I have some friends who have joined Steem recently and I had some thoughts about various things that might be useful to them. I hope this also helps other new users.
Steem can seem quite intimidating when you join up. There are all those keys and strange formatting features for posts.
I had to check where the key settings are on Steemit as things got changed recently. They are on the Steemit Wallet now. Generally you should be logged into this and the main Steemit site with your Posting Key as that is all you need to post, comment, vote and collect rewards. You need your Active Key for any other wallet actions, so keep that extra safe.
I use the Lastpass password manager where I can set 2-factor authentication and other restrictions to protect my passwords. The first thing you do when you get your account is to make a safe copy of the keys, even if that means printing them out. Losing those can mean losing control of your account. If someone else created your account for you then you should change the password so they cannot access it.
Follow some people
When you first join you will not be following anyone and nobody will know you are there, although there are some 'bot' accounts that will find you. There is no need to follow anyone back unless you are actually interested in what they post.
Use the tags to find people who share your interests. There is the issue that some tags such as photography, food and travel are massively over-used. More specific tags such as running, knitting, breadmaking or dronephotography may get better results. There are communities that use specific tags to cover all sorts of interests.
Follow some people whose posts you think you will enjoy and leave them some comments. Those should be conversational and not just 'please follow me!'. This is a social platform and so try to make friends. You may earn votes on your comments and they may encourage people to follow you.
Do some posts
When someone follows you they will want to see some posts. People are encouraged to do an introduceyourself post to say who you are and offer some proof that you control the account. That proof can be a photo where you display your user name on some paper, or a video would be even better and harder to fake. If you have other social media accounts then you can link from there to your Steem account.
Do not go too mad with posts to start with. It may not be worth spending hours on a long post that nobody will find. Maybe save that for when you have some follows. If you have ten posts each day then that may be too much for some people in their feed. Quality is more important than quantity.
You really can post about anything on Steem, but think about what people will find interesting, entertaining or informative. Do not copy material from elsewhere as that can be detected. If you need photos then source them from sites that allow re-use. If you post a video you found on YouTube then add value by saying why you posted it and give your opinion. It is about adding value.
Use the tags with care. Some have special meaning and misusing or over-using them may be considered abuse. Make them relevant to the post, but check to see what others are using.
You should try to post at least once each week so there is always one that can earn rewards.
I think everyone should use their votes, but as a new user you will probably just have a few SP (Steem Power) and so the value of your vote will be tiny. But if lots of small users vote on a post then it could get some rewards. I believe a post or comment needs to get to around 2c before the author gets anything, so you might not want to be the only one voting on something.
You can do 10 full votes each day before your voting power will not recover in 24 hours. On the Steemit site you can only give 100% votes until you have around 500SP, but some other sites give you the 'slider' anyway. With low SP it is not really worth giving less than a full vote anyway.
I would not worry too much about curation rewards initially. Some people vote strategically, but with low SP you do not stand to make much anyway. Vote on things you actually like.
Build your SP
Unless you are desperate to take our any money you make I would suggest that you power up everything you earn at the start. This will increase your voting power. You can set your posts to payout totally in Steem Power. This also shows that you are committed to building up your account.
If you gain some Steem or Steem Dollars you can power those up too from the wallet. Use the Market to convert Steem Dollars to Steem.
You can also buy some Steem. It is relatively cheap at the moment. You could get to the 'minnow level' of 500 SP for just $155 right now. I realise that is a lot to many people, but others will spend that on coffee in a month. If you get to that your vote will be worth about a cent.
There are lots of people giving away votes, @SteemBasicIncome shares, @SteemMonsters cards and other incentives, so seek these out. I won 4.5 Steem this week and have had lots of other winnings. There is something for everyone with contests for writing, photography, music or just answering a question or guessing what a post will be worth.
Distributed apps are different ways to access the Steem blockchain. Using some of these can earn you extra votes from the projects. Some I have used are:
- @partiko is a mobile Steem app that is really good. They have their own token that you can earn from posting, voting, commenting and watching ads. You can convert that into Steem, but you will not get too much right now. I find the app convenient when I am away from my PC.
- @esteemapp has mobile and desktop apps. I am using the eSteem Surfer desktop app to write this post and I will probably get a vote from them for doing so.
- @busy.org is an alternative web interface with some nice features. Using the 'busy' tag can earn you a vote if you used the dapp to write your post.
- @actifit is another mobile app with the specific task of tracking your activity (as steps) and allowing you to post about it each day. You can earn their points according to how many steps you make.
- @DTube is the Steem equivalent of YouTube. They give some good votes to videos they like.
- @steem-plus is a browser extension that makes the Steemit and some other dapp sites much better. You can earn points in various ways that can get you votes.
To log into these dapps you will generally use Steem Connect or Steem Keychain. These are ways to allow access without giving your actual keys to the dapps. Always double check you are logging into the real site. Lastpass verifies this before giving the key.
There are various games built on Steem. Some of them can reward you just for playing or for referrals. My referral links are below if you want to use them. The main one I play is @SteemMonsters. It is a battling card game where you can win cards. You do really need to buy a starter pack for $10, but you could soon make that money back by selling cards as some are worth a lot of money. Or you can just enjoy it. If anyone joins with my link below then I am willing to lease you some cards for free so you can advance a little quicker.
Become a minnow
I have been running the #TenKMinnows campaign for a couple of months to try and build up some small accounts. We need more people holding a decent amount of SP to spread the votes and encourage them to stick around. I also have #MayBeAMinnow specifically for this month where I am giving a select group extra help.
As a bonus I am prepared to offer a free delegation of 50SP to 10 people for the rest of the month who can meet the following requirements:
- Have less than 500 SP
- Have powered up all their Steem and Steem Dollars and are not powering down
- Have posts that I do not consider to be 'spam'
- Are not buying votes
Leave a comment if you are interested.
Others are also supporting the so-called redfish including:
- @paulag with the Redfish Power UP League. She also have a delegation offer if you watch her video course on Steem.
- @hitmeasap does the Minnow-ASAP where he supports a few users for a while.
- @slobberchops has just started his own scheme in a similar vein.
I am sure there are others, so please mention them in the comments.
Things to not do
- Do not spam Steem. Posting the same comments everywhere is going to get you downvoted and wreck your account. The spam levels are not too bad generally, so do not spoil it.
- Do not abuse other users. You can be fairly anonymouse on Steem, but being a troll will also get you downvoted.
- Do not buy votes on junk posts. That is just greedy and could also get you downvoted. I am not a fan of buying votes, but it goes on and the freedom of Steem means it cannot be stopped. It is your choice on how you want to earn here.
I hope that answers a few questions. If I have anything wrong or have missed some good tips, then please comment. I love the conversations I have on Steem as it is full of smart people.
The geeky guitarist and facilitator of the 10K Minnows Project.