Why Are Steemit Users Powering Down and Leaving?

in steemit •  last year  (edited)

While working on today's Blockchain Times, I ran across this incredible blog post on #STEEM and the Steemit blockchain, so I decided to cancel my usual Tuesday #crypto #news digest and offer a few reflections on the Steemit blockchain instead.

The article is easily the best read of the day, especially for Steemians, and it got me to thinking about why we find charts like this one:

steemit
Image created by @arcange

What I notice about this graph is that active users on Steemit was on the increase until January 2018 when numbers started to decline. At the same time, this has been happening:

STEEM powering up vs. powering down
Image published at Brave New Coin

To top it off, the author points out that

During April 2018 the price of STEEM rose substantially from ~$1.4 to ~4.02 , a rise of close to 400%. In the same month, however, the number of active users dropped. A counterintuitive result that seems to imply that even as STEEM becomes more valuable, users are choosing to ‘Power down’.

The question that pops into my mind is, Why is Steemit losing active users so quickly?

Before I get into that, I'd like to point out that it's difficult to get a complete picture of what is happening from these two graphs alone. There is a lot more analysis in the article and I encourage you to check it out. That said, this data does deserve some reflection.

As valuable as it is, this information is incomplete. What it doesn't tell us is, who are the active users that are leaving Steemit? Are they fairly new users who joined since the initial wave of popularity, or are they longtime users of Steemit? My conjecture is that they are likely fairly new users, mostly minnows.

Another question that comes to mind is this: Who are the users that are powering down? Are they fairly new users (the same group as above), or longtime users with huge piles of Steem Power (dolphins and above)? Again, purely conjecture, but my guess is this group consists of users who have been on Steemit awhile and have decided to liquidate some of their hard-earned SP before the final cataclysmic event of Steemit going belly up.

If that sounds too gloom-and-doom, keep in mind that it is not my sentiment. I'm simply trying to make sense of the tea leaves. Do longtime users of Steemit feel like the platform is losing something, or maybe has already lost something? Are they hedging their bets by powering down and continuing their Steemit activity, or cashing out before it's too late?

Is Bitcoin Steemit's Problem?

I think it's safe to say that Steemit has a problem. Anyone who can't see that has their head in the sand. Now, I'm not here to fix the problem, nor am I going to ascribe blame. I simply want to offer something up for reflection.

You might have noticed that the rise in Steemit activity last year coincided with the rise of the crypto market. In June 2017, the Bitcoin price began its half-year rally toward $20,000. At the same time, there was a slight bump in Steemit user activity:

Steemit and Bitcoin
From CoinMarketCap.

From the above chart, you can see that the Steemit activity bump in June 2017 coincides with the beginning of the Bitcoin rally last year. The beginning of the Steemit decline in user activity begins with the advent of the Bitcoin pressure releasing in January 2018, and the two declines follow a similar trajectory. Coincidence or a correlation? It's hard to tell.

While it's probable that the decline in Steemit price is corellated with the decline in Bitcoin price, it is less probable that the user activity decline is correlated to Bitcoin price, however, it's possible that the decline in Steemit price is leading to a decline in user activity creating a typical economic dominoe effect. If that is the case, then those users are likely short-term thinkers and not the kind of people Steemit wants to attract to its platform in the first place.

But I think it's possible that another factor could be influencing some of this user movement away from Steemit. I started my Steemit journey in March 2018. Since then, I've heard some grumbling about bidbot abuse, so I've done some thinking on that.

Are Bidbots Steemit's User Experience Problem?

In the way of full disclosure, I have spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with bidbots. Here's what I've discovered.

Steembot Tracker is an awesome tool created by Steem #Witness @Yabapmatt, who is also half of the creative team that sparked the Steem Monsters phenomenon. Before placing my first bidbot bid, I watched the Steembot Tracker for a few days to get familiar with its workings. Then I placed a 50 cent bid and received a sizeable return on my upvote.

steembot tracker
Screenshot of Steembot Tracker.

A couple of days later, I did it again. Over a couple of weeks, I placed bids on some of my posts, increasing my bids gradually to 5 SBD per bid. Each time, I saw a return on my investment ranging from 20% to 130%. But I engaged in these activities with a few simple rules in mind.

First, I would not bid on a bot until a post was two days old. I wanted to give my fans and followers time to upvote the posts and secure their curation rewards. That seemed fair.

