Many Steemians understand how to navigate this platform, but not how to be successful on it. What I am referencing is Steemit decorum (etiquette) - the steem-cultural expectations of proper manor execution online. In this article I will also outline proper topic selection, and explain the importance of proper formatting, comprehensiveness, citing sources, and networking tactfully. I provide many useful links to other articles I have written to help you advance as well.
Image Source from: @whack.science
I used to see so many articles on Steemit that deserved attention and were not getting it. Now if I find an account like that, I usually offer them a membership in @earthtribe to give them further support. Recently however, many of the Steemians that complain about not getting their content noticed really do not deserve to be, and for good reason. But not to worry... YOU CAN CHANGE THIS, by following these simple guidelines.
Before hitting that post button and officially publishing your content on the Steemit blockchain, I challenge you to ask yourself three simple questions about your topic(s), and then an additional three simple questions about your professionalism, to determine if your content is ready to be published.
Ask yourself these questions about your content's topic(s):
Does this benefit the Steemit Blockchain?
Does this benefit the Earth?
Does this benefit humanity?
If you cannot answer yes to at least one of these questions, then you should seriously reconsider your topics.
After you have answered yes to one or more of those, then ask yourself these 3 questions about your professionalism:
Is this comprehensive?
Is this mostly original content?
Is this sourced correctly (or at least at all)?
If you have not answered yes to ALL of these three questions, then you need to do more work before publishing your post.
Think about what it actually means if you do not follow these guidelines. It means that you are creating content that is hurting Steemit, the Earth, humanity, or all three, and is also short, non-original, and/or is also potentially claiming other's works as your own (plagiarism, or more simply STEALING). This is absolutely terrible in every way - I am not trying to be mean, I just want people to realize the impact they have with their posts when not following these guidelines. If you think what you are doing on this platform does not matter, you are WRONG! Every single post matters, and the compilation of posts reflects on all Steemians as a whole... you never know who will look at what, or when!
If you are wondering where you might start on your quest, please check out these articles to point you in the direction of a brighter future on this platform. Feel free to reference them as needed as well if you get confused about a specific topic during this article. Click any topic below to be taken to that article:
Introducing "SUB-BLOGS" & Account Switch
Deciding which topics to promote (or criticize) is probably the most important step of posting content on this platform. If you are publishing content that does not help the platform, the Earth, or humanity, then why are you bothering with it at all? I suppose you could apply this to anything you do in your life, and is a topic of philosophical debate, however on Steemit it is even more impactful, since most have a chance to reach many more people than they would normally in real life.
The topics you choose to highlight will determine not only the type of people who will support you, but also the type of person you will be known as. Of course if you want to write stories about pop-culture, charlatan lifestyles, and new cars you have the freedom to do so, but we can read about those topics almost everywhere else already. Steemit is not yet known to be a place where cookie cutter stories are told, however if enough people produce that kind of content, Steemit will acquire that reputation. Among my circles, Steemit's current reputation is that its a place for people to connect freely with conscious solutions to the problems of this world, without fear of censorship. In order to keep this reputation, it is my, along with every other member of Steemit's responsibility, to do everything we can to make sure it stays that way.
Some Steemians have found success by exclusively posting about one topic, however this is extremely limiting in that it will only give you access to specific types of support in the Steemit arena, and also will limit the amount of wisdom you can cast for the world to learn from. Some people choose to create separate accounts for each topic they pursue, which can end up being a lot more work for only a little more rewards., however still technically a viable option.
Personally, I publish content on this blockchain under a plethora of topics, including eco-friendly living practices, healthy living, organic gardening, cannabis, conscious Hip-Hop, freedom, festivals, cryptos, my collections, posts about Steemit, posts supporting sub-groups of Steemit I support, helping other Steemians understand the platform, suggestions to make the platform better, and I hold design contests and giveaways.
I am currently giving away a free piece of silver - click here to enter my free raffle.
Not everyone can create content for this many topics, but doing so provides me with a vast array of opportunities for extra rewards, exposure, and community interaction with people from different walks of life (not to mention helps educate many different kinds of people with the knowledge and wisdom I have to offer). I do not know anyone that only has one interest or philosophy of life, so it is a good idea to display your diversity on your Steemit blog as well. Too much of the same is not beneficial to the evolution of man, or Steemit. Diversification of topics will generate more for yourself and this community, and also help you better understand more intricate facets of the platform as well.
