In its current state, Steemit has a lot of voting power concentrated into the hands of a few people, funnily called “whales”. What does this mean for the average Joe? It means that one whale can move a significant part of the rewards pool. For example, you can get voted by 100 minnows and only get $3 in rewards, whereas a single vote from a whale can get you $30.
This imbalance created a little bit of polarization around whales. They are both feared for holding too much power, and revered for being the potential source of revenue for a writer or a commenter.
That’s how Steemit is rolling these days.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be like this. As a matter of fact, the only predictable thing in our universe is change. Things are guaranteed to change.
A Bit Of Math
Let’s take the example of a whale with 1.000.000 Steem Power. Let’s assume that such a whale can allocate from the rewards pool around $10 with a full vote on a post (I’m not doing the exact math here, just an oversimplified approximation - if there is a Steemit scholar among the readers of this article, he should feel free to make the exact calculations).
That’s nice. One vote for that guy and here comes ten bucks.
And now let’s take the average minnow, with no more than 1,000 SteemPower in his wallet. To move the same $10 from the rewards pool, you will need 1,000 such minnows voting with full voting power on the same post. Ups. The game has changed. Significantly.
Or is it?
I don’t think so. The game is exactly as it always was in audience driven businesses: big numbers mean big money. The more people you touch, the bigger the benefits. Only the processes by which you get to the money evolved. The actual transactional process, didn’t: if you want to make money with your writing, you need a lot of people to read your stuff. No matter if you’re on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Steemit.
The fact that we have now these whales paints a wrong perspective. In the medium and long term, the distribution of Steem Power will naturally equalize (some whales will sell out, some new dolphins will promote to whales, etc). In the long run, there will be, on average, less Steem Power than in a whale's wallet, but in the wallets of far more people.
We will probably get rid of whales entirely and we will have a dominant population of dolphins, both in terms of number of members and in terms of Steem Power per member It’s from those people that your money, as a writer, will come.
So the main reason for writing here should not be to get the attention of a single whale (or of a group of them) but to write something that will be interesting, entertaining, useful, compelling for at least 1,000 people.
I know, we hardly have 50 people with more than 1,000 followers on Steemit now. The average number of followers per user is 14 (these stats are pulled from steemwhales.com). But that’s the direction. That’s where things will eventually end up.
When you write, you should write imagining that you do it for 1,000 people and you would produce something so motivating, so inspiring, so useful, that they will hit the upvote button naturally. There will be no effort. No thinking. Oh, I like this post. I really like it. I will give it an up vote. The process should be simpler than the process of giving Likes on Facebook.
Reasons For Being On Steemit
Steemit is a platform that encourages quality and consistent writing, by offering fast and measurable rewards, through a transparent and decentralized mechanism.
People participate in this platform for a variety of reasons:
- some of them come to be entertained by reading funny, clever or otherwise interesting stories
- some of them come to be inspired by other people writing or shared experiences
- some of them come simply by curiosity
- some of them come to maintain the platform as witnesses by keeping witness and seed nodes
- some of the come to invest in Steem, the cryptocurrency, and to follow up on their investing (checking out the sentiment in the platform, the number of users, posts, etc)
- some of them come to curate others content
- some of them come to interact with other people by means of commenting
- some of the come to write as an every day exercise
- and, finally, some of the come to make a living by writing
The last category is the one working the most. It will also be the category that will get most of the rewards in this platform. And I find this perfectly fine. There are writers and there are readers. Writing compelling content is hard. Writing compelling content consistently is an order of magnitude harder. But the result of writing compelling content consistently is that your audience grows and appreciates you. Add on top of this audience the mechanism of instant rewards that Steemit has built and you get to the point where you can make a living from writing here.
But make no mistake, building an audience is always hard, no matter if you do it on your blog, on your podcast, on YouTube, on Facebook, on Twitter or right here, on Steemit. It takes work, dedication, attention, implication. And it takes time.
If you’re here for the long game, there may be huge rewards waiting for you. But the road is also long.
You have been warned.
image source - Pixabay
I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.