Steemit (FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions, Common Myths, and Misconceptions

in #steemit4 years ago (edited)

Here's the ANSWERS you've been looking for..  You can earn more if you learn some secrets on how the system was designed.

I've done a lot of research, so they seem like secrets.  See if you know these:

Q1. I'm new to steemit. I see people making thousands of dollars on their posts.  I made 11 cents, what gives?

A1: Good quality content doesn't always get the attention it deserves.  But many times it does!  Keep contributing, and eventually one of yours is going to catch wind and go viral.  Use the time between your submissions to do more research, pick and choose better things to talk about, and improve your writing style.  

Q2. Ok, I saw a guy do a make up tutorial and make thousands.  So another guy one did the same, and he made a lot too.  So I did my own male makeup tutorial and I made hardly anything? Why?

A2: As a fluke, the makeup tutorial was funny, and people liked it.  That doesn't mean everyone wants to see multiple copycats of similar content.   These things are fads, and not trends and are very short lived.

Q3: Steemit is broken! Only the whales decide the content. I wrote 5 posts about this problem, and I got 20 or 30 votes from other people who think the same thing!

A3: What you ended up doing was attracting similar minded people to your complaint, who also had no steem power.  I hate to say it, but misery loves company.  Instead of complaining about it, and hoping that gets you to the front page.  Why not be creative? Think outside of the box, and write something that is stimulating and interesting to not only whales, but all types of funded steemit users.

Q4: My writing isn't as good as some of the other people. What can I do?

A4: Unfortunately we live in a world of thumb texters on phones.  "r u going 2 da party 2day?".   This is how we text on a daily basis.  Short form expression has ruined the way people communicate.  We are so use to getting our content from trained and established writers that many of us don't know to write well.

Use this as an opportunity to practice and get feedback.  If you ever wanted to get a response on the value of your writing style, try different things.   Make the effort to spell check, and have someone read over your work BEFORE you submit it to the blockchain.  (A friend or family member can help!)

Q5: Is there money to be made in commenting?  I never made any real money that way before.

A5: Just like regular stories, a valued comment can earn significant upvotes too!  I got paid $87 SBD for a comment I made once.  It doesn't happen often, but it can and will happen, if your contribution is good enough.  There is more than one way to earn money by participation on steem.

TIP: Never say "I agree with your comment" without upvoting too!  Takes only a click! :)

Q6: What if people start grouping their votes, or selling their votes?  Isn't that already happening?

A6: NO! Doing that is a stupid thing to do which won't last long. It will also earn your name a bad reputation if you are caught doing it, and a whale bot (or multiple bots) will follow you around the system downvoting your votes. Grouping votes together to promote poor content won't work.  If you game the system, you're going to lose.

Q7: What are bots?  Why don't we find ways to ban them?

A7: Bots, are automated computer programs that are alive on steem.  Bots can't think of new content, so they don't write stories.   There are good bots, and bad bots.  The good bots are taking care of the bad bots, so don't worry. Also, some bots are actually helpful.  This is a very large debatable discussion too large for a faq. But in simple terms, we do need good bots to be present, and we do have those here already.

(Bots upvote, downvote, and comment with preprogrammed phrases). Don't worry about them.

Q8: How many stories should I post a day?  More is better, right?

A8: No, more is not better.   In a given 24 hour period, the value you see next to stories is how much relative steem power is estimated that the story will earn if it continues holding the percentage of upvotes it has, in relation to all other stories on the system.

So if you write 1 quality story, that story competes with the rest of the stories on steem that day.

If you write 5 stories, now your first story is competing with your other 4 stories AND also the rest of the stories on steem that day.   Why compete against yourself?   Wait a day, and write your next one.  You have much better chance of earning more by doing that..   Save good ideas for tomorrow, and invest all your time into one, good, story instead.

Note:  As of July 26, 2016, the following will be true:

If you post 10 low value posts in one day and only 1 of them “hits it  big” then that one popular post will only get to keep about 15% of what  it would have earned it it was the only post posted that day.

