So, you're having a tough time getting through these days? Join the party! So, why is gaining attention on Steem getting so hard these days? After coming back from a hiatus, I've been studying the situation, and I've come up with six reasons I can see that this is happening. I'm sure there are others, but here, in no particular order are some things you're fighting against.
We all want steemit to grow, or do we? As long as the price of steem, the coin at the center of our universe, rises, the rewards pool will grow, making it possible for enough steemers to make bank for us to maintain an active community. But, at the rate we're growing, that's becoming difficult.
Why do I say that?
Well, according to @exyle on this Vlog post yesterday, we are setting huge new records for opening new accounts! That's a good thing, but, it increases the competition for eyeballs, while simultaneously adding eyeballs.
We are adding up to 50,000 new account every day!!!
So, the equivalent of a small city, are walking into steem land and setting up shop on a daily basis. Wow! That's going to cause some ripples, but that's not all folks!
Amount of New Content!
The number of eyebals is increasing, making followers easier than ever to find, but the number of posts being added to our ecosystem is enormous! The blog post you worked so hard to create this morning, is going up against tens of thousands of others. It's hard to stand out from the background!
Just how much competition do we have?
I'm glad you asked! Are you ready for this? No, wait, guess....I'm serious. Just get a number in your head before you read any further. Okay, got your number, great, drumroll please!
According to Bloctivity, our one day record to date is....
That's right, your post is going up against a quarter of a million others. To put that in perspective, the record number of transactions on the block chain is only 1.9 million. And that includes everything! What do I mean by everything?
- Starting new accounts (50,000 a day)
- Transferring coins
- Powering up
- Powering down
Everything. So, if that 1.9 million transactions were all upvotes, that would leave us with a total of 7.6 votes per post. Think about that. But, like I said, upvotes only account for a tiny fraction of those transactions. If, for example, upvotes accounted for 1/4 of all activity on the steem blockchain, that drops it down to less than two votes per post!
So, if your post got more than two votes, you are above average!
That's right! The fact that I'm averaging 15 votes per post, puts me so far ahead of the curve, it's staggering, but my wallet doesn't know that!
Varying content types
This one is a killer for us writers. While we spend our time meticulously choosing the write words to share, other steemers (read slackers) are getting paid to share memes, like this one, on Dmania
While it may seem like cheating, two services in particular make it possible for users to create content rapidly, or share content from other sources, such as YouTube accounts, that are featured in smaller circles on offsite platforms. One of these is Dtube for video, another is Dmania for memes and funny short video, and yet another is Steepshot, lifestyle posting of single images with a title and a description.
Leading posts in these venues are not reaching the heights of top trending posts on Steemit, yet, but they are making multiple hundreds in payouts for short, easy to craft, or curate content.
If you've been reading my stuff for very long, you'll know by now, I'm not a fan. I'm not saying I won't eventually break down and use them, but I think they're hurting the system.
Right now, it's virtually impossible to compete without them. Unless an author builds their own active audience of upvoters, their best shot at getting content discovered, is the "hot" and "trending" tabs in any category.
All of us are competing to earn our share of the prize pool, and that competition is increasing. In addition to giving the best curation rewards, the hot and trending posts are where the action is.
The have thriving comment chains. They get resteemed and mentioned. If you manage to attach yourself, in a solid comment, with a ink to your content, one good trending post could take you places.
But, the holy grail, is to hit trending for your own content! Right?
The algorithm is too simple
In my opinion, the algorithm that feeds us steemit content is too simple. Rather than include things like reputation score (based on number of replies to content and comments) number of comments or resteems, two things matter, vote count and payout amount and we all know that payout amount is king.
That's where the bots come in
Content that achieves early attention (votes and rewards) is moved to the hot content list. This list seems to roll pretty consistently with how fresh content is, so things don't stay at the top of it all day. However, the top "hot" content, if it continues to garner support, moves to "trending" where $$$$ are king!
A writer like me with no bots is at the mercy of his fans. If they come in early and place votes on his content, he used to have a shot. But, when a bot can provide an instant upvote, or even group of upvotes, it's unlikely that I will beat that post out for that spot.
And, because of this, most of the top posts that don't belong to whales, are bot voted.
With one of the latest hard forks, code was added (as I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong) to allow for outside apps to auotmate voting from accounts that volunteer to be a part of a curation trail.
In other words, you sign up, you give them a percentage to use, and they place votes, while your account, like a bot, follows them and upvotes right behind.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, on its face.
A well managed curation trail could do a lot of good for the system.
- Focused on specific types of content, curation trails can bring them to the forefront, getting it the attention it deserves.
- Well curated trails can move around, "sharing the wealth" as it were, over a wide circle of accounts.
- This type of support can give developers, artists and even journalists, the support they need to develop their content.
But it's not all fun and games!
Since a vote for you, pulls reward power from any votes cast for me (remember, limited prize pool generated daily) these groups can make individual votes less powerful by consolidating the rewards power.
- Curators have a lot of power to decide who succeeds and who will be ignored.
- With 250,000 posts a day, no one can see them all, many good things still get skipped.
This phenomenon started happening right from the beginning. Stars from a hundred different platforms, bloggers, streamers, YouTubers, all saw the opportunity on steemit, to increase their earnings in a much less stressful environment, with fewer competitors.
While it's impossible to convert an entire audience from one platform to another, a YouTube account with a million or more subscribers would bring more than enough following to do quite well in our simple rewards system, and they have.
