Is Steemit Rigged? How Do You Make Money On Steemit?

in steemit •  last year

I have a tremendous amount of followers online, and I could really be a big pied piper for Steemit, but I have one serious question - is Steemit rigged? A few weeks ago I joined Steemit and as a 'test' posted some of my very best content. Some of this content was posted exclusively to my Steemit blog, and other posts were very popular content I had already published on my regular blog. I have also tried posting some video content to DTube, including stunning video from my recent trip to Switzerland.


I have had virtually no earnings, and have been scratching my head wondering why. After all, this was some of my very best content that has done well elsewhere. I have been reading a number of articles and reviews online that suggest that the only way to make money on Steemit is to get up votes from a select few whales that have significant financial influence on the network (early adopters). These articles then go on to say that these whales vote back and forth for their own content with other large influencers. They conclude that If you are not part of this clique, you stand very little chance of making much money. What gives some amount of credence to this criticism is that I seem to see many of the same bloggers with the highest earning posts day in and day out.

I love the Steem cryptocurrency, and I really love the idea of alternatives to Facebook and YouTube. I am a published author of more than thirty books and host a national radio show. I have not been able to break through $12 of earnings on any one of my 20 posts. I really like the idea of the voting system, and the earnings for both content creation and content curation. If, however, the the game is locked, and only the top players are going to have a chance at making any money, I am not so sure that this is for me.

I have even tried paid promotion for several of my posts, still no luck. What am I missing folks?

I welcome your honest thoughts and opinions.

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I agree wholeheartedly. I feel the same and I've only started yesterday. My art gets great reviews on other websites and I've barely have acknowledgement here. I think if newbies feel this way, they should all band together, follow each other, engage with each other...create our own little clique and build ourselves up with the respect we deserve. I'll begin by following you and engage in your post(s) This is my link. @mongoosely


Awesome idea! Count me in, I just gave you a follow and will engage with you from now on starting now.


I agree. That’s what we’re trying to do with our @newbieresteemday initiative. We all started out with a low reputation score, and supported each other. Many of us now have a reputation of 50-60, but we’re actively supporting newcomers (or basically everyone) by providing help, curating, organising games/contests to help people to grow their network and their wallet, resteeming their posts to get them out there, giving out ‘Newbie Nickles (= small guarenteed upvote for contest entries) and a lot more.

Some examples:
Minnow Mondays

Dear Dawn Mentoring sessions

Bingo Game


... just to give you an idea.

Feel free to drop by at our Discord channel to find out what we have going on, and to meet more people.


Good idea dear

It isn't that it is rigged on purpose, but it is setup to where visibility is a problem for new users and the motives for upvoting new-users are few and far between. Votes hold value and at this point, it is difficult to determine what value minnows bring to the table.

New-users certainly have a challenge. I would recommend using the voting bots for visibility. Welcome Aboard.


How about quality content for a value?
I appreciate your honesty, but I see quite some dolphins and even whales post content that is of way lower quality than a lot of posts from minnows and red fish.
That’s exactly what’s wrong with this platform. Somewhere along the way, it became all about money, where SteemIt was actually created to be all about content.
I’m afraid this will eventually lead to the death of the platform...


thank you, nice one


Hi Whatsup,

How to get access to the voting bots?

I am having hard time getting exposure too.



I like @booster and appreciator the best. You can go to their blog page to find out a bit about them. Make sure you understand how they work, it isn't always a win.


One thing that was confusing is that I sent them three separate amounts to promote this blog post. After each of the first two payments, I received significant votes but nothing after the third payment? I even followed up with them asking why nothing from the third payment and gave them an alternate URL to promote if they were unable to provide any more promotion for this article - no response thus far.


Thank you @Whatsup for following up with me. I will look at it closer.

Hi @jameslparis. I, like so many others, are also rather new here. I joined beginning of March, and don't have an established history of successful publications or sustainable followers behind me. Steemit is actually the first place I've ever blogged on. I've never seen any real value in it, or perhaps not how I could contribute value to any site.

After being unemployed for over 6 months, I started looking into crypto and especially the opportunities of making money online. Living in a country where high speed uncapped internet is really expensive, I am limited in my capability to produce high quality content on a regular basis, especially video material.

