Expectations Drive Your Experience - Real Talk

in steem •  9 months ago

You've found SteemIt and you have something to share, whether it is humor, fiction, a spiritual message, songs, art, photography.  You are excited to share your material and sit back and wait for others to discover your brilliance.

You think and rethink your post and give it a final polish, it's perfect!  Now you hit post and you wait, the feeling of excitement growing and expectations of rewards and kudos dancing in your head.

The first few votes and comments roll in.  Hmm, you can't decide if they even read your post, as the obscure comments in broken English are puzzling.

A slight nervousness begins to settle in.

You refresh your screen for the 100th time, what is this? 10 votes and .45 cents?  This is bullshit, I was told I would be a crypto millionaire.

Your feeling state approachs disappointment.

By the next morning and your 1000th refresh, disappointment is gone and you begin to feel angry.  There are 2 meaningful comments and your brilliant post has received 22 votes and is worth about $1.00.

Now you begin to think of the time and energy you put into the post and the effort and you feel a little bit robbed or maybe a lot robbed depending on your expectations coming in.

You review your post again and determine it is excellent.

You go to the trending page, and compare your post to those that are earning serious money, the anger intensifies these posts are obviously not as good as yours.  (In your mind)

This isn't fair you exclaim, it is fixed, and my quality content isn't getting the reward it deserved!

What you do in this moment will impact how your experience goes on SteemIt.

In my mind the fictional person in the story above under estimated the difficulty of gaining a paying audience for content.  The poster posted without doing any ground work and expected others to come and discover them.  That isn't happening.

I know of very few whales and hardly any dolphins that are out there scouring the site looking for some under rewarded Author to give them the money they deserve.

Why Not?

Well, the good news is that it isn't a reflection of your content, the bad news is that it is part of the economy of Steem and how few people actually hold any Steem Power.  

There are very few people here who can give your post large votes, and most have been here a long time.  They are already supporting others and juggling votes to try to cover as many people as possible while also trying to build their own stake as well.  There just isn't time and SP available to vote up all the excellent content creators on the site.

I can relate to the story above because I had to grind it out as a minnow too.  I know many of you see talk of all the large paid posts from the early days, but the reward pool had a huge curve built in and most of the reward were stuck on the Trending Page in a round circle of the "Trending Post Authors" only voting for the other "Trending Post Authors".

It's a circle jerk, right?  Well there is some truth in that, but there is more to it also.  They are friends and peers and they already read and reward each other's content.   If you have been here a while and are honest with yourself you might admit that you also vote for those in your circle.   Outside of SteemIt, there are not a lot of Content Creators making large sums of money and that is because it is a highly competitive market and there are thousands of people who want to write/draw/create their favorite content and get rewarded.  Ask any successful Author and they will tell you the industry is filled with much more disappoint and rejection than instant success.

How it worked for me

I just kept posting and I do not consider myself an Author, so I didn't have any entitlement in my wait, but what happened is I created a circle of people and we gave each other pennies, actually we had to work up to giving each other pennies.  Those of us who stuck it out and held on to our stake have grown, but the rest of the circle has grown as well so suddenly the previous work began to pay off.  I did search for minnows to support and the good ones stuck around and they are now in my circle.

However, there is a point we reach where we either have to stop supporting those we have supported or we become exhausted.  My voting power is in a constant state of 65% VP left and I hear and see the frustration from everyone who is still using the site.  

I think most of the disappointment is the expectation that if you are a talented Author that you should should instantly be earning the same as others who came before you, but that isn't really how Steem's economy works at this point.  Everything might change in the future with SMTs and Communities and it might make things better, but it will likely make things worse first.

No, the best content will not always be rewarded, that just isn't how the world works, it is a matter of networking, marketing, luck and talent that will change your success level, just writing good articles isn't going to equal rewards.  Nobody is going to discover you  (probably) 

If you hate the idea you aren't in the top paid Authors here you have a few choices.  

  • Accept it
  • Change it
  • Go where you think you have a better opportunity
  • Complain about it

I do not believe the whales or even dolphins are responsible to ensure you are paid at the level you would like to be.  It might be smart of them to do that, but nobody knows for sure and your demand that others reward you, doesn't seem to be working, why not try a different approach?

Cryptocurrency sites do not leave human nature behind and there is no reason to think this environment is going to be different than anywhere else.  Supply, Demand, Attention, and economics still play a role.


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well it seems we just to be consistent and keep doing what we do.
doesn't matter if we get their vote or not.
we can become them in 2 years with consistency :)


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I enjoyed reading this, from someone who has clearly done the work.

I am having a fun time creating this "cat blog." Seems like most people miss the point that web content, on Steemit or anywhere else, has remarkably little monetary value. The fact that we are getting rewarded here at all is a small wonder. And yet, people act like this is some kinfd of magic cash dispenser.

