How curation rewards work and how to be a kick ass curator

in curation •  2 months ago

A lot of people on Steemit get confused when it comes to curation rewards. Although they are very simple, there are a lot of moving parts that make calculating and predicting them difficult.

If you don't want to hear me ramble on, and just want to know the punch line here you go. Vote with your heart, vote around 20 minutes after a post goes live, and don't vote on the big whale posts trying to get a piece of the action. If you want to understand why read on.

I explain how curation rewards work at least a couple of times a week. I am fairly new here so I don't claim to be an expert, but I have a passion for understanding how shit works. I have helped a few people here that turned out to make record curation rewards in a very short time.

When should I vote?

This is the most commonly asked question and almost everyone has a different answer. You won't like my answer: "It depends".

Every post is different, a unique snowflake you may say. I'll give you the rules on how it works, then I will cover the guidelines and my suggestions.

The first rule you need to understand is the 30-minute window rule. A reverse auction, where you make fewer curation rewards earlier in the first 30 minutes than if you wait it out. By doing so, you also make less curation rewards by waiting. WAIT WTF?

Let's say we have a post that makes $10 total. We all know 75% of that goes to the author, so at this point, the author makes $7.50. That leaves $2.50 for everyone who upvotes the post for curation rewards. The first 30-minutes you split your portion of the curation rewards with the author. It's a linear sliding scale depending on how soon in the first 30-minutes you vote. If you vote at 0 minutes, 100% of your portion of the $2.50 based on your stake is given to the author. If you vote at 30 minutes, you retain 100% of your stake from the $2.50 curation reward. At 15-minutes it is split 50/50 with the author. If you vote at 20 minutes, you retain 67% of the curation rewards, and the author gets a little over 33%.

This is why a lot of people say vote at 30 minutes so you get 100% of the curation reward. That's not the case most of the time though because the first few people who vote get a huge multiplier for their stake. A person who votes first with 500 Steem Power, will vote like they have 20k or more Steem Power when it comes to calculating curation rewards. The first five or so people will have magnified stake in regards to curation rewards, and it will start to normalize after that.

I'm sure you have figured out by now these rules do not play nicely with each other, on one hand, you want to wait for 30 minutes to get the biggest curation reward possible, but on the other hand you want to vote as soon as possible to get a very large magnification to your stake's voting power.

There is another factor to keep in mind, and one that cannot be measured. The popularity of the author and the chance of a post going viral. There are some authors here that will be guaranteed to make $50-$400 a post, thus yielding a huge pool of curation rewards. These posts are what most minnows spend a lot of their limited voting power upvoting. Although they have the largest curation pool available, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Big whales auto self-vote their post, taking a large chunk from the curation reward pool by claiming that #1 spot automatically. They also tend to have a lot of steem power so that magnification of Steem Power is huge. Many of these posts only have 17-19% curation reward pool as many people tend to vote early for popular people. So 6-8% of that 25% curation is going to the author, resulting is a considerably smaller curation pool.

If you don't listen to anything I say, at least listen to what I am going to say next.

All of the popular posts and authors get hundreds if not thousands of voters. This is a lot of hands in the curation reward pool asking for their share. Unless you are a very early voter and have a lot of Steem Power, you are likely not going to get a lot of curation rewards on the trending posts. These posts result in very small curation rewards for hundreds of thousands of people.

So what should I vote for and how soon?


Like I said earlier, there is no easy answer. The rules in themselves are very easy, but put together make far too many possibilities to comprehend.

In general, you want to vote early on posts that you think will go viral. As soon as 5 minutes in some cases, could be more profitable than waiting for 20-30 minutes. Many posts like DTube announcements are $400 by the time they hit 30 minutes. In most cases, I would recommend voting at 20 minutes, unless you know for sure you got yourself a monster post that is going to the moon and you going to get into those top five spots. I generally would vote more towards 10-15 minutes for something that is going to soon, and more towards 20-25 minutes for hidden gems.

