Steemit for Dummies (like me) - Everything you need to know in simple terms

in steemit •  2 years ago

Alright Guys and Gals. Steemit is blowing up!

People are making thousands of dollars and if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet that you want to be a part of this incredible new community too.

But (and it’s a big but) it’s super complicated and can be confusing as all hell!

Well fear not my fellow aspiring Steemers. I’ll break it all down for you.

And I won’t get too technical because I’m not an expert.

But I can give you the simplest version of everything that you need to know to get started! 

What is Steemit?

 Steemit is a social network that looks and functions a lot like Reddit, but with one HUGE difference:

Steemit pays both the content creators when their work gets upvoted, as well as the people who curate the best content on the site by upvoting others work.

This is possible because the Steemit platform is built on top of a new kind of digital currency. (Think Bitcoin, which is another kind of digital currency that has been around for a while.)

Every day, new units of the currency are created by the network and distributed to its users, who can exchange these digital currency units for actual real money.

And it doesn’t cost a dime to get started.

You can create a Steemit user account for free, right now, and be publishing your content directly to the site within minutes using Steemit’s built in blogging/publishing tools.

If you’re skeptical at this point, I get it. I was too.

But it’s definitely the real deal.

So let’s dive in. I’ll show you how it all works.

How does Steemit work?

In some ways, Steemit is similar to other digital currencies. For example, Steemit currency units can be traded, bought, and sold on the open market just like all of the other digital currencies.

With other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the actual currency units that are created each day are distributed to the people who run a special bitcoin software program on their computers that perform a process called Bitcoin Mining. The amount of computing power you have dictates how much money you get.

Steemit allows for currency mining as well, but it’s not the primary way to earn money. Every day, new Steemit currency units that are created by the network and distributed to the people who engage with the site. The more you engage, the more you get.

People who create content are rewarded for their content. People who upvote content are rewarded for helping to curate the best content available on the site. Commenters who add to the discussions are paid too.

The 3 Steemit Currency Units: 

The first thing you need to understand is that there are three different kinds of Steemit currency units.

We have Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.

Confusing right? It was for me. But it will all make sense in a minute.


Steem are the units that are bought and sold for actual money on the open markets. You can trade them as you would bitcoins or a company’s stock.

But you don’t want to hold on to these for too long because more Steem Units are created every single day. If you hold onto Steem Units for a long time, they will become diluted and lose value.

Steem Power:

Owning Steem Power Units is essentially like making a long term investment in the currency because you can’t sell Steem Power Units for 2 years. But there are a lot of good reasons to have Steem Power.

By keeping your currency as Steem Power Units, you will be able to make considerably more money in the long run because you essentially have ownership in the network. As the network grows, so will your piece of the pie.

And you’ll be heavily rewarded along the way. The way things are set up now, 90% of the new Steem Currency that is generated every single day is distributed to the people who already hold Steem Power Units in the form of additional Steem Units. (The other 10% goes to content creators and curators).

Half of the pay you receive for your content will be in Steem Power Units.

Also, the more Steem Power Units you have, the more your curation vote will count. You will have more influence on the site and you will also get paid more for upvoting other people’s work. (When you upvote someone’s work, they will get paid more as well.)

Steem Power Units also play one final and very important role. They prevent massive price swings and volatility on the open markets. Because everyone is locked in for 2 years, we can’t all sell our currency all at once if the market starts to dip, which would crash the price were it to happen.

Steem Dollars

Steem Dollars are the third and final form of the currency and never get diluted or lose their value. They are designed to be a stable currency that you can sell at any time. When you create popular content, 50% of your pay will be in Steem Dollars.

And you’ll be rewarded for holding Steem dollars too. It’s not nearly as much as the rewards for holding Steem Power. But because it still keeps the currency in the network, holding Steem Dollars pays 10% interest.

When you earn Steem Dollars for creating content, you have three choices:

1) You can convert the Steem Dollars to Steem and sell it immediately on the open market for real money, essentially cashing out.

2) You can hold the Steem Dollars, which keeps the money in the network and pays you 10% interest. You can sell them at any time. If you think the value will go up and want to sell at some point in the near future, this is your best option.

3) You can exchange your Steem Dollars for Steem Power. If you want to invest in the future of the currency and reap the biggest rewards, this is the way to do it. 

How are the newly created Steem distributed each day?

Every day 90% of the new Steem units are rewarded to the people who hold Steem Power Units.

10% of the new Steem units are paid to content creators, curators, and commenters.

When you create content that actually earns money, 50% is paid to you in Steem Dollar Units that can be exchanged for actual money right away (or converted into Steem Power). The other 50% is paid in Steem Power. The Steem Power Units are locked up for 2 years. 

How to cash out your earnings:

Once you start earning Steem and you want to actually cash out, what do you do?

