Hey guys! I've only been on read.cash for 3 days, and I've never done an introduction post before so here's a really short and simple one before going into the main topic of the day.
I'm from a small country called Malaysia, and if you've never heard of us before, just know that we are the country that is sandwiched between Thailand and Singapore. I'm currently pursuing my e-commerce business full time, and consider myself a designer slash online seller rather than an 'entrepreneur', which I truly aspire to be one day. For the past 2 years I've been hard core on trying to live my life with one single motto in mind, which is to be happy in the process of what I'm doing, hence the name of this blog, The Happiness Equation. My journey in cryptocurrency began in 2017 when a team of Malaysians were enthusiastically promoting Steemit.com and was trying to create a support community among Malaysians so that we could upvote and support each other.
And so, here is the story of how it was like joining Steemit and earning Steem Dollars (SBD) in 2017, why a big chunk of us left the platform towards the beginning of 2018, why I regretted leaving, why I'm back, and what I've been observing since being back.
A team of Malaysians led by Maverick and his friends were actively promoting Steemit to Malaysians and I attended one of their live workshops in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. I remember being so skeptical about it because by then I had already attended several 'free preview workshops' for courses related to e-commerce, trading etc. The concept of cryptocurrency itself was not hard to grasp, but rather the idea of a blogging platform that was capable of generating money from no where, and bloggers were able to gain money from the platform really boggled me. I'll be really honest though, until today I can't fully picture how blogging is equivalent to mining. Anyways I joined in 2017 and back then Malaysians were going full on with the platform and we were all using #teammalaysia to help each other out. I only ever posted 4 posts on the platform in 2017, 1 being an introductory post, and 3 being posts related to Malaysian food and travel destinations. It was absolutely eye opening as I made about 100 Steem Dollars from those 4 posts and deposited the payouts as BitCoin in my Luno Wallet. For God knows what reason, I didn't think much about the long term potential of the platform as I thought it was just beginner's luck.
I believe the BitCoin hype starting to fall and as a result Steem Dollars was at an almost all time low. The exchange from Steem Dollars to USD did not seem worth it anymore and since then most Malaysians from #teammalaysia started dropping off the platform, or rather they just stopped blogging. Maverick and his team no longer spoke much about Steemit, and I believe the Facebook Group that was once there isn't there anymore (or I just can't find it, or maybe they changed the name of the group). If I remember correctly 1 SBD was equivalent to 0.3 USD in 2018, and my partner who joined me during the same time on steemit also told me it was probably not worth doing anymore and we should focus fully on e-commerce instead (Which is another long story for another day lol).
Suddenly BitCoin became the highlight of almost everyone's mouth (digital mouth really), even friends who knew nothing about investment began asking me 'Hey, have you heard about bitcoin? Is it safe? What is it? Is it a scam? Should we jump in too?' That's when I realized, 'Oh sh*t, I have some teeny bit of BitCoin in my ewallet! Wait what's the name of the wallet again......' Cut the story short I got back my Luno Wallet after a series of password recovery and old phone recovery lol. To my pleasant surprised, my money actually grew! And then something clicked. I asked myself why the **** did I ever leave Steemit. I'm not too shabby of a writer, and I do try to talk about interesting topics that I really like. So if I had continue doing so every day since 2018, I would have probably been in a pretty good place by now. Then again, all of us have unending 'what-ifs' and 'if-onlys', and realistically the only option now is to keep moving forward.
It took me several log in attempts and digging my old records for my Steemit password to eventually recover my account. To my amazement, Steemit was still alive, kicking and thriving! Fun fact: A quick Google search yesterday told me that the net worth of the founder of Steemit was estimated at 600-800 million USD in 2018. Imagine what he has today, as of 2021. Being an e-commerce seller who obsesses over 'product research', I did exactly what I would, searching for trending keywords, and going through recent posts that have the most profitable upvotes (I'll get back to this later). At the same time, I tried applying the same formula (visuals that standout + topics that were BuzzFeed worthy + posting around 10am - 2pm EST + using trending tags or tags used by high performing posts) I did in 2017, and created my first quality post after a long time. I checked the next day, and to my disappointment my post got zero votes! So I decided to keep trying for the next few days, and also continue to observe the platform and what the 'whales' are doing on the platform these days.
