Everything you Need to Get Started Fast with Steemit, Social Media that Pays [Complete Tutorial with Screencast]

8 months ago
59 in steemit

A complete tutorial for getting started understanding and participating in Steemit, in 47 minutes or less.

I’m creating a series of Creative-Commons-licensed long-form posts that use clear, simple language to help new people understand how to make the most of Steemit, so they’ll sign up, participate, be able to speak to others intelligently about it and, ultimately, stick around. Please share your feedback. Feel free to adapt the text and video to your Steemit promotion needs. I plan to distribute these posts widely on legacy social media, my blog and mailing lists in order to bring more people into Steem. Feel free to do the same. Thanks in advance for your corrections and suggestions!

https://youtu.be/zGFHpCPJOek

Get Paid to Create Content

When you post to social media — such as Facebook, Reddit, Google+ and Twitter — when you upvote, like and favorite, you do not get paid. But that’s about to change.

Steemit is a blogging-centric social network where you DO get paid for creating and upvoting content. You can build a following, find patrons and grow your wealth, all while doing the thing you love: creating valuable content.

Take note: Steemit is not some fly-by-night Ponzi scheme. Steemit is about building a community of high-quality people and financing the production of the highest quality content.

Steemit requires no initial investment in order to participate. It’s free to use and you’re not spending your own money when you upvote content you like.

Steemit is just the first minimum viable product on Steem, a blockchain-based social economy. The Steem developers have bootstrapped an entire economy, complete with its own crypto-currencies. Steem is peer-to-peer, decentralized, uncensorable and therefore unstoppable.

So it’s a good idea for you get started with Steemit — and Steem — now.

Steemit is good for redditors, Facebook users, bloggers, videographers, teachers, YouTubers, artists, film-makers — anyone who is creating content and would like to be paid (more) for it. The Steemit community is supportive, helpful and constructive.

Do you want to work with intelligent, positive people who are building something meaningful for the future? Yes? Then Steemit is for you.

If you’re seeking a short-term payoff with low-quality content that you slap together with little effort, Steemit is not for you. You will be downvoted, ignored and frustrated. Your reputation will not grow and will likely decline. You will not earn any significant amount of money. You’ll be wasting your time.

You can earn a short-term payoff with quality content. Many people have already done this. But Steemit offers greater rewards to those with a long-term perspective.

There are also opportunities for developers to build apps rapidly on the Steem blockchain.

By the end of this post, you will know enough about Steemit to get started earning cryptocurrency — currency, like Bitcoin, that you can convert into US dollars, and other fiat currency, and spend on groceries, rent, travel and more.

The Steem system has a lot of moving parts, so keep reading to get a head start. It’s taken me several weeks to research this, get familiar with the community and to put it all into this easy-to-read guide you can master in less than an hour.

The Steem system is evolving to better meet the needs of its users and the goals of its developers. You can get infrequent email updates from the author (George Donnelly) by entering your primary email address here. There’s zero spam and an instant unsubscribe link is in every email.

Why Steemit Matters

Why is Steemit important? What can Steemit do for me? Great question!

Steemit is like Reddit or Medium, but you can earn equity and cash, and hold debt (thus earning interest), through your interactions with the system.

Steemit enables you to earn cryptocurrency by creating content, curating it, mining, trading and even just by holding two of its three currencies.

Steemit has the potential to handle many times the traffic of Reddit, a popular site for unbridled discussion that has, in recent years, seen significant censorship.

Steemit is resistant to nation-state and corporate censorship because it’s built on distributed ledger technology (DLT, or a blockchain). Like Bitcoin, it will be very hard to shut down or disrupt for any significant amount of time.

Steemit is meritocratic. The more you invest — either by investing your earnings or by bringing in outside investment — the more powerful your upvote is, and the more you can earn from upvoting and creating content. No investment is required, however, in order to use, or even succeed with, Steemit.

The more quality content you post, either as blog posts or comments on blog posts, the more followers you will gain, the higher your reputation score will go and the more rewards you will earn.

You might make hundreds of dollars from your introduction post alone. And I can help you do it.

Steem is also a solution to the micropayments problem because there are no transaction fees on the Steem network.

Start today (August 2016) and get about USD$5 worth of Steem cryptocurrency free. Unlike with other cryptocurrencies, you don’t have to spend your own money to get started.

But don’t wait. This could change.

What Steemit is

Steemit markets itself as a blockchain-based social media network and it’s built on top of Steem, a complete, decentralized social crypto-economy.

Steemit is built on the Steem blockchain— this is similar to the Bitcoin blockchain, but is separate from it. Another name for blockchains is distributed ledger technology (DLT). This means that it’s a distributed database — lots of people hold copies of it that talk to each other in order to stay up to date. Records are added to the blockchain in sequential order. These records, or blocks, once added to the database, or chain, can not be changed. They are immutable — read-only.

Steem is peer-to-peer. There is no central control. The developers, however, maintain huge influence over Steem’s course.

Steem is like Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, but is actually a lot more.

Whereas Bitcoin miners earn block rewards by solving difficult math problems — called objective proof of work — Steem rewards users for subjective proof of work: the creation and curation (upvoting and flagging) of content.

This is unique. And it opens up a lot of possibilities for you to earn cryptocurrency, most notably through content creation and curation.

Three Steem Currencies

Before you can earn Steem currency, you need to know how Steem’s three cryptocurrencies work: STEEM, Steem Power and Steam Dollars.

