Drinking the Steemit Kool-Aid

in steemit •  last year

Since joining this site in April, I have bought -- hook, line and sinker -- into Steemit's main selling point: basically, that Steemit is a site where people can earn money for the content they create. That unlike other social media mega centres (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) where a small number of investors make billions off of the content created by the masses, Steemit is a place where the content creators reap the rewards.

But Steemit isn't different. In the real world, those who have the most make the most. In the real world, those who have invested the most in Facebook, or Snapchat, or whatever the next big thing happens to be, are the ones who receive the profits. And similarly, on Steemit, those who have the most invested in the site are the ones who reap the vast majority of the rewards.

I don't state this as a complaint. More so, as a reality check for myself and others who are new to the game. Or maybe I should say 'late to the game' because most people who are joining Steemit now will be hard pressed to reach the same level of success as Steemit's early adopters.

@jerrybanfield recently shared a very interesting post about how Steemit's top authors are earning $10,000 to $20,000 a month. That number blows my mind. I can see why hearing that would draw new people to Steemit, the same way more people are drawn to buy lottery tickets when there's a big jackpot. But the odds of "winning" are about the same: slim.

In fact, the only way I could realistically earn thousands of dollars a month on Steemit is if I sell my house and all of my belongings and invest the profits in the site. It doesn't really matter how good my posts are or how many followers I attract -- the money I put in dictates the money I pull out.

money_computer.jpg
Courtesy of GraphicStock.com

When Hardfork 19 was announced, I naively believed that the playing field was about to level, and it did, very, very slightly. The value of my upvote rose from nothing to around $0.25. And honestly, I was pretty happy about that because it meant I finally had something to offer all those great content creators whose work I genuinely enjoyed. But I still have a lot of posts that earn $1 even with 40 plus upvotes. And I see a lot of great posts by other authors that garner a lot of interest, but no money.

This is the way the system works, at least right now. So I can be angry and jealous that it's working for others, but not for me. I can complain that people are gaming the system, even though there aren't any rules to say they can't. I can throw in the towel and give up on the Steemit dream.

OR …

I can continue to enjoy all of the things that I like about this site:

  • the great content that so many Steemians continue to produce and share, regardless of how much they earn;
  • the ability to write for an audience, no matter how big or small;
  • the opportunity to learn about new places, new people, new ideas, new things;
  • the comments and conversations that create a very real sense of community; and,
  • yes, the chance to earn a few dollars here and there for my work.

holding_hands_kids.jpg
Courtesy of GraphicStock.com

If you've come to Steemit for the money, you're bound to be disappointed. But if you come to Steemit for these other things, you'll probably find them. And you might have a pretty good time.

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Yes, that is how things work. Money attracts money. And like you I'm not complaining either, because I do get it. But this notion that things can be/are different here isn't entirely true. The basic laws of value and human greed apply pretty much everywhere.

I also appreciated the value of my vote rising with the last hard fork. That was a small but nice change. Apart from that, we just need to keep speaking our truth, and enjoying our time, as best we can.

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Yes, so true. I just can't comfortably promote Steemit as a place to make $ to new users as it feels misleading. But there are still other benefits they might enjoy from the site.

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I think you said it best when mentioning the need to invest in Steem big time, and then you will reap rewards. Most people can't do that. But if they don't understand that dynamic then they get jaded if their dreams were to make the sort of figures you see on the trending page.

So yes, promote for the community, or blog or other key points. These are all good also. But those $$ on each post can be like a drug :)

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So far I have only invested my time.

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Yes, I've only invested my time so far as well but I'm seeing value beyond the dollar amounts. building a brand new network of folks i don't know on other channels and learning a lot. Also finding ways to use the content from other places here and then also the content I use here in other places. It's cyclical. I'm liking it decently so far in my first 3 weeks.

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I too had the same realization as this a while ago, and while it's not completely unfounded, it's not entirely the case...

When I became frustrated with Steemit, I went looking at the top earners. To see what they were doing in order to get a sense of what I was doing wrong.

In doing so, I noticed everyone I looked at was making pennies in the beginning!

For instance, I checked out @papa-pepper 's page. He is a well respected membwer of the community and he does quite well. My favorite thing about him is his helpful and honest nature- but those are different words for a different article :) In other words, I checked out the pages of authors I respect and @papa-pepper is one one my most respected fellas :)

What I noticed after scrolling not too far down his page is that just a few months ago he was making $2 and $3 a post too! Just like me!

