How to Succeed on a Content Platform: Enter a Community, not a Talent Show

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The path to success is like a road with an unknown destination hidden behind a turn. Our typical behaviour is to try guessing the destination and then deduct the road. We want maps, instructions, recipes, or even enlightening, but not the work with unpredictable results. When there are no maps, we are often driven by myths and illusions.

My biggest illusion back when I joined Steemit was that authors are rewarded for their literary talent in the first place. But then my eyes opened on how things really work.

A community rewards its members in accordance with the role played and the value produced by them. Authors are rewarded not for their content itself, as if in a talent show, but for being useful to the community, for taking a specific role and offering a needed service.

Sometimes being useful really means producing quality literature, but more often than not it answers other community needs, like for example the need to see how others cope with the difficulties of life, or the need to connect to an expert, or the need for optimism, or the need to get feedback on their writing, and so on.

Everyone is entitled to perform a role, to offer a service and to get a reward. The size of which depends on one’s fortune, on what the performed role is, and, first of all, on what resources the community has available.

Don’t think by the way that it’s easy to be a millionaire, or a YouTube star, or a community leader. Focus on this: your role should fit you. Sometimes people mistakenly take high roles without having the resources, and it hurts back. You will pay a dear price for every incompatibility between the actual you and the role you perform, and if the role doesn’t really fit you, you will fail.

Or, as Plutarch put it,

We do not expect a vine to bear figs, nor an olive grapes, yet now-a-days, with regard to ourselves, if we have not at one and the same time the privilege of being accounted rich and learned, generals and philosophers, flatterers and outspoken, stingy and extravagant, we slander ourselves and are dissatisfied, and despise ourselves as living a maimed and imperfect life.

My approach is:

  1. Be yourself. Don’t try to figure out what they want, just be authentic.
  2. Find a community you really like and make connections with interesting people. And yes, be interesting, too.
  3. Take a role you’re capable of and offer a useful community service, however small.
  4. Be consistent. Someone once wisely said that the path to success is like a snowball, small in the beginning but growing steadily if enough effort is constantly applied.

First published on Steemit

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