Are You A Minnow in a Steemit Storm Counting the Days When You're A Humpback Whale? Learn how to think before you sink.
Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich is not titled, Grow Rich And Think for a reason. The thinking comes first. The mindset is more important than the money. This post aims to feed your head.
Creating a successful blog in a social arena like Steemit requires you to think in a different way than on any other social media platform out there.
Starting a blog on Steemit is like buying a new piece of land in an established neighborhood. Your account is your own private lot of real estate that you're going to build a hotel on in hopes of getting lots of visitors staying in your hotel.
Why Steemit Seems Unfair
As you drive past the other beautiful properties (other people's blogs) that were built months or even a year ago, you get excited thinking about how your hotel is going to look and how much you'll be able to rent it for.
If this were a real neighborhood, how silly would it be to pull up to your property, start pouring your foundation and then complain to the neighbors that no one is renting your rooms? That would make no sense, right?
The hotel is not finished yet. It still needs walls, a roof, plumbing, electricity, furnishings, and a decorator. It needs all those things before anyone would want to book a room there let alone recommend it to a friend.
And yet, I see this happen all the time on Steemit. A new user complaining about how unfair it is that someone posted a video of their kid singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that made 200 Steem Dollars and their golden nugget of a post that they spent two days researching and writing made .02 cents. "It's not fair", they say.
I say it is fair. Who would want to pay to camp out on an empty lot? I'm not saying that their post is not valuable. It may be the most important words put down since the bible for all I know. But there is more to succeeding on Steemit than just writing posts.
Using the same hotel building analogy, you may have the most comfortable bed in the world available to rent to the most weary traveler but if that bed is on an empty lot of land you're not going to get Hilton prices for it.
Someone new to Steemit, seeing that kid singing video I mentioned earlier earning so many rewards, cannot understand why that person is getting so many upvotes. What's so special about that video? What makes that content perceived as valuable and my very well researched and written post only worth .02 cents?
What they don't understand is all the work that went into building a loyal following of repeat visitors on that other account long before they even knew Steemit existed.
More than likely, there were many posts that other account made that were full of valuable information that earned very little rewards just like you. But did they complain about it or did they finish building the foundation and then put up the walls and roof?
They probably spend many hours interacting with lots of other users, helping them navigate the Steemit ecosystem, sharing what they have learned, developing relationships and earning the respect and support of their followers one person at a time.
They spend time improving their writing skills, learning how to format and write engaging posts, helping to promote other people's content they like, upvoting and commenting on other people's blogs and selflessly giving to the community without asking anything in return.
They learned how to present their ideas in an easy to understand and digestible way and know how to format a blog post so readers can focus on the story.
This seems to be the consistent pattern that makes a successful Steemit blog with one exception and that is the people who invested lots of money buying Steem power and earn by commenting and curating other's content but don't make any posts of their own.
When an established Steemit blogger posts the occasional video of their cat doing something cute their followers upvote them because that's what friends do. They made friends here on Steemit not because of the cute cat video. They made friends by giving them useful, helpful insights about whatever they are passionate or knowledgeable about. They earned their followers respect and support.
Earning respect and support from people online is no different than earning their respect and support face to face. It takes time and there is some effort involved. Respect and loyalty are not free and cannot be bought. It is always earned.
If you're new on Steemit and new to blogging in general, getting a loyal following to your blog is going to take some time and effort before you can see any significant, consistent earnings from your posts.
Most everything you need to learn about succeeding on Steemit can be found on Steemit. Just Google your question and add the word Steemit at the end of your question and you'll find an answer on Google.
It's unrealistic to think that as a new user on Steemit you can just sign up for an account, post a few pics of what you had for lunch and pay for your next meal. You could get lucky and have a post that does just that, but more than likely more effort will go into it.
Like it or not, complaining about your poor initial results is not going to help you get your blog earning any sooner. If that bothers you and you think it is unfair then Steemit is not for you. There are plenty of sites you can vent your frustrations on to your hearts content, like Facebook for instance, but don't expect to be rewarded for that.
If, on the other hand, you're ready to roll up your sleeves (or invest a shitload of money buying Steem power) and share your knowledge, passion, creativity, and thoughtful content with an enthusiastic, loyal, and engaged audience, than Steemit is the exact right place to be.
