What is a better way to earn reputation on Stack Exchange network:

  • Asking Questions?
  • Answering Questions?
  • 11
    The best way is to participate positively on the sites by providing quality content and don't bother about reputation at all. It shouldn't be a goal by itself. – rene Aug 8 '17 at 9:26
  • @rene That's an answer I'd upvote. Apparently, answering questions with answers instead of in the comments is a good way, too :P – Vincent Aug 8 '17 at 13:01
  • @Vincent: on that point, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/298901/… – Bathsheba Aug 8 '17 at 13:05
  • @rene Would upvote that answer, too. There's also this gem from years of old: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17204/… – JonathanDavidArndt Aug 9 '17 at 2:11
  • Thanks everyone. I think I got the answer in "focus on constructive contribution and everything else will follow". – vinaykumar2491 Aug 9 '17 at 2:14

Upvotes to answers give you twice as much reputation (+10) as upvotes to questions (+5)[1]. Also, answers tend to be upvoted more often.[2]

That would put the verdict in favour of answers, but these need a lot more expertise (or Google skills) than questions. It's easier to write a question about a subject you don't know much about than an answer. (In some cases, it becomes harder to write a good question if you know more about a subject, but I digress.)

Another point of view to this question is to look at it from the site's perspective. Check this list of sites; sites like The Workplace and Worldbuilding have almost all their questions answered; they are mostly interested in (good) new questions. Sites like Software Recommendations on the other hand 'need' more (good) answers.

Some people have a natural talent for writing great questions, even as newcomers to a certain site/subject. It's hard to give a definitive answer to this question which holds for everybody. I think @rene's comment is the bottom line: if you're enthusiastic about a subject, the reputation will follow.

[1]: except Stack Apps, where upvotes to questions give +10 reputation as well
[2]: this is true for most sites, e.g. Stack Overflow, but not for some, e.g. Puzzling Stack Exchange.


That's the wrong way to view reputation.

Reputation is a by-product of contributing positively to the Stack Exchange sites and in doing that your level of expertise will increase - that's certainly what has happened to me. And that is an example of a positive feedback loop.

Indeed an upvote on an answer you make is worth +10, and acceptance of an answer is +15. Compare that to a question upvote of +5. But the level of expertise necessary for an answer is beyond that for a question, although that said, only ask a question if you've researched a topic thoroughly.

Making edit suggestions is also a good way to become acquainted with the standards expected on the Stack Exchange sites, although, for what its worth, you only earn +2 per accepted edit if your overall reputation is less than 2,000.

All done and dusted, focus on contribution, not reputation.

  • rep is a measure of trust, not of expertise. Me earning more rep doesn't make me more of an expert, it just means SE trusts me more than it did before. – Servy Aug 8 '17 at 13:56
  • That's not what it's designed to represent, and it's not something that it actually correlates to particularly strongly. It's a measure of the quantity of the positive contributions a user has made to the site more so than the quality of the content provided, or the difficult or expertise required to post the contributions they've provided. – Servy Aug 8 '17 at 14:03

From the help center

Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you
The primary way to gain reputation is by posting good questions and useful answers. Votes on these posts cause you to gain (or sometimes lose) reputation

Asking good question and providing good answer will raise your reputation.
When you have good question and/or good answer, share it with the community.

If you have the ability to ask good questions - do so
If you have the ability to provide good answers - do so

  • Sometimes we do fear that our questions may sound stupid (even after I've searched online for answers without success, same way like in real classrooms). So, i wonder if asking stupid questions give serious downvotes (which leads to loss of my hard earned points in future)!! – vinaykumar2491 Aug 8 '17 at 9:37
  • @vinaykumar2491 what most users forget is too include their research results in their questions. 99 out of 100 all we get is I searched a lot. sure, but we have no idea if you searched for Unicorns or Waffles, while should have searched for fubar. The next biggest mistake users make is not attempting anything relevant, at all before they ask their question. – rene Aug 8 '17 at 9:43
  • @vinaykumar2491 - take a look at the "SO tips - how-to-ask" link in my answer – Yaron Aug 8 '17 at 9:46

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