Bluffer's Guide to Steem - 3 Non-Technical Blogs To Help Get You Started

in OCDlast year (edited)

Bluffers Guide to STEEM  3 NonTechnical Blogs To Help Get You Started.jpg


So you wanted to join the Steem network after hearing about it perhaps from Justin Sun's announcement or you somehow stumbled upon it and created an account?

Firstly, WELCOME ABOARD! There's plenty of fun to be had with activities, contests and like minded individuals to engage with but you can be forgiven for being a bit lost when you first start... or maybe even after nearly 2 years like me 😃

The learning curve is steep as this is a totally new way of using social media and blogging. In fact, it's a totally new way of using the internet to what we're used to with platforms like Facebook and Twitter so being patient is key and things will make sense the more you get involved.

If you just use SteemPeak to post and comment and familiarise yourself to begin then you can slowly start to explore things and build up a picture of how things work around here.

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Bluffer's Guide to Steem

What I have always aimed to do with the "Bluffer's Guide to Steem" is keep things SIMPLE and not using any technical language to help explain how things work around here, whilst throwing in some mildly entertaining memes and gifs as well. Not easy! 😆

"What's a Bluffer's Guide?" I hear you ask.

Well, it stemmed from a meeting I had in a previous job where I wanted to have an introduction to a fairly complex instrument. The person who was going to teach me all about it sent me a meeting invite with the title "Bluffer's intro to hydraulics and some other bo__ocks" which I found hilarious and thought I'd adopt and adapt that to a blog series about complex things. Minus the bo__ocks part 😂

Today, I wanted to share 3 Steem specific Bluffer's Guide posts that I've made previously with a summary of each that can be bookmarked to help you grasp the main mechanics of the platform and I'll be adding more guides in the future as things develop around here.

First though, our favourite part of any crypto blog, yes, it's time for, the disclaimer!

Before I begin, I want to emphasise that this is a highly simplified version of what I have learnt from my own research and I'm sharing my learning with you. If you do know this topic inside out, be nice to those who are still learning about this (myself included) and we can grow together.

Furthermore, this is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. I am a crypto/STEEM enthusiast and wanted to create a guide to help total beginners understand what this is all about. Please seek financial advice from a qualified professional if you have any doubt about how to spend your money.

So with that said, brace yourselves, you might learn something! Shall we begin?

The Rewards Pool, Post Payouts, Upvotes & Downvotes

A fundamental part of the way content is rewarded on this platform is via something called the "Rewards Pool".

Every day, a set amount of STEEM or SBD (the rewards tokens on Steem) are created and distributed across the network for content that is published. Everyone has 7 days from the point of making a post to when the rewards are distributed.

"How Do The Rewards Get Distributed?"

Aha! This is where your reward distribution tools come in to play - the "upvote" and "downvote" buttons! Every Steem account has these buttons and they are your way of saying where you think rewards should go:

Upvote - "More STEEM here please"
Downvote - "Less STEEM here please"

Now of course, humans are emotional beings and so there is an element of that around but remember the two definitions above and bear that in mind.

For the full, comprehensive blog about rewards pool, post payouts, upvotes and downvotes, click the image below. There's some advice about the "dos" and "don'ts", the different scenarios that play out around here with giving and receiving upvotes, downvotes and doing both with comments. There's memes and gifs to boot!


Tokens, glorious tokens!

I mentioned above about STEEM and SBD being the reward tokens given out to posts after 7 days but the next level of this are the other acronyms (minus the WTF, unless there actually is a "WTF" token I don't know about yet 😃).

STEEM Power (SP)

The first thing after post rewards that you might notice in your wallet is something called "Steem Power". This is when you're voluntarily locking in Steem to your account to have more influence on rewards, voting witnesses and project proposals that have been put forward.

You might also keep it powered up for security purposes as it takes 13 weeks for the full powered up amount to be given back as liquid STEEM so if you notice anything suspicious, you can act on it and save your funds.

STEEM Token Units (STU)

As far as this Bluffer knows, STU are the "pending" STEEM payouts in the 7 day window which are "live". When you upvote or downvote content, you are signalling where you want the rewards to go via STU, which then convert to the post payout on 7 days. So STU is like the "limbo" phase where rewards aren't guaranteed until after the 7 day period has expired.

Voting Power (VP)

When you vote things, you have an "energy bar" associated with your voting activity. The more you vote, the more you drain this energy bar and thus, making your votes less powerful.

On average, a 100% upvote will drain your current VP by 2% and it does go all the way down to 0% if you're not careful! It does recharge at a rate of 20% per day (if you don't vote anything in that time) so bear that in mind! If you like rewarding great content that you read, use your VP sparingly. A rough rule of thumb is 10 max upvotes per day.

Again, full information and more in depth details about these things with epic memes and gifs can be found by clicking the image below:

Getting Started, Networking and Growing Your Account

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3 right? In theory, yes but everyone has their own goals and so I'd encourage you to think about what you want to get out of your Steem account.

Having said that, I think we can all agree that interaction and growing ones account are things we are striving to do but as I mentioned at the top, it's a a big place and easy to get lost. First things first, you need to understand Resource Credits.

