Building a Successful Presence on Quora

If you're interested in reaching a larger audience online, building a personal or professional brand, or increasing sales and profits without the hassle of conventional advertising, there’s good news:

A platform exists that allows you to prove your worth directly to potential readers, followers, and customers without any cost whatsoever. Individuals post their questions and problems publicly on Quora.com, and you provide answers and solutions to whatever they need; the best responses get upvoted to the top, which dramatically increases exposure for whoever provides the most helpful answer or solution.

Of course, many other content creators are competing for the approval of the millions of daily users on Quora, so if you want to succeed, you’ll need to know how to stand out.

Keep reading to learn the tips and strategies that will allow you to deliver, and in turn, capture, the most value on Quora.

What is Quora, and why should you be interested?

We can look no further than Quora itself for an answer: “Quora is a place to gain and share knowledge. It’s a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers.” In short, Quora is an online platform where people go in search of answers to questions in the widest range of topics: from economics to health, science to astrology, and philosophy to politics, Quora is home to every kind of question imaginable. And if you can’t find a certain question on Quora already, you can ask it yourself.

Basically, there are two types of Quora users: the ones who ask and the ones who answer (you can, of course, be both). If you are curious about something in particular and want to know the answer, post it on Quora, go for a coffee, and by the time you get back, you will probably find a couple of answers.

But today, we won’t focus on the “askers.” Although Quora is obviously useful for them, it’s also practical for the people who answer; these are usually subject-matter experts who see Quora as a good way to share their knowledge, gain authority, and earn the trust of large numbers of loyal followers. This relationship-building often leads to increased traffic on these experts’ sites.

What follows is a short guide to help you create a successful online presence on Quora.

Top Strategies to build Successful Presence on Quora

1. Build up an appealing profile - There are some tips that apply for pretty much every other social media platform, but we often forget why this is the case. Building up an appealing profile is the first step to see any level of success on Quora (or in any other platform). You want see your profile in Quora as a kind of comprehensive business card; it is where people who read and like an answer from you will go to find more information about who you are, what you do, and why they should trust you. Your profile can actually make it or break it for you, since it might be the first impression Quora users will have about you. Therefore, it is vital that you take some time to build up a solid profile, including all the relevant information about you that you consider important: the topics where you excel, your work experience, the companies you have worked for, the projects you have developed, and anything else that will help illustrate your background and expertise.. Plus, it is an excellent place to include links to your blog, website, or other social media, which can attract traffic to your online business.

2. Find the right questions to answer - This might be a subjective topic, since there is really no correct answer to the question “what questions should I answer?” Personally, what I like to do is this: once I have populated my profile and it’s looking nice and professional, I go to the search tab on Quora, and I look for topics related to my areas of expertise. Then I choose the subtopics and questions where I think I can provide the most value. For example, let’s say I want to build up my authority in the personal development niche. In that case, I will go to the search tab and type the different topics in my niche, such as "happiness", "goal setting" and so forth. Conveniently, Quora will suggest the topics related to my search. Once you find a topic that suits you, simply read through the questions and select those for which you can provide a genuine and helpful answer.

3. Structure your reply effectively - It requires knowledge and skill to provide a good answer to someone’s question. And it takes even more knowledge and skill to communicate that answer effectively. Here’s how to ensure your answers reach the largest possible audience:

