I got into an argument with someone the other day about the whole @haejin issue and came up with a brilliant idea to solve all of Steemit’s problems simultaneously.
- Minnows don’t make any money from their posts
- Minnows get no exposure for their posts
- There is no incentive for high SP accounts not to rape the reward pool
- Steemit is flooded with unedited, low quality content
- New users leave quickly once they realize that paid upvotes are the only way to reliably make money and get exposure
Until now, nobody has come up with any intelligent solutions. I’ve taken a look at the situation and figured out how to fix all of these issues at once.
- A new account is created whose purpose is specifically to pay minnows in SBD for contributing content
- Agreements are reached with high SP accounts to upvote every single post on the account (similar to the @haejin – @ranchorelaxo arrangement)
- Rewards are split between the writer, the whale and the posting account
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
It should be obvious how this solves a lot of problems, but just for fun I’ll explain it to you anyway.
No money, no hunny
As it stands right now, new accounts make virtually no money on their posts. The odd post here and there that gets a @curie upvote or something similar is not a reliable source of income for anyone. Professional writers are not going to spend any time here if the results are not consistent.
Even if a team of 100 curators had enough time and mental energy to sift through all the posts on this platform, a $54 upvote once a month is not going to do anything for anyone. What we need here is a consistent, reliable solution where content creators know that they are going to make a certain amount of money on every post.
For a 300 word article, for example, a native English-speaking writer should generally shoot for a minimum of $25 USD. If you’re doing a bulk order you can lower the price a bit, but that’s fairly standard (some would even say low) for a freelance writer.
As it stands now, writers on Steemit are making an embarrassingly-low amount per post.
If, however, high SP accounts agreed to fund an account with their own upvotes, then the SBD/SP generated from these upvotes could be used to pay authors directly for their contributions.
Authors would know going in that they would receive the equivalent of $25 USD (for example) per approved post. Why is this good? Because all of a sudden they’d know that they’d be guaranteed a payment for every article they write – just like in the real world.
Problem #1, solved.
No exposure, no money
As if it wasn’t bad enough that minnows didn’t make any money from their posts, possibly even more insulting is the fact that their posts are quickly buried under a mountain of content from other users.
One way to circumvent this is with paid resteems. I am a fan of these services and have written about them in the past.
However, the best way to guarantee that people read your content is by having a large following on your account. If you have 20k followers on your blog, then you have a much higher chance of your work being seen than if you only have 200.
With this new program, minnows would be able to work together to get exposure both for their own posts as well as for each others. In other words, if you have 10 accounts that submit one article each, and all of these accounts promote each other’s posts (as well as the main account’s), then you are reaching 10 audiences instead of 1.
This is commonly used for Instagram marketing and known as an engagement group. Everyone joins a group and likes each other’s posts. So instead of only your own followers seeing pictures of your breakfast, lots of other people get to see it as well.
Minnow accounts would be able to grow at a much faster rate because the amount of “seeds” on Steemit with links to their content would be multiplied significantly. Not only would they plant a seed on each of the participating users’ accounts, but they’d also receive a link on the main account.
If you look at the bottom of my posts, I put a “signature” with links to my previous posts. A rotating signature would be created at the bottom of the new account as well that promotes the 10 recent posts. That’s essentially 10 different resteems from an account that posts high quality content, hires writers from Steemit, AND has a cooperative-marketing requirement built in to its submission policy.
Problem #2, solved.
If your paycheck depends on not understanding something, you won’t understand it
One of the risks of the Steemit system is that certain high SP accounts will upvote all of their own posts and use the platform as a money-printing machine.
From what I’ve seen, people have tried to stop this by publicly shaming offending accounts.
While I’m willing to give these extremely vocal individuals the benefit of the doubt and assume that their crusade comes from honorable intentions, the bottom line is that it’s an ineffective strategy that has proven to be unsuccessful.
Not only that, it is a turn-off to new users of the platform to see so much vitriol tactlessly spread to high-visibility areas of the site.
The real issue is that high SP accounts have no incentive to stop upvoting their own posts. A little animosity from some anonymous internet personalities is not powerful enough motivation to turn off your money-printing machine.
Until there is a reason for them to use their SP for something else, they won’t stop. That’s just basic economics.
That said, creating 10 posts per day is a massive time sink. It requires you to spend all day in front of the computer writing, formatting your posts, etc. Yes, they are getting paid. But what if they could get paid the same amount of money without doing any of the work themselves?