Hidden gems will make you more money than big name posts

Finding posts with very few votes before they are discovered by others is the best way to make big fat curation rewards. Your stake on the curation reward pool is magnified with fewer voters, and even though the post may only make $1-10, you our stake is so much higher and shared with so few people you will do far better than sharing with 1,500 people with far more stake than you.

Explain it to me like I am a five-year-old

  • If you vote early in the first 30 minutes, you will give up a lot of your curation rewards to the author.
  • If you vote first, you will get a lot more curation rewards than your steem power will normally allow.
  • You will make more curation rewards discovering smaller powers that have the potential to do "OK".
  • Whale posts are usually self-voted, and drain the curation pool significantly, and the reward pool is split with hundreds or thousands of people.

Let me see some math!

Ok, let's take two examples.

Let's keep this really simple and pretend there is no bonus for voting early and the poster didn't take a large chunk of the curation pool. We also consider everyone has the same Steem Power to make this simple.

In case #1, we have a $405.58 post with 1742 people. This leaves $101.395 (25%) for the curation pool. Let's divide that by 1742 voters, we get 5.82 cents curation rewards.

In case #2, we have $4.94 post with 17 people. This leaves $1.235 (25%) for the curation pool. That gives us 7.26 cents for curation rewards. Nearly 25% improvement in curation rewards on a tiny post! Now the chances of you getting that #1, #2, or even #3 spot is very high which means you will likely get far more than that. Also, keep in mind, this post doesn't have any "whale" votes, so your Steem Power will likely be much more in line with the numbers we have here, or even better. With the larger post, your Steem Power will likely be far less than the average and you would likely make far less than the 5.82 cents in curation rewards as whales tend to vote for whales. In reality, you are likely to see 100% or more curation rewards.

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Sort Order:  trending

Should minnows and other small players worry about curation rewards? We don't make that much from it. It tends to just make big plays make even more. I think we should support the content we really like to encourage our. This will spread the past rewards and encourage more people to keep posting. We all win in the long run

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Should minnows and other small players worry about curation rewards? We don't make that much from it. It tends to just make big plays make even more.

I am really surprised with ur comment, r u really minnow??

As far as Curation is concerned...simply do one thing.....if its trending post vote early...if it is a non trneding post vote after 30 mins...

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Okay, I'm technically a dolphin so I make a few steem from curation. That is by supporting minnows. I just think the effort required to make anything from curation when you only have a few sp may not be worth it. Support your fellow minnows and they may return the favour.

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I support you. The whales support their own, we should do same so we can rise much quicker.

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It's up to you, and you can do both. My main point is to show people how the curation rewards work so they can have an understanding. One thing I do recommend to new users is to comment and network first, it will be more rewarding but it is a tough road.

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Of course, but I think expectations have to be set. A minnow will make very little for any effort they put in. It's a good explanation. If the whales just try to maximise their curation rewards then they will tend to favour the same people. They may not even be reading the posts. I'd like to see more of a mix on the trending page. It's fascinating watching how this develops. I want to see how steemit scales up

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There's a real problem on Steemit with new users essentially not seeing any sort of real impact of any of their actions unless they get lucky enough to hit the lotto, a whale notices them, or one of the bot swarms just selects them as a maximal investment opportunity and they get a big post. Not predictable, not consistent, and ultimately not really rewarding.

Steemit as a social network platform is, in some pretty significant ways, anti-new user.

Both Trending and New are feeds which are not particularly useful, and that's a shame.

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Steemit as a social network platform is, in some pretty significant ways, anti-new user.

very insightful....it's one of those thnings that you need to grind through to get any momentum.. it's great that so many people are here willing to support the minnow community - but I think that there could be some more thought put into ways to make more accessable to newer users and for them to be able to see an impact earlier on...

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I maintain that one of the really big problems with onboarding new users to Steemit is that nothing they do, nothing they write, nothing they think, nothing they engage with – essentially nothing about them – will make a difference to their experience for several weeks and possibly even several months.

All that changes if they can get in with the right social group that is pointedly not located on the blockchain. The right Discord group. The right Steemit.chat group. The right social group who hangs together and frequently communicates – but which does not do so on Steemit because of its limitations.

