Frustrating, isn’t it? You work tirelessly on your content – but no one reads it. It’s like giving a presentation to an empty room. No matter how much insight you have to share, nobody’s there even to notice. You are looking for the magic social media platforms, aren’t you?
You feel certain that if you could get this magic social media platform to work effectively, the content love would flow.
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But even when you promote the heck out of your latest post, the following days you have to start the process all over again.
But what if there was a magic social media platform? What if by using that platform you’d be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names on the web?
Wouldn’t you want to know what that magic social media platform is?
Have you heard of Quora?
It’s the Q&A platform where anyone can post a question and get answers from experts in the community.
Even though Quora was launched way back in 2009, you might not have encountered it.
Right now, Quora is the number-two traffic driver for my blog. I have been consistently answering questions for 16 months now.
Along the way, my answers on the platform have hit over 1,500,000 views, and I’ve been featured four times in the Quora Daily Digest that goes out to up to 2,000,000 people.
Most of us blog to help our readers with the problems they wrestle with, and a Q&A format is the purest expression of helping people with their problems.
As a blogger, not only will you find Quora a natural community in which to participate, but you’ll get several benefits from doing so.
Long term traffic referrals
After a few months of posting, check your stats and you’ll find answers posted on the platform can continue to drive traffic months after being created.
For example, I still receive significant traffic from one post I wrote back seven months ago. When someone “upvotes” it (the Quora community’s way of giving support for an answer), my answer appears in their feed and is visible to all of their followers.
The result? More traffic comes back to my blog as well as a ton of new opt-ins for my email list.
Quora’s Stats page shows how my answer has received thousands of views from the community.
In practice, the traffic generation effect can last much longer than just two or three months.
Magic social media platform … establish expertise
Quora also gives topic badges to top writers in most categories. These appear next to your name for everyone to see. I have been selected as one of the most viewed writers in over ten categories.
Note that I select many categories to answer in and don’t focus too narrowly. I decided early not to try and the single most viewed writer. Being one of the top 5 is just as valuable in my opinion.
When you appear in the most viewed writer’s list and start to earn badges, you’ll find that people begin to ask you questions (called Ask to Answer – A2A) on the topic of which you are featured.
And that’s the true sign of expertise, isn’t it? When people approach you for your expertise completely unprompted.
Setting up account
At this point, you must be asking how can you tap into all this Quora goodness.
Fortunately, there’s a simple process you follow to succeed with Quora in your topic and start driving traffic to your website.
Traffic optimized profile
New writers on Quora often don’t take the time to fill out their profile in its entirety. But that’s a big mistake because you’ll fail to stand out from the thousands of other profiles on Quora.
The perfect Quora profile starts with the perfect profile bio.Your profile bio is the “headline” that appears immediately beneath your name in your Quora profile.
When completing this, you need to decide what topic you want to be known for and consider the type of questions you’ll be answering.
Your bio should signal to your audience that you’re qualified to answer those questions.
Choose your words wisely because space is limited – you only have 80 characters to express yourself.
Here is my bio:
New age social marketer, and small business consultant helping with growth.Edit
Author | Marketing Strategist | Consultant
Read my blog at www.digitalsparkmarketing.com
Your profile bio is important because it appears next to your name in any context where your profile appears, e.g., above any answers that you create.
Note that any links you put in your bio will not be rendered as clickable links, so you might want to reserve those for your profile summary.
Add detail using the profile summary
Under your profile bio is your profile summary, where you can provide more information about yourself.
The summary field is only shown when people click to view your profile in full, but on the plus side, it is far less restricted in length and format than your profile bio.
Rich formatting like bold, italic and underline is supported, together with lists and blockquotes. Web addresses will also be correctly rendered as clickable links, so this is the perfect place to link to your blog.
So those are the building blocks of a perfect Quora profile.
Remember, your Quora profile is key to gaining credibility with your audience and must not be overlooked, even if you’re keen to start answering questions.
If your profile fails to persuade people you’re qualified to answer the questions that interest them, you’ll struggle to get views and upvotes.
Select expertise areas
Quora allows you to add specific topics to your profile and provide bios for each one. (These bios override your main bio when answering questions on these topics.)
To add a topic, simply click on this panel in the sidebar of your profile:
Then search for relevant topics to add to your profile. Creating a custom bio for each of your main topics allows you to highlight the most relevant aspects of your experience for each topic.
Once you’ve added some topics that you know about, they’ll appear in your public profile.
