Quora.com is a question and answer site that attracts over 300 million monthly visitors. It’s free to post questions, read answers and write answers to questions. And when you answer questions, it’s even okay to include a link your book or your blog. Despite Quora’s massive traffic and ease of use, most authors still aren’t taking advantage of all that this platform has to offer.
Quora launched nearly a decade ago, and it has become the top destination to find answers to questions. Many leaders and influencers such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Fry, and others have answered questions on Quora. People go to Quora to get answers to very specific questions or to browse questions and answers in areas that interest them.
Unlike other Q&A-style websites, like Yahoo Answers, Quora holds each individual accountable for the responses they post by enforcing a “real names policy.” This is how the site maintains its high-quality content and encourages its collaborative learning community.
On Quora’s About page, the site founders state,
“We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.”
Consider what the founder wrote, as it applies to you as an author. You are empowered to share your knowledge for the benefit of others, and it turns out, for the benefit of yourself.
As an author, you can begin writing thoughtful answers to questions that you have expertise in. Writing answers for the Quora community to read has several benefits:
- Visibility. Posting on Quora is similar to answering a question on Reddit; the most useful and well-liked answers are “upvoted” to the top of the page, where they may remain for several weeks or months. If your response becomes the most popular answer in the thread, hundreds of people are likely to read it.
- Interaction with fans. Those who are already fans of your books would be ecstatic to receive a personal answer from you! Answering questions or even asking fan’s questions can help you keep your audience intrigued when you haven’t published a novel in a while.
- New followers. Authors can create profiles on Quora where they can provide links to their social media accounts, website, books, and other relevant material. Curious Quora users who benefit from your answers often check out your profile, which can lead to more social media fans and book sales for you!
- Free marketing (Sort of). Quora provides the perfect platform for you to share insightful advice, promote your books, and drive traffic to your website, all for no dollar cost, but you will need to invest your time.
Before you can start answering questions, you’ll need to create your profile by providing an email, or you may simply sign in using your Facebook or Google account. Once you’ve accessed your profile, you should customize it to attract your current fans and curious potential readers alike.
Your profile is made up of three sections of information on Quora:
- Credentials & Highlights
- Knows About
- Your name, title and short description.
Make sure all three areas of your profile are complete; take the time to include these crucial items:
- Links. As mentioned previously, authors can include links to their books, social media pages or websites in their bio on Quora. This makes it simple for people to find out more about you and your writing.
- Books. You will want to state that you are the author of X number of books in Y genre. Then list out the book titles, and link to them if possible.
- Areas of expertise. Most writers have day jobs and likely have extensive knowledge in a few niche areas, so be sure to list these areas on your profile. If you are an expert in machine learning or candy making or real estate law or you name it, then note this in your profile.
- Author super powers: When it comes to you as an author, consider including some of your writing or publishing strengths in your profile. For example, do you have expertise in the craft of writing, publishing, book promotion, your genre, book cover design, etc. Whatever it is that you can go deep into, be sure to include it in your profile.
- Proof of expertise. Enter your credentials, accomplishments, awards, bestseller status, recent projects, past jobs, or other impressive achievements that you have earned. Your credentials will appear above each of your responses, so be honest and accurate!
Both fiction and non-fiction authors can thrive on Quora and reap the benefits of greater online visibility by keeping these 5 pieces of advice in mind:
- Respond to the right questions. Check to see how many followers a user has before you jump in with an answer right away. If they have very few followers and the topic is quite specific, you won’t receive the widespread attention that you’re aiming for.
- Provide answers consistently. Patience and persistence are both equally important for using any type of online marketing or promoting strategy. Hold yourself accountable for posting responses daily or a few times a week, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see much growth in the first couple weeks. Just keep at it and genuinely try to help the individual behind the question.
- Use links sparingly. Be careful about including off-site links in your answers. No matter how helpful and thoughtful your responses may be, you risk getting banned if you appear to be overly self-promotional. However, you can feel free to include a link to your own Quora profile.
- Share your responses. To get more appreciation for your well-written pieces of advice, connect your Quora account to your social media pages to easily share your posts with all of your followers.
- Look to others for inspiration! Follow other writers, influencers, and people you admire, and do some research into the answers they have given to others. You might just learn something new as well!
As your follower base on Quora grows, so too should your fan base for your books.