Secondly, I would not simply bid on posts that earned less than desirable rewards. Some of the posts I boosted with bots had earned respectable rewards without them.

Thirdly, I wouldn't get greedy. If I did not have the SBD to bid, then I only bid what I could afford. I wasn't buying SBD to bid $100 on posts so I could earn more per upvote.

Finally, I would not sacrifice content quality so that I could increase my rewards with bidbots. My usual practice is to write a post then begin sharing it among the Discord groups where I'm active and using the #upvote channels where I've been approved. I've tried my best to follow all of the rules of the #curation trails in which I am a member.

Here are some things I learned from this experiment:

  1. If I wanted to, I could increase my Steem rewards entirely by relying on bidbots
  2. A return on investment is not guaranteed. I kept a very close eye on who was bidding on each bot I considered bidding on, and how much those bids were valued. While it didn't happen to me, I could see that if they bid too much and at the wrong time, a person could lose. A discussion with another Steemian confirmed that as fact.
  3. While several bidbot terms of service mention that they won't upvote low quality posts, I could not discern any difference in how the bidbots treated my posts. Of course, I think all of my posts are quality posts (there's no plagiarism, I give credit where credit is due, and it's all original), but I am under no illusion that my crypto digests are of the same caliber as my #poetry and #fiction are.

I have a feeling that the grumblings I've heard over bidbots the last few weeks aren't directed at people like me. Some Steemians may have an issue with bidbots in general (for whatever reason), but I think the issue is more that a person can write low-quality posts, use bidbots to upvote them for fairly good returns, and game the Steemit blockchain for short-term gain at everyone else's expense. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out how that can be done. But what should be done about it?

How to Save Steemit From the Bidbots

I don't think bidbots are evil any more than I think automobiles and hammers are evil. A hammer is a tool that can be used to build a house, but it can also be used to crack a skull. An automobile is great transportation, but Bonnie & Clyde used one as a getaway car after robbing banks. A tool can be used for good or for ill.

By the same token, bidbots can't do harm on their own. They require, like a hammer, a human agent to wield them in pursuit of useful or abusive activity.

If an individual wants to use bidbots to subsidize their earnings on Steemit, I see no problem with that. If they're churning out great content, people are upvoting it, and they decide to increase their already decent earnings with a bidbot investment, more power to them. But the flipside is Bonnie & Clyde. What should be done about bidbot abuse, and who's responsibility is it?

Many Steemians are working on ways to attract more people to the platform. I applaud all of their efforts. Some of the ideas are awesome, but if the problems that are driving Steemians to power down and leave the platform aren't dealt with, then attracting new people to the platform may not be the panacea we all hope it will be. We do not need more people with a short-term mentality. They'll either pick up the bidbot abuse habits of some or leave the platform like others. What we need are people with long-term aspirations and the vision to see Steemit as a platform for investing in their own future.

In Google's early days, search results were littered with spam and poor results because people learned to game the results by focusing on keyword-based word litter intead of quality content. That's why Google is constantly updating their ranking algorithms. They have not perfected the science of information retrieval, but I think they have improved it over time, and it took constant tweaking.

By contrast, MySpace was a social networking site that had some issues it couldn't overcome. Before it could address them, Facebook came along and knocked MySpace off the mountain. The same could happen to Steemit, but I hope it doesn't.

If Steemit is to survive, it will have to address its own weaknesses. All the blockchains have them. Ethereum has its scaling issues, Bitcoin has its energy-consuming proof-of-work consensus, and Steemit has its bidbot abuse.

I don't know what the solution is. I do know it must be addressed by the Steemit development team. The fix can't come from the users because the system itself encourages a short-term mentality. People inherently want the easy way out, so if they can spend $2 and get a quick $3 in return, why spend half an hour spreading their link just to earn $1? They can get that $1 in five minutes.

A Word to the Wise (From an Old Fool)

As I write this, STEEM is at $1.11 and the Steem Dollar is at $1.06. They may go lower before we're done. We just have to remember that every cryptocurrency is down right now. The market is down. It will go back up.

STEEM
Steem Dollars
From CoinMarketCap.

If you're a short-term thinker, or you showed up on Steemit hoping to make big dollars and you are now disappointed because that hasn't happened, you might be tempted to throw some beans at bidbots, grow some peanuts, and make your bank. Or you might be tempted to leave in frustration. Please don't.