Judging from this and other posts you've shared, I can tell that you have good experience in blogging and also you seem a pretty decent writer as well. You can have a look at my profile and you'll see that I have only a few posts that resemble good quality blogging, as I am still learning as I go. One thing I want you to focus on however, is my comments and votes tabs. You'll see that I spend quite some time purposefully and transparently to other people's posts. This is like networking really, and it creates opportunity for conversation and ultimately, relationship building happens as a result. In the famous wise words of @unknowntemplar, Is getting help from a whale any different than getting a big name author et cetera to endorse your work?

While I can respect you as an author and contributor to society, as far as Steemit etiquette goes, your profile is bereft of any real attempt to encourage others to post as you seem to only comment on your own work, and this leaves a bland taste in the mouth similar to an unknown contributor in any form of content production. You will just remain the passed-by poster, as you don't engage with others but rather you just stand on the corner and play your instrument hoping that someone will throw coin at you. As an example of your inactive commenting to others, you did not respond once to any of the users which posted here: @whatsup, @greer184, @edy01, @unknowntemplar or @evernoticethat. And as a test to (hopefully) prove my point, see how many of them will comment to this comment!

Apologies if this came out offensive; it was not my intention but all of this is true, in my opinion, if you want to make it out here. Alternatively, yes you do need to be stacked big time and buy your way in.



spot on. interaction with commenters is essential. Comments build active followers which in long term can create good results.


Thank you @mateen. It's seems to be the only way that slowly fills the cup of blessing 🏆


Thanks, and good point @cngrobler I wonder if that's a byproduct of him being new? When I complete a new post, I always engage with anyone leaving a "real" comment. If it's good and I have enough VP, I upvote it as well.

I had a friend that started out with me on Steemit and noticed that once he passed me in SP, he stopped interacting with me and now only chases Whales. It's a toe-sucking charm offensive that is very obvious to me. Everything he does is about himself and what "you" can do for him. Having not heard from him in months, I was surprised when he dumped a link to me about his latest post in Steemit Chat. Just the link, nothing else.

If you have a high number next to your name he will be all over you remarking how valuable you are. How he really loves your content. It's so plastic-sounding, but it's worked with at least one Whale who upvotes everything he does. But if there's a (25) next to your name? forget about it. I wonder when they will start noticing the slavish praise? I swear he must have copy/paste phrases at the ready. Whales can tell the difference between an authentic compliment and a self-serving one.


It is sad to hear about your experience with your 'friend' @evernoticethat. Guess that's another good thing about Steemit - it reveals your colors 😯 Equally as good are whales' ability to spot insincerity then! And that's what I probably enjoy the most about Steemit so far - the opportunity to be sincere and discover more of yourself is so big because there is something of real value at stake.

But yeah likely that @jameslparis isn't used to the new way of how Steemit works, because c'mon bro, even after I sort of challenged you to comment on the people paying some sort of attention to you, you still neglect to do so. Perhaps it's just that you are busy? Although I see you have at least responded to some other comments. Steemit is definitely more than just about making money. It's opportunities and capabilities far surpass that I believe.


This is great information, but I have a hard time finding things to comment on. I have music industry, song writing, music recording and live sound experience that I wouldn't mind sharing, especially with the young artists coming up, but it sure is a chore to find them! If anyone has any tips for how I do that I would really appreciate it! Also, for what it's worth, what social media platform DOESN'T have the Whales problem? It's a huge problem on Twitter, plagues Facebook even ranking on GOOGLE generally involves getting authority sites to link to your web site to some degree. Perhaps some sort of system where people with a certain area of expertise could be rewarded for reading and commenting on posts in such a way that the reader would not know who wrote the article, or their ranking info etc. That way each post could be judged on it's own merit rather than by the reputation of the author? Just an idea. If anyone decides to do something like this I'm in.


Interesting concept @zedessex! WHo knows maybe someone will take up that challenge! Perhaps it's something you need to pursue and grow at least on the social awareness level. But remains a good idea in my mind.

Funny enough, I have 10 years experience in Live Event Technicals (Sound, lights, visuals blah blah blah), and I acutally never thought about using this platform as a teaching hub for that. I am so intrigued with crypto of late that I have forgotten my thanks for the inspirational reminder! Albeit again, if you want to build a following, one good way is to be active with other people. Also be sure to link your posts to FB and Twitter etc. (link-button on the bottom of post-edit window). Tag me if you have made a post and I will resteem it!


