How to Build Your Audience on Steemit (the brutal truth)

in steemit •  last year

 If you'd like to hear the audio version of the post please click here.

Otherwise - please read on.

I am a Steemit newbie. I have not been in here for a long time and there is a lot that I still have not figured out. As oppose to other social media platforms, here almost no one knows me. 

At the same time it is hard to figure out how to become visible on Steemit. How to make sure that people know that I exist and read and upvote my stuff...

Sounds familiar? 

Maybe yes, because you are in my shoes here on Steemit... or maybe yes because it's almost the same on any other social media platform (although we all know that Steemit is so much better, right?

Since I always prefer the brutal truth to a sugar coated lie... I do tell the truth most of the time too (and maybe that is why many people don't like me).

Today I want to talk to you about something that you may not like to hear. Many people prefer not to tell you this. Many people prefer to pretend this is not the case. But I need to tell you this anyway. So you are able to look at things realistically. So you avoid being disappointed because you had unrealistic expectations.

Here is the truth:

Building an engaged and loyal audience takes time and loads of content creation.

Of course all those who advertise the attractive “have quick results” model pretend that it’s not the case. You get “write a book in a day”, create an online course in a week, grow your brand in a month type of messages all the time. And of course that’s much more exciting than what I said. It sounds so much better than my “it takes time and work and you have to be persistent and patient” story.

I get that. I totally understand. But nevertheless, I prefer to tell you the bitter truth than the sugar coated lie.

I was walking in the city the other day and went to Covent Garden. Usually there are many different street performances out there - from music to magic tricks and stuff. And since I love watching people I took some time and stuck around for a while. So I ended up seeing how one of the performers, who had the largest crowd gathered around him finished for the day. He said good bye, gathered his last portion of applauses, bowed, packed his stuff and left. Obviously the crowd too, melted out and after few minutes there was no one around.

Few minutes later, a slim guy with long hair came and started setting up his mic and took out his guitar. Now it was his turn to start performing. So there was this guy all alone with his guitar and mic standing there. I realized that probably that’s exactly how we look when we are just starting. We have no audience, we have the tools, we have not created anything yet and we get those uncomfortable fear of failure, self doubt and vulnerability of being judged. And the people - un our case the audience, pass by going to watch someone else performing because he already has a big crowd gathered around him therefore he must be good, right?

So what happens next. Yup… the guy starts playing his guitar and singing his song. Did everyone run and gathered around him immediately? Nope… It took quite a while.

For at least 2 full songs the guy was standing there, singing to no one. All by himself, creating his magic. He was not noticed yet, he did not have anyone to perform for yet… but he kept playing.

That’s what happens to us too… we write blog posts, record podcast episodes, do videos, lifestream… and for weeks nothing happens. We feel like we are talking to ourselves. We feel invisible, unknown, unappreciated. At some point we are like “why the hell am I doing this, no one cares anyway”, right?

So what happened to the guy?

Well after a while few people came and stood to listen, then some more… after the songs they started clapping, few others paid attention and joined. After a while he got traction and gathered a pretty decent audience.

Do you see the parallel?

The guy showed up, took the courage to put himself out there, created his music, persisted even though no one paid attention for a while, kept going on and only after all that things started moving.

What would have happened if he gave up after song 1?

Yup, nothing…

It’s the same with us. We have to realize that there are others who do similar things out there already, that no one is going to notice us from day 1, that we need to create awesome content consistently until people start gathering around us and that we need to stick around and do our best not to give up even when we think no one care…</p>

Because honestly...

No one will care in the beginning.


But that’s ok. That’s how things are. Even the person who eventually fell in love with you did not care about you at your first encounter.

Building and maintaining good quality relationships take time and effort. And that’s what you ultimately need to have - a good quality relationship with your audience.

So don’t get distracted with all the shiny objects that promise you many subscribers, readers and listeners in a week.

Think long term and think quality instead.

As I said building an engaged and loyal audience takes time and loads of content production.

So accept that fact and do your best.

Oh, and you'd like to help me become visible in here - please re-steem!

What about you? How are you growing your audience in Steemit?

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Being on Steemit is the hardest thing I ever did. I post every day for nearly two months now and I put a lot of effort into 95% of my posts. I really hope it will be worth it in the long run. Technically it already does since I am at #388 of the top authors in the last seven days. It is not enough to pay my bills with but I see an upward trend. The instant gratification helps a lot, otherwise I would have already given up.

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hope to see you keep climbing

Resteems and quality replies to popular posts are the key to growing from what I have seen.