Fall in with the right (or the wrong) group and you can be readily on your way to Reputation 55 or so in under a couple of months. Make contacts, kiss hands, shake babies – do all the good stuff, all the networking, all that stuff you probably hate if you're really a creator and you'd rather be spending time making stuff – do all that and maybe you can find some people with deep pockets you like your work and will regularly patronize you.

Otherwise, you are grinding to find your own community. You are compelled to continue making new content so that you have fresh stuff to show off while simultaneously digging anxiously through whatever else others are posting that are sort of like the things that you do. You leave comments on their posts, you look for kindred spirits. You convince them to comment on each other's posts. Pretty soon, you have a community – one which you will have to coordinate using tools which are off the system, because the one thing that Steemit simply can't allow you to have is a real community.

But that leads into an entirely different set of problems.

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very true. I was spinning in circles till I realized how important it was to try to connect to other Steemians - now I realize the importance of it , but having a hard time finding others who are interested in connecting - seems like you said earlier - everyone is just trying to monetize and doesn't even read the content they are voting on - just trying to game the system - it could be the death of Steemit if the social aspect of it doesn't improve

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Just because everyone is looking to maximize their own chance, that doesn't mean that – necessarily – that they are not interested in getting the content that they say they are.

We can say with some sense of accuracy that they are clearly not getting the content that they're looking for and if they did so, the situation would be quite different.

I don't think that provides a extinction level event for Steemit, but it does provide piles of opportunity which could be used in very useful ways. All we have to do, really, is just start talking to one another.

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It took me months to get going. You have to work at it to build a following. You can't expect instant success.

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It's not about building a following or even instant success. That assumes that my interest is in making big piles of fake money.

It isn't.

My interest is in using the platform so that people can find my work that they might be interested in and I can find other people's work that I might be interested in. The probabilistic exchange of multiple types of semi-related currencies? Not really what I'm in for.

What I would consider a success is "a social media platform that actually works to promote being social." But that's not what it does.

It's really about people trying to maximize their scores. Absolutely unrelated to the content, the primary activity on this platform is people trying to game the system in order to get more of the currency to game the system with.

I recognize that's the fact.

But I can't help thinking that a more accessible, individual-focused approach to the problem of having people be happy along the way until they're capable of being participants in the wider game would be a far better solution for everyone involved.

It's not really surprising that new users tend to bounce off of Steemit like flies off a windshield. Expectation setting is wrong from the beginning.

That said, the game in the larger sense is interesting – but it's not particularly useful.

I wish it was.

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It works socially for me and the 'fake money' is a nice bonus. It was real enough to buy me a trip to Steemfest and a nice guitar. I'm no big shot. I just play around here and people seem to like what I do. I admit that getting seen initially is hard, but that's the case for most platforms. The planned 'communities' feature may help with that, but you still have to rise above the mass of low quality posts somehow. Steemit is still small. When there are millions then it may be even harder to be seen. It's all a big experiment.

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One of my problems with it is that it is "a big experiment" building on mechanisms that we've largely had figured out over the last 5 to 10 years.

I mean that seriously. Things like individual profiles, individual taste weighting, content filtering, integrated search, clear presentation, being able to find things that you actually want – all those reasons that Twitter and Facebook and even Reddit are huge in the social media space.

"Getting seen" is harder than it needs to be and, in theory, the upcoming Communities are going to help simplify that and channelize finding content that you're interested in – but that's a long time from now, even if it is on the roadmap.

"Steemit is still small" but it's large enough to have scams which are taking people for tens of thousands of dollars on a platform which people seem to endlessly reiterate "is still in beta."

I don't really see much purpose in experimenting with systems that already have a perfectly good solution – but I seem to be an unusual member of the community.

What I want to see is a user experience which is good for a new user on day one, and lets them see that they have an immediate effect on their personal experience, as well as it is on day 1000. That's how you get users to come on board and in stay around until day 1000.

As it stands – that doesn't seem to have ever been an interest. And that's disappointing and sad.

