Responding to Steemit Critics: Why I Am Really OK with Creating Content for a Site that Only Rewards for a Week

in #steemit4 years ago

I am going to preface this post with the statement that I am a content creator-- NOT a crypto trader, developer, investor or blockchainiac.

I write stuff. And publish it on the web... hoping to inform, entertain, educate, share and generally interact with an audience.

I have been doing this for almost 20 years-- often for free, sometimes for rewards,

A Common Criticism from my Fellow Content Creators

A prickly issue?

One of the common criticisms leveled against Steemit from fellow content creators is this issue that whereas Steemit rewards, it only "counts" for the first seven days... then we get paid, and the content is essentially "dead" at that point.

I grant you that it's a marked difference from other content sites where you publish and (ostensibly) keep earning to infinity... whether through accumulating page views, Google Adsense views or maybe Amazon or other affiliate links.

Many argue that the Steemit format discourages the creation of "evergreen" content... because "why bother" to create something that's relevant forever if you're only going to be rewarded for it for one week?

It's a legitimate question.

Why I'm OK With the Way Steemit Rewards

One of the things I've noticed since I started blogging on Steemit six months ago, is that I have become a much more "active" writer. The short term rewards system actually helps me stay on my toes... and I'm OK with that. In fact, more than "OK," happy.

Prickly pear cactus

Gone are the days of thinking about "articles" that I would publish and then spend the next six years (hoping to) collect royalties from. Instead, I am writing and creating practically every day.

Gone, also, are the days of relentless boring marketing and "spreading the word" about an article... trying to find new ways to announce the same thing, 47 times. With Steemit, I "announce once" and then we're pretty much done.

Of course, the other fact of life is that even though I have published 1000's of articles-- many of which are still "active"-- the vast majority of them got most of their traffic in their first week. So crying about no long term rewards is often somewhat of a non-issue... a lament that refers to something that often doesn't happen, anyway. 

Yes, there are a few articles that are still being found by Google and Bing, but it's generally only to the extent of maybe 5-10 new pageviews a week. 

My "home runs" that still get 20-50 page views per day after years in publication can actually be counted on one hand!

Short Term Rewards-- Long Term Benefits

One of the nice things about Steemit is that Google really likes the "no advertising" format, so work we publish here tends to rank well in searches.

A peaceful lily pond

Another thing to know about Google is that the search algorithms tend to favor new, fresh or "updated" content.

Even though we can't edit our older posts on Steemit, when they DO get found by Google, it's not an unreasonable assumption that a fair number of people would check "other articles" by a given author. As a result of which your current articles will be seen... and potentially receive a bit of reward.

Of course, that assumes someone to be a Steemit member... but that also has its own benefits. For now, those benefits are indirect-- an increase in community membership. Later on though, more and more of the people who find our articles through search will be existing members... and they will be able to upvote CURRENT content, even if they arrived through a link to an older post.

In a sense, I have come to look at my posts here a bit like "having a birthday." You get a lot of attention on and around the day itself... and anything outside that is really just a bonus.

In closing, my point here is that having Steemit posts offer rewards over a longer term would probably only add about 10% to people's overall rewards... which (at least for me) is more than made up for by NOT having to worry about "editing posts for freshness" from now till the year 2032!

How about YOU? Are you a long-time content creator from other parts of the web? If so, has it bothered you that Steemit rewards are for the first seven days ONLY, and that's it? Do you really think it would make much difference to your content if the payout period were longer... or indefinite? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Published at 20170812 23:31 PDT


I tend to agree with most of your points. The major problem I see in the short term rewards system is that people do not have the same incentive to optimize (SEO) their content for search engines. Why bother trying to include the right keywords in the title, adding a proper alt-tag for the image etc. when most rewards coming from search engines will be indirect?

If it were for SEO purposes then I would much rather publish my writings on my own website first and having Google index that site before publishing it here on Steemit.

There a many advantages of the short term rewards system of Steemit, but when talking SEO I don't see the advantage.


Yeah, I can understand your point about SEO and time frame. Hadn't really thought about it, that much... after many years, I'm just more or less "in the habit" of phrasing and structuring according to my sense of "what would people look for to find this?"

But of course, most people don't think like that.

The content here is much more current than many sites. By it's nature the stuff you see is fairly up to date. I like this aspect. There are many sites that have published content that is very out of date. This is a problem in itself.

