J. R. Swab

Why I stopped blogging on STEEM

Categories: [Content Creation]
Tags: [blogging], [cryptocurrency], [steem]

For a long time I was a blogger on a self-hosted domain, and much of that time it was on this exact domain. Then I found out about STEEM one day after looking over new Cryptocurrency to move money into and thought it was a great idea.

"I can write blog posts to earn more cryptocurrency? That's awesome!"

After a year of creating solely for the STEEM blockchain I started to branch out into forks of STEEM with promising ideas, but in the end, I realized what I was missing. I missed the fulfillment of a self-hosted blog where the author can build a unique group of like-minded people.

3 Reasons Why I Moved My Blog Away From Steem

1. Monetary incentive became a hindrance

What I am talking about is growing a community and building a brand. Steem has its own community, but the problem I saw for me in developing my brand was authenticity. Not that I was inauthentic but that I could not build an authentic community when people show up just to get paid.

With this self-hosted blog, when you or another reader comes to visit it is because you are genuinely interested in what I have to say. There is no gain for you outside of the joy you gain from reading my post. This is how I believe true communities are built. Steem, on the other hand, promises a reward for upvoting a post, not even reading. That means that my post may get one hundred upvotes, but maybe ten people actually read the content.

It's a false positive, and it's not conducive to building a genuine community of like-minded people. When there is a monetary incentive to engage with a post the trust falls apart. I'm not saying it is impossible just that I found it counterproductive to my blogging goals. I am trying to build a brand and a core tribe to engage with on a daily basis. While I met a lot of great people through blogging on Steem, I can't say it's made an impact on growing a core audience.

2. Sentiment swings with the market

The fact that the community sentiment changes every time the price dips and rockets to new highs make for a challenging environment to build a blog. Negative sentiment like we have now in the cryptocurrency space puts a real damper on everyone involved. Even though I have just shy of three thousand followers on Steem this dip has left my efforts with zero interaction. When people come for the money and the money leaves, so do the readers, commenters, and the tribe we build.

With this self-hosted blog, I don't have to worry about the price of any cryptocurrency even though I choose to check on the prices every other day. This blog won't lose traction if Bitcoin Cash drops 200 USD because you and others that read this are not here for the money but the content. That is not to say that I had no "loyal" readers on Steem, but overall engagement dropping was the trend.

3. A "Single" Reliance

Steem is a platform, like YouTube, Medium, and Soundcloud. Building a brand and a blog in a location I do not own can become problematic. While it is unlikely for Steem to disappear entirely is in the case of MySpace or GeoCities it's not impossible. What happens if everyone leaves the platform for one reason or another, the price goes to zero, and the witnesses shut up shop?

Again I think it is highly unlikely that this situation would happen and the network effect puts Steem in a great position to be the top cryptocurrency content creation platform it's still not smart to put all my eggs in one basket. Especially since I can not control that basket like I can on a personal blog.

As the saying goes, why rent space on a platform when you can own the house?

This is the same reason why I will not blog on Medium, WordPress.com, or Blogger. I need to have complete control over my content, and the best way to do that is to self-host my blog off of these mass blogging platforms.

Steem in context

I will still post there but not so much the standard blog posts but just sharing what I create here or on my podcast. I set a cryptocurrency goal for STEEM, and I'm still going to hold on to the funds.

I think it's a great idea to give people some form of money in return for their content and what they share. This is why I love the apps built on the Steeb blockchain like dTube, dSound, and Steepshot. It's these apps that make STEEM worth our investment and effort. For me blogging, there is not aligning with my goals.

I am looking to take my blog to the next level and turn it from a hobby to a part of my personal brand and business. You'll still see me on Steem sharing photos, videos, and maybe my podcast but for written blogs, I'm moving back to my own platform.