I've been posting almost daily for 15 months on Steemit, and if I could start all over again this is what I'de do. Before making my first Steemit post I would stalk like a fly on the wall.
Let me just remind you that I'm sharing my thoughts and ideas here and what works for me may or may not work for you.
For all I know you could be a whale parking your money in a Steem wallet all James Bond-like, just popping in occasionally to see if it's still there and have no desire to post at all, or you could be a driven blogger with a game plan of your own raring to go on Steemit.
You may find this post helpful too, but I'm writing this for the new people, new to Steemit and to blogging, who ask me these same questions every time I sign someone up.
We will also talk about some of the basic questions everyone new to Steemit has, but most of those are answered in the Welcome and FAQ sections in the drop-down menu on the main menu. If you haven't seen that yet it's a good place to start.
It's easy to find. First click on the main menu in the upper, right-hand corner of your blog, shown here in the red rectangle.
A drop down menu will appear. Then click on the Welcome menu and FAQ menu shown with a red rectangle here.
This will answer the most common questions about Steemit and how it works and there's a lot to unpack there, but what I'm going to be talking about is going to try to answer the most common questions I get from people who want to start posting on Steemit but don't know where to begin.
People like to describe Steemit as a Facebook that pays you for likes, and in a way it is, but there's a big difference between the content being created by someone who is using Facebook or Instagram and someone who is using Steemit.
Some people have not written 600 words since grade school and Facebook scribbles tend to be short with the exception of some public screaming matches I have witnessed on Facebook. Some people don't even have 600 words in their vocabulary.
For some, the thought of having to actually write something and express some ideas into words on a public forum is daunting and, quite frankly, a little scary. You can tell by the looks on their faces they are thinking to themselves something along the lines of...
What should I blog about?
Now that is a really good question.
You could blog about what you had for lunch today or the movie you just saw, as many people do on Facebook, but unless you can describe that experience in a riveting, engaging way you probably won't get good results.
When people ask me, "What should I blog about?", I will usually ask them, "What are you passionate about?"
Blogging about something you're really passionate about is SO important and here's why.
- Passion is what drives you to keep blogging long enough to get some results. Steemit is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can make some money here, but if that is your only focus and your only reason for blogging you're not going to like doing this for very long and people will be turned off to that kind of a vibe.
- Passion is pure energy and very contagious. When someone is genuinely passionate about something a magnetic force surrounds them that attracts people who resonate with what they are passionate about. Attracting followers like bees to honey, their passion is felt in the words they write and this works to grow their account. Some people on Steemit only seem passionate about getting followers, but that will not get them the results they are looking for. Here's a guy with 3954 followers he got from begging for followers and he still makes pennies on his posts. Focus on posting what you're passionate about and loyal followers will come to you like you're some magical Pied Piper and you'll never have to ask anyone to follow you. (Begging for follows for a follow or for upvotes is frowned upon on Steemit)
- Passion sets the universe in motion bringing you more of what you want in life. One of the biggest mistakes people make in life is focusing on what they don't want. When you feel fear, anxiety, worry, or anger you are focusing on what you don't want. Focusing on what you're really passionate about makes you stop doing that. It puts you in "the zone", makes you feel good, and taps into your creativity. Because we are creators, we always have a choice. We can create fear or worry, or we can create something we're passionate about. Either way, the universe will agree with you and bring you what you're focusing on. Your passion is like having the universe on speed dial ready to take your order. You can order a shit sandwich or you can order your dreams, it's your choice. Blogging daily about what you're passionate about on Steemit will make magic happen over time. People you have not met yet will take an interest in what you're doing and will join forces with you.
- Passion is like a full tank of gas in your car at the start of a road trip. I love that feeling, don't you? Waking up in the morning eager to do what you really love is a gift that keeps giving. When you're passionate about something you'll want to talk about it with others that share your interests. Another word for talking is blogging, they're not that different except you don't get interrupted as much when you're blogging. Blogging about your passion doesn't feel like work at all. Hours will fly by unnoticed and you'll have to make yourself take breaks. Find something that moves you like that and you'll never run out of energy and ideas to blog about.
