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6 Simple Tips to Get Stackoverflow Reputation Fast

Admit it: you've asked this to yourself before.

So, do you know the answer?

edit: OK, so this question is a duplicate of another question asked LATER. Are you insane? Or just have myopia?

  • 8
    Heh. Ask stupid and/or subjective nonsense, and count on the sympathy upvote crowd... Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 0:37
  • shouldn't that be an answer?
    – slipbull
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13
  • 4
    username must contain "Jon Skeet"
    – Troggy
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 19:03
  • 1
    Asking a question like this?
    – Ether
    Commented Oct 2, 2009 at 5:31
  • 2
    The fastest way? Apparently, it's asking duplicates: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17204/… Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 18:24
  • 4
    Dupe is dupe and time is relative. Jeff posted the other question, that automatically turns it to being the reference. Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 8:45
  • 2
    When you can't tell someone you respect that he's wrong, you become an ass-licker. "Time is relative"=="Aristotle is wrong"
    – slipbull
    Commented Oct 30, 2009 at 10:27
  • @slipbull: "Time is not relative" == "Einstein is wrong." Which do you trust?
    – Rob
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 16:45
  • @robjb If they both posted their answers we could vote up or down the right solution.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 16:55

11 Answers 11



Speed is incredibly important. It is proven that the fastest questions will get the most views, and therefore the most upvotes. Also, if you are correct, the first answer has a higher chance of winning the accepted answer.

Note: Do not sacrifice quality for speed! If you post a bad answer quickly you will receive more downvotes.


The reputation you gain on a post is a direct reflection on the quality of your answers. The better your post, the more votes you will receive, and the higher chances you will receive a check mark for an accepted answer.


One of the best ways to gain reputation is to continue to answer, answer, answer, and answer some more. Even when you are past your rep limit, continue to answer questions with speed and quality. You will continue to gain reputation through accepted answers (which are not bound by the rep limit), and you will also leave yourself with a very large catalog of old answers will continue to receive upvotes throughout time as more and more people read and find your contributions.

  • Those are the three main criteria.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 21:59
  • Speed is indeed really important, it becomes almost stressing sometimes, especially on SuperUser.com. I think it's because this site is about less specific questions, and many ones can be answered by an efficient Web search. As opposed to SO and SF, where questions are often more specific, to administration, or a language. To finish with speed, another fact is that the first getting an upvote is most likely to be the most upvoted by people watching, after, if it has a decent part of answer. Because people come, see that it looks like a good answer, and upvote before reading next ones.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Aug 10, 2009 at 18:19

Answer lots of questions well.

Early on in the UTC day, answer anything which can get you upvotes. Answer quickly with something reasonable, then elaborate in edits. When you've hit the rep limit, only answer questions where you think you're likely to get the accepted answer. Use my tracker to check when you've hit the limit.

Never bother with CW posts.

Bounties are great, but somewhat annoying if they're awarded before you get to the rep limit: a 200 point bounty first thing in the day means you don't need to bother getting to the rep limit first, but that's not the tough bit anyway.

Oh, and never take a day off if you can help it. Taking 20 minutes to post answers to get you up to the rep limit is easy; earning the same 200 points when you've hit the rep limit is hard.

  • 2
    As Jon also demonstrated in this post: Answer quickly, and correctly, then fill out an explanation or more detail with an edit to take advantage of that glorious five minute window.
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 21:47
  • I tend to only look into Community Wikis if I like the topic, but almost never answer Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 21:48
  • 2
    @Chacha102: nothing wrong with editing / answering (in that order...) CW posts. It's just not going to get you any rep for the time you put in, so if that's your goal...
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 21:53

Write quality answers.

  • 5
    So nobody got the joke. Oh well. Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 22:42
  • 1
    Maybe it would have been more obvious as "write qualaty answers!!" Then again, since a certain subtlty is it's prime virtue, I'd just go with what you have.
    – beska
    Commented Oct 27, 2009 at 19:39

Just to be a touch more cynical: Write answers that promote the use of popular open-source technologies.

My two highest voted answers (that I put less effort into than most of my other answers) were about LaTeX and Ruby.