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What is the use of followers?

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Your followers are vital. They are the ones who will see all your posts and are more likely to comment and vote. If you build a relationship with them they will help you out. It takes time, but it's worth it. Whale votes are nice, but they won't follow that many people.

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Tqs bro.

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I would hope that others upvote quality content that they like and helpful for themselves and others. Hopefully this won't play out as a liking game because someone is a whale. If I like your content even with the smallest influence, I'll still send my upvote if it's helpful.

We all have to start off somewhere. Lets see how Steemit plays out in the next couple of months.

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I agree that minnows don't need to worry about curation rewards. After 5 months on Steemit, starting from scratch, my total curation rewards are only now approaching the $5 mark. Building an audience through posting, making great comments, entering contests and supporting communities are all better things to focus activity on to get started.

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I agree completely. I think that people need to reward quality even if it means their curation rewards are slightly lower. If people vote only to maximise their return then longer term the site will fail as the quality posts wont get the upvotes they need to encourage people to keep posting. Most of the posts are already of questionable quality, if they aren't actively curated for quality , then longer term Steemit just be a POS site for whales.

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Exactly and minnows are better off putting their efforts into good comments to build their followers.

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I don't think i am a big player but I still make 2.5 - 3.5 SP per week in curation reward and I think it is worth it. But I mostly vote on the hidden gems as @ocd curator.

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That's great, but 0.5 Steem per day is not a great return for the effort most of us would need to actively seek out maximum curation rewards. I do use some auto voting for friends, but I mostly do it manually and I think that's the best way to reward good content.

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How do you achieve this?

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I search for hidden gems and i try to vote as early as possible on the post included in the @ocd compilation because I know that acidyo will vote on them.

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god bless you.

Probably one of the best post I read about curation rewards. Have to wait to 20 minute to up vote you thought.

Thanks for explaining this so clearly and in such detail. This really helps!

And also, thanks a lot for all the times I asked you about curations on Discord, and you always took your time, and patiently explained me many things 😊

I'm new to Steemit and your post helped me understand how curation works. Side note, curation doesn't seem like an appropriate name for this action. It seems as though Steemit bakes in undue complexity into the platform especially when compared to more traditional blogging/social media platforms.

That being said, one way to eliminate the confusion is to be natural and upvote content that moves you regardless of time frame or potential reward. Do what you love and the success will follow.

Thanks for this article, upvoting and commenting because it helped me and I appreciate you taking the time to compose it.

Best Regards,
Mark

🌟 This is a fantastic guide to curation rewards!
This is probably the most complicated subject for Steemians to understand, and something we get asked about every day on Discord. Thanks for putting this in terms we can all relate to.

-- Resteemed!

Would this make a good Utopian guide? I think it might! Tag that mofo, bro!

I did a post about my curation rewards recently and someone left a link in the comments to a post with visual representation of how curation rewards are split. @miniature-tiger was the one who created the post, I believe and @yabapmatt shared it with me.

But yes you're right there's a lot of factors and I've found I get the best curation rewards when I vote for authors who are earning $1-10 per post or sometimes more, but the key is if I have more steem power and vote earlier than most of the others, I get the lions share of the curation reward split. I'm still playing around with the timing but I've also found that about 16-25 minutes is a good timing range to cast a vote.

My 100% vote is worth around 50 cents and I once got a 0.48 SP curation reward which was pretty shocking....I definitely got the majority of that 25%!

On a separate note, I don't think I've cast a witness vote for you yet..I didn't realize you were a witness. I've got like 3 votes left and one of them will be yours here in a minute.

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Thanks, I saw it come in.

If you get #1 curation spot and it isn't too early and the post does well you can do better than your own vote, but it is extremely rare and very hard to do on purpose.

I gave you 100% just for explaining this!

THANK YOU.

Don't vote on the big whale posts trying to get a piece of the action.

Yup, lesson learned after wasting my votes on those, when I was still a newbie on Steemit 😆

Dude! This is perfect!! Extremely well put and informative apreciate it and you. Resteemed. -Cheers

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Great post..thanks :)

For most of us growing up on steemit seem to be in a hurry to upvote the big whales for some unclear reasons and having little or nothing to show as a reward for their activity.

