEM.
You can then trade STEEM for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, or you can sell it for cash.
There are a lot of people earning hundreds of dollars per day on Steemit.
So, now that we sort of know what Steemit is, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
I learned about Steemit in the wake of recent censorship on YouTube. Many creators were experiencing dramatic drops in revenue due to YouTube demonetizing their videos. This had many looking for other ways to monetize their content…enter Steemit.
I created my Steemit account in June of 2017. The platform officially launched nearly a year earlier in July of 2016.
As far as blogging goes, Steemit feels a lot like Medium; however, it has 3 different editors:
- WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get
- Markdown – certain codes display text, images, and links in a specific way
Images and memes are pretty much required if you want to be seen at all. In your profile, you are presented with 5 different areas navigated by the corresponding tabs:
- Feed – where you can find the content of other users whom you follow
- Blog – where you can find your own content and the content of others that you share, or “resteem”
- Comments – Comments that you have left for others
- Replies – Replies from other users both to your comments and on your blog posts
- Wallet – Your STEEM wallet where you can buy, sell, transfer, and view all of your transactions
The simplest thing you’ll do on Steemit is create content and interact with the content created by others. Luckily, for simpletons like me, that’s what brings home the bacon!
My Experience as a Content Creator on Steemit
Everyone starts their time on Steemit with a traditional, and somewhat obligatory, “introduction” post. If you are interesting and creative, this could be your first significant earnings on Steemit.
I think like 5 people saw mine, and I earned only a few cents. To this day, the post has only had 11 views. So, I proceeded to try out different types of content to see what performed the best.
I wrote a couple of personal pieces that didn’t do much. I wrote a historical piece on Amelia Earhart that didn’t really get much attention either. I posted poetry…nothing.
For 2 months, I posted with little to no response. I commented and resteemed others’ content, and still not a lot happened until…
I posted a long-form tutorial complete with screen shots as Part 1 of a 6-part series on how to self-publish books on a ZERO budget.
Two of the 6 parts earned more than $200 worth of SBD which translated roughly to about $200 and some change in USD. The other half remained in my account as Steem Power. We’ll discuss Steem Power more in depth in a few minutes.
After that, I was hooked!
I actually opened a second Steemit account where I wrote more personal and creative stuff. On my first account, I wrote more tutorials. Some of them did well while others didn’t.
All-in-all, I ended up with about $400 to take on vacation in October of 2017. I even downsized my WordPress catalog in favor of Steemit.
After vacation and entering into the holidays, I lost a bit of momentum. I’ve since begun pulling funds from my second Steemit account, so I can focus more on my original one.
I mentioned Steem Power a minute ago…Steemit pays in 3 forms of STEEM cryptocurrency:
- STEEM – the cryptocurrency whose blockchain Steemit runs on
- SBD or Steem-Backed Dollars – a token that is tradable on and off Steemit
- Steem Power – by default, 50% of your earnings is stored in your wallet as Steem Power
Steem Power is only for internal use. To trade Steem Power outside of Steemit, you must convert it to STEEM first in a process called “powering down”. You can only power down a small portion of your total Steem Power at a time, and each transaction takes 7 days to complete.
Powering down is somewhat frowned upon by the community because the more Steem Power you have, the more your votes are worth. Powering down is seen as a slight to the community since you are decreasing the power of your vote for personal monetary gain.
There’s more terminology, but it kind of overlaps into other areas, I want to discuss, so let’s jump into that…
The Pros and Cons of Steemit
I’m going to start with the Cons because I like to end on a positive note.
Unfortunately, Steemit has a caste system that is…well, it just sucks being at the bottom.
Wealthy Steemians, what the people of Steemit call themselves, are referred to as whales.
The lower class are called minnows, and the middle class are referred to as dolphins.
Some whales have accounts with well over $1 million. These accounts usually belong to founding members and early adopters of the platform.
If your content doesn’t gain any traction, Steemit is like a black hole. Those 6 tutorials I mentioned earlier on self-publishing had less than 500 views on them combined after 6 months! I feel like I can be ignored on my own website, you know!?!
You cannot delete your Steemit posts.
You do not earn any more money on your content after the first 7 days it’s published, so it’s useless for passive income.
You also cannot edit the content after it’s published for 7 days.
These few facts created several problems for me recently when I decided to turn those tutorials into eBooks.
The plagiarism checker they use on KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing found my Steemit articles. KDP requested documentation from the content creator giving me the right to publish it, preferably sent from an email address on the domain where the content was published.
