I have been on Steemit for one week now. Here are my conclusions/thoughts/advice...
The user base here is very strange. I feel like (for the most part) people come here looking for actual content, not to see what others have had for breakfast (though I don't mind the occasional breakfast post). I can find people here who have similar interests, who don't mind sharing their thoughts.
Steemit is complicated. There is a lot more to it than just posts, likes, and shares. It will take time to understand, and you will need to do your research if you want to do it right.
Some people will follow you in expectation that you follow them back, and I don't roll like that. I follow people for content that I find interesting/helpful not because you gave me a follow. Now this doesn't meant that I don't look at my followers and check them out! I definitely do! I just don't follow every single person back right away. If you don't want your feed to be full of nonsense don't follow ten million random people.
Followers come with time. I gathered about 60 followers my first week, which I am super thankful and proud about! But they didn't just magically appear. You have to post things that you are passionate about and followers will find you. Don't worry if it takes a while.
This site is ... unpredictable so far. I post something one day and make a good amount, then post something similar a few days later and no one seems to notice. Don't take it personal, its just the way things are. There are different people looking at different tags at every time of the day. Which brings me to my next point.
Quality over quantity. I've noticed that I am much more successful when I spend time creating something that I find valuable. Don't just post to post. Steemit does not provide free money, you have to work and create valuable content. Great content will be rewarded in time.
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! I like blogging, and don't really enjoy social media, which is why I came to Steemit. If you are just here for the money, it probably won't turn out well for you. I blog because I love to share my thoughts and cats, not because I need upvotes. I think this a good philosophy to have when it comes to steeming.
On a more personal level...
Though some might see Steemit as a type of social media, I find it to be more of a blogging site. Blogging has helped me think about each day, and wonder how each day has mattered. Not just on a "what do I blog about today" level, but on a personal level. What did I do today? Did I enjoy my day, or spend my time overthinking things?