I think so many of us go through phases of feeling like our labor here on Steemit just isn't paying off, and the whole thing is proving to be a big disappointment - at times anyways, huh?
My "real life" friend Brian @highimpactflix just posted his "Honest Ramblings of Temporary Disappointment" on this topic, and just days earlier @ziogo got a lot of encouragement and "sympathy upvotes" when he wrote about his last eight posts in a row all earning less than a nickel each.
(Oh, he also earned 34 cents for that article.)
It's probably fair to say that we (almost) all know that feeling of having the air knocked right out of our chests that these guys are talking about of, don't we? You spend hours (or days?) on a great article, with sources, images, links - the whole works, man! ... and then you (I) spend another half-hour promoting.
And then you spend the next few hours watching, waiting, watching waiting, refreshing, refreshing again, and again...
Just to see it make a total of 8 cents.
self-portrait JK! Image Source
You're reading this now because this "factor" isn't exactly breaking news to you, is it?
And honestly, it kind of stings when someone's article that we think (in our own infinite wisdom) is a total piece of crap earns $1000 in like two hours, doesn't it?
beware of jealousy monsters! Image Source
That $1500 "Introduce Yourself" post that wasn't yours?
Grrrrr, jealousy! I know it well.
The "total newbie" who has a reputation score in the 50s by his or her second post (!) just because the right people at the top of our food chain upvoted them from Day 1?
YUP this really grinds MY gears! Grrrrr, Jealousy!!!
Now before I move on and get to the point, I do want to at least ask you to think about one thing for a moment, just for perspective...
I want you to compare whatever level of disappointment you might feel at all of this - when YOUR (and my) precious hours of labor seem "all for naught" - to the guys and girls who have plopped $1,000, or $10,000, or more into buying Steem at $3 or $4 recently, just to see it plunge to 37 cents ...
37 cents as of right now, and still falling Image Source
Now THAT's disappointment! Just something to keep in mind, okay?
But getting down to brass tacks - this ISN'T one of those articles that wants to remind you how "great the community is here" or how "superior to other social networks the content is here, so it's worth it..."
Those are true statements. They are a huge part of why Steemit will likely succeed long term in fact (with or without you) and cannot be overlooked. However, when you're in the depths of despair and ready to give up on investing your time and talent into this platform, they just feel like platitudes to most of us.
At least a lot of the time anyways, right?
Nope, this one's about making money. Facing facts it's a large part of what motivates us to "Keep on Steeming" and point blank is WHY WE'RE HERE to a large degree.
So let's deal with it.
I'm not going to be the guy to tell you "HOW TO" write better articles, improve your reputation, keep commenting, and get more followers. Google it (and use the word Steemit) - there's lots here already.
Point blank - the two reasons you should keep on Steeming (even at 8 cents an article) are :
#1) The Example of Bitcoin
#2) Steem/Steemit's Potential
#1) The example of Bitcoin : Just in way of a quick reminder to some, or as an introductory primer to others, it's important to keep in mind that much of the excitement about Steem is based upon the past performance of Bitcoin and other digital currencies in general. (Just always keep in the mind the well-known "financial services" disclaimer "Past performance is not an indicator of future results..." of course.)
Fact : "Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida programmer, conducted what bitcoiners think of as the first real-world bitcoin transaction, paying 10,000 bitcoins to get two pizzas delivered from Papa John’s...
(He sent the bitcoins to a volunteer in England, who then called in a credit card order transatlantically.) A farmer in Massachusetts named David Forster began accepting bitcoins as payment for alpaca socks...."
- Image & Quote: Wired.com Nov 2001 - "The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin"
Let's just estimate that the pizzas were $10 each USD - (?) will update if anybody here knows) - so let's say that at that time, 5,000 Bitcoin equaled $10. That was late 2008, so about eight years ago. The trading price of Bitcoin has madly risen and fallen since then, but currently trades at around $600 REAL USD for one Bitcoin.