Q9: I just found a news article that I think all people on steemit will be interested in, can I just copy/paste the article and put a reference?  As long as I link to it, that's shows I didn't steal it right?

A9: Steemit isn't a news headline ticker.   What you could do, is reference the story, and talk about how you feel about it.  This may attract other people who have the same "take" on the story that you do, which could lead to a lot of comments, discussion, and upvoting.

Q10:  I thought of an idea for a new feature that steemit needs!  How do I get the developers attention?

A10: The developers and other key people who are in the stack development channel read these posts.   Even if they do not upvote yours, or make a comment, it doesn't matter.  Many times someone may have thought of it already OR they are already working on it, OR it is ready, but not scheduled to be released yet.

The short answer is: Post about it once, but before you do, search steemit to see if someone else already posted about it.

Q11: Why is searching steemit important for past content?  How does that help me?

A11: People find it easier to submit a question (which has already been asked numerous times), because they are too lazy to research the answer themselves.  This adds to the endless scroll of new posts problem.  

If you search existing steem posts, you'll quite often see good information, and good comments that have already been made.   You can also see what posts have already been saturating steemit, and avoid writing the same thing, and earning next to nothing for it.

Q12: Why does it seem that no new features are coming yet?  There is hundreds of things I'd like to see.  What are the devs doing? Just sitting back and getting rich?

A12: No, they're doing the exact opposite.  The devs are monitoring, tweaking, developing, and fixing the system.  Running a blockchain, and a site like steemit is extremely difficult.

You see posts and stories on here that go viral?  The WHOLE SYSTEM is going viral.  Any idea how hard it must be to run a viral system, that is viral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  But they're doing it, and they're doing it well.

This is what they're probably doing in an endless loop right now:

Phase 5: Allow the system to scale, bear the load, become stable and security tight.
Phase 6: Build more features.

Both of these phases take a long time.  (Several weeks and months, sometimes longer).  You have to be patient.

Facebook has been around since 2004

Reddit has been around since 2005

Twitter has been around since 2006

Steemit launched beta only in 2016.  

  • It's going to take a bit of time, but it's outperforming all expectations.

Please share this story if you found it helpful. If you have any questions you'd like to see answered in the future, please comment.

Bonus Question: If I upvote a good post after it is 30 minutes old, am I too late to share in the earnings?

Answer: NO, you are not too late.  Just don't upvote too many posts too often, otherwise your daily voting power decreases.

For 30 days (starting July 26, 2016) after the first payout a post may still accumulate new votes  and at the end of 30 days one last and final payout is made. After this time, additional votes have no impact.

Your daily voting power is the blockchain trusting you to upvote only good, quality content. Use it wisely.


If there is anything wrong in the FAQ, please let me know. I suspect a lot of people are reading it without upvoting.

What they don't realize, is that this helps all of us, you and me too. When the junk posts stop filling up the "endless scroll", all of our really quality posts are going to get noticed more. So if you read this, and think you found a secret. It's not really a secret. Steemit will change for the better when most people understand how it was designed, and the reasons for it.

If there is value here, please upvote.

I really would upvote you, because with your post you got some colored places in my (still) dusty steemit map, but I think a upvote a year later doesn't make much sense, right?

Well done intelliguy!

This helped me a lot!


It took 4 hours to write, perfect, find, edit, design images. A lot of work. Glad you found value in it.

By the way did anyone notice? Leaving an honest comment can earn you money too. Just don't spam. :)

I'm curious to see if i started writing a story on here, kind of like people do on deviant art, if that would get attention. I've always dreamed of becoming an author. This could potentially set me up.

Only one way to find out... :)

good job !!!

I am not a huge whale, but I do care very much about this platform and recognize that you are all gold that we are literally mining out of the human capacity for creation. Which means all of the users who join from all over the world (some places where 1usd a day is a huge pay raise!)...

