Imagine that Facebook, WordPress, Reddit, Snapchat, World of Warcraft, and the Stock Market got together one night, had a little too much to drink and did things they regretted in the morning. Then, nine months later, a baby appeared. That kid would be Steemit.
This relatively new (March 2016) social network built on a blockchain, that produces Steem and SBD (Steem Backed Dollars) forms of cryptocurrency might seem a bit daunting at first, but I promise – if I finally wrapped my brain around it, you will be able to as well.
So, what is a blockchain? What’s the difference between Steemit, Steem, and SBD? And how is this cryptocurrency stuff going to make me tons of money?
First things first – forget about the money.
Yes, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, the money is the reason I checked it out at first. However, IMHO, it’s far more important to spend time in the beginning establishing yourself, making connections, and creating quality content. Do that, and the coinage will follow.
First up, sign up
Before we go much further, I’d suggest going right over and signing up for a Steemit account. All you need is a user name (pick a good one, because you can’t change it), a valid email, and cell phone number (to receive a text confirmation code).
Unlike other social media sites, the Steemit Powers That Be actually vet their users (when signing up in this manner, anyway – and I’m not going to confuse things at the moment by talking about other options… crap, so I should shut up about this already, right? LOL!), and there’s actually no guarantee your account will be approved. Even if it does get approved, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days (and some people have said it’s taken up to two weeks). So the sooner you start the process, the better.
Here’s the link to the signup page –
And here’s a YouTube video with step-by-step instructions on the quick-and-painless process, put together by a Steemian named @deeplizard –
Next, create some kickass ORIGINAL content
Okay, after writing a whole bunch about creating content, it occurred to me – I’m gonna be talking to people who most likely aren’t on the site yet… LOL!
Suffice to say, there will be a part two to this that will deal content creation. But if you blog, or post to Facebook and/or Instagram, no worries – you’ll have content to spare. Moving on for now…
So getting back to the question – what the hezmana is a blockchain?
Here are two short videos that helped me make sense of it all (to a point, anyway) –
And as for the specific Steemit blockchain, here’s the official explanation from The Steemit FAQ
**What is the Steem blockchain?**
The Steem blockchain is the publicly accessible distributed database, which records all posts and votes, and distributes the rewards across the network. It is where all of the text content and voting data is stored, and it is where all of the reward calculations and payouts are performed.
But seriously – how does this make money?
For an explanation from someone who actually seems to know what he’s talking about, check out the post – Steem: Where DOES the money come from?
There’s also this rare short video (I mean seriously – most of the ones I’m finding say, “Quick & Easy Explanation” and the video is over 15 minutes long!) about how it works, from another Steemit account, BitSpace –
And now here’s my breakdown of how it works –
Essentially, you can earn a couple ways – on the stuff you write, and the stuff other people write.
Stuff you write
- For example, I write a post, and upload it to my Steemit blog
- People I’ve
dug up blackmail onconnected with see that I’ve posted something new, then pop on by to comment and possibly (depending on how juicy the blackmail is) upvote. If my post gets enough attention, even people I don’t know might drop a comment/upvote on it.
- A number of factors determine how much that upvote is actually worth – the reputation of the person who voted (which, despite my silliness about the blackmail, has to do with how much Steem Power they’ve acquired, not the company they keep), the market value of Steem at that particular moment, technical stuffs like that.
- Some people might like it enough to resteem (much like reblogging), gaining it extra exposure, and increasing the chances of people visiting/commenting/upvoting/resteeming
- It’s even possible that when you comment on other people’s stuff, you might get an upvote or two (in fact, I’ve had some comments pay out more than some of my posts…LOL).
- After 7 days (and this is absitively posolutely written in stone), the post payout happens, at which time you and your curators (getting to that) get your steem monies. From there on out, the post is forever and ever part of the blockchain. Anyone can read it, but it can no longer be edited, and any further upvotes/resteems don’t count for anything.
Stuff other people write
- When you upvote other people posts, you’re actually getting something in return. Say for example, I head over to @jaynie‘s (she’s the ROCKSTAR GODDESS behind @steemitbloggers) profile, and see she’s posted one of her awesomesauce #TRACKOFTHEDAY – What song is “DOING IT” for you today? posts. I give it an upvote. When the post pays out, 75% of the money goes to the author (@jaynie) and 25% is divided up between everyone who upvoted it, who are considered the post “curators” (see, I eventually got there).
- You can also resteem a post (like I said, much like reblogging) and while you don’t get extra monies for doing so, you’ll be getting the post more attention from your readers, which might lead them to head over and upvote it, thereby increasing your curation rewards.
There’s a flipside to this as well – the dreaded downvote/flag. This is in place to try to keep everyone as honest and/or polite as much as possible. After all, if you know your posts/comments can be flagged (also known as downvoting) which removes monetary value from your stuff, your motivation to shout, “UR a stoopidhead” is somewhat lessened. However, because both upvoting and downvoting are tied to the voting person’s wallet, it’s not something done willy-nilly.
What, can’t you also make money by investing in Steem? And, what about upvoting before/after 30 minutes, or bid bots, or getting the attention of whales, or…
Yes, there’s a lot more to it, but I kinda lost my brain trying to figure it all at once. Hell, I still lose my brain over some of it. But I promise, I’ll get into more detail about that stuff in future posts.
That’s all well and good, but this isn’t real money, right?
It really is. Back in January, I decided to take some of my SBD (steem backed dollars) and see if I could get them into my “real” bank account. I followed this awesome tutorial by Steemian @joeparys…
… and a few days later, my $10SBD (thanks to the high cryptocurrency exchange rate at the beginning of the year) turned into this –
Since that time, I’ve been reinvesting my SBD into my account, to increase my Steem Power which increases my vote value and…. yeah, that’s a story for another day. Like I said, once you get into the swing of the site, the currency stuff starts to make sense. Well, a least a little bit.
Okay, so what’s the catch? I’m gonna have to cough up some cash at some point, right? And what do you get for getting me over there – is this some kind of MLM (multilevel marketing) scheme?
Wow, and I thought I was cynical! Oh wait, this is actually how I approached Steemit in the beginning… LOL!
Seriously, there’s no catch, but it’s also not a get-rich-quick kinda deal either. Come to Steemit for the cryptocurrency, but stay for the awesome people and amazing community connections. And no, there’s no hidden fees, or kickbacks for getting new members on the site.
I mean truly, what have you got to lose if you post something on Steemit first (so that the measures in place to discourage/prevent plagiarism don’t flag it), then upload it to WordPress/share it on social media?
Like I said, I was extremely skeptical when I joined back in September, but when I really started paying attention in December, I was hooked. There’s a high learning curve and lots of moving parts, but once you get it, I can almost guarantee you’ll love it as much as me!
Stay tuned for my next post, “Creating Crypto Content & Connecting With Communities” (yeah, gotta work on that title). And please feel free to shout out with questions – if I can’t answer it, I know some wicked smart people who I can pester for answers. 😂
and edited (slightly – LOL) on Canva
Also posted (naturally) on my Steemit blog