What Did I Observe?
Boom of communities: I think the same goes for read.cash, where communities are turning into support groups for the members. In 2017, communities were not as important as using the right hashtags, but then in 2021 I realized the highest earners were either admins of a popular community, or close knit members who probably already formed a connection with each other, aka alliances. My attention was drawn to several communities such as the korean and chinese community, where posts were 100% written in their native language. These posts were doing crazy numbers, ranging from 50 to 100 Steem Dollars per post. Do you know that 1 SBD is equivalent to 3 USD in 2021? That's how much they are making per post, per day! Which leads me to my next observation.
More users, much more competition: With Steem Dollars on the rise, its only natural for more people to be drawn to the platform, and with that comes the piles and piles of posts which are all competing for attention from the 'whales' of the platform. At the same time, low quality posts are on the rise and actual good quality posts are being easily drown and washed away.
So What Did I Do?
Experimented on communities: I joined communities that dabbled in niches I was passionate or interest about, and posted as regular as possible, experimenting with day time, night time and also mid day.
Be a creative copy cat: I posted my own content in styles that were exactly the same as the high earning posters e.g. if they post a nice photo of the sky and write a poem or something cheesy, then I would post my nice photo of a mountain and write something meaningful OR if they are posting something really deep about meaningful thoughts or philosophy, then I got a friend (who is a champ by the way) who would write something meaningful for me. I would also use the same hashtags these high earners are using.
Three Days Later, Did It Work?
In 2017, the use of good visuals (attractive photos), a topic that is highly relatable to most people (like food and travel), and a meaningful write up (that include tips and new information) was enough to get profitable upvotes. Unfortunately in 2021, based on my 3 day experiment, getting decent upvotes would probably require a better strategy, and by strategy I mean forming a strong and reliable alliance with the whales in the platform. There are definitely exceptions though, like luck for example, as I do see a handful of new joiners who've only been around since January 2021, and are doing ten dollar posts already. I do realize through reposting the same article in communities does help to garner more upvotes, but the most I've gotten so far is $0.05 SBD. Most people including myself would agree this is still really early on and I hope to continue the experiment for at least a week, writing about different things I like and then hopefully I'll find one niche to stick to and continue to keep the blog alive.
What About read.cash?
In 2020 I discovered that Steemit was not the only platform and by the end of 2020 there was many other platforms being developed in different cryptocurrencies. read.cash caught my attention as someone I knew was also on the platform. I started posting by recycling old posts from Steemit, and also reposted articles written by my champ friend. A mere 2 days later, I was delighted with the results! I now have a total of $4 USD in my read.cash wallet. While Steemit lets you earn in SBD which eventually lets you earn 3 times more in USD, I'm still impressed with the results I was able to get from read.cash, in comparison to the average posts I've been scrolling through on read.cash.
My Results & Quick Observations About read.cash:
I Got More Tips for Lighter Topics: I was able to get the best result for my travel article which was also the best performing post I wrote in Steemit (in 2017) compared to 2 articles related to relationships and psychology that were written by my friend/partner in crime. I quickly concluded that perhaps heavier topics that used heavy jargons were not really the cup of tea for most people and perhaps the style of writing had to be more universal.
Observation: Better Quality Posts On read.cash: This could be due to the reason that read.cash is still really new compared to Steemit, and hence the platform isn't that saturated by users as of today. It's only day 3 and I've been reading very informative and helpful articles here so I can truly vouch for the content creators on this platform and would definitely spend more time consuming content here compared to Steemit and of course our conventional Facebook
Similar to my endeavors on Steemit, I will continue posting on read.cash while exploring several niches and communities, and hopefully my little 'experiment' will turn into a successful and potentially a long term side hustle.
Were you also part of Steemit in 2016/17? Did you also leave in 2018 or did you stay on? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
J from The Happiness Equation