The Steemit landscape is constantly shifting and people are using Steemit in a wide variety of ways. This is an update to my "Steemit Economy" article.
Steemit is a virtual society with a very real economy. Just like in real life, different hobbies and occupations come with different skill levels. There is also the element of risk and reward.
If you try to be all things to all people, you can spread yourself too thin and never excel at any particular skill. In order to efficiently make some money on Steemit, you might benefit from considering your skill set, slotting into one or two primary roles and becoming a master. You might be surprised at how many different ways people are using Steemit. Some are doing it right, others not so much.
Here are some of the most common types of Steemians...
Coders, Devs, Data-Nerds
Steemit is a young and innovative platform so it has attracted a lot of interest from the techie community. The STEEM blockchain is "Open Source", so anyone with enough ingenuity can build applications relating to it, or analyse the data from it. In the first couple of months alone, dozens of new STEEM/Steemit related applications have been developed, reinforcing the Steemit infrastructure and making STEEM one of the most readily used of all cryptocurrencies. When not watching episodes of Star Wars, these nerds work hard and create real value. They deserve every Upvote they get.
Techies worth checking out: @mauricemikkers, @heimindanger, @anyx
How cute! Don’t worry! Everyone was a noob once and newbies are as important to Steemit as anyone else. Some lucky noobs will get a nice STEEM injection with a legit, sincere and entertaining introduction post, here. Often keen voters, their voting power is mostly channelled into helpful posts and comments explaining how the Steemit echosystem works (hint hint) …
After trying their hand at posting, commenting, and voting, most noobs will eventually progress into some of the roles outlined below...
Bloggers and other original content creators such get some of the highest rewards on Steemit. Many bloggers are travel writers, photographers, foodies or entrepreneurs, but you can write about literally anything.
The best bloggers provide real value to their posts, by being highly entertaining or informative. They know how to grab peoples attention, and they conduct the appropriate research to make their content genuine. It takes skill and experience to craft great blog posts, and newcomers might be disappointed that their blog posts fail to gain traction. The risks are considerate - You could spend hours on a post only for it to fall flat on its face. The rewards however will appeal to many. It’s not unusual for the popular bloggers to make upwards of 1,000 dollars in a single blog post.
Popular bloggers on Steemit include @diana.catherine, @dragonho, @heiditravels
Not everyone is cut out to be a blogger. Lazy writing or mundane subjects will not go very far. If you’ve written ten posts about your goldfish and nobody is responding, it might be time to try something else. What’s interesting to you may not have very broad appeal or it may be obvious that you are not an authority on the subject you’re trying to write about. Likewise, what seems boring to you, could be very interesting to other people. If you live in a developing country or unique landscape, get out with a camera and show us what life is like in your part of the world.
There are more and more competitions and giveaways on Steemit as the platform grows. Some folks have taken to searching them out and reaping the rewards. Bounties are often given for tasks related to coding, writing or photography, but some are far more random. Right now, the contest with the highest rewards is the Steemit Photo Challenge, but keep an eye on hashtags such as #contest, #competition, #swag, and #giveaway
Increasingly, there are people using Steemit to change the world for the better. From raising cash for the sick or homeless, to feeding stray cats, or simply raising awareness of certain issues. Be vigilant, however. Make sure to weigh up the authenticity of any post before giving your Upvote.
Good Content Curators
Steemit loves good content. Good curators search out and highlight the best content on the internet, or on Steemit itself. News stories, articles, videos, photographs, jokes, websites… Anything online can be curated and brought to the attention of the Steemit community. Curated posts can take the form of “Top 10” style lists, snippets from bigger pieces, screen grabs, links, etc. There are some ethical considerations though. Content and sources should be correctly credited and linked. Many Steemit-specific content curators give a percentage of their earnings to their sources.
If you are good at digging up good content, and can present it in an honest and ethical manner, the Steemit community will reward you.
Popular Steemit content curators are @gavvet, and @stellabelle
Here is another example of excellent curation. A very helpful list...
Bad Curators a.k.a “Copypasta”
Unlike the good curators above, some people will copy and paste whole items and pass it off as their own. This is spammy, plagiarism, and super uncool, y’hear?
The Steemit community are becoming more vigilant, and copypasta is usually ignored or flagged.
You don’t have to make any new posts to enjoy Steemit or earn STEEM. Good commenters can get a share of a posts earnings by engaging with the subject matter in a meaningful, insightful or entertaining way. It would be easy to dismiss this role if one payed too much attention to the high earning posts on the front page, but dig deeper and you’ll see top comments often get richly rewarded. The best commenters engage with subjects they understand and care about. Find your tribe, build relationships, earn STEEM.
“That’s cool”, “Great post”, “Thanks for sharing”, “Welcome”, “I like this”, “Good Article” …blah blah blah. Unlike good commenters, lazy commenters take no time to read posts, and will paste generic comments in the hope of some occasional Upvotes. It’s takes no skill or effort to be a lazy commenter and most people won’t Upvote a lazy comment. The risks are low. The rewards are low. Lazy commenting is quite harmless, but quite pointless.
