If you're brand new on Steemit and looking to start well to end well, this is a step-by-step getting start guide for you. Also share this with your friends you invite onto the platform, so that they will have an easier start and not get discouraged before they start seeing success.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by how much there is to learn as a beginner. When I started just a few weeks ago I found myself jumping back and forth between one idea and the next until I felt like I was going around in circles. I couldn't even remember half of what I'd already read.
I hope this guide will spare you that. May it lead you to focusing on the right things in the right order to make consuming a huge amount of vital information to be something not so overwhelming. Just eat the elephant one bite at a time. (But don't eat real elephants. That's mean.)
I suggest you read this twice. First, read it start to finish to get a high level understanding of how it all fits together. Then go back through a second time, following the links and reading those linked articles as you go. This second time through should take you a few days, so be sure to bookmark this page. I suggest you create a bookmarks folder for Steemit and put all the linked pages there as you go, plus any others you find in your study of of the platform.
What to Do First After Joining
Once you have an account, it’s a good idea to go through the material in the Welcome section you’ll be landed on. You may want to rush in and get your first article written so you can start earning, but plan on spending a few days just learning and commenting on articles from others, then make your first post sometime in that first week.
I would amend the Welcome 'To Do list' slightly to cover your first few days like this:
- Read the Quick Start Guide in Welcome.
- Read this article on security and start immediately with the suggestion of using a password manager like Lastpass.com to secure your passwords. Once you’ve stored an entry for each of your passwords from the Permissions tab, log out and log back in with your Posting or Active password. Never log in anywhere with your Owner password, unless it is so that you can change the other passwords! I use my Posting password mostly, but have to use my Active one when I want to send, receive or spend the digital currency. You’ll be prompted to enter your log in details again if you are logged in with Posting but trying to do something that requires Active. If you’ve stored both in your password manager, it’s just a couple clicks to flip between them. Take all this seriously. If you lose your Owner password, no one can get it back for you and any money in your account is lost to you forever.
- Setup your Profile, Avatar, and Cover Image
- In the top bar, search for a topic that interests you to start finding people blogging on that topic
- Take a look at all the tags on the site so you can also start learning what tags people are using (so you can use existing tags people actually search for)
- Once you’re in a category you care about, click the “Trending” tab. It shows top earning posts by category if you’re already in a category when you click it. This is much more useful than clicking it from the Steemit homepage and just seeing top earning posts across the entire site. You’ll do best on Steemit and avoid frustration if you only focus on what’s happening in your topics of interest. Speaking of avoiding frustration, here’s my recent article on avoiding frustration as a newbie on the platform.
- Take a look at some of the top articles under Hot/Trending for your desired posting topics/categories/tags and especially pay attention to the comments. If you see that the author doesn’t respond to comments, move on. You need to start building relationships, and while that certainly does happen among the people who comment on a given author’s posts, the primary relationship building will be between the author and his/her readers. You need someone who actually wants to talk to their readers. If you’re a spiritual or nature writer or are interested in values-based investing in crypto, definitely follow me at @indigoocean. I don’t promise I’ll follow you back, but if you pay attention to #8 and do that well, I generally will, and will also sometimes resteem you to help your posts gain visibility. Here's a great article on succeeding with commenting as a newbie.
- Once you find a good author to connect with, follow them and also comment on one of their recent posts. Don’t ever bother commenting on or upvoting a post that is older than 7 days. The author can’t earn anything on those posts and needs to focus on the more recent ones, as will you soon! Be sure to leave meaningful comments that add to the discussion the author started in their post. Don’t just say, “nice article.” And definitely don’t leave links to your own article unless you leave a very meaningful comment of at least 50 words AND use Steemit markdown to turn the link into linked text, not just a raw, crazy-long http link. (Check the Etiquette guide for more on good platform behavior.)
- Check your Replies page at least a few times a day to see if anyone has replied to your comments. If they do reply, then be sure to reply to their reply with at least a thank you, or upvote their reply. Respond in some way. If you can keep the conversation going in a meaningful way, that’s ideal for growing a relationship and increasing the likelihood that author or his/her followers will follow you. You need followers.
- Once you’ve engaged with a few writers and gained a few followers, you can either decide to keep going like this, just commenting, until you’ve built more relationships OR you can write your Introduce Yourself post, putting the first tag as introduceyourself. Here’s a great video that goes into more depth about this: Writing your introduce yourself post. Unless you have a famous name, I’d skip the thing about holding up a piece of paper saying the date and ‘Hi Steemit’ to prove you’re really you. We’ll take your word for it. Just use an attractive picture, remembering that the first picture you put in your article will become the thumbnail for the article showing in search results. This will be the post that gets you the most attention for a while, so really put some effort into it. My first post earned me about $8 (about $25 in USD), but my second one earned me only $0.13.
Once you’ve gotten your introduce yourself post out there and started building connections with others in your topic area, it’s time to mostly focus on writing great content consistently. Try to stick to one new post per day, or if you can’t manage that, one new post every other day (which honestly is what I wind up managing to do). It’s more important to write high quality articles than to just put something out. Remember that you want to build a reputation as a quality writer, so that other quality writers will read and share you.
Here are a few advance topics to slowly take on after you’ve gotten the hang of simply writing well on the platform:
Understand the Power Dynamics
It’s important to keep in mind the difference between Steem Power (SP), Voting Power (VP) and Reputation.
SP is how much money you can give with your upvotes, and VP is how often you can give it. (Thanks to @felander for helping me flesh this out.) You lose voting power every time you vote and it takes about 2 hours for each vote’s power to be recouped. If you upvote just 10-20 times per day (between posts and comments) you should be okay. If you vote more than that you may find that your upvote isn’t giving anyone even a penny. (Actually, I only even got to where I was giving a penny at full voting power once I hit 23 SP. At 70 SP you can give .02 with each upvote.)