Those numbers to state the percentage in "increase in Bitcoins value" are so large as to be almost impossible to wrap our heads arounds (easier example coming below tho). But for illustration purposes here you go :
5,000 BTC = appx 10 USD, so 500 BTC = appx 1 USD
Just drop a zero... following so far?
So take that original 500 BTC multiplied by $600 (BTC's current price) and you're basically saying that those Papa John's pizzas cost $300,000 each! How Papa John's has not grabbed onto that fact for marketing purposes is beyond me...
But back to the point, drop the zero again (because the pizza cost appx $10), and and you get 1 x 30,000.
So it's actually fair to say that Bitcoin has increased in value by a factor of appx 30,000 since it's first recorded transaction in 2008.
Wow. So by analogy here...
IF Steem were to increase by 30,000x times from today
(and it likely won't of course) but just for perspective ...
Every Steem dollar you now have would be worth $30,000, and your 8 cent article would become worth $2,400.
So friend, does that help motivate you a little bit already to keep posting those 8 cents articles, right along with me?
If that's just too unrealistic to believe, or the numbers are too big for you to see, let's move into the real world of something that REALLY HAPPENED with Bitcoin ...
As I posted about 6 weeks ago, (when first trying to wrap MY head around Steemit's potential) www.TheGuardian.com features an article where one man's $27 purchase of Bitcoin (that he forgot about!!!) had grown to $886,000 in just four years - from 2009 - 2013.
"Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption. He promptly forgot about them until widespread media overage of the anonymous, decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory...
“It said I had 5,000 bitcoins in there. Measuring that in today’s rates it’s about NOK5m ($886,000),” Koch told NRK...
"Koch exchanged one fifth of his 5,000 bitcoins, generating enough kroner to buy an apartment in Toyen, one of the Norwegian capital’s wealthier areas."
- Image & Quote : TheGuardian.com October 2013 "Man Buys $27 BTC ... Now Worth $886,000K"
While my numbers above were (perhaps sketchy) estimates, you now have a real-world, reported by major media, example to draw from for inspiration! Turning $27 into $886,000 is also a 30,000% GAIN!
AND note that Bitcoin sold for only $266 when this discovery was made and cashed in, so at appx $600 today, you can more than double those numbers, to see the seven year gain.
So, are you convinced yet that 8 cents in Steem today could be worth something one day, and therefore "totally worth your time" to keep on Steeming yet? Because 8 cents today times just 50,000 (not even doubling the above) is still $4,000 in what (we'll call for today) your possible retirement fund.
At least that's what I'm calling my Steemit accounts right now. Even upvoting and curating for micro-pennies at a time suddenly takes on a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
Ask yourself - would you be "okay" with things if every Steem Dollar you have today "ONLY" becomes worth $1000 a few years from now? And does it seem reasonable to you to hope for that now?
Because more than that is possible, y'know. Way more. Keep reading.
Before finishing this, I'm going to also recommend the excellent and well-received Steemit article from about just three weeks ago - ironically titled "You Should Forget About The Money on Steemit" (and image below) by @steemrollin -
also detailing how Steem Dollars could increase, comparing Steem/Steemit's potential future to Twitter, Google, and Facebook's humble beginnings, and how holding into Steem long-term is what we all need to do right now.
#2) Steem/Steemit's Potential: (Note that much of the rest of this post now draws upon my original arguments / posts from 5-6 weeks ago on SBD and the "possible future" of Steemit's long-term business plan - which I am of course NOT privvy too - and is now technically something of a repost from here. Article 1 Article 2)
Stating it succinctly I've speculated here already that Steemit will gain millions of users eventually, and could perhaps even introduce a "pay for membership model" -
- NOT UNLIKE @fyrstikken has twice this week as well (others are seeing this too I guess, so maybe I'm not the only crazy visionary on board here!) Altho I believe it shouldn't happen until we are into the millions of users however, if ever...
Less succinctly, and quoting only myself:
"I’m extremely convinced that this platform will explode to millions of users within a couple of years, and then into tens of millions of users…
"I’m actually arguing that in coming months the “demand” side of the Supply & Demand equation will kick into overdrive - and then into hyperdrive!
