Two Years On Steemit And Full Steam Ahead - What I Have Learned And How My Life Has Changed
Today is my two year anniversary on Steemit and I'm more excited about the platform now then I was my first day. This platform has introduced me to cryptocurrencies, lot's of worthwhile projects, made me new interesting friends, opened my eyes to different cultures, and has changed my life in meaningful and practical ways. It's unlike any social media site I've ever encountered.
To sum it up in one word how being involved in Steemit has made me feel it would be grateful. Grateful for the friends I've made, the things I've learned, the stories you have all shared, and the fun this has been.
Besides all that it has been rewarding on so many levels; financially, intellectually, and spiritually, and has taught me so many new things that have changed the way I think. It's truly been a remarkable experience so far and I'm excited to see where this social experiment leads to next.
To celebrate my two year anniversary, instead of talking about the milestones I've achieved I thought I would share with you some tips and suggestions to help you along your Steem journey.
Steemit Works For Me Because I Work For Others
Everyone has different skills and passions in life, unique skill sets they can bring to a community to add value to that community. So what works for me may or may not work for you. I'm just sharing my experience here and take from it what you need and perhaps it can help you too.
When I first started posting on the platform on August 31st, 2016 I posted random articles I had writren on topics that interest me. Personally, I'm interested in a lot of different topics and ideas, but once I started researching other successful bloggers on Steemit I noticed they all had something in common. Whether they were coders or poets, photographers or writers, crypto experts or foodies, artists or travelers, they all had one thing in common.
They all are part of a community
Every post climbing the trending pages and getting lots of views and comments have one thing in common and that was they were all connected in some way to a larger community revolving around the topic they were posting about. The topic could be about anything. It was the community around that topic and their interest in it that made those posts popular.
This was before bots were really a thing and for the most part to get an upvote required a real human being reading your post and hitting the upvote button.
I have seen many great ideas come and go on this platform and the ones that remain today have tapped into the community in some way. Some tapped into existing communities and others, like #openmic, were created over time.
Of course, there are exceptions, some people were already popular on other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Reddit, but even those accounts were successful because they brought a community with them when they came to Steemit.
Communities are the real value here and I feel they always will be. If you're new on this platform and are struggling to find a way to shine here, I suggest you tap into communities that interest you. You can find them by clicking on View All Tags. Start interacting with people who post about topics that really hold your interest, not just ones that payout the most.
Here's a video that goes into that more How To Use Tags On Steemit To Get More Views, Payouts, And Engagement To Your Post
By focusing more on adding your unique skills and abilities to benefit an interested community instead of how many upvotes and followers you have, you'll have more fun, stay engaged longer, and feel inspired to contribute more to the platform with the long-term result of earning more rewards and followers.
I can't stress this enough. Spamming your links all over the place is not cool and although it may get you noticed it's for all the wrong reasons. Engaging with people on a real level and sharing interests you have in common with them is cool and creates a connection with them and that is what social media and Steemit is all about, real communities is the real value and the secret to being successful on Steemit. That said, just because you have an opinion about the topic being discussed doesn't mean you have to express it all the time. You could just listen (or read in this case) to what the community is talking about and be a fly on the wall.
It doesn't matter if you're a hot bimbo with big tits, a white toast nerd with monitors for eyeballs, an intellectual scholar with a masters in theology, or a surfer bum with an ounce a day weed habit. As long as you are genuine and can write about who you really are and share the insights you have that are unique then you'll do well on Steemit. Steemit Tips You Need To Know To Succeed On Steemit
Once you tap into a community and start contributing your skills to them you'll start getting real followers, the only kind of followers that have any real value.
Think about this for a second. How much value do you bring to someone when you ask them to follow or upvote you just because you need the upvote? Not much, right?
Now, how much value do you give to someone when you help them in some way? Which person are you more likely to remember and want to engage with on the platform? See the difference?
Give More Than You Take
Giving is more of a gift to the giver than to the receiver. That's hard for some people to wrap their head around and when I was younger I struggled to really understand that statement, but I've come to realize the truth of it. When you give you create value for someone else and by definition become more valuable.
When people talk about creating value on Steemit this is what it is. Value to others, not yourself. The more value you create for others the more valuable you become.
It's a mindset that is often lost in the noise of our materialistic, self-centered society that glorifies looking out for number one, but many things you find valuable, a roof over your head, a car, food, and clothing were all created by someone else and you find it so valuable you're willing to work to have those things.
