A Practical Guide to Building a Successful Steemit Profile
There are countless posts on Steemit giving tips to new users on how to build a successful account. Having been on the platform for six months now, and having had some success at building a following, I thought it was time to provide some tips based on lessons that I have learned since I started here. I’m going to focus on some practical tips in this piece and avoid some of the more common throwaway away lines like work hard, post quality content, and don’t plagiarise. I think these are speak for themselves.
The intent of today’s post is to provide you with some hands-on advice as to how to make your Steemit blog more visible readable, and therefore more likely to be successful.
The first thing I recommend you do is read my previous post on this topic which can be found here:
The sooner you get your head around the concepts discussed in this post the easier your journey will be. Leaving those issues behind for today, let’s focus on some practical tips to improve the quality of your Steemit posts.
Pick Two or Three Key Topics And Stick To Them.
The key to being successful on Steemit is to build a large following. Without trying to state the obvious, followers will follow your account because they find what you write interesting and engaging. If you are constantly writing on random and unrelated topics you significantly decrease the chance of people wanting to follow you (in my opinion). The way I see it, it works like this. If you like writing about cryptocurrencies, then post about crypto currencies. Hopefully other users who like reading about crypto currencies will then follow you, because they are interested in what you have to say on this topic. Once they have followed you, if you then bombard their feed with cat pictures, memes and articles on completely unrelated topics, it’s highly likely that they will unfollow you quite quickly. It’s hard enough to find quality content on Steemit to read, without having my feed filled with superfluous posts that are of no interest to me.
It is my opinion that you should stick to two or three topics at most and focus your writing on these. There’s nothing wrong with the odd additional post here or there on something unrelated, but in general your followers will have chosen to follow you because they are interested in a topic that you write about. If you don’t consistently write about this topic, the likelihood of people wanting to follow you decreases significantly.
Learn How To Format Your Posts Properly.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have an attractive looking post. The easier you make it for your audience to read your content, the more likely they are to want to read it in the first place. There are countless posts available on Steemit that will help you learn how to do this. I have listed a few below.
I also use a web-based app called StackEdit to assist me with formatting my posts. It takes a lot of the pain out of some basic formatting functions. StackEdit is not the be all and end all however. It will certainly help you write more attractive looking posts, but its functionality is quite limited. You will need to come to grips with Markdown at some point.
Here is a basic tutorial on the use of markdown that I have found useful.
Break up your text
Make heavy use of titles and subtitles. Include lots of images. Use tools such as block quotes, italics and bold fonts. In addition to looking unattractive, it’s extremely difficult to read long blocks of text. Steemit blogs are not novels (unless of course your post is part of a novel). The shorter you can make your paragraphs, the easier it is for your readers to digest them.
For a piece of writing that may well be one long paragraph if you are to be preparing as part of a story or an essay, on Steemit it’s better to break it down into two, three or four smaller paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Also focus on keeping your sentences short and punchy. Sentences that run on are hard to read and will cause your readers to quickly lose interest. If you find yourself with a particularly long sentence (which can usually be recognised by lots of comma), see if you can break it up into two or more smaller sentences. There is an art to striking the right balance between having your sentences long enough to say what you want them to say, but not so long as to make them awkward to read.
Use Catchy Images!!
A picture speaks a thousand words!
When other Steemit Users view your blog in their feed. They only see three things. Your title, the first line of text from your article and your image. The image by far makes the biggest impression. A good picture is essential. There are numerous free image libraries online where you can access royalty free images.
Some websites that I commonly use are:
Marketing research has shown that people will respond strongly to images with people in them, so try to pick something with people in it, over a landscape style of photograph. Get creative with your image choices though. The image should relate to the content of the article, but don’t be too literal in your interpretation. In a post on mental illness I used this image, and it received a great response.
In the context of the article the image represents how living with mental illness can sometimes make you feel like an alien in your own world. It worked perfectly both for the article, and also to catch the eye of any potentially interested reader.
Get Your Heading Right.
In addition to your image, the other main thing people will see is the title of your article. They will usually decide whether to read your article in less than a second, based on whether your title interests them. @just2random put me onto this great tool to help you create better titles for your articles.
You want your title to have a score of at least 33%, but the higher the better. Take the time to look at the headings that professional journalists use in the main stream media. You will start to see the same principles applied.
The other thing a potential reader will see is the first line of your actual article. This is displayed as a preview of your blog. Make the most of this. Consider using a sub heading at the start of your article to make the most of this feature. A common mistake is to reference the source of your main image directly under the image. You should reference all your images, but if you do it this way, then the preview line of your article is wasted. Put your references at the end of the article. That way you are still providing credit to the other artists that helped to put your piece together but you’re not wasting the opportunity to grab someone’s attention.
Tags, Tags, Tags!!!
Use appropriate tags! Also use tags that show high payout amounts. The higher the payout, the more people are engaging with content under that tag. If you don't tag appropriately, people who are interested in the topic that you right about wont be able to find your post. Don't just pick the highest paying tags if they don't apply to your article. People are watching (Hi @steemcleaners), and this kind of tagging is frowned upon and could even get you flagged. If you are new to the platform all it takes is a couple of flags from big accounts and your reputation is shattered. Reputation is hard to build, you don't want to risk it.
Here is another post from my favourite cat, @tubcat, that talks about many of the same topics highlighted above, plus it gives some more advanced markdown tips.
Some Other Things To Think About
Use them shamelessly if you can afford to.
There is a lot of chatter on the platform about whether this “ethical” or not. Leave this conversation for the whales. When you only have 28 SP you need all the help you can get. See this post by @themarkymark about one way to look at these services.
No one complains when people pay to boost their posts on Facebook so why is Steemit any different. Its very hard to make money with most bots, but they will get your posts greater visibility. As long as you don’t abuse them, I see no reason why you shouldn’t use them. In most cases you wont make a profit on using the bot anyway. Getting a post on the hot or trending pages on Steemit though can attract new followers to your account, and followers are the key to your success. Consider it an investment in the future of your account.
Buy Some Steem
Despite all the idealism that surrounds the concept of Steemit, at the end of the day money talks on this platform. If you can afford to invest some of your own money into Steem and power up, then the entire process of building your account will accelerate. Not only will you be able to upvote your own post, which will give you a small curation reward, but other minnows will want to interact with you so that you read, and hopefully vote on their posts. Even a small amount of Steem helps. When I started Steem was a lot cheaper than it is now, and I was able to buy 300 Steem quite cheaply. The difference between my account 30 days later and the accounts of others who started from scratch at the same time was enormous.
Other images courtesy of Aziz Acharki and Jonas Verstuyft on Unsplash
Written with StackEdit.