Before I go into a full explanation of how I think I achieved the #1 reputation ranking on Steemit, I want you to look at this chart from steemwhales.com that shows the top 5 reputation spots on Steemit: 1. @stellabelle 2. @tuck-fheman 3. @dantheman 4. @cryptoctopus 5. @gavvet.
So, looking at this chart, one must wonder, "What do all these people have in common?"
A careful examination leads one to the realization that in fact these 5 people do not have a lot in common. But there are a few things that are worth looking at more closely.
The first thing that jumps out at me when looking at all the rest of stats is this: all the top 5 people's accounts are worth over $100,000. The second thing is: we were all early adopters.
@dantheman of course leads everyone else in terms of account value, Steem Power and curation rewards. He blows everyone else out of the park in those areas. But it is interesting to note that @dantheman is the ONLY whale with an account value over $1 million that exists in the top 5 reputation spots.
This leads us to looking at the total number of posts.
@tuck-fhemen leads the pack with his post # of 2,754. I'm in second place with regard to amount of posts with 2,553. By the way, post # represents the total number of posts and comments. So the #1 and #2 spots both have a very large number in the post category. This is significant. @tuck-fhemen and I both post a lot and comment a lot. I noticed this tendency when I first got into Steemit. He and I are similar in the amount of social interaction we have on the platform and we are very different people. Our paths now rarely cross, actually as our social groups are composed of different kinds of people. However, when he writes a funny, raw post like the one listed below, I find myself dying of laughter because he tends to say what everyone is feeling but is too afraid to write. He seems to take on the role of the everyman and he does that extremely well. He doesn't cover up his raw feelings, instead, he purges them, but he does this in self-deprecating, humorous way. Self-deprecating humor goes a long way in building social bonds and trust.
A closer look at one of @tuck-fhemen's posts that got a whopping 435 votes and you'll quickly realize that @tuck-fhemen uses a combination of irreverence, honesty, collaboration, creativity in music and art, not-caring-what-people-think-of-him and humor to create his posts which then become popular.
But you'll notice that not all of his posts are high dollar. Mine aren't either. But he and I are very consistent and we put a lot of time into both creating posts and commenting. I believe we both care very much about Steemit and view it more like a new home than anything else. He gives useful advice to minnows like, "it's better to write 15,000 posts that each earn $1 than try to write one @dollarvigilante-esque $15,000 post." That is actually very good advice.
He writes in such a way that doesn't seem to care whether he gets upvotes or not. This is crucial. When you read his posts like, How I Made $1.32 in 12 Hours on the New Blockchain Based Social Media Site Steemit you can't help but see yourself in them. He eviscerates himself very well in a comedic way. He's also poking fun at all the serious people using click-baity titles.
But all of this still doesn't quite explain how I managed to achieve the #1 reputation spot.
After all, I believe I arrived later than all these people. When I joined Steemit, I was around the 11,710th one to do so. That means many people had a good month on me. I arrived on June 8, 2016. I arrived in Steemit with 0 dollars invested and 0 friends. I have not put in one dollar into my account, which means that all the rewards I've received in Steemit have been sweat equity alone.
Let me tell you what I think is responsible. And like I said, it's what I think, not what I know for certain.
When I first became active in Steemit, there were no monetary rewards for commenting. There also was no reputation rank. There was only money for post rewards and curation.
Guess what I did from day one in Steemit?
I took off my mask and got honest. I was myself, raw and unfiltered. I didn't hide anything, and in fact I did the opposite. I exposed myself, psychologically, that is.
I got into some arguments, but I feel that I was never disrespectful. I expressed strong emotions, for sure. I also set a daily goal of posting 2 articles per day, every single day without skipping a day. I became consistent and persistent.
In addition to writing, I spent a huge chunk of time commenting on other people's posts even though there was no monetary reward for doing so. I found posts that interested me. I tended to shy away from controversy as I dislike confrontation for the most part. I also don't dwell on negative emotions or things beyond my control. Steemit is actually teaching me how to express my disagreements in a productive way, though.