@zedessex i do a lot of recording as well as writing and composing id sure like to hear your thoughts on my work when you have the time.... also new here btw


It would surprise me if there weren’t any Discord channels set up music-related communities... That should make it easier to find the posts you’re interested in...


You wrote a very detailed and helpful comment, which is also useful to the new members. Thanks!


Thanks for joining in on the discussion and making your voice heard @anikoonline! Best of luck to you!


Thank you!


Well for sure to say
I try to comment regularly but sometimes your comments gets overlooked
Even if it is good content
Please what do we do when this happens
Am also new here thanks


Well @fantomcee one way to draw attention to your comment (sneakingly) is to tag the poster, or someone else that also posted. Be sure to always look at someone's rep level (number in brackets after prof name). They will then have a notification under the "Mentions" tab (if they have the Steemplus extension installed - you should too) of their name being mentioned and they might likely go check it out. BUT, if you want to draw attention be sure you make it worth the big player's time. Don't come to a gunfight with a knife, or something like that :)

Check out @steem-plus


I’m looking forward to seeing your blog


It also seems to be the more commenting you do on posts the more your going to be successful too.


Great comment. I didn’t even think of checking how his interaction was...

Networking is one of the most important factors on SteemIt - if not the most important (except for money, of course)

Personally, I spend so much time commenting that it happens that I simply don’t have any time left to post.

I don’t know if you already heard of @abh12345’s curation and engagement league? The engagement league is all set up to reward people for engaging. It’s kind of a motivational contest to see how you’re doing when it comes to engagement, and how you’re improving every week. It’s really fun, and as I can see you think high of engagement, it might be right up your alley :0)

You can check it here:
The Curation and Engagement Leagues

I guess you can say the game is "rigged", although others would argue that they are simply playing by the rules of the game as implemented by the code.

The major issue is that Steemit's interface is very limiting and makes it very hard to discover interesting content. In order to build a feed that has interesting people, you have to find those interesting people first.

Unfortunately, "entrepreneurs" if you can call them that and whales have build bidding bots that serve to promote posts on the blockchain. That means most of the stuff you see on trending and hot is stuff that has been promoted. Unfortunately, you can promote content with completely disregard to the content itself. Thus, whoever is really to spend the most cash on bots, gets more attention. Also, this means these entities no longer organically vote, but sell their vote. They essentially contribute nothing to the blockchain, but still make money from it.

Due to the poor UI/UX design, there are really any spots to find organically voted material by regular users. There are a few developers working on systems to improve this issue, but let's just say that these updates have been repeatedly delayed.

To put Steem in a nutshell: It's a interesting social experiment but a rather poor social media experience.


greer, great comment once again... To put Steem in a nutshell: It's a interesting social experiment but a rather poor social media experience that is really bang on...
With economic background it is fascinating to see the different shareholders actions... but to get your thoughts out to the world..
it is probably more useful to spend the same amount you need for voting power on steemit on FB adds to have more impact...
I hope projects like this: will be able to better the situation...

I've been here since July 2017 and have tried a number of different things to increase exposure. Think of it this way, If your widget became one of Oprah's "Favorite Things" that would be a very good thing, wouldn't it? The more new users here, the harder it is to make your content stand out. I see nothing wrong with giving your blog a little push, using social media or other means.

I saw my first little uptick when I started leaving thoughtful comments which surprisingly were noticed. I think a variety of approaches will work in time. For now though Steemit has made blogging fun again for me, and that is reward in itself.



Thoughtful comments are absolutely noticed and I will usually follow the person back after a few of them. Those of us who engage in the community know who the other engaged users are.

It can't be rigged. I just signed up and I'm about to get over 100 votes for this post alone. Right?

