So you got your first payout on Steemit?
You crafted your beautiful words, chose an appropriate image and a bunch of tags and lo, your first post was born. Then there was a seven-day wait while minnows and hopefully some dolphins swam past and gave you some comments and upvotes. That seven days feels like such a long time, right? Well now it's over and, splash! suddenly your wallet has a little bit more Steem Power and a handful of Steem=Backed Dollars. What do you do next?
I don't know the best answer for you, but here are some thoughts I have on the subject. Note, I'm writing this at the end of August 2017, if you're reading off in the future, some things might have changed that I currently have no awareness of. Note also that I'm just a guy in the UK, writing a blog in his pyjamas, I've been writing here for a year, but that doesn't make me an expert in anything except my own experience. You will have to make up your own mind about what you do.
Option 1: Spend it NOW!
When you're starting out, the thrill of being given some magic made-up internet money can be overwhelming. I've got it, now I've got to spend it. OK, so to do that you're going to have to get yourself an account on an exchange (I have mostly used Bittrex and Poloniex). I'm not going to give a full tutorial into that here, there's lots out there that you can find for yourself. It's quite a simple thing. You might need to supply them with some proof of identity but otherwise it's much like signing up for anything. Then you'll need to transfer your Steem Dollars over to the exchange, very carefully following the instructions for depositing into your exchange wallet (I and many others have lost money by not doing this carefully enough - you may not be the stupidest person in crypto, that doesn't matter, you just have to be a little bit stupid or careless to lose it, or at least be highly inconvenienced). Once your stuff is on the exchange then you'll want to check out which way the market is going, you're going to sell your SBD for Bitcoin and get the best price you can for it. Then you'll need some way to turn the BTC into Pounds, shillings and pence or whatever fiat currency you use. I use localbitcoins for this and have it transferred into a bank account, it feels less dodgy than swapping them for Amazon gift cards or Paypal or showing up in a car park and showing someone the transaction on your phone before they hand you some cash. There are new ways of doing this coming along all the time - I'm looking forward to being able to transfer BTC to a contactless debit card and have the conversion done on the fly - keep an eye on new developments is all I'm saying.
Option 2: Get it out and keep it as BTC
This is kind of option 1a - it involves the steps described above to turn the SBD into BTC but then putting your BTC away somewhere safe. Again, lots of tutorials about how to do it securely, and you can't be too careful and meticulous in following instructions. The benefit of this is that it is widely believed that BTC is going to continue to rise in value. Again, if you're reading in the future, we're talking here about BTC at around $4,500 dollars, I know, crazy huh - we're practically still in pizza-buying territory compared to where you are now, but hush, we here in 2017 are still enjoying our primitive existence)
Option 3: HODL & VEST
At the beginning of your Steem journey, this is the option I would most recommend. Keep your currency in the network and turn it into its most useful form. Increasing your Steem power means that all your votes get more valuable, so your curation rewards will gently go up. Also the more Steem Power you have, the more you get - read up on Steem Power Inflation to understand how this works, I have only a tentative grasp, because of my loathing of economic jargon, I start to fall asleep and then remember that all I need to know is that if I hold my Steem Power, it will go up. You can turn it back into liquid Steem, but much more slowly (Powering down currently converts 1/13 of your holding per week). The best thing to do is to go to https://steemit.com/market and sell your SBD for Steem there and then come back to your wallet and click power up from the drop-down menu next to the amount of Steem you have. Then go about your business, writing more fantabulous stuff for us to devour.
Option 4: Give it away
OK, I didn't know there was an option 4 until I'd finished writing option 3 - but I suppose you can also use your SBD in other ways - it is a liquid currency and there are no transfer fees on the network. So if you wanted to gift somebody a little portion, perhaps you want to dirctly tip instead of waiting for your upvotes to count for something, or you want to send a tip for a service (I did this this week when I started using the esteemapp and loved it). Note that when you do a transfer you also have a memo field - so you can use money transfer as a means of on-network messaging - send 0.001SBD and put your message in the memo. You may have already seen this happen, but now you can take part yourself
Whatever you do, I heartily recommend you stick around, keep your eyes and ears open and keep writing and growing, expanding your knowledge and consciousness and making beautiful things for others to enjoy.