Written by Avinash Nandkumar
Quora has become the de facto platform where people post their queries and if you can answer them concisely you can hook them to your content. For business, it would mean leading them to their web sites. For individuals, it is a great opportunity to promote their brand. Case in point is Balaji Viswanathan. Balaji, the most followed writer on Quora (500k) is also the founder of Invento. His success on Quora has aided his career growth.
Since Quora has high domain authority, your website will be ranked higher if there are enough backlinks from Quora. So, posting a well-written answer on Quora is worth the effort. Writing on Quora is a bit different from blog writing. This article will help you through your journey into the Quora world.
Answer the question – Please
Since Quora is a Q&A website, you have to make sure you answer the question. I have seen many writers beating about the bush without answering the question. Remember, Quora is not a blogging site where you rant. It is a place where people are searching for answers. It’s not about you – it’s about them. Readers can even report you on Quora for not answering the question.
Having generic credentials help. This would mean your job, university, etc. among others. Moreover, having relevant credentials works like a charm. A retired army officer answering a question on ‘Assault Rifle’ will fetch more views and upvotes than a civilian. An ex-Google employee answering a question on Google work culture will grab eyeballs. In fact, you could even be reported if your credentials are irrelevant.
Follow these Content Writing Basics
- Short and crisp answers work well on Quora. Yet don’t give one word or one sentence answers. Describe well. I have seen many short answers getting collapsed.
- Have an image relevant to your answer – It improves aesthetics.
- If you plan to write long answers have a good lead and few images. Long answers should have good emotional appeal. Use lists and sub-sections for long answers.
- Break your content into short paragraphs. 3-5 sentences in Paragraph is optimal. Remember, unlike a blog your reader can quickly move away to the next answer.
- Quora answers appear as feeds on user homepages. The first 200 characters of your answer are visible in the feed for web users and only a 100 on mobile. They can also see an image thumbnail. An example below from my feed :
You have to engage the reader in this short section so that they view the whole answer. Thus a good lead and thumbnail is a must for higher visibility.
Write on Trending Topics
If you wish to gain views and followers you should write on trending topics. Generally, trends in Twitter or the latest events become trendy on Quora with some time lag. Thus you have some time to prepare content when these questions start appearing.
Politics, sports, and movies will fetch you a lot of views and followers. If you are writing for a niche or a business it will take time to build your following.
Quora has this feature of Ask To Answer(A2A). It means the Poster of question will request your answer for the question. If you answer these questions well chances are that the Poster of the question will become your follower.
This is most important on Quora. Quora is like a marketplace where you try to sell opinion. There will be people with contrasting opinions. When you write answers – make sure you do not attack anyone overtly. Focus on marketing your idea well. Criticism, if any, should be subtle and invoke contemplation than contempt.
Very often I have seen many good answers collapse by downvotes because they were rude. Quora follows the Be Nice Be Respectful policy (BNBR). If your content is too hateful, Quora moderation can remove your content.
Top 5 Don’ts
This is one top way you can get yourself kicked out of Quora. Quora takes Plagiarism reports seriously. You have to make sure you cite the sources and mark them by the citation tool in quora menu while writing the draft.
If plagiarism is reported you will be suspended for weeks or even banned if you keep repeating the offences. I have seen some top writers getting banned by failing to adhere. Years of effort will be completely undone.
Fact Check – Please
Try to keep your facts correct. If more people report your answer as ‘Factually incorrect’ Quora will remove it. You can cite your sources to avoid such predicaments.
Avoid Typos and Grammatical Errors
Poorly written answers with bad grammar and typos are a big turn off. In fact, readers could report you and your answer could be taken down. Make sure you use tools like Grammarly to proof-read your answers.
Quora has a strict English only policy. Few words of other languages here and there are completely fine. If you write too many lines, chances are that Quora will remove your content. If you wish to write in regional languages Quora has different multi-lingual versions for these.
Avoid Joke Answers
You have to be sympathetic to the poster of the question. If you make fun of them or answer insincerely with an intent to arouse humour it will not be appreciated. Readers can mark you for ‘Joke Answer’ and have your answer removed.
Since Quora has a high domain authority, many marketing guys keep promoting content through Quora. They also do this for backlinks to optimize SEO. If you are a brand or have an idea to promote, make sure you have different web resources to lead your audience. Using the same URLs and websites many times across answers will be seen as spam and removed.
Following these basic rules will help you write great content on Quora. Make a brand and promote yourself or business. You can even promote your content through twitter and facebook from within quora to improve viewership. Most importantly people love to see efforts put into the answers and if you do it well you will become a hit on Quora.
Check out the Content Writing Course at Online Idea Lab to start writing like a pro.