Well lucky for you, several other Steemers have created fantastic guides for doing just that. So rather than go all technical on you, I will pass you along to the people who can explain it better than I can.

Now you’ve been paid in steem dollars an What should you do?

BlockTrades adds support for directly buying/selling Steem

Where does the money come from?

Steemit user @Steemrollin has written a fantastic explanation on this:

Steem: Where DOES the money coming from?  

Why you should start now:

The short answer is that you have nothing to lose. It is 100% free to join and you can actually get paid for your work!

Unless you are a professional writer, you’re not going to find this kind of action anywhere else.

Also, Steemit is growing at an explosive pace! Hundreds of new users are flocking in every single day. And even though it’s only been around for a few months, it’s already become one of the top five digital currencies in terms of market capitalization.

In the last 24 hours alone, the value of a Steem has increased a mind bending 277%!!! 

Remember, Bitcoins were basically worthless early on, but are now worth close to $700. You have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new currency without spending a penny, but also to be a part of an incredible new social network.

How to get started:

First things first, you need to setup your account. You will need to use your Facebook account or Reddit account as you do this to verify that you are who you say you are. Your account will be very valuable so make sure to set a secure password.  

Your Steem account is worth money! How to secure it with a new owner key to keep it yours forever

Creating your first post:

To start publishing content, all you have to do is click "Submit a Story" at the top right of the screen.

When publishing content, it’s important to format your articles in a way that will make them easy to read. Use images, headings, and subheadings to break up long blocks of text.

Use the “” button in the editor to activate the quote feature when quoting someone. And give the quote its own line like this

(The quote formatting button looks like this

No one ever wants to read a solid wall of text, so taking the time to format your article in a way that makes it pleasant to read will be crucial.

Posting Images:

As it stands right now, there is no way to upload your images to the Steemit website so posting images in your articles will require a workaround. The easiest way is to use All you have to do is create a free account and upload your pictures.

(It seems like the serveres at are down. Use instead. It's a great alternative.)

Once you have an image uploaded, simply click it, and copy the URL for the picture. Imgsafe gives each picture its own unique URL that you will use in Steemit to insert the picture into your post.

In the Steemit editor press the insert image button and paste the copied image URL. (If the URL starts with HTTP:// change it to HTTPS:// when you paste it into Steemit.) 

What to write about?

That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? The best advice I can give you is to explore the trending topics/tags as well as the trending posts within those sections and see what kind of content people are responding to.

The introduceyourself tag is hot right now and a great place to start.

Here is my introduction post as an example.

This may be helpful as well: The Secret Formula to a Successful "IntroduceYourself" Post...And The #1 Mistake to Avoid.

Try to remember that it’s not about how much time you spend creating a piece of content, but how valuable/entertaining it is to everyone else. Try to create content that delivers the most value.

So my fellow Steemers, I have one question for you: what are you waiting for? 

Get out there and start creating! 

As for me, I’m in it for the long haul. See you all on the other side!    

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
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Wow. There's so much to learn. I just by accident realized that my phone is linked to the account. Steem is still a little foggy I'm almost blind. I keep bumping into more stuff I don't know. Thanks for the tips

This post was helpful for me to come to a decision. I determined to power up my steem power. Actually it is a long term investment.


Yes, you are right... we have to keep on digging our hill to have something in due course of time...


Where are you getting Steem power is locked up for two years ?


Great stuff thank you! THis really is forever and timeless stuff thanks for making it easy for a fellow 'dummy'

Thanks for the quick lesson. It was very helpful.


10 months later and they are still helping people with it :-)


Its interesting to go back and look at this and see how relevant it is as the year has passed. It still hold up after all this time for the most part
Here is my take on what Steemit is

Thank you, gracias, merci, danke schon - I finally get it and from what you said, the key is STEEM POWER!!!!!!

Im new at steemit and after two hours searching for a dummy guide, yours is the ligth at the end of the tunnel. I've also read that you shouldn't upvote more than 20-50 times in 24 hours. Is that true?

Thanks for the introduction to steemit, @mindover
Followed you here from the nation of side hustles :)


Welcome! And glad I could help. The community here is growing so fast it's pretty crazy. There's more competition now but also more potential.

Thank you for this great post :) Full of great tips to start on Steemit...
If I purchase Steem on Bittrex, can I send them to my account and exchange them for Steem Power?


Hey charles. You can. I haven't done it but I've seen a few users mention that you can send Steem from your Bittrex wallet to your Steemit account.


do you know where to find your address to send it to?

Thank you so much for this. Very informative and it helps me a lot.


My pleasure. Glad I could help you out!


You're welcome! Glad I could help!

Good guide - thank you very much.

This was the most helpful guide i have read so far! Keep up the great work!


So glad! Thanks Karen I will!