Here's a reality pill for everyone (not for you, as you seem to have a healthy perspective): On a much greater scale than we have here, people moan and groan because "Facebook is making billions off our content!"

Indeed, they are. Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users as of April this year. Facebook's gross revenue (not "how much money they MADE") was approximately $40.6 billion in 2017. That means the average Facebook user is "worth" a little less than $18.50 to Facebook, per year. Being as how Facebook is truly mass market, that's a good approximation of the true monetary value of your content, dear friends.

Approximately one third of the rewards you're earning on this one post as I make this comment.

Seems to me a few people might put THAT in their pipes and smoke it, for a little perspective...

The fact that I can come out of nowhere, make some cute photo posts and make a dollar or two for cat treats? That's pretty amazing!



I like the attitude, go forth and spread it to your peers!


That's a great way to look at it, comparing what one user is worth to facebook. Plus, facebook makes that per user running adds, and before expenses. Thanks for the perspective.

At first I was like Wow how did this person make a $1? The I realized it was a fictional story. ;) lol
Usually when people start on here they make nothing except for their introduce yourself post thanks to a new bots or two.

Very true! And great to hear your story. I am growing slowly through the same process of becoming friends with other minnows/dolphins and we are growing together


I bet you are having a better time than those who seemingly want instant success.


I think so!

I have been here for a bit. And yes I almost gave up. But thats not my style. Instead I took to understanding A little more about Steemit and Social Media in general. And the verdict was I needed an overhaul on my approach. I wanted to complain at first, I wanted to find an easier way. But if life has taught me anything, it's that nothing is easy. In fact if it is, it's not worth anything. So I have taken to listening and learning, and now with a clearer understanding I realize nothing is wrong with me, with steemit, with the people here, it's just a process of growth which will become compounded if I am persistent. Thank you for the article and reminder that everything is OK


What a great attitude! You will do well. It seems many are trying to find an easy buck. That's great if you find it, but most of us, will have to work at it.

Whatsup, Whatsup? Sorry bad pun. I read your post and believe you are sincere about the burden of supporting your network and I do understand my responsibility for learning the ecosystem and earning my own success. The truth is it isn't even about earning for me, it's about getting seen and some receiving positive feedback. I have about 900 posts now and I've started to learn that generating my own original content isn't as important as generating interactions. By making clever insightful comments on the work of others I can more readily build relationships. Instead of waiting to be found, I search out others and make the connection. And if I look at penny's generated as a measure of success, I've been more consistently rewarded by the replies and up-votes to my comments to others. Don't get me wrong content is important and I consistently work at that too, but I guess I'm still in search of my niche. Anyways, thanks for the read.


Boom, that's whatsup!


Yeah Boom, that's whatsup!


Thank you sir..


You bring up an excellent point and another thing I want to support are those who comment and engage with my blog!

It's at the point that I simply can not make that big of a difference for enough people and I realized, each person and circle is going to have to build their own success. With a few exceptions.

Very reality.

In my place, that's the phenomenon that happened. Many people join Steemit to get rich as quickly as possible. When expectations do not match reality they get angry, berate even want to hit others who have high SP but do not vote on posts that have been made.

Steemit is the hope of some people to rely on better expectations. The minnows aspire to buy a car from the curation of the Whale and the Dolphins.

They are tired of waiting, but wealth does not appear. Finally, leave Steemit and go back to being a construction worker or working in a rice field just as before joining Steemit.


The ones that bother me the most are the ones who stay and complain and complain and complain,

Although I first joined in October of 2016 I didn't really began to post with any frequency until March of the next year. I was mostly posting fiction stories and I realized that occasionally I actually would get a bunch of whale votes.

I didn't know what that meant back then but it gave me incentive to post several times everyday. I've been posting about three times per day since March of 2017. Now I have my own audience but I didn't used to.

I'm surprised today to see the minnows struggling so hard against the upstream because I'm not seeing the same whales give the assistance that they used to give.

I posted three times per day for the first few months between March and July. I got voted up by whales probably three times per week. Most of the people that were in my writing circle were also getting voted up by the same whales. I'm not going to call anyone out by name but people that were around during that era should remember who they were.

It strikes me as much more difficult now. Those whales aren't voting anymore. They're doing all kinds of different things. I still see some of them post although most of them have either left or just aren't upvoting anymore. I wish we could get those whales back but I don't really know what went wrong outside of the fact that we're now doing linear rewards.


When I started in Aug 2016 it was normal to get 0 payout on many posts. Sometimes with 20 or more votes. (It seems we had more activity then)

However, like what you said, I would occasionally get a whale vote. I remember specifically receiving some from BlockTrades, a few from the Curie project and twice from Bernie when the account was huge, and I know there were likely a few others.

