One of the most beautiful aspects of Steem is that it has the potential to contribute to social vertical mobility. Which of course is a good thing.
In this day and era of super-wealthy and super-poor the “abundance” which can be generated via participating on Steem is absolutely a positive.
But at the same time for too many Steem has become an unrealistic cow to milk. A cliff the lemmings will inevitably drop off. An expectation, a habit which can not be and isn’t sustainable.
Let’s have a look at some of the rather easy ways for Steemians to earn quite a nice buck, much more than most would ever be able to generate in revenue if they were dependent on that “horrible thing” called advertising. That thing with a spend actually defined based on niche markets and their cap. That real world thing.
Earning the Easy Way on Steem
Following venues are rather easy methods for “not too shabby” authors to earn a rather mega-buck on Steem. They are basically philanthropic writing venues where anybody can earn a healthy upvote, without anybody actually needing that content. Yes, I said that right.
- Utopian.io: With a little bit of effort and desire to understand Utopian’s requirements every author can write tutorials, blog articles, and guides about almost any open-source project. @Utopian-io has rather high standards (for the Steemworld), but standards lower than professional bloggers/writers may remember from for example Squidoo. Yet, the rewards tend to be a multiple.
- SteemSTEM: @SteemSTEM is a writing curation project which rewards great STEM contributions. While the team has rather high standards as well and it isn’t sufficient to just rewrite a Wikipedia entry, SteemSTEM is definitely a great venue for authors who want to have a regular earner. Write about what you want, as long as it’s STEM related.
- Curie: @Curie is the oldest and longest running writing curation project on Steem. Curie is mostly geared towards newer Steemians, under-rewarded Steemians but anybody who isn’t too stupid can easily manage multiple accounts and earn from Curie for months to come. As long as you have sufficient email addresses and every account uses different transfer memos. The latter the most common way for people to get bust with their “anonymous” alt accounts.
- OCD: @OCD has the same weakness as Curie. With a much lower upvote but daily up to 23 posts rewarded, OCD is also a great venue for greyhat authors. If you see a new account use the #ocd-resteem tag, you know it’s almost always an alt account trying to game OCD.
Those are probably the most prominent “upvotes” Steemians can earn, white- or greyhat, from actually good meaning projects.
There are other methods.
or should we say covert basic income initiatives like Qurator and SilverGoldBotty offer everyone an upvote in return for a (small) delegation or a daily upvote. Other Steemians, especially those who do not rely on their Steem earnings may decide to make use of bidbots and thus maximize their STEEM holdings. Bidbots may at times have a negative ROI but they are the easiest and cheapest way to increase your STEEM. Invest with something you wouldn’t have earned anywhere and HODL on!
As somebody who believes in crypto and the positive it can have on social vertical mobility, this is of course a good thing.
May I suggest though that rather than doing the obvious and integrate the USD, you initially focus on lower ranked economies and nations. New economies like Steem have the potential to massively disrupt the status quo and directly improve social vertical mobility.
There is a reason why there are so many mobile payment apps in the Asian scene (and Africa): the unbanked demographic is massive. While we still suffer the inconvenience that most debit card issuers have pulled out, it is more likely that affluent users are capable to easily exchange without going through many expensive hoops.
Source: Yours truly in a comment thread on Introducing SteemPay
Obviously all those initiatives are positive, well-meant, and can make a difference on the lives of many. Every semi-decent author can find a venue to target on Steem and earn a decent dime. A dime most would never achieve with their own blog. As the Steemconomy further proliferates we will see always more such initiatives, or tribes, all of which basically becoming massive “circle jerks”.
Yes, circle jerks. While sometimes I may call a digger a spade, let’s call a digger a spade.
There is an inherent risk with that though. More than one risk actually.
The Internet is Fashionable
First of all the internet writing scene is one of fashions. People follow what is popular and do what is popular and works. Wait until the listicles invade Steem. Many a “professional” Steemian who isn’t too shabby an author and has some internet knowledge will follow the trends. Or the Steem Power. That’s how the internet operates and also how Steem works.
At the same time Steem can not yet claim to have the (average) quality of for example Medium. Steem has some great authors but Steem is not yet that venue where one goes to discover some of the best content written by known leaders, prolific authors, and thought-provokers.
An inevitable further proliferation of “circle jerks” will only contribute to the average quality of Steem staying modest. Modest because it may not be challenging enough to earn and because this is Steem and not the Bloggy/Webby Awards.
Steem Changes and the Pros Are Coming
In last 6-8 months it has become more and more common to see previously prolific authors, and $TU earners, drop in earnings. Obviously, @blocktrades not upvoting anymore has had a big impact on that but that’s not the only reason.
Much like blogging started to evolve mid last decade, Steem is also becoming an ever more professional scene and those who enjoyed the perks of the scene in the earliest days often also “didn’t bring much to the table”. By which I mean that “personal blogging” is, more often than not, not a topic which interests investors.
Give me a @krnel or @tarazkp over what you ate yesterday. Give me a @suesa or @revisesociology over your beautiful travel pictures. Unless I wouldn’t know better and forget the huge market that is video gaming, I would even say give me a writing @acidyo over a gaming @acidyo.
As time progresses Steem will see always more targeted topical demographics, niches filled often by (semi-) professional internet earners.
Niches written for by the “pros”. By those with a nose for the SP.
Many power-accounts are down, and unless you write to a specific demographic/topical niche that situation will become only worse. Except for those who have found a circle jerk, their ticket to a Steem basic income alike revenue stream.
Even power accounts with an actual recurring specific topic are down.
Down because it is too easy to earn on Steem and to maximize those earnings. Too easy for those who actually target the possible ventures, the available SP. Those who follow the high value upvotes. The dilution of the organic rewards Steem grew upon.
Because... Steem is too philanthropic right now. Take your own “writing order” and receive a solid upvote. You don’t even need a client to write for.
If you’re not too stupid, the upvote is almost guaranteed.
Philanthropy is Not a Viable Investment
Philanthropy is nothing which will long term increase the value of Steem. Just like most other tokens STEEM also depends on the evolution and growth of the crypto-scene. Its growth as a mature and future forward scene. Much of this is still tied to Bitcoin’s dominance. A dominance benchmarked against the current mining and investment cost to produce 1 BTC. A dominance given an actual [minimum] value by BTC’s current complexity.
As BTC dominance will eventually become always lower a benchmark, that also helped with more and more exchanges pairing directly to fiat, tokens will become ever more valued on their actual worth. Not on daytrading and HODL potential.
Medium currently struggles as a platform, struggles to become financially viable. If a user-generated content platform with known names and founders, and a team, with an actual track record, struggles... what makes you think that the content published on Steem is worth more?
Blogger didn’t become the exit many thought their hard-crafted content was worth. Blogger was only an interesting platform to acquire for Google because it opened a new, a fast-growing platform for Adsense to spread over.
Vertical social mobility is not a reason for investors to invest in unless there are transactions, there is a possible return they can earn from. Unless there is a business model behind. An Adsense to Blogger. A “How to Spend It” to the Financial Times. Not max. 25% shared curation rewards. Not a short-term ROI generated from delegating to bidbots.
If Medium, despite prolific high quality content contributors, struggles chances are that the content many a Steemian writes and earns with is... over-rewarded. Unless at the very least such content can improve in quality, and the best contributors are both highlighted and rewarded accordingly again, Steem is philanthropic a place to be.
A short term earning venue waiting to implode.
The attention economy will only pay you as much attention as your content is qualitatively worth and valuable. Not as awesomely as you think it is to earn a quick buck here. As you may even have become entitled to expect to earn.