I hate to put it that way. Lots of people might think whales are special, but they really are humans with faults and needs for help too. But one thing they had was information and for good reason. Most of those who are in whale positions knew about steem largely because they sniff the hell out of bitshares, attended weekly hangouts with dan larimer and read his blog or sacrificed so much that they got to overhear it while around people who might have let statements slip that pointed to another chain potentially launching.
If it is none of these they likely heard from someone who learned from one of the above. In which case, they should consider themselves very very (like ultra) lucky because they got in on steem within days if not hours after it launched.

Even then some had to survive an early hardfork, which if you think about it is quite an ordeal. But alas crypto is known to be a place of danger--which is why you will often hear people say "don't play with money you can't afford to lose". And they are right.

But other than that, they are just like every other (thoughtful) person out there. If you are thoughtful, you know who you are. You have a tendency to always tinker with ideas and/or stuff attached to/manifested through ideas on a near constant basis, seemingly forever. <--intentional run-on, but i digress :D

So imagine them all joining a community where they empower others and gain over time lots of power and funding in the ecosystem because they have formed groups of peers who resonate and discuss each others perceived the truths as much as possible. Then we are mining the most valuable gold of all. Ideas created and evolved from human interaction.

Remember, whales have to have a long term vision (or steem goes down and they lose alot of value in their Locked steempower). If they are smart...they are investing in things to help allllll the users to do a number of things:

  1. Create Content
  2. Get paid
  3. Invite beloved friends (who are also very likely to upvote your unique content forever, btw...)
  4. Get paid
  5. Pay other people
  6. Get paid

They must all prove themselves to you guys and gals, but so must all the new community members prove themselves. Fortunately, when you create good content, you are bound to get noticed. Or when you have a heart of gold and ideas that make the sun will eventually get noticed. Everyone's unique value will eventually be more evenly reflected, but anyone who knows how any game works will know that the beta testers (you lucky sods :) and founders/developers (like the GM's and their "GM Islands") live and breathe to keep the ecosystem strong and you empowered.

Not saying we will never disagree. I'm just saying those moments are just as likely to strike gold (maybe moreso) than any other moments in our community.

I can't wait til 1 year from now there are steemit veterans all walking around with upvotes that give .15-4.00 ea. I will laugh...and they will too :)

Per the last sentence, I seriously doubt you can back that prediction up with numbers. VOting is porportional, and the porportional voting power of the whales is growing, not shrinking. There might be a few inbetweeners who had many big articles upvoted and now have a 6 figure balance in SP. But the amount you have to have in your SP account to make a difference with a single vote is growing, not shrinking.

Veteran whales get bored, too rich, and will retire or move on to something new after powering down.

Some whales might even be human and just sort of "die" like in real life.

So what could transpire in a year from now is unknown.

yeah sure, its possible i suppose. But we can make predictions based on observed conditions. There is no evidence, aside from "all the whales might die" (which is kind of greusome and i really wouldnt want my vote to increase in value that way) which indicated that non-whale votes are going to be worth more a year from now (as fuzzy predicted) rather than less. The information available now indicateds that SP is consolidating, not dispersing.

i think all this points are very helpful

thanks @intelliguy for your perspective

Thanks a bunch for such a helpful post!! Steemit should have a FAQ in their sidebar and this post can indeed work for it.

Thank you! Wonderful post.

Be creative, nice advice, i will try

Quality content is key.

Thank you that was a valuable read for a newbie like me. My goal is to find out as much as possible before writing my first post

Hello! I'm brand new to Steemit and wish I found it sooner. Your FAQs are terrific. I just wanted to make a note about copy/pasting's simply plagiarism. If you're doing it - STOP. No one likes cheaters and thieves. In academics, you're not even supposed to copy and paste your OWN work without proper citations. BTW - I love beta sites because I feel like I'm on the ground floor of something new and that's exciting! Hopefully Steemit can remain sustainable.

Valuable insights. Your formatting is very pleasant to read.

even valueable content do not always success
i made many article and i even introduced my self but i think you're right it needs to be powerful and unique not like others content ( with respect to all content) a special idea is a must
so thank you that's really nice post

That's right. Too many people like to copy content. Or copy styles. Or copy what they think is a good idea.

