Since July 2018, I’ve been active on Quora, answering at least five questions a week on topics related to Ahrefs, SEO, and digital marketing. In that time, I’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.
Before I began my journey on Quora, I turned to Google for help. Unfortunately, most of the guides were terrible. They were written by writers who had little-to-no experience on the platform and had to rehash advice from elsewhere.
I then decided to study popular writers on Quora. What I noticed was that most of them were answering questions under the same few topics: life advice, personal development, and entrepreneurship.
With those topics, even a simple list can get tens of thousands of views.
On the other hand, answers in my niche didn’t get as many.
Nevertheless, I decided to start writing answers and figure things out along the way.
In this post, I will share everything I’ve learned so far with you. I’ve also invited my friend Jason Thibault, Founder of MassiveKontent, to share some tips. Jason started posting on Quora in November 2018 and has since experimented a lot with the platform.
But before we begin, let’s talk about the reasons behind why we’re on Quora.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Quora, and now TikTok. Let’s be honest: one of the biggest challenges facing businesses is figuring out which social channel to actually prioritize.
Rather than convince you to be on Quora (it’s not right for everyone), I’d like to share the reasons behind our decision. If you resonate with any of them, you might want to consider the platform seriously.
1. Support existing and potential customers
As the Ahrefs brand grows and our reach broadens, more people start to recognize our name but don’t know exactly what we do. Or they might be in the “consideration” phase of the buyer’s journey and are trying to compare different solutions on the market.
Typically, these people turn to third-party platforms or forums like Quora to ask questions.
If we’re not there, Quorans might answer Ahrefs-related questions inaccurately.
It is essential for us to participate so we can answer these questions honestly and factually.
2. Tap into a vast, new audience
Fun fact: Quora has an audience of 300 million monthly unique users.
This puts Quora up there with other social networks like Twitter (335 million monthly active users), Reddit (330 million monthly active users), and Pinterest (250 million monthly active users.)
Your answers can reach a new audience who may not yet know about your brand.
3. Drive referral traffic from popular answers
Quora ranks for ~65 million keywords and gets an estimated ~90 million search visits a month.
If you can find the questions that rank well on Google and answer them, you can drive referral traffic to your website (more on this later!)
4. Build your personal brand
Influential team members have the potential and power to amplify the reach of your content. This is true for us at Ahrefs. When Tim, our CMO shares our articles on Twitter:
👊SEO vs. PPC 👊https://t.co/jQg3CGFIzG
^^ A very good overview of the ancient dilemma by our very own @siquanong
Please let us know if we forgot to cover some important argument.— Tim Soulo (@timsoulo) August 30, 2019
He typically gets more reach than our brand account:
✍️SEO vs. PPC: Which Should You Use? by @siquanong
Struggling to decide if you should invest in SEO or PPC? 📈
What does this mean as far as Quora is concerned?
Being active on this platform means you have a chance to display thought leadership, demonstrate expertise, and build your personal brand. You can also direct your followers on Quora to your other social accounts, strengthening your presence across multiple platforms.
This is invaluable for promoting future work.
Now that you’ve seen how valuable participating on Quora can be, let’s talk about how to do it well on this unique Q&A platform.
1. Create a good bio
Do people even click through to your bio and check out what you’re up to?
To find out, I changed the link in my Quora bio from a direct link to a bit.ly link. This allowed me to track the number of clicks I was getting.
In around three months, I got 182 clicks.
Not incredible, but not too shabby either. Looks like people do check out your bio if they like what you’re doing.
Here’s how my bio reads:
Let’s break it down.
- I introduce myself and what I do. This helps establish my expertise and credibility.
- I add a call-to-action (CTA), which is a link to sign up for our trial (no longer available.)
- I show social proof to add even more credibility to the notion that I’m a subject-matter expert.
Lastly, I add a couple of links to my social accounts, encouraging my Quora followers to follow me elsewhere:
There’s no one right way to write a good bio. Feel free to experiment and figure out what works for you. I’ll also encourage you to take a look at what the top writers are doing in your niche and across Quora.
2. Identifying good questions
Pareto’s Principle suggests that only ~20% of the questions you could answer on Quora will actually send you traffic.
So, how do you find these questions?
Here are a few ideas:
A. Find questions that get organic search traffic
Enter quora.com into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and go to the “Top pages” report. This shows the pages on Quora that receive the most organic search traffic.
To narrow down the list, enter a relevant word or phrase in the “Include” box. Click on the caret beside each page URL to see the total estimated monthly organic traffic to the page.
Look through the list and answer those that are relevant to your business.
B. Quora Ads ‘Hack’
It’s easy to tell how many views a question has received so far:
Unfortunately, that knowledge is only half useful. It is sometimes the case that the question was popular a long time ago (e.g., in 2013), received tons of views, and lost traction after.
A more useful metric would be the number of views the question is still receiving today.
The issue, though, is that Quora doesn’t show it explicitly.
There is a way around this. In order to help advertisers figure out what they should advertise on, Quora shows them the number of weekly views for relevant questions.
