-- JK you should read this whole thing.
Maybe that's why you aren't seeing good growth?
Everyone, if you read my last non-techy post aimed towards content creators on Steem you already know I've been blogging for over a decade. I've made all the mistakes, so please, please, please listen this is for you to shave off years of learning the hard way. Please learn from what I have experienced and put effort into your future here on steem.
Bots, Follow for Follow, and Upvote for Upvote
Don't waste your STEEM on bots. You are better off reinvesting you STEEM into STEEM Power and using that to help other people. Think about how you feel when someone with more reputation and more Steem Power than you comes along and upvotes, comments, or resteems your work.
You feel good!
Chances are you follow them if they make content. I Know I do and many others do as well. Having Steem Power is like walking around with a big stick. You get the ability to help the smaller bloggers on our platform. Sort of like protecting them from fading in to obscurity.
I know what you are saying, "but J. R. it's so little it's not even worth it!" Well guess what, if you keep spending it on bots you'll never have power worth looking up to. You'll only ever have minnow status or lower. Something you need to realize is the mentality you have when using these types of programs. You are telling yourself that you don't think you content is not good enough to get noticed so I might as well get every edge you can.
Please don't do this.
It is tempting, I know first hand. So much of my hard work over the past decade has gone unnoticed. Hours and hours of writing, editing, rewriting, and reediting just for no one to read it. It gets you thinking if you had a little boost you could break out. There is a better way.
Follow For Follow & Vote for Vote
I'm not even close to a whale by any measure of the term and I still get people messaging me asking me to upvote every post they make and they'll do it for me in return.
I ALWAYS DECLINE.
so please stop asking
The same goes for follow for follow and I know this will only get more and more prominent as my account continues to grow. You should reject these requests at all costs. Again it's tempting since it seems like it will give you a slight edge. I'll be honest, it could but it won't be as good as you expect.
There is also a site (maybe several) where you can follow and upvote other steemians for the same in return. I checked this out for a few days and I have since chose to not use it. All you get are empty upvotes and follows that don't care about you or your work. It is shallow and non-personal interaction via a STEEM blockchain app. Everyone is just there for the small edged they get in upvotes. These upvotes will not bring you any STEEM worth your time.
If you only in this game for the money, get out .
It will not work and you are better off trading Bitcoin. After a decade of blogging if it was all about the money I wouldn't be doing this.
What you should be doing to get some genuine growth!
When to upvote
First, let talk about upvoting the right way. You may know this but you may not. You should only upvote posts that give you value. Whatever that value is, be it information, a good laugh, or a good cry. You can tell who put the effort and their heart into their post.
It will probably be as long as this one...
They won't just be a video they pulled off YouTube (I'm not getting started on that) and they are not just taking a news article writing a paragraph and then linking the article. That's not effort, that's fishing for upvotes. I'd also like to point out posts that are just photos are often not worth the upvote. There are some rare occasions when the creator spent time on them and they give you value but if it's just a meme, it's most likely not worth your upvote.
I'd like to take the time here to say I disagree with the statement that Steem is "like Facebook but better". If you will compare Steem to anything it should be Medium, WordPress, or Blogger. It's that kind of content were Steem shines. Saying that is is like Facebook will only bring more and more low quality work that took a person zero effort to create.
Remember, when you upvote you are putting our reputation on the line.
To follow or not to follow?
Then we have following. This is not as imperative from what I can tell here on Steem as upvoting is but you should take this seriously too. I will often look over who a person follows after I follow them. This is because if I am taking the time to follow them it is because I like what they do and often assume that they will follow people who make great content too.
So do with that as you wish. I think seeing a person who is following an equal number of people who follows them is a sign they are doing follow for follow but that's not always the case. Use your own judgment when following and at least like the content of the person you are following. The last thing you should want is a bunch of empty and shallow followers that don't care about your content.
Go make some friends!
Finally, networking. This will be the most work outside of you making your content. I say work but if you do it well, it's just making new friends who also create content on Steem. If you go as a lone wolf you could still break out and have successful blog but it will be much harder to do so (unless you already big some place else).
People create many places where you can meet new others outside of Steem. My two favorites so far are both Discord chat groups. These groups have upvoting sections where you can promote your stuff and the community bot will upvote but that's not what you should be there for. You should come for the people and forming friendships with other creators.
The first group I'll mention is P.A.L and is the more active of the two. There are loads of friendly, helpful, and kind people in this group. They feature radios shows, topic specific sections, and a place to share your latest work with everyone. I recommend this group to everyone. PAL has some great wittness too, including @someguy123, @aggroed, @drakos, and @neoxian (I love neoxian's server icon, truly a steemian after my own heart).
The second group is Whaleshares. I was told about this group by @wandrnrose7 (great lady, go follow her). This group has many of the same things as P.A.L. They do a radio show within Discord that anyone can join and talk about one of their posts on Steem. I joined for the first time last week and it was a great opportunity. Everyone in this group is very nice and helpful just as in P.A.L.
All that being said if there is one thing that will take your Steem blog to the next level it is networking. Making friends with other creators should be your main goal on Steem after creating great content. Money, upvotes, and follows are fine and dandy but no one can succeed alone.
Thanks for reading! If you have a question or something you'd like to add please comment!
Tuesdays & Thursdays are dedicated to helping people make the most of their blogging efforts!