I also like the points you made about encouraging you to create content. I find that too.

I like that I can create far more "spur of the moment" content here, and not have to worry as much about "how am I going to update this to appeal to Google, six months from now." Makes me a little more... adventurous... with the topics I tackle.

I have no trouble with only being paid once on articles as I've never been able to earn anything before. Actually, I haven't yet cashed out anything. Instead, I'm converting it all into steem and SP and my plan is to do so for a while.
I honestly thought SBD was an internal currency when I signed up, so I had no great expectations.
Some wonderful people submitted a couple of my posts to Curie, so those have earned quite a bit, but apart from that I have earned less than a dollar/post and I'm absolutely fine with that.
It takes time to find your audience and your voice and I never expected to earn big amounts when I finally realised it was 'real' money. It would be nice to one day see a steady little income from Steemit, but almost all overnight successes have been working hard to get to that point for years.

That's a very healthy attitude @frugallady. I have put most of my rewards back into Steem Power, too... but did pull out some bits and pieces along the way, and it was very gratifying to be able to buy (for example) a pair of tires for our car, and pay a particularly high power bills this spring.

On the whole, though, my intent is to "let it ride" in the long run and do my part towards helping the community thrive in the long term.

I can imagine how great it must feel. I would love to get to that point one day.

I'll leave it to the devs if they wanted to make the payout longer. Same with me, I like it this way it doesn't matter if it's "dead" after a week. I am still happy because I had shared what I love to do.

This works, because it "keeps me writing." I've been on a lot of sites where eventually 1/2 my time was spent "updating" old content.

Steem on and best of luck, cheers :)

But WAIT...there's more.
Steemit has a LOT of new arrivals...daily.
For THEM...your old article would be new.
RePost those old articles...

"Recycle with new information added."
Done that a couple of times.

good plan.
I'm considering making it a policy.
perhaps I'll 'recycle' my books every couple of months or so.

I had never really thought of that before, but you're right. Im sure you may have gotten the occasional article that would go viral after, but that couldn't be the norm.

I just don't think it happens that much. It used to be there were two payouts-- after 24 hours, and after 30 days... I seldom got more than "a handful of change" at the end of the 30-day period.

Each post brings in money, but it also brings in followers; and they're the real long term asset on this platform.
I often link back to older pieces I've written, when commenting, which again, attracts new followers.
As time goes by, and the competition for eyeballs heats up, a long history of good content production is going to be the resume that gets you followed.

abviously 7 days are good

Short term reward---long term benefit. I agree with you. Reward is one of purpose to write on steemit, but there is not only merely reward. I hope gain more good benefit from steemit community. NIce :)

Very good post. Thankyou for sharing @denmarkguys.

This is a great observation.

There is a project in the making (heard at SteemSpeak discord channel) where some of the great minds are working on something so that you can still earn rewards after the seven days. I will update you if I learn more 💓

I also just came across SteemShelves, which is pretty cool. It's aimed at fiction and short story writers, linking their posts in chronological order, under their author name. So, for example, You would click on a specific author, and then be able to see all their works for a specific series, in the order they were posted. It's very cool.

I have been thinking about a similar project for a while, as as a foodie writer, there's nowhere to reference or save previous recipes. I'd love a favourite bar to be implemented in the Steemit interface. Favourite authors/posts, easily accessible. Also, it would be cool to be able to have a "print" button, which converts each article or recipe into a printable PDF.

I also agree with, and rather like, your point about college scantly being on your toes to create new content. This is my favourite part of Steemit. I am constantly thinking of new posts.

It is tiring though! Tiring, but rewarding 💓

Thank you for the interesting post, you've definitely sparked some thought patterns in my head

I am new and in my searches I have been reading and commenting stuff of 6-7 months ago which I find still quite interesting. Even if the reward is only one week, I think it is still worth and encouraging to write for short but also long term. We write because we feel to and we want to leave something. Personally I rushed to upload content from my website that passed completely ignored because obviously the first week I was here nobody knew me and I am not very well known yet. I wish there would be a way to re-steem myself, without rewriting what I already did.

UPVOTED. very good. I would be happy if you like to follow me and give your opinion about my posts. Thanks :D

I am loving Steemit and am quite addicted. I love the social interaction here and look forward to checking my replies each morning...and then again multiple times a day!