We have been fooled into believing that money is valuable, but it really isn't the money we want, it's the things we can get with money that hold the real value and most all of those things would not exist if people didn't create them. The real value therefore, is not the things but the people who create those things.
there’s a culture of giving, and that giving to others can increase one’s status, wealth and position in Steemit. The more one gives to the community in the form of useful energy, the more one receives in the form of money. It's Like A Gift Economy Not A Commodity Economy --- by @stellabelle
Money never built a house or car or grew food, people did. People are the real value behind everything you have ever wanted or needed. People are the real value on Steemit too. They are the ones that read your post, comment on it, upvote it, and resteem it. So, give them a reason to want to do that. Create for them, not for yourself.
My life is amazing and I have so many interesting stories to share. My friends often tell me I should write a book, but I'm too busy living this life to stop and write a book about it. A post here and there is all the time I can spare, but I have all the time in the world to help others on Steemit because helping them is far more interesting and rewarding.
Besides, communities can grow bigger than you or I ever will. You've heard the saying, It's better to have 1% of a 100 people's efforts than 100% of your own. Well, it's even better to have 0.5% of 1000 people's efforts or 0.25% of 10,000 people's efforts. Do you get my point? The more people you can help the more rewards you can earn over time and it makes this social media thing a hell of a lot more interesting than just blogging about yourself all the time.
It is a different mindset and a readjustment for some people but once you get it life gets easier. Building value like that takes time and effort. It's not an instant gratification kind of thing but the rewards are life-changing. Here's a post that can help you called, The Most Valuable Steemit Post Begins In Your Head - Tips To Maximize Your Social Currency On Steemit
Once you realize that your value on this platform, with the exception of those rich whales that invested money, is directly related to how much you benefit others on the platform, you'll find ways to bring your talents to the table so others can benefit. It truly is a gift economy.
Here's another great post to help you wrap your head around this idea. The Reason You Don't Understand Steemit - It's Like A Gift Economy Not A Commodity Economy --- by @stellabelle
I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
There are so many communities on this platform that have helped me along my journey. Here are a few that have really made a difference to me personally. By helping I mean they came along at the right time to keep me motivated and engaged.
The first one that really helped me get a decent payout was @curie. It's funny 'cause I was writing about all kinds of topics then and the first post that paid out 100 SBD was my 6th or 7th post about raising and training chickens to do your gardening work. I was surprised it did so well actually, but that boost sure did motivate me to keep posting. My first 4 posts made exactly zero Steem.
@curie is a great project that curates new authors posts and upvotes them, which causes the post to get upvoted by a bunch of other users who follow the @curie trail. What that means is whatever @curie upvotes all those other users following the Curie trail upvotes as well.
Curie was also what inspired me to start the Open Mic project, an online live music venue for musicians. I think of Open Mic as a Curie for people who play live music. In fact, @curie has been upvoting posts from new users entering Open Mic since it first started and still continues to do so to this day. They even help sponsor Open Mic now which I'm deeply grateful for. I've discovered lot's of new and established authors from reading Curie's weekly showcase of selected authors.
I've also modeled how I curate Open Mic on the way curie does it complete with an @openmic trail that upvotes and supports posts the @openmic account votes on, which are entries manually curated by me.
The @MinnowSupportProject is very active in helping new users get plugged into various communities on the platform and support them with followers, upvotes, and resteems. Countless projects, initiatives, and authors can attribute their early exposure and success to the efforts of the MSP community.
One of my favorite projects that they launched is:
Peace, Abundance, Liberty
Peace, Abundance, Liberty, or PAL for short is a thriving network that hosts radio shows on Discord like MSP Waves where you can hear people from all walks of life talk about the communities and projects they are involved in thanks to Steem.
There's even a weekly show hosted by @isaria and @krystle that features musicians from the @openmic community who have entered the contest with additional SBD prizes to audience selected performers. This is a great way to connect in a more personal way with the people you meet online and helps us bond together into a stronger community.
Connecting with and supporting projects like these is mutually supporting and helps more people feel connected and engaged with each other while spreading the word about what we are doing in an ever-widening and encompassing community.
The larger your reach and influence throughout various communities the more people you can help. And you know what happens when you help lots of people? They like it and click like buttons and tell their friends.
There are so many other communities and projects happening on this platform that it's hard to keep up with them all and running Open Mic takes a lot of my time, but this next year I plan to get involved in more communities doing good on the platform while continuing to grow the Open Mic community.
