I've decided to take my time to help out spanky new steemit minnows. Even though I myself am currently in a bit of a steemit slump and posting help like this won't really help me in growing but seem as how I'm not really earning much lately I'll focus some of my time in the service of newcomers as after all you are the future of Steemit.
So my first help blog is focused on upvotes and how to use them as that little upvote arrow is the first thing you see and as a newcomer you give out upvotes like candy at halloween unaware of how they work.
Upvotes are NOT unlimited so don't upvote everything you see
Your upvotes will be worth less and less the more you use them
VOTING AND DILUTION
Everyday you will get 10 upvotes before your voting power will begin to dilute for example at 100% voting power your vote is obviously at its most powerful and will have the most impact monetarily.
As your voting power dilutes your upvote will be worth less and less until it reaches 0% where it will be worth nothing.
To check your voting power go to https://www.steemnow.com
This website will show you your current voting power and also how much your upvote is worth at your current voting power percentage. In order to replenish your voting power you will need to stay beneath the 10 votes per day and your voting power will then increase by 20% per day untill it is fully replenished, provided you don't vote beyond the 10 votes per day. Still with me?
WHAT WILL VOTING EARN YOU?
So many minnows don't understand how curation rewards work, so when you upvote content the author of that post will receive 75% of the value of the post and the remaining 25% is distributed to the upvoters in steem power based on the Steem power of the upvoters.
A lot of newcomers hear about curation rewards and wonder why they aren't getting any when whales are earning big on curation, that is all down to steem power and their high steem power means they have more of a say in where the reward pool is distributed, minnows have almost no steem power therefore have very little say in where the reward pool is distributed.
Many people may convince you to forget about looking for author rewards and try gain in curation. As a minnow we receive very very little for curation due to the value of our vote being so small on average I get 0.001SP per curation reward which isn't really going to get me rich is it?. So don't just give up on writing valuable content just because you're only earning a few cent, growing takes time and as you write articles you will slowly gain followers who will see you content in their new feed, when you start out your content only appears in the 'new' and particular 'tags' content feed which due to the amount of articles posted your work will often flash out of view before many see it.
Curation only really makes a difference as you progress as a steemian probably from Dolphin onwards (5,000 Steem power).
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR UPVOTES?
Don't upvote every single post you see, theirs no point, in order to grow on Steemit you need to upvote what you find valuable often when someone upvotes me and comments I will take my time to look through their content and vote and comment on one of their posts, this is networking and finding a common ground with your followers and having social interaction with your upvoters and followers will encourage them to come back to your blog and upvote you again in the future.
Check out the new feed and read a few articles and upvote only what you enjoy, you check out a post you like then upvote it and let the author know you enjoyed it after all Steemit is all about rewarding great content not just rewarding someone in order to get them to follow you.
If you are looking for curation rewards the easiest way to get NONE is to upvote a post already valued highly. The way to get curation rewards is by finding a post that you think is valuable early. As in if you are the first person to upvote a post that will be worth $1000 you will get the most curation based on the power of your vote as you were the first person to recognise great content that the community as a whole expresses as valuable.
SO HOW SHOULD YOU USE UPVOTES?
Use your upvotes to reward content you enjoy plain and simple, as a minnow there is no strategy to upvotes in regards to curation, your voting power is so small the actual rewards for curation are so tiny I wouldn't worry about it. The only real strategy for growth with upvotes is to check out the content of your followers and reward them IF they posted something you enjoyed.