Beyond lead generation, it helps you establish thought leadership in your niche and might get your content syndicated to major publications like Time and Inc. Magazine.
Josh Fechter is the king of Quora. I’ve learned a lot from him in this area, and here are his top ten strategies to drive traffic, build community, and create a huge following—fast.
Step 1: Put a good profile together
Start by optimizing your profile according to your niche. Include the following:
Detailed About Me section
Areas of expertise
Schools & colleges you’ve attended
Connect your other social media accounts
The tagline from your bio shows at the top of every answer:
Josh suggests that even though the tagline is customizable for each topic you write about, stick to one. It creates stronger recognition across the questions you answer.
Step 2: Make your bio work harder
When it comes to Quora, a good bio is the basis of good lead generation.
Think of it like a landing page. Include elements such as:
A relevant offer
A memorable picture
Links to your other content
Here’s Josh’s bio:
He says, “I ensure to link to BAMF Media organically, then I promote weekly growth hacks (which have generated me over 3,000 signups). Above the offer, I include social proof (18,000+ members) to increase the conversion rate.”
Here’s Nicolas Cole’s bio. He uses a mix of brand names, features, imagery, and relevant offers to drive leads.
Step 3: Find the right questions 10X faster
“To find lead-generating questions,” Josh says, “identify a few of your favorite Quora writers in your niche. Once you’ve found your favorites, bookmark the topics they follow by clicking on who he/she is following, then selecting the Topics tab.”
Now here’s the secret. Before you start bookmarking every question, look for the ones with the following attributes:
7:1 ratio of followers to the number of answers provided
A lot of followers but many bad answers
A question that you can provide a personal image to complement
An emotional pull. This pull makes it easier to write more genuine answers with thought-provoking stories
Relevant to your bio offer
Josh says, “The fastest way to identify a poorly written answer is to look at whether the writer focuses on self-promotion rather than providing value. For example, in the question below, the top answer has a promotional link in the first sentence and provides little value to the reader. Moreover, there’s a 7:1 ratio of followers to answers. Jackpot!”
He suggests searching for questions by diving into the individual topics you’ve chosen and saving the best questions for later by clicking on the three dots next to a question and selecting “Answer Later.”
Don’t have time to sort through hundreds or thousands of Quora questions yourself?
“Ask a virtual assistant to go through a list of 100 to 200 topics to find the best questions according to the 7:1 ratio of followers to answers. Tell them to create a spreadsheet where they have columns for hyperlinked Quora questions to their original source, follower ratio, topic name, and a 1-5 rating of how good the other answers are to the question (1 being the best).”
Fechter has his virtual assistant provide him thirty questions every Monday.
Step 4: Showcase your work beautifully
The most successful Quora influencers use images in almost every answer.
If you don’t have a photo relevant to your answer, use Allthefreestock.com or 123rf.com.
Top writers use images of themselves or celebrities to generate a higher click-through rate on their answers. In the picture below, James Altucher uses a personal picture with well-known Shark Tank investor, Daymond John:
Pictures generate more upvotes because readers like personal and genuine posts.
Step 5: Write drafts like you’re journaling
The top-performing posts on Quora include personal stories, excellent advice, or humor.
If you can incorporate one—or better yet, all three—into your responses, you’ll stand out as one of the better Quora writers.
Here are several phrases Fechter says Quora readers respond to well:
“Let me explain…”
“Then everything changed…”
Another one of his great tips is to write out dialogue and re-enact events. Here’s an example excerpt from one of his Quora answers that received +200K views:
He says, “By immersing the reader in the scene using dialogue, they develop a strong emotional connection to my story, resulting in more upvotes.”