Fortunately, they accepted my acknowledgement as the author of the Steemit content and approved my book for publishing. Otherwise, I would have been stuck with my content on Steemit with no way to profit from it any further.
As a result, I decided against posting any more long-form content on Steemit that I intend to use elsewhere in the future.
By providing no means to earn passively, Steemit hasn’t earned the right to hold exclusive content in my opinion even though it’s demanded by the community.
There is a lot of drama on Steemit as of late. With its increase in popularity, there are more than 500,000 accounts as of this writing. With that increase in users inevitably comes an increase in crappy people.
Anyone found abusing the reward pool with crap content for personal gain is virtually put in stocks in the town square and stripped of their reputation as well as a portion of their rewards.
Dolphins and minnows alike can often be found complaining about the whales complacency regarding such abuse. Because whales have such heavy voting power, they are expected to police the abusers.
It’s medieval, and honestly I hate this part of Steemit. I think this will be what eventually makes or breaks the platform as time goes on.
The bright side is that you can easily avoid all the drama by simply well, avoiding it. You can follow and interact with the people you like and steer clear of the rest.
The community on Steemit for the most part is stellar! There’s no other group like it online that I’ve been a part of. Everyone is helpful and kind because being nasty does not pay.
Steemit is pretty much self-policed. There are a few teams of people like @SteemCleaners and @Spaminator who keep things in line with the help of bots like @cheetah who will call you out if you plagiarize.
Because Steemit is a blogging platform, there is a lot of great stuff to read. When you interact with content by others, you earn as well. So, if you’re not much of a writer, you can still make money upvoting and resteeming the content of other Steemians. This is referred to as curating.
There’s no mobile app available for Steemit yet that does everything, but eSteem is promising (sorry iPhone people) if you want to try out what’s out there.
10 Tips for New Steemians
I’m running a bit long here on time and words…I want to be sure to get some tips in here for you.
- Steemit isn’t reciprocal like Twitter, so don’t just follow people because they followed you. This will make for a poor reading experience for you on Steemit.
- There are several communities available to help you learn the ropes on Steemit like P.A.L. Minnow Support. You may find it helpful.
- Crypto news about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seems to get the most attention on Steemit. You’ll need a unique, well-informed approach if you choose to go this route.
- Read all of the FAQ info provided to you by the Steemit community.
- Upvoting your own content is controversial. Many users on every level swear by it while others frown upon it. Self-voting can give a new post a boost out of oblivion. I’ve never had much luck with it.
- Categorize your blog post accordingly. The first tag is the main category of your blog. You can select 4 more after that. A list of trending tags is visible on your Feed as well as the Trending, New, Hot, and Promoted pages. Do not use trending tags to boost your post unless they are relevant to your topic. There’s a bot for that too! These bots will call you out in a comment left on the offending post or comment. It’s embarrassing!
- Read and engage with others’ content. The highest compliment is to resteem others’ content on your own blog.
- You can share pretty much any kind of content you like. be sure to check out decentralized, uncensored blockchain services like DTube, DSound, and Zappl. These are the YouTube, Soundcloud, and Twitter of the blockchain, and all 3 post to your Steemit blog automatically when you post content to them.
- Don’t expect a miracle. It was 2 months before I saw any significant revenue. In my tenure, I’ve seen STEEM fluctuate in value from under $1 up to $7. Last week, I traded 10 SBD for $99 and some change. I was stoked!
- Have fun with it and experiment. Your only investment is time unless you choose to do more.
That’s a Wrap!
This has been a massive amount of information. If you are overwhelmed, I’m available to you in the comments below.
In the show notes for this episode (click that big blue button up there ^^^), I have included the following bonuses for you:
- A short list of my favorite Steemians for you to check out
- A tutorial on how to turn your STEEM and SBD into cash
- I’m also throwing in how to keep your Steemit image game on point
- How to back up your content
- A list of other sites like Steemit paying in crypto
- A list of third party services to enhance your Steemit experience
You’re going to want that PDF!
It’s always a pleasure to spend time with you. Thanks for being here. I hope you will consider subscribing to The Candid Cashflow Podcast if you haven’t already. You can find links and subscribe to it on all your favorite apps at HeyYoAva.com/CandidCashflow. If you have, thank you, I’m humbled.
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Until next time…turning your passion into cashflow!
You might see me in this video. 🙂