STEEM

STEEM is the fundamental currency of the system. It’s volatile, subject to inflationary losses (its supply increases 100% per year) but also easily exchangeable for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at BlockTrades, Bittrex and OpenLedger.

STEEM is an ownership token but is only votable when vested as the second currency — Steem Power — in a process called powering up (see below).

STEEM can also be converted (see the section on converting currencies below) into Steem Dollars (see below).

Steem Power

Steem Power (SP) is STEEM that has been invested into the network as equity (a process called powering up). It can be converted back to STEEM (a process called powering down) in 104 equal installments disbursed once per week.

This rate-limiting of SP withdrawals incentivizes you to develop a long-term perspective for your participation in the Steem network. It also serves as protection against hackers.

One-STEEM (vested as SP) is essentially one-vote. Those who contribute the most get to decide which content is to be valued more highly.

The upvotes (and flags) (see content curation below) of users with a lot of SP are worth more than those of users with relatively little SP, so this is not a democratic system but a meritocratic one. In fact, those with zero SP can not vote at all.

This creates an incentive to use your upvote in a way that “maximizes the long term value of” your STEEM, according to the Steem white paper (PDF).

Ninety percent of new STEEM created (via inflation) is distributed on a constant basis pro-rata to holders of SP. This is a powerful incentive to convert your Steem Dollar earnings to STEEM and power them up to Steem Power — if you believe in the long-term viability of the Steem network.

Thus, users with a long-term vision are rewarded more than those with a short-term perspective.

The other roughly 10% of STEEM that is created via inflation is distributed as rewards and thus changes the ownership distribution of the network — albeit very slowly.

SP holdings are thus not subject to inflation, for the most part, because SP is constantly earning interest in the form of that 90% of newly created STEEM.

Steem Dollars

Steem Dollars (abbreviated as SMD, SD or SBD) are conceived of as short-term debt instruments that are pegged 1:1 with the US Dollar.

By holding SMD you are “effectively lending the community the value of a dollar,” which enhances growth, according to the white paper. So SMD pays 10% annual interest when the value of 1 SMD is under $1 USD. Check the current market price at SteemDollar.com.

For every SMD created, $19 USD worth of STEEM is created as Steem Power, so the maximum debt-to-ownership ratio of the Steem network is about 5%. This could increase if the value of STEEM falls in the marketplace but should not be a major concern.

How Steem Works

Steem is a complex system with a lot of moving parts. I’ll give you an overview of the most important ones for new users and cover more advanced topics in a second article.

Your first window into the Steem system is going to be Steemit.com, a website reminiscent of Medium.com but named after Reddit.com.

Steemit is just one interface for transacting with the Steem blockchain. There are others and might even be better ones in the future. There will be more applications built on the Steem blockchain in the future, too, including a Twitter-like app that’s currently in alpha.

So stay agile and stay in touch so I can keep you apprised. Subscribe to my exclusive mailing list for Steem news. Click here to sign up.

Create your Account

Visit Steemit.com and click “Sign Up” at top right to register an account. At this time, you’ll need to either have a Facebook account or a Reddit account with positive karma. If you have neither, you can sign up to be notified when SMS verifications will be enabled.

You’ll need to authenticate with Facebook or Reddit, depending on which one you chose.

Then it will redirect you to the Sign Up screen.

Pick an account name (username) you’ll be happy with indefinitely because you can’t change it.

Create a strong, 16-character or longer password or accept the one suggested by the system. Whatever you do though, save that password in a permanent and safe place. Store it in an encrypted file on your computer, then back it up. Write it down on paper and stick it in a safe. Laser engrave it onto some carbon nanotubes. I can’t stress this enough. That password grants access to your Steem cryptocurrency wallet and, in the future, the entire ecosystem of Steem apps.

There is no password recovery system.

There is an account recovery process now, though.

Click “Create Account” and you will be redirected to your Blog page. You’re good to go.

Content Curation

Content curation refers to your ability to upvote and flag (due to abuse) content on the Steem network. Content curation doesn’t pay a lot but it’s a good way to get started while you’re learning about Steem and the members of the Steem community.

You’re now signed in to Steemit.com (and, therefore, the Steem network). At top left, you’ll see the word “trending” and a down arrow. Click that and you’ll see there are 7 different views you can select from to filter new content.

  • Hot: posts that are popular right now. These are a good opportunity to comment and vote.
  • Trending: the most popular posts of the last 30 days.
  • Payout Time: posts whose rewards are about to be paid. Your votes and comments will pay little here, but the payout will come fast.
  • New: brand-new posts created moments ago. Separate the wheat from the chaff, vote up and comment on the wheat and you can maximize your rewards.
  • Active: posts that are recently edited or commented on. This is a good place to gain visibility and make new connections with your comment.
  • Responses: posts with the highest comment count over the last 30 days.
  • Popular: posts with the highest number of upvotes over the last 30 days.

You can also search for content by clicking the magnifying glass at the top of Steemit.com. At present, this is just a Google search.

Voting

If you think a blog post is useful, upvote it at the bottom of the post by clicking the up arrow. If you think it’s abusive, hit the flag at top right. Your votes are public information — they’re permanently recorded on the Steem blockchain.

But don’t worry! When you upvote someone, you’re not spending your own money. When curating (upvoting and flagging) you’re actually getting paid by the Steem system (with newly minted crypto-currency) to decide who should be paid. Curation rewards are paid solely in Steem Power.

