In this article, I’m going to talk about the #1 reason steemit hasn’t even begun to take off — and about how you can make easy money with hardly any effort at all. Sounds too good to be true, but so is pretty much everything in the decentralization craze, isn’t it?
First, I talked about a couple concepts in my last article that Neil Strauss, New York Times bestselling author of seven books, urges other writers to abide by, so I’m going to review those in more detail because they are absolutely pivotal to your development as a writer, and longer-form written content is still what dominates steemit.
1. When you’re writing, assume that no one cares.
“If you guys want to write, or anyone wants to write… the first thing is I assume is that no one cares. I assume that no one cares about what I’m writing about. Nobody cares about me. No one cares about what I have to say. No one cares about the things I care about. So if you can just go from the premise that nobody cares, then how can I make them care? From the first sentence, from the first paragraph, you know? At the end of that chapter, how am I going to make them turn to the next chapter? My main goal is to keep it interesting and assume that no one’s interested.”
In order to keep it interesting, assume that no one’s interested. Truer words have never been spoken.
2. Utilize open-loops.
What’s the #1 reason that steemit’s going to take off? I haven’t answered that question yet. I kept it “open.” That’s an open-loop, and it’s an extremely effective writing technique, possibly one of the most important in the digital age. Just like Donald Maass’ advice in The Fire in Fiction, you need to create microtension — sentence-level anxiety. You need to get your readers to ask questions as they go along, and you need to leave those questions unanswered before moving on to the next one. I’m not saying anything new, but there are too many distractions in today’s world. You want to be the type of writer who can keep someone engaged even when their girlfriend’s texting them telling them telling them to come over. You want to be the type of writer who can compete with reddit’s funny page. You want to be the type of writer who — even if it’s just for a few seconds — makes their readers forget about the outside world.
With open-loops, you can do that. It’s the same basic technique that keeps people flipping pages when they’re reading A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s the reason people can’t stop watching soap operas. They need to know what’s going to happen next. In this article, I introduced two questions: “What’s the #1 reason that steemit hasn’t begun to take off?” and “How can I make easy money on steemit?” I’m kind of answering both of those questions now, but not in a way that’s truly satisfying because you know I really just changed the subject. It’s frustrating but understandable.
And now, for the #1 reason steemit hasn’t even begun to take off:
dMania is ruining the platform.
For anyone that even vaguely understands memes, let me explain it to you in a way that doesn’t require very many words. This showed up on the front page of DMania today:
It’s not funny. It’s not new. It’s not relevant. It’s not even “so bad, it’s good.” It’s probably the worst meme I’ve seen this year, and I browse “New” in r/DankMemes.
I even replicated this post on Reddit to see how it would do. In less than five minutes, it got downvoted into oblivion. u/darkwing42 said,
this repost is so old, those boys are now in their 40s
And u/TheNymon said,
That’s how you feel when your post/comment finally gets upvoted by 2 people
Imagine earning $70 as the result of creating this pile of garbage. The only thing that can be said about it is that it promotes dMania, and posts that promote dMania seem to show up pretty regularly on the front page of dMania (and, by extension steemit — at least on “Funny”).
Now For a Few More Words
For those who don’t know, dMania is essentially the exact same platform as steemit, except it’s explicitly geared itself as a site where you can “make money with memes, funny pictures, and videos.” Now, that likely prompts the question, “Isn’t that the exact purpose of steemit, though? For users to get paid for their content?” Therein lies the problem. If steemit already does the exact same thing that dMania does, then why does content from dMania regularly show up on the front page of steemit?
The dMania bot shamelessly upvotes content from its site in a mostly arbitrary, random manner.
“But if dMania randomly pays users to post funny memes, isn’t it a charity of sorts? How are they making any money?”
Good question. Always follow the money. dMania is by no means a “charity.”
From the dMania FAQ:
How are rewards distributed on dMania?
75% goes to the author and curators(Users who upvote posts). Curators receive between 0-25% of the author rewards, depending on their Steem Power and how sucessful they promoted a post.
15% goes to dMania supporters.
10% goes to dMania.
Here it is in big bold letters so everyone gets the point:
DMANIA IS A USELESS MIDDLEMAN THAT STEALS 25% OF YOUR INCOME!
It’s that simple. And, with the way that dMania supporters work (“To become a dMania supporter, you have to delegate some Steem Power to dMania. dMania supporters receive 15% of the rewards of every post on dMania”), dMania is a literal ponzi scheme.
If steemit wants to contend with Reddit in the future, it needs to find a way to penalize middlemen. What’s stopping me from creating another dMania bot on dMania (call it BraveMania)? How far can this rabbit hole go? This is like if the mods on Reddit posted every meme you saw on the sub. The quality of the content would quickly fall to r/meirl level.
To make matters worse, what’s stopping me from creating a “dMania” for long-form written content (right now arguably the best content that steemit offers)? As far as I can tell, nothing. It’s a matter of time before someone sees the relative success of dMania’s business model and copies it. They’re becoming hugely influential in the steemit community by doing nothing at all.
So if you want to make easy money with no effort, join the coalition of memesters who post good content without using dMania. Literally just go back to using steemit. They don’t take 25% of your income. You’re not making more money by using dMania; the math is clear. You’re only promoting a site that’s screwing you in the long-term.