Describing itself simply as “the best answer to any question”, Quora is a community in which people ask, answer, and organise questions about anything. This Q&A site relies on collaboration to formulate and reveal the “best answer” for any question on just about any topic.
We wrote about Quora back in 2011, about six months after its release to the public, and asked whether it’d really be the next big thing… Turns out that yes it was, and it continues to be a big deal, and because it has managed to maintain a certain level of quality in its content (with new users being taught about acceptable language via a quiz, and ensuring people use their real identities when posting), it’s a great resource for knowledge sharing.
The very specific knowledge network
Aside from having your question answered in a matter of hours (potentially much quicker than trawling Google’s search results!) by an expert, or someone with first hand experience, Quora offers a wealth of information on which to base research. This is what makes it such a great resource for writers and, indeed, for content marketing.
Although there are exceptions, the majority of questions posed on the site are thoughtful, useful, or just downright interesting. And thanks to vigilant moderation and up-/down-voting by the community, the answers are informative, thought-provoking and totally specific to the original question. Why does that make it simply super for content marketers?
1. Quora allows questions to be targeted toward specific users
So you can invite them to share their perspective as well as everyone else. This is particularly valuable if you know of a user who’s particularly knowledgeable in a certain area.
2. It’s a publishing platform
So you can share your content with Quora’s huge audience.
3. It’s a search engine
In that you can search for specific questions, or specific topics and follow them should a new question be asked.
Being inspired by Quora
Many a content marketer has suffered the curse of writer’s block, but Quora’s search means you can discover what people are asking about your company, your services/products, or your industry. If a relevant question has few answers but a lot of followers, you could consider it an area people are interested in, but not many people know about. You could provide the knowledge these users are searching for… voila! Your next idea is born.
Alternatively, the answers provided by other users make for excellent reading material. You build your own homepage with Quora, and so it is tailored to what you deem relevant and interesting. Reading anything, especially if you approach it with a critical mind, will likely help formulate your own opinions, or provoke further questions, which is another step in the direction of idea generation.
Develop a Quora-Crush
Do enough browsing, or lurk long enough, and you’ll soon identify users who consistently provide upvoted answers to questions around a specific topic – your topic. Take a closer look at these users, and note the kind of content they find interesting. If you follow them and their activity, they will help point you in the direction of relevant content you may otherwise have missed. More content means more inspiration, and more inspiration means more ideas!
Blogging with Quora
Now its second year, Quora’s Blogs offer another way for users to share their expertise:
“Blogs allow writers to share their knowledge and thoughts in a space that they control, without the structure of the questions-and-answers format but with the same potential for viral distribution and the same engagement through votes and comments.” – via Quora
Claiming that their average active writers enjoy over 30,000 monthly views of their content, Blogs is a great option for bloggers who have no audience, or who cannot run or maintain their own blog. It’s also a great option for the more established blogger too, as if the writing matches a topic, it’s possible that followers of said topic will see the article – a ready-made audience at your fingertips!
The real beauty of Blogs is that it’s not about how many people you follow, or how many people follow you. It’s about the quality of your writing. So long as your content adds to the bank of knowledge Quora builds, it’s a place for you to be discovered.
It all starts with a search
Login with your Google account, Facebook account or email address, enter a search term, and watch the suggested questions roll in. Unanswered and/or popular questions are your potential topics and Blogs could be another platform on which to share your content.