We can use this to our advantage. Go to your Quora Ads manager. Click “Create Campaign.”
You’ll be asked to fill in the details for your campaign. Since we’re only interested in what comes next, feel free to insert random information here.
Click “Continue” to progress to the next page. This is where the fun starts.
Under “Primary Targeting”, choose “Contextual Targeting”, then “Questions”. Then, click “Bulk Add”.
Type in any relevant keyword and Quora will suggest questions to answer and show the number of weekly views.
C. Most Viewed Writers ‘Hack’
I’ve not seen anyone mention this “hack” before, so I figured that I’m the first person to come up with it. #humblebrag
Here’s how it goes.
Look for a relevant topic (e.g., “Search Engine Optimization”) on Quora. Click on “Most Viewed Writers.”
What do you see? Probably that some writers get a disproportionate number of views, despite only answering a few questions.
Because Quora tells you what these questions are, you can answer them and try to replicate their success.
For example, I’ll check out Sarah Clow, since she managed to accumulate ~28,000 views from only 11 answers.
Eyeballing them reveals this question as being the one sending her the bulk of her views:
This question is probably gaining traction and the attention of Quora writers. Since the answer leaves a lot to be desired, you can easily write a better one and try to replicate her results.
D. Follow the Quora algorithm
As you’re answering, Quora will begin recommending new questions and topics for you to answer. Typically, these appear in your “Answer” tab:
You can also check the questions that appear at the top of topic feeds:
These questions are likely popular in the Quora ecosystem, and your answers may receive thousands of views.
3. Prioritizing questions
Some questions might drive plenty of organic traffic but are super competitive (lots of answers).
Even if the traffic potential is high, it might be impossible for you to stand out. As such, you’ll need to prioritize.
Here are some ideas:
A. Look for questions you know the answer to
Writing on Quora is a time sink, so it pays to focus your time and energy on questions that you already know the answer to. This reduces the time spent writing.
If you want to take this idea even further, look for similar questions to blog posts you’ve already written. That way, you can repurpose the content and write useful, in-depth answers super quick.
For example, I repurposed our article on how long it takes to rank on Google:
B. Select questions based on data
Then, put these Quora URLs into Screaming Frog and use custom extraction to grab relevant data such as the number of people who have answered the questions, links to competitors, etc.
Here’s the Regex code:
And the XPath code:
//a[contains(@href,'example1.com') or contains(@href,'example2.com')]/@href
From here, you’ll be able to prioritize the right questions to answer based on the data you’ve acquired.
Screaming Frog will also generate a report on broken external links for these Quora answers.
Tackle them by making a Suggested Edit. Ask the author to consider replacing the broken links with one to your content.
4. Answering questions
To do well on Quora, you also need good answers that provide value.
There is no “magical” way to teach you how to write a good answer. There is no “hack” that says “write XYZ sentence” or “write in ABC format” to gain traction.
Writing a valuable Quora answer comes down to great copywriting skills. That takes practice.
Fortunately, copywriting formulas exist. They can serve as a training and structural guide to help you write a good answer.
Often, I use the AIDA formula.
- Attention: Capture their attention with something catchy or relevant.
- Interest: Tell them interesting facts, uses, examples, or stories.
- Desire: Make them desire the product/service/etc.
- Action: Get them to take action.
If you’d like to pick up copywriting, here are some books I’ve learned and benefitted from:
A few other tips for answering questions well:
1. Capture attention with a strong intro sentence and image
Legendary copywriter Joseph Sugarman has an axiom that follows:
The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence of the copy.
By default, Quora shows a preview of the first 200 characters of your answer, together with an image.
If you want people to click “More,” you’ll have to make both the image and the first sentence count.
2. Check the other answers to figure out what people want
Take a look at this question:
On the surface, you may assume Quorans are looking for a list of examples. Right?
They’re looking for individual stories of great marketing:
Don’t jump straight into writing an answer immediately. Always make sure you check existing answers first to find out what people are looking for.
3. Tell stories
In broad categories like life advice, Quorans enjoy personal stories as opposed to direct, actionable advice.
If you’re playing in those pits, you’ll have to learn how to tell a good story. I’m the first to admit I’m not a fantastic storyteller, but I’ve used a few strategies to improve that skill:
- Use dialogue. I learned this from Josh Fechter. Dialogue helps to immerse your readers in the story.
- In media res. Ever read Fight Club? Then you’ll be familiar with this. This is a storytelling technique that means “open in the midst of the plot.” By starting your story in the middle (the “conflict”), you keep your readers engaged, as they try to deduce what happened earlier, and predict what will happen next.
4. Use controversy to your advantage
Look at this example:
Akash’s answer stands out because it’s opposite to what people expect as an answer to this question. (Plus, Quorans love snark and sarcasm!)
If you can provide an unexpected or unconventional answer, you will likely get plenty of upvotes and views.
As always, don’t abuse this. It’s okay if you genuinely believe the opposite, but Quorans will disregard you if they realize you’re only trying to game the system.
