5 Practical Ways to Describe Steem to Friends

Describing Steem is difficult. While there are a few reasons why, the main one is that it is incredibly different from anything previously created. While one could explain Bitcoin to somebody in 199, and be reasonably successful (Star Wars had a credit system that was presumably outside of Imperial control), explaining Steem is more like trying to describe Facebook to somebody in 1994. Heck, we were still trying to figure out what the internet was in 1994. Continue reading “5 Practical Ways to Describe Steem to Friends”

7 Simple Ways to Gain Quality Steem Followers

Let’s face it: gaining followers on social media platforms is part of the fun.  Whether you are growing a brand, or keeping it casual, more followers will give you a better Steem experience. Having more followers gives you the opportunity to meet new people and have a greater impact on others.

There are a lot of articles on growing followers on Steem, but one of my goals with this website is to collect a lot of these tips into one source, saving people time and energy in learning how to best use this awesome platform.

With that said, these 7 tips will help you grow your followers and make your Steem experience more enjoyable. Continue reading “7 Simple Ways to Gain Quality Steem Followers”

7 Steps to Turn Blog Posts into Bitcoin

Bloggers-are you looking to add another source of revenue to your blog? Are you interested in earning some extra income that can give you exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

If the answer to these two questions is “yes”, I’d like to show you how you can Continue reading “7 Steps to Turn Blog Posts into Bitcoin”

SteemPress Turns Your WordPress Posts into Bitcoin

SteemPress Turns Your WordPress Blog into a Cryptocurrency Generator

I’m eager to talk to you about how I turned my side hobby in cryptocurrency into a viable side gig using SteemPress, but first, a quick story:

A Twitter advertisement for Brandon Gaille’s blog report recently came across my feed, the lede compelled me enough to click it. Rarely does an ad work so effectively, as it led me to reading my first Gaille article (a great report on how bloggers in various monthly income categories make their money) and subscribing/downloading a handful of his podcasts.

Well done, Brandon!

The article split bloggers into categories Continue reading “SteemPress Turns Your WordPress Posts into Bitcoin”

Turn Your WordPress Blog Into a Cryptocurrency Machine

There are few times in life when you get the opportunity to get something for free.

This is one of those times.

Steem is a blockchain that allows instantaneous transfers between users-think Bitcoin, but with Twitter like “@” handles-and also acts as a blogging platform.

Yes, I know. You already have a blogging platform.

But is your blog earning you any money?

I had a Google blog 10 years ago, which showcased some restaurants in Yokosuka, Japan that I liked. It got a little bit of traffic, and my Google Ads earned me around $14.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t pay out until you make $20. It costs time and money to transfer cash, so I’m not mad.

But you can do far better than that with the SteemPress app, which is available in the WordPress store (you have to have your own domain, not a wordpress.org “free” blog). When you get a Steem account, you’ll connect your posting key (a bit like a long, random password) to your blog, which will allow your WordPress articles to be automatically uploaded to the Steem blockchain. There are a few advantages to this:

  1. Your work is locked into the Steem blockchain forever, at no additional cost to you.
  2. If Steemians (those who use the Steem blockchain) like your articles, upvotes will turn into money. This is a little like Reddit karma, if you could use Reddit karma to turn into Bitcoin or buy stuff with.
  3. You tap into a new audience for your work.

I have used SteemPress for about 5 or 6 months, and I love it. I don’t get anything if you sign up for SteemPress-there is currently no referral program (nudge to @howo and @fredrikaa)-except the ability to share a great new (free!) product with others.

You can set up an account with Steem here. Participation on the steemit.com platform will vastly increase your probability of success, as relationships with other Steemians is crucial to finding an audience and building a community. There is a lot going on in the Steem blockchain; too much to explain in one blog post.

I’m happy to help you if you have questions; just leave them in the comment box below. Let me know if you do sign up, as I’ll send some upvotes your way early on and help you on your early journey as a Steemian.