I in particular was a quilty of this. I never had any curation reward voting for the already established big fishes. My curation rewards came in from voting the upcoming steemians with reputation between 45 and 50.

I think the 30 minutes time frame still remain our best bet if we truly seek to get curation reward otherwise, upvote if a content truly bless you with better information irrespestive of the time frame.

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20-25 minutes is better in most cases, you will find you will receive more curation rewards by being earlier than the 33% you lose for being 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

This is fantastic. Thank you for this analysis. I have resteemed!

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Actually further to this, is there any chance you could do a similar post of how rewards work for comments? I have noticed people will comment on my posts but often wont up vote it, or may reply to a comment on their post, but wont upvote the original comment. Is there a reason for this?

A real intersting post and I do like it . It's add a many more knowlage to me . Thank you sir for your generous post

It's great that people take the time to calculate all this stuff... I understand most of the mechanics of what you've explained, but in the end I find that I am just more inclined to curate for quality, rather than to maximize rewards... the rewards are nice but coincidental...

Well written and informative post. Thanks!

Appreciate the instruction. Now to put it to use.

This was super handy way to understand curation. I'm not fully there but this gave me enough to figure out the rest on my own. Thank you muchly

Thank you, very well put together. Have you done or seen another similar post on how rewards for replies to posts, and voting on them operates?

Very good post, thank you for posting :)

Thank you for these explanations.
I have a question because I am watching my curation gains to compare and understand where and how to vote.

I won 0.001 on a post at $ 31.40 with only 10 voters

On a second post, 0.007 of earnings for $ 3 and 58 votes (I was in the top 10)

On a last 0.001 of earnings for $ 4.59 and 59 votes (also in the top 10)
I do not understand this gap?

god post. bro

Thanks! This is great information

Thanks for this great information.

Great post! I'm still not sure I understand the multiplier effect entirely, but thanks for laying it out. Where is it laid out in quantitative terms?

The gist of it though: You are rewarded for later absolute voting time (up to 30 minutes) and for earlier relative voting time. Which variable matters more depends on the actions of others.

I must admit I have never had a good grasp of the details of curation rewards and I see others who are very precise in what and how they curate for max return

I have always just voted on what I like when I see it
This post made it all a lot clearer for me so thanks for that

Will I change most likely not but at least I know what a could be doing and am making an informed choice when up voting

Thanks for taking the time to explain this in a simple manner :D

My bets are on you're wisdom. Thanks for sharing your observations!

Extremely informative post buddy. Loved reading it. Your explanation has been spot on for sure. Am sure most of the steemitians would benefit from your post. Upvoted, resteemed and following u as always.
Regards Nainaz
#thealliance

Awesome made its simple to understand thanks again keep up the good work!!!!!

i agree.....thanks for the information

Thanks for explaining this so clearly and in such detail
always waiting your post

Calling @originalworks :)
img credz: pixabay.com
Nice, you got a 74.0% @cryptomancer upgoat, thanks to @themarkymark
It consists of $2.21 vote and $0.59 curation
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!

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The @OriginalWorks bot has determined this post by @themarkymark to be original material and upvoted(1.5%) it!

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To call @OriginalWorks, simply reply to any post with @originalworks or !originalworks in your message!

Thank you so much for this post. I had no idea about any of this and how curation rewards work. I will resteem so I can find this post again and re-read it . Thank!

Interesting post.

Got quality content. Got new ideas. Thanks @themarkymark.
@praise-eu

I have one more thing I don't understand about curation if there a 10 1% votes does they take the same place in curation reward then 10 100% votes?

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10 100% votes would get a larger portion of rewards

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Yeah but for the 30 min distribution how does it work there?

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The earliest votes get the larger reward.

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Yeah but even if it is only a 1% vote or a 0.00$ vote?

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a $0.00 vote will get nearly 0.00 curation rewards, as the vote is so small. 1% vote depends on who is voting, 1% can be over $1 with some people.

