Review: What’s the Potential of Steemit, a Monetized Social Media Platform?

Although social media is one of the Internet’s more polarizing topics, it’s an undeniable fact that, however you look at it, it’s a necessary networking tool, especially for the freelancing community. Of course, some platforms work better for us than others, depending on our niche. However, in my quest to find interesting sorts of side income earners, I recently found a social media platform that stands out a bit in its approach: Steemit.

This is my Steemit profile, by the way.

Where have you been, Steemit?

Truth be told, I came across Steemit quite by chance, which made me wonder why it hadn’t become a more mainstream thing. As of this writing, the platform has been around for about 2 years, as far as I can tell. It seems to me that it has a stronger fanbase overseas as opposed to the United States, particularly in Europe, which might be why I hadn’t known about it before.

It’s currently free to sign up for Steemit, though there’s a waiting list and it can take some weeks before accounts are approved. If you don’t want to wait, there’s a paid option (via cryptocurrency) in which you can sign up immediately. There are a bunch of keys associated with each account, which seem confusing. The only one I’ve needed so far to log in and whatnot is the Master key, which must be kept safe. I suggest keeping all key information in a document on a flash drive if possible.

How does Steemit actually work?

This one, I’m still trying to figure out. It’s based on a blockchain concept, which makes perfect sense to those who are more technologically inclined. However, in terms that I can identify more with, it’s my understanding that Steemit is blogging system in which people have the potential to earn money through posting, voting, and commenting. Note, though, that if you see dollar amounts below posts, that’s in cryptocurrency (which can be converted to actual money later), the value of which fluctuates like the stock market.

It seems to be dependent on the reputation you build on the site; a number next to your account/profile name is the indicator. Most people start off with 25, though I began at the early 30s (not sure why). The highest reputations I’ve seen are around 70-75.

How and when that reputation grows has a lot to do with the quality of the content you submit, though there are no exact answers I’ve seen given to the general populace. One thing’s for sure, if you post what is deemed to be unoriginal content, it can get flagged, and the reputation number can decrease.

Thankfully, there’s a welcome page for new users, and I refer to it often because it provides comprehensive answers about pretty much everything.

Get used to resizing and coding for designing and posting.

When it comes to resizing images, I’ve found that the following looks best for the thumbnail/main image that accompanies each post, as well as any additional images I choose to include:

  • Opening the image in Microsoft Paint > Resize > Horizontal: 850, keep the Maintain Aspect Ratio box checked > Vertical: will adjust automatically > Save
  • For the cover image of the profile, resizing the blank canvas so that around 2000 pixels horizontally; again, the vertical element is automatically adjusted, and I proceeded to create my own pattern and saved it.
  • Resource: “How to Make an Image on a Steemit Post a Clickable Link”

I haven’t worked with vertical/portrait images for this platform, since it’s my opinion that they don’t present as well.

Posting in Steemit isn’t like your usual blog, wherein there’s a dashboard with buttons for underlining, boldface, italicizing, bulleting, that sort of thing. You have to put in a little bit of code to get your post looking the way you want it to. Refer to this “Markdown Basics” post on Steemit to learn more.

Write mindfully and consistently.

You can edit comments and posts, though what’s written stays on the platform forever, so post wisely, and about twice a day to start getting noticed! There doesn’t appear to be an “as you go” saving option, so try to write in one sitting.

Note: you only have so much in the way of resource credits. If you use them all up, or don’t have enough, you won’t be able to comment/vote/post until they recharge to a certain level. I found this out the hard way when, in the middle of trying to publish a post, I got a popup stating I didn’t have enough credits (also referred to as “mana”) to do so.

Tip: you can check the status of your resources and activity by visiting Steemd and searching with your account name.

Beyond standard informational posts, I’ve seen anything from photography to poetry to movie reviews on the Steemit platform. Brief posts are frowned up, as are blatant marketing posts. I’ve chosen to share posts from this blog, as well as an opinion piece here and there, and other “how to” sorts of posts. It’s because of the former that I was initially targeted by the resident plagiarism group, Steemcleaners.

The Steemcleaners comment and/or flag posts for plagiarism – the thing is, though, they’re not necessarily good at what they do. Time and again they kept trying to get me on plagiarism – they were accusing me of plagiarizing my own content, even though I couldn’t have been more clear about citing that it was from this blog. It was ridiculous to the extreme. After disputing them on their Discord channel, they finally told me how to get my account verified, I got an apology from one of them, and the matter was solved.

Then, there’s Cheetah, a bot who’s programmed to find duplicate/similar content. That one’s kind of cute, in that it’ll actually upvote a post, then comment with a link to the similar content. It’s all very harmless and tactfully done. However, I guess Cheetah can be a little more scathing if the content is copy-pasted.

The Steemit journey continues…

It’ll take a real effort to see any monetary results from Steemit, so this isn’t a platform for the impatient. As with all platforms, there’s the good and not-so-good. You can be as thoughtful as you want with comments, and some people never respond. Take that into consideration when creating posts, too – you might question whether they were ever read, especially when you’re first starting out. Technical glitches also do tend to be a problem, so if you choose to post, make sure you have backups of anything that’s particularly important to you.

While the cryptocurrency market might fluctuate, learning from people around the world is always priceless. All of this being said, I recommend trying Steemit, though ONLY if you sign up for a free account. In my opinion, there’s not enough stability on this platform to warrant actually paying to sign up for an account at this time.

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