I didn't know that my efforts in commenting would ever be rewarded as there was no mention of a future reputation ranking system. So, why would I do this if I was receiving no money for it, no compensation?
I did the opposite of what everyone else was doing for this one reason: high quality engagement and feedback in society is in short supply.
I was doing what I felt was lacking in the "real" world. Real feedback, connecting in an honest and deep way......I think many people who are in relationships also do not get honest feedback. When you cling to something that you think might vanish, you don't tend to give your honest self to it.
Fear is the unforgiving slave master of truth.
Fear is the cause of much of the problems that exist right now, in Steemit and the "real" world. Even I experience fear on a daily basis. I have a very strong fear of going broke, like I did in the past. But now I watch this fear, and I observe it instead of acting upon it.
I've been thinking about this problem for a long time now. When I was in corporate America, I noticed the thing that was most disturbing to me was this: I and everyone else in the company was treated like a refillable lighter. My unique ideas were dismissed, my efforts went unnoticed and it felt like 95% of the employees hated going to work. We all carried around this downward spiral attitude that was caused by not being recognized for our unique gifts. We were also all afraid of being fired at any minute.
Corporations are run just like factory farms, with little to no regard for life.
We are treated like cattle and we are treated very poorly, most of us. I never had managerial positions at companies. I never wanted to be "over" other people. I never wanted to order others around. I wanted to be recognized for my hard work and original ideas. Guess what? It didn't work out. I came to realize that I was not going to fit into someone else's hierarchy. I wanted to do things my own way, with my own values which are largely based on cooperation and voluntary action.
Just because we are adults does not mean that we no longer want gold stars, though.
We all want and need positive feedback in addition to money. I think we're all dying for this kind of recognition because we have not received it in a very long time. I have many years built up where I received little to no feedback for my hard work. I believe I am not alone in this respect.
Let me switch gears and give some ideas how you can improve your reputation. What is reputation anyway?
"Reputation is the word which refers to the position one occupies or the standing that one has in the opinion of others, in respect to attainments, integrity, and the like."
Here are 5 concrete things you can do today to improve your reputation:
#1 Challenge yourself to write 100 high-quality, engaging comments on other people's posts in one day. (Key: high-quality). Afterwards, write a post that details all the fascinating things you learned about other Steemians. Mention the Steemians's names in your post who affected you the deepest.
#2 Write something gut-wrenchingly honest, something you've been meaning to write but that you are afraid to admit.
(if you're afraid, then most likely many other people will be afraid also. You will stand out.)
#3 Study what @thecryptofiend does and how he responds to posts. He's a prolific commenter on all the Secret Writer posts and I constanly upvote his comments because they provide such enormous value.
#4 Find 5 people on Steemit who need help. Most Steemians don't know about the resource, Steemithelp. Educate yourself on some common questions, then go out in search of people on Steemit who could benefit from you helping them. Write a value-rich comment.
#5 Create the next absurd Steemit trend (male makeup tutorials created quite a trend some weeks ago, what's next?). Use your creativity and come up something super wacky. I have something planned in this area, but I don't know if it will become a trend or not. I know that no one else has done it, so I'm trying it. For minnows who want to be inspired, study @roelandp who is a master at creativity and trend-setting on Steemit.
There are lots of ways to increase your reputation, but sending private messages to whales and orcas begging them to read your posts is not in the list.
Oh, and if you have a really low reputation score, the first thing you should probably do is let go of hate. Hate is not rewarded in Steemit. Just choose one day to let hate go, then see how it feels. If you can't let go of hate for one day then my next suggestion is get some quality counseling. Most people have sought out counseling at some point in life, so it's nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you want a better life and want something different than what you currently have. The presence of hate indicates unresolved personal conflicts.