You can increase how often you can give money by decreasing the % you give each time using an app like SteemPlus. So think of power in the system as the power to give, and realize it is a factor of SP and VP available that you can parcel out within each 24 hour period.
Reputation is earned by getting upvotes from others on your posts and comments. Someone with a lower reputation can help but not hurt the reputation of someone with a higher reputation by up/down voting them.
(Please don’t downvote people’s posts/comments. It isn’t just a ‘dislike’ button but actually flags them and you’ll make enemies like that. Just ignore posts you don’t like, unless you feel they are harmful to the community or abusive.)
Note that someone with a lower reputation who has a lot of SP can financially hurt someone with a higher reputation by using downvotes to decrease rewards in their post’s earnings pool.
You can get more SP simply by buying it. You can buy STEEM then “power up” to convert it into Steem Power (SP). (The easiest way to buy STEEM for powering up is under your wallet within the system using Blocktrades. I traded one of my altcoins on Binance for it and had to then send it to Blocktrades for my Steemit account, which was a little confusing. I’ll make a video on that method at some point.)
If you can afford it, this is a good thing to do. You will succeed much more quickly on the platform if you can give upvotes that give people at least a few pennies. People notice that, especially on their comments. (It’s harder to tell who gave what with an upvote on a post.) You’ll also get to enjoy being more generous on the platform, which is a big part of the Steemit experience. And when you post yourself and take the default of upvoting your own post, you’ll also earn more of the rewards pool for yourself.
So by investing a little in STEEM, you’ll earn more and give more, right from the start.
(Remember that the money for rewards doesn’t come from your own SP or STEEM balances. Your SP determines how much power you have to parcel out the rewards pool for the entire platform. So your stash doesn’t decrease when you upvote people.)
Speaking of money, let’s dive more deeply into that too….
Understand the Money Dynamics
The main thing I want you to keep in mind is that you should think of your Steemit financial experience the way you’d think about any business and realize that if you want to make more, you’ve got to be willing to invest in your business.
So if you can buy some STEEM to increase the amounts given and received with your upvotes, do. If you can buy some SBD to pay bots to advertise your posts for you, do. You can read more on this in my avoiding frustration post.
If you don’t care about the money dynamics and just want to write and interact on a platform that rewards generosity and kindness, then do so. Enjoy the experience that is unique to Steemit and don’t worry about how much you make on any given post or comment. There’s plenty of reason to be here even without the money. Which brings me to another important point….
The Values Perspective of STEEM and Steemit
As I mentioned previously, I’m a values-based crypto investor. That means I care about profiting from my crypto investments, but I know I can do that with many coins, more than I can actually invest in. So in picking the short list of coins for my portfolio I aim higher than mere profit potential. I also want to see that a coin expresses my values.
In the case of STEEM and the Steemit platform that uses it, yes, it very much does. I value kindness. I value generosity. I value paying content creators for their content. I value creating communities of shared interest from around the world.
Investing in STEEM supports all of this, so even if you didn’t blog on the platform, it would still make a great values investment. (Thanks @timcliff for helping me focus in on the importance of spreading the word about that.) But if you do blog on the platform, it just makes good sense to prioritize buying this crypto above others when you’re investing.
Once you get the above basics down, there is still more you can do to really accelerate your path to success on the platform. Note that I say accelerate it, because really the only thing it takes to be successful is to keep putting out quality writing, consistently, over time, while replying to comments on your posts and commenting on the posts of others. That’s it. You do that and in time you’ll be earning on here within a community you really look forward to interacting with each day.
But let’s say you want to speed that up a bit. In addition to things I’ve already stated above, here are some resources that can help you.
- For stats that give you more insight into what’s going on, my favorites are Steemd, (replace my handle with your own to see your stats in each of these) which easily shows your remaining bandwidth and voting power. Steem.supply, which shows upcoming payouts, and Steemnow, for which I simply like the UI for summarizing my recent posts and activities.
- For being alerted to new replies to your comments, consider @Ginabot. It took some work to understand how to use this and then a bit of work to get it set up, but it is well worth it. @ilyastarar has a great article on setting it up, and many great articles actually. You’ll need to use Discord to use it and it will notify you anytime you have discord open with notifications on. You can also set it to notify you of other things besides replies, but this is the big one for me. That way you don’t have to keep checking for replies all day. A similar tool that gives you the option of being notified on Discord, Telegram, Slack or Steemit Chat is SteemWatch. It’s easier to set up than Ginabot but has fewer options. Still, it let me choose to be notified of replies to or upvotes of my comments, and that’s the main thing for me.
- For an assortment of other helpful tools, check out Steem Tools. Just don’t overwhelm yourself with that one! Try to add no more than a couple new tools to your Steemit toolset each week, and realize that you don’t ever need to use it all.
Well this is pretty extensive, so while there is certainly more beyond this that you will learn during your time on Steemit, I think this is enough to get you off to a really strong start.
Pace yourself in applying everything you just learned, and don’t be hesitant to read some of the linked articles more than once.
Best of luck to you with your Steemit life!
And please do follow me if you have interests in spirituality, nature, and/or values-based crypto investing. I have an article coming up on values-based investing, then will probably be going back to sharing the spiritual stories and inspirations I joined Steemit to connect around.
If you write on such topics, definitely let me know in the comments so that I’ll know to check out your blog. Or if you aren’t posting just yet, mention me when you get to the point that you’re writing articles on those topics and I’ll come check out your articles then. I’m pretty new myself, and have greatly appreciated help from those who have gone before me, so very happy to pay it forward.
Resteems always appreciated
Photo Source: Depositphotos