Every investor knows you buy low and sell high. If you want to get into Steemit, or any cryptocurrency, now is the best time. I encourage you to invite your friends, commit yourselves to a full year, and faithfully publish great content on a regular basis during that year. When the price of Steemit hits $10 again and you have 2,000 Steem Power, what will you say then? And if that doesn't happen, what have you lost?

There is much more to gain from thinking of Steemit as an investment vehicle than as a place to make friends, share interests, and write your #ulog and #freewrite posts. It's all of that, of course, but it's so much more. If you want to do it right, treat it like your retirement nest egg. Every post you publish is another dollar you put into your nest egg. But to hatch that egg, you have to be a long-term thinker.

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Great write up @blockcurator. I think those that are leaving are the ones that expect a get-rich-quick scenario. Or those that it is really much more work than they want to put in.

I know I had/have goals when I started. If you join and you post, you don't go anywhere. Most of us learned this lesson the hard way. Engagement in the community is what gets you going unless you have the funds to invest. I started this past December. I have not added any personal funds, everything you see in my wallet I have earned. I comment more than I post and that has been primarily due to gravitating towards the curation end of things. If I hadn't changed my view then I would have left like the others. You have to be adaptable and coachable in this environment.

As far as bidbots it's good and bad. I see it more as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer type scenario though. Those that can afford bidbots do exactly what you mentioned. They watch the Steembot Tracker and go from there. I know a few that work with a couple that have been consistent in payout. Most don't have the ROI that even warrant looking at. Maybe when I get to that point I might use one. For now its a lot of commenting and trying to stay consistent with posting.
I have made a commitment to this platform and to myself. Yes, it's a great way to interact with others from all over which is one of the greatest benefits. If you want to make money, then you need to treat it as a business put in the time and effort to make it work.

Very well said.

I read the "STEEM Price Analysis: Running out of puff?" article, pretty technical read, and I am not that much of a technical crypto person. I did find it interesting. In time Steem, the token, will likely stand alone and grow. I am not sure if the low has been reached or if it will go lower still. Steemit lost a lot of people at the end of 2016 just after a large increase, then slight crash. Steem recovered. The price seemed to do pretty good from October thru the end of december early Jan. Then the cycle starts again. Post run drop off fall off.

Some of the current lack of engagement could be due to several large people powering down, and moving to what they think may be greener pastures, or they just have other things to do. Some of it could be because of the bots, and some of it because of the lack of where to turn if something goes wrong.

Being decentralized, no authority, is new to people. When groups band together to correct what they feel is a wrong, then others see they can band together to do wrong. "It's people". It's not bots, bots have no brains of their own, they were created by people. In time the BS/H war is going to seem like small potatoes. People will band together to hammer at the bots when they become to much to deal with, Already happening with some bots going after bots. But the reality is it is not a bot war it is a perspective war, this bot is good, this bot is bad thing. I see in the comments the mention of bots spamming the wallets, are these all bots listed on the bot tracker, or are some of them trying to avoid the bot tracker, are some of them banned by the bot tracker for what they consider cause? But in the end it is people vs people. people build the bots, people fight the bots. People will lose, it is just a matter of which people lose, the bot builder/owners or the bot abusers, or the ones that think bots are bad. We will see.

Awesome comment. Yeah, I think you're right about the good people/bad people bit. Bots can't think, or act, for themselves. I love how you point that out.

But, I have a question. What do you mean by BS/H?

Oh that was a reference to the berniesanders/haejin flag war.

Aha! Thanks. :-)

I must read everything in this post carefully due to my language barrier (I'm too lazy to use the google translator) and couldn't agree more, for a user who doesn't joined steemit for money or an instant popularity or an instant new rich on the block, there's more complicated things more than bidbot abuse, but the mentality of the users who attracted by the promotion of Steemit as the new working place for everybody without any spesific information about how it works and what it takes to be success on Steemit. the other things is... some of the new users lost their passkey and with their limited knowledge about how to get it back then no strict rules about quality contents at the FAQ, for example: single photo with no explanation accepted in a contest, and nobody try to make a comment and then somebody just upvote (or use the bidbot) and then other users will make a post about the rank of the posts just by calculating the upvotes not even considering if it was a stolen photos and repeated posts, cheetah can't detect stolen photos, right?

at least we still have many great steemians who put an extra effort to create a quality content post. I use bidbot because I knew my readers all minnows and they will upvote because they want me to upvote in returns, so to prevent them from being uncomfort to vote my under-quality content, I'll use the monthly services bidbot ... (merely because I want to know how it works, LOL). Engaging still the best way to make my day on steemit wonderful, never thought about power down though I did bought some steem with fiat couple weeks ago, it's better than paying an annual hosting for my blog.

thank you @blockcurator.