Instead of copying. Just be special, and different. That's what people like.

Yes, yes yes! Broken down for everyone. Read it and get writing!

Excellent article. I needed to be enlightened and have been shown the path in this post. Thank you @intelliguy. 1-up.

what's the point if there is steem Wiki?

Q3... so your answer is _ pander to the whales_ .. that's great, but what you end up with is a bunch of empty calorie, pandering, cheerleading posts with no real content whatsoever. (I give this some credit in that it has some content to it) As an example, 3 $2k plus reposts of the "i think steemit is great" max keiser tweet.

Or upvoted posts of fake hot chicks intros like Jenna Marbles.

Also, I disagree that critical posts attract people with no steem power. The problem is even poeople with a considerable investment have no effect on voting reward... to have an effect worth more than pennies, you need an account with a six figure dollar value worth of steem power.

The fact is, any post even remotely critical isnt going to get traction, even if its constructive criticism. A fantastic example of this is the guy that posted about DDOS vulnerabilities before the ddos attack happened last weekend. But you probably knew that.

And before someone makes the "youre just jelly" argument. No, im not. I never set out to make any money posting on steem, ive done well enough investing in it... I think its just a shame that there is so little content on the front page (and i think that it will ultimately drive users away and drive the price down)

Q3... so your answer is "pander to the whales"..

Interesting. I did a search with my browser, and the only phrase I found "pander to the whales" was your comment. The next time you quote someone, perhaps don't "put it in quotes" especially if they did NOT say what you quoted.

If your interpretation is that what A3 said, it didn't. Try reading it again... especially this properly quoted part:

"write something that is stimulating and interesting to not only whales, but all types of funded steemit users"

Notice A3 says to write something that appeals to "all types". So if you read "pander to the whales", it's time you read it again, this time, with an open mind, and perhaps you might understand my point a little more clearly.

Also regarding Q8... you might want to incorporate the new rules for reference (that you get penalized for sumbitting more than 4 top level posts per day)

Very helpful, thank you very much.

I don't really think my use of quotation marks there, in context, indicated a direct quote. But to avoid confusion, i have removed them.
The following is taken from whitesmoke, and is a use of the quotation mark found in most style guides (and the manner in which i intended the use of the mark to be taken):

  1. When you use self-coined terms your readers are unlikely to be familiar with, draw their attention to these by using quotation marks and providing definitions.
    On our last writing assignment about creating instructions for a new game, we received one grade for writing proficiency and one for "idiot proofing , " that is, how clear and self-explanatory the instructions would be to even the most obtuse reader.

I do understand your point. I simply think its based on a false premise. The types of posts most likely to get paid at the moment simply don't bear it out. Your previous post on your blog seems to indicate that you know this.

The types of posts most likely to get paid at the moment simply don't bear it out.

A majority of that, is simply because of the endless scroll problem. Another factor is that normal users like to upvote content with already large $$. This isn't the fault of the whales themselves, it's a community perspective that we're going to have to address at some point.

I think the devs are aware, and are making tweaks and adjustments already. It won't stay like this sigmajin.

Its not a fault of the whales themselves, no. But its two unfortunate side effects (voters like to follow whales votes and whale votes effectively sticky posts to the top of the page) that amplify an already huge disparity in voting power. A disparity, incidentally ,that is growing, not shrinking..

At the end of the day, this will hurt the whales more than anyone else, because if 2 cents worth of voting power costs $100K, no one is going to want to buy it, and the value of the SP they hold is going to tank.

Keeping it real with class . Intelliguy almost lead you away from the high road. I predict bloggers will now take the effort to defend their work or respond to untrue allegations. This is positive in my opinion . Sharing thoughts or calling BS in an appropriate manner will increase real conversations. Well done Steemit , getting humans father a head .

I wish you could quantify how you feel I "almost lead you away from the high road". I really didn't try to do that..

