Do you use Quora? Maybe you have answered a few questions here and there in your spare time, but have you considered incorporating Quora into your digital marketing strategy?
A couple of years ago I had the fortune of having an answer featured in the Quora digest on Christmas day 2014 when I was in Malta. It was a question about salaries at different companies and was shared with 1.2 million people by Quora.
Things changed for me overnight on that day.
I have since been able to generate over 20 million views, sign up 25k+ people to my email list, was at one time the fastest growing writer on Quora, and had the most upvoted answer.
Some social proof for you all to ‘put my money where my mouth is.’
Social Proof #1:
Social Proof #2
Some of the stats from my actual profile.
As you can see from the screenshots above of my Quora analytics:
I had thousands of comments across my answers.
Several of my answers had 300k+ views.
I made it into the Quora digest 30 days in a row.
I got featured on Inc, was interviewed a bunch of times, and have had various other things happen.
I also went on to get banned and have never been able to come back.
In this guide, I would like to walk you through ultimately how you can achieve similar levels of success as me in 7 steps. Without getting banned.
Ok, let’s do this:
Step #1: Understanding Quora
Put simply, Quora is a Q&A site. It has a community feel much like Reddit, and it resembles Yahoo forums from back in the day.
Anyone can answer questions on Quora.
Famous entrepreneurs, actors, notable investors, you name it - you will find answers from a wide range of people on the platform.
Step #2: The Anatomy Of A Perfect Quora Profile
Asim Qureshi's profile - a great Quora profile, simple to the point and containing links to his content
As with anything in life, first impressions really count. Leaving your profile blank or not optimizing it is a wasted opportunity.
Here are my essential tips for making your profile stand out from the crowd - and it is a part very often missed.
Highlight the essentials: at the very top of your profile, mention your most significant achievement, mention a product/service you have on offer or state what you do. The higher ‘above the fold’ the CTA is the more likely it is to get clicked.
Add links: throughout your bio, embed links to where people can find out more about what you do and what you have achieved - such as on your website.
State your areas of expertise: Make the areas you specialize in clear on your profile and include links to content to act as proof. For example, if you say you are a public speaker, provide links to one of your speeches.
Fill out all your credentials & highlights: Your credentials will show at the top of your answers, so if you answer questions on a wide variety of topics, make sure you have a related credential to demonstrate your authority in that area.
This step is critical as it is a great way to get people to come back to your actual profile and find out about the person behind the answer:
Step #3: A Quora Repurposing Framework
Sharing your Quora posts will increase the reach of your posts. And Quora is an excellent bedrock for you to start repurposing content (think YouTube videos, gifs, memes, and more)
With all of that in mind, one of the best opportunities is to create a repurposing framework around Quora.
Writing content is tough at the best of times - and Quora does the hard work for you. Use the inspiration they provide to produce slides, infographics, and basically anything you can think of.
It is also a good idea to get into the habit of sharing at least 5 answers per week (assuming you are writing that many) - it will help you to build your social footprint.
Connect your account to Facebook, Twitter, etc., so that you can quickly share your posts.
Gary Vaynerchuck's profile - we all know him :)
Step #4: Competitor Leeching
Now you could find your ‘value adding’ areas: e.g., by spending one hour searching Quora looking for areas/writers/ answers that resonate with you.
But you could also find some excellent writers that are in spaces you wish to write about - and ‘turn on notifications’ to get notified every time they answer a question.
3. Then you can build a whole strategy around answering the questions they answer and dispense with doing any research because they will do all the research for you.
For example, if you are a life coach, you will be able to add value in this area.
You could then turn on notifications for Lynan Saperstein and get notified every time she writes an answer and write your own version - thus gamifying the Quora experience :)
Step #5: Writing Magnetic Content
Be authentic. Be original: If you genuinely don’t know much about a topic focus your attention on one that is more relevant to you. It is easy to read someone else’s contribution and just reword what they have said, however, it is important that you contribute your unique insights and perspectives that will add value to the reader. If you find yourself spending far too long researching an answer for a question, it is probably not in your area of expertise. Of course, some research is ok to make sure that the points you make are accurate and data-backed.
Sense check other answers: Before you start blindly writing, check out the top performing answer, and think to yourself: can I add something different? What have they missed?
Step #6: Content Opposites
Like with all digital copy, how the content looks on devices is extremely important. Here are some tips for formatting your answers on Quora.
Write how you speak. Don’t write academically: We are taught to write in longer paragraphs at school. However, when it comes to Quora, you will want to keep each paragraph short — 1 to 4 lines.
Don’t write posts that are too short: Aim to write answers that are between 300-1000 words in length.
This post is 700 words and has 110k+ views - it is an example of a prose style that is very effective in engaging the reader.
3. What about listicles?: As well as using short paragraphs, you can increase the readability of your answer by breaking up your post into subheadings and using bullet points and numbered lists. You can further draw the reader's attention to important points by using bold and italics.
4. Pattern interrupts: Have you ever noticed that when you are flicking through answers on Quora, you will stop at the answer that looks visually different. So if everyone is using images - don’t. If they aren’t, do. If it is all long form - use listicles and so forth.
Step 7: The Quora Ranking Strategy
If an answer has <10 followers, don’t write an answer. Until you have 1k+ followers yourself - it won’t get the views you need.
Key Takeaway: aim to answer those questions with a bigger following.
2. Group questions then batch answer: Say for example you know you are going to spend the afternoon writing Quora answers, decide which questions you will answer in that sitting, so you can build up a list of drafts and have 20+ ready to answer. You can even segment them into areas you are interested in.
3. Answer FAQs: Subjects will often have FAQs - these are often good questions to get answered. Whenever you see that they have answered a question in your area, follow suit by also contributing to the conversation.
How To Not Get Banned
So what got me banned in hindsight was adding too many CTA's in my answers and too many links off-site. And this caused me to appear too promotional, which was a mistake.
The key here is simple then. Don't insert a CTA in more than 1 in 5 answers that take a reader off-site - and if you are going to add one than make it a link back to your profile or somewhere else on Quora rather than off-site.
Do that, and you should be good to go ;)
So that is how I created viral Quora content and was able to get 20 million views in just 4 months.
Over those 4 months, I wrote 10+ Quora answers per day, every day, totaling 1k+ answers. And for the first period, I didn’t get much traction AT ALL. So consistency is key to get the momentum going.
Stick with it. Of course, you don’t need to write that many. But strive for progress, not perfection. If you write 2 answers per week, that is better than 0!
Secondly, be patient. Even with posting daily, expect the first month to be relatively slow. You won’t get the overnight sensation that you are hoping for.
Finally, be critical. Use daily posting on Quora as an opportunity to improve your writing, and the quality of your answers and don’t forget to assess your progress from month 1 to month 3 to see how far you have come!
Good luck :)