Factors that matter in changing your reputation score on Steemit.com:
1. You need upvotes to increase you reputation score.
2. Higher the value of an upvote, the more positively it affects your reputation.
3. Flagging decreases you reputation score.
4. Higher the weight of the flag, the more negatively it affects your reputation.
The basic idea is that to effectively level up your reputation score, you need to add more and more upvotes and less of flags. Reputation score becomes increasingly difficult to increase as you reach higher levels. Even a single upvote can get you from 25 to 35 reputation but to get from 65 to 75 is a totally different matter.
Frankly I don't worry all that much about my reputation score. I wont say that I do not care for it completely but rather that I don't find it truly reflective of somebodies true standing in the Steem ecosystem.
Note: I personally feel that reputation score on steemit can be gamed. The new Steem user authority (steem-UA) project seems to give a much better metric of your standing in the community.
Only one factor: The total value (not amount) of upvotes you got since your account was created - more technically, it is not the value in SBD/Steem but the value of rewardshares. Some people who have a high reputation score have in fact just bought a lot of upvotes..
There are several things that does really effects the RS in Steemit
well there us a flaw in that process though
You can buy your way to the top using bid bot if you have money in your pocket.
While each and every upvote will effect your Reputation score to rise. Small step by step.
You can check your position how it is increasing at Steemworld.org./@username . It will show you at 3 decimal places. So easy to look for your progress.
While every downvote/Flag will be counted as well. Each flag will demote you from the Reputation score that you have and more the weight of downvote the more down you go.
So keep your eyes sharp where you are getting into.