People need to resteem your posts to their followers. I gain most of my followers through quality replies to other people's posts however. I do not post unless I have something valuable to add to the conversation too.

Being on steemit.chat helps as well as this reply proves. I had no idea who you were until you came into chat with us!

You have an extra < /p> up there by the way. ;-) Do you use an editor or just type up your posts in the default window? I'm just using the default window.

It's a pleasure to meet you, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your content. Thanks for the chat earlier today as well!

I'll resteem this to introduce you to my followers.

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Good advice @finnian, i would also add that new users can benefit greatly by joining PALnet Discord channel as part of the Minnow Support Project. (Similar to Steem Chat but much more community support imo.)

https://discordapp.com/invite/HYj4yvw

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I definitely need to check it out. Thanks

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@finnian, do you suggest bein active on Steem.chat? Whenever I post something there nothing happens, no conversation, nada. I found it a waste of time but I have probably approached it the wrong way. Same for all the dozen of Discord chats I joined.

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Steemit.chat is valuable only if you're in special channels. I hang out in security, panama, and yunk in addition to general for example. :)

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You are living in Panama? I live in Costa Rica. :)

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I'm researching Panama to move my family there. We were considering Costa Rica too.

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I can only speak for Costa Rica. It is wonderful here. And very high living standard for a Central American country.

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How do taxes work there? Taxes on your vehicle? House? Income? I thought I read that there's no capital gains tax there. That's huge.

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I have no clue about that. I don't own a vehicle or a house.

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Personally I liked Costa Rica better. Panama is nice but kind of a police state. Our money is the same there. The policia are apt to harass gringos. Keep you passport on you at all times. In David I saw an american get arrested for not having it on him (he was standing in front of his hotel, it was in his room). I believe it's just a ploy to make money but it still sucks to spend the night in a Panamanian jail for something this silly I'm sure.

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The police are not as much of a problem in CR? I have heard lots of stories, just stories of course, of expats being in a lot of danger in CR. Panama is supposedly better? I'm not sure which place is better. All I know is I want to stay a PI if possible, and there appears to be expat PI firms in CR. Also, you can get and carry a firearm in both places, correct? I refuse to be disarmed.

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I am not sure about carrying but I do think you are right. I only know what I experienced while down there. Panama is my least favorite hispanic country just because the policia seem to throw their weight around to much was all. Again, this may have just been my experience. Well, everyone does get searched like crazy going in and out and it can take a long time at borders in and out of Panama due to this. There are free trade zones in Panama though.

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Have you considered Equador...we went and loved it ...want to expat back..
Melissa

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That is one place I have not been. I bet I would like it.

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Thank you @finnian! And it was nice to meet you on the chat.
Thanks for the comment too - I completely agree that thoughtful comments make one stand out and others will most probably check your profile thanks to it.

Great post, it's so easy to get discouraged when you spend a lot of time on a post only to get like 10 upvotes for it.

There have been times when I thought I'd just quit, but I know that if I keep trying it will get better. And every new follower I get is new motivation.

I found that apart from being persistent, commenting is an important part of Steemit success (I even wrote a post about that yesterday which of course got a lot less attention than I would have hoped. So it goes).

Thanks for the great insight :)

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well... you already got 10 upvotes for this comment alone )

It's all about who you know. It's very logic to build an audience but it takes time.
One guy came to the platform, first post was worth $15k.
Unbelievable!!
Keep on steemit!!

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That was @dollarvigilante and he came at a time when there were only very few people on the platform and the pool was devided between only those few. He was also already popular before he joined and must have made a big impression on the small community. I wouldn't use that as a sample case. It certainly is sounds great though. :)

Great post indeed, I agree with every word you said and I feel motivated for the day now, I realize it takes time and patience to build an audience, but sometimes I still find myself asking if it's worth it, but apart from not gaining enough traction on my posts, I love reading other posts and conversing with fellow Steemians :)
Keep up the good work :)

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the period in the beginning feels like you are talking to yourself - and that's the hardest part. It's just about going through that. Once you gat few true fans things become MUCH easier

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Oops commented on my own comment, not my day

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It's fun talking to yourself, gives you a chance to think things through, Lol, but you are right :)

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being a writer I talk to myself a lot lol

I built an audience from nothing to almost 55,000 followers on Twitter. It took me about 6 yrs. I've been on steemit for 10 months and have just passed the 1000 follower mark. Everything you said is true - I know no other way as a writer to build a brand, a platform and a faithful following other than producing quality content and working hard with a view to the long term.