And the authenticity of that will come through in your writing and some people will feel a connection with that. So do blog about things that really move you and you're inspired by.
I like how @papa-pepper puts it.
Steemit like you mean it. -- @papa-pepper
Hopefully, some of you are inspired after reading these words and have a keen awareness of what you're passionate about. You are ready to set Steemit on fire and need no further encouragement. Go for it.
Some of you may know what you're passionate about but still feel hesitant to blog about it. People worry about being able to express themselves in words or how people will respond to what they have to say. I understand your reluctance.
Look, I'm lucky in that I don't give a shit what people think about me. I don't mean that in an apathetic way. I know I'm a good guy with my heart and intentions in the right place and if someone doesn't appreciate what I write about it's not going to drastically change my life. We can't please everyone nor should we strive to.
Some people don't have that thick of skin and worry they will be judged, ridiculed, or, Lord forbid, challenged. I don't know what you're passionate about or what you're going to blog about but I can promise you this. No one is going to show up on your doorstep with picket signs protesting what you write about.
It amazes me that some people have things they are so passionate about in life that they will never shut up about it, but put them in front of a computer and tell them to blog about it and they clam up, staring at the blank page with far way eyes.
If that's you there's a solution. Interview people who share your interest. Ask them some good questions and, with their permission, blog the interview on Steemit. Or flip the script and interview yourself or have someone do it for you and blog that.
Some people are very shy, but that shouldn't stop you. Most people who I have met who are shy are very interesting people with unique ways of thinking and they open up once you get to know them to reveal a deep, thoughtful, and often novel personality.
Whether you're a social butterfly who can strike up a conversation with anyone or you're a quiet reclusive person who is slow to share your thoughts with anyone, both of those personality types have something in common.
One can talk and one can think and most can do both to varying degrees. Both talking and thinking involve words. Words are what fill up a page on a blog. So, whether you're a talker or a thinker, introverted or extroverted, you can blog it down and there you have it, your post.
Stay focused on your passion and what you want, not what you don't want, be yourself and pour your heart into it and you'll be blogging.
Again, I promise no one is going to reach through your computer and bite you. Pour your heart out and see what happens. If nothing happens right away keep doing it for a month and I promise you you'll see some good reactions from the Steemit community. Remember, passion is contagious. There is magic in it.
Any publisher worth a damn will know about the 25-25-50 rule that applies to any form of publishing - print, video, or audio.
- 25% of the people will love everything you stand for
- 25% of the people will dislike everything your stand for
- 50% of the people will not know you even exist
You can read more about the 25-25-50 rule at How To Lose Friends And Irritate People - Two Big Mistakes You Want To Avoid Making On Steemit
The great thing about the 25-25-50 rule is you can ignore 75% of what you don't want and focus on what you do want, the 25% of the people that love what you blog about. That's mostly all you need to do to be successful on Steemit.
- Focus on your passion
- Focus on the people that respond to your blog in a positive way
- Ignore the rest.
- Pour your heart out on the page consistently
That's a good way to start blogging on Steemit anyway, but there is more to it. Keep reading.
Once you're posting and people start commenting on your blog it's very important you interact with them. Respond to the comments and engage in a conversation. Build a relationship with people who show interest in what you write about.
At the very least thank people who add a meaningful comment to your post and acknowledge them for reaching out to you. You don't have to follow everyone that follows you or adds a comment, but saying thanks is just common courtesy.
Follow the people that write about what interests you and don't ask them or expect them to follow you back. You don't need a lot of followers, you need real followers that choose to follow you because they want to.
Use your comments to further the discussion and learn about them and the shared interests you have in common. Build on the budding relationship to make a connection.
There's only so much you can write in a comment box (although Steemit gives us plenty of room to write long comments) and if you find yourself chatting with someone for so long that the comments look as long as the post, then meet them in Steemit Chat or on Discord to continue the conversation.
