How to Write an Intro Post and Quality Comments: Writing Class Session 4 Summary
Tonight's first topic is introduction posts and how to make a good one. Most of you have probably already written yours, but there's still a lot to learn you can apply to future posts.
There's a lot of advice about what you should do before your write your intro post - like creating your profile banner and things like that. I'm not going to touch on those and focus just on the writing bit. There are probably some links to that type of information though in our steemit-resources channel.
Always do this!
First and last rule about intro posts is to use the introduceyourself tag in the FIRST position. Many people keep an eye on that tag to help welcome new people to Steemit so using it will increase your chances of being seen.
And do these...
But there are some other guidelines to follow too.
FYI, These aren't in any meaningful order, I'm just listing them as I think of them.
Plan out your intro. don't just fill up a page and put it out there.
Just like in real life, you want to make a good first impression. so take some time to plan your post. This is especially important because of all the spam and low quality content in the trending that gets upvoted by bots. The people looking to greet new users will notice your efforts.
Here's my story on planning my intro post.
I found Steemit via an internet marketing offer made through the WarriorForum. I bought a little ebook that was supposed to tell me all about it, how to get started and of course how to make money at it. I've found a lot of that info was wrong, or at best misleading, but the one thing it did was let me know I needed to write a good intro post.
I signed up around 17 February, and finally got approved on 5 March.
Guess what i did for those twoish weeks?
I worked on my intro post. Mostly I worked on it in my head, but shortly before I was approved I began writing it down for real.
Of course you don't need to take that long to plan but spending some time on it is a good idea.
Now that you know you should plan the next thing is knowing what to plan for right?
Generally intro posts cover the basics about you:
Who you are - Maybe not your name necessarily but your background, where you are from, education, hobbies, books you like to read...anything you feel is relevant to what you plan to do on Steemit.
Why you have joined steemit - You came here for a reason, so tell everyone what it is. If someone likeminded sees your post, you may find your first steemit friend (if you didn't join with/because of a friend).
Include your plans for Steemit - this also can help people with simialr interests find you and help you locate others looking to do the same thing.
Be authentic! I'll say that one again. Be authentic!
Many try to be someone else on social media - and this is a social media platform as well. But just like dogs can sense fear, readers can sense bravado, exaggeration or downright lies.
Sure some people can get away with pretnending to be who they aren't, but most will get caught in the long run. I have no proof of that of course but I choose to believe it.
Plus, pretending to be someone you're not just makes writing posts sooooo much harder. When it comes from the heart it can flow and feel natural to both you and the reader.
And there's the added complication that you may have to prove your identity someday if you are challenged. I don't know the details of how that all works, but why risk the account you're building by being false?
And speaking of proving your identity, this doesn't directly go to the written content, but I did a lot of research on intro posts to get the best recommendations to share with you tonight. Most said you should use a real picture of yourself that includes holding a paper with your steemit name and the date. This will immediately validate your identity apparently before any issues arise.
I didn't do that.
But I see many people who do. Those of you reading this that know whether or not that sort of picture is required or not please let us know in the comments.
Ok, back to my list of things.
Try and get beyond the "Hi, I'm Joe from Indiana. I work as a cpa and have a wife and 3 kids.."
That's nice and all, but not necessarily the most interesting.
I'll use myself as an example.
During the 2-3 weeks I waited for my account I tried to find a way to use a story to introduce myself. I was coming to the platform to write mostly (make money was nice too, but not the main reason).
I eventually landed on the headline "A copywriter, a physicist and a mom walk into a bar…"
People usually expect exciting things when they hear this line . Ok maybe they expect raunchy jokes but they usually want to know what happens.
The first half of my intro post is telling what happens when they walk in the bar. The rest is telling a little bit about me, why I'm there and all the things I mentioned above. Here's the link if you want to see: https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@ntowl/a-copywriter-a-physicist-and-a-mom-walk-into-a-bar
They glance at each other, then head off to different parts of the room. The copywriter heads to a table near the… by ntowl
Laughter is universal.
Humor is not.
So if you're able to, incorporate something funny into your post but do it knowing all kinds of people will be reading your post.
Being funny disarms people, makes them like you more for the most part. It creates a connection and makes them feel good when they read what you've written.
If you've ever taken speaking classes or read about how to be a good speaker, you'll see similar advice. You want to break the ice with something funny in the beginning.
But since you're writing for a general, mostly unknown audience it's good to stay away from the hot button topics like politics, religion, sex or taboo topics that might upset people.
A little self-deprecating humor can be fun, if it is done in a light way and not too often. Nobody knows you so it isn't likey to offend anyone. But if that doesn't come natural then don't do it.