Or make even more money?
By outsourcing the labor to hungry writers, they would be able to spend their time creating a long-term strategy that would bring in even bigger profits. Negotiate deals with enterprise-level companies, create content for a $500/month paid newsletter, whatever.
The point is that they wouldn’t have to just write post after post (which is extremely boring, trust me) and could instead use the time to grow their blog into a business.
So other than taking the task of content creation off their hands, what’s in it for them?
All sponsored posts would have a link pointing to the whale’s main blog/website/whatever, so they’d still be getting new followers and customers without doing any actual work.
Furthermore, they’d still make money from the posts because a significant portion of the profits would be paid out to them on a weekly basis. No, it’s not as much as if they were to just upvote their own post, but keep in mind that this is a completely passive strategy for them.
On top of that, they also make an additional 25% from curating the post as well.
Worth mentioning is that they would establish some good will with the rest of the users on this site for spreading the wealth around a little bit. With this type of business model, they would know that they were responsible for enabling aspiring authors to make a little extra money from contributing content to the platform.
Imagine how grateful these authors would be for the opportunity to 1) reliably get paid actual money for their writing, and 2) get exposure for their brand/business/whatever. That gratitude could turn into potential future business opportunities for people who enjoy working together.
Finally, and perhaps most important, is that Steemit would go from a place where authors can make money maybe possibly if the stars align and they get a @curie upvote, to a place where freelance writers could get reliably get paid in the double-digits to write high quality posts.
None of this “just leave great comments and eventually you’ll get discovered!” nonsense.
Problem #3, solved.
The best talent money can buy
While I will admit that I’ve noticed a slight improvement in the quality of posts on the Trending page in the past few weeks, I think it’s safe to say that overall this place could use a higher volume of better content.
Go on Huffpost, CNN, TheOnion, Buzzfeed or any other major internet publication. Even if the topics aren’t interesting to you, you’ll notice that the articles have a certain level of quality. No spelling mistakes, no grammar issues, no 3 sentence articles. Everything is formatted and looks professional.
Is it because these people are intrinsically motivated to create amazing pieces of literature that will stand the test of time?
No. It’s because they’re being financially compensated (with enough money for it to be worth their time) to write something.
And not only that, there is an editor running the magazine who reads every single post, suggests minor changes, and puts the finishing touches on all articles before they hit the internet.
Do you think this editor works for free? Does he do it because he “cares about the future of the online magazine?”
Again – no.
He does it because he has to pay rent and buy food. If he stopped getting paid, he would stop doing it.
The fact that he gets paid ensures a high level of quality. Both the writers and editors know that if they let the quality slip, they’ll be replaced by the thousands of other writers and editors who are eager to prove themselves to the owner of the publication.
As far as I know, there’s nothing like this on Steemit yet. Either you pay for upvotes or you’re a whale and just upvote your own shit. Quality doesn’t matter. The only people who put effort into their posts do so out of a sense of pride, because they don’t want something to reflect poorly on them that will be saved in the STEEM blockchain forever.
But when you create a for-profit publication that hires writers to deliver quality articles, those writers have a compelling reason to keep their standards high. If they don’t, they’ll be replaced.
Currently, there is no incentive to even spellcheck and format your posts. What’s the point? Even if you do, there’s no guarantee that @curie or whoever will give you an upvote.
And even if they do, are they going to do it for every single one of your posts? Of course not. They want to seem fair and spread the love.
That’s understandable. But you’re not going to get anyone who quits their job to write full time on Steemit if they have to depend on the generosity of a high SP account acting as a non-profit entity.
Problem #4 & #5, solved.
Ultra Birdkiller 5000
The current problem with Steemit is that the major SP holders have no reason to waste their time curating posts or otherwise spreading out the reward pool.
Even if all upvote bots disappeared tomorrow, that’s not going to change the fact that these accounts have virtually no interaction with the bottom 95% of the community.
A model like kills a lot of birds with one stone.
- Whales make money without doing anything
- The reward pool gets a more even distribution
- Minnows make money and get exposure for their content
- Steemit becomes a place where you can make reliable money from day 1
- Post quality improves as the platform shifts to a marketplace that connects freelancers to businesses
We already have the writers. I will do the editing myself. I’ll even handle all the off-site promotion.
All I need is a few whales who want to get involved.
What do you think about my master plan?
Let me know in a comment!
If you’re a whale and you want to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or msg me on Discord at yallapapi#1970.
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