Thank You <3
First, I want to say thanks to @heymattsokol for submitting my post about PGP & Keybase to @curie. It turned yesterday into one crazy ride. I also want to thank everyone who commented and upvoted on that post. Trending third under the technology topic was the last thing I expected to see for that post.
This leads me to explain some things that I have been seeing around the steem platform and that others in the communities I take part in have discussed. There is and always has been an odd aspect when it comes to content creation, no matter where you are creating your content.
The issue when creating content is what many of us call 'the grind'. This is the main thing that kills people's motivation and probably the single reason why everyone is not a content creator. Whether it's writing a post about something technological, writing poems, or creating videos.
The definition of grind is as follows:
To reduce something to small particles or powder by crushing it.
So how does this relate to content creation? You are the something being crushed. Your creativity, your moral, your motivation, your determination, will all be crushed. This happens constantly, over and over again until you get to the point of wanting to give up. You must realize this going into content creation online and everyone deals with the grind.
In the past, you needed to go to a publisher or raise a bunch of money to get your content out to the world. This put some of the success of your work onto the shoulder of the people or company that bought into your idea.
They would help you promote the content and did their best to make it a success. However, with the internet, we don't need them anymore and this puts us in a very weird place. With no help means that most of our best work will go unnoticed. I know this very well.
I have been blogging for over a decade in some form. I have been on many platforms writing about many things including a personal diary, technology, faith, and live streaming. Over the past decade, I wrote hundreds of thousands of words and hundreds (maybe thousands) of posts. None of this took off.
Did you read that? I said none.
I would spend hours and hours each day looking for other bloggers on social networks to meet them, form a relationship, and help them where I could. I would leave good comments on their blog that contributed to the conversation they started. If I could not add value to their site I would not comment, that simple. Networking a was another grindy thing I had to do and it showed little results.
Enter steem. I joined steem in early to mid-2017 after I saw that there was a blockchain based blogging platform. I love cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Add in blogging and of course, I'd be on board. So I started posting articles here. Moving some over from old sites and created new content. Every post was met with the same issue, no views, no upvotes, no STEEM funds. It's discouraging.
So What Am I Getting At?
Steem is no different than blogging other places in terms of how to grow and become successful. I'm still not a successful blogger by any means but I know what it means to grind and keep pushing forward.
I read posts, I comment only when I can contribute to the conversation, and I work to create relationships with people on Steem. Too many people are simply commenting shallow and meaningless comments or worst commenting just to ask for upvotes.
THIS IS NOT HOW YOU GROW YOUR BLOG!
Trust me, even when you do all the right things it will take you a long time to make any traction. Even when one post blows up your next has no guarantee to be even half as big. You will write, you will comment, you will upvote and no one will see it.
But you have to keep going.
If you make posts and comments asking for upvotes you are going to hurt the way people see you. I can't begin to tell you how many times I choose not to comment or engage with a post (or comment) because of this let along follow. People are not going to follow you just because you ask.
YOU NEED TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING!
People follow when they see consistently good content. I'm in a group chat where someone asked what makes a good post with which @heymattsokol responded:
Take a look at jrswab's last post, his was PERFECT
his was like Curie Bait
Why is that? It's those ten years I told you all about, experience pays off. I spent my time writing that post to give whoever read it value. My goal with every post is to have the reader walk away knowing something more than they knew before.
My focus is the reader, not the upvotes or Steem funds. The internet is a give, give, give, then maybe receive kind of economy when it comes to content creation on free platforms.
Then there is also grammar, spelling, and formatting. This stuff is important along with making it easy for the reader by adding easy to digest chunks. If enough people are interested I can make another Steem exclusive post about best practices in formatting. I'll also add tools to use to check grammar and spelling.
Keep in mind that the easier you make it read the better off you'll be. Not many people can read the Bitcoin whitepaper an understand it but your post is not the Bitcoin whitepaper. Check your grammar and make sure it's not a difficult read.
Stop asking and start giving.
My post was upvoted by @Curie and hit the trending page in the third spot because I spent the time to make that post the best I could. I also networked, met new people, gained friends, and was patient with the process. If you read this and start doing the right things today you might not have to wait ten years to get a post to go (somewhat) viral.
However, you still need to work. Steem is not a get rich quick kind of place and you will be avoided if you act like it is. Start giving people good content and good comments. Then and only then will you be in a place to make content creation something worth your time.
Remember, at first all your hard work will not pay off. Be patient, keep working, and engaging in a meaningful way. This is Steem and it's still early for this platform. You don't have to get on page one of Google anymore for your blog to have that killer post you spent eight hours working on to go viral.
With much love and gratitude,
<3 J. R.
PS. If it was all about the money I definitely wouldn't be doing this.