Social media platforms … find high-interest topics
This is the step that 95% of Quora writers miss and it’s the difference between getting 50 versus 1,000 views on your answers.
Are you ready?
Before you write a single answer, you need to find the answers that are attracting the most views and upvotes within your topic of interest.
So start by looking for a relevant topic. You can use this list of the most followed topics on Quora for 2015 to find the ones getting the most traffic and views from the community.
As an example, we’ll use the Self-Improvement topic.
As you can see, this topic is very popular, with over 400K followers. So you know that it will attract more traffic and will lead to more views than a less popular topic like, say, Customer service.
Now, look for the Topic FAQ – this will show the top questions being asked at the moment.
You’ll notice in this example that >2000 people have answered the question, “What can I learn/know right now in 10 minutes that will be useful for the rest of my life?”
So if you were in the personal development space, this would be a great topic for you to target.
Answer this question in detail, and you have a good chance of getting 1,000 views on your first attempt. (We’ll look at specific tips for writing popular answers shortly.)
But where do those views come from?
Click through to the question’s answer page, and you’ll find out:
It’s been scientifically proven that when we hear a story, our brain activates the same areas it would if we were experiencing the events of the story ourselves.
For instance, if I told you a story about a delicious, rich, velvety piece of chocolate cake that I devoured last night, your sensory cortex lights up – you partially live that experience!
This is why personal stories of tragedy, struggle, and personal perseverance do exceptionally well on Quora.
According to a Buzzsumo study of two million articles, those that showed an image once every 75–100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images.
You only need to look at the success of apps like Instagram to realize just how visually driven we humans are.
On Quora, using images is the best way I’ve found to stand out from all the other answers quickly. The majority of writers do not bother looking for images. Their answers end up looking like a sea of bland text and are easily skipped over by readers.
Point to website for more details
When answering questions, make sure you provide enough value to get upvotes and views but not so much that you give away all the details.
This tactic is the key to driving traffic to your blog.
It’s also given me a good uptick in my email sign-ups.
This piques the reader’s interest. Then, in Step 2 of my process, I link to a post on my website giving further details.
I also usually list one other link to a blog that complements the question and answer.
Best tactics to use
When you approach a question, you should set out to create the best answer for that question.
There is no point creating a quick 200-300–word answer on a top question because you will just get lost among all the other answers.
You need to spend time writing a long, thoughtful answer. One that hopefully incorporates a story from your life.
If you want your answer to withstand the test of time, make sure it is memorable and can hold its own as other writers continue adding answers. Here are a few additional tips to consider:
One tactic many top writers recommend is going against the herd when answering a question. Try and be as unique as you can.
Most answers tend to be repetitive, causing readers to think, “Been there, done that.” So when someone comes along and says something truly different, everyone listens.
Be that someone.
If you can, make your first few lines controversial. When readers who are following the question get notified, they will receive a preview of your answer, and if the intro is intriguing, they are more likely to click through to find out more.
Use trending topics
Another way top writers have grown their view counts in a short amount of time is to target topics appearing in Quora’s trending topics section.
Similar to Twitter’s Trends, these are hot topics that are getting a lot of views right now.
Almost every top writer I know has made a regular commitment to writing on Quora.
Many recommend that you write every day. That is what I do … Three answers every day. That’s right. Every single day.
Not only will your writing improve significantly but each answer acts as a form of promotion for your previous ones – reader will view one answer, and if they like it, they’ll check out others you’ve written.
The effect is a snowball of views.
And that’s the real secret to success on Quora.
Social media platforms … when to post
If you are living in North America, consider posting early in the day or late at night.
Since a large portion of Quora’s user base is from the Indian subcontinent (38.5% according to Alexa), you can get a lot of views when they are just waking up or going to bed. (When it’s 8:00 a.m. in New York City, it’s 6:30 p.m. in Mumbai; 10:00 p.m. in NYC is 8:30 a.m. in Mumbai.)
For me, early morning answers work much better than afternoon ones, for instance.
Learn some more: How to Get Small Business Press Coverage
The bottom line
Let’s face it; every blogger is hungry for more traffic. But few of them are looking for it on Quora. And that’s a huge reservoir of opportunity just waiting to be tapped.
The good news? You’re perfectly positioned to take advantage.The skills you’ve learned as a blogger are the same skills you need to make your answers stand out on the platform.
So create an account, craft your profile and start hunting for those “big game” questions on which you’ll build your Quora reputation.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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