Writing a comprehensive article is different than just making a post, for more details on this subject, please start by visiting my article about the Difference Between a Post, and a Publication - by clicking here. It is a must read if you wish to understand what it really means when you publish something on the Steemit blockchain. (Note: I have since evolved my views/practices on sourcing somewhat).
If you want the short version, here is a few examples of what constitutes a post, and NOT a published article -
A picture with with little or not text
Posting a few pictures or screenshots with no explanation
Copying articles or quotes form other sources online or elsewhere with little or no additional content that is original
A video of your dog being "cute" with no explanation
A post with a couple paragraphs or less of original content, with only one or two images.
Any post with minimal original content
I am not saying that every article that you write has to be a book, or that every article I write is the most exemplary post in the world, but what I am saying that you must properly explain your content in the fullest and clearest capacity possible, according to your knowledge and available information... and include images! There is a little leeway with this particular aspect if you record video logs, but even with those, it does not take a whole lot of effort to write a short introduction for your video each post. Video logs need more than just a title and video.
You should not expect intense rewards, exposure, or support from making posts in the ways listed above. No matter what you do outside of Steemit, is it your responsibility as a blogger to have a certain set of standards that you adhere to in every article you post, by remembering that we are all paid out of a collective rewards pool here, and that makes us professionals by definition - so our content should reflect that criteria.
This blockchain and its rewards highly favors original content. Other Steemians that produce mostly original content themselves and achieve higher SP as a result favors voting on original content. For the most part, dolphins and whales that are actual humans and not bots (even a lot of the bots also) favor original content. MOST PEOPLE THAT WILL READ YOUR BLOG WILL FAVOR ORIGINAL CONTENT...don't you? For these reasons and many others, it is crucial that you always produce mostly original content when posting.
It is perfectly fine to use quotes, and reference other's articles and works when properly sourced, however if quotes and references comprise the majority of your article, then it can not be considered originally created by you. I am happy when I see a deserving, comprehensive, original post about a conscious topic achieve high rewards, but I definitely do not like seeing posts that are mostly unoriginal, or about topics that do not benefit positive progression for the environment and/or the living things on this planet get high rewards - and I am pretty sure no one else does either, except for the people raking in the STEEM from that nonsense.
If you are the type of person that likes to straight up copy and paste other people's writing, images, or videos without giving any credit to the authors, then you must realize that is called STEALING...and the proper legal term for this type of theft is called plagiarism... a big no no - never do it, PERIOD.
There are many different commonly accepted methods for siting your article sources. For the purposes of this article, I will not get into detail about the different way this can be done, you can research it on your own further if you want to be certain of the "proper" scholarly methods. Personally I use a simple number in parentheses after the quote - like this (1) - and then write Sources: at the bottom of my articles, list each source location, and match it to its corresponding number in the article.
Never ask for upvotes, re-steems, or follows IN POSTS, aside from contests and giveaways, but it is still somewhat of a faux pas to ask for followers even in those situations. In extreme instances of content with dire priority and of the utmost importance, I still will not ask for re-steems to spread the message. Instead I offer a line such as this, "Anything anyone can do to support/spread the word about this cause would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance." - This approach is polite and indirect. Support and promotion can come in many forms as well, and is not always a re-steem or up-vote.
It is ok to ask for re-steems, follows, and up-votes from those that openly offer services and support for such things. However I always keep these kind of requests on Discord, Telegram, and emails, and off of the Steemit blockchain. I also would never ask someone for things like this unless they are calling for it - saying they want people to directly ask them for their support. THE ONLY TIME IT IS OK TO ASK FOR A RE-STEEM AND UP-VOTE IN YOUR POST IS WHEN YOU ARE HOSTING A CONTEST OR GIVEAWAY, which is usually what is required for entry in the majority of Steemit contests.
Networking with other Steemians is the most important step in getting your articles recognized, earning higher rewards, and attracting a greater following to your blog. You must do this by genuinely interacting on other people's blogs and responding to your comments as frequently as your schedule/lifestyle permits. You should also find your way into a few quality Discord servers, run by groups that genuinely want to help you succeed on the platform (links to some good ones provided in this post). Once you do this, always show love back to the people and groups that end up supporting you, and NEVER purposely offend or interfere with good people throwing you Steemit support of any kind, up-votes or otherwise.
There is a proper way to network on here that is not considered offensive. Steemit is a shared space, and you must adhere to the unwritten rules as well if you are to be successful and well liked on the platform. It also is not going to hurt your reputation either, just be genuine, and do not skimp on your comments.
