Steemit Made Simple: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started! (UPDATED AND EXPANDED)

in #steem-help5 years ago (edited)

I originally posted this guide over a month ago and it became the number one search result on Google for “Steemit Guide.”

I felt it was finally time for an update!

Steemit is blowing up!

There are over 70,000 users now with more flocking in every day. It’s been quite the ride.

People are making thousands of dollars and if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet that you want to be a part of this incredible new community too.

But (and it’s a big but) it’s incredibly complicated. Learning how to use Steemit can be confusing as all hell!

Well fear not my fellow aspiring Steemers. I’ll break it down for you.

Here is the simplest version of everything that you need to know to get started! 

What is Steemit?

Steemit is a social network that looks and functions a lot like Reddit, but with one HUGE difference:

Steemit pays both the content creators when their work gets upvoted, as well as the people who curate the best content on the site by upvoting others work.

This is possible because the Steemit platform is built on top of a new kind of digital currency. (Think Bitcoin, which is another kind of digital currency that has been around for a while.)

Every day, new units of the currency are created by the network and distributed to its users, who can exchange these digital currency units for actual real money.

And it doesn’t cost a dime to get started.

You can create a Steemit user account for free, right now, and be publishing your content directly to the site within minutes using Steemit’s built in blogging/publishing tools.

If you’re skeptical at this point, I get it. I was too.

But it’s definitely the real deal.

So let’s dive in. I’ll show you how it all works.

How does Steemit work?

In some ways, Steemit is similar to other digital currencies. For example, Steemit currency units can be traded, bought, and sold on the open market just like all of the other digital currencies.

With other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the actual currency units that are created each day are distributed to the people who run a special bitcoin software program on their computers that perform a process called Bitcoin Mining. The amount of computing power you have dictates how much money you get.

Steemit allows for currency mining as well, but it’s not the primary way to earn money. Every day, new Steemit currency units that are created by the network and distributed to the people who engage with the site. The more you engage, the more you get.

People who create content are rewarded for their content. People who upvote content are rewarded for helping to curate the best content available on the site. Commenters who add to the discussions are paid too.

The 3 Steemit Currency Units: 

The first thing you need to understand is that there are three different kinds of Steemit currency units.

We have Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.

Confusing right? It was for me. But it will all make sense in a minute.


Steem are the units that are bought and sold for actual money on the open markets. You can trade them as you would bitcoins or a company’s stock.

But you don’t want to hold on to these for too long because more Steem Units are created every single day. If you hold onto Steem Units for a long time, they will become diluted and lose value.

Steem Power:

Owning Steem Power Units is essentially like making a long term investment in the currency because it takes a full 2 years to sell Steem Power Units (104 total weekly payouts). But there are a lot of good reasons to have Steem Power.

By keeping your currency as Steem Power Units, you will be able to make considerably more money in the long run because you essentially have ownership in the network. As the network grows, so will your piece of the pie.

And you’ll be heavily rewarded along the way. The way things are set up now, 90% of the new Steem Units that are generated every single day are distributed to the people who already hold Steem Power Units in the form of additional Steem Units. (The other 10% goes to content creators and curators).

Half of the pay you receive for your content will be in Steem Power Units.

Also, the more Steem Power Units you have, the more your curation vote will count. You will have more influence on the site and you will also get paid more for upvoting other people’s work. (When you upvote someone’s work, they will get paid more as well.)

Steem Power Units also play one final and very important role. They prevent massive price swings and volatility on the open markets. Because everyone is locked in for 2 years, we can’t all sell our currency all at once if the market starts to dip, which would crash the price were it to happen.

Steem Dollars: 

Steem Dollars are the third and final form of the currency and never get diluted or lose their value. They are designed to be a stable currency that you can sell at any time. When you create popular content, 50% of your pay will be in Steem Dollars.

And you’ll be rewarded for holding Steem dollars too. It’s not nearly as much as the rewards for holding Steem Power. But because it still keeps the currency in the network, holding Steem Dollars pays 10% interest.

When you earn Steem Dollars for creating content, you have three choices:

1) You can convert the Steem Dollars to Steem and sell it immediately on the open market for real money, essentially cashing out. (You can also sell the Steem Dollars on the open market directly, though often some value is lost in the process)

2) You can hold the Steem Dollars, which keeps the money in the network and pays you 10% interest. You can sell them at any time.

3) You can exchange your Steem Dollars for Steem Power. If you want to invest in the future of the currency and reap the biggest rewards, this is the way to do it. To do this, you have to first convert your Steem Dollars to Steem Units, then choose to convert the Steem Units into Steem Power Units.

How are the newly created Steem distributed each day?

Every day 90% of the new Steem units are rewarded to the people who hold Steem Power Units.

10% of the new Steem units are paid to content creators, curators, and commenters.

When you create content that actually earns money, 50% is paid to you in Steem Dollar Units that can be exchanged for actual money right away (or converted into Steem Power). The other 50% is paid in Steem Power. The Steem Power Units are locked up for 2 years.

