The worst question is the one unasked. Unless you're a blogger - then it's the one you didn't know people were asking.
Answering your reader's questions is your goal. Yet how many times have you sat in front of a computer screen trying to write a blog post and desperately wondered what answers your readers wanted?
For free, Quora tells us exactly that. Quora isn't as big as Facebook, or Twitter, and it isn't exactly a household name, but around 1 million users isn't chump change.
Connecting Knowledge To People
What is Quora?
Quora is a place where questions are answered. Think of it as crowdsourcing knowledge, connecting people who know and people who want to know directly.
You can ask a question, find out if someone else asked the question, or answer a question. Using a points and user voting system has helped to cut down on spammy or useless questions and answers, making Quora a valuable resource. Quora also has boards, which are collections of anything you find interesting on a particular topic. These are similar to Pinterest's boards, or Springpad's notebooks; people can follow your boards.
Be An Expert And Get Ideas
How can Quora help my brand, when most people haven't even heard of Quora?
Quora gets 50 percent of its traffic from search. People arrive there looking for answers, meaning they'll naturally connect with whoever can help them. It's not as big as Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers when it comes to people asking questions, but it's growing steadily based on the quality of the answers found there. Quora specializes in answering very specific questions and is populated by experts, scientists, and users who are actually knowledgable in their field.
So, what is the value to you?
- Build Reputation: Establish expertise by selecting topics that have questions you want to answer. Fill out your topic-based biography, and answer the questions confidently. Let people find you and your brand because they realize you are an expert.
- Get Ideas: Use the questions people are asking as the inspiration for blog post ideas. If these are things people want to know on Quora, chances are pretty good there are other people who want to know the same thing.
- Connect To Others: Get communication started with others in your own industry and those who are customers of your industry. It's the classic networking scenario.
- Get Answers: Ask your own questions. Find out the answers from very knowledgable people. For free.
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. - James Thurber
Make Quora Routine
How should I use Quora to be better at marketing?
Set aside time each week to visit Quora and search on the topics covered by your blog. Compile some of these questions and turn them into blog posts. Use the questions to create the headlines if possible, since that is what people are specifically asking. (Note: Do NOT copy the content of those who have answered the question! Answer the question in your blog with your own knowledge.)
Find questions you can answer, and answer them well. If you have a question to ask, and you have enough Quora Credits, do so. Then, share these questions and answers on Twitter and Facebook.
Follow boards and topics that are related to your industry. You can even subscribe to these through RSS and read them in a feed reader, or in TodayLaunch. To find the RSS feed, use the Quora topic link (e.g. http://www.quora.com/Social-Media-Marketing) and add /rss to the end of it (e.g. http://www.quora.com/Social-Media-Marketing/rss)
The reason we blog is to solve our reader's problems. Quora is where we discover problems we weren't even aware they had. What are some of the ways you find blog topics that answer the questions your readers are asking?