To get the maximum bang for vote, vote on exactly 20 posts per 24 hours — because each vote up to 20 leverages up to 5% of your SP. Anything more than that and the power of your votes (and your earnings) decline exponentially.

Note that your vote’s power declines after each vote. So don’t cast a lot of votes all at once. Spread them out. You can check your current voting power at Steemd.com/@YOUR-USERNAME. In the left-hand column, look for “Voting power.” The closer the number is to 100%, the greater the power remaining in your next vote.

Upvotes on content that has already reached its first payout (see below, approximately 24 hours after publication, sometimes longer) still pay the author but pay you zero curation rewards.

I can not overestimate the importance of good, productive behavior on the Steem network. It’s still small. Powerful (high-SP) users — known as whales and dolphins (see below) — are paying attention. You will not gain their support (upvotes) if you engage in non-constructive behaviors.

Be discriminating. Only upvote quality content that you yourself have evaluated. Consider the interests and culture of the platform.

Content Creation

Content creation includes both top-level blog posts and comments on those posts. Create posts that people like and they may upvote you. Get enough upvotes from people who are holding Steem Power and you will earn cryptocurrency.

Engage in abuse (a fuzzy concept, the definition of which is still evolving) and your post will be hidden. Your reputation (see below) may also be affected.

To create a blog post, click “Submit a Story” at top right on Steemit.com. Top-level posts have a title, body and up to 5 tags. The title can be no more than 255 characters long. You can use Markdown formatting (very simple and easy to learn) on the body and there is now a WYSIWYG editor you can enable by clicking the word “Editor” between the title and body text boxes.

Tags are an important part of every post because they enable new readers to find you. Here’s an interesting analysis of the top-paying tags on the network. The most popular tags are also on the right side of the home page at Steemit.com. You can use up to 5 tags per post and at most two hyphens per tag.

Definitely leave the little checkbox marked “Upvote post” in its default checked position. It won’t give you much of a boost in the beginning but you need to get the upvotes started somehow.

Plagiarism is not tolerated in the Steem community. In fact, there is a bot that actively checks for it.

The Payout Number

Don’t get too attached to the payout number in US dollars at the bottom of your posts next to the upvote button until the payout closes. Click on the down arrow next to the number and you’ll see that the number is only the potential payout. Clicking on that arrow will also tell you how long it is until your payout closes and is disbursed to your wallet.

Both of these numbers — the payout amount and time to payout — can change for a number of reasons. The amount usually declines slightly before payout as rewards are calculated and set. A fixed amount of currency is awarded in each 24-hour period and, as new content receives upvotes, your share of that fixed pot can decline before payout time arrives. The payout amount also fluctuates with the market value of STEEM.

The payout time often extends a few hours if your post is receiving new upvotes. This happens in order to give you more time to collect those upvotes. Don’t worry about it. You’re here for the long-term, not just for a few dollars in a few hours — though that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Multimedia

To embed images, open an account at STEEMIMG.com. Upload your photo. After the upload is complete, find “Embed codes” under the image preview. Find the section marked “Full image” then, under that, “Markdown.” Mouseover that text box and, on the right, the word “COPY” will appear. Click on that. It adds the embed code to your clipboard. Now go back to the blog post submission page on Steemit.com and paste the code where you want the image to go.

To embed a YouTube video, just post its URL (not an embed code) into the body where you want it to appear.

Steemit.com will grab the first image in the body and use it as your thumbnail in the content listings on the front page of Steemit.com and elsewhere. So make sure your blog post includes at least one image.

The system will not see a YouTube embed as an image and will not pull its thumbnail to use as your blog post’s thumbnail. So be sure to include your own image(s) in the post.

There is a 20-minute buffer between blog posts so try to spread out your posts throughout the day.

Before posting, see the section below titled “What Kind of Content Should I Post?” Don’t rush to post!

Series

If you’re doing a series of posts on a particular topic, you might create a unique tag and add it to each post in the series. For example, I’m using morelibertynow for my More Liberty Now series, posidose for my Posidose series and coup-conspiracy for my serial dystopian science fiction story, The Coup Conspiracy.

4 Blog Posts per 24 Hours

Limit your blog posts to just 4 per 24-hour period to maximize your rewards. Post more than 4 in any 24-hour period and your reward will be “taxed” — your fifth post will earn less than 100% of its content rewards, your sixth even less, etc. Quickly check your limit status at SteemDollar.com.

Comments

Comments, or posts, only have a body and you can also use Markdown to format them. Post as many as you like but make sure they are useful and substantial. Posts that add nothing to the conversation, such as “Good job!” can, like wanton curation, impact your reputation and chances for success.

Note that a twenty second buffer between comments is enforced. Don’t post comments too quickly.

Comments are a great way to build connection with other users. Find a dozen users you wish to connect with and leave useful comments on their posts.

Make a habit of responding to as many of the comments on your blog posts as you think merit further discussion. This keeps your blog post in the active list for longer and thus gives you a chance at greater content creation rewards. Just make sure each comment is substantial.

Editing of your posts (both comments and blog posts) closes after the first payout (usually 24 hours after publishing). Keep in mind that your comments, like your blog posts, are on the Steem blockchain. Every revision you make is stored and will be there forever. They can not be deleted.