Great comment @cicisaja. You make good points. It could be that people get frustrated with the quality standards and not quite sure what to make of the leap from Facebook and other social media where single photo posts are the norm. Great response. Thanks.

You are welcome ☺ you made a great post so I can respon to it clearly, though I'm afraid you won't understand my messy english😄 more cryptocurrency, more application and it getting close to instagram style and facebook too.

Your English was fine. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thanks. :-)

liquidate some of their hard-earned SP before the final cataclysmic event of Steemit going belly up.

I really hope you're wrong... I'm in the process of talking to some companies in the real world to invest in some Steemit initiatives that I have, and that requires a "fair amount of fiat" to be invested into Steem (right now feels like a great time to do so with the price being so low)... if Steemit does indeed go belly-up though and I was the one convincing them to invest, it could have some pretty bad real-world implications for me :P

Re bidbots though: I have absolutely no problem with them... your experience seems to be "pretty lucky"... I don't use bidbots unless I'm prepared to make a loss... all too often the bids exceed the positive ROI level. That being said... my 2 cents on bots:
Bots are "no different" to using Google Adwords.

"Quality content" is very subjective, and with the exception of clear-cut spam/plagiarism, I think anyone should be allowed to spend as much as they want/can afford on bidbots... whether it be for quick buck or to actually try reach more users via trending/hot lists etc.

Either way... thanks for the heaps of articles and links I've bookmarked for further reading now from this (and your recent) post :-)

If that sounds too gloom-and-doom, keep in mind that it is not my sentiment. I'm simply trying to make sense of the tea leaves.

If I'm wrong, it's not me that's wrong. :-)

On bidbots, good perspective. I think the frustration, for a lot of people, is that they check trending topics and see a bunch of low-quality posts bid up by bidbots. I don't check trending topics, so that doesn't affect me. But I've heard that.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

Bots are "no different" to using Google Adwords.

Interesting comparison. I see your point even if I'm not sure I agree. The blogger is spending money to get a return. I guess there's the similarity, but few people are selling things on the Steemit blogs. It is an investment, however, and I think that's like Google AdWords, for which a person hopes but is not guaranteed a return.

I have been on steemit for over a year now so i have watched the rise of bidbots and it has definitely caused a few problems u fail to see because of when u got gere.
Here is the problem I see with bid bots. They steal rewards from every user on the platform, you have to understand between all of the bidbots there are millions upon millions of delegated SP.. this SP use to be split up between thousands of everyday users who used steemit like most of us, upvoting and curating eachothers posts daily. SP was cheap to buy (delegations) then, almost half the price it cost now because there weren't a bunch of bot owners buying up all the supply.. Upvotes were spread across the entire platform for good content not just paid for votes.. Everyone tried to write better content because of this, now basically most of the newbs who come here get discouraged because they can write months of good articles and never see any decent upvotes unless they are lucky enough for @curie to spot them.
The truth is vote selling was considered illegal on steemit but all of the whales are witnesses and helped to change this because they make exponentially more by selling votes than delegating and this way they still get amazing curation rewards, its really a win win for them.. (this is one of the main reasons one of the founders left steemit). But truth is that it is decimating the lower class steemians.. This place use to be much more active on every level before bidbots became such a force, now its a game for so many and buying ur way to the top is incredibly easier than earning ur way there..
Don't get me wrong, I agree that the crypto price does also play a huge part in activity on steemit but since the bidbots showed up in force driving up delegation prices and lowering normal upvotes (because they delegate to bidbots). I have seen so much change for the worse instead of the better.. I use to get $10-$20 posts once or twice a week without ever using a bidbot before 2018, now i am lucky to see a $5 upvote on 1 article a month so i have stopped putting in a lot of effort because whats the point?
I generally don't use bidbots because i refuse to make the rich richer. The only time i do is when i want to turn my sbd into steem, because i can get a lil return on it but i use minnowbooster and smartsteem only in my conversion. And now that i am recieving 1/10 sbd as steem and sp it doesnt even really matter anymore..
Sorry bout the long reply! But i did enjoy the read so i am now following u. 😎