An excellent post, @anialexander

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thank you ) No one wants to know that it takes time and effort and that there is no magic button or a shortcut

I agree with you for any other social media.. your will fit 100%.. but not on steemit
Steemit is power that brings power.. the majority here on steemit are not here only to socialize, but they found that socializing here is not a waste of time.. instead it's a direct investment of time

Let's put it this way..
Case 1: a good post that is explaining about issue x.. but not really efficient article.. but the post was posted buy someone who have a high reputation user with 5000 follower and you somehow liked it
So anybody who have been on steemit long enough will vote up to this post.. because it's somehow good and the most important it will make money return to them

Case2: a high quality post addressing issue x.. and explain it very nicely and very understandable, but unfortunately it was posted by a newbie with let's say 10 followers... the people who would see it will read it but won't vote it up.. because it's obvious that this poor guy's post is not going to make money.. which mean it will be a waste of the voting power that can be used in another post and makes money

However once you have enough sp and enough followers quality and quantity post will boost your audience for sure
But not in the beginning... I believe that in the beginning you would definitely need some whale to resteem some of your post (by the way i got here through a whale resteem to your post)

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sounds sad but makes sense... Who was the whale? I'd like to personally thank him/her.

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I thought he is a whale but it looks like he is a dolphin but still powerful user @thecryptofiend

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thanks for the heads up. Let me see if I can approach him in the chat

Thank you @anialexaner, most people fail with the quality and consistency. I myself fall into that trap. Thank you for the reminder that we have to work to get what we want. There is no silver platter.
Upvoted & resteemed
@darnscotty

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there is no failure - just lessons learnt )

Totally agree with your philosophy.. quality content and a vision to share with people, the relationships that are built makes this a vibrant community that people will want to stick around. It's what I originally thought Facebook could become... but it didn't for many reasons in my opinion. I am hoping STEEM is a much better vehicle.

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Facebook has been a great place for a long time. I met amazing people there... but now, unfortunately it is becoming a time-waster and completely un-productive distruction

thats the idea, think long term here. :) success mate

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Steemit is all about being patient, modest and persevering. That's all I can say

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These are good tips - I'm just starting and this is helpful.
Content. Content. Content.
And cover things that interest you....
These are the tips I have told myself, so far, No Audience, yet. . .
thanks. . . .

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don't give up)

I actually don't know. I just do what you wrote - I post my stuff and hope that people appreciate it and support me. Thanks for.sharing. Good post!

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I am sure something else could be done on top of that but I have not figured it out yet...

Dear @anialexander, you could not be more right. I am very new to Steemit and it is very difficult to get noticed in this very big community. Having said that, I do exercise the patience that at some point in time it will change. Thanks for your openess.

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thanks for reading and commenting. Imagine that I joined Steemit over a year ago and did nothing tilll recently... it must have been so much easier to get noticed back then sigh

other than putting up quality content, to me as I have a busy full time job, I can't really join those live chat even though I understand it's necessary to gain loyalty and friends. I would suggest that you sign up for minnowsupport and steamitbc @ slack. both provides good support to minnows like us. good luck.

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Good points! Yes there a few instant hits, but most of us need to just keep on keeping on in order to grow. And use your votes to help build the people who turn you on here. Whose posts make your day? And always be looking for the ones that inspire you because when you are inspired you are at your best!

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inspiration is a very important point indeed! Mine is very unstable )

Hi,

Thanks for helping out. I'm not exactly sure of what I'm doing but I'm learning from you all. Please feel free to help out and leave some comments. I would truly appreciate help from others. I'm a learner :) Thanks a lot!

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Steem on )

That's the truth!
🙌🙌🙌
Feel pump now 💪
Thanks

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hehe good!

Thanks @anialexander, I am just getting started and I've taken in to this sage advice before. I believe you Marketing pros know the level of effort it takes to be noticed from the crowd, so any knowledge you or your colleagues share, I'm listening!

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bigger the crowd - harder to stand out )

this is true of so many business, yes they all take time and you have to stick with it, and I am now following you

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thank you )

i find it super awesome that you have an audio version of your blog...how cool is that !!!

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thanks Andy - my podcast is 3+ years old

Yes. It requires time to build your audience. In the mean time, have patience. Keep on having great contents and let it season you. Many should know that it this is a marathon, not a sprint.

You made a good post here @anialexander ~! I'm glad I read this!

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thanks for reading and commenting. And it is a marathon indeed!