You can see the feed of your comments at a glance on your profile page by clicking on the “Comments” tab. See replies to your comments and blog posts by clicking on the “Replies” tab.

Content & Curation Rewards

Blog post rewards are paid out twice, once a stake-weighted 24 hours after your post is published and again 30 days later. After that, no more rewards are paid on the content, under the current system.

Post rewards are paid out half in Steem Dollars and half in Steem Power.

“Stake-weighted 24 hours” means that the expected 24-hour payment window can be extended if high-SP users (whales) upvote you, thus giving other users time to negate the whales’ votes, in case they constitute abuse. Payout time can even be extended by upvotes on comments to your blog post.

Curation rewards are paid at the same time as blog post rewards. You can maximize your curation rewards by voting on posts you think others will also vote for (before they actually vote for them), voting early, not voting on content that is already at the top of the charts and by increasing your Steem Power.

Note that within the first 30 minutes that a blog post is published, your curation rewards are shared with the author. Upvote immediately after publication, and 99.94% of your curation reward goes to the blog post author, not you. This percentage declines with time. At 15 minutes after publication, you get 50%. At 30 minutes, you get 100%.

Curation rewards are assigned using a reverse auction though, so the earlier you vote, the higher the reward you get. You’ll need a strategy in order to regularly profit from curation. This system is in place to prevent curation bots from gaining an unfair advantage.

Patrons

There is an incentive in the system for whales (high-SP users) to identify the best content as early as possible after publication. This could lead to whales effectively becoming patrons to content creators who regularly create valued content.

So make an effort to produce quality content (well-written, spell-checked, well-formatted, well-titled, highly-conceptualized and with multimedia embeds) that pleases whales and you may find yourself regularly upvoted by those users whose upvotes are worth the most to you.

If you don’t have significant SP holdings (that makes you a minnow, see below), then you won’t earn any significant return for your curation activities. But you can play the role of a trendsetter by discovering the best content first. Whales may follow your lead. And you can earn content rewards by writing up your experiences as blog posts.

Where to Find your Rewards

You can find a log of your content creation and curation rewards by visiting your profile page (Steemit.com/@YOUR-USERNAME). Next to where it says “Blog Comments Replies Feed,” is “Rewards.” Click on it and select from “Curation Rewards” and “Author Rewards.”

Curation Rewards” will show you the history of how much SP you earned for each individual vote, as well as other information.

Author Rewards” will show you the same information but for your blog posts.

The Future

Some further notes of interest include:

  • If Steem reaches the size of Bitcoin, the market for content creation and curation would be USD $1.75 million per day, according to the Steem white paper.
  • The most popular content tends to run away with the greatest rewards. This is, by design, like a casino or lottery (in the sense of magnificent rewards for a few but not in the sense of being random), in order to incentivize people to put their maximum amount of work into the community. Content consumers benefit the most.
  • The amount of content and curation rewards does not change over time in absolute terms, so the quality of content will need to improve over time in order to continue earning similar rewards. This is a powerful incentive to meet the needs of curators.

Following

You can build your own community on Steem by following other users and being followed in return, just like on Twitter.

When you find a user you wish to follow, go to their profile page (takes the form of steemit.com/@USERNAME) and click on the FOLLOW button at top right. Or, click their username at the bottom of any blog post or comment and the same FOLLOW button pops up.

See the post feed of those you’re following in the user menu at the top right of every Steemit.com page. Click on the person icon and a menu pops up. Select “Feed” and click on it.

Next to the FOLLOW button is the MUTE button. Mute users whom you don’t want to hear from.

To manage your followers, go to your profile page at Steemit.com/@YOUR-USERNAME and click below your name where it says “XX followers” or “XX followed.”

On the Followed page, you can see who you are following.

On the Followers page, you can see who is following you. Go through the list and follow people back, if you wish.

Reputation

Reputation is the number in parentheses next to your username at the top of your profile pages. You can increase your reputation by getting upvotes on your content from other users who have positive reputation numbers.

The highest reputation on Steemit right now belongs to @stellabelle and is 72. You might start with a reputation in the 20’s.

Get flagged — especially by a user with high-SP (a whale) — and your reputation can decrease — even to a negative number. Let your reputation fall too low and your posts will be automatically hidden from other users.

Reputation is not directly linked to your Steem cryptocurrency holdings. It’s a separate metric from the one that determines the power of your upvotes (Steem Power).

Keep building your collection of quality content on the Steem network and your reputation number should rise.

Whales, Dolphins and Minnows

Since Steem is a meritocratic system and not a democratic one, some users have more voting power than others when curating content. This power comes from the user’s Steem Power holdings.

Users with huge amounts of Steem Power are called whales. A single vote on your content by a whale can add hundreds of dollars to your payout. Whales can calibrate the power of their votes now, so not all whale votes confer huge rewards anymore.

Users with a medium amount of Steem Power are called dolphins. One of their votes can add a few cents or a dollar to your payout.

Users with a small amount of Steem Power are called minnows. These users’ votes may add less than a cent to your payout. You will start out as a minnow unless you invest significant amounts of bitcoin into Steem Power (don’t risk anything you can’t afford to lose).

Don’t worry about these categories. Being a minnow doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail. It just means you need to put something of value into the system, be that content curation, content creation, investment or something else.

Over time, the successful content creators will rise to the top and become the whales whereas any whales who don’t succeed at content creation will see their relative share of Steem Power decline.