Excellent perspective, @moderndayhippie. But I'm a little confused. When you say bidbots steal rewards, I'm not sure I follow that. Now, I understand that if I buy a bidbot vote first thing after posting, then that bidbot will get the lion's share of curation rewards. But, If I have 100 humans upvote me in the first two days, then I buy a bidbot vote, I get 75% of the reward from that bidbot vote and everyone else who upvoted me before the bidbot will get 25% of the bidbot's upvote. If that was $10, then $2.50 of it will be split between the curators of the post. Do I understand that correctly?

I didn't mean it from a curation perspective at all, I meant that since they buy up millions of delegated SP that is now only used for paid upvotes instead of being spread around to steemians like me who now find it to expensive to pay for it (because prices spiked with supply and demand). There is no longer enough return on renting the delegation (just to hand out bigger upvotes) unless i basically upvote all my own posts and comments, which defeats the whole purpose of buying the delegation in the first place..

Example: like everyone when i first started on steemit my upvote was worth literally nothing, but i could rent a delegation for cheap and then upvote my posts (my own post promotion) and other steemians post with a vote that actually counted. I could upvote my post just once a day and use the rest of my upvotes to curate other steemians posts and i would still break even at the end, the love was spread around and I didn't have to upvote myself 10 times a day to break even (which is basically what u need to do now if u rent delegations). This literally helped every steemian and encouraged new people to stay on the platform because they got bigger votes (without having to pay for them). It also helped me to grow my following even though i was a red fish and new to the platform.

Now all that delegated SP is bought up and sold to the highest bidder, it no longer is used to support steemians, it is used to take their earnings. Sure u may make 10 to 20 percent return sometimes but wouldn't it be better if good articles (ones that deserve it) just made more money from upvotes? No paid post promotion needed? I think so.

This has also caused the trending steemit feed to be covered in garbage and people to fly thru the profile ranks even though they dont deserve it because they have shit articles.. it has literally ruined most everything when it comes to how steemit is suppose to operate.. now some people have been on steemit only a month and have 65+ profile scores and have never wrote even one decent article, its all spam bullshit which is annoying to go thru.. this drives away the people who are actually trying to add value to the platform, and encourages people to game it which makes steemit so much worse..

Does that make sense? It is quite hard to explain now that im typing it lol.

It's fairly obvious that the dolphins and whales aren't the ones who are leaving the platform. They've been here for a long time and know that it's natural for the market to fluctuate.

It's the newbies who're leaving because their sole purpose here was to earn some quick bucks. They were impatient and couldn't hold on without any instant return. Funny thing is, as soon as the market rises, they'll come right back expecting even bigger rewards.

As per Bidbots are concerned, I have multiple opinions on it. Even though I don't use them myself, I can totally understand why someone else will. Maybe they have a family to feed or need quick money for an emergency. It could be anything and I don't blame them for it.

But I also don't like it when the trending section is filled only with posts that used the bots and not real articles curated by the community.

Yes, I think you're right about newbies leaving. I don't think it's dolphins and whales. But they are the ones powering down. I'd like to know why. I know @jerrybanfield posted a while back that he was going to power down and continue powering down until the flagging policy was changed. But that's just one guy. I wonder if he's influenced others to do the same. Is there some source somewhere that tells us who is powering down? But the bigger question, for me, is why?

I get your point on the trending posts. I've heard it before. I don't look at trending posts too much because I'm more interesting in finding new awesome content, but it would be annoying to look at trending posts and see poor quality posts upvoted by bidbots. I think that's a common complaint.

Great post.

I think your correct in saying there are many new users that fade away really quickly.

There are some interesting things that happen in the third world cultures Steemit is being promised as a way to pull yourself out of poverty there are recruitment seminars in Africa, and Indonesia that encourage and try to teach the users to band together.

It's hard to make the reality match those expectations.

Engagement is a real issue as well the price of steem goes up and down as it will and groups like curie are great at rewarding good content but often lack their community engagement on curated posts, A good example was one of my Alphabet Adventures at the time paid out it was $184 stu no bid bots with a steem price that equated to about $800aud and the only engagement coming from the amazing people at The Steam Engine somehow the rewards felt hollow.