Same with being funny. If it's hard for you then it won't be authentic.
Video is ok too, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't plan or write out what you'll say. Many people are more comfortable doing a video than writing. If that's you, the above advice still appliles
I've worked with clients to make intro videos for their businesses. Well, I would write the script for them and outline the parts that were supposed to be spontaneous.
One in particular was designed to show off a new office and the staff to existing and potential clients. I wrote a short little bit for the DM to read and the questions the other staffers were supposed to answer.
Much of it was impromtu, but it had a plan.
So if you do a video, still take the time to outline what you want to say so you don't end up rambling all over the place - appreciate the time people are spending to watch you and keep it interesting.
Any questions about intro posts? Did I miss anything you think should be included?
At this point @dynamicgreentk recommended including at least 2 photos in your intro post.
He also added that you should only use introduceyourself tag a total of three times in a set time period. We think it is 7 days, but again tell us in the comments if you know for sure. It's sort of an unspoken rule on Steemit so all recommendations are welcome.
@DigitalMind asked if it is ok to include a statment asking for follows and upvotes.
Again I'm not the expert on the platform but my sense is no, you shouldn't. I see it sometimes in banners at the bottom of posts and that doesn't bother me. But outright asking for it seems to be a bit taboo. People are supposed to upvote and follow you if they like what you do, not because you asked for it (the song I won't write you a love song just entered my head...).
The next question was about sourcing the images in your post. This is a big deal on the platform. I got rejected by a group because I hadn't sourced my images on my posts. All the ones I used I had a license for, and once I provided proof of the license I was allowed in. But I was cautioned to even source those images to make it clear I hadn't copied them illegally. So now I do on all my posts (unless I forget, but I do my best!).
So even if they are your images, or ones you paid for, make sure you note that in your posts - every post you use pictures.
@DigitalMind also wanted to know a recommended length for a post.
My suggestion would be around 500 words. That's not a firm number though. It's long enough to say something meaningful about yourself, but not so long that someone will get bored. Unless you have a very interesting and entertaining life to share - but even then you can probably save a lot of it for other posts.
Crash Course on Writing Quality Comments
You'll see a lot of advice to comment on other people posts here on Steemit. Most tell you to read a post and write a related comment. But what does that mean?
To me it means forgetting about upvotes, reputation and all that. It means taking the time to read the post with your full attention. But when the advice is to comment on 50+ posts a day how can you do that. It takes a lot of time if you're reading every post and writing a well thought out comment. Many of us don't have that time. So people either just put in something quick or only do a few comments.
I only do few comments just because I want to make sure I'm saying something worthwhile and I only have so much time. To support the community it' important to comment as often as you can, provided you can do it well.
Another reason I'm bringing up quality comments is because of some recent changes with SteemPlus, the browser extension many people use.
It now puts a label next to every post and comment to label it as a human, bot, or spammer.
Though they just did another update to help fix false positives that gives the option of "tell us".
The labels look like this:
I discovered another user today that commented on a post, then joined the discord server here. Steemplus had labeled him a spammer (someone different than the image above).
So I went to figure out why.
I looked at his profile, posts, and comments. It turns out most of the comments he made were "Nice post".
And because he posted that so many times Steemplus labeled him a spammer.
Maybe he is and maybe he isn't. I can't be sure from what I found, but it did look like he didn't actually read the posts he commented on because he didn't offer any related feedback.
So if you're going to comment, make it good. Don't make a comment just in hopes of getting an upvote, or to get a follower. Just like you should be genuine in your posts, be genuine in your comments.
@dynamicgreentk shared a video that is proof that good quality content and commenting is the way to succeed. You can watch it at this link:
Also, anyone using the Steemplus extension will see how you are labeled based on your past posting and commenting. If someone thinks you are spamming, they can click the label say you are a spammer.
The image above is from a comment made by the minnowsupport bot. The comments it makes are long, so the extension can't decide if it is a bot or not. But people have been voting by clicking the buttons shown in the image to let it know it's most likely a bot. Once any label hits 80%, that is the label everyone will see. Basically the labels are based in part by an algorithm but the community has a voice in it too.
I know that was a little off topic, but good to know when you're writing comments.
If you have any questions about this content, please let me know in the comments. Or better yet, click the banner to join my channel on Dynamic Steemians' Discord!
Remember you can post any question at any time. you don't need to wait for a live session. We have members all over the world an even though @dynamicgreentk tries, no one is up 24 hours a day!
Note: All images are mine or licensed from Adobe except for the Dynamic Steemians' banner. This was thoughtfully provided by @baa.steemit.