Resource Credits

Every account has these and they are your accounts ability to interact with the network by doing things such as posting, commenting, voting, transferring STEEM etc. The more resource credits you have, the more frequently you can interact with the network. Think of it like internet bandwidth - it slows down when everyone is online streaming something and doing stuff at the same time. The more bandwidth you have, the less problems you'll run in to. Recommendation is a minimum of 100SP for most users.

Introduce Yourself

A great way to do this is with a blog using the #introduceyourself tag as the first one - tell us who you are, what your interests are and there'll be a welcome party waiting to greet you! If you have specific interests, there are many groups around that will likely fulfill them and with communities now, you'll meet some like minded people!

Communities To Get You Started

In no particular order, here's a list of groups that I'm aware of so far and have interacted with which you may find useful to reach out to or follow:

  • @yourtop3 - A fun monthly contest asking the Steem community their top 3 favourite things about a topic with potential to win STEEM/SBD based prizes.
  • @atomcollector - Music and crypto enthusiasts.
  • @dsound - STEEM's version of Soundcloud but not sure if they're still developing/active.
  • @creativecoin - A community for creatives arts - poetry, photography, painting, music, travel are just some of the things they cover.
  • @sonicgroovelive - Live Musicians & music contests.
  • @travelfeed - For travel related posts and a pretty snazzy website
  • @steemitworldmap - Steemits own travel map!
  • @steem.leo - Dedicated investing/cryptocurrency community
  • @c-squared / @c-cubed - A curation community manually curating "high effort" posts on a variety of topics
  • @curie - The gold standard of curating quality content
  • @ocd - Another big curator that manually reviews content and fights against spam, plagiarism and abuse
  • @steemflagrewards - Actively fighting spam, plagiarism and abuse by rewarding those that find it

Other Ways To Grow Your Account

Thankfully, there are many ways of doing this if you just wanted to grow your STEEM holdings. Delegating to projects like @curangel, @ocd and @dlease will get you daily payments if you aren't a frequent poster. Curation rewards on curating other posts is another good way to grow but I'd like to highlight a contest that I co-run with @plantstoplanks, @foxyspirit and @cheese4ead which is pretty straight forward to enter and incorporates a lot of the above...

Your Top 3 Contest (@yourtop3)

Each month, we pick a topic and the Steem community has to tell us their top 3 favourite things about it by writing an epic post full of tales about what those 3 things mean to them. Quite a few of the posts get picked up by the big curation guilds above so it pays to make an effort (but it's no guarantee). Then the nominations get put in to a poll and the winners get a share of the monthly, quarterly and yearly prizes!

It's just a bit of fun and a cool way to meet new people too!

The full information about how all of the different ways to get started, network and grow your account can be found by clicking the image below.

Cat Image Source


Hopefully these blogs will put you in good stead for when you join the Steem network or even if you've been around and fancy freshening things up. There is a lot to take in, no doubt about it but I suggest using SteemPeak for general content and Travelfeed for travel content.

There isn't really a schedule with the Bluffer's Guide, more like an "as and when time allows" approach! However, if there's anything you'd like me to cover in a future blog, let me know and will try to get around to it but the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and of course, earn some STEEM in the process!

Now, back to the music studio 😉



All memes made by me at, gifs and images credited where appropriate

For those what wanted to see the body of work behind the Bluffer's Guide, these are most of the posts I did (some of the platforms I reviewed in Chapter 7 have since collapsed, under delivered or lost their way). Enjoy 😃


  1. Welcome

  2. The history and technology of Bitcoin
    2.1 How and why did Bitcoin come in to existence?
    2.2 How does Bitcoin & blockchain actually work (Part 1)?
    2.3 How does Bitcoin & Blockchain actually work (Part 2)?

  3. Buying Bitcoin
    3.1 Being secure with cryptocurrency & wallets
    3.2 How to Buy Bitcoin & How Exchanges Work

  4. Definitions of common phrases

  5. Portfolio Management

  6. Cryptocurrency News Outlets & Fluctuations in Price

  7. Blockchain Platforms for Musicians & Music Fans

  8. STEEM
    8.1 The Rewards Pool, Upvotes & Downvotes
    8.2 STEEM, SBD, STU, VP, SBD...WTF?
    8.3 Getting Started, Networking and Growing Your Account

  9. Concluding Thoughts (never getting here)


Good one, @nickyhavey. And great recommendations, as usual.

Have you seen all the updates to @steempeak announced today?

Hey Fiona! Thanks a lot for reading in, wow it's all changed on @steempeak since I last logged in on both PC and mobile. Amazing what happens when you get lost in writing CVs and the music studio for a couple of hours... come back to a completely different interface! Awesome!

Someone may need to teach me a thing or two so I can teach others lol!

I know! I have been so distracted with other stuff, too, and then all sorts of things changed. Potentially exciting things ahead for us all.

I have to say, I am getting withdrawal symptoms from not writing. As soon as this course is done. 19 done, 7 to go and the final assessment/assignment. I may actually be done by 29 February....

Yea hopefully it will all be a breeze, going to sniff around this weekend and see what's what.