This is the best and most useful article I read on steemit. You are right. I too am a beginner but by luck, instead of focusing on increasing followers or increasing my number or earning money, I only focused on good content since day 1. It might be because of my love for writing and my hunger to help people get awaken. I write philosophical stuff to help people see the world with a hidden, secret and true perspective and I kept on doing it without or with zero views and with only 77 followers, I reached number 43, whereas other people accumulate about 500+ followers to reach at 43. So the content and consistency is only what actually matters. Thank you for informing me that I am on the right path :)

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it's not even about how many followers - it's about how engaged they are and if they are fans or not I think

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Well mine are not too engaged I believe. :/ Or is it still normal? That my posts goes unseen. I have only 80 followers so i think that should be normal. And I post daily, that too quite healthy content. I think it should be normal. What else can a person do :P I think I am doing everything needful now !!

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it does take time...

There is a lot of truth to this story. I'm new to steemit but from what I can see there are two types of successful accounts. One, where the people communicate and want to be a part of your circle.
Two, accounts that just try to gather large numbers and offer steem or dollars pushing for votes and re-steems. In the long run I can only see one type having any sort of value.

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I am sure that on long run, those who are genuine and don't chase only the money and the numbers will succeed ... or maybe I'm just a romantic person

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Nothing wrong with being a romantic at heart. Even if it doesn't always work out. I would hope that those accounts do fall away to nothing as steemit grows into its own personality and direction.

Lovely post and of course one knows better than anyone else as they have been through the same situation
thank you very much for sharing your real life experience and helping newbies like us

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thanks for reading )

Dear Ania,

your article has resonnated a lot inside of me. Yesterday I posted a similar article (but in french wich is my mother tongue). It's called " How to gain more followers " :-)
As you and the musician, I've felt so lonely for the first weeks here. But then I applied another strategy and I started to grew up fast and gain more visibility. I don't think you should just continue to do your good work alone. You have to provoque the chance, the visibility.

I wish you a lot of succes here as you seems already have out here :-)

Roxane

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how do you provoque the chance Roxane?

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Engaging with people. Networking. Making friends... But as you are already quite famous I am sure you already know that stuff, no ?

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me - famous? no )

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Oh sorry, I thought that when I read

As oppose to other social media platforms, here almost no one knows me.

Anyway, I wish you a lot of succes !

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thank u!

Solid advice. I liked this post.

Unless you snag a whale real early in it really does take time and persistence like anything else.

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I guess so, yes.

Reply reply reply. Hands down. Excellent analogy with the musician. I've seen that many times being a small coffee shop corner camper myself.

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I love watching people...

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We're quite similar you and I.

Thank u soo much , i found it encouraging, im new but i wont give up i will try my best to do some quallity content wich i hope people will enjoy, let not give up my friend and let try our best we will get it at the end :D

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it's not even about getting somewhere at the end - I think enjoying the journey is equally important

Thats a beautiful and true staory. And I'm sure you make a lot steemians post with more hope! Thanks for those encouraging words.

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love encouraging people )

I liked your article. I've starting day 14 of my steemit journey tomorrow. :) I am looking for others who are newer and want to grow and support others. Let's stay in touch. I am thinking of finding some people on here who want to be steemit accountability partners. I will find those who I tend to follow and follow me and let things grow naturally.

I'm sitting here watching Million Dollar Listing and they all keep talking about you have to grow and expand. I believe the same and figure Steemit can help be one area I move forward in.

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good luck!

upped and followed
aaron upvoted 1 small.png

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thank u!

Genuinely enjoyed reading your brutal truth as you call it, but I have the sort of feeling that many deep know that is how the cookie crumbles, time, hard work and of course persistence ! other’s just prefer to ignore this fact and in many cases are the ones the flitter here and there looking quick fix to grandness and end up giving up,

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yes, I totally agree. Those who look for fast fix do give up when it doesn't happen

Good post. It is very true but I promise that it will be worth it at the end of the day. Just keep on posting and build your audience. Happy steeming.

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yes, I am sure it will worth it ) and thank u

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thanks for the re-steem too!

I really enjoyed reading this and it is very true - I think most of all your must not loose hope or feel you are a failure because you are not seen by as many as you like to. Like you say, it is all about building an audience - it looks like you are doing quite well in that area. Resteeming

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thanks for reading and re-steeming!

That is PRECISELY the right approach, @anialexander! I'm really happy to see a post like this... should be "required reading" for everyone new here.

The thing I like to remind people of is that it probably took them YEARS to get their 2000 followers elsewhere... so by what "magic" would it be that you would get an "instant following" on Steemit? I think perhaps people tend to "forget reality" because there are monetary rewards involved, here.

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oh I think they expect immediate results in other places too - not only on Steemit

I appreciate the rational post! Now following.

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thank you )