Also, it is good to occasionally search for new people to interact with on Steemit. I have discovered some of the most helpful groups, initiatives, and utilities this way. When I first started here, I never anticipated that other types of awesome values would come out of this platform besides conscious material, STEEM, & SBD.
Participating on other Steemian's blogs is a huge step to advancing your account, and increasing your number of followers/consistent votes. This strengthens your interconnectedness and sense of belonging on the Steemit platform as well, and eventually you will establish your own small community on Steemit, and its not always an official one, many times they are unspoken (...or even secret...).
Writing thoughtful, sincere, well articulated comments on posts you strongly support, or interest you, makes a big difference on so many levels. For one thing, commenting in this manor consistently is a factor that plays into advancing you reputation score, which is a more significant number than a lot of people realize. It also shows people that YOU actually CARE about THEIR content enough to leave them something meaningful that they can appreciate, and will generate a certain level of respect for you, which will likely lead to them following you, and up-voting/re-steeming your content. Finally, consistently authentically commenting on other's blogs usually lead to them giving you similar style comments on your blog posts as well.
If you cannot do these things on any kind of a consistent basis, NOT TO WORRY... I sure can't, and I am pretty most other Steemians struggle with it as well, especially when you start supporting a larger fellowship. I just do my best to make meaningful comments when I see something worthy, and have the time available. If the urge is strong enough, I will save the tab, and come back to leave a suitable comment/up-vote after completing my tasks, without a doubt.
One final thing... I highly recommend to ALWAYS respond to all the genuine comments on your blog, If you can afford it, up-vote the comments from other's on your blog as well, but at least reply OR up-vote all the good comments, ignore the spam (or flag if you like).
Personally, I reply to all non-spam comments for the most part (outside of contests, on those I only respond to the really good ones). I cannot usually afford to up-vote too many comments that appear on my blog, so when I do, I make it count. I pick a comment that is so fantastic, I wouldn't feel right not up-voting it. I also sometimes up-vote a few other comments here and there when I have the extra VP available, and it feels appropriate.
Up-voting tons of comments is not necessary by any means, but voting on a comment every once and a while, at the very least, is probably a good move on anyone's part in this community. Don't you want others doing that for you occasionally?
Many things constitutes spam on this platform. The main one is auto-comments generated by bots attempting to gain up-votes, followers, and delegations to their accounts. Not only is this impolite, but is also literally using someone's post for advertising space without permission. It is equally as bad when done manually. No one likes looking on the comments of their posts and seeing "Good post. Up-vote-follow-re-steem. Please up-vote follow and re-steem me back". This is what I call - "the twitter-mentality".
Spam can also just be short comments that seem detached, and does not demonstrate that you actually read the article. A real comment should at least be a full sentence (if not much longer), and acknowledge or reference something from the article. Comments like "good post", "great content", or "wow, this is cool" are all considered spam. A comment is also spam if it is not obvious that it did not come from a bot.
Some short comments are exceptions to this rule, like answering a yes or no question, or responding to a spam comment with an equally spammy comment (fighting fire with fire), however these instances are usually easy to distinguish, rarely confused with real spam.
It is also ok if a group you are a part of leaves you a message on each of your posts letting you know they have supported you in some fashion (#steemsilvergold does this on my posts, and I have no problem with it since I believe in what they are doing, and because they support me). This is because when you become a member of a group that does this, you are consenting to this happening in your comments. If for some reason you have a problem with one of your groups doing this, the best way to handle it is to reach out the the community leaders in that group, and politely ask them to discontinue using their auto-comments on your articles. Getting upset and stating a crusade will not help anything. If they say no, you always have the option to leave that group.
Art by: Alex Grey - Image Source
In conclusion I just want to say that the twitter-mentality and Facebook material needs to stay on Twitter and Facebook, this is STEEMIT!! - A conscious community of talented, underground, media content creators. Many of us want to further the cause of creating a better, healthier world for ourselves and future generations, and we seek to help everyone make this their top priority as well.
It is my hope that everyone reading this article can take positivity away from it, and apply it to their blogging style in a way that will benefit them, the platform, planet Earth, and all living things.
**P.S. - It took me about TWELVE HOURS of work to create this article. Each individual section of this article is more of a Steemit post by itself than many posts I come across. Hopefully this inspires some of those people to step it up a notch, and get more out of this experience than just a few numbers.
Do not forget that my debut conscious Hip-Hop album is completely free for download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud (click the links to go to my music on those platforms), or CLICK HERE for download instructions.