I think I learned more in the five minutes it took me to read this than the hours of searching I did previously to try to figure out what steemit is all about.


Wow thats awesome thanks Mike. Glad I could help!

posting images is not working for me as mentioned in your posts, seems something is not right.


It seems like their servers crashed use this instead for now:

Hopefully imgsafe will be back up soon.


I can't seem to get an image on to display in a post - when I copy the url into the image url box and click the checkmark nothing happens. Anyone else have a similar experience?


Once it uploads, try right clicking the image and select copy image address. Then paste that as the steemit image url. I was running into the same problem, but that definitely fixes it!


Thank you for your reply! I was going nuts and can confirm your tip works! I found this tutorial and can confirm it works as well:


try to turn of add-blocker it might help

I wish I could get it to submit.For some starnge reason, it will not accept a post from me.Frustratingly weird!


ok.finally got it to work.I narrowed it down to one single 'keyword', and I was able to submit it :-)


Thats so weird. Dont know why it wouldnt work with more than one keyword but glad you got it working!

Thanks for the tip on pictures. Steemit Chrome problems anyone?


No problem! And I use chrome on my macbook. No problems so far. Is it not working for you on Chrome?

Thanks for the help. I am powered up with steem and ready to go. See you all out there!


That's awesome. When you create your first post, post a link!

you did a great job with this and thank you it really helps me


Glad I could help!

Glad I found this! You saved me a lot of time trying to know how this works :-)


Happy I could help!

Just what i was looking for! Great post!


Thanks! Happy to help. is down right now. Is there another alternative to posing pictures?


I just updated the post. You can use instead. It's just as good. Easier even.


Hey, the question might be outdated and I understand you can't mention all picture sites... but just in case...
At, you can refer to individual pictures too... both directly as in the context of a particular album. E.g.
Greetings :) !

Bravo for this informative guide in layman's terms!


Thanks! Glad you found it so informative.

Could you explane, please, what is ESTIMATED VALUE? and how can I use it?


Are you referring to the estimated value in your Steemit wallet? If so it's an estimate because the market price of steem is constantly fluctuating, so they give you an estimate of what your steem/steem power/ steem dollars are worth. See this post for more:

Great article, thanks for writing it!

Great share on how steem works. I am all the wiser now. :)

Thank you very much for this infomative post! seems to be overloaded, due to steem?! Do you know another method of uploading pictures?

Very helpful information.

Really cool tutorial, mindover! Thanks for the help. I just joined, will follow your guide :)


No problem! Happy I could help you get it figured out!

Guy, you have done a wonderful job for this explanation. You made everything about Steemit as simple as it never was. I am two month old in the world of cryptocurrency and I have seen the good and bad side of this digital currency. By been scammed a huge sum of money by so called cloud miners is a bad experience within the first month into the world of cryptocurrency. However, I strongly believe in it as a good source of passive wealth if not the other way round. Nevertheless, thank you for your time. I hope to ask you some more question when I am lost.


Thanks iyayi, so glad I was able to help you understand everything! Feel free to ask questions!


Thanks luxiano! I hope you found it helpful!

Hi Thanks for this guide, I'm not stupid and been around Bitcoin for 3 years, but finding the information about the various steem units seemed to be quite hard. I feel enlightened, Thanks


No problem at all. Glad I could help you figure it all out!

Thanks just the info I needed. You save a lot of time and pain, thanks


Glad i could help! Good luck!

Perfect for all beginners

This is exactly the information I needed - thank you!

Thanks for the post. It was very informative and I was able to get a better grasp of the process.

hi how I can send my movie for me button for movie are in active why

I spent a lot of time reading as much information as possible before I felt it would be fitting to sign up, but was still a bit confused - until now. Thank you so very much for explaining so clearly.


you're welcome! Glad I could help you out.

thnks for the explanation about steemit. now i understand how it works


No problem at all!

One interesting thing: I found your post googling for "steemit guide" (not directly on Steemit site) and it was #1 result on google!
I have to say it's a very clear post and covers all main issues regarding the Steemit website.
But I still have two newbie question (which you may add to your post, too):

  • why the earnings of my posts keep decreasing?
  • how downvoting happens? (I only see an icon to upvote)

I think if you cover this two question in this post, it will be even better than now ;)


Hi Andrew, first of all I didn't know that! That's pretty cool. Now to your questions. I believe that post earnings can go down over the course of the day for several reasons. To be honest I'm not 100% sure about it, but I believe that it happens because there are a fixed number of new steem units generated each day and when the people upvoting continue to upvote other posts during the day, the earnings on your post get redistributed. Downvoting can also lower the earnings. To downvote you click the little flag icon next to the title of the post or comment. I hope that answers your questions!


Thank you! All quite clear now :)

first time on steemit, search for beginner guide and found your page, very helpful. thanks

Thanks a bunch mindover!!! Im new here but look forward to adding to a new and exciting community!