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But will the 100% vote coming after then have a smaller curation reward if there was a 0.00$ before?

Something i have noticed about curating.. is that people will upvote post's without even reading them.

So really good posts may not get read because they are from a new author.. where a whale can make a crappy post and get tonnes of views and upvotes.

I think we really need a downvote button too!

I am always kind of torn at this subject, because my account is not big enough for this to have a substantial impact. I wonder if at my stage in the steam it process would I benefit more buy RI steaming to help my community. I usually Resteem the post that I of vote anyways. Though I suppose that eventually I will be at the point where it does make a substantial difference, and at that point it would have been beneficial to have gotten into the Habit early. There's a battle in my mind towards this.

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I resteem a lot, but I have slowed down a lot lately, it seems Steemit is not very friendly to resteems. To me it is a good way to share things you like to your followers, but many apparently get offended by it.

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Well I've seen it. Yet I wonder if those people have forgotten what it's like to be a beginner on steemit. I Resteem to give other people more exposure. there are so many things shared on steemit at one time the people's post get lost. Especially if they're just starting out. Yet I've seen the angry post, saying people shouldn't do that. Yet I think those post make then look bad.

Hey thanks for the info.. I've been trying to figure out how curation rewards actually work

good information for new users

Now I understand how about its. Can I get you permission to translate in Indonesian @themarkymark?

Though this post is 7 days old I upvote it because it seems very useful for everyone here. :D Thanks for the explanation!

Useful Information. Thank you

Hi ,thanks for this post ,
And the math part was so helpful *

Thanks for the explanation, curation rewards is the one thing that I found most difficult to understand. Also and on an unrelated note, is that Jewel Staite in the first gif? Absolutely loved her in Stargate: Atlantis.

It looks like a lot of maths to do. I can hardly spend 30 minutes on steemit daily. In this short time it is certainly hard to time upvotes. The only option that i have left right now is to curate the content that i have general interest in. This way i will be leaving everything on luck.

Extremely helpful! Thank you!!!

I just learned a lot! I guess, the 5 year old part got me. ;) Thank you!

we are new . and have a monthly blog that we believe is of benefit to the community here. we began posting yesterday. The only resources we have on how to upwell/ share our blogs effectively with everyone are informative posts like these from members who have more experience with the process. so information like this is very useful . How do we find or search for our own blogs in the feeds of the various tagged categories relevant to our post?

someone suggested to include our post in reply to other posts and comments etc. is this not appropriate to do ? what is the best practice? ultimately we want to share our information with as many people as possible on here . Thanks ... here is the blog hope it's ok to reference here but please inform us otherwise on best practices .

https://steemit.com/life/@asulu.saint/axle-forward-and-master-saint-s-looking-into-the-future-january-2018

Thanks for explaining.

Thanks a lot for all the times。

Excellent explaination! One of the best I've read so far - It makes waaay more sense to me now - thanks for posting this - I really like your easy to understand teaching style - I saw a couple of of other blogs of yours that I want to read ...great job!

thank you! you just enlighten me about how curator works keep up the good work @themarkymark.

This is really great work.
I live it and thanks for sharing

When my 100% voting power gives 0.01 $ and my vote is #1 for that post which get 100$ (for 150 votes) ,then how much I will get from curation rewards??

Good post. I usually just upvote aimlessly. Now i have a better idea on how it works.

Omg I need this keep them coming for us newbies

good and informative post

Thanks for the great information! you are awesome.

Everyone reading this comment this is for you ,i would love to connect with you.Follow me i will follow in return

This was helpful, is it still accurate though? Followed you, thanks for being helpful on here. :)

Explain it to me like I am a five years old !
Thats what I needed and now I understand how it works.
Thanks for that :D

Been voting posts with large payouts. Thanks for sharing this @themarkymark

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That’s usually the worst thing you can do for curation rewards. Unless you got in really early, ideally first 5.

Thanks for the simple explanation!!! :)

Very helpful thank you

this is the simplest post describing how curation rewards work. Thanks really interesting