Rewards count while I like researching and writing my posts if they never went past 0.2stu for my efforts if I don't know if would keep doing it.

Good points. Thanks for weighing in. I can see how the perspective might be different in the third world, especially if sold on a decent living wage as a promise.

You've made some interesting points in this post.
I know the controversy surrounding bid-bots: and I have never used one before because I want my writing, knowledge and posts to earn merit for what they are... my writing skills, knowledge of what I'm sharing.

I came into the steemit realm in July 2017 (right around the same time as the BTC boost of value), but I didn't come for BTC or cryptocurrency (you know that from our previous commenting and chattering).

I have been noticing a change of things here... from larger SP account holders powering down (not sure of ALL the reasons for each person/account doing this) and even a shift in payouts to larger accounts.

Why? I can only speculate... but I can say this... I have no desire to power down anytime soon; pending a personal catastrophe occurring.

I'm sure I'd have a better understanding of this, and see it differently, if I'd been around longer. That certainly does add perspective. Thanks for weighing in.

Thats was an interesting read. glad I am now following you. I'm still relatively new to Steemit and I plan on sticking around for the long hail. personally I am on the fence about bid bots. Not really a fan yet but not ruling them out either. I'm sure I will test a few out sooner or later. until then I depend on upvotes recieved for a quality post.

You have to be careful with bidbots and use them responsibly. If you get in the habit of relying on them, you'll be tempted to drop the social networking, but that's the whole point. Give your human readers something to enjoy and make it your first priority. Bidbots can be supplemental.

I use several upvoters, to help my blog have a more consistent return - and returns more of my SBD into SP. I have found that I actually get more overall votes when I do this - or it's just coincidence, I don't know.

Bidbots seem a lot riskier - though I guess some people have worked it out. It does seem weird that we can get spammed by these guys in our wallets all for them giving me 0.001 SBD at a time.

But yes, there are many who abuse these things. (Just like the people who do last-minute, huge, self-upvotes.)

How to police it? I'm really not sure. Not without making Steemit a very unpleasant place to be for everyone.

I think the problem is, that if you do something to stop people having bad posts upvoted by bidbots, you end up having to have everyone's posts go through some sort of criteria in order to post - since private bidbots often don't care.

Some plagiarists and similar con artists who get found out by steemflagrewards find that their bids are overturned by the owner of the bots when they discover what the con artist is doing.

Perhaps that's all we can do to combat this problem... The good guys work together to make Steemit a nicer, safer place to be, but the bad guys will always be out there trying to make a quick buck off the backs of others...

Excellent comment. I'm not sure what the answer is either, and there may not be a good. Like you said, cracking down on bidbot votes might have a negative impact on the rest of us. It does require further thought. Thanks for the great comment.

I have never used the bitbots but have considered
This helped me lots
Thank you @blockurator 😊

You're welcome. I hope I've given you something to think about.

Great write up as usual man.
I've been thinking about this issue a lot since you are not the only one in my feed writing about it.
I think that the key to maintaining steemit's longevity is to bolster the creative communities.
I mean the REAL creative communities, not the meme spammers.
I am doing this in the little way I can afford to by running my cartoon contest.
As an artist and author, I know the value of having a platform that gives me an audience to share my creativity.
And if I am making a buck as well, even better.
But it is going to be the users who already have a creative mindset that are going to be the solid core of steemit, so growing their presence is going to translate into the long term core user base that steemit needs.
This isn't the first art community that I have been part of, and I stuck around in the ones I was part of before this until the "ship went down."
People will PAY to have access to curated good content.
Look at Patreon.
But the way in which that content is gathered together and presented, well THAT falls on the developers in part, but also in making sure that the most talented creative minds stick around and keep producing.

You hit the nail on the head. Certainly, creative communities can rally around the idea of earning on one's creativity. For artists of any kind, this is a huge challenge. Literary artists like myself spend a lifetime sending out submissions only to see thousands of rejections for every acceptance, then you join other social media to try to build a following but it usually ends up being a mutual toleration society where everyone begs for likes and upvotes but no compensation. Your sales have to come from off-site. For instance, I can post forever on Facebook, but to see a sale I have to drive people to Amazon. The number of people on Facebook who see my posts and actually buy the book is quite small. At least on Steemit, I can earn a few dollars for my posts while I build a following. The downside is, my audience here is small and not any more likely to click a link to buy my book at Amazon.

