Hi! Welcome to the Steem Blockchain! It is an exciting time to be online amidst revolutionary changes to how the internet is controlled. We are moving away from an internet where central power and authority controls content and the money made from that content to a decentralized model where we, the people, are in control of both the content and the money.
Steem is the first of its kind.
Steem is a blockchain, like Bitcoin (the first blockchain). Unlike Bitcoin, Steem's distribution model is based on content creation and content curation. New steem (the token) is produced each day and awarded to content creators and content curators. There is no 'mining' the coin, like Bitcoin, unless you count writing blogs, reading and liking articles or commenting on a video mining!
How does this all work?
In the image above, you can see the view that you would see in your "wallet" page. (Click the top right corner of your browser page and select wallet). You can also see that there are three separate things: STEEM, STEEMPOWER and STEEM DOLLARS.
Steem is the coin that runs the steem blockchain. It is a liquid asset, easily tradable/sellable. It can be converted into STEEMPOWER.
Steem can be converted into Steempower through a process called "powering up". When you turn Steem into Steempower, you are committed to keeping that Steem in a powered up state for 13 weeks. You can turn Steempower back into liquid steem through a process called "powering down."
This is confusing, but important, so stay with me on this.
Steempower is the functioning force on the steem blockchain. Having Steempower is how you earn rewards on the steem blockchain. Your upvote, with no steempower, is worth nothing. If you have 10,000 Steempower, your upvote will be worth about $0.60. Wait a minute... what is an upvote? I will get to that next... keep on reading! Having Steempower is how you earn rewards on the steem blockchain.
STEEM DOLLARS: The third column in your wallet. Steem dollars are rewarded to holders of steem power. During certain economic realities on the blockchain, the rewards can be split into a 50/50 distribution. Your rewards CAN end up being 50% Steempower and 50% Steem Dollars. Steem Dollars are liquid and are easily tradable / sellable. On steemit, you can trade Steem Dollars for Steem. During other economic realities (like the time of writing this article), Steem Dollars are not being distributed.
WHAT IS AN UPVOTE?
At the bottom of every post, before the comment section, you will find this little 'up' button. Beside it you will see a $ amount. If you like the article, you can click that button to reward the author. The more steem power you hold, the larger your upvote. When you upvote an article, you will also get a share of the 'curation rewards'. 25% of the $ amount that post pays out, will go to the people who upvote it. This encourages everyone to upvote quality content as you stand to earn more by liking good content.
You have 10 full powered upvotes / day. Use them wisely. You cannot just vote for every article in an attempt to gain curation rewards. If you upvote a post, your voting power will go down. In 2.4 hours, it will be back at 100%. So, simply put, you can upvote 10 times / day at full power.
How to EARN REWARDS
There are 3 ways to earn rewards.
Creating content - it can be a blog, a video a song, poem, recipe... any post on the steem blockchain.
curating content - reading and upvoting posts
commenting on content - at the end of the post, you can comment on the post and others can 'upvote' the comments. Try it at the bottom of this article. Click the "reply" button and type in the box. I won't bite and I may even upvote your comment.
How to be successful!?!?!?!
There is no sure shot formula for success on the steem blockchain. My best advice is to take yourself seriously, interact with people genuinely and do not try to just get rewards. This is a social network. Be social. Write about what interests you and read and comment on things that interest you.
Having Steempower will speed up your success, but paying for steem isn't a part of everyones plan. I get that. If you can buy some steempower, your upvote will be worth more and it will get you off of the ground quicker.
Enjoy! This is the key. If you are having fun and enjoying your time, the rewards will end up being a bonus. It is like getting money on your birthday. If you had a good day, a fun party and got some money, that is a good bonus, but you would have been satisfied without the money.
I don't want to go much further than this in this article. There is much more to learn about steem and I encourage you to read up on the more complex workings of the steem blockchain. It will help you find success here. This articles intent is to get you started and confident.
I wish you a great experience on the Steem Blockchain. Do not hesitate to comment on this article, I enjoy interaction. All thes best!