Should you become a full time steemian? - A critical take on the steem dream

in steemit •  8 months ago

Stories of people quitting their job and starting as full time steemians are popping up all the time. Should you also try to make a living with steemit or are there some important things to consider first?

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Will steemit be here in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years?

I doubt I'll get a lot of enthusiasm for saying this aloud, but steemit might not survive forever. The reasons are many. One of them is the fact that steemit doesn't currently support quality content. People won't stick around forever if more and more people gain power by posting other peoples pictures or selfies. Some people will probably still continue posting the selfies, but at some point no one wants to pay for people to be able to get paid for selfies.

Another potential reason steemit might not be here forever is the fact that it has quite poor usability. Usability refers to how the system is built in relation to the users being able to use it. I'm not going to go into detail about usability, because I could write a book about it. Anyway the core message being that steemit is quite hard to use for people not familiar with it.

The intention of this post isn't to bash steemit, so lets continue. Just know that even if steemit feels like a nice way of making some cash now, it needs to fix quite a few things before we can start to believe that someone else won't create a nicer alternative.

Even if steemit survives, everyone can't keep on earning a living on steemit

Only some people will be able to keep on earning a living, but as the amount of people on steemit increases, the probability becomes more scarce. When the reward pool needs to be split among more people, it will cause multiple issues. The worst possibility in my opinion is that a select few, say 100 people will control 80% of the reward pool and make millions and then there will be another 5% who will be able to make a living. Now, will you be one of them?

You might be able to pull of making money with telling about your dinner. How long do you think it can last?

Currently we see a lot of people earning steem for what we might consider, well, spam. If you are one of the people who makes money by posting a picture of what you ate this morning taken with your iphone in a dark place that your iphone can't really handle, you might really need to consider if that kind of earning is always going to be possible. Oh yeah, you might also consider the future of the platform...

However, if you always write quality stuff. You actually believe your writings are quality and you could gain a following on any other platform and probably turn that into profit also, then you might be onto something. Unfortunately I see less and less of those posts on steemit. People quickly realize that they can make money for less effort.

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Do you believe the value of steem won't go up?

If you believe in steem, why would you sell your position? If steemit will grow, so will steem. If steem grows, you are throwing away a potential of hundred times more in the future. That is how I see it anyway. So is it worth quitting your other sources of income to start to dig into what could be considered one of the best long term investments there is?

You might argue that you won't be spending everything and you still have that X amount of steempower locked away. However, have you considered what you would do if one day you find out that the amount of steem you sold last month, could've earned you a quarter million and this month you're getting a hundred times less. Not to mention all the other months worth of steem you sold which could've made you a multimillionaire by now. Even worse, if you would've kept on pushing that amount of steem into your power, the amount you could earn now would be even higher!

You will probably counter argue that thanks to having more time to write for steemit you would earn more, but are you sure? Are you sure that you would be able to earn so much more steem that you could counter act the negative impact of having to sell your steem for a living? If you answer yes, I won't be able to agree with you. Frankly, I wouldn't know.

What next?

And if the changing value of steem doesn't startle you, what about the joy of writing? Do you enjoy writing? Do you think you can enjoy writing for the next 10 years? Do you want to exchange the feeling of fun time writing to "I have to write today, or I won't earn"? Some people might. For some people writing might be what they always wanted to do.

Finally, what if you work as a steemian for 10 years and then you notice you can't make a living with it anymore. What do you do then? What is your next choice of work? What are the skills you have after essentially writing a blog for the last 10 years that employees will want? Yes, writers are needed. Are you a writer?

The choice of becoming a full time steemian shouldn't be taken lightly. You really need to consider the worst case scenarios. But if you really like it and you believe you have what it takes to maintain a loyal following and even grow it, go for it.

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You make some good points. I disagree with usability. It's not awful hehe.

What I will say is that unless someone with power (decentralized my *ss) starts to sort the upvote trading issue this platform will drive the value of STEEM into the ground. Not only ending Steemit but Dtube.

Right now, you can make a living on Steem not via content, but by spending Steem Dollars for upvotes. With enough Steem Dollars you can beat the cost and ultimately make a return on investment.

It's pretty sad for a content driven platform.

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I agree. It is sad to see that nothing is done to limit the amount of paid votes on the platform, which cause spam to be profitable. I'm hoping this is accepted until we can build up the user base, but a solution will be created before everyone worthwhile leaves to make way for the spam.