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How do I get my rep up quickly? I've seen a couple of questions I could answer, or answers I could comment on to give, help but I can't

I also don't like how you need 300 rep to create your own tags.

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    Certain members of the site have recently expended a huge amount of effort cleaning up redundant and otherwise bad tags, they're a pain. Creating good new tags requires a lot of experience with the site, which you have to prove you have by "qualifying" with sufficient rep. Besides, there's really little need to create your own tags, there're meant to be a few overarching ones, they're not custom, and they're not hashtags. If you're genuinely asking about a work which isn't represented on the site, just tag it with anything appropriate. Someone else may then create a new tag and retag your q – Au101 Jan 27 '16 at 1:34
  • Why is this question so heavily downvoted? I'll try to put together an answer in the next couple of days. – Rand al'Thor Jan 27 '16 at 2:25
  • I joined less than a year ago, and I've already racked up 36k rep (I gave a third of that away in bounties. The main reason I got so much rep so fast is Richard's advice to me (repeated in his answer below): "The best overall advice I can give is to find a user whose answers (or questions) you like and try to replicate their style and manner of answering." – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jan 27 '16 at 6:49
  • Lol, according to Jeff himself: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17204/… – Möoz Jan 29 '16 at 22:24
  • Even though I have now more than 1K Rep (mostly through a single question that attracted a lot of views and upvotes), it is hard for me to gain more (fast). Either I'm no expert on the franchise or someone is faster with posting an answer. So you need to invest some time as well or just really be a hardcore fan of a mainstream franchise. – Thomas Feb 2 '16 at 15:10
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    Read the help pages. – BCdotWEB May 27 '16 at 8:16
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    You need to ask and answer questions. It's pretty easy as long as you can write a good answer--just five upvotes will get you there. If it's decent, I'll give you the first one. – Adamant May 27 '16 at 8:20
  • Longer answers with citations, quotes, and pictures tend to get more upvotes. – Adamant May 27 '16 at 8:22
  • Note that questions and answers on Meta do not earn reputation. – Adamant May 27 '16 at 9:46
  • Why isn't this question closed? It's based on an untrue premise, "I've seen a couple of questions I could answer, (..) but I can't" while in reality everybody can answer. – Mr Lister May 27 '16 at 14:36
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High-quality, useful content.

That doesn't seem terribly helpful, but it's the only strategy that consistently works.

Basically, there are three ways you can earn rep. Note that a lot of this is covered in the help center page What is Reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it?; actually a lot of everything is in the Help Center. Read the Help Center, it's helpful.

  1. Asking high-quality questions. How do I ask a good question? will serve you well here. Posting a question has no rep requirement (as you know; you've already posted two)

  2. Provide high-quality answers. How do I write a good answer? is your guide. You mentioned that you've seen questions you can answer; that's great! Answer them. There's no rep requirement to post an answer1, so if you feel like you have a good answer (or feel like the existing answers have missed something), post it. Just be careful to make sure that what you're posting actually answers the question; we want to keep comments separate from answers, but it doesn't take long before you can comment.

    Note that high-quality answers are generally a faster way to gain rep than high-quality questions; an upvote to your question nets you 5 rep, while an upvote to your answer nets you 10. The flip side is that high-quality answers are generally harder; they require much more research.

  3. Edit posts. There's no rep requirement to suggest an edit to another user's question or answer; until you reach 2000 rep, your edits are reviewed by other members of the community. If two members agree that you proposed a good edit, you'll get 2 rep out of it. That may not seem like a lot, but it's a good way to gain rep if you don't feel confident asking or answering.

    However, note that you can only gain 1000 rep from proposed edits; if you make 501 good edits, before reaching 2000 rep, you won't earn anything for the last one. It also stops working once you hit 2000 rep (at which point you can review suggested edits from newer users)

My last piece of advice is easy to say, but not so easy to do: don't get discouraged. The StackExchange network can seem a bit daunting, because we have way more rules and expectations than most other places on the Internet. We do a lot more moderation of content, and we put these barriers (which often seem arbitrary) in between new users and certain activities.

However, keep in mind that we want you to succeed; we want you to stick around and produce high-quality content. If you're willing to work with us, and accept constructive criticism, we're willing to help you polish your content and build your prestige in the community.

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1 Unless the question has been protected, but there aren't many of those

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    Jason, I just added a brief note about good answers giving (generally speaking) more rep than good questions. Feel free to revert. – Matt Gutting Jan 26 '16 at 17:03
  • @MattGutting Might polish it a bit, but I was thinking of something along the same lines; cheers! – Jason Baker Jan 26 '16 at 17:03
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Thinking back to my earliest days on the site, I have to say that the quickest way to earn the minimum rep required to begin actively participating is the "unanswered question" list. With even a modicum of research you can usually find and answer a couple of the more niche questions and earn a few upvotes.

The best overall advice I can give is to find a user whose answers (or questions) you like and try to replicate their style and manner of answering. I've found that my own answers seem to be well received because I always usually obey my own golden rule; If you can't back it up with evidence, don't write it.

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  • First sentence of your second paragraph was the advice you gave me when I joined, and it has served me very well. I was going to rip you off and post it as an answer, actually. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jan 27 '16 at 6:47
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Write answers

This is the most efficient way. For each upvote you get on an answer, you receive 10 points. A decent answer can easily get five upvotes, putting you at 50 reputation.

A good answer is detailed; longer answers tend to be well received, but only if the information is relevant. Quotes and other sources help make a good answer.

Ask questions

You get 5 points per question upvote, so this is a bit slower. On the other hand, writing questions often takes less research effort.

Suggest edits

You can look for grammatical and other errors in questions and answers. For each edit that is approved, you receive 2 points. This is the slowest, but there are lots of grammatical errors to correct. There is a minimum number of characters that must be changed, though.


Note also that only 20 reputation is needed to talk in chat, and so if you need help you can get it a bit sooner.

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You can increase your rep as a new user by asking some good questions, and avoid asking some not good questions.

You can also answer most questions, except those that have been "protected" and require a very small amount of reputation.

In general, the tour and help pages (upper right of any page), will give you the info you need to be successful on the site.

As for creating tags, we have a variety of policies in place regarding creating and using them. Even if there were no reputation restriction, you may find that more experienced users, familiar with our policies, would remove tags that didn't fit or add tags that do fit, anyway.

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  • @MattGutting Thanks, I keep typing the wrong brackets on this keyboard! It's happening every day! – user31178 Jan 26 '16 at 16:54
  • All the time. All the time. Or substituting < or ( for [. :-/ – Matt Gutting Jan 26 '16 at 16:57
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Please see What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? in the help center.

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The best way to get your rep up quickly is to provide well thought out questions or answers to existing questions. If your information is correct, there is enough traffic on this site that your reputation could go up a couple hundred points in a day.

I would also suggest you read through how stack exchange works, there are reasons behind needing certain amounts of points to achieve privileges such as creating new tags. The help section is here and the site tour is here.

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