@jameslparis, I totally get your frustration. I don’t have enough social media or blockchain knowledge to know whether Steemit is rigged or not, however I suspect that there is a certain amount of cyber-nepotism at work (as there is in the "real" world) rather than intentional exploitative rigging. It seems to me that anything crypto doesn’t have a guaranteed future and that no-one truly knows where Steemit and steel are going in the long term, and I still haven't quite figured out how this whole thing really works and how it will end up. Probably in the dust, like all things earthly.
As far as I am concerned, I have been keeping my nose to the grindstone, within the limitations of available time once the obligations of a full-time job, family, etc have been met, which doesn’t leave much time. However, since I joined Steemit, I have seen my reputation creep up and a few cryptopennies add up in my wallet. I have posted a few things, and have interacted with fellow Steemians, and it seems to bear fruit, albeit very slowly.
This is the first social media I have ever been involved with. I don’t have a blog and I don’t publish. I have been avoiding Facebook like the plague because I value my privacy and I’m not interested in reconnecting with people I used to attend kindergarten with. To me, that is not a valid criterion for connection and I don’t need a thousand pseudo-friends who are going to “like” what I had for breakfast.
With Steemit however, because of the variety of interests and viewpoints, I can engage in dialog with like-minded people or, if the issue is important to me in verbal fisticuffs. It is also a space where I can express my creativity in a very personal and uncensored way that doesn’t have to conform to the dictates of society. I find that very liberating. If people like what I have to say or find something good or beneficial they’ll give me an upvote and follow me, and if not, they’re just moving on. It is an alternative reality where I am building a network that I can navigate without risk. So I have let this experience develop in a very organic way without bots or reciprocal back-scratching and have no clue where it is going. Lots of SBDs would be nice, but I’ll focus on what I have to say and enjoy the challenge and the process, follow and save my upvotes for the people whose material resonates with me or to thank them for providing a springboard to self-expression. As to the outcome, I don’t feel it is entirely in my hands, but I’m OK with that.

Hope you decide to stay. You are talking about a big issue on the platform. Original quality content goes unnoticed until you have built up a reputation. It takes a long time just like anywhere else. You may want to consider buying some Steem Power, that may help.

I experienced a similar trend and had posted a few topics but then it all came to a halt. just come here to read stuff now . havent posted anything from a long time.

Steemit is not #QUOTE rigged in the traditional manner. However, it would help if you paid to have your posts promoted. That is the little secret no one seems to comprehend prior to joining Steemit. When all signs point to Rome, that is where the road will take you. You stated in your post you tried paid promotion. Who did you hire? Thanks for the empirical share.


I have paid several times to make my posts 'promoted' just as this one is.


I just used @booster and dropped in 59 SBD. That seems to have really worked. A lot of new votes coming in now, but it still seems like I am cheating by paying for votes :)


So SBD is like $118 US dollars?


59 SBD is this what it takes to get noticed....thats despicable... UU.IO (a new platform forcontent earning) for me i think.


Ive spent the last SBD I will ever spend in this waste of time Known as STEEMING SH...IT

I guess we, little fish, need to help each other, so I'm upvoting you and follow you. Maybe that will help a bit

Definitely see where you're coming from, fella. I've only been here a week so definitely no expert, but based on what I've learned so far Whatsup and Greer are spot on...

At the end of the day, we all know money can talk and it's the same with every industry/system. Is getting help from a whale any different than getting a big name author et cetera to endorse your work? Is paying for the bots different to advertising? Yes and no for both, I guess. To me, the idea that votes can be bought defeats the purpose of rewarding quality content - if politicians used robots to vote themselves into office they'd obviously be in trouble, lol ;) - but I can see the value of using them for re-steems et cetera, so, like most things in life, success does involve learning the system and playing it.

Ultimately, it depends on a person's individual hopes and aims. Personally, I'm here more out of curiosity than anything; I'd never see something like Steemit as a career or even one small facet of the big picture. If you're prepared to put in the time, and possibly the bucks, success here I think can happen, but at the end of the day, what if Steemit shut down tomorrow or equally bad, you lose your password? Stranger things have happened and either way, the hard work is undone, so it's definitely not something I'd recommend someone put all their eggs into, even if they experience success.

Based on your blog, you seem like a good writer, and it's great to hear about your success - long may that continue! The important thing, always, is to follow your gut and do what's right for you. If it takes a few bots to get you started, there's really no harm, and if you chance upon a whale, maybe that's the kind of break needed. If success here, however, depended on selling your soul or ass kissing, I think this place could become pretty demeaning. Personally, I wouldn't suck a whale's c*ck in or out of the water, but obviously each to their own, lol!

how ı need money ?

