How to Ruin Your Online Reputation

Everyone is so very focused on creating great online reputations, getting followers, winning respect, blah blah blah. How boring! Let's talk about what you can do to ruin your online reputation!

Steal others' work

This tried-and-true method is a triple whammy because:

  • Those from whom you steal will detest you and will often do what they can to ruin your reputation for you (how convenient!)
  • Duplicate text content is bad for SEO, so Google's algorithms might deep six you
  • If you steal copyrighted work, you might get caught up in legal troubles, so your on-paper reputation (and wallet) might get ruined as well (yay, add-ons!)

Fail to learn how to properly use a platform

Not living up to community norms on a particular platform works like a charm. If you, say, only share links to your own content on Twitter (or do the same on Pinterest) for example, people will just mentally (or sometimes literally) tag you as a spammer, so in addition to ruining your personal reputation on that particular platform, you'll be seen as less than human. Effective, right?

Create fake reviews about yourself or your business

A lot of people think they can get away with writing fake reviews about their businesses (or sharing their work with rave comments using dummy accounts). Some people actually get away with it. That said, sockpuppeting is usually easily caught, and can quickly erode both your personal reputation and the reputation of that which you are advocating. As an additional perk, the clout of any genuine positive comments you or your business may have will be lost should you be caught posting fake positive feedback, as people will suspect that they, too, were manufactured.

Only promote your own work

Being respected and valued online comes hand in hand with a willingness to engage in active dialogue. One of the simplest ways to bring a knee to the crotch of that conventional wisdom is to only promote your own work and fail to reach out to, engage with, or accept feedback from others.

Don't think of others

Having a lackluster online reputation is easy if you create content for yourself and do not think about others' needs. Don't consider what they want or need to know. Don't ask yourself whether someone might be interested in what you have to share. Do not consider the keywords people might be using to search for information about a subject you're covering. Don't make changes to your formatting to ensure that your content is easy to scan and read.

Cut corners

In addition to only promoting your own work and abusing various platforms, you can seal the deal and walk away with your online doom by attempting to cut corners. Make shoddy content designed to drive readers (and not to add something of real value to the internet). Don't bother with editing, getting feedback, or adding helpful supplementary links or media to your online content. Buy traffic through ads and black hat traffic exchanges intend of taking the time to research others' need and create online entertainment and resources of real value.

By following this simple advice, you'll be ruined in no time, my friend! Good luck.