It's all part of the world we live in.
If you haven't heard me say it, you're new to my stuff, welcome. We live in an attention economy. Anyone that can build an audience can make their fortune and I don't fault these entrepreneurs for doing what they do.
On the one hand, it brings a lot of attention to the platform, including investment dollars on the exchanges, which means more coins in my piggy bank. On the other hand, many of their followers are just here for them and don't engage on the platform to help build useful content.
Most of them also tend to mine shallow veins.
While they share great content, they tend to stick very close to the surface, following trends to get their audience engaged. That's great, but I'd love to see more of them challenge their audiences to dig a little deeper, build something of value. Some are. Accounts like @Jerrybanfield are developing new apps on the blockchain.
So, if they get a little off the top for the attention they raise, it makes it possible for me to write my stories and keep the lights on for another day, all in all, not a bad payoff.
If you haven't witnessed the epic battle between Haejin and GrumpyCat, you're missing out. On one side, you have a self styled crypto commentator, flush with alt coin cash, buying his way to the top. Then, posting up to ten commentaries a day, with varying levels of quality content.
On the other hand, you have GrumpyCat, AKA, I believe, BernieSanders, king of the little guy, in a flag war to the death. While I don't agree with everything Bernie says, and I've told him so, he's right. One account taking that much of the prize pool daily is a detriment to the project. But, we play into it.
Much like in the real world, we like to complain about the 1%, while in reality, we build our own "Killer Whales"
Who would invest in a crappy home daycare center their neighbor was running, hoping they didn't lose their capital, if they could invest in fortune 500 companies at a nearly guaranteed 12%? Nobody. But, to break the cycle, it might be time for us to consider giving up our short term gains for a bigger principle.
- Consolidating wealth by always voting for the biggest posts, creates more of the same and hurts your own odds of attracting an audience.
- More, smaller payouts, would increase stability on the platform, while still giving a large number of steemers a chance to stick around and build
- Community, not flashy posts, will be the long haul solution to building wealth on steemit
So, Mark, What do you suggest we do about it?
I'm glad you asked. First, upvote this post and resteem it. (joking/not joking) we need to start a big conversation on this theme. Write your own post and mention me in it, or don't, but spread the word! I've got a lot of suggestions of steps you can take. I'll give you three big ones and a list of bullets.
Just like Dmania, Steepshot and DTube, creating community spaces where a curated feed of content can be enjoyed with less competition and noise, any smaller group inside of steemit can help you get more votes and followers.
- Take the time to comment, reply, upvote, resteem and @ mention other accounts to help start conversations and build relationships.
- Promote other users, even beginners, to gain loyal followers. I'll be sharing how you can find out who your fans are in the next few days, you need more!
- Produce good, helpful content. If you don't want to teach people to steem, teach them something. Use part of your energy to help other users.
If you can't beat them, join them!
Sites like Dmania and Dtube and Steepshot, might seem annoying. They're getting paid for smaller bites of content. But, it might be worth putting up one or two posts on these sites from time to time. Also projects like @adsactly and @utopian are designed to give opportunity to individuals in a group context.
- Sharing other content will put you in front of a new audience!
- You'll also discover some amazing steemers you didn't know before!
- You can fight the future, or you can join it. This trend is not going away, it's an open source blockchain and more Dmanias are being built as we speak!
Focus on New Users
The platform is growing so fast! The new users represent untapped resources! If you want an audience, there they are. There are some challengs, such as the fact that many of them are ESL learners who don't have great English skills, but you can help them fix that.
One quick story here. I had a young African author ask me for tips. His post was amazing, but his English was atrocious. I suggest Grammarly.com, a free editor, to help him. His vocab was great, but his syntax was janky at best. Two weeks later, he posted a comment asking me to take a look at his new post, the improvement was AMAZINGG!!!
- Planton grow! That grateful plankton will soon be a profitable minnow, and maybe a dolphin some day, all while upvoting your content!
- The odds are in your favor. If you attracted 1/10 of one percent of the newcomers in one week, that's 350 accounts! The possibilities are staggering!
- They are ready to be shown the ropes. Give them a little help, and they will bring their friends to you.
It takes time to develop talent. I've been in that business my whole life and I love to teach. I know that some of my own biggest fans here are people I encouraged to share on steemit. You never know what that person may achieve. Give it a try, what have you got to lose?
pro tip: you can find newcomers in the "introduce yourself" tag, look under new and leave them a link in a comment.
Now, here's my bullet list of short suggestions.
- Post daily, stay in the mix, increase your odds of getting seen.
- Experiment with different tags, get into new audiences
- Try different styles of content. Stick with what works, but add new stuff
- Support your supporters! Upvote them, do unto others and all that jazz
- Brand yourself, either develop a visual style, like @meesterboom, or start a regular feature, like #dolphinschool
- Comment, comment, comment. This is probably the most powerful tool for attracting attention, always leave your link, like this @markrmorrisjr
- Avoid spamming people. Don't hijack comment threads. Don't piss people off.
- Ask questions. This is a huge way to get people to talk!
- be patient and consistent. It can take some time.
- Join contests and projects
- buddy up to "curators" like @naquoya who post list articles, they'll mention you eventually
- Stay positive. This place is really cool. Be grateful for what you DO get.
- Share other people's work, it makes them feel good.
Well, I could do this all day, but I want to enjoy some time with my family, so, if you enjoyed this, please...