Additionally, when a post payout occurs, 75% of the earnings goes to you as the author and 25% goes to the people who upvoted you.

How to cash out your earnings:

Once you start earning Steem Dollars and you want to actually cash out, what do you do?

Well lucky for you, several other Steemers have created fantastic guides for doing just that. So rather than go all technical on you, I will pass you along to the people who can explain it better than I can.

Step-by-Step: How to Cash Out Your Steemit Earnings to USD by @lurker1

Now you’ve been paid in steem dollars an What should you do? by @alexc

Where does the money come from?

Steemit user @Steemrollin has written a fantastic explanation on this:

Steem: Where DOES the money coming from?  

Why you should start now:

The short answer is that you have nothing to lose. It is 100% free to join and you can actually get paid for your work!

Unless you are a professional writer, you’re not going to find this kind of action anywhere else.

Also, Steemit is growing at an explosive pace! Hundreds of new users are flocking in every single day. And even though it’s only been around for a few months, it’s already become one of the top five digital currencies in terms of market capitalization.

Remember, Bitcoins were basically worthless early on, but are now worth close to $700. You have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new currency without spending a penny, but also to be a part of an incredible new social network.

How to get started:

First things first, you need to setup your account. You will need to use your Facebook account or Reddit account as you do this to verify that you are who you say you are. Your account will be very valuable so make sure to set a secure password.  

Your Steem account is worth money! How to secure it with a new owner key to keep it yours forever by @pfunk

Creating your first post:

To start publishing content, all you have to do is click "Submit a Story" at the top right of the screen, then when the page loads, click “Editor” to bring up the editing tool bar.

When publishing content, it’s important to format your articles in a way that will make them easy to read. Use images, headings, and subheadings to break up long blocks of text.

Use the “” button in the editor to activate the quote feature when quoting someone. And give the quote its own line like this

The quote formatting button looks like this:

No one ever wants to read a solid wall of text, so taking the time to format your article in a way that makes it pleasant to read will be crucial.

Posting Images:

As it stands right now, there is no way to upload your images to the Steemit website so posting images in your articles will require a workaround. The easiest way is to use or You don’t even have to create an account to upload your pictures.

Once you have an image uploaded, simply click it, and copy the URL for the picture. Imgsafe gives each picture its own unique URL that you will use in Steemit to insert the picture into your post.

In the Steemit editor press the insert image button and paste the copied image URL. (If the URL starts with HTTP:// change it to HTTPS:// when you paste it into Steemit.)

Where to find images:

It’s not okay to just use any old image you find on the internet in your posts. Most images are copyrighted and if you use these images without permission, it’s considered plagiarism and theft. But there are tons of free resources where you can find thousands of photos to use in your posts.

Here are 13 free (and Legal) ways to find high quality photos you can use on Steemit.

Posting Videos:

Want to add a video to your post? It couldn’t be easier. Right now Steemit is only integrated with YouTube, but assuming the video you want to post is on YouTube, all you have to do is paste the YouTube video URL into the editor. Once you publish, the video will appear embedded in the post.

What to write about?

That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? The best advice I can give you is to explore the trending topics/tags as well as the trending posts within those sections and see what kind of content people are responding to.

The introduceyourself tag is hot right now and a great place to start.

Here is my introduction post as an example.

This may be helpful as well: The Secret Formula to a Successful "IntroduceYourself" Post...And The #1 Mistake to Avoid by @cryptoctopus.

Try to remember that it’s not about how much time you spend creating a piece of content, but how valuable/entertaining it is to everyone else. Try to create content that delivers the most value.

Also, it’s important to point out that all votes are not created equal. A vote from someone with no Steem Power units will not change the value of a post. But a vote from a “Whale,” someone with a huge amount Steem Power Units, can increase the value by hundreds of dollars.

Do not get discouraged if your posts do not do well initially. Just stick with it! The best strategy is to post high quality original content as often as you can (though no more than 4 times a day) and to comment and interact with other people’s posts.

Curation: Upvoting, Downvoting, and Following!

Remember, creating content is only one part of the Steemit experience. Engaging with the community is also incredibly rewarding, both intellectually and financially! So here are a few of the things you should know.

Upvoting: When you want to upvote a post. Look for the upvote icon, immediately to the left of the estimated post payout dollar amount, below the article itself and above the comments.

It looks like this: and it turns blue once you have successfully upvoted.

Downvoting: If you want to downvote someone, there is a little flag to the right of the title at the top of the post. But this should only be used in the case of abuse or plagiarism. You should not ever downvote a post just because you disagree with the author.

Following: One of the great features of Steemit is that you can follow the authors you enjoy reading. All you have to do is click the authors user name at the top of the post (for example my username is @mindover). Once you do, you will be taken to their blog page.

At the top right of their blog page, simply click “Follow” to follow that author. All of their new posts will now appear in your personal feed, which can be accessed by clicking your personal drop down menu and selecting feed.

So my fellow Steemers, I have one question for you: what are you waiting for? 

Get out there and start creating! 

As for me, I’m in it for the long haul. See you all on the other side!

And don't forget to follow me: @mindover!


