There are so many How to do this and that on Steem nonsense pieces already, I know, I have written a little of it. However, with all of the new faces pouring onto the platform, it is not a bad idea to introduce some of the concepts I use. Nope, you aren't suddenly going to get rich from this but it could give you a few ideas.
This is not a guide, it is a discussion so feel free to add your views down the bottom. It is also going to assume your end goal is to create some value at some point in the future. As said, this is no get rich quick approach and guarantees nothing which is something everyone should get very comfortable with in life.
- If you want to get something significant out, you have to work
- Do not expect immediate gains, nothing is guaranteed
- You are building the foundations for the future of your business
- Engagement and community is where the long term value lays
- Treat your audience with respect and give them your time and effort
- Create content that is consistently good
- There is a lot of opportunity in the difficult because of lack of competition
- The future is likely bright if you do the hard work now
Okay, do you know what it is called when you put in effort for money? Yep, work. Get ready for it. A lot of people have come into Steemit assuming that this is going to be easy, a few blurry pictures of lunch and a post about a sick cat and suddenly, Lambo. No. Not going to happen. Buy a lottery ticket instead.
You are going to have to work but this has some benefits and drawbacks. The drawback is that you are going to have to engage with a lot of people on and off your own posts and off the platform too (Discord or Steemit.chat). And those low-level circle jerks advertised aren't going to cut it. Get involved with those and you can almost guarantee you will be a minnow or worse forever, no matter the price of Steem. You are going to have to find quality to engage with which means, you are going to have to learn to read and comment well. Yeah, sucks hey.
But, the upside is that you are running your own business, congratulations! You can do what you want, write what you want or, do nothing at all. It is good to be the boss, isn't it? If you are elderly you will remember that before memes, there were proverbs, Reap what you sow is the appropriate one here.
People think that hard work should be rewarded and that is likely the case but, do not assume that the reward will be immediate. When building nearly any business, developing the groundwork and foundation are the hardest parts and also the lowest paid, as there is no income coming in from the business yet.
In the real world, developing even a small business can take a few years before it is profitable. Anyone who thinks it is hard at Steemit should try it for real and see if it is any easier. You have to set up the business before you have customers and those customers aren't so willing to support a no name business.
Another benefit here? No upfront outlay and no loan required. All that is required is hard work but, at the right things. No one cares how long it took you to write the post and no one cares how brilliant the content is, at least to start with. With engagement and consistency however, that could start to change. Remember though, no guarantees.
The next thing is the content itself. I know, I know, you really love memes and have a vision of posting a few a day and in time, you will be the meme master of the universe. You and 50,000 other people currently here. How good are you? Better think about a little differentiation.
Before I go on I want to break down how I see the audience and then how to treat each of them and tailor content for each.
Walk-ins: Random users who come across the content.
Friends: People who often hang around making nuisances of themselves.
Whales: Random larger voters who manually curate
Patrons: Automated/skim reader voters
How do I treat them? All the same. I mean yes, I am much more familiar with the regulars but in the comments section it should not matter much who is commenting, especially at the start of the journey when you don't know who is who at all. Every vote, every comment (even the negative and critical) comes from a valued customer. Except Spam and phishing, screw them.
How to tailor content for each group? Don't. For me, I try to put out the best content I can possibly deliver each time (within reason). If you want to shitpost fine but you better be goddam funny and good at it if you want to build a following and have future value.
My approach is pretty simple when it comes to content, Be me. On top of that, work as hard as I possibly can within the constraints I have and deliver content that no matter who chances upon it, it will be good enough that it will never be questioned for quality.
I have a few patrons who occasionally drop some larger votes. I do hope they read the content from time to time too but, it is not necessary. Back in the day, patrons supported artists and scientists so they could do what they did without having to compromise themselves for money. Often, these people were talented outliers.
It is with respect to the patrons and gratitude to their support that I make sure that if they do stop by, they aren't going to find someone posting crap because they are on auto-vote. Do not become complacent. I wish there were more patrons in the seas these days but they are currently an endangered species in the waters. If a few more whales put a few more decent and trustworthy producers on their watch lists, the ecosystem would improve.
I am not necessarily either an outlier nor talented and I'm never likely to have a large following as, like I mentioned in a comment today, my content generally pushes for hard work, integrity and responsibility. People like memes.
The patrons allow me to provide content for a niche audience instead of for the masses. The members of that audience however may use this kind of information to provide content that does have mass appeal or create platforms in the future that pull the masses in. I try to get people thinking. People value mass appeal but, when it comes to how those people develop to be appealing, it is nearly always through a process of very hard work. They learn that process and get inspired to invest their energy from somewhere.
But, this all sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? Yes, it is. It is an incredibly high amount of work and there is still no guarantee that it will amount to anything. This is a high risk investment and is not for the faint of heart nor the lazy of mind and body. Very few people going forward on this platform from now on are going to have an easy time of it. Very few. And it is only going to get harder.
But, this is the opportunity as the harder it becomes, the less people willing to push at it, the riskier the investment, the less people willing to invest. There is the opportunity. People want fun and this is where I am "lucky" because for me, hard work is enjoyable. It is where I find meaning, not the pathway to meaning. For me, money isn't the end goal of work, work is reward in itself, money is a byproduct.
I am trying to build a foundation for me (and help others) so I can work more, not less. The difference is that I will hopefully have the opportunity to work at what I want to work at, not what I must to pay the bills. That future can only really come about through hard work or the lottery and currently the odds are much, much better through working hard here.
I know this is really long so I will finish it up and if you have read this far, congratulations but there is no prize. I have been focusing so heavily on some aspects of the platform lately that I think I need to spend a little time thinking through my thoughts, process and the future here. All in all, I am still positive about Steemit but, there is a lot of risk still. I do believe though that those who sow the seeds, will reap rewards.
Let's see where we all end up. At the end of the day, it will be the behaviors of the community that make or break the opportunities of the future.
[ a Steemit original ]