You can check the current value of your vote at SteemDollar.com.

What Kind of Content Should I Post?

The first thing you want to do is make an introduction blog post and tag it with introduceyourself. Take a moment to study other introduction posts by visiting the previous link. Try to include all of these things in your post:

  • detailed but non-sensitive information about you, your life, struggles (without whining), plans and goals;
  • information about what you do professionally, what projects you’re working on, what interests you;
  • what you like about Steem and how you plan to collaborate to build the ecosystem;
  • questions you have about Steem; and
  • photos and videos that add to or deepen the text.

Feel free to send me a second draft of your introduction post (in Markdown format). I’ll read it over and give you some ideas for taking it to the next level.

Well-done introduction posts can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars. They can gain you an initial following that will come back again and again for your next posts.

So take your time and do it well. Don’t skip this step and don’t phone it in! Think about what makes you unique. Open up. This is a community of people. The tech just makes it possible. How will you add value to the community? Put all of that and more into your post.

Don’t expect your second or third posts to earn as much as your introduction post. Take your earnings from the introduction post and consider investing them in Steem Power, tools or training that will enable you to produce more and better content for the network.

How to Build a Following

Steem is still young. This is a great time to build your following on the network. Here are some ideas for how to do this:

  • Post quality, well-conceptualized, substantial multimedia blog posts with well-crafted titles and copy on a regular basis, maybe even at the same time every day.
  • Comment on other people’s blog posts. Make sure your comments are not just a fluffy “Great job!” but instead add value, ask a question or say something original.
  • Join a Steemit group on Facebook or another legacy social media network and promote your posts there.
  • Join Steemit.chat, join the rooms that interest you and contribute regularly. Don’t just drop new posts in there though. Have conversations. Help others.
  • Start a project to improve Steem and involve other Steemians in it.
  • Figure out how to solve problems that fellow Steemians are reporting.
  • Develop software, tools or some other valuable resource for the Steem community.

Get creative. Look at what top creators have done on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and other legacy social media networks. Adapt and experiment. Learn and share your results in a blog post for extra rewards.

How to Use your Wallet

You can also access your Steem wallet via Steemit.com. Click the person icon at the top right and select “Wallet” from the user menu.

Here you’ll see your STEEM, Steem Power and Steem Dollars balances. The system also gives you the estimated value of your account in US Dollars.

Each balance number has a small down arrow next to it. Click it to do something with your money (see below).

Keep in mind that every wallet on the system is public information. You can view anyone’s wallet but only interact with your own.

STEEM

With your STEEM, you can transfer, Power Up, Deposit or Buy/Sell.

Use Transfer to send STEEM to another user. You can enter a memo (which is permanently recorded on the blockchain) to remind yourself later what the transaction was for. Many transactions are recorded under “History” at the bottom of the page. Transfers are immediate and fee-free.

Use Power Up to vest your STEEM as Steem Power, which is like buying preferred stock in the Steem network. This takes effect immediately. As noted above, withdrawing your Steem Power is a slow process. SP is a long-term investment.

Use Deposit to convert your bitcoin into STEEM using BlockTrades.

Use Buy or Sell to trade STEEM on Steem’s internal marketplace.

The best use of STEEM — this is my personal opinion — is to power up and, therefore, maximize your influence and long-term gains.

Steem Power

Click the down arrow next to your Steem Power balance and you’ll find two options: Power Down and Deposit.

Use Power Down to begin the withdrawal of your Steem Power balance in 104 equal weekly payments of STEEM. You can stop this process at any time. If you power down, you will receive the first disbursement in one week.

Use Deposit the same as above, to convert bitcoin directly into Steem Power.

The best use of Steem Power — this is my personal opinion — is to hold it indefinitely in order to maximize your influence and long-term gains. If you need some cash, you can always power down for one or more weeks and then stop the process.

Steem Dollars

Click the down arrow next to your Steem Power balance and you’ll find three options: Transfer, Buy or Sell and Convert to STEEM.

Use Transfer to send Steem Dollars to another user, just like with the STEEM transfer menu mentioned above.

Use Buy or Sell to trade Steem Dollars on Steem’s internal marketplace.

Use Convert to STEEM to trade your Steem Dollars in for STEEM. This is a good method for converting your content and curation rewards to Steem Power. The conversion takes one week to happen in order to prevent certain kinds of attacks.

You can also cash Steem Dollars out to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies easily at BlockTrades.us.

Steem Dollars pay 10% APR interest so there is some benefit to holding them, and you’re unlikely to lose much because the Steem system works to keep the value of SMD close to USD$1. Check the current value at SteemDollar.com.

How to Cash Out of Steem

If you wish to cash out some or all of your Steem earnings, one good place to do it is BlockTrades.us, where you can easily trade STEEM for Bitcoin and Steem Dollars for Bitcoin or Ether.

Once you’ve cashed out to Bitcoin, you can use an exchange such as Coinbase or an independent trader near you on LocalBitcoins.com (active in more than 13,000 cities and 245 countries) to convert your Bitcoin into fiat currency (often in minutes and direct to your bank account), if you’re unable to spend your Bitcoin directly to get the products and services you need.

There is currently no established procedure for cashing out directly from Steem Dollars to fiat (government) currency, but entrepreneur and Steem early adopter Gabriel Scheare ( @piedpiper ) is working on one. Follow him for updates.