The Value Of One True Folllower
Uncle Luzcypher is not here to sugar coat things for you. If you're not ready to invest a lot of money to buy Steem power then it is going to take your "sweat equity" and considerable time and effort to get results. What, did you think you were going to get your money for nothing and your chicks for free?
NOTE: Not even rock stars get their money for nothing and chicks for free. They work their asses off for it just like everybody else. It took my band 5 years to get our "overnight success". (OK, we did get laid a lot, usually after 5 songs and 5 drinks, but not paid a lot.)
Without followers a blog is just someone talking to themselves in the mirror. Successful blogs are not about you, the writer, they are about the reader and how reading your post can help them or at least entertain them. Can you put people in the picture of a great story you tell that will make them laugh, cry, or help them with their life in some way?
Write about it and keep writing about it and the followers will come. Not just any followers, but the kind of followers that need to hear your story and can appreciate what you have to say.
To learn blogging tips from one of the most successful bloggers on Steemit read, Sweetsssj's Tips To Successful Lifestyle Blogging On Steemit --- by @sweetsssj
It's important to remember that money (or SBD) follows value and consistent money follows consistent value. Expecting your posts to make money right away and on every post you make is unrealistic.
The empty store
Imagine walking into a store that just opened and they had nothing on the shelves yet. Everything is on sale for $5 but there isn't a thing in the store to buy. You walk up to the counter and say to the cashier, "Hey, what kind of a store is this?" They say, "I don't know yet but everything is on sale for $5."
What would you buy? Nothing, right? You would probably walk right out the door and never come back and certainly would not recommend that store to anyone. The next time you walked past the store you would just keep walking.
Now imagine approaching the cashier and asking what they are selling and they say, "Helpfulness. What can I help you with that is worth $5 to you?" Now one has to stop and think because there are a lot of things I can think of that are worth $5 to me.
- Traveling tips that will save you money.
- How to negotiate a pay raise at work.
- What to look for in a used car to insure you're not buying a lemon.
- How to get your kids to love doing their homework.
- A map to secret natural hot springs to visit.
- How to tell a Rolex from a Faulex.
- Healthy food recipes.
- How to save money when buying food.
- How to get insanely, loyal followers on Steemit.
- How to cure my hangover from hell.
You get my point, right? Now imagine this store offered whatever is helpful to you but they priced it differently. Everything in the store was free, or $5, or $10, or whatever you wanted to pay.
You would probably visit that store regularly and recommend it to people. A buzz would start to develop around that store. Customers would come check it out and if they found things there that helped them, they would return.
Now imaging treating your blog like a store that sells helpfulness. You don't need to be all things helpful to all people. Just choose to be helpful about things you really are knowledgeable, passionate, and can genuinely help people with. Give it away and do it again and again and again. Before you know it people will be paying you for the gift you are giving them and paying you more than $5.
Steemit Is A Gift Economy
I know this sounds a little crazy but Steemit is a gift economy. What is a gift economy?
A gift economy, gift culture, or gift exchange is a mode of exchange where valuables are not traded or sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. This contrasts with a barter economy or a market economy, where goods and services are primarily exchanged for value received. Social norms and custom govern gift exchange. Gifts are not given in an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity. Wikipedia
A funny thing happens when you give to others without asking in return especially when you do it consistently. They begin to feel indebted to you to the point where they look for ways to return the favor and settle their "debt".
I used to build lots of WordPress websites and taught myself how to sell things online. Each month I would get checks from Amazon, Google, eBay, Clickbank, and many other companies, but one of my most successful sites was a WordPress tutorial site.
WordPress is a blogging platform used by about half of all websites on the internet today. I created a video tutorial site on how to build a WordPress website from start to finish for complete beginners.
What made this site different from all my other sites and online sites like it was I didn't sell anything on the site. It was 100% free. While other sites that taught the same skills were charging good money to teach people how to build a site mine was totally free. All you needed to do was sign up to the site so I did collect the member's name and email.
Most people who sign up for something free online that has value expect to be sold something eventually. Why else would I want their email, right?