Hold on to that feeling but get your course done first! That's the most important bit!

Yea hopefully it will all be a breeze, going to sniff around this weekend and see what's what.

Hold on to that feeling but get your course done first! That's the most important bit!

Indeed. Going cold turkey. One step at a time.

That's a great compilation. We need more of these to flood our social medias to reduce the FUD on those who think that blockchain is really complex.

Posted via Steemleo

Thanks a lot mate! Yeah lots of FUD going on at the moment even from the steem community too so just trying to keep things positive and educational here - hope it piques interest 🙂

Educational enrichment is actually what brought me to steem before coming to see that I can make some money.

Posted via Steemleo

You and me both! I came to be a better blog writer but stayed for the earnings 🙂

Yeah, I am glad I stayed and now the money adds much value to the writing and learning. It's cool to be here.

Posted via Steemleo

This is the kind of great content that I love to read. Amazing work OP! Very informative.

Thanks a lot for checking it out and glad you found it helpful!

Another great guide her Nicky! With all the new things going on, and perhaps new people getting interested in joining us here these posts are all the more valuable. Shoot after 2 1/2 years on here, I'm still learning. Especially with all the new changes just rolled out...😂

Thanks a lot P2P! I've learned one thing about this platform and that is... I have much to learn haha! I think just posting and reading and voting on things will be what I stick to!

Good to see someone else doing newbie stuff besides me. After the Tron announcement, I stopped as everything might change, but it seems that's not the case.

There does need to be more informative and easy to read/understand articles out there for newcomers and even those who have been around for a while and not of a technical mindset.

I'm not worried about the Tron announcement. Personally, I think it's great news to have financial backing and a new CEO in charge, fresh blood, someone who would be more invested in development and has a marketing presence. As someone who is just a user of the platform and creates content, things did need to be changed and the next 1-3 months we'll know more and the dust will settle.

In the meantime, steem on 😎

Also not too worried about the TRON announcement. Many are powering down I see but probably won't sell until things settle.

Let them power down and sell, I'll happily mop up their cheap steem once I get some spare change.

I did trigger the powerdown after seeing all the negativity around here. It was more about being embarrassed to see this childlike reaction from everyone but cancelled the powerdown after hearing from steemit and Justin in the AMA.

Not ruling out Orcadom yet 😁

I did trigger the powerdown after seeing all the negativity around here.

So did blocktrades, but that's been canceled too!

I think blocktrades would make a bigger impact than I ever could though haha

Well done, i hope this helps many new people to our ecosystem.

Thanks man! Yea hopefully it will too but damn, just came to catch up on replies after 3 hours in the music studio and it's all changed! Time to write another Guide I think haha!

Amazing introduction!!!! And thank you for including us!!

You're most welcome guys and gals! Thank you for being ON IT with Travelfeed!

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Hi, thanks for sharing.
I'm not so sure about the following though:

Upvote - "I think this post is under rewarded, more STEEM here please"
Downvote - "I think this post is over rewarded, less STEEM here please"

Upvote: Surely an Upvote is to be used if you like the post, not based on how much it has been rewarded by others?

Downvote: Who are we to judge if it has been over rewarded? Perhaps you dont like the post but others do. To downote it because you dont like it and lots of others have voted doesnt seem right to me.
I think downvotes should be used for plaigerism, bid buying, racism, warmongering, etc. Stuff like that.

What do you think about this @nickyhavey ?

There is more information in the original blog I linked which goes through all the nuances of upvotes and downvotes but ultimately, it does come down to rewards distribution.

Even if you downvote plagiarism etc, you're still saying you think it's over rewarded and want less rewards to go to that post in a way.

If you like a post and upvote it, you're saying you want more rewards to go there.

That's just the mechanics of the platform and how they work.

How each user goes about their voting and downvoting is up to them. This isn't a post to say what topics or content should be voted on but rather the way the tools work from an objective point of view.

Thanks for your reply nicky. I get your point of course, yet i think the majority of people who see your post will read it without clicking through to the 3 non technical blogs (i hope they will - i havent done yet, not sure i will, perhaps).

I therefore think it's very important that in your overview post that it is emphasised that upvotes are meant to be used to show you like the post and can be used freely, wheras downvotes should only be used sparingly, if there is something really wrong with the post. Otherwise, those who only read your overview post may unwittingly become involved in downvote wars which seem to be happening. Do you get my point? @acidyo, i would be interested in your view on this too.


Thanks for the feedback - I have modified the description of upvote and downvote in the original post now to just say "more STEEM here please" and "less STEEM here please".

I know where you're coming from, believe me, I've observed a lot in the 2 years I've been here.

The thing is, this isn't meant to be a recommendation on how to use upvotes and downvotes because every one has different tastes and behaviours when it comes to using their upvotes & downvotes. Rather, it's about understanding what the fundamental functions of the buttons are in terms of interacting with the Steem blockchain and allocation of rewards.

Great guide, but could you please change @sonicgroove to @sonicgroovelive?
That account has more activity + guides for how to enter our weekly comp :)

Thanks a lot and yes I have changed that to @sonicgroovelive just now after your suggestion too!