Other Ways to Earn

Other ways to earn include validating transactions, proof of work mining and liquidity rewards (trading). I’ll cover these, and more, in the second article.

Who Benefits from Steem?

If you’re willing to be social — to share of yourself — then you can succeed in the Steem social economy.

Steem is a revolutionary breakthrough for content creators who want to get paid. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit do not pay you. They make all the money from your hard work.

At YouTube, some creators can earn a percentage of Google’s take on the Adwords ads Google presents to your viewers. You have to be earning millions of views on a regular basis, though, if you want to make good money.

Steem is different. It’s a complete economy that pays you to create value for consumers in the form of content — content you might already be creating anyway.

If you’re not interested in creating content, you can still make small amounts of money (paid in Steem Power) curating with a minimal daily time investment, since your curation rewards decline after 20 upvotes per 24 hours anyway.

Keep in mind that Steem is not just another channel for dumping generic content you already create — although you can still get paid for this, if curators decide to support you.

The best-paying content right now is media that relates to yourself, personally, and to Steem. This is already changing, with some curators seeking out content about anything other than Steem and Steemit.

So Steemit is for anyone who wants to earn money for being social in their spare time by creating and curating content: independent workers, freelancers, stay-at-home moms, students, kids, the elderly — anyone with something to say who’s willing to do it in a constructive way.

What Now?

If you didn’t already register, go do that now! Steemit.com

Follow me — @georgedonnelly — to get updates on this document, serial science fiction, daily doses of positivity in my Posidose series, political commentary and organizing for libertarians, and more.

Follow the Steam Smart Podcast@steemsmart — to get the latest insights for Steem success and to stay abreast of new developments and influencers in the Steem community.

Ready your introduction post. Produce two drafts, then send it to me. I’ll help you take it to the next level because I want to see content creators succeed on Steem.

Not a Guarantee

Note that I haven’t vetted the code behind Steem and I haven’t seen anyone else’s comprehensive analysis of the code. I’m just giving you a basic getting-started guide.

I’m convinced that Steem is genuine. But don’t risk more money or time than you can afford to lose.

If you give Steem a chance, I believe you will be convinced, too. Then you can grow your following by bringing even more users to the community. Together, we’ll grow Steem into an unstoppable platform for high-quality content where content creators can earn a living.

Conclusion

Steem is a peer-to-peer and meritocratic social economy built on a blockchain that pays you cryptocurrency to create and curate content, mostly long-form blog posts (at Steemit.com), at present.

You can exchange that cryptocurrency for fiat money and spend it on groceries, rent and travel — or earn even more by investing it into the Steem network.

Many people have already earned hundreds or thousands of dollars from their introduction posts alone. And so can you.

You can build a following on Steemit for your quality content, a following that pays you over and over again as long as you keep producing quality content that meets their needs. Quality is not just appreciated on Steemit — it’s required.

Steem is poised for growth in the near future and its architecture can grow to handle many times the traffic of Reddit.

Right now, Steemit is at the perfect stage for technology enthusiasts and visionary leaders to start building their communities for the future.

Steemit is good for you. But it’s also good for your followers, who can fund your highest-quality and most speculative work without spending any of their own money. And they can earn money, too.

Steem will only grow from here — that’s my personal opinion. By getting started today, you are setting yourself up for long-term success in the new world of social crypto-economies.

Welcome!

Valuable Resources

Please suggest high-quality articles for inclusion in this list to me@georgedonnelly.com.

Third-Party Tools

Steem Tools has a listing of all the third-party tools.

STEEMIMG is an essential tool because you can not upload images into the Steem blockchain. Upload your images here and the site gives you Markdown code to copy into your post body.

Get registered on Steemit.chatimmediately. Go through the channels and find a few you like. It’s a great place to network with people who share your interests.

SteemDollar.com offers a quick look at the current price of Steem Dollars in US Dollars. SteemDollar.com also offers an easy way to check if you’re about to hit the 4-posts-per-day limit and to see the current, approximate, value of your upvote.

BlockTrades presents a simple interface for trading STEEM and Steem Dollars.

Who to Follow

See who I follow.

License

Feel free to copy and paste this whole, build on it, etc. — as long as you attribute it to George Donnelly (even if you alter it) and share your altered version under the same CC-BY-SA license. You can even sell this. But you may not remove this license section.

Feel free to send STEEM and SMD tips to @georgedonnelly. I also take Bitcoin at 1N39CDLnRmYXjeqQVvqN95gRh9Ey7yNBn7 and PayPal at george.donnelly@gmail.com.

Found a mistake? Please let me know in the comments or at me@georgedonnelly.com and I’ll credit you in the newly updated version.

Want to collaborate? I’m interested in making tools and media to get content creators using Steemit. My skills include copywriting, content writing, online marketing, Wordpress, Unix/Linux systems administration, planning/organization and more. Email me at me@georgedonnelly.com.

Credits

Version 1.0 / 23 August 2016
Original author: George Donnelly
Latest version: MoreLibertyNow.com/steem

Raw Markdown: http://morelibertynow.com/wp-content/uploads/Steemit-Tutorial-1.md
Video File: Available on request.

Sign up here to get infrequent email updates on changes to the information in this document.

a6f7df6c97f4535953ee28a967d0a060.jpg

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Sort Order:  trending
38
  ·  8 months ago

This is a great post. I normally don't upvote Steemit content, but this absolutely deserves it. Will be sharing with everyone I bring to Steemit.