Interested in optimizing your Steem experience? Do you want to learn more about the Steem blockchain and how Steemit works? Click my logo below for a deep dive on Steem:

steemmaker logo

Systems Make Success Easier

I ran across a great post on the FI/RE subreddit the other day, and it made me think about how much Steem allows us to create systems to collect more Steem and slowly build our presence on here.

Systems are habits we don’t have to practice to attain.

That’s a pretty strong statement, but considering my time (and likely yours) is limited, I have to rely on systems to do things that simplify my life. Fifteen years ago, I mailed in my rent check every month. What a pain! Today, my housing is autopaid every month. I’m sure you’ve done some small hacks like this with your bank already, but let’s take a look at what we can do to build our Steem pile!


I use Steemvoter, a free Steem voting bot, to autovote a handful of accounts that are creating solid content on the Steem blockchain. Let’s face it: I don’t have time to do all the things, but I want to see Steem succeed, so Steemvoter votes on over a dozen accounts for me. The result? Steem Power builds up due to curation rewards. This is not going to make anyone rich, but it’s a great system that one can set on autopilot and earn a little more SP!

This doesn’t mean that I have handed all of my decision making over to an autovoting bot. But it ensures my voting power never goes unused.


Every post, with the exception of SteepShot photos, is written on my blog, steemmaker. I use SteemPress to cross post from my WordPress powered blog to Steem, which gives me an opportunity to better organize my articles and take advantage of SEO. I’m still working on the site, and my graphical design is not quite where I’d like it, but this gives me the opportunity to talk to other WordPress users and get them interested in using SteemPress to collect some extra earnings on their blog. As most bloggers do it for free, it seems an easy sell to get people to install SteemPress.

More Time to Focus

When asked for their one word secret to success recently, both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet responded with, “Focus”. That can be difficult for anyone trying to keep up on goings on in the blockchain world, but systems help automate the easy stuff so we can focus on the important things. The growing number of systems built on the Steem blockchain means we can support our friends, even when we don’t have the time to scroll through all of our feed.[1]

What systems do you use to maximize productivity and focus better?


Interested in optimizing your Steem experience? Do you want to learn more about the Steem blockchain and how Steemit works? Click my logo below for a deep dive on Steem:

[1] There’s a good case to be made that automation could backfire and result in less people actually using Steem. I’m interested in anyone debating this in the comments.

How to NOT PANIC if Steemit.com is Unavailable

Careful readers may notice that I refer to our platform here as the Steem platform, as opposed to Steemit.com. There is a deliberate reason for this, which is the topic of tonight’s post. But before we go into the differences, I want to compare and contrast Steem with a dead social media platform I just heard about yesterday: tsu.co.

Tsu was a centralized social media network site that used incentives to try to bring more and more users to it. To the best of my understanding, Tsu operated a bit like a Multi Level Marketing plan, of which I have no interest. The company behind Tsu was to reap 10% of the ad revenue, while giving 90% to those who used the platform. The ads really made you the product. Ugh…

I’m not going to spend much time looking into why Tsu failed, but there is a real difference between Tsu and Steem that is important for the non technical to understand.

That difference is the blockchain. That difference is everything.

With Tsu, every user had to trust that the company behind it was honest. As it was, when Tsu shut down, users with less than $100 of earnings didn’t get paid, and only those who actually reached out to the company were able to collect some of their earnings.

Blockchains and Trust

Some people will say the blockchain removes the need for trust, but that is inaccurate. The blockchain does reduce and redistribute the need for trust. I still have to trust that the 20 witnesses we’ve voted for aren’t colluding to ruin the Steem blockchain. I trust that the website Steemit.com doesn’t take my Active Key when I make a transaction. I trust that the developers who designed Steem are using math algorithms that can’t be hacked, and I trust the crowd to alert me if any of these things begin to happen.

What the blockchain does do is give me much more power over my Steem, and I don’t need to rely on the website Steemit.com to be up and running to access it.

You can access it via the desktop wallet, Vessel!

