This is an awesome tutorial and a big help for new and old members alike. When you don't have any rep at all, and don't know where to start, study the above tutorial and pick the points that suit you best, the ones where you think you can excel and make a difference. However, there's one important point still missing from this thread and it's based on plain common sense:
Give and you will receive!
As soon as you've gathered some rep (even if your rep power is still not higher than 1), just start looking how you can help others in their rep progress and don't be afraid to express your appreciation and your gratitude towards your fellow TI-members by starting to use the rep button.
For example, if you see someone made a very helpful comment in the help section or you just stumble across a great giveaway, show your appreciation and give it the rep you think it deserves. Were you given an invite or a bonus? Then maybe it's time to give the giver some rep as a token of your gratitude. Did you just read a post that made you look at things differently, inspired you, brightened up your day, or even made you laugh to tears, then why not give the poster the rep he deserves for it! What to do when you just read a great tutorial, a good review, an informative article, or a great suggestion? Maybe you can show some love and hit that rep button for the poster! Wait, did you just notice someone is working hard in a particular section of this forum? Or that someone else is dedicating a substantial part of his free time to make this place a better one for us all? Well, let him know you appreciate the work he's doing and reward it with some rep! Or perhaps you just saw a member is having a really hard time to make some progress on this forum? Why not give your fellow member a helping hand and give him a few rep points for a good post he made.
Now, that being said, do NOT run off and rep every post like a wild man, no-one will appreciate that and TI-rules state you should use your rep power responsibly, if not, you may have to face some very nasty consequences. Do NOT just go and rep as many members as you can in the hope to get something back, that is NOT the way to go and will result in an infraction or a ban. Notice the adjectives I've been using: good, informative, helpful, great, etc. Those are the signal words that should trigger a rep flag in your brain. If you turn into a giving person, it's just no more than a logical consequence that sooner or later you'll get the love back you're spreading around - this is true for many things in real life, but it's also true for something as practical as reputation on this forum. However, don't think for a moment that we're talking about an automatic process here, as if when you rep someone, that person is just going to rep you back for it. That's not how it works, nor how it's supposed to work, and such behavior will again lead to nasty consequences.
Still, just as in real life, a responsible and giving attitude will eventually result in a rewarding experience, even though it may take some time. If you can develop such a patient and giving attitude with regards to rep and keep combining it with the excellent points from the tutorial above, I can assure you your rep power will go up. It's like many things in life, don't focus on GETTING but on GIVING. You can GIVE to the forum by following the points in the tutorial above and by responsibly giving out the rep you were able to gather so far. The combination of these two things will not only give you more rep and respect, but it will also leave you with a good feeling and a general sense of being valuable to the forum.
I think this is a very nice Christmas thought, don't you think?