Just a few months ago!

If you keep steeming you will rise :)

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Yep, I've done that too with authors I admire, including @papa-pepper. I appreciate those who not only create interesting content, but who are trying to welcome and support newcomers.

When I first signed up, I also heard a lot of stories about $1,000 and $2,000 posts. Now, we see posts earning hundreds, which is still great. However, it takes patience, dedication and luck to reach that point and I wouldn't want new users to become frustrated simply because their expectations don't match the current reality. I want them to stay and be a part of Steemit. 🙂

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Yes, it takes time, patience, and community, but it WILL HAPPEN!

#UnMentionables

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Way back in June when I started I was making $25-$30 on some posts... now I am lucky if I make $ 1.... It is confusing. But I will keep sharing my Artwork, photography etc etc ...

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The same thing happened to me. It happens to almost everyone here around level 54-55, seriously! Read THIS article I wrote, and the comments. It's crazy but this is a real phenomena.

Its all a matter of perspective. I posted a video today that ouches on perspective. If one comes looking at Steemit as a job and for it to provide an equivalent income as a 9 to 5, they may be disappointed. However if one looks at it like I do, then they will be happier. I post what I want, not that which will "sell". If I make any money, it is for doing what I enjoy. That alone is worth staying for.

I didn't have any illusions of grandeur when I signed up for steemit. For me, it was an experiment to see if people would read the stuff that I was writing about. Faceplant got to be such a downer that steemit was better than wasting my time putting stuff up on faceplant that nobody would see, much less read.
As for cryptos, when I can spend steem dollars at the grocery store, then it will be money. As long as I have to convert it to bitcoin and then convert that to U.S.D., it's difficult for me to use, not that I have any to convert. I've been powering up 100% to gain more vote power. I don't have the ability to invest in steem, so I have to earn it all here by posting and curating.
I can't complain, I have a better following here with more engagement than I ever had on faceplant.

I'm pretty much with you on this.

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Thanks, although I'm kind of sorry we both feel this way. 🙂

You definitely mirror my feelings as well. However, You are rising lately it would appear! So keep up the great content and I will too ...."See you at the top" Zig Ziglar
Love and Peace,
Melissa

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I know. When I wrote this post, most of my other ones were sitting at around the $1 mark. Then they got a surprise boost and jumped up significantly. I'm thankful for that, but also still focused on enjoying Steemit's other perks. 🙂

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I am addicted...it is so nice (kind of ) meeting folks with similar interest...alternative...
Blessings,
Melissa

Good post. I was an early adopter. Two of my posts attracted ned upvotes and sent me into $2000 ville-on my second week.

That being said I don't think you're a late adopter at all. We're only in beta and we have WAY more to offer before this place hits the mainstream.

Think of it as enjoying posting content and curating for the next two years - by then, we'll be laughing. You'll no doubt look back and see a post not quite unlike yours two years in the future :)

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Lol! I hope you're right. Thanks!

I just caught this heading out the door and AFK but was able to read it and I say again, you are one of my fav. people on here, even though we do not chat very often.

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Thanks @barrydutton. You're one of my favourite community members too!

All true, but wow you should have seen how hard it was to make a dollar a year ago!

Keep hanging in there!

I'm fairly new, but things are still in beta, so i think there's a lot of good hope for the future with people innovating like heck around video (dtube), mobile (esteem) and all sorts of community and curation projects. So for now, I'll take another drink. (-:

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Good point -- there is still a lot of innovation and change happening. And being involved with Steemit will lead to opportunities to be first in on new endeavours.

nice post

Thanks for posting this I have been feeling much the same as well.

The more I find out about the witness thing Im a little disapointed, the voting idea is great and all that, but its simply a way for the rich to get richer and the poor shut out just like the real world. I'd like to contribute real world reasources to mining Steemit but if no one votes for me its just a waste of energy and time.

Its good to the read comments here that it is just in beta, that made me feel a little better about it.

I do like content that is worth reading and have learnt a few things here, so I'll continue to drink the Kool aid for a while....

I would love to be making $25 a post.... I used to. Anyway I am here to share my creations and doing OK. Good post. Upvoted.