My pleasure. Glad I could help you figure it all out!

Really nice topic @mindover. Thank you for the informative description.


My pleasure, happy I could help!

This is excellent, an awesome overview for people who can't quite catch on to the investment jargon.


Thanks @s2ennaaa glad I could help!

How do I edit a blog?

Great guide! Thanks for this


No problem, glad you liked it!

Great article Mindover. I'm new to this whole Steemit-thingy, so this introductive 'beginners-manual' was more than welcome ;)

Thanks a lot !

This has been THE most helpful post I have found on STEEMIT in regards to how the currency works. Thank you so much for this!

Thanks for creating this introduction. It's really helpful as I am a little lost ;)

Excellent article.It is very much helpful for new members like me. But i have one more doubt. where to upvote. i have not seen any option for that. it will be helpful if you include that also.

Yes.Now i got to know how to upvote. It is excellent...

This was very great content. Thank you! And let's ROCK ON team!

Because of you I'm not completely lost anymore :) Thanks for this summary.

Thanks for links and guidance on how to start on this site, learning something new every day.

Thanks for this short and educative post....... My head was aching me initially...

Good explanation of the three currencies! Thanks!

One nice thing would be to explain how to upvote a topic? I'm logged in reading your article and i can't find the upvote button.


Its d arrow in a circle (^) facing up at d left 👈 side of reply button 🔳! But i fear u might figured dt out by now@flyingunicorn

Very informative. How i appreciate the easy to understand information.

Thanks for putting this information all in one place!

up voted... very useful to a newbie like me!

i'm brand new at this and can't wait to see what happens!

Well being new this was great to read... so I read this to say (well in part), that transferring Steem Dollars to Steem Power (especially at the beginning stages) is a better long term grow potential.

Is this correct?

Freakin great breakdown. It's so confusing when you first start out (like I just did) and the FAQ is kinda useless for dummies like me, haha. Really appreciate this!

thank you for taking the time explain it all. Well written. Its an awesome platform...

Great starter tutorial, but i still don't know how to follow someone THAT is my immediate question .


Click on the use name and Follow button will pop up. You can also check out someone's profile and follow the account that way.

This was s highly informative and highly needed piece of information. Bravo!

Hi @mindover. I remember reading your post when I first joined steemit. I was browsing "new" and saw this post which contains some stuff lifted word for word from yours: h

Thank you for all this info. You're awesome!

Thanks for this link, lots to read for us noobs =)

Just joined today and googled for help. This thread was the second listed. Great short-cut -- avoided hours/days of head scratching. Many thanks, MindOver. Your post is bookmarked.

This is great! Thanks sooo much! See you on the other side.

Thanks for the easy-to-understand guide. So much less daunting to start Steeming ahead. Thank you.

This helped me a lot. I am still trying to figure out how all this stuff works. Thanks

@mindover this is an excellent post, I would love it if you would contribute posts like this over on SteemGuide.Wiki.

Great post, I just joined earlier today and I'm amazed!

First, great article. Simple and easily understandable.

Second, I am trying to make my native language (bulgarian) more commonly used and to bring more people from my country here. Especially to show the ones who don't speak english, that this platform is for them too.

My question is: Can I translate your post in bulgarian by of course including link for your original post?

I think your article is very good written for someone who is just starting to learn about how steemit works.

Thank you in advance!

Thanks @mindover
Just joined yesterday. This has definitely boosted my confidence. Excited to be a part of the community!

Caught me up to speed real quick. Appreciate you taking the time...

New to steemit and this content really helped me. Especially the breakdown of the 'wallet' - financial aspect. - thanks

This article has helped me understand Steem currencies. Thanks.

When you create a blog post, how long will it be editable?

Great read. What would have taken me several hours of research to understand you explained in a few minutes. Much appreciated!

Thanks for clearing up the differences between Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars. That was particularly confusing to me even after reading the FAQ!

I think this article need to be promoted. Very easy reading for dummies like me! It has helped me a lot for getting started.

good post

Firstly thank you for this post!
Secondly I have a dumb question.
My account says I have an Estimated Account Value of $9.00 I'm wondering how it got there and if it is a value that I can use, how can I change it into steam power?
I hope you can help me clarify :/

I needed to read this article. Thanks for writing it!

This helped alot, thanks!I`ll show it to my friends and colegues!

That was a big help in understanding the Steemit system, thanks.

I'm new and glad to see articles like this. Need all the help I can get. Thanks!

Good post for the new one...thanks a lot!

Hi am new here , and the truth is that i was looking to understand, how all this works, perhaps i fall on this article that explain and give a good introduction to neewbies like me..... Thanks to the creator

Even 11 months later it is still a useful guide for a newbie. :)