  • Keep it simple. Remember that you’re an expert, but you’re writing for non-experts. You don’t need to use fancy words, industry jargon, or name-dropping to gain credibility; in fact, these tactics might sacrifice your credibility and undermine your authority. Instead, use simple words, and only introduce jargon when necessary (or when specifically asked by the original poster). Remember that you want your answer to be readable by a large audience, so you need to find the lowest common denominator in your use of language.
    Keep it clear. There are two components of clarity: (1) content and (2) structure. To keep your content clear, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What words or concepts do they already understand? What are the likely stumbling blocks they might encounter while learning about this new topic or idea? Since there are so many types of readers, you’ll likely have to consider how to appeal to multiple levels of expertise simultaneously. Perhaps have a simple explanation in a few sentences, then have a more detailed and thorough explanation below. Furthermore, when you explain a difficult or esoteric topic, like financial derivatives, use analogies that relate to a large number of people, like buying a $3 coffee. Some readers have a tendency to “give up” on an answer if it doesn’t relate to them personally, so make sure you “start” your answer where your audience is, and carefully move them along the path to a deeper understanding.
  • To clarify your structure, make use of headings, paragraphs, white space, bold, italics, and underlining as appropriate. Furthermore, use bulleted and numbered lists; this is not only useful for the audience to stay organized during a lengthy explanation, but also it helps to summarize the information at-a-glance before and after a thorough read.
  • Use emotion. Remember that users will upvote and share an answer because it resonates with their emotions. Sometimes they want to laugh, sometimes they want to cry, and sometimes they want to feel smart or confident in a certain area of their lives. Regardless of the reader’s “target emotion,” the best starting point for you as a writer is always honesty. Above all else, it’s important that your answer is authentic and feels authentic. When a reader gets a whiff of fraud, they’re gone, and they might even downvote before they go. Too many downvotes will ruin your Quora reputation indefinitely. The decision of whether or not to use humor, sadness, suspense, or outrage will depend greatly upon the topic and its audience. If your intuition doesn’t give you a good answer, then a good rule of thumb is to look at the most successful answers in your industry and use their emotional style as guideposts.
  • Tell a story. A great way to hook readers and help readers is by telling them a story. This can be a story of your own personal success, a story of someone else’s success, or even a hypothetical person name John Doe’s success. And of course, it doesn’t just have to be success! People love stories of all types; stories can make dull and lifeless topics feel exciting and alive. Just make sure the emotion of the story is aligned with what the audience wants to feel, as dictated by the topic or category that you’re writing about. For example, if someone asks “How do I earn money online?” and you have been able to do so yourself, telling your own story will be a great way to engage with the readers and, hopefully, gain more upvotes. Plus, it is the perfect excuse to link to your own blog or website as a way to prove that your story is true.
  • Add an image. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Humans are a visual species, and any time you can include a picture, chart, graph, or visualization that illustrates your response, do it. Just make sure that your image provides value and is not just clickbait.
  • Promote yourself subtly.. Since Quora is a platform where people go to find useful information and answers to their questions, you should make sure that your answers (not your products and services) are the number one thing visible to readers. The number two thing can be your website, blog, products, or services, but it’s definitely safest for reputation to err on the side of underpromotion. Before you post a link to the bottom of your answer, ask yourself if the link adds value to the reader, or if you’re hoping it “takes value” from the reader and puts it in your pocket. A good rule of thumb here is to never promote anything unless you have provided even more value first

4. Build momentum - After you’ve written at least one answer, use the Stats feature regularly, and check which of your answers are doing better than the others, and find patterns to reproduce your best results. Over time, these numbers will grow faster in response to the value you create for your readers.

  • * Questions for you. Once you answer a few questions, Quora will suggest related questions that you may wish to answer. These are completely optional, but they’re a great way to keep growing, and often there’s a mix between recently-posted questions and long-ago posted questions, so you can reach “old” and “new” Quora users alike, and possibly cross-pollinate your audience.
  • * Answer requests. If you build a strong reputation on Quora, some users can request that you specifically answer their question. This is a great mark of respect, and it means at least one person in the Quora community values you as a top expert! While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll ever get a request like this, it can be a good target to shoot for.

5. Finally, Keep learning - The landscape of Quora is constantly evolving, and so should you. If you want to increase your viewership, you should study what the best Quora responders are doing, and reverse engineer their replies. Are they using an introduction paragraph, or do they give a short answer immediately and then have a longer explanation to follow? Do the best posts in your industry use humor, or are they relatively straightforward and direct? Have these trends changed in your field over time? Update your style to help your audience, and in turn your audience will help you.

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