Recently I was a guest on @pensiff's show, My Life In 8 Songs along with @prc, the creator of DSound and we talked about the music communities we are both building on Steemit and even talked about collaborating together. You can hear the show at My Life In 8 Songs - 23 August 2018 - @luzcypher, @prc & @inthenow [recording].
@prc put forth the idea of helping to build an Open Mic app for the music community and doing some cross promoting together which would really be a great thing for musicians here. I bought a domain for the possible project, dopenmic.com, and @pensiff suggested creating a proposal together on Fundition.io, a decentralized crowdsourcing platform build on the Steem blockchain kind of like KickStarter, so we could generate some funds to help compensate @prc for his time. He's a busy guy and his talent should be compensated for taking on such a project. I'll be working on that soon and have high hopes for bringing an app to the community.
The Rewards Beyond SBD And Steem
Some people are motivated to post on this platform just for the monetary rewards. It's understandable and to be expected. Like most people, I'm thrilled when the price of Steem is high, but I've come to find value in posting here that goes far beyond just the amount of potential payout a post can make. Just the act of writing and sharing your thoughts with others is rewarding and the engagement it fosters, the new perspectives it opens your eyes to, and the sheer fun of it is a gift as well.
I'm not a whale or getting rich by posting here but it does pay for my needs and I'm pleased to be able to live from the rewards. These last few years I have sold everything I own except my guitar, my camera, and a suitcase for some clothes and it has created a sense of freedom in my life. The things one owns have the strange ability to own you as much as you own them and shedding all of this stuff is kind of liberating.
For the next year, I plan to travel to places I've never been to starting with Thailand, which I'm flying to in two weeks and will be staying there for at least four months. Some of the places I want to see while I'm there are in this post, What Are The Must See Places In Thailand?.
Having the chance to meet @world-travel-pro who has been traveling around the world for years now really pushed me to take the plunge sooner rather than later, but honestly, I was already preparing my life for this before we met. Do have a look at his blog though for some really good tips on slow travel.
Slow Travel is a mindset that rejects traditional ideas of tourism and encourages you to soak in your environments and keep yourself open to new experiences.
Slow travel is not so much a particular mode of transportation as it is a mindset. Rather than attempting to squeeze as many sights or cities as possible into each trip, the slow traveler takes the time to explore each destination thoroughly and to experience the local culture.
Slow Travel means that your travel dates might be flexible. It means that you wake up in your new locale and you have no idea what adventures will await you that day. Slow travelers tend to like to indulge in local cuisine, local entertainment, instead of the tourist-created entertainment you find at a resort.source.
Thanks to Steemit I'm able to do this. The funny thing about traveling this way is it's not as expensive as people think it is, unless of course, you're also paying rent or a mortgage back home, but if you let go of everything and just go with the flow and pick destinations where it's not so expensive you a get by with just a small income source like blogging on Steemit provides. If I was living in the US my posting would not cover my living expenses, but living in Mexico is a lot cheaper as is Thailand.
This kind of travel is also a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to Steemit. Two people I met and introduced to the platform while staying in a hostel in Playa Del Carmen are @anomadsoul and @lizanomadsoul and they have both brought a lot to this platform since. They're also great travelers who share about their adventures on the road.
I'll be staying at the Holy Sheet Hostel in Bangkok for about a week before looking for a place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of the worlds best hubs for digital nomads. There are already a few Steemians I've been chatting with there I hope to meet like @waybeyondpadthai.
As good as getting a good payout feels you can't put a price on the value of making connections around the world thanks to this wonderful playground we call Steemit. That's what I mean when I say there are rewards beyond the payouts. Because of our common interest and passion for blogging on this platform, we make connections that transcend borders, cultures, age, and nationalities and that is priceless. That's why you'll see me posting here as long as it exists. I was here when Steem was 0.10 cents and would still be here regardless of what the price of Steem is because blogging here is like social glue and nourishing for the soul.
For these reasons and many more, I'm committed to continuing to bring as much value as I can to this place, to connect with as many people as I can, and to go to every Steemfest no matter where in the world it is.
Posting on this platform and engaging with people here has made me a more thoughtful, tolerant person and it has expanded my perspective on a range of ideas from cultures around the world. I've learned so much about the technical and transformative potential of crypto and how decentralization of the way we interact with each other can be a force for positive change in the world. Cooperation between total strangers through open-source, decentralized applications sets the stage for new ways to work, live, and play together and with platforms like this one can bring us together around common goals and interests. The future looks bright I'm I'm so excited to see where we journey to next.
Thanks for reading my post, for being such an inspiring community and may Steem be with you.