Did you know that Quora receives upwards of 300 million visitors per month (in September 2018)?
Basically Quora is a question and answer platform. You can ask any question you’d like. People who think can add something answer the question. People who answer questions are encouraged to answer questions because people can “upvote” their answers. The more upvotes you get the more people will see your answer. Answers are in no way or form monetizable. You can answer 10,000 questions. You can receive a million answer views…. Quora won’t pay you a dime for your work 🙂 But if you continue reading, I’ll tell you exactly how a marketer can get value from Quora.
Quora is on the decline as of this writing
They have seen their Global rank decline in the past few months (probably due to Google Algorithm changes) but they still reach a massive amount of people.
Quora used to be a top 100 website but has been declining quite a bit lately, (probably) because of the rise of “0 click searches” / the #0 result.
If you look at Semrush data you can see that a big part of the decline was from a drop in organic traffic.
You should nevertheless not ignore Quora by any means. They’re still a huge opportunity for (smart) marketers.
Who founded Quora?
Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever founded Quora in June 2009. Quora was recently valued at 2 Billion Dollar while only raking in about 20 Million in revenue in 2018.
How does Quora Work?
As a user you can either do one of 2 things. Ask a question or give / change an answer.
In order to ask a question you need to register an account.
How do you use Quora without logging in?
You can view answers without logging in when you click a result from Quora on Google. Once you want to read another answer though Quora prompts you to register.
The easiest way to keep browsing answers? Hold shift (on Windows machines) and Command (on Mac) when opening a new question. Unfortunately you can’t open Quora’s homepage and get a “timeline” view. You need an account for that.
You NEED an account if you want to use Quora for marketing purposes
Because in order to get exposure, you need to start answering questions. Head over to Quora and register an account if you haven’t got an account yet.
Start following some topics you enjoy reading a bout or know a lot about.
I started my Quora journey a few years back, in 2011. This was the first question I answered back in June 2011.
I had no clue what I was doing. I just answered questions I thought I could answer because I knew a bit about the topic.
Quora has a Real Name policy. You need to use your own name or risk deletion of your account.
Since 2011 I’ve actually only answered about 65 questions and amassed about 500k answer views.
Once I started picking a certain niche I gained followers more easily as well as upvotes.
Quora is actually, in hindsight, pretty easy. Answer questions you think your answer will add something to the discussion. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add an answer anymore when more than 100 people have answered that particular question.
Some questions have amassed a massive following and have received a lot of answer views. Those popular questions can always use another useful answer.
There’s a rule some people use… Don’t answer questions that have a worse than 7:1 ratio of followers versus answers. I don’t follow that rule though. It’s maybe because I have about 2k followers and my answers get viewed a lot even though the ratio for that question is more like 3:1.
Don’t get thrown off by the ratio’s. Answer questions you know will add value to Quora.
That leads us to the first question you should ask yourself.
How do I answer my first question on Quora?
Once you have an account on Quora you can either do 4 things to answer your first question.
- Follow certain topics and see what kind of questions land on your timeline.
- Click on the topics you just followed and browse the questions until you see a good one to answer.
- Go to the “Answer” tab and see what “Questions for you” Quora came up with
- Choose wether to answer a question that has 0 or more than 0 answers.
How do I get my first upvotes?
You’ll notice that the first few questions you answer don’t get any upvotes. That’s because of these 3 things:
- You haven’t looked at what questions have (some) traction (not a popular question)
- You don’t have any followers (you’re talking in a void)
- You didn’t add enough value (your answer looks/is the same as the rest)
My best answers on Quora are also the longest. My most popular answer has almost 2000 words. It has received 50% of my total answer views and more than 2,000 upvotes. This article so far has about 800 words. So now you know what you’re up against 🙂
The more upvotes your answer gets the more your answer will be shown to different people. There’s also another metric, besides comments, Quora is supposedly using. The amount of people that click on the “read more” link. If your answer is less than 100 words or not bigger than a few paragraphs Quora will just show your entire answer without giving people the chance to click on “read more” to display your entire answer.
So tip #1: make your answer large enough so people can click on read more.
The second tip: use an image in the first few paragraphs. Images say more than 1000 words and on Quora really grab your attention.
This is the image size for answers on Quora
Quora uses a ratio of 16:9 and you need to use a minimum image size of 600 x 314 pixels. Preferably you should use 1200 x 628 pixels.
Use controversial images
Images that might not have anything to do with the answer, controversial images, colorful images they all work great.
I’m not saying you should (consistently) use images that have nothing to do with the answer. They can however be very “clickable”.
Scarcely clothed people (women) do very well. I even answered a question on Quora which was about what you thought was really annoying. It was the use of very attractive women who actually have nothing to do with the answer. It’s just pure clickbait.
I clicked a few of those answers and my timeline was just being flooded by the same type of answers. It took me a lot of work to get my timeline “back to normal”.
This is probably a question that is asked a lot when doing Marketing on Quora:
Why was my answer deleted?
Because someone flagged your answer as SPAM and a moderator decided it is SPAM.
Mostly Quora moderators go where there’s fire. The reported answers.
Every answer has 3 dots on the bottom right. If you click that you can click report to report an answer.
Why was my answer flagged as SPAM?
In your heart you already know the answer. You were just too focussed on your own business. On the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). You didn’t focus enough on adding value to Quora. That’s the short answer. Read this if you want to know how to appeal a moderation decision.
The long answer:
Don’t talk about your business. Don’t tell people how great you or your business is. Don’t JUST link out to your website.
I’ve had quite a few answers flagged and deleted by Quora moderators. In the years I’ve been on the platform I’ve honed my appeal skills and I’m now able to successfully appeal almost all of the moderators’ decisions.
It helps a lot if you answer the Spam guidelines and answer guidelines before you start answering questions that you want to drive leads from to your website.
You can find Quora’s Spam policy here and here you can find the general answer guidelines.
There’s one easy guideline: Don’t answer your own questions. That’s always considered Spam. Ask someone else to ask the question for you 🙂 But don’t make it too obvious and keep answering the questions that “total stranger” keeps asking.
How to generate traffic & leads from Quora
Some people are in it purely as an altruist. I’m not. Yes, I do answer a lot of questions without mentioning my business. But I try to answer about 50% of the questions with, in the back of my mind, the intent to ALSO gain business traction.
Let me first tell you how not to do it. I flagged this guy for spam. It’s obvious why…
It’s clear that the only reason he’s on Quora is to promote his employer. I don’t even think he uses his real name. The company he’s promoting has its seat in India. (Quora is full of people from India btw).
He even just blatantly says “our core business”… It’s just straight up spam. Anyway… This is how NOT to do content marketing on Quora.
Stay away from self promotion
It’s actually OK to do a bit of self promotion according to Quora’s policy. But if you overdo it, you are screwed. Best thing to do: stay far away from the grey area. I don’t know how many times my answers have been flagged as Spam, but I know that the ones who are in the grey area are far more likely to be flagged than the ones where I’m not promoting myself (or my business) so much.
Remember the most important thing about what you should do on Quora: Add value to the community.
You can copy (old) content from your blog if it answers the question
I’ve copied content from this bog a couple of times now. Make sure you change the copy so you don’t say stuff like “on this blog”. Quora won’t mind even the slightest. It’s a great way to repurpose your content and to gain extra visibility.
BUT don’t solely link back to your website. Don’t EVER use affiliate links on Quora. Be careful about linking to your website where you immediately offer people paid services or products.