"...because I believe that many (millions of?) new users will continue to come primarily for the free blog offered by Steemit that is AD-FREE - it’s a cheap (free now) web-hosting solution in many ways - one of the primary reasons I am here in fact - empowering low-income people globally to have their voice heard, and
"...so long as that offer stands, the demand for the product will always exist.
"My theory is that eventually it may “only” be free to sign up ... perhaps once the Beta stage is complete, and they decide that they're "out of free money" to give away, and are "only giving away" a free blog (beginning at some future point anyways).
"PART of the power of this platform is that within a couple of years (?) every high school and college kid in China and Uzbekistan is likely to have one of these accounts, and grandmothers everywhere are going to be wondering why their “babies” aren’t posting on Facebook much anymore.?
"And with probable demand like I’m postulating here, should we really be all that worried about what the price is today, while still in Beta?
"Consider this possibility : After they’re done giving it away for free - or even before - Steemit could then possibly start (gasp!) charging for certain functionality - like hosting images ... Or, Steemit could possibly introduce a small fee for hosting audio (mp3 files) for independent podcasters (like me) -
"... like my high school friend who turned me on to Steemit) who want to upload videos FREE FROM the censorship of YouTube (I of course argued this before SteemQ was announced
- but now that it is a coming reality, my original arguments are strengthened at least ten-fold I believe.)
"SO JUST IMAGINE , if
"...at some perhaps even pre-planned point (Steemit, Inc) decided to charge only $1 for a membership (you know, “to avoid abuse” / “to protect the community from spammers and anonymous criminals” / “to prove you’re not a fake account by tying your Steem to your real bank account, so our users can “conveniently” bypass Bitcoin, Coinbase, Blocktrades, etc")...?
"And then just give you (maybe, maybe not) the equivalent of your sign up fee in Steem dollars?
"What if they decide to make it a mere $1 monthly recurring? Or $10 annually? I’d pay it for sure!
Especially to get the perhaps upcoming "fully functional" version with bells, whistles, audio and video hosting, PLUS MAYBE EVEN (I'm dreaming here) the ability to CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADS and advertisers, if you can attract a marketable following...
"What an incredible value for simple unknown bloggers and podcasters who want AD-FREE sites!
"...But my larger point is that ANY amount of income - especially, especially, especially - recurring income (!) that Steem might be able to bring in in a year or five from now, will attract investors in a huge way, because the business model incorporates a proven stream of recurring income.
"How about $29, or $49 - $99 (to sign up) depending on what you want - annually, if you’re a business owner who wants a second account just for your business or organization (complete with shopping cart) once this takes off in the real world? ...
"My point is, there are so many ways that Steemit can eventually start making money in real income, effectively almost 100% ensuring that the value of Steem Dollars has absolutely NO possibility of EVER crashing to $0, because it will always be pegged to a low.
"Even if that low is only equivalent, at minimum, to the “price” of joining such a quality platform that is loaded with benefits, features, and most of all - value. Bitcoin, Etherium, etc, (hypothetically) CAN crash to zero, because "all" they offer is a cyber-currency.
"I'm arguing that Steemit offer SO MUCH MORE, and will almost ALWAYS have SOME inherent value, and therefore almost always be worth something.
"STEEM dollars then - loosely speaking, and if and only if they always also have a blog (or more) attached to them - are actually more akin to (commodities like) wheat, oil, silver, gold, baseball cards or comic books, just for example(s), than they are like Bitcoins, or Wall Street Stocks for that matter."
Folks this is now way more than I envisioned writing, but thanks for hanging with me this long!
I'm not a financial advisor or expert by any means, and wish to remain humbly open to correction below of any of my numbers, estimates, etc. Mainly tho, I hope that reasoning and perhaps rosey-posey optimism encourages many of my fellow minnows to KEEP ON STEEMING!
Hopefully, I've offered you a fresh perspective on what today's 8 cent article is really worth.
I say your labors are NOT in vain - because tomorrow ...?