Steemit Chat And Discord - Where The Action Is
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
Now this is where you can really build a group of like-minded people and foster connections around common interests. From here, you can transfer those connection into a healthy interaction on your Steemit blog and build a real community.
Imagine with me that Steemit is a stage with thousands of different acts of all kinds being performed. Backstage is where all of these people hang out and mingle.
Many of the successful projects and initiatives sprouting from the Steemit platform we started, expanded, and run from behind the scenes, or backstage.
Steemit used to have only Steemit Chat but most people have moved over to Discord because it offers many advantages we'll get into in a minute. First I want to you to understand how important using these forums are to building a real following on Steemit.
Building that kind of community takes time and energy, another reason why it's important that you blog about what you're passionate about, and a strong, ongoing connection with people with whom you share a common interest is a key component to building a real community.
How does Discord makes it easier to do that?
It facilitates communication by offering text, video, and voice communication in real time from a laptop or your cell phone. You can share images and files and create instant invites to moderated groups.
There are hundreds of groups on Discord formed around common interests and finding groups as passionate about your passion as you are is a great way to add your voice to the community. There you will find lots of people interested in what you're blogging about. That's good, right?
But there's a common mistake people make when they enter a group like that. They start spamming links to their posts hoping to get views and upvotes That's not the best approach. You wouldn't go to a party you were invited to and start trying to sell everyone there your products would you and if you did you wouldn't be invited back.
It is much better to build connections and lasting relationships with people one person at a time. In the long run this will get you much better results than blasting your links in every chat room like a person with a bullhorn standing on a street corner blaring their pitch.
You can read more about why it's best to have a more long-term view when growing your Steemit account by reading The Most Valuable Steemit Post Begins In Your Head - Tips To Mazimize Your Social Currency On Steemit
Remember what I said in the first paragraph of this post?
Before making my first post I would stalk like a fly on the wall.
In a chat room or when reading a long discussion in the comments of a post, there's nothing wrong with reading what people are talking about without commenting. Be the fly on the wall and you may learn something. Yes, I understand you may have an opinion you want to express but check the comments to see if it already has been discussed.
How silly is it to be the 30th person to express the same opinion on a comment thread? What does that add to the conversation? Nothing, it just points out that you didn't really read the comments. Don't be that person that jumps into a conversation people are having with your opinion that everyone has already expressed. Add something new to the conversation and if you can't, then just listen.
There's a lot you can learn on Steemit by reading comments on the posts that interest you, and like that fly on the wall you'll be buzzing to jump in. But sometimes it's better to just listen, or read in this case. Let the discussion soak in before adding a meaningless comment just to chime in.
If you have a fresh take on what's being discussed, then, by all means ,speak up, or better yet, make a post in response to it and elaborate on your views. Be sure to link back to the post that inspired your post so the conversation can continue on your post.
And finally, it's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it's what we do consistently. Not all posts you publish are going to earn good rewards. Some will do well and some will not.
What's important is you post, respond to comments, and engage your readers consistently. Trust is built with consistency, especially online where we lack a face-to-face connection with people.
You may have spent hours on a post that earned very little while some of your shorter posts earned more. That doesn't translate into make shorter posts to earn more. Posting on Steemit is a bit of a lottery as far as the rewards a post will earn and you shouldn't judge the time spend or the quality of a post by the rewards it earned.
Remember the 80/20 rule that states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. That's why you should post consistently, daily if you can, and don't worry about the rewards so much. If you just keep doing the things I suggested in this post consistently you'll continually grow your Steem Power and grow your base of loyal followers.
By not focusing on the rewards and instead focusing on whatever you're passionate about and engaging those who respond to your brand of blogging, you'll have a lot more fun and it won't feel like work. You will never run out of ideas that come up from the conversations you're having with people and you'll be writing for people that are really interested in what you're writing about.
Keep it social, keep it fun, keep it real, and keep Steeming!