Get Paid to Write Articles on Steemit
Shôn Ellerton, Jun 21, 2017
The one-year-old social media website that provides monetary incentives for authors and curators could become something much larger in the coming years.
Another Kind of Social Media Platform
How many of you have come across the relatively new social media platform, Steemit (https://steemit.com/) that was launched just over a year ago? It’s highly possible that you’ve done an Internet search (or a LinkedIn search under Posts) looking for a specific topic, only to be redirected to an article on the Steemit website. For many, Steemit looks just to be another typical blogroll; however, there’s more than meets the eye here.
It looks like a rival to Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/) or Quora (https://www.quora.com/); however, there are some major differences:
- Get paid for articles that you write. It uses blockchain technology to maintain a secure ledger of awards and points given to authors and curators of articles which can be converted to real money by first converting your awards to STEEM cryptocurrency. More information can be found on Steem’s blockchain website (https://steem.io/);
- It is decentralised;
- It is uncensored;
- You can award others for the content that they post.
I encourage article writing, rather than sending tweets or text-speak comments on blogs. I, particularly, enjoy reading articles written by people I personally know; although this is few and far between.
Remember those school days when you were asked to write essays up to a set minimum number of words? Ah! How we padded it out. How so much of us hated doing it. Now imagine this. What about a whole new generation willing to write well-written articles and, then, get rewarded by the wider community in doing so? Could it increase our literacy levels?
Both Steemit and LinkedIn provide the ability to natively write articles; however, the majority of LinkedIn users have never written an article natively and, furthermore, the demographics of LinkedIn users are firmly seated in the professional space; therefore, other non-professional pursuits like hobbies and travel, for instance, are generally omitted. Facebook does not have an equivalent article-writing platform; although it does have, what they call, instant articles which I signed up to but gave up when I came across a webpage (see below) asking me to choose a page type to bind the article to. Looked a little too restrictive and convoluted for my liking.
At first glance, Steem and Reddit look similar on the surface; however, it’s all different when you start using it and begin clicking on posts. Note that I frequently use the word, article and post, interchangeably.
For example, clicking on a post in Reddit usually opens out a blog page with the related article as a link pointing to a third-party website.
I tend to prefer articles written natively on the platform as I have so very often been redirected to a website which
- requires a login, or
- not existing anymore, or
- informs me that I need to switch my AdBlock off (Forbes, are you reading this?).
With Steemit (unlike Facebook, Quora and Reddit), each link opens up a properly formatted article, much like LinkedIn. In the below example, I did a keyword search on cryptocurrencies, and then opened up an article elaborating on the subject of the US government proposing the idea for citizens to declare Bitcoins (about as preposterous as the implementation of FATCA).
I like properly formatted articles and, with Steemit, you can choose the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or use Markdown to write your articles which has far more flexibility than LinkedIn’s formatting. However, most authors really haven’t exploited the full potential of Markdown.
Earning Some Extra Cash
As you can see in the screenshot, the author has amassed a sizable amount of Steem dollars.
You can elect to convert these into Steem Power which gives you more influence on your articles and/or STEEM which you can trade back into US dollars through a number of cryptocurrency exchanges. Last time I looked, one STEEM token was equivalent about US$2 (although this fluctuates all the time).
There’s a little bit more to this; however, there is a good article here about how it works.
Once cryptos are better understood by the masses (and I believe this will be a household word in the next few years), this could really balloon out into something quite sizeable. This platform is in beta stage and there are only 170,000 members at time of writing. I wonder what sort of revenue well-known journalists, celebraties or popular authors could make here in the future. Just in case, I am holding long on a bit of STEEM crypto just in case!
Anyone Can View Content
Unlike Quora and Facebook, you do not need to login to view the article. I, personally, avoid any link with Quora in its URL as I do not have any inclination to justify the need to having to login using a Facebook or Google account. I’ll just go and find the information elsewhere.
Steemit is an open public website; therefore, when articles are submitted they are shown instantly as a new item for everyone. With LinkedIn, I never fully understood the algorithm as to how articles are released on users’ feeds; however, I suspect it is something to do with the number of connections that you have. Like its blockchain ledger, Steemit is transparent and open and no one can take away the crypto dollars that you’ve earned.
Don’t Be Afraid to Express Your Opinions
The Steemit community encourages a very wide range of article topics. From hobbies to politics to careers to finance to science…just about anything, really. Now, don’t get me wrong, the LinkedIn article platform is great and being a professional networking site, articles tend to be career-oriented; however, I am a little jaded at seeing the same old stories re-emerge. For example, 10 Ways to be a Better Boss, 5 Behaviours in the Office Worth Avoiding, … you get the picture. Writers on LinkedIn are sometimes afraid to express their opinions, mention the political climate, or to even write a little personal story relating to the subject in hand in case of being retributed by a negative comment stating that this article has no place on a professional website. This is a shame, because it is those type of articles which I cherish reading. Interestingly, of all the articles I’ve written in LinkedIn, the one link that got read the most was a fun rather unprofessional comment I posted comparing the logo of Ethereum with the evil Leviathan overlooking Hell in the movie, Hellraiser II! My more ‘useful’ articles don’t have nearly the same levels of ‘click-bait’.
Early Days Yet
On the downside of Steemit, its website is still in beta phase and, frankly, looks a little crude needing some significant improvement to make it easier to navigate and to look better. There’s also quite a lot of trash on it; however, at least you can filter what topic you’re looking for, unlike LinkedIn. There are too many categories and it appears that anyone can create a category at present. This needs a big clearout. However, saying that, I am confident that Steemit will be making significant improvements at some point.
Getting an Account
Remember, you do not need an account to read anything at Steemit; however, if you want to comment and get a little extra money for articles that you contribute and/or you wish to help others on material that they posted, you need to sign up. Getting an account is free but you may have to wait a couple of days to get your account set up. Once set up, you will be issued with a complex password which you must never lose and a wallet to insert your Steem dollars from your Steemit activity.
It’s likely that other social media websites will exploit blockchain technology; for example, I believe that Reddit had an attempt but ended up not implementing it for some reason or another. Where other blockchain technologies are concentrating on such applications like smart contracts, immutable databases, cloud storage, and supercomputers; Steemit’s use is the most ‘ungeeky’ use case I’ve come across.
Will this encourage our next generation to start writing longer and more informative articles and wean them off ‘text-speak’ or Tweets? Who knows?
I wonder if this will have any impact on our existing mainstay social media platforms. Maybe, maybe not…