Loved your honesty.

And, frankly, well-written and emotionally appealing post. Looks like you've crossed your $12 mark ;-).

Followed, upvoted and promoted. Sending you a small bit of Steem now also.

Good luck.

This post has received a 44.01 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @jameslparis, @jameslparis.

I am also new with content that I believe is pretty fresh and interesting with my work in Antarctica and my passion for River Surfing, but I only even get a handful of upvotes. From reading the comments on this post it does in fact seem pretty rigged. Basically I need to pay for uproots by sending $ to bots that will upvote on my stuff? So unreality a lot of uproots have nothing to do with how interesting the content but who is paying the most amount of bots? .... Lame.

if it isn't then its full of retards some of the best post get zero views never mind earn anything. There is a HOT post on here just dissing Islam from some turd and has made over $150 with zero facts just internet bullshit so either this platform is full of racist ignorant fuks or the platform is full of shit. Ps apologise for the foul language but that seems to be the way forward


amen !

I would also like to find the answer to your question!

Good your blog @jameslparis. Please vote my post @edy01

It could be that off-site curation will be better.

Librivox, a free audiobook site I love, has no ratings included on their site. This seems to be done deliberately because rating would interfere with their other goals (like including everyone in their catalog)

Maybe I should be looking for steemit content through another search method, with this one so open to resource and other influence.

Just musing...and saying hello!

Im also wondering if its worth starting out here?


maybe but half truths would prevent content from being stolen ! Erie it took them 3 to 5 days to visually rebrand my article !


so whats your plan now?

I just joined few days back and still getting good with the esteem app to access steem...I think you have to give it time for people to find it. I am still trying to master the software...give it time people will come...BTW links to your articles ...

Hi @jameslparis
The same question and this is my answer.
Should write for newmenbers less trouble.

hi brother james .., greetings know from me. please enlighten him for steemit because I am new in the world of steemit. do not forget to like my writing and please comment him, I wait for his vote diblog me ya .., thanks.

One can only hope it can't be like that. Obviously different actors on the Steemit platform have greater or less influence. A lot like life. It would mean all those dudes posting how Steemit was the answer to the void & the likes of @nedscott & Stan were all lying and insincere. Its simply not possible. Maybe you should surprise yourself & post something untested elsewhere. Just as a Steemit experiment.

Hay my dad...!

Actually i very like about your posting that's was very beurifull and very interesting but i want to ask you some help because i'm still in low level so will you help me dad? I hope you want to votes me and following me...please i'm still hoping for you

I believe steemit is not working as you are used to. Check out some posts on the hot tab. There some post which got like 20 upvotes but only 8 views, which in my eyes shows me a big problem with steemit. Bots, visibility and the interaction in the community. A lot of people are using bots to widen up their visibility, which is okay, since we can't change it. But most people(bots) don't even read your post, just give you a comment in hope for an upvote by you. There are even more strange beggars who just ask directly for "help". Mainly we need more and more users here which are really active.
I hope your content will be more honored by the time. Thank you for giving us a voice towards your concern

Hola amigo, saludos fraternos desde Venezuela, yo también estoy algo contrariada no comprendo cual es la jugada para obtener ingresos

your right the whales are voting for eachother to increase their own wealth and we who come along provide fodder, content and increase their earnings. It is a great platform and some people on here do seek to help others, but it is always on their terms, ie. jump this high and now a little higher haha. I am a musician who has been completely ignored here and I can tell this concept could work if the top people pulled their heads out of their arses and gave new comers a fair go. The good thing is that I have learnt heaps here and made a few friends, and earn't a bit too, which is much better than any other social network. Also there is much less abuse and trolling here, so it is safe place to entertain myself and I enjoy reading the content too. I wish you well and am now following you too. Keep well my new friend -rock on -David

I think the best way to answer your question would be to put forth a couple of questions to you.

Firstly; do you know what curation rewards are?

-and secondly; are you aware that many whales continue to receive curation rewards for selling their voting power?