I agree, the difficulty level is different now. For a while I gave up and I just posted some not very good content just to put something out.

I think everyone figured out that whether you are giving a vote or money, you are parting with an asset when you vote for others. This is the same problem many sites that have tried to reward content have run into.

It's a challenge, we will see how it turns out.


Well I think as long as people keep being selfish with their assets then we are not going to see that upward momentum happen to the Steem price that we're all hoping for. I've been running a few tests lately to see what kinds of payments people with higher SP give for full page comments, and I'm getting mostly 1% and even $0.01 replies if anything. A fool and his money are soon parted but when it comes to Steem you have to be a fool not to be encouraging the platform to work correctly by giving back to your audience. Also in case anyone reading this is curious you have to have at least a $0.03 vote to get a payout and not be rounded to $0.00.


@jeezzle, awesome comment, and so good to read. I started a few weeks ago, and was totally unaware how it has been changing the past years...

I've only been active here in the last few months, and this post was a real eye opener. Bidbot usage is frowned upon, and so it self upvoting, but not seeing zero upvotes and zero SBD attached to something that could be the best blog / photo ever can be somewhat deflating.

It's also why people leave platforms. We all seek validation, and if we feel we aren't being listened to then then we seek somewhere else where we can be acknowledged.

I am smart enough to know that I still have to build my audience, and no one owes me anything, it just stings a bit to see those zeros. :D

What I did was cull the number of people I was following and decided to focus on elevating the people I wanted to hear more from. While my upvote isn't worth much in SBD at this point, I will acknowledge and comment on people producing content locally an hopefully they will return the favour.

But in reality, it's about improving what I am doing on the platform, giving back to the community, and working harder.

Excellent post.


@shaidon, yes I agree! thanks for sharing this. I'm ranting to myself now, as you somehow triggered many insights :) Compared to the "mainstream social media channels" I can not only build my audience and have it easier to make my content accessible to people, there is also the potential to earn something... (but this whole point of earning too little, is such a luxury-problem, as on other platforms it's solely a nasty "war for attention"...even worse: people mostly have to pay so that their content can be seen...


Yeah. So, isn't it better that the people who like your content can upvote and know that at least a little something is going back to the creators and encouraging them to not only produce more but produce better quality stuff?


People engage on Reddit, Facebook, etc everyday with no monetary rewards. Social media is first about socializing. I view the value behind the up votes as a bonus.

The other platforms are also used as an advertising space to monetize other initiatives like sales channels and such.

With Steemit you have the potential to earn rewards for the content itself but also attract additional revenue by directing interested parties to your other business ideas/products. Seems like a win win to me.


Agreed and I want us to attract business people, developers and all sorts of different types of people.


I am excited for Steem Monsters and other potential DAPPs. :)


Well this is an issue that really bothers me. I think self-upvoting is fine. The bidbots are also okay within reason. There are constantly people telling everyone else what to do and they are teaching failure.

I upvote one post of mine a day with 100% and I support others doing the same.

Make your own judgment based on your audience, but I strongly dislike those who are encouraging others to not grow your own account. The entire idea of building your account so that you have a bigger vote is lost in that mentality and I don't have much patience for those who make up arbitrary rules and try to enforce them on others.

Personally, I want people here that take it seriously, are investing in their account and engaging with others.

Use your own judgment, but don't confuse the loud for the majority.


Well said. And I agree. I will do my own thing and hope that people come along for the journey.

@whatsup thanks for this! this comes at exactly the right time. It's easy to get blinded by the "trending" page - and we're a culture of "quick-success" anyways. Nothing goes around hard (not necessarily unfulfilling) work. The warriors path :) thanks again, it's great to read for a little red fish like me :)
best wishes to you


Good, I know the envy factor can be hard to fight off, sometimes I still have to struggle with it. :)

It seems that most people choose the last option - complain about it....

I find your story very true - you need to find steemians who you enjoy interacting with and grow together - todays minnows are tommorows dolpins.

I dont expect any whales to even know i exist to be honest


I'm starting to develop a strong lack of tolerance for complaining. I had to put myself in check this morning.


Haha @whatsup its all whitenoise to me - i usually just block it out

Thanks for posting this man. Been a steemit member since january. Still trying to get my bearings but its getting easier.
I really needed this post. Thanks for sharing!


I'm glad if a few people find something useful in what I write.

@tarazkp has been saying something similar for a while now. I think the main problem is that a lot of people may not view this platform as a long term investment where you have to be consistent, patient, interact with community and store some steem power. People just want to cash out and get paid as soon as possible. Until everyone decides to put in the work and hold a bit more, the problem will persist.

On the lighter side, I've been trying to penetrate that your circle @whatsup, it seems there are no openings... Lol


tarazkp from my point of view did exactly like I did. He created a circle and grew with them.

