How to Ruin your Online Reputation in 10 Easy Steps

Are you concerned whether or not you’ll get hired in the future? Wondering if a potential date will Google your name? Don’t care whether or not there might be legal repercussions to what you say? Well, great! If you don’t care what people read about you online, then you’re well on your way to ruining your online reputation. Here’s my top ten tips for tanking your online reputation indefinitely:

(1) Become a Member of the Grammar Police: Remember to correct grammar and spelling in every post, email, and comment you read–even people that have established reputations. Everybody loves to be corrected on their English, don’t you? Not only will you get the reputation as a know-it-all, but you’ll also be quickly recognized as a major pain-in-the-butt. Or, if you so choose, remember the phrase “when in Rome” and post exclusively in txt, LOL or l33t-speak.

(2) Take Credit for Other People’s Work: Feel free to avoid referencing, linking or crediting the content you’re publishing on your own site. Sure, there’s so much content on the internet that no one will ever know if you plagiarize, right? And who knows? Other people may notice what you’ve done and start talking about it. Free publicity!

(3) Claim you’re an Expert on Everything (Even When You’re Not One): Be sure to speak to your vast and impressive background of experiences whenever possible. This is especially true if you don’t have any experiences (or proof) that you are knowledgeable in the subject you’re talking about.

(4) Be “the” Internet War Guru: Start flame wars by calling a fellow poster an [insert word] here. The fastest way to tank your reputation online is to start an argument with someone over the [topic of your choice], so start early and fight often. Forum posts and email are great vehicles for flame wars, because other people who don’t even belong to the forums (or know you personally) can read what you wrote. Fantastic!

(5) Put Other People Down to Get Visits: Promote your site and get more traffic by telling other people how much they suck. This is a great way to get traffic to your own site. Simply, all you have to do is comment on as many blogs and websites as possible, trashing what they’ve done and telling people where they should go–to your domain.
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