Yes, my friend. The system has been rigged. They have taken the fruit that used to grow freely on these trees, and they have demanded we pay a price if we want to eat. That price can be paid in many currencies though. You can pay for your earnings with your earnings, making the beast stronger, and your opportunity to earn freely weaker with each purchased upvote. You can also throw away your self-respect and kiss some arse if you are desperate enough for some higher numbers to appear on your screen when you look at your "wallet." You might even do well simply by adopting an overly-nice persona and pretending to love every other person's writing on the platform- even when it's shit.

But if your intention is to earn a lot cryptocurrency here, simply by being yourself, then you had better hope that one of the aforementioned qualities lies within your repertoire. It would be wiser, in my opinion, to look past STEEM and SBD and unto the greater rewards that Steemit still has to offer at this point. You will find many great minds here, though they are becoming harder to observe amidst the spam most people refer to as content. Nevertheless that community of forward-thinkers still lives here, and their presence provides the opportunity to collaborate on something bigger than you or anybody else.

This platform is not for the people as it was advertised. That should be abundantly clear at this point. But, one shouldn't overlook that it has drawn a large percentage of those on this Earth who are for the people together. With those minds comes the potential for greatness, and the realisation of that greatness is the only reward we should worry about not earning during our time on this platform together.

Welcome to Steemit. Also, you were advised to pay for your votes. Allow me to suggest you do not. It is only so difficult to earn because some whales have decided to stop voting fairly and instead sell their voting power, even though they were already earning plenty interest on the STEEM that they mined simply through curation rewards. They instead made the conscious decision to no longer support good content, but instead support paying customers, knowing that this would put some very hard working Steemians out of business, for lack of a better term.

These individuals have already decided that what you want does not matter, and what they want- more power- is all that does. So, remember that when you pay them that SBD or STEEM to upvote your post, they are going to turn that payment into more power for themselves, and the curation rewards too. You have seen what they have done with a lot of power. What are they doing to do when they have a lot more?

saludos @jameslparis y todos los que han generado una amena socialización de saberes y realidades sobre el Steem; también soy nuevo, creo que muy nuevo en realidad tratando de entender como es la vida en la comunidad, sobre los votos, las puntuaciones, las ballenas que deben mirarme para tener votos y a su vez ingresos...
Pero les aseguro que lo que leo de ustedes no es exactamente lo que me animaron cuando ingresé a ella...
Pensé que esta comunidad es para compartir saberes y conocimientos (la comunidad de sapiencia), donde la ciencia y el arte se funden y generan una nueva imagen de las realidades opacas que tenemos en la sociedad...
No obstante les agradezco que por este medio me estén ayudando a entenderlo como debe ser y no ser el último que esté por enterado ante la ceguera colectiva...
Por otro lado, sería mejor realizar y establecer una nueva comunidad hasta convertirnos en las famosas ballenas??? Allí les dejo algo pueh.-

A stunning article I wrote ! First as a blogger designer and inventor ! Through the depths of my heart have expressed my deepest knowledge on an idea , no a way to a better way of creating PC technology as the pencil was bested by the pen but not replaced ! The Computer Keyboard Is Dead And I'm The One That Killed It ! This title was expressed impressively on D-mania platform only 3 to 5 days after my post ! This feels like data mining on steroids ! Or Facebook times ten ! I'm flattered for being notice by others and apprieciate the work but the find and acknowledge of someone's work is in order ! Am I wrong !

Hi @jameslparis
I’d say welcome to the SteemIt bubble ;0)
The truth about SteemIt as it is now is that in order to make good money, you’ve got to have money, or you have to know the right people. No matter how good your content is, if you don’t have big bucks to promote it, your posts will be undervalued (unless you get curated by @curie, of course).
Most posts that are showing hundreds of Dollars underneath are simply posts of which most ‘earnings’ have been paid for by the author himself.

It is possible however to get a decent payout if you can attract the attention of the big guys somehow, or by building a huge network.

I believe networking is a very important factor in order to get your posts seen and upvoted.

It should be about the quality of one’s posts, but for now it’s more like a PPV system. I do think changes are coming, though. Not only is there an entire new generation of Steemians with a different mindset (which are now reputation 50-60, but will grow over time and gain more influence as their accounts grow bigger), but I’ve also noticed some awareness amongst bid-bot owners. For example, @sneaky-ninja is experimenting with an abuse policy, making sure no crappy posts are promoted with big bucks, which will hopefully lead to more rewards for people who post quality content.