In his post trying to solve the mystery of the Steemit rewards, even for a 9 year old, the steemian Ilyas Tarar (@ilyastarar) explained that all the rewards on your posts and comments are shown with an amount preceded by $ sign. This $ does not mean US dollars (USD) and is mentioned only for the sake of ease, probably because the whole globe recognizes the $ symbol (and loves it?). The amount mentioned with $ sign is actually Steem Dollar (SBD), not US dollars. You will not be paid out in just SBD though. Your rewards will be converted to STEEM Power (SP) and Steem Dollar (SBD) depending on whether you want both or just the SP. The Steemit FAQ defines that the amount that is shown next to a post is a "Potential Payout".
Taken from the Steemit FAQ definition, Potential Payout is an estimated value of how much money the post will make based on the votes that have occurred so far. Depending on various factors, this value can go up or down until the payout window closes:
- If a post receives more upvotes, the potential payout of the post can go up.
- If a post receives more downvotes, the potential payout of the post can go down.
- If other posts receive more upvotes, the potential payout of the post can go down.
- If other posts receive more downvotes, the potential payout of the post can go up.
- If upvotes are removed from a post, the potential payout of the post can go down.
- If downvotes are removed from a post, the potential payout of the post can go up.
- If the price of STEEM goes up, the potential payout of all posts can go up.
- If the price of STEEM goes down, the potential payout of all posts can go down.
In another post, this time trying to explain for a 5 year old, the steemian Aggroed (@aggroed) wrote that the folks who are authoring a brand new post are considered authors. The people that are upvoting and commenting on posts are called curators. The total reward for a post doesn't all go to the author. 25% of the rewards goes back to the curator. 75% of the rewards goes back to the author.
He also reminds that there's a weird side note to this. Suggesting thinking of it kinda like investing... people that invest in a post early benefit from the upvotes that happen afterward. If you're within the first 30 minutes some of your curation reward will actually credit back to the author. After 30 minutes, Aggroed continues, you'll get the full curation reward, but you might miss out on some of the big votes that come through. So, timing your curation matters too. If you're a minnow starting out, it doesn't really matter all that much... but as a dolphin I like to time my upvotes to be around the 20-30 minute mark, unless I think a post is going to blast off and then I think it works out to get in early.
In another tutorial (with infographics) published by Sndbox (@sndbox), there is an explanation that each post and each comment is "paid out" after a 7 day window. When you receive a payout, you are actually receiving around 75% - 80% of the post amount. According them it is because the people who have upvoted your post receive rewards too! These supporters of yours are called "curators" and the remaining 20% - 25% is split among them in proportion to how much strength they put towards your post.
The Steemit FAQ details that posts and comments remain active for 7 days. When the period is over, you are able to claim their earned rewards. In your Wallet, click the Claim Rewards button to add the tokens to your account.
Steem reward system exact calculations
After investigating for a long time but without find a clear answer, steemian and mathematician Julián González (@jga) decided to study directly the source code of Steem, something a little complex, but he achieved it. He published the results of this research on Steemit and in Steem.center, which he suppose will be of great help to many. See here in: Rewards:Formulas and Rewards:Infographic
- The Mystery of Steemit Rewards Solved Even for a 9 Year Old. See What You Actually Get from Steemit!!! Written by Ilyas Tarar (@ilyastarar) on [Steemit]], published in June 17, 2017
- Why do the earnings for my post go up or down? Published on Steemit FAQ, retrieved in February 19, 2018
- "I'm new here. Can you explain post payouts like I'm 5?" Written by Aggroed (@aggroed) on [Steemit]], published in May 20, 2017
- How Much is Your Post Worth? - A Steemit Rewards Guide Written by Sndbox (@sndbox) on Steemit, published in May 20, 2017
- When can I claim my rewards? Published on Steemit FAQ, retrieved in February 19, 2018
- Author and Curator rewards in HF19 Written by Julián González (@jga) on Steemit, published in December 21, 2017
- Steem author and curator rewards - Infographic Written by Julián González (@jga) on Steemit, published in December 12, 2017
- Steem Supply : http://steem.supply/rewards Rewards Calculator, retrieved in February 19. 2018
- @shenanigator : UPDATED - Steemit FAQ Part 4 - "Payouts" February 10, 2017
- @timcliff : Everything you need to know about potential payouts and flagging (for new users) February 27, 2017
- @lukestokes : Do You Care Too Much About Steemit Blogging Rewards? Find Out Here. March 14, 2017
- @eroche : Steemit Payouts March 15, 2017
- @sykochica : Answering Common Questions: What happens when you Vote on a Post that's Past Payout? June 8, 2017
- @steemit.nemesis : Similar content - different votes, prospected payouts and curation behaviour June 16, 2017
- @alphacore : Steemit Problems: reward values decay over time June 18, 2017
- @biophil : Decreasing Steemit payouts: will it continue? July 8, 2017
- @hiroyamagishi : 7 Reasons that low payout is not the reason to give up on Steemit... July 17, 2017
- @bitgeek : Payout Stats Report for 6th August 2017 August 6, 2017
- @sndbox : Learning from the Steemit Carrot - An Illustrated Guide on Payouts + Upvotes October 26, 2017
- @kyriacos : Believe It Or Not, Steemit Is Not About The Rewards January 5, 2018
- @adsactly : ADSactly Fun - The Potato Dollar - The Most Important Value January 10, 2018
- @jesta : Steem Rewards History CSV Exporter (via SteemData.com) January 31, 2018
- @sndbox : What is a Steemit Upvote? (An Illustrated Guide to Rewards) March 9, 2018
- Wired : The social network doling out millions in ephemeral money Written by Andrew McMillen (@andrewmcmillen), published in 10/4/2017
- Leah Stella Stephens Medium Blog : STEEM WHITEPAPER FOR DUMMIES: Rewards Written by Stellabelle (@stellabelle), published in 1/10/2017
- dan atStarLite YouTube Channel : Steemit-101: Understanding The Steem Rewards Pool Video tutorial by @dan-atstarlite published in 7/25/2017. Reached 533 views until 2/19/2018
- Altcoin Today : Here’s How Steemit Works and Rewards Users Written by Katherine Fletcher, published in 8/13/2016
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If you're already a steemian you can be rewarded with STEEM, see how in @steemcenterwiki.