1. Always quality. Yes, it is possible to get good cash credits if you write a short but good quality article. Never worry about the number of words. We have given 50 points and 50 cc to short articles too due to the informative and well-presented content with no writing flaws.
2. No; in both the sections, the depth of the content matters. We do not expect too lengthy answers to an Ask Expert query, but do expect informative answers, just as we expect informative content on the topic of an article. In an Ask Expert answer we give some leeway when the answer may not directly answer the query asked, but is somewhat having some relevance to the topic of the query & is thus providing some knowledge.
Note that for an article which is really lengthy, we will definitely consider giving even Rs.100 or Rs.120 if there is lot of really informative content, English is very good, overall presentation is well done, etc. If, on the other hand, we find there is needless repetition of content merely to lengthen the article, then, naturally, we will not give it high cc.
3. No, of course not. We are not going to penalize an author for writing extra lengthy articles (just as I won't be penalized for writing such a long response here!!) If I am not mistaken, I too have written a couple of articles that shot beyond the 1500 mark. What we generally suggest to members is that if a topic needs to be covered extensively, it can be split into 2 or even 3 parts. Let's say I am writing about some place I visited, such as Jaipur. I could split the article into multiple articles. For example, I can write one entire article on a particular Fort which I visited, another about my stay at a particular hotel, a third about the popular markets in the city & what are the products tourists can buy, a fourth about popular tourist attractions, with one paragraph each on about 4 most popular ones...and so on. I would then prepare all these, submit them on a single day and then in each give a link to the others. This would be far better for me in terms of getting good cc for each as well as traffic & AdSense revenue, rather than cramming all the possible things in a single article on Jaipur. Interlinking of related articles plays a key role, as what you are doing is keeping the reader browsing through your articles / retaining the reader's interest for a little longer with ISC rather than simply going away. If you put good long keywords for an internal link, it is more likely the reader will click on it for sure and go to the other article too.
Taking the example of Jaipur, instead of one single article headed "Visiting Jaipur's tourist attractions":
(a) Visiting Amber Fort Jaipur - Traveller tips
(b) Staying at Hotel Shiv Aangan Budget Hotel Jaipur
(c) Shopping at popular local markets in Jaipur
(d) Best unique places to visit in Jaipur
- As you can see, I have not only divided various aspects into min-articles, I have used some keywords too in the titles to attract traffic. I could even write a short article on special tips for first time travellers to the city, recommending where to dine for local cuisine, which tourist places can be avoided by senior citizens due to lot of climbing, where to go for children also to enjoy, etc.
[I learnt about this splitting of article when writing on tourism-based articles from Tony Sir when I was contributing to partner sites of various cities]
4. Partly answered in #2 above. As such, we do not expect answers to be like full-fledged articles. Just be as concise as possible. However, it is perfectly fine to write a lot if the answer really requires it, such as when we give in-depth advice on a particular career or giving tips for a health issue. Also, keep in mind that if there are already responses prior to yours, you should avoid repeating what has already been stated clearly in the previous responses since then you may get fewer cc than what you would expect.
The bottom line-
Remember to keep in mind for articles - focus on topics which will fetch traffic and avoid common topics like skin problems, hair fall, the usual type of investment suggestions, etc. Relevant links in another article, an AE thread or forum thread or to a particular section's main page (such as the Study Abroad section when you write on a career-based article for taking up a course abroad) can get you additional points & cc.
Remember to keep in mind for AE answers – conciseness, preciseness, relevance. Relevant links in an answer to a related article or any other page can get you additional points & cc.
If you wish for further guidance, put the URL of some article you have written in a response in this thread and I will explain if anything is lacking in it & how to improve on it.
When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)