Include popular programs in your answers (works mostly for SU).

If your answer includes a very popular program, like Firefox, AutoHotKey, Notepad++, 7-zip, and plenty others, you are getting votes not only for the "that indeed answers the question", but for the "oh, that 7-firefoxKey++ roxx, I use it too, +1!"

I unfortunately notice it to be more and more frequent. People will favor simply what they know and use themselves, even if they have barely read the question and the answer doesn't fully match.


I also noticed that questions and answers about Languages That Aren't Very Popular But Have A Proud Userbase (such as Common Lisp) tend to get upvotes more easily. My stupid noobish Common Lisp questions got me more upvotes that some advanced questions of mine about more mainstream technologies.

Simple answers to simple questions will also get you more reputation as more people will feel that "Hey, I know that, this is completely true, let's upvote it" especially since people like feeling smart and knowing the right answer. Example here.

  • I see you're linking to me. You should totally drop that and try jQuery.
    – mmyers
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 16:13


If you have quality posts and quality answers, you will undoubtedly get rewarded with up-votes. If you are as good as the Skeet, you will hit your 200 point cap limit (200 per UTC day), but if you answer posts where you get awarded the answer, the bonus points still come through.


To add to Jon's comments.

Avoid topics people feel strongly about. This basically means most things subjective. The reason being that you'll earn downvotes just because people disagree with you.

Downvotes received when you're below the daily rep limit are fine. Later upvotes will cancel them.

Downvotes received when you're at the daily rep limit are potentially a problem because order suddenly becomes important. 5 upvotes then 1 downvote is net -2. 5 downvotes then 1 upvote is net 0.

Downvotes received when you're above the daily rep limit (due to bounties and accepted answers) you want to avoid at all costs because they always count and future upvotes (that day) won't counteract them (unless you drop below the daily rep limit). So if you're at 230 for the day and then answer something that gets 40 upvotes and 10 downvotes (this can happen) you'll go down to 210 for the day.

As for bounties, avoid any the will be decided between midnight and midday UTC. Of course the bounty starter may just decide early at some random time but often people seem happy to let them auto-pick an answer. Also if someone is active between midnight and noon UTC to start the bounty at that time then it's not that unlikely they'll pick the answer in the same time frame 5-7 days later.

Answer C# questions. There are the most of these, giving you the most room for earning rep from accepted answers plus it seems likely that you're more likely to get votes from these due to a larger audience. Some tests of the SO dump would prove this one way or the other.

Answer quickly and answer well. Most votes come in an initial burst. If you need proof of this consider Why are many of the banking sites implemented in Java rather than .NET?. I answered this 2-3 hours after the question was asked. At the time I believe the next answer down was at +15-20 votes. I think in the next day both answers improved by 5-8 votes. This answer has been an exception to the normal rule in that it is a "slow burn" (meaning it continues to get votes over a long period of time) but the point is it took a long time to counteract that 2 hour head start.

  • 1
    Although there are more C# questions, there are also more people answering C# questions. If you can find a topic that lots of people want to know about but there are very few experts in (and you're one) that would be ideal. I think Marc and I have snatched up most of the Protocol Buffers questions, for example :)
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 22:35
  • Yes but the fact is that you and Marc do pretty well out of getting accepted answers because of the # of questions. Sure it would be hard for someone else to muscle in on this but not impossible. Also, people tend to vote for what they know and understand.
    – cletus
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 22:47
  • My point is that more questions generally means more people interested in a topic, which means you're less likely to get an answer accepted... but as you say, there are more questions to choose from. It's swings and roundabouts.
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 22:53

One important point to note is that answers get a lot more upvotes than questions. Therefore you to concentrate on answering questions, not focused on coming up with more questions.


Like Jeff said : Quantity Always Trumps Quality in the long term.


Look at who is answering during the time you are looking to answer and if the sharks are out, start from older posts. Most people seem to take questions from the top of the stack, but if I see Jon, Marc, Merhidad and Jared answering .NET questions, I try and scroll back in time a little bit to see if there was a gem missed an hour or two before.

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