I'll also leave this here to complement what you've already put together: This is the Ultimate Guide to Voting Power:

Wow great post! The math all goes over my head but the rest of it makes a lot of sense. Thanks @biophil!

Very nice @mindover :) @shenanigator check this post out for the FAQ.

Wow thanks @ned! That means so much coming from you. You guys really built something incredible!

@mindover lmk if you merge or work with @shenanigator --both works are so helpful

Easy to read and understand but think you should emphasis not everyone makes thousands, as someone else mentioned more about Whales and minnows will put that right

Good point. I sort of touched on it with this:

"Also, it’s important to point out that all votes are not created equal. A vote from someone with no Steem Power units will not change the value of a post. But a vote from a “Whale,” someone with a huge amount Steem Power Units, can increase the value by hundreds of dollars.

Do not get discouraged if your posts do not do well initially. Just stick with it! The best strategy is to post high quality original content as often as you can (though no more than 4 times a day) and to comment and interact with other people’s posts."

But I probably could have gone into more detail.

Its starting from the bottom to work your way up as in Everything. I can manage maybe 2 posts a day then my brain gives up. Its going to be a fight to get noticed and in the mean time try and improve on what I do.

Exactly what I needed to read, thanks

Great article with a detailed explanation of the most important terms.

To be frank I have been here for almost 3 months now and still, I don't really get how it works.

And I mean by that how do you really make money on the site. I have published posts, voted other articles & comments as well but there is still no sign of money?

More clear now, only 1 question left, how to get more steem dollar through writing and upvoting?

thanxx a lot for this article

Great job! Informative, clear, and concise, as it should be. Thanks for putting this together.

Hey @mindover I am new here, and your posts are helping me to settle in here! Thank you

Great content and marketing as well..! Steem should pay you...:)

BAMMM!! Thank you!!!

I read your original article and it was a HUGE help to me! Glad to see the update. This is well written, easy to understand, and perfect for people who are not super tech-savvy/know a lot about cryptocurrencies. Thank you!

Thanks @mscleverclocks I really appreciate it!

This post has been linked to from another place on Steem.

About linkback_bot

Finally! I can't believe there is no official howto! I mean we have to collectively struggle to understand the platform.

This sort of is an official how to, it's just very technical. The official instructions and explanations as well as the white paper are incredibly technical and way above the heads of most people. I'm no exception. It took me a long time to wrap my head around it enough to simplify it down. Glad you liked it!

it is especially hard for those who do not have a business head on me. I could talk you under the table about mythology, and other what are 'deep' subjects but is all so abstract. But I really do wanna get my head round it. One question what is difference between investing in Steemit (shares) with participating? I bet my question doesn't even make sense lol
AND, is there any way to private message with others here?

I'm bookmarking this, very useful information! Thank you!

Thanks for this super helpful article!

Great guide !! Thank you

Thanks for the tips!
Tried both and, and both seems down now. Tried Imgur, didn't work either. So far this works for posting pictures:

Great article to get a start.

Good job with this. You spell it out plainly for new users, and prospective users. Now you just need to find a great way to disseminate this so people can read and get interested in steemit.

Nicely written for beginners.

Thank you very much.

Hey, As I am new here i found this helpful for my steemit journey.

Just one thing to suggest, you can update it with latest steemit updates.
Because , I'm able to upload image from my computer to the post. Thanks Again.
-ps :)

I started late, but you helped me to get a clear start! <3

Great article. I think it needs an explanation of the difference between a minnow, dolphin, and whale. This is something that really confused me at first, and it took me a while before I could find a good explanation in it.

Good point. I mentioned whales, but not minnows or dolphins.

That was helpful! I hope you get rewarded well for it.

Thanks , it increasesed my knowledge a little more towards steem.

I just joined steemit and was looking for some steemit for dummies kinda stuff. This post was a exact one which I was looking for.

Very helpful and concise. Thank you :-)

Thanks for sharing, this is very useful!

Thanks for this post. It was worth reading specially for a beginner like me. More informative post to come!👍😉

This is really a helpful guide. It helps me to get started with Steemit quickly! Thanks!

Very helpful guide. Thanks a lot!

Thx for share of informations , but what to do with bots that do down vote ? As soon i published my introduction 2 bots slamed me a down vote . What a heck is that for ?

@iggy I just looked at your post it wasn't downvoted by the bots. Those bots are spammers and the comments they made were downvoted, not your post. Your post has 3 upvotes and 0 downvotes.

Thx for clearing that for me . I'm a new user and for now everything is new and i gota learn how to use all of this . Thank again man .

New to steemit and just moved into a newplace after being evicted will be following and creating content very soon. Thank you very much for the guide.

This is amazing information and help me understand how this sites work. Sir, I have a question.. if I post a story or give comments and promote my own artwork link on it that related to the post, will I get banned?

I have bad experience in Quora ^^' thanks before.

Very nicely written. It will definitely guide new comers to learn about steemit and never plagiarise.

Thanks for this guide.. this will help people to understand the fundamentals...

Hello, start earning money by paid surveys.