Vessel allows you to do all the functions you can do with your wallet on Steemit.com (and Busy.org), even if Steemit.com is not loading properly. This is because the Steem blockchain is run by nearly 15,000 witnesses. It is is these witnesses who would need to be attacked to cripple the Steem blockchain, which is considerably more difficult than one company with a few server locations.

This isn’t to say it can’t happen. We are in the infancy of blockchains, and we don’t know what a sustained attack looks like.

It does mean that your Steem isn’t held hostage in case of a DDoS attack (the sort that brings down a hospital or a website with a sudden uptick in users) from somebody in their basement. The longer we see Steem go without a successful attack, the more we can trust the system is robust enough to withstand attacks.

Of course, it could all come down overnight, and we could find our social network as dead as Tsu. I hope not…but that’s why I’ll always be crossposting my stuff on another site, so I can keep that which I worked hardest to obtain: my growing body of work.

Have any horror stories of Tsu we can learn from? Let us know in the comments below.


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Using SteemPress and Earning Even More Money!

I realized the other day that I’ve been writing two to three posts a week for 9 months.


Prior to 2017, I wrote an occasional blog post for a few small publications, mostly about Navy stuff. I really enjoyed it, but the combination of having little time available, and no immediate rewards for doing so (beyond the minor ego boost when I heard good feedback), made it hard to write consistently.

Steemit changed that.

After writing a few short articles describing how to use some blockchain tools such as Etherscan, I received some very enthusiastic upvotes. I was in the right place at the right time: surely, there are many talented writers on the Steem blockchain who are often overlooked. But the boost was what I needed.

Early in 2018, I discovered SteemPress, a WordPress plugin that allows Steemians to publish their articles on a WordPress blog and have it automatically get shared onto the Steem blockchain. This two birds, one stone approach to posting makes it far easier for non Steemians to join us, as they only need to get a Steem account and install the lightweight plugin into their blog. Google tells me there are 74 million WordPress blogs out there right now.

How many can we bring to Steemit.com?

I’m excited about how the Steem blockchain works, and excited to see how established content creators will utilize it to generate more revenue. I’m also interested in seeing newer content creators bootstrap their work by cross posting with SteemPress.

It’s so easy.

I continue to tell my friends about Steemit.com, and how it is a low risk way to get invested in the blockchain movement. By posting your content via SteemPress, you’re getting the option of earning free cryptocurrency.

Double Dipping

The benefits of SteemPress don’t stop there. Since I’m also posting on this WordPress site, I can control how my content is organized. Furthermore, I’ve signed up to be a Brave publisher, which anyone can do for free. That means users who browse steemmaker with the Brave browser will give me monthly micropayments. These micropayments take the place of ads, so my website will look cleaner be ad free, forever.

My articles now earn me money whether they are read on my blog or on steemit.com. So can yours.

You can download Brave for free here (it is my favorite phone browser).

Are you a content creator interested in using Steem or Brave to earn cryptocurrency? Steemians, have you created a website that allows you to further monetize your work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


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Digix Gold Is Here

Yesterday, two years after its crowdsale, Digix Global deployed the ERC20 gold token, DGX, on the blockchain. There are currently 1400 DGX tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Each represents one gram of gold, 100% backed by physical gold held in Singapore.

The Digix crowdsale took place in March 2016-two years ago. It was the first on chain crowdsale for Ethereum, and was greatly anticipated. A few weeks prior, Digix Global announced they would capped the sale at $5.5 million. It was the first of many decisions that cemented my trust in Digix Global as a group of long term visionaries, more interested in developing a solid product than making a quick buck and carelessly rushing to market. Their ICO stands with few others in demonstrating the highest level of integrity.

Would that more ICOs learned a few lessons from Digix.

It is happening, Dr Paul!

With the $5.5 million cap, the crowdsale sold out in only 12 hours. I had family in town that day, but ran upstairs and used my Ethereum wallet application to secure my place in history.

About a month later, I received my DGD tokens. The ability to crowdfund a project had been proven on the Ethereum blockchain.