Step 6: Answer...with style
Here are some A++ tips about styling your content for more engagement:
Be human – i.e., use metaphors and similes to describe your emotions
Optimize for mobile – make your paragraphs one or two sentences
Bold your first sentence, important statements, and transitions
Remove all extra words, including “very,” “really,” and “that”
Use heavy contrast – e.g., “little did I know it would turn for the worst”
Reflect on pain – e.g., “I could barely crawl out of bed”
Inspire – always end on a positive call to action
Use bullet points and numbering
Italicize most questions
Here’s how Josh employed a lot of these tips to write a piece that generated 340K views:
Step 7: Keep going when you strike gold
“If you see an answer going viral,” Josh says, “then write a follow-up answer with a plug and include one in your ‘pinned answer’ because you’ll have a huge spike of people looking at other answers you’ve written.”
The trick is to make it look organic.
For example, put a link at the end of an article to a helpful resource with no opt-in.
DON’T: Make hard asks (Start your free trial here!) or use click bait (“For tips 11 – 20, go here!”) to get people to visit your website.
DO: link to your company without it looking like a plug. E.g., “If this is a subject you’re interested in, we’ve written many articles about it. Read them here.”
Another strategy Josh recommends is including a backlink in a list post. That way, it won’t look like you’re promoting yourself.
“Do this right after one of your answers goes viral,” he says. “For example, I answered the question “What are the most promising Silicon Valley startups to watch for in 2017?” Soon after, I noticed my answer to “What is the one worst decision you took in your life that changed your life?” start to get huge traction. This enabled me to plug the company I worked at during that time without it looking spammy.”
If you’ve got a low-barrier offer like joining a Facebook Group or Slack community, use it. It’s less promotional than a direct link to your website.
Don’t use links that go straight to a landing page, a page with a pop-up that appears right away, or an above the fold opt-in.
Use a line (created by typing many hyphens in a row) to separate your CTA from your answer. Make sure the CTA is relevant to the question you answered.
Step 8: Know what keywords you want to dominate...then target them
Keyword research is a whole other topic that could fill a novel.
For now, I’ll leave it at this: Quora is a ranking machine when it comes to Google.
Take the example “best onboarding software for saas.” The first two results are on Quora. If you had a SaaS company, this is prime Google real estate to capitalize on.
Using the metrics from your preferred keyword tool (Moz, Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Mangools, Keyword Finder, etc.), make a list of keywords to take into consideration when writing Quora answers.
By answering questions based on keyword phrases that have moderate to high search volume, you’re going to be far more successful than if you wing it.
Step 9: Take your keywords and questions on a date
Once you’ve got your list of keywords, search for pre-existing questions related to them.
If there are pre-existing questions, prioritize them with the criteria from step 3 (good ratio of followers to the number of answers provided, a lot of followers but many bad answers, and a question that you can provide a personal image to complement).
If there are NOT questions that use the keywords you want to optimize for, get a friend to ask one. Make sure to include the keywords in the description of the question, too.
Careful: If Quora thinks you’re gaming the system, they’ll bring down the ban hammer. Split answers 50/50 among keyword-optimized questions and other questions.
Step 10: Get the attention of big players
If you want to get the attention of someone big or small on Quora, find questions they’ve answered and join the conversation. Tag them, too.
Think of it as relationship building. Once you’ve built up enough rapport, offer to take the conversation offline over coffee or a call.
“With this tactic,” Josh says, “I gained a new fan of my writing. He’s one of the top voices in B2B marketing. I’ve tagged him multiple times, answered many of the same questions, and suggested edits to his answers. In return, many big players will tag you, resulting in an influx of traffic to your bio which will generate more leads and followers.”
Step 11: Get featured in Inc., Time, and Business Insider
There’s a chance that if you write a great answer, Quora could publish it on major media outlets. To increase your odds, target niches frequently syndicated to publications and carefully watched by Quora’s media team.
You can also ping their staff when you feel one of your answers is worthy.
“To know what topics to contribute in, find someone with the phrase ‘Quora Media and Publishing Team’ in their bio,” says Josh. “From there, you can select the topics they follow to get an idea of where they’re looking for answers. The fastest way to find Quora staff is to dive into the answers of questions to do with Quora Publishing.”
If all else fails? Stick to answering the most popular questions on Quora. The more people who follow an answer, the more likely it will get seen by the right pair of eyes.