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Let's say there's an issue for which there are a few duplicate questions, but there's no canonical answer. So I spend some time writing an answer of which I'm proud. No, really proud.

But now it will probably languish with a few page views. I could self-promote it by leaving some comments on the duplicate questions.

Is there a way for me to promote it? Maybe spend some of my rep, in the same way that I can offer bounties? I'd like it to get a few upvotes so that I could link to it (then maybe print it, stick it up in my bathroom, send a copy to my grandmother). As it is, it will probably languish with 0 upvotes, because the question won't get enough eyeballs.

I appreciate there are lots of questions on here asking how to deal with canonical answers, but I can't see any guide for the average user to (legally) get their answer upvoted enough that it looks canonical.

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    Place a promotional bounty... – Unihedron Oct 1 '14 at 15:28
  • Can I do that on an answer? The question already has an accepted answer - it was asked months ago. – Dan Blows Oct 1 '14 at 15:29
  • @Unihedron - that will promote the question and might be seen as "odd". – ChrisF Oct 1 '14 at 15:29
  • No, but by virtue of posting it on a question, your answer gets more eyeballs/votes – Oded Oct 1 '14 at 15:29
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    You can place it on the question. Note that it cannot be awarded on your own answer, but it will place it on the Featured tab and give a big, attractive "+(bounty amount)" icon. – Unihedron Oct 1 '14 at 15:29
  • @Unihedron done - I hadn't realised you could offer a bounty after a question had a chosen answer. The bounty dialog actually has an option for 'getting a canonical answer' so that makes sense. – Dan Blows Oct 1 '14 at 15:32
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    bounty notice can refer (link) to the answer you want to highlight for readers. I do that regularly, in reward existing answer bounties – gnat Oct 1 '14 at 16:12
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    Just thinking out loud here...I wonder if it would be out of line to do a tit-for-tat bounty with a real-life friend or colleague of yours? You post a "reward existing answer" bounty on a question they've answered, they post an equal bounty on the question you've answered. It has a whiff of rep conspiracy, but no vote fraud is involved, and the exchange is a matter of public record. – Josh Caswell Oct 1 '14 at 20:17
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There are numerous ways you can try to promote your answer.

  1. Start a bounty on the question. This will cost you at least 100 reputation, but it will more than likely give you at least 1 or 2 more upvotes if not more.
  2. If you find a question that is a duplicate of the question you answered, you can vote to close it as a duplicate, thus possibly attracting another upvote to your answer.
  3. You can promote your answer on other sites, like Reddit, Facebook, etc. You can even earn badges, like Announcer by linking to one of your posts and getting enough clicks. This could help you get more upvotes if the people are already members of SE.
  4. If you participate in chatrooms on SE at all, you could ask other members what they think about your answer. If they think it's 100% correct, if anything could be improved, etc. Possibly they may even upvote it if they like it. But please don't directly ask for upvotes from people.
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Yes, it is permissible to promote your answers using bounties. It ensures more views, however it doesn't ensure that your "answer gets upvoted enough that it looks canonical."

From Robert Harvey's answer:

That does not necessarily make it a good use of bounties, however. It only means that you roll the dice and take your chances, without concerns about breaking the rules (or hope for getting your bounty refunded if it doesn't work out).

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