I love this:

People will PAY to have access to curated good content.

Ain't that the truth. I'm not on Patreon, but I have considered it. :-)

Thanks for the well-thought-out comment.

You should start including links to your amazon items at the bottom of your posts.
It's one of those "repetitive visual advertising" things, where someone might not feel like buying a book today, but tomorrow they might, and then they will think of your book.
And let's be honest, they aren't going to come across your books by browsing through the amazon book list.
I actually have come across several tempting reads from other Steemit users doing this.
You should follow @shadowspub and get on the Steemit Ramble Discord where they have daily content sharing and the weekly "pimp your post thursday" events where you get to promote your own content and with it amazon books you are selling, etc
Hell, even if you can give away 20 copies of your book but get all of those people to leave you 5 star reviews, that might actually push you up into some sort of visibility in the amazon metrics.

I've thought about that. Good suggestion.

I didn't want to come out of the gate pimping my books, but I do link to them when relevant. For instance, on Sundays, when I post my poems, I usually include a link to my poetry book "Rumsfeld's Sandbox." I've linked to the fiction anthologies I've edited once or twice, again, when relevant. I'm still trying to figure out my footer content. I don't want to bombard readers with offers and self-promo links, but if I don't do it at all, I won't sell anything either. So I'm looking for the balance.

Congratulations on having your post selected by the @asapers!! I am here to offer encouragement! Keep up the awesome blogs! I love how much discussion and interaction this topic has gathered. It's interesting that it's pointed out if you want to convert SBD to SP it can be useful to use a bot. I can see how maybe it can be helpful to grow SP this way. I have never used bots before. When i first began researching them it seemed there wasn't much return but you are saying there can be decent return (20% is good to me!) Boy i hope this platform continues to become more functional and sustainable. I enjoy steeming a lot! It's been an adventurous time so far! Again, awesome writing! Your talent beams brightly ❤✌🌻

Thank you very much. This post got much more engagement than I thought it would. I appreciate you stopping by and giving it a read.

I'll be back to upvote later when my VP is less anemic. But want to comment because the post is excellent and I have a slightly different perspective. I think investors will come and go quickly, and Steem can expect to reflect the volatility of the stock market as long as the platform is pure investment. But there is a more enduring quality about Steemit, one with a little more "glue" than the quick buck. And that is the experience of being on the platform. It's what holds me. The money is a reward and I glow when my payout is high--but that's more in the sense of a trophy than material reward. As my wallet shrinks I don't cringe. I shrug my shoulders and then come back and engage. I think the future of Steemit is in attracting people who enjoy the culture, the dynamism, the creativity. Bidbots definitely do not enhance my experience, but I'm not sophisticated enough to offer a meaningful analysis. And I may be all wrong about the kind of person who will enable Steemit to endure. I can only speak from my little corner of the Steem universe.

I can only speak from my little corner of the Steem universe.

And that's often enough.

I read the whole thing, couldnt believe i did, lots of information in here, it will take me some minutes to sink it in. Till then.
I've got no comment. Just a deep thought.

Thanks for reading.

Congratulations @blockurator, your post has been selected by the @asapers for a resteem and a feature in our brand new curation post. Issue 88

What does this mean for you? Well first an upvote from some members of the team, we are no @curie or @ocd but who is going to be unhappy with some extra upvotes. Also each post featured in the article will receive a 10% share of the SBD generated from the curation post.

Keep up the great work and please consider supporting the @asapers with an upvote and/or a resteem on the post you feature in. Please wait seven to ten days for payout.

Your friendly @asapers

Giving back A.S.A.P

Read Me ASAP.png

P.S. Lets hope for the longterm to pay off, @insideoutlet

As someone that has managed to build a currently valued $600 account, which was at over $2000 at the peak, entirely from posting and no fiat investment, I have stayed invested in the platform without powering down out of curiosity. I can live without the couple hundred, I’m trying to see if it can turn into much more in the future possibly.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Good for you. I, too, am hoping for a turnaround. As I see my SP climb, I long for the day that STEEM might rise against to $3, $5, or $7. Maybe even $10 again. But we'll have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading. Good luck!