Shortly thereafter, the DAO went live and everyone went nuts. Many people were salty having missed the DGD crowdsale and jumped in recklessly.

We all know how the DAO turned out, as it collected over $100 million and was then hacked. The Digix team used this as a learning opportunity to slow down their coding and more carefully develop their product. We all learned the value of patience when ETH declined in price slowly over about 7 or 8 months, and only a handful of projects had crowdsales: Plutus, SingularDTV, Golem.

Digix Global continued to make steady progress.

Things to Know About Digix

The Digix Discord group is a great place to meet fellow fans of the project, many of whom are still there today. This is a community of enthusiasts, interested in making Digix a premier name in blockchain, interested in making money, and generally friendly people. There are some great ideas floating around here, and one that made it to the surface this past year was…

The ETC refund. In 2017, Digix listened to the voices in the Digix Slack and allowed DGD holders to collect the ETC held in the crowdsale fund. DGD holders received about .25 ETC for every DGD they held. This event showed that Digix Global is a consistent strong performer capable of executing smart contracts safely.

The crowdfund has not been touched, and with 466k ETH is one of the biggest single deposits of Ether. DGD holders will vote on how to deploy these funds to best expand Digix, and they will receive rewards based on the use of DGX gold tokens.

Finally, the Digix team has worked patiently and tirelessly to ensure the highest conformance to securities laws. Digix Global, as well as the physical gold, is located in Singapore. DGX gold holders who wish to take physical possession of their gold must go through KYC/AML processes. Anyone who wishes to trade DGX gold on the Ethereum blockchain, however, may do so freely.


The future of DGD is exciting. After the DGX launch is completed, and gold is being bought and traded on the blockchain, Digix Global will focus on setting up DGD governance. Beyond that, when DGD holders can vote, they will begin voting how best to use the 466k ETH warchest that has been collected. DGX Silver, Platinum, Copper, and more are obvious next steps, which can likely be coded similarly to the Gold.

In case it isn’t clear: DGX gold tokens are each backed by one gram of gold, with the highest auditing standards in the blockchain world. This is the closest to having gold as money that we’ve had in 100 years. I’ll write more on that soon.

Disclaimer: I own DGD tokens. This article is for informational purposes, not investment advice. 


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Have No Fear, Pac Man is Here

Wait, Pac Man? Yes, Pac Man.

While browsing through the wonderful Steem Projects website, I came across this little gem: a Pac-Man emulator that pays you in steem if you get a high score. It’s a fun use of Steem and yet another reminder that this Steem blockchain is so much more than steemit.com.

A lot of people seem to be getting frustrated with the bid bot system, and I don’t blame them. The idea of posting great content and having it get curated to the top, only to see people paying hundreds of dollars worth of SBD to get something into trending, is frustrating. It might not be the future we imagined when we first heard about steem.

And yet, 40 years ago, you put your hard earned quarter into an arcade game to play some Pac-Man. Today, you can play it and get paid!

There are a couple hundred projects you can look at on the Steem Projects website. Poke around a bit.

Steem is an amazing blockchain project that is massively undervalued. I’m not going to “call” a huge price increase or anything here-I have no idea what the future price action of steem is: nobody does.  But the fact is, we have an operating blockchain that is unique in its “Proof of Brain” inflation system. This blockchain is being experimented upon by a lot of developers, and anyone can get involved.

Finally, if steem does take off and become the successful platform we expect with tens of millions of users, there will be vastly more competition for the rewards pool. We may one day look back at getting 1 steem or 1 SBD for a post and think of that the same way I think of being able to mine Ether a couple years ago-a block every couple days.

Now is the time to buckle down, hone your craft, keep posting the good stuff, meet new friends, and try to avoid collateral damage while a few whales duke it out. Our job is not to worry about them, but to keep showing the internet how incentivizing interactions on social media can create non toxic comment boxes.

A couple of minutes on YouTube or Twitter will prove that necessity.


Check out my book for more information on cryptocurrency trading. Free for Amazon Unlimited readers!