I still haven't earned a badge for Nice Question or Nice Answer, both of which require I get scores of 10 or more. I hit 9 once, but that was a while ago. Can someone suggest ways one can improve my questions and answers? (I'd appreciate specific advice for my own posts, but here I'm looking to help everyone.)
With regard to questions, in my experience (having asked to date 44 questions with "nice question" rate of ~36%), the questions that get the most votes are basically ones which peak the interest of the average person browsing Mi Yodeya.
Usually, these will be about topics that everyone has encountered or knows about, and probably a lot of people have wondered about at some time or another. If the question is simple, straightforward, and easy-to-understand, Like these: (I'm taking my own questions as examples for convenience, not self-advertisement)
- Is Rashi really pshat?
- Blessing the Children on Friday Night
- How old is the custom to eat dairy on Shavuos?
- People half-standing for אלקינו in zimun
Or even if the topics are not those that everyone necessarily knows, but they are famous enough, and your question is straightforward, you're on the right track.
- What are Rambam's “עיקרים”?
- Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?
- Why do Sifrei Emes use different taamim?
The less-popular questions, and hence less-upvoted questions are the ones that have a narrower scope, a topic not everyone is familiar with or interested in, or a question that is not so easy to understand. Like these:
- Are magazine subscriptions ribbis?
- בָּא אֵלַי הַפָּלִיט מִירוּשָׁלִַם … How late was he?
- Ashkenazic vs. Sefardic grammar tendencies
- Stipulations based on “correct” halacha vs. “לא בשמים היא”
Now, this is all assuming you've followed the proper question-asking etiquette around here, i.e. explain clearly, proper grammar/punctuation, articulate your though process and potential sources/approaches you've identified or any other relevant information.
Also, note that (as @IsaacMoses commented above) some of these questions sat around for a while before getting the "Nice Question" badge.