Many people come from Steemit to Minds expecting Minds to be like Steemit. Here is a quick rundown to help you understand the differences between the two sites.
Minds Tokens are different from SteemDollars
Steem is meant as a currency, not a token. Steem has it's own blockchain and is mined. From there the currency is put into the rewards pool before being distributed. It also has a system where your rewards can be turned into an alternate currency to boost your rank so you get/give more rewards.
More info can be found on Steemit's Wiki.
Minds doesn't do that. All people get the same the rewards values for our activity with no silly ranks included! Your reward is based on how active you were versus the how active the rest of the site was. Also, Minds is a Token that rides on top of the ETH blockchain. It is not a cryptocurrency.
Minds Tokens do not convert directly into cash.
On-chain tokens (Bought from Minds itself with money) are able to be moved between on-chain wallets thanks to the Blockchain, but that's as good as you are getting from Minds.
Off-chain tokens can't be bought or sold. I suspect they never will be sellable as that would devalue the Minds token, but that's just my speculation.
Either way, neither on-chain or off-chain tokens are guaranteed to hold any value or any use outside of Minds. They are made only to be gifted as a show of thanks/support, used to boost posts (advertising), or swapped for services given on Minds. Until August 2018 it was actually against the Minds Terms of Service to sell Minds Tokens for currency.
You can definitely indirectly earn money via Minds tokens, however! Start a brand account and showcase your work. Make posts showing things you have for sale and link to your store. Put links to Patreon (or a similar site) at the bottom of your posts. Get creative- there's options out there!
Minds does not charge you for posting anything.
I have heard there are Steem-related services (not steemit itself) that charge you for posting there. Minds does not charge to post anything! You can post anything, even Video, for free. Only boosting content or Minds Plus costs anything at all.
Minds Plus is not the Whales system from Steemit.
Minds Plus helps support Minds. In exchange you get small perks. You can get a verified creator badge to let others know this is an official account for your content. You can choose not to see others' boosted posts. You can learn more about Minds itself and such. None of these perks have anything to do with earning or using Minds Tokens. You can learn more on the Minds Plus page.
Wait, so this won't be like Steem?
Hopefully not. There are subtle downsides to all tokens being convertible into cash. Downsides I hope to never see on Minds. Please note that I am not as experienced with Steemit as Minds, so some of this was supplemented by time spent as a creator on other sites like Youtube.
1) The money & exchange rate for those tokens has to come from somewhere.
This can be an exchange rate set by the site which the site must somehow pay. Most likely this money comes from ads or selling your data to third parties. Advertising also means censorship as companies don't want to look bad. This is why youtube is having an "adpocalypse" right now full of bans and revoked earnings.
It can also come from exchanges which results in an unstable value for the currency- not good if you were looking for an income! Just ask anyone who has lost money at Cryptocurrency trading.
2) When money is involved it gets commercial.
People will do anything to make money sometimes. This means less people posting what they love and more people posting things made to cater towards focus groups/trending keywords while hoping others will follow them and give them money. Everything turns mainstream pretty fast. If you came to Minds looking for fresh voices, this is bad.
3) It's just not a good way to earn money.
The amount of tokens you make varies by site activity. It's like a pie and we all get a slice just for interacting. The size of the slice is based on how active you were in comparison to the rest of the site. If more people are active, you get less tokens for the same activity.
Now, add in the idea of people trying to make a living wage off earning/selling Minds Tokens (!) and it gets bad. People will start using money to promote themselves like crazy while spamming tons of mainstream content in order to take a bigger slice of the pie. This means a smaller wedge for everyone who doesn't do this, which leads to even more spammy folks.
If you have a life outside of Minds or can't afford to boost everything for long time periods you are going to have a hard time getting seen, never mind earning any tokens.
If you like Steemit, that's Fine: do your thing over there! Just don't expect Minds to be a Steemit clone. It isn't a Steemit clone and I hope it never will be.
Any questions? Comment here and I'll try to help!
Don't worry, I don't bite (hard).
By the way, if this helped you, feel free to like, remind, or maybe even toss me a little bit of tokens. Hey, those little bits all add up.
If Minds itself sells the tokens for a set value this means the tokens will never be worth more than what Minds is selling for. The value can't rise. Won't this cause people to leave the site as they can't make money off Minds tokens?
The point of the tokens isn't earning the users money. The point of tokens on Minds is to be utilized on minds. Having a value cap that doubles as an income flow for the site helps prevent price hiking and encourages tokens being used for their actual purpose instead of as a speculative investment.
The fact that nobody would pay more for them than the asking price is the point. Minds is not a "post to make money" site like Steemit. Minds is a social site. Any potential profitability for creators comes from other revenue streams, not from generating massive numbers of tokens and selling them.
The point of Minds is to be social. The tokens are there to help enable this by giving some sort of reward for creating content and interacting with the site. It's like a "thank you" note that you can gift to someone later in lieu of being able to like a post more than once. A thank you that lets you advertise your own posts for free. It's a thank you with benefits, not a means to earn money in and of itself.
What exactly does Minds use the Blockchain for?
Minds uses a blockchain to verify and move Minds Tokens. The blockchain is being used as it's safer than having a centralized system for the tokens. It's also more transparent for fairness and auditing reasons. Using this Blockchain does not mean the tokens are meant to be traded for Fiat.
What's so terrible about Steemit?
I wouldn't say Steemit is "terrible" so much as it's really not my cup of tea.
Steemit bills itself as a place to make money. People come in with this mindset and everything is super commercial because of it. Mainstream content, chasing trends, keyword stuffing and other tactics to get ahead are in basically every post. There's little legitimate content. It's all pandering to popularity and money.
Due to how the site gives rewards (the Whales system), those with money and rank always get more money and more rank. Newcomers without money/rank get less of both if they earn at all. That's not fair to newcomers. Rank is purchased on Steemit, not earned, by the way. Newcomers must either pray for charity from older members or spend real money on ranking currency to maybe be able to eventually earn money on Steemit. By the time you have bought/earned enough rank to make money, those already there are way above you. It's a rat race.
Even if you do get the ranking and the content, good luck being seen. Everyone advertises HARD. Older members are already earning more and have higher rank so they will out-advertise new ones unless the newbie can throw a lot of cash at Steemit. Advertised posts (especially by folks with rank) are the ones that actually get seen making the guys with money even more money and even more ranking. It's worse than Google ranking in some respects.
And then there's the straight up cheaters. Bots. Hackers. Hackers with bots. When a site is clearly a cash cow it always attracts straight up cheaters.
All of this is why I don't like Steemit. I really, really, hope Minds never goes this way. It may work for some people and those people may be happy, but I am not into that.