Curation: An interview with top minnow curator @dontstopmenow
Pro curator @dontstopmenow shares his story and curation tips - that currently set him apart from the rest.
In the past month, I have presented 4 blogs that delve into curation rewards. The research has been useful in building up a picture how curation works, and who is using their Steem Power best to gather curation rewards.
Please take a look at the most recent post in the series if you wish for a full background to this blog.
A brief introduction - Curation, and the data
A 'curation reward' is the name given to the reward earned through the up-voting of blogs and comments.
The league table is calculated using the following simple formula:
Weekly curation reward DIVIDED BY Total Steem Power MULTIPLIED BY 100
This is a look at the top of last weeks table:
The average Steem Power/curation reward is 0.14816 this week (based on the full table of data in the previous curation post)
As you can see, these users are doing better than this average, but one user stands out - as they did last week.
Curation adds up
I toyed with including these tables in this blog for a couple of reasons, but in the end i think they may be of interest to some.
The first table shows the compound gain of @dontstopmenow's account (based on today's' numbers), if he were to curate at the same reward % each and every week for the next year.
And this second table uses the same curatior/SP % but this time @dontstartmenow starts life at a dolphin with 5000 Steem Power.
Just in case you were wondering, this is a 38% increase in Steem Power over 52 weeks - not too shabby!
Lets see if we can find out how this can be done...
@dontstopmenow is a Uruguayan Steemian who joined the platform in June this year. Blogging in both English and Spanish, he has quickly picked up on what it takes to become a top curator.
I wanted to find out more regarding his technique in order to learn and share with the community, and he happily agreed to discuss curation with me.
Interview with @dontstopmenow
Hi @dontstopmenow, thanks for agreeing to an interview regarding Steemit curation rewards.
Firstly, could you give us a brief introduction into how you were introduced to cryptocurrency and Steemit?
Well... I have been into crypto for over a year now... more like 16 months. I was living in New Zealand at the time and as a regular Reddit user, I once stumbled upon Reddit/r/Bitcoin. I heard about Bitcoin ages ago and even though I found it fascinating, I never really got into it until last year.
So last year I had some spare money I could afford to lose (they always say only invest what you can afford to lose) so I went into LocalBitcoins and bought 1 BTC at $600. Then I found out about Ethereum and found it mind blowing. Then I transferred my whole Bitcoin for ETH when it was at $12.5. Held it since. Then... as the crazy reader I am, I kept reading about crypto and trading.
Then one day lurking Reddit/r/ethtrader I read about Steemit and found it interesting. I created an account and have been a active daily since then.
Nice job! Thanks. Ok, lets go straight into curation: How much time each day would you say you spend curating blogs?
Well… that is hard to say because I am at the computer for most of the day. If I am at home, I have my computer on, laying around, and I am always refreshing my feed to see if there is something worth an up-vote.
And if I am out, I can curate with my phone, even though I try not to do that much. If I am out I like to enjoy my friends company and try not to use my phone.
I think I should also mention that I am unemployed at the moment, which gives me plenty of free time. And I love reading and researching about the stuff I like (crypto, Steemit and crypto-trading mostly). But if I have to say how much time I spend daily on curation… I would say around 4-5 hours.
Right, so good curation doesn't come cheap at the expense of time - but if you enjoy it, then why not.
No, I do not. I tend to look for patterns though, if I see an author is getting great rewards on his/her posts regularly, I would follow if I like the content or bookmark it for curation if its content is not of my interest.
Sounds like a decent strategy, thanks.
And are there any particular tags that you focus on? e.g. thealliance, kr, cryptocurreny
I like curating the Spanish tag because I see most authors there bring original and decent content to the platform, plus most of them (or should I say us) are minnows working hard to grow here on Steemit. I appreciate constant hard work and effort.
I hope this is also what other curators are looking for.
Do you estimate (based on an authors previous posts for example) what the value of the post will reach during its 7 day life-span?
Yes I do, I think this is crucial for good curation results. Of course sometimes I up-vote an author even though I know that up-vote won't give me a good curation reward, sometimes I forget about curation and support a post that I really enjoyed.
However, when up-voting for curation rewards, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the authors last posts to see how they have been doing.
Right on, thanks.
Apart from poor content, what else would make you avoid up-voting a post? (e.g. a Whale vote or early application of bid bots)
Yes, if a post has already earned $ 4-5 it is not profitable for me to up-vote that, curation wise - Specifically because I currently have (only) 900 Steem Power.
Also, I won't up-vote a post that is just a picture and a short sentence, even if I know it is going to make $50.
That's good to hear, I'm glad to hear quality is reviewed and it's not just about the potential earnings.
Do you use an auto-voting tool? And if so, what % of your total daily curation would you say this accounts for?
I did use Steemvoter for a couple of weeks (the 3 accounts free trial) and it gave me good results. But, I think manually is more efficient and the best thing to do. Of course, not everyone is unemployed and have the time I have to curate so, to each his own.
Indeed. What time do you try to up-vote a post at?
Well of course. the best approach is to vote at the 30 minute mark. But I prefer to be the 3rd voter at 20 minutes than the 15th at 30 minutes. I think that being amongst the first 5 voters will earn you a decent reward.
I never vote before the 10 minute mark though.
Thanks, this make sense with regards to the voting scale.
What voting weight do you generally apply to your votes?
My best results have been voting at 100%. I tried different weights last week but it was not so good. With my SP, I think that 10 - 12 votes a day at 100% is the best.
So have you toyed around with vote time and vote weight to reach these numbers?
At first I was voting at 100% all the time, and that was getting me good curation rewards.
When I tried changing that, it ended up not being too profitable. This strategy considers my Steem Power total. If you are a whale, I think that 50 20% votes should be a good start.
Great. It's very interesting that you discuss a different strategy based on the amount of Steem Power you hold. The results I've been looking at do suggest similar.
Thanks for spending the time to give this interview, and well done for being top of my curation league 2 weeks running! Have a great day!
My pleasure bro. I must also thank you, because thanks to your post and recognition I realized that I was a good curator.
I really hope this helps others to increase their curation rewards!
You have a great day too!
The key takeouts I think are as follows:
If you like a piece of work, vote with a high % of voting power
Don't vote before 10 minutes if you are seeking a worthwhile curation reward
Try to avoid highly paid posts and posts with early bot votes
Consider your Steem Power total when voting for curation rewards - a post with a high payout will leave you low in the list of curators and reduce the reward
Lots to ponder here, for curators, content creators, and minnows, right through to whales.
Firstly, it seems that a different strategy needs to be used, depending on the size of your account. Perhaps this is why we have an increase in 'sock-puppet' accounts?
Secondly, as a content creator and assuming there are curators seeking rewards, go steady on the bot usage early on.
Thirdly, this seems to show encouragement for using your vote on smaller accounts - catching a ignored post with a full vote (as a minnow like @dontstopmenow) which reaches $10-$20, and not $200 - $300 could earn you a better reward.
I really hope this interview and information is as useful for you, as it has been for me. Your questions and comments are very welcome.
Finally, thanks again to Bruno @dontstopmenow for sharing his thoughts and techniques - venga tío!
Thanks for reading today!