As a result of writing my first book
, one of my marketing strategies for building authority and creating awareness was to consistently answer questions on Quora about freelancing
. The endeavor was successful within the Quora community
. In fact, I rose in ranks with this writing experiment getting listed as number four in the top freelance contributors list after answering fifty-nine freelancing questions. At least two of my answers went out in the weekly email digest and I currently have forty-thousand views across all my answers over all time (this count includes twenty non-freelancing questions
is a great and unique knowledge-oriented social media channel, it was ineffective in driving traffic to a website or sales for a book. At least to the extent, I leveraged it for promoting Path Of The Freelancer, and that I was able to track. While I didn't benefit in the way I hoped for, there were other powerful fruits that came from my labor. Before I dive into these benefits, let me briefly share how I could (or you could
) sustain a high level of exposure on Quora.
How To Maximize Quora Exposure
When answering a question most of the views come soon after publishing. With enough activity on popular topics, it was simply a numbers game to get on the leaderboard for top freelance contributors. But, the downside is that without constant activity, view counts drop down.
Currently, without writing any answers I average 450 views per week. This is not a bad dividend on the answers I've written, but for me to stick to the top freelance writers topic, I'd likely need to write one-hundred more answers. Unfortunately, the traffic benefit of doing this seems minimal, so I'm resistant about actually proceeding. In fact, I'm more inclined to simply write new blog posts and drive traffic through housing my own content, which is what I'm doing here on this blog. On Path Of The Freelancer, I'm currently taking all the questions I answered on Quora, updating them, and republishing them. This has helped me realize Quora is more of a playground to explore and test ideas, not to launch them. So, I share about the actual advantages below.
The Actual Benefits Revolve Around Learning & Practicing
Even though I made at least one solid and important connection
(co-founder of Harpoon, affiliate link
), the benefit ended up being different than what I was looking for. Quora is best when users enjoy and care about the interactivity of questions and answers.
As a Quora question asker and reader before becoming a question answering user, I was already somewhat engaged in the community. The reason I continue to visit and stay active is due to how great Quora is at helping me learn about a variety of topics I am interested in. But, what I care about is the knowledge and since each answer provides that, there is little reason to exit the website via links and mentions. So, it makes sense that Quora would not be a driver of traffic and instead, a good resource for learning. It's an effective tool for the transfer of knowledge and experience.
Quora Makes Good Practice
In addition to learning, Quora is also a great playground to practice answering questions you may be tasked with answering publicly or writing about later. While I was expecting this process to help me promote the book
, I didn’t expect it to prepare me for the interviews
I’d have about the book. In my first interview with Lighting Essentials
, the conversation was organic and many of the questions that came up were ones I had specifically addressed with my Quora answers. This allowed me to answer confidently and focus on how to expand on these answers for the specific context I was in. As a result of my performance, Don asked me if I had been running the interview circuit for a while. No, this was my first one!
While it seems like common sense, practice what you want to do before you actually do it. And, start by practicing in a low-risk context, like Quora. Over time, you’ll be prepared when the larger opportunity arises.
Quora Can Help Discover Trends & Explore Topics
Another unexpected benefit of answering questions daily on Quora was the discovery of topics, questions, trends, and ideas. When following a topic, Quora will suggest questions to answer. Within each topic, I can also view the top questions and the top contributors in that category. From there, I can explore the user's profile, the questions they've asked and the answers they've given.
If people are already answering the question, I can look for opportunities to address the question in a unique and different angle.The Quora search bar is also a powerful tool as it offers suggestions and ideas based on what I've typed so far. This helps me open up my mind to see and explore possibilities I wasn't thinking about.
When I'm looking to get a pulse check on what people are asking about, I can find that data quickly in Quora. It's a powerful research tool and one any writer should have a foot inside.
At the end of the day, Quora is a wonderful resource to learn and share knowledge. While it's not strong at helping to promote something outside its own bubble, it's a great tool for discovering and testing ideas before going out and launching them into the real world.