Sycohphants are like Lazy Commenters on Viagra. They will try to get Upvotes by sucking up to other Steemians, lavishing them with praise and questions. Some sycophants will try to target more popular Bloggers and Whales, but it’s a risky (and cynical) strategy. If a sycophant catches the attention of a Whale (someone with copious STEEM Power), they could have their earnings decimated by being flagged by said Whale. Sycophants are also increasingly being “called out” when they are conspicuous in their ass-kissing. If someone gives you praise. Take it. You are not obliged to Upvote anyone.
Some say they live on nothing but Doritos and Mountain Dew. Memers sprinkle the community with graphical injokes and nerdy references. They didn’t chose the meme life. The meme life chose them. Check out the #meme hashtag for more.
Wait what? There’s people on Steemit with no financial investment or medium term agenda? Interactors are the unsung heroes of Steemit. All they want to do is make new friends and engage with some cool content. Ideally there would be a greater percentage of these types, but the financial potential of Steemit activity means a high percentage of Steemians are entirely focussed on financial gain. Be nice to these people. We need them.
Some people are just, different. There are a number of Steemit users that are impossible to pigeon-hole, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. They're oddballs, but they're our oddballs.
Check out Steemits best loved oddball, @klye
Did you know you can make money on Steemit without typing a single word? Steemit loves good content and you can get STEEM rewarded by Upvoting good content. If you are early to Upvote a post (or comment) that goes on to become very popular, the rewards can be very considerate as you get a higher portion of the reward. Just don't vote too quickly because the anti-bot system may penalise you. Yes, it's kinda complicated.
Some fine detail about voting and rewards here.
It's also worth noting that "curation rewards" for voting will be much lower if you don't have much Steem Power. Want more Steem Power? You can work in, or you can buy in.
Every Upvote is an opportunity to earn STEEM. Bad voters dish out Upvotes with little care, not realising their "voting power" is being DILUTED and their potential rewards are decreasing. If you vote a lot, your voting power will decrease, and it takes time for it to recharge. The Steemit White Paper has more information about how this works, but in short, don’t Upvote something unless you’ve read it, and liked it.
Ideally your voting power will always be over 85%. Want to know your voting power?
Go to www.steemd.com/@username (replace username with your own username)
If you're below 85%, you should probably slow down on your voting habits.
Not all users on Steemit are human. The blockchain is crawling with automated intelligence, programmed by geniuses, both evil and good. Crazy shit, amirite? Some bots such as @cheetah endeavour to flag content that they consider a copyright violation or other form of spam. Other bots serve to expose and flag down "bad bots". That's right - Bot wars!
Some bots are open about their synthetic inception, while others don’t mention it. There are various discussions on robot etiquette.
There are bots on Steemit designed to spam, scam, disrupt, steal, hack, imitate, destroy. Increasingly, they are being considered a spammy nuisance.
And we’re back to humans! Like Interactors, Trolls have no particular investment in Steemit. That’s where the similarities end though. Trolls live to be disruptive, to play Devils Advocate or to wind people up, usually for fun, but sometimes to point out censorship, groupthink, hypocrisy or cynicism. Being abrupt and provocative, they get a bad wrap, and usually deserve it. Trolls do however remind us that not everything is all fluffy and rosy in life, and that nothing online should be taken at face value. If they get under your skin, hit the Mute button on their profile page. It’s that easy.
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: There are real benefits to being attractive. This is as true online as it is in the real world. Beautiful people can earn money with photos, videos, and interactions. Love it or hate it, babes are here to stay, online and offline. As they say, “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game”.
Catfish are who never who they claim to be. Like Bad Bots, they are out to steal money, to hack, to spam, to scam. Being real humans though, these bottom feeders are more adept at social engineering than any robot could be. Be vigilant. Flag them. Expose them. Block them.
Spam Cops a.k.a “Busters”
In 2016, as Steemit grew in popularity, the potential gains from blog posts exploded into the thousands (of Dollars!). Fake stories became more common, and harder to vet. One such fake story was a plagiarised article about a young womans long term heroin use. Until the whistle was blown, the post was due to make thousands of Dollars. When it was discovered the post had been plagiarized from an article that had previously appeared in Refinery29.com, the post was heavily flagged before “Payout Time” and the imposter earned nothing. BUSTED!
The users who blew the lid off the story were heavily rewarded with copious Upvotes in the comment section. Thus, the Spam Cop was born. More about that story here.
If you want Steemit to retain high standards of original content, or simply have an innate sense of justice, there is real money to be made in this role. Among other methods, Spam Cops cross check new blog posts with Google and Tineye. Offending blog posts are called out in the comment section and the Spam cop gets paid in well-deserved Upvotes.
Numerically the rarest of breeds on Steemit, but influentially, godlike. Whales are those handful of users who have a huge investment in Steem Power. Such investment makes their votes far more meaningful so a Whale can make or break a blog post with one swipe of a finger, so you better not get on the wrong side of one. If you are very lucky, a Whale will Upvote one of your posts or comments. Want to be a Whale? Buy a LOT of STEEM Power.
So, who are you in the Steemit Economy?
Do any of the roles above describe you? Or perhaps you're still finding your feet.
NB- This article is incomplete and subject to change, of course. As Steemit continues to expand, more roles will emerge. If you have any technical corrections or suggestions, please let me know in the comments.