There are many dynamics involved in what one would consider "making a decent living from Steem." and whether or not it is possible.
First I will say it is very possible, and people do it. I'm not one of those people, but they are on the blockchain, and they are known.
The most important thing to consider first is, what do you consider a decent income? Some regions of the world require much less Steem for conversion of native currency, and for some a small amount is actually quite decent because of this, but for some, a 5 dollar upvote a day would not cover their coffee habit. If you feel 35,000 is a decent annual income, this will likely be easier to achieve than 100,000 a year, and if you think you are going to do this organically, it will be extremely hard. I don't want to say it isn't possible, but with my current understanding of the ecosystem, organically making a salary that you can live off is next to impossible on the Steem blockchain without your own out of pocket investment. How large of an investment you need will be dependent on how much you want to make. Now here is where things get a little tricky.
To make income, you need upvotes. Consistent upvotes. These upvotes can be organic, or automated, but they are not easy to get. The big vote that is, the vote that will put food on the table, and have you whaling up in a matter of months, no those won't come easy at all, and by investing your own money into the platform, you are going to need to do one of two things to start generating income, you either :
There are a couple of other ways you could generate revenue, but we will keep it simple. If you do this, you aren't actually using the platform for anything other than a "printing press." What I mean is, if you have an insane amount of Steem Power as you say, and you are using it for self upvoting, and buying votes, then you aren't actually making the money, you're actually just partaking in practices that have questionable ethics.
The dream for most of us is to be able to make a decent income blogging on Steemit, while receiving generous upvotes that supply a steady stream of income, and getting paid to do things we love. This would require no upfront investment, and it would be a bloggers paradise, with hoards of people adding content rich blogs to the blockchain, but that doesn't mean everyone is going to be good at writting/blogging, and it doesn't mean we are all going to make a decent income at it, even if things were a little more fair.
The reality of what the Steem blockchain is right now, can more accurately be described as a capitalist market. Money makes money here, but things are changing I believe. I am starting to see a shift. Nice dapps are emerging, many non-serious enthusiasts are leaving, and the one's that are sticking around want to see Steem succeed. This is good for the economy. I find it very exciting.
Right now is a good time to make Steem. I wouldn't give up on the possibility of making a nice income on Steem platforms, but at the same time, set realistic goals for yourself, and don't invest more than you can afford to lose.
I hope my response helps.
It might be but I wouldn't make it a permanent life choice. If you can make it work as a part time job then all the power to you but there is a lot of risk involved.
I am sure many steemians who are successful enough to make a living were early adopters and early adopters of what turns out to be a relatively popular cryptocurrency usually end up doing well. They may also have the resources such as computer hardware to be witnesses for the steem blockchain.
If somebody is already making a decent living on another social media platform such as YouTube they most likely won't just close shop and migrate over to steemit and DTube. Even if they did the sudden popularity of a brand new account would probably trigger some flagging bots and that would wipe out their beginning income. Also, every new hardfork introduces new rules. For example, a huge whale with a lot of steem power won't be able to upvote their own account postings after hardfork 20 is implemented. If they were relying on that as their income model then they have to switch over to some other model such as selling their upvotes or delegating their steem power which might not be as profitable.
The only way to live of your Steem income is if you are one of the top Witness or you are involved in a project that pays very well. I have worked on this question for the past few months and have come to the conclusion that it is not possible for Dolphins(more than 5000SP) and Minnows(More than 500SP) to live of their Steem income at the current market rates.
At the current prices you need to have almost 26000SP for a $1 worth upvote. Since we can all cast ten votes with hundred percent voting weight per day..... if you assume that you give 3 of these votes to yourself and 7 to others the you'll get a total of:
Author rewards + Curation rewards = Total rewards
3X(0.75) + 7X(0.25) = $4.
Since other people would be upvoting you too, so lets add at least twice the amount you earned for yourself. This brings your total to $4 + $8 = $12.
Now if you are able to live of 12 dollars per day, then I am happy for you. I can maybe do my food for 12 dollars but not my rent, electricity, bus pass and internet. Also remember that if you keep taking money out than your Steem account, then you won't grow.
If Steem prices were $3, then you'll get maybe 48 dollars a day. Now this seems like some decent money. But the thing is that I have done the above calculation assuming that you have 26,000SP - That is a lot of Steem power and most of us don't have it.
Personally I don't believe in treating Steem blockchain as my personal ATM, so this won't work for me anyways.
I believe in the 80-20 rule. 20% of the population will own 80% of the assets, while the remaining 80% fight tooth and nail for scraps from the 20% of assets left to them. Same for Steem. If you want to make a living of it, be in the top 20%