Down-Voted or Ignored:
Here is the text that you see when hovering the mouse over the down-vote button:
This answer is not useful
So what does this mean? Well, it simply means the viewer didn't think it was useful, it is based on the viewer's point-of-view after all and you can't please everyone. But, since you're here reading this, chances are it's a more serious problem than one or two people who disagree with you.
Really the only difference between a down-voted answer and an ignored one, is that the viewer felt strongly enough about the answer not being a good one that they voted it down to appear below other answers.
What you want to check is why the viewer doesn't think your answer is a good one. Most likely they think there's a problem with the structure of your answer. Make sure your answer is a clear one, and isn't Anecdotal. An good answer should read like a (good) essay, starting with a clear thesis, supported by a strong argument, and concluding with a decision.
In reference to our site, you want your answer to include the following three things: What is happening, Why is it happening, and What can be done about it.
The beginning of an argument is the thesis. This is your opening statement saying what your position is. If someone asks you "Why does my dog fart?" then your opening statement (your thesis) could be: "Dogs that fart usually suffer from social anxiety." What's happening is the dog is suffering from social anxiety.
Having a thesis at the beginning of an argument is a good thing because it instantly gives the viewer your position on the topic, and in our case, it gives the person an answer to their question immediately (instant gratification). It also benefits you as a writer because it gives you a better sense of direction.
Now we could leave it at that, but by itself it's just a statement, a One-Line answer. We want to avoid that, so let's take a look at what comes next: The supporting argument. This is where we want to convince anyone reading our answer that we're correct. Why should the viewer take your side? Here are some suggestions of methods you can use that can make your answer great, and convince others that you're correct:
Sources are always great. Giving someone a source instantly gives them a sense that you are telling the truth, and it lets the people reading your answer learn more about the subject and (hopefully) reach the same conclusion you have.
Just make sure that when you use sources, that you're not relying on them for your argument to work, Otherwise you'll just have a Book of Links. Your argument should stand on it's own without the sources. The sources are just there to make it stronger.
Statistics! People love numbers, and they love charts and graphs even more! Using relevant statistics can be very informative for the viewer. However,these can be tricky to use as they're easily faked. If you are using a statistic or a graph in your argument you will need a source for where your numbers are coming from, otherwise you risk turning your viewers away even if they're correct! Likewise, overusing statistics can drown out an argument, making it Unclear.
Give both sides. If you can tell the viewer, in a short summary, what the argument against yours is. You can then provide a counter-argument against it, preventing any possible comments in the future questioning why your answer is the correct one. Not only that, but providing views from both sides instantly gives a sense of trustworthiness, especially if everyone else is only talking from one side of an argument.
Use examples. Even if you haven't experienced the exact same problem, if you have any related experience, you can use it to make your argument stronger. It shows that you are talking from experience and not conjecture.
Now that you've identified the problem and explained what's causing it, it's time for some problem solving in, the conclusion. Here you'll want to take everything you've put together and explain why it's useful. Say you've just explained why dogs with social anxiety are more prone to gas, so now is the perfect time to explain what needs to be done to solve the possible problem. Maybe some tums will help?
I think this answer could be improved. See: [Why is my answer
being Down-Voted or