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66
  ·  8 months ago

Agreed. I browser bookmarked it as well so I don't have to back in steemstats :)

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Glad you find it useful. (Frankly, it's a relief, since I spent the last 2 weeks investing every spare moment into it!)

Please let me know of any changes or improvements you'd like to see. The second installment will deal with more advanced topics like mining, witnessing, etc.

67
  ·  8 months ago

Great idea, I'll share it now! Namaste :)

57
  ·  8 months ago

wow awesome informative post, thank you :)

40
  ·  8 months ago

This is fantastic, Thanks @georgedonnelly ! I will be using this to explain steemit to all the people I try to get on here everyday.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Excellent. That's its intended purpose. Let me know if you run into any questions from prospective users you're unsure about or need anything new.

41
  ·  8 months ago

wow so much work into it, deserve all upvotes

56
  ·  8 months ago

What is it about the introduce-yourself posts that draw so much attention? Is it the feeling of a profile like on other social media, or do you think it has to do with the genuine feeling of the posts themselves?

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59
  ·  8 months ago

This place is brand-new. And it has no established vibe yet, really. It's totally wide open. So, when we meet the people involved in it, it starts building that vibe. I think that's part of it.

Also, this place could still fail. It needs new people to survive, since everything revolves around content creation. So it's important to welcome new people in.

Finally, I think people didn't know what else to do. An introduction is the starting point for every human relationship.

That's my sense of it.

68
  ·  8 months ago

Wow! Great information. Can we get this in the wiki?

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Absolutely. Go for it. Or let me know where to upload/post it. Do you want the raw markdown or the mp4 file?

54
  ·  8 months ago

Great thorough post. Thank you!

71
  ·  8 months ago

Wow! Great job!!

71
  ·  8 months ago

I noticed you requested a list of people to follow. I will start the chain by suggesting @artist1989 and @stellabelle. Depending on how many replies you get, you may want to categorize the type of content the authors produce.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Thanks! I will add them to the list.

53
  ·  8 months ago

This the best video I have seen own Steem yet!

68
  ·  8 months ago

But i'm not interesting nor capable of creating valuable content :( /wrist

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Ridiculous. We all have a piece of the truth within us (Gandhi quote). Even if what you say were true, that is what you are now. You can change that at any moment by doing something interesting or learning about something new. Set a goal, choose a mission. Chronicle the process.

In 1998, I was a history major teaching English in Japan. In my spare time, I taught myself 'nix systems administration. By 2002, I was living full-time from my sysadmin work, working from home.

I've wanted to be an author since 1991. In 2013, I finally found the courage to try it. After almost 4 years of full-time work, I now have 6 works published and many more on the way.

Anyone can make a change, anytime. The first step is to make the decision to change.

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71
  ·  8 months ago

I made a similar comment in a post here, and got a reply from @ned. You will need to search through all the comments to find it, but you can read what he said here:
https://steemit.com/steem/@ned/the-first-phase-of-the-steem-faq-and-wikee-consolidation-of-knowledge#@ned/re-timcliff-re-ned-the-first-phase-of-the-steem-faq-and-wikee-consolidation-of-knowledge-20160820t214446974z

55
  ·  8 months ago

This is a fantastic resource. I have shared it with my friend network on Facebook and followers on Twitter. I've been mentioning Steemit to many people, but now I have a place to send this is now anyone who is actually interested in educating himself. Lots of great ideas here... One great way to build a network for either curating (which I focus on) or content creation (which I would like to move to) is to look directly at the feeds of people you follow.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Awesome! Glad to be of service.

71
  ·  8 months ago

For the filter views, there is trending and trending 30 day

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71
  ·  8 months ago

Also, there is no penalty for voting quickly, just more than 20 times in 24 hours.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Are you sure? IIRC, the white paper says there is. There is even an illustration for it on page 19 of the white paper. Or did that change? If so, do you know where they documented it?

05055517928334d7a0ad4a923aac3c45.png

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71
  ·  8 months ago

My understanding of it is each vote will use a maximum of 5% of your voting power, so for your first 20 votes within 24 hours, each vote will use 5%. After that, it starts to decrease the weight associated with your votes.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

I'm not 100% certain here, but I think there are two separate processes at work, the 5% per vote and the declining power due to a high voting rate. But I need to do more research before being certain.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Thanks. Ugh. Did I screw that up? I will fix that.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

That looks wonderful, thanks for the heads up, Tim!

55
  ·  8 months ago

Great tutorial on Steemit. It will help all beginner. 

I recently wrote an article - STEEMLAND - A New Land In A Virtual World Of The Internet

53
  ·  8 months ago

Wow, that was really excellent. I have many YouTube stories and blogs I would like to post over here, but not sure how to do it. Google really bitch slaps your SEO if you copy a blog and post it somewhere else, so I don't want to recreate a whole blog here. Is there a good way to post here and redirect people to my YouTube Channel or website?

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Glad you enjoyed it, Tarrin, and good to see you here!

It's my understanding that what matters is where the text was posted first. Google will treat that as the original source and discount the copies.

You can post a link to your website and ask people to subscribe to your YouTube channel but Steemit is more Medium than Reddit or Facebook, so there is an expectation of a full content experience among the curators.