Now that's whatsup. Very well written with the right balance of positivity and reality. Resteemed.

Lol Ill take a whale vote any day. I'm thankful though to even be able to make any money off the internet with out having to sell something or see a shit ton of ads and other bs. Appreciate the little things and everything is all good :D

I think more and more such posts need to come out. I think the problem is, as you also pointed out, an incorrect perception of what steemit is.. that its a money making machine. When people realise it isnt, they think it should be a charity. Whales are the govt who have to ensure that no citizen is left behind.

Its like any other site. Its much tougher to make even a cent on other sites being just a content creator or blogger. This is still a better platform. Time needs to be invested to learn about the platform and interact and people will realise whales are kind as long as the comment is meaningful. Everyone loves appreciation for work, not just mimnows but whales too.

And one should try a zillion things before giving up or complaining i believe. I was just about to reach the complaining threshhold way too early but luckily i saw some very helpful posts such as these and i can truly say that this platform is actually great.

Great article..

Thank you for sharing your experience. Could you give an advice how to create a circle of those people? I have only begginer stemians constantly leaving “nice post” comments and waiting for an upvote. They come and go but in general that’s what I have for right now. I keep hoping for the best though.


Make comments, find some Authors that appear to be interested in similar things and support them. You will earn as much on your comments as you do on posts.

If the people you choose are not engaging, add a few new ones and keep trying.

Join a discord server and look for your tribe. Comment, engage and make friends. People care about what their peers say, not as much about strangers. make friends.


Thank you! I will start trying this method. I was thinking about that I need to find friends, but I wasn’t sure how.

To be true i have gone through the same thing in my first 2 posts but I was never a good writer so never had crazy high hopes. Now I have developed my own system which is giving me consistent growth and posting only about things that I am passionate about which makes it more fun to do.

Can you explain this voting power or point me to a post that does? I keep hearing people talk about it but I don’t fully understand it. Thanks.

I was originally in this boat until I realized just how Steemit worked; much like the real business world when you’re at the top you keep up your associates and don’t usually bother with the rest (out of time, laziness, greed who knows?) but I hope I don’t fall into that same rut. I have a small group of people who’s posts I read daily and comment but I also try to spend some time in the new section to interact with people I haven’t before. Which is how I came across your post! Thanks for it, hope you can help direct me on learning about the voting power.



This is from the FAQ under the hamburger menu on SteemIt.com.

The short story is SteemPower is what powers your vote. Your posts pay out in a combination of SBD and SteemPower, that steem power is what gives your vote value, the more you hold the larger your vote is.


Great thank you! And thank you for reading and responding to your comments, much appreciated many don’t!

Fun little story with a great message. Talent doesn't mean anything unless you are willing to put work in.

you have beautifully written the life of minnows bro...and don't say that you are not a good writer because you just proved it and believe me i often read and comment to get upvote but not at this time bro..Really really like your post.@whatsup


@whatsup has 8555 posts and comments to this day.. I guess, practices improves skill :) but I totally agree, when I read the first few lines I thought "story of my steemit-life" :D so good to read such posts and all the comments here, they gave me a lot!

Steem is a platform when you need to be really patient and never give up, there are many goups with nice votes that look for quality content, i'ts just a matter of time to know how to get nice rewards and get on the trending page.


As we grow most of us will not make the trending page, some will. Each person has to consider what their goals and skills are.

I created a circle of people and we gave each other pennies, actually we had to work up to giving each other pennies. Those of us who stuck it out and held on to our stake have grown, but the rest of the circle has grown as well so suddenly the previous work began to pay off. I did search for minnows to support and the good ones stuck around and they are now in my circle.

This is Steemit strategy 101 here. Anyone reading this post should think about how to follow it. Then think about the higher-level stuff.


Nods, I have been watching you... You are doing this also. And it gets noticed by those of us who engage on the site.

Yeah theres just not enough of people that hold large amounts of SP to reward everyone's amazing content. I think it's best not to expect much here, so you wouldn't worry and get angry because you're not earning enough. If you stay active and try to be everywhere, in time you'll get noticed.

I like your vision of things. Complaining about post with several 0's, etc...Fuck it. Stop complaining, enjoy yourself. I saw your answer on an old post and I thought, "cool, this guy's not a judge On the quality of the post."

I have read this entire post. Very true indeed. $1,00 posts add up if you can make 100 posts a day each amounting to $1,00 each.

wish i have those hands & keep upvoting such as this creative funny post!!
Thanks for sharing this..

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Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

Considero como nuevo principiante de esta gran plataforma, como bien dice estimado @whasup, crear un circulo y crecer poco a poco con ellos a través de la interacción mutua, desarrollando calidad.

This post has received a 23.88 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @whatsup.