5. Interlink your answers
By linking your answers together, you can keep a reader going down the “Quora rabbit hole.”
Your main answer (“hub”) should be the one that receives the most views. This answer should also link out to a piece of content on your site (to drive referral traffic.)
Answer 3-5 related questions and link them to your main answer. That way, you can send more readers back to the “hub,” and they might follow the link back to your site.
Here are some more tips I couldn’t squeeze in the other categories.
A. Be consistent
This is cliche advice, but social media rewards consistency. Quora is no exception.
The more questions you answer, the more likely it is you’ll appear in people’s feeds, and the more upvotes and views you’ll get.
When Jason Lemkin first started, he answered 2-3 questions a day, 5-7 days a week. 53 million views later, he’s still going!
My friend Dean Yeong, Head of Content at Sumo, answered 1-3 questions a day in the first six months to gain traction.
Likewise, I did my best to answer at least one question a day.
It may be tough to write a daily answer in the beginning, but build a habit and keep going. That’s how you stand out.
B. Join “Spaces”
Spaces are Quora’s answer to subreddits and Facebook Groups. You can search for relevant spaces here.
At the time of writing, Spaces is still in beta, and you must be invited to create one. However, you can join and participate.
To do well, treat it like any community. Upvote, comment, and share useful links and Quora answers. Eventually, you might be upgraded to Contributor, Moderator, or even an Admin:
As you gain trust in the community, you can share your content (don’t spam!).
C. Add “Answer Wikis”
You’ll notice some questions have an Answer Wiki:
The purpose: aggregate the different answers into one impartial, factual, and comprehensive version. But since anyone can edit the Answer Wiki:
Or create one:
You can use this to your advantage by including links to your website or content.
A caveat: don’t just stuff the entire Answer Wiki with your links. The goal is to make it valuable. If your product or service is relevant to the question, then feel free to add it. If not, don’t squeeze your mention in there.
Plus, Answer Wikis need to be passed for moderation, so you likely won’t get away with link stuffing.
If your answers are doing well organically on Quora, you can consider using Quora Ads to boost their performance.
Here are some ideas.
1. Quora Promoted Answers
The reason? Quora Promoted Answers.
Quora allows individuals or businesses to sponsor any of their answers to achieve better distribution.
Curious to find out if I could achieve similar results, I decided to run an experiment.
- I looked through my Quora stats to find two questions still gaining views in the previous week;
- I replaced all the links in those answers with bit.ly links;
- I ran a $50-per-promoted-answer campaign (total budget: $100).
Here are the results:
Looks pretty decent, right? Not quite.
According to Quora, the “Clicks” metric measures how often someone clicks “More” for your answer:
That means: someone might click to see your answer in full, but they might not click on any of the links to your website. Which is exactly what happened.
Does this mean that “Promoted Answers” don’t work at all?
I wouldn’t paint it with such a broad brush stroke. After all, this is only a small experiment, and I didn’t test every possibility. Plus, there could be a few reasons why it worked better for Gabriel, but not me:
- He targeted a broader question;
- Gabriel and DuckDuckGo are synonymous (but not Ahrefs and me);
- DuckDuckGo has a fascinating underdog story, and people are naturally interested in them;
- Google and privacy concerns are hot topics on social (and by extension, Quora);
- DuckDuckGo has a much larger brand than us;
- Gabriel has a much larger personal brand than me.
My colleague, Michal, got pretty good results with Promoted Answers when he was at CDN77. So I would encourage you to test and make your own conclusions.
2. Questions Targeting
What else can you do with the set of URLs you extracted earlier?
Create a “Questions Targeting” campaign.
The eventual goal is to have both your ad and organic answer shown on questions that are important to your business.
The benefits are two-fold:
- After seeing your ad, the reader might be more likely to read your answer;
- After reading your answer, the reader might click on your ad.
3. Questions Retargeting
The Quora Ads platform also allows retargeting. In this case, you’ll have to set up the pixel on your website.
Once you’ve set it up, you can use “Questions Retargeting”.
With this, you can leverage your existing list of questions and show your ads throughout Quora to people who have viewed those questions but not clicked through to your website.
One last question: how do I get into the Quora Digest?
The Quora Digest is an email that consists of content Quora thinks you’re interested in.
The easiest way to get in is via Quora ads.
Otherwise, if your answer is popular enough, it may get included in one:
What I’ve noticed non-scientifically: if your answer gets 7-10 upvotes, it’ll be included in a smaller Quora digest. Then, as you get more upvotes, Quora will include it in a larger version (as seen above.)
However, I’ve also noticed that getting included in the Digest is vanity. My answers have been included a few times, but I’ve never seen any increases in upvotes nor views.
I was lucky one day to get an answer translated into Italian by a kind soul:
Given that Quora is rapidly expanding into other languages, one thing I’ve not tried is repurposing our translated content or translating my answers into another language.
I do wonder how much extra views or traffic I would be able to get.
Anyway, I hope this guide was useful in helping you tackle Quora.
Is there anything that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.