JISHOU, HUNAN — Last week, I announced I had signed up with the new social media platform, Steemit. Today, seven days later, I got my first payments for the posts I made: about $30.
This is really quite remarkable, because after several years of maintaining this blog, I have barely made $50 from Google AdSense and affiliate marketing. I have deliberately avoiding loading the blog with ads, because I find ad-heavy websites really annoying, especially as some advertisers use some very aggressive tricks to hijack readers’ attention away from your content.
Steemit has given “liking” a post — “upvoting” in Steemit terms — a monetary reward. The minimum reward is 1 cent, but upvotes from longtime users of the platform have more weight, and pay higher rewards. Rewards are paid out every seven days. Here are my very first payments.
The Steemit economy is a bit arcane. There are two kinds of rewards: Steem Power and Steem Dollars. The first gives your upvotes and reposts (resteems) weight; more Steem Power translates into more influence and into payment for curating others’ posts. The second is a kind of cryptocurrency, which can be saved in your wallet or traded for other currencies on exchanges like Bittrex.com, Poloniex.com, Changelly.com or Shapeshift.io.
A third token is called Steem, which can be bought on those same exchanges and transferred into your Steemit wallet. All three tokens can be exchanged among themselves, but there are some time delays imposed to prevent abuse of the system by bots and spammers.
If this all sounds rather confusing, take solace in knowing I’m still learning the finer points myself. The most important point is Steemit can make a content creator like me money without very much effort. Steemit has no advertising and no affiliate marketing links to mess with. Your income depends solely on your ability to attract readers and their upvotes. Established, popular Steemit creators earn hundred of dollars for each post, so the platform can offer bloggers and freelancers sustainable income.
Anyone can sign up for a Steemit account, but there is a waiting period using the regular process. After you confirm your email and mobile phone number, you have to wait for an invitation. There was some trouble with my SMS verification, so I went the alternative route: paying for an “anonymous” Steemit account with some Litecoin.
You have to choose an account name. If it is available, it becomes both your Steemit alias and your wallet address. In other words, if you want to send me Steem or Steem Dollars, you just send it to @wheatdogg. No long string of numbers and letters to fiddle with, as with Bitcoin or Litecoin.
By the way, you’re more than welcome to try it!
As I explained to my family, my posting at Steemit does not mean I am abandoning this blog. In fact, using Steemit gives me another outlet for my ramblings, as I suspect most readers coming here don’t want to read about techie stuff about cryptocurrencies and cloud mining and so forth. Some content I will cross-post, and some I will post only in one place. As it stands now, this WordPress blog is already set up to post automatically to my Facebook page, to Twitter and to Medium. It would be unwise to abandon that readership, even if it not always financially rewarding.
Steemit so far has not succumbed to the anti-social behavior sometimes found on Twitter and Reddit. There are some posts that make me roll my eyes in bemusement, but none that were offensive. So, if you’re looking for a civil social media platform, give Steemit a try. You can visit it without an account, but many features are only available to registered users.
See you there!