I agree with you that increasing conversations between bloggers is great though.

hi dear author, i see you know alot from steem. I want to have some insights from you about how i understand steemit.

Good work, thankfully this post has had a well-deserved reward, a few days ago are published by the option to add a FAQ to steemit since the messages disappear in minutes of the sight of the people. It would be good to have more rapid access for these messages of help.

This one is the link of my idea.


Hey bro, well done, your post is really helpful and give a lot of answers to some questions in my mind but still some questions like how much steem power we should have to make our up-votes valuable , i have post an article about that : , steemit is pretty new and i believe in it but what i think is if people will not make money soon or later will give up , right?

Just one other point. I don't really know if I agree with your post number 6. Personally, i don't see anything wrong with with the sale or exchange of SP votes. There are already bots programmed to follow and upvote particular users. At the end of the day, thats what SP is, a currency of the information economy. I certainly havent seen any posts that whales are going to take retribution on people who exchange or sell votes... If they do so, it would be incredibly foolish and shortsighted, iMO.

The problem with the sale of SP votes, is that collaboration efforts can lead to bad content getting upvoted, if the sole reason they're doing it, is to share in the collaboration effort.

This would make a better round table discussion at a steemit event, than it does here. It's like trying to decide whether or not abortion is good or bad. The conversation could be endless.

Thank you! This is my first day on Steemit and I expect information like yours to help me greatly!

It would be a dream come true to get an upvote on a comment from the intelliguy! love your content thanks so much for everything you do!

I have a question similar to number 6 on your list(Q6: What if people start grouping their votes, or selling their votes? Isn't that already happening?). You said you shouldn't do it.
Does this include miners?
I asked a few days ago here : and got no answers or comments. I don't view miners using their mined steem power (mined into multiple accounts out of necessity)to upvote posts to be much different from someone who just bought steem power.

What is your take on this?

This statement I made in that question is the most important thing I was trying to say:

Grouping votes together **to promote poor content **won't work.

It's focus is to NOT try and promote poor content instead of good content by using less than ethical ways.

good thing I found this FAQ here on steemit it I learned a lot from it appreciate it !

Found this article when trying to find how upvote works. This FAQ is really useful for beginners.

Oo naman! Patuloy na ito

Question: When I upvote someone do I actually pay them from my STEEM or does it come out of the new STEEM created that day?
I have been searching for an answer to this and can't find it!

So helpful, thanks much. ~ljl~

Great FAQ. It should be stickied somewhere :) Congrats @intelliguy for the post, well written, nice pics and well explained everything!

Thank you for breaking this material down on Steemit! Love the pics

Do you have a source or article of that last info you posted of your blog about starting July 26? what that really means? Can you go in depth what that means?

I liked this. It was super helpful for a newbie like me. Thanks so much!

Question: can it be detrimental to subscribe to too many people?
Great post! Thanks

I think you're question means "can it be detrimental to follow too many people"

The answer is, all it will do is clog up your "feed" that shows you the latest posts from people that you are currently following. I think post people will follow 20 to 30 people on average and not much more. If you followed 1,000 people for instance, how could you possibly use the "feed" feature to look through all of their latest posts? If you did that, you might as well look at the normal steemit page for posts and not use the feed feature at all.

Yes, that makes sense, thanks for the feedback.

Amen brother! Glad I found this post via @stellabelle Great reading!

Such a wealth of information for someone new to the platform. Definitely sharing and bookmarking this one.

Again, thanks for sharing the information. It is going to help a lot of new people to Steemit!

Nice thanks for the help!

My original comment got flagged by 3 bots , sorry for the grey comment

Here is an Archive of Cryptocurrency App building Code on Github for anyone creating a Steemit app

This post is GOLD!
i am sure you put a lot effort in it !
thank you!

while waiting for thousand of votes, check this out

Please don't comment spam links unless they are related to the topic of the story.

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.21
TRX 0.02
BTC 11642.84
ETH 381.55
SBD 1.03