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53
  ·  8 months ago

So of the articles I have are very in-depth and it would be a bitch to try and rewrite them over here. I would rather copy the content and post it up here. I also have some comedy articles I used write that need a new home. I wonder if comedy would be received well on Steem or if this is too serious here.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

I've been surprised by some of the stuff that has been upvoted here, so no harm in trying.

48
  ·  8 months ago

nice tutorial for beginners keep up

63
  ·  8 months ago

this is actually quite fantastic. i learned a lot and it is rather helpful. thank you!

76
  ·  8 months ago

Well, what a great post. Thank you very much for doing this. I have been searching google with question on issues, and trying to understand how things work. The most valuable thing for me is this part, which I did not know. I was upvoting content quickly, having read that its best to upvote before other people, and unfortunately I haven't been getting much for being the "first" to curate the content. LOL. Now I know why. Thanks! Take care. Peace.

"Curation rewards are paid at the same time as blog post rewards. You can maximize your curation rewards by voting on posts you think others will also vote for (before they actually vote for them), voting early, not voting on content that is already at the top of the charts and by increasing your Steem Power.

Note that within the first 30 minutes that a blog post is published, your curation rewards are shared with the author. Upvote immediately after publication, and 99.94% of your curation reward goes to the blog post author, not you. This percentage declines with time. At 15 minutes after publication, you get 50%. At 30 minutes, you get 100%."

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Glad to be of help! At this point, curation is a whale's game. There's little point in trying to make money from it otherwise.

37
  ·  8 months ago

This is very helpful. I'm still trying to figure out how to add good images to my introductory post and how to inform the few people who know me that they might want to be on Steemit, if they aren't already.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

The video demonstrates how to use steemimg to upload and embed images. It's very easy. Let me know if you're still having trouble with it after watching that part.

59
  ·  8 months ago

Great to see again @georgedonnelly at work here :)

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Thanks man. Maybe we can work together on something at some point.

32
  ·  8 months ago

Well done @georgedonnelly, I also put this in my "worth seeing again" bookmarks folder, Thank you!

54
  ·  7 months ago

This post has been linked to from another place on Steem.

Learn more about linkback bot v0.3

Upvote if you want the bot to continue posting linkbacks for your posts. Flag if otherwise. Built by @ontofractal

63
  ·  8 months ago

@georgedonnelly this is an excellent post, I would love it if you would contribute posts like this over on SteemGuides.Wiki.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

I will definitely contribute that to SteemGuide.wiki as soon as I get myself back on schedule. Thanks for the suggestion!

52
  ·  8 months ago

When I get home from work I will definitely watch this, thanks for sharing.

64
  ·  8 months ago

Holy Shit, this is the best Steem tutorial for Noobs I have ever read in my whole insignificant existence since being a member!!! You Sir, are a Steem Deity which I will follow now.

71
  ·  8 months ago

wow, what an amazing tutorial. I wish I would have found this earlier. It has answered so many questions. Without question, it shows how much effort you put into this. Thank you for that and you have a new follower

42
  ·  8 months ago

This video and text are most helpful for a knowledge seeker like me! Thanks.

55
  ·  8 months ago

This is such an awesome and useful post. Definitely up there with the best I have read on Steemit so far. Thank you.

50
  ·  8 months ago

Up until about a week ago, I hadn't heard anything about STEEMIT. Since, I've done some research & found it to be truly inspiring. It's restoring my passion for creating and sharing content. I must admit, your post Everything you Need to Get Started Fast with Steemit, Social Media that Pays, is the BEST information on how to use STEEMIT that I've found thus far. Thank you & I look forward to more of your content.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Glad to hear you're finding it useful! Let me know if you have any questions.

65
  ·  7 months ago

That's sure a complete post! It must have taken quite awhile to put it together! I didn't realize that a blockchain is actually known as a distributed ledger technology. In talking with friends, it seems like the terms cryptocurrency and blockchain scare people. I've been calling the blockchain simply an electronic ledger for all sorts of information and transactions, and using the NYSE as an example where computers have to track selling, buying, stock splitting, and so on. It seems to help people think that they understand it.

I came over to Steemit from the TSU social networking platform that folded in August. I wrote a description of Steemit from the perspective of a TSU user. I focused on things that I know TSU users cared about on that platform and without using the words cryptocurrency and blockchain. I wonder if it would be good to have guides to Steemit for people coming from different platforms, like, "So You've Come to Steemit from Reddit - Here's What's Similar, Here's What's Different".

Thanks for such an informative post -- and giving it a Creative Commons license.

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59
  ·  7 months ago

You've got a good idea there, and glad this has been helpful to you!

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65
  ·  7 months ago

Very helpful!

53
  ·  8 months ago

Also how do you edit a post, I misspelled something in my introduction post today and want to fix that. I really wish I had read this article before I made my introduction post, I think I screwed up. Maybe in a few days I can make a second introduction post and do a much better job. I wonder if they will allow that or should I go back and erase my initial post? Your thoughts.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Right under the tags on the far right, on the same line as the payout number, is the Edit button.

It's not a good idea to delete a post. It doesn't really delete it anyway.

I would just take the introduction post you have and move on, focus on creating great content from here on out.

Hope that helps!

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53
  ·  8 months ago

I figured out how to edit and filled in my introduction a lot more. Go take a look and see what you think. Thanks for all the great help and being open to questions.

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59
  ·  8 months ago

Definitely an improvement!

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53
  ·  8 months ago

Thanks for all the advice my man. I am glad I read your article tonight while I was still in the time frame to edit it.