Thursday, May 10, 2018

Helping in the AdSense Forum - Becoming a Rising Star or Top Contributor

A stick boy with blue shirt, brown paints and dark hair waving his hands.
From time-to-time the AdSense forum sees new contributors - not just those asking for help or needing answers to questions, but people who want to help by answering those questions. Most of the current contributors are pretty open to new people helping out, and when we can, we try to assist them wherever we can - by providing appropriate help links in the Help Center, or providing additional information so they can learn how things work in the forum.

We get people who start out great ... spend a month or two answering questions (and some do it very well) but then they disappear, or only come back infrequently. To qualify to apply for Rising Star status (that comes before being a Top Contributor, or as currently known, a TC) a helper needs to spend something like four months in the forum answering questions and helping where they can, and learning to expand their knowledge (see How to Join the Top Contributors).

People wanting to join in don't have to answer hundreds of questions a month to qualify for the application, but simply show a steady attendance and have knowledge in the product they want to help with (in this case, AdSense, but most Google Product forums have the same program available to helpers).

Growing in knowledge is the key to success for a helper in the AdSense forum.Some of the problems we notice (we meaning other Rising Stars and Top Contributors) are that some people give incorrect answers (which is okay if the person is open to learning the correct answer or having their answer corrected by someone - no, we can't edit or delete someone else's post, but we can post the correct answer below so they learn); some people give an answer that might only be partly correct and provide a link to their own blog (with AdSense ads on it - which is the wrong thing to do); or go around the forum and copy answers given by other TCs (not cool).

The entire point of the helpers in the forum is to provide answers that help people, at least where we can. Not everyone can be helped. Some things the TCs and RSs have no control over, and no access to (like a person's personal AdSense account).

People who just copy other's answers aren't demonstrating personal knowledge about AdSense or how it works, they're just copying what others have said.  And that might not be the correct answer for the question they are trying to answer.

Many, many threads in the AdSense forum may bear the same title, but that doesn't mean the answer is going to be the same for each one. There can be underlying situations that caused the problem, and the only way to provide the correct answer would be to do some troubleshooting with the person asking for help. Once you have the answers to the underlying issues, you might then be able to help the person ... but someones you can't.  Just giving an answer from another thread with the same title could very easily be the wrong thing to do.

Stick girl wearing a red dress with blonde hair holding a sign that says Let's Talk.
In all honesty, we'd all love some additional helpers in the forum. We like to make room for new people, but ... what we (other TCs and RSs - I can't speak for AdSense) really want to see is people who contribute, but who are learning even more (truth) about AdSense by being a helper.

Most of us already helping out have realized that once we began helping, our knowledge about AdSense and other products has grown considerably.

When I started in the forum, it was because I needed help and when nobody could help, I started looking for the answers in the Help Center myself ... as I did so, I realized some of the questions in the forum could be answered by some of what I'd learned in the Help Center, and that's when I started answering others' questions ... not because I knew very much about AdSense back then, but because I'd found some answers myself. Any time I spent in the forum resulted in me learning something and you know what? That still happens ... every single day that I'm in the forum.

Anyone can apply through the "How to Join" (click the "I'm Interested button) link. If you'd like to give it a try, that's great and we welcome any new folks. But you have to decide to join for the right reasons:
  • you like to help others succeed;
  • you know a lot about AdSense by having read the Help Center files and by using it yourself;
  • you want to learn more yourself;
  • you aren't doing it just get a trip to MountainView
  • you aren't doing it just to promote your blog (that's not allowed in the forum)
And if you decide you want to stick around long enough to make it to the possible Rising Star stage, you can ask any one of the current Rising Stars or Top Contributors to help you answer questions you aren't too sure of.




posted by J.Gracey Stinson

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