I am trying to do this exact thing right now. It is possible, but also it is a major challenge. Starting form scratch with no investment and growing is not easy. If you want to do this then time is what is required. You will need to dedicate any free time to this mammoth challenge.
One has to build a solid foundation before you start posting. Gaining some followers and having support is the key.This takes time and the longer you take it will make the task almost impossible.
I joined in March and never had Dapps like musing to help and grew slowly in the beginning. I think with these Dapps around now it would be much easier. The only risk is spending too much time on the Dapps and neglecting your Steem engagement and followers.
I have just over 3 months to get to 5000 SP and I am nearly half way. There is a good chance I will make it ,but it will be close. I have been working to a system and it seems to be working for me now.
One needs to have a plan and to try and stick to the plan in order to achieve this goal. If you see yourself under achieving on the goals then more time and commitment is required.
Don't ever give up and just keep going. I hope you do it and show others what is possible.
Yes why not. Very very possible.
I am quite sure some people on steemit may have become a whale just by their hardworking on steemit and not investing in any penny on steemit.
Steemit deals with the level of your engagement with users and interaction among others and not only by posting quality content. There are many quality contents out there but are not getting exposure for people to see it or read it but through interaction and high level of engagement with users, you tend to see them reading your content.
You can be a dolphin without investing any penny on steemit but just by your high level of engagement with others. This may lead them to upvote your post or even delegate to you which are very highly beneficial and helpful for you.
You can earn some steem power as steem power is what is used to measure your dolphin or whale stage. You can warn your steem power by curating or by delegating your steem power so as to get some returns or rewards in return.
You can also get this steem power when people upvotes your comment or your post which may generate to you earn some teem power.
This all add up to determine and helps you to get to your dolphin stage without investing any penny on steemit.
Dolphin status is normally around 5000 Steem Power. So doing it in one year means you need to earn a daily average of around 13.7 Steem. The first few weeks you will not even come close to these numbers, so you will really have to give it your all in order to get somewhere.
After the first few weeks you will have some SP. With SP comes extra rewards.
You can delegate to bots for a daily return, thus you generating a passive income stream to help you out in your goal to dolphinhood.
Delegate to projects that will in turn upvote you. (Good since you will be earning your bulk of steem via posts)
Become really good at curation. When I mean good I would say earn around 4+ steem per week on a 1000SP account. This can be done by a bot or by frontrunning other bots.
The short answer is YES. You will have to work your butt of though, stay committed and post nearly everyday. Make a name for yourself and be active in the community.
Yes, it is possible and I'm going to do it. That's my goal for 2019. However, we should clarify what investing means.
You are probably referring to investing fiat, right? Well, I'm not going to do that, my goal is to invest my time, knowledge and my photographs to get there, which is also an investment, only a bit different.
It's going to take me longer to reach my goal but I'm very determined and I'm going to do everything in my power to make my dream come true.
I've been here for almost one year and have been working hard to get where I am now. I've been lucky to have friends who have shown me the way, have helped me to grow. I have faith in Steemit and strongly believe it's possible to become a dolphin without investing fiat.
You have to set a target to yourself, a realistic one and stick to it. Monitor your evolution and if something is not working, try to find another way. The key however is persistence.
So much for the theory. No I do not think it is possible without any form of investment.