Have you ever searched for movie advice on Rotten Tomatoes? Or maybe you have gotten into a discussion with someone online over a new game release? Or, at least, you have used Wikipedia to search for the answers to your questions? I bet most of you have done at least one of these things.
Now imagine if you could discuss topics you want, ask and answer questions, read blogs, follow the best authors and interesting spaces in just one place without jumping from one website to another. That’s what Quora is — something between a forum and a social media platform, with 300 million active users per month. More than half of them are adults with over $100,000 annual income.
In other words, Quora is a new wave forum where you can both search for the answers from experts and answer questions as an expert yourself while engaging with other Quora users. Its simplicity and available information on over 400,000 topics make it one of the world’s most visited websites. No matter what your business is about, you will have no problem finding your reader —and high-quality leads!
How does it work?
Quora is a platform with exclusively user-generated content. It works within a simple Q&A structure — one person asks a question, others reply. The most informative, well-written, and credible answers are ranked higher; therefore, they are visible to a larger number of users and can even be promoted in Quora’s email digest. Imagine how much potential traffic you could receive if your answer is sent to 100,000 people by email.
But which answers are promoted on Quora? What differentiates two equally good answers? Who decides which one should go at the top? Unsurprisingly, it is the readers who decide for themselves with the help of Quora’s smart algorithms.
There are a few simple rules to follow if you want your answers to be top-ranked on Quora: create a nice profile, produce great content, learn the algorithms, and engage the readers. The more upvotes, comments, and reposts your answers receive, the more popular they will be.
At this point, you might be thinking this is all you need to know about Quora — but I suggest you read the article till the end before taking any action.
Where to start? Create a profile
Your profile on Quora is as important as your website’s home page. People only open it if you have already caught their attention with your answers. Now, your goal is to make them believe you. Make sure to maximise your profile and make it as attractive and trustworthy as possible.
Follow these simple rules:
- Use your real name;
- Indicate your job position (the higher it is, the more credible your profile will look like for the readers) — this will be visible on the top of every answer you give. It will look like this:
- If you can, use a real-life photo — but this is not necessary;
- Don’t skip the credentials section — education, job position, languages you know, even your hobbies and the musical instruments you play have value;
- In your profile description, pitch your business. Keep it short and straightforward without direct sales texts, but make sure to have a call-to-action message as well;
- Include the link to your landing page or home page;
- Leave your contact information;
- Keep the same formatting style throughout your entire profile.
- Don’t forget to pin the answer which brought you the greatest number of leads.
‘Knows About’ section
Very often, Quora users underestimate this section and leave it empty. However, it’s crucial that you fill it in and update it regularly.
What does it do? It defines the ranking of your answers directly.
How does it work? You choose the topics you are proficient at, and once you answer a question from a specific field, it will automatically raise your credibility and pull up your answer.
The more answers you give within one particular topic, the higher your profile’s rank within this field is.
Here is an example of what this section looks like:
Each question has specific tags, found at the very top of the question, which correspond to the topics in the ’Knows About’ section. I suggest you add to this section each time you answer a question, as this increases the potential visibility of your answers.
It should look something like this:
Choose the first questions to answer
Once you have set up your profile, the next step is to find an ideal first question to get you started. It is tempting to think that can start with any random question, but there’s a science to choosing the right one. Allow me to elaborate.
Let’s imagine your business is about chocolate ice-cream. You can search for potential leads under the topics: ‘desserts,’ ‘types of desserts,’ ‘ice-cream,’ ‘ice-cream flavours,’ etc. However, the number of potential buyers of your product in the section ‘ice-cream flavours’ would be much higher than those who just look around in the more general topic of ‘desserts’ (maybe they don’t even like ice-cream and are searching for hot pie recipes).
Based on this logic, some sources will recommend that you first address the questions in the ‘ice-cream flavours’ topic as they include more potential leads. But my suggestion is to start on the outskirts from the ‘desserts’ topic and then make your way up to the more relevant topics after you gain some expertise and a higher profile rank.
If you go directly to the ‘ice-cream flavours’ topic, you risk letting your main competitors like vanilla ice-cream win all the other topics. This means potential chocolate ice-cream lovers could be missing out on your answers.
Although you are free to develop your own approach here, it is useful to recall the 1 to 7 rule: per every answer to the question, there should be at least seven followers.
Creating the content
When it comes to drafting an answer, choose language that is suitable for your audience. Most people will not respond well to dense, flowery or jargon-laden prose. Write in simple words, use real-life examples, and refer to your own experience.
Don’t be shy to reach out to other people on Quora. Follow authors that interest you, comment, upvote, downvote — be an active participant on the platform.
If a person requests your answer to a specific question, make sure to mention them using the @username tagging feature to improve your chances of being noticed.
Although you should be direct and use simple language, Quora isn’t a place for short one-sentence answers. If you only have five words to write, your answer is not likely to be shown to, or seen by, other people. This doesn’t mean that you need to write 3000-word essays — the sweet spot is somewhere between 400 and 800 words.
Quora algorithms love lists. If you can include them in your answers, do so without any hesitation. Practice has shown that lists can boost an answer’s position and ranking.
Quora is quite limited when it comes to formatting answers, but you can use tools such as different fonts, bullet points and quotation formatting to emphasize the most important ideas.
Pictures, gifs, and photos are another way to increase your answers’ visibility. Original images usually get more upvotes, but using an image that reflects your website and its design might also grab attention.
No matter what image you select, you should avoid using memes as Quora states they are not ‘helpful to someone interested in learning the answer to the question.’
Credible external links
As you see, the subheading says ‘credible’ links. That’s the key point. The links you include should be helpful to the reader and add value to your answers.
If you have this kind of information on your website and you can link to it, use it. If not, you should at least link to another source that does.
Google the questions
This is all about prioritising the questions that are ranked higher by Google Search. For example, when you search for ‘ice-cream flavors Quora’ on Google, those questions which appear higher in search should receive more effort from you.
Quora is quite good at finding and punishing cheaters. If you decide to buy upvotes or create fake accounts to boost your profile, you will get caught sooner or later. And once that happens, there are no second chances — you’ll be blacklisted forever.
Dispute deleted-questions with the moderator
Sometimes you might get the notification that a moderator deleted one of your answers. If this happens, check your reply, edit it according to Quora’s policies, and dispute the question with the moderator. From my experience, most answers eventually get restored.
Read the Q&A sections
The Quora website has very clear and well-explained policies. If you are having any doubts, the first thing you can do is head to the ‘Help’ section. In most cases, you’ll find what you were looking for. In all other cases, just ask other Quora users for help. Good luck!