There are some ways to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd – and then there are some ways to really make an ass of yourself. Then there are some things that will implode your world and make you crawl into a hole and suck your thumb like a little baby, questioning your entire existence and reason for being. Pay close attention.
Kill Your Writing / Blogging Career by Doing One of the Following...
Borrow/Steal an Image That Doesn’t Belong to You.
There are some things that toe the line and for some reason, the act of grabbing an image from the internet seems to be one of those gray areas. People don’t get it. They just don’t get that it’s wrong and actually illegal. Images are protected by copyright from the moment a photographer takes the picture and it is timestamped with the meta data. Same thing for a designed image. AND – even for a stock image. If I pay for a stock image, post it on my site and then you GRAB it. Well, I didn’t pay for you to use it. Again, illegal. You won’t go to jail. But, you will pay a big fine. In fact, there are lawyers that specialize in this, they post their pretty pictures online and WAIT for someone to use them on their blog. Then they send an 8K bill. It happens. And it’s happened a few times. Numerous blogs, from company sites, to Mommy blogs have posted that they’ve been hit with the image copyright issue. It can kill your blog quicker than you can say “oops.”
Call For Donations When You Don’t Need Them.
Pay for my wedding. Pay for my vacation. Pay for this crazy idea that I have that will make me a millionaire. Even Kayne is doing it – asking for money from Facebook dude, of all people. That’s fine, if people want to give you money for shoes, or a vacation – that’s their prerogative. The problem arises when you aren’t necessarily deserving of that money. Need money to visit your sick sister? Remember, if you make people suspicious they can easily check public records and find out if your sister is actually sick. If you are in need – or REALLY – if you are asking for the benefit of someone else (which is how the few scandals have happened) make sure they are really in need. You could look like a liar and a scam artist.
Plagiarize. Plagiarize. Plagiarize.
You can’t do this on accident. No matter what someone says. There is no way you can go and copy and paste someone’s work and think it’s “right.” But, it keeps happening. And it’s getting more prolific in the writer world, especially since there is money to be made. Why write an actual book, when I can just “rewrite” a book and change the character’s names? Or why write a book review, when I can just copy and paste a review from Goodreads? Change a few words here and there and you can have a brand new review. Until you get busted. And then it all comes crashing down.
Rant too Hard.
Go on a rant…a BIG rant that makes you look like an asshole. Rant about people not buying your books. Rant about people not reading your blog. Rant about things Book Bloggers do and then get all OFFENDED about it. But, make it an ENTITLED rant. How you think there is something wrong with the online population because they are doing this or that or maybe even this – that you never do because you are so much SMARTER than the general population. This seems to happen a lot in “confession” posts. The confession posts turn into – not how they have done something wrong – but how X-thing pisses them off. How they are SOOO offended by bloggers/readers/writers that act a particular way or blog a certain way. I have never been more offended than a confession post in which a group of bloggers tore apart the blogging / author community by bullet points. They looked like a bunch of entitled, judgemental assholes. I won’t ever forget this blog…they certainly made an impression. It wasn’t favorable.
Act Like a Lunatic.
This is a little open-ended, but being a lunatic online can be rather detrimental to your career. If you think “this is a little crazy.” After you write an article or blog post, maybe it’s not a good idea to hit post or send to the magazine that commissioned your piece. Even a tweet can break it all open. Don’t insult anyone. Don’t threaten anyone. Don’t stalk anyone and then write an article about it. Don’t steal someone’s ideas/posts and then claim that person is bullying you and sending you death threats and fake screenshots to prove you are right. Overall, just don’t be crazy.