Each day I would automatically send them the next video in the course and there was nothing I was selling on it. No link to click through, no act now and save 50%, no last chance offer. All they ever got from me was 100% valuable information that they wanted and asked for with not a single sales pitch.
After about the 30th day of the 40 day course I would get email from people and comments on the sight like:
"I can't believe you're giving this away for free! You could charge a lot of money for this information"
"I have actually made money building websites for other people from what I learned in your course. I feel like I owe you something.
"Is there a way I can give you a tip?"
Then I noticed my subscription rate growing rapidly and incoming links coming into my site from other blogs and Google started ranking my site on the first page of their search results for some very popular search terms.
Similar sites that did charge for the same information I was giving away for free offered to buy advertising on my site or to buy my site from me.
So, what was the catch and how did I make money on that site?
About the 40th day of this 40-day course, there was a link with a very soft sell suggestion of how to get 50% off of a hosting account. Hosting is something you need if you're going to build a website. My conversion rate was 30% from that one link.
Now, typically conversion rates for similar offers online through email are about 1-3% of you're really good at it so a 30% conversion rate is huge. That means 30% of the people that clicked that link bought and almost everyone on my list clicked the link.
I made $50 per year per person for every year that they had that hosting account. There were hundreds of people signing up.
This went against the "proven" knowledge that an offer should be emailed to a new sign up immediately after they sign up and every day after for at least 14-30 days. After that much time, a customer was supposed to lose interest or forget about you. Mine we asking me to sell them something.
Why did this work so well? Because I gave them so much value upfront for free that people were happy to buy their hosting from my at a 50% discount. They felt like paying me already for the value they already received. Because of the valuable gift I gave them they felt reciprocal obligation to do me something for me in return. They needed hosting anyway so why not get it from me. Besides, it's 50% off.
Even though that site only had about 500 subscribers and only 30% of them bought a hosting account from me I made $7500 per year from that alone. So each subscriber was worth $15/year from hosting alone.
I later sold them many other things like themes and plugins for their sites and doubled, then tripled my value per subscriber. But when I sold those things that I used myself I just shared what I was doing and then they would ask me to help them too and would happily buy from me.
The takeaway from all of this is giving first is very valuable especially online where it is harder to build trust with people. And you don't need a lot of followers to be successful, you just need loyal followers that value what you are giving.
Now I realize that in this world of barter economies that we live in this goes totally against everything we were conditioned to believe but let me tell you, it works.
According to Chris Gregory, author and economic anthropologist, reciprocity is a dyadic exchange relationship that we characterize, imprecisely, as gift-giving. Gregory believes that one gives gifts to friends and potential enemies in order to establish a relationship, by placing them in debt. He also claimed that in order for such a relationship to persist, there must be a time lag between the gift and counter-gift; one or the other partner must always be in debt, or there is no relationship. Wikipedia
By always giving your best when you make a post on Steemit, the people who find what you post helpful and interesting will follow, comment, upvote, and resteem your content. You don't need to beg them you just need to keep giving to them.
To understand more about what a gift economy is and how they work read The Reason You Don't Understand Steemit -It's Like A Gift Economy Not A Commodity Economy --- by @stellabelle
Steemit is a project that is constantly under construction and one big experiment that is unique to the online world of social media. With the promise of rewards we can sometimes get distracted to the fact that it's basically a social experiment. Being social is more important than just trying to earn money.
Being authentic, consistent, and involved with the community, besides having its own rewards, is what makes someone a valuable member of this community. But relationships don't develop overnight. They take time.
People come to Steemit because they hear about this site you can make money on and get lured into giving it a try but get discouraged when the rewards are not instant. In this fast paced world of ours we sometimes forget that social media is more about being social than anything else.
When you study some of the more successful people on Steemit you'll notice that their focus is not so much on what's in it for them, they are more about what they can do for you. That's how gift economies work.
If you're new here and are wondering what this place is all about I highly recommend you change your focus to what can you give to this place instead of what can you get from this place. Do that and you will be most welcomed in any neighborhood and do it often and long enough and you'll make a lot of friends that will be more than happy to upvote your occasional silly post.
I hope this post helps you wrap your head around this crazy place we call Steemit and may your content earn many upvotes, your Steem power grow in your sleep, and your resteems and followers be plentiful.