I’ve been MIA from posting on Social Media Today for a bit, and for a good reason. For a little over a month, I've been actively developing a presence for myself on Quora.
For those unfamiliar, Quora is a platform built on sharing knowledge. People can create profiles, ask questions, and get answers from other users, many of whom are experts in their respective fields. I wrote about how Quora was one of the social platforms individuals should take advantage of a few months ago, and I decided to take my own advice.
So far, my results have been pleasantly surprising, granted I’m still in the early stages. My following may still be quite small (14 followers), but my answer views are in the 8.9k range, and rising. As I continue to navigate the odds and ends of Quora, I imagine more individuals out there are likely starting their own accounts.
If you’re in need of a viewership boost and would like to avoid making rookie mistakes early on, here’s an overview of some of the Quora dos and don’ts I've picked up so far.
DON’T link back to your website in your responses
Enough time has passed to allow me to share the biggest rookie mistake I made when I first started answering questions on Quora - I would answer questions and sign off with my name and a link back to my website.
It sounds harmless enough, and I certainly didn’t mean anything bad by it, but those actions were considered to be spam behavior.
Yikes. I quickly rectified the situation by leaving the link back to my website where it belonged: in my Quora profile. If you find yourself in a similar situation wondering whether or not to slip in a link, the best advice would be to follow the rules.
Instead of adding links where they're not welcome, focus on filling out your profile. Make the most of that space so users can discover more about you.
DO follow relevant topics
Is 104 topics too many to follow or not? That’s about the amount I follow currently, with the topics ranging from entrepreneurship to small businesses to startups.
I would recommend anyone looking to establish themselves on Quora follow several topics from the beginning. Common topics also tend to have a lot of great value tucked inside of them - take the topic of entrepreneurship, for example, it has 4.7 million followers and 187.9k questions.
If you answer one of those questions, you’re contributing a thoughtful response to a category that's highly active. Users in can upvote your answer as well, enabling you to get more views and raise your profile.
DO answer questions frequently and thoughtfully
As of the week of Thanksgiving, I have answered 147 questions on Quora. I answer more as I receive them - some questions aren’t relevant to me, but many topics are and those that are relevant, and I put extra thought into answering. The longer my answers are, the more value they provide, and the higher the viewership tends to climb as a result.
Longer answers also better put me into a position of authority. I'm able to better think out what I have to say on subjects that generally do require me to step back and work out a step-by-step response.
It’s just like blogging or vlogging or hosting a podcast - I’m considered an expert and have developed a strong reputation on Quora thanks to how I approach the answers to these questions.
DON’T forget to check in with your analytics
Once you’re logged into your Quora account, check in on your site’s analytics from time to time.
Look at the kinds of views your account receives, its upvotes, and shares. For example, you might notice that there are certain questions you answer that are popular with users, and that could prompt you to answer more questions of a similar nature — and vice versa, if you find you should be branching out to more topics or questions.
DO include (credited) visuals with your answers
This is a neat tactic that I began implementing a few weeks ago. Just as tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without, Quora answers that include an image draw in more users.
However, there's not yet enough studies to determine how adding an image to Quora answers allows for more answer views. My assumption is that users treat visuals on Quora the way they do on other social platforms - if the image is contextually relevant to the answer, it will attract eyeballs, and increase time spent on the page. I would recommend including images with your content that are relevant and aesthetically pleasing.
Also, make sure you have the rights to use the images before posting. You can purchase an image from a stock website (if you have a subscription) or use free stock image websites that credit back to a source.