How to Use Quora to Increase Book Sales

Master-Guide-to-Quora-for-Authors

One thing many authors with a website struggle with is getting traffic or fans to go to it.

They write excellent content…

They post it on social media…

And nothing…

The same could be said about authors without platforms.  If you aren't proactively trying to drive traffic to your book sales page, then you need to get going.  Today's Amazon platform is very crowded, and no longer can you just depend on Amazon to send all of the traffic to your book. There are just too many mouths to feed.  But where do you begin?

Well in this article, I am going to introduce to you a platform that has generated over 1,000+ visits to my website, and gotten over 76.7K views of my material in as little as three months.  I'll also show you how it directly increased a fiction author's book sales as well.

It’s super easy to use, and the best part is that it’s totally free.Quora-results-for-Self-Publishers

It’s called Quora.

In this article, I will show you:

  • What is Quora
  • How Can Authors Use Quora: Both Fiction and Non-fiction
  • How to setup a Quora account the right way
  • Setup, Search Tactics, Up-votes…Oh my
  • How to Perform Quora Searches for your Market
  • How to write Quora Responses that Convert
  • What I don't like about Quora…5 months later

What is Quora

Back in the day, there were websites like Ask.com, or Yahoo Answers, where people could post questions, and other users could answer them. Using a voting system, the best answers would rise to the top and stay there for others to read who have the same question.

However, over time, many of these sites closed down, stopped accepting new questions, or got punished by Google. With Google punishments, these other sites no longer show up on Google searches, or if they do, it’s rare.

However, one question/answer website that has remained and is currently thriving in Google’s world is Quora.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Oh yay, another social networking site to spend more of my time on.”

But unlike social media where your posts quickly disappear in less than 24 hours only requiring you to re-post something else over and over and over again, Quora answers are public for a significant period of time.

When you post an answer to someone’s question, your answer stays on that page indefinitely. Furthermore, Quora is indexed in Google. So, people typing in that question into Google search have a good chance of stumbling on that question and your answer.

How Can Authors Use Quora

Whether or not you are in fiction or non-fiction, your fans and readers are asking questions. You, as the author, need to be able to recognize what kind of questions your fans might ask…or better yet, what kind of questions lead to more sales.

Quora for Non-Fiction

This should probably be a little easier than fiction because most non-fiction is about a question.

How do I lose weight? How do I stop smoking? What happened in 1824? How do I learn…?

I think you get my drift.

Quora Stategies to help sell more booksClick To Tweet

Find questions that pertain to your market, and give the best answer. You’ll not only help out your target market, but you'll also be seen as an authority.  Furthermore, you can drop a link to your book, or website and increase your engagements and ultimately your conversions.

Quora for Fiction Writers

For Fiction, it is a little trickier, but still well worth your time.

In most cases, people don’t just jump on and search for random book titles. Instead, they will talk about famous books. The strategy with Quora for fiction is that you find popular books that are in your genre and look for those questions.

Toby Downtown of Solarversia.com did an excellent job of recognizing that those who loved the book “Ready Player One” would love his book “Solarversia.” If you don’t know, “Ready Player One” is one of my favorites as well as Pat Flynn’s and will become a movie soon at the helm of Steven Spielberg.  So, you might not have heard of it yet, but soon, it will be a big deal…and early adopters like Toby will reap the benefits.

Quickly going to Quora and typing in the search phrase “Ready Player One” there are hundreds of questions dealing with this one book. Here are some JUICY questions for Toby to answer so as to get his book, name, and authority in front of his target market:

With each of them averaging around 200-400 views over the past couple of months, you can quickly see that answering these questions is probably worth the 10 minutes it would take to write a well thought out answer.

Besides, those are some excellent questions for an author to answer…and drop a link to their own book as well.

So, giving Toby an advanced copy of this article, and giving him a nudge, he created this reply and got some excellent results from just a couple of minutes of answering that one question.

Furthermore, he got the following tweet from someone he never knew.Real Quora EngagementI've got a Starbucks coffee card that says that if someone would take the time to tweet their appreciation, they are also the kind that would drop a great review.

And THAT is a double score and is, therefore, my kind of marketing effort.

Was it successful? You bet.

For Your Website

While linking back to your book in Quora can be a direct way to make sales, sometimes the best strategy is the long one.  In this case you can link back to your website, and hopefully through your excellent content, you keep them there and get them on your email list.

That's what Scott did over at Best Survival at https://bestsurvival.org/.  Answering questions, it becomes very easy to see why he's an authority in outdoors survival tactics, and equipment.

Create a Quora Account

First, you’ll need to create your account. You can use your Facebook, Google+ or email to do it.

However, once you have signed up, you need to take your time and put together a great profile that will convert. The information you place on this profile should be geared towards the type of questions you intend to answer.

If I want to drive the right kind of traffic to my website on Science Fiction, then I need to have a profile that reflects this.

For example, let’s say there is a Quora question about Science Fiction Military books and I respond with an epic answer.

If my profile says “Dave Chesson – Hair Dresser” it won’t hold as much weight as in “Dave Chesson – bestselling author in the Science Fiction genre and master of the universe” – these are both made up…in case you were wondering, only He-Man and Chuck Norris are the masters.Chuck Norris Approves

Your profile has to reflect the type of questions you intend to answer. This includes:

  • Profile picture
  • Description
  • Summary
  • About You Section
  • Knows About Section

So take the time and think about what your target market would like to see if they checked your profile out.

Find Threads and Topics – Where Your Fans Go

While in your dashboard, if you navigate to the top left, you'll see a search box. Here you can type in your genre, questions or particular keywords. Once you hit enter, Quora will find a slew of questions that meet your requirement.

Once you have answered a couple of questions in a particular category, you will start to notice that Quora users will request for you to answer their questions as well…which is nice.  This is a good sign that you are being seen as an authority on the subject.

You won’t believe how many questions exist in your particular genre and how easy it is to answer them.

Writing Your Response

This is where most people on Quora make the biggest mistake.

Usually people who respond, just type something in really quick and move on.

But, to get people to take your answer seriously, and click on your links, you need to write out a well thought out response that provide real value.

So, take your time and think out your response.

Another thing is to treat it like a blog post.

Many people who stumble on Quora searching for an answer will quickly scroll through the answer options and choose one or maybe two to read.

It is for this reason that you need to structure your response so that it is appealing to their eyes. Thus, you need to make your response stick out.Kindlepreneur-and-Quora

You can do this by performing the following:

  • Use the Header Tags: Just like a blog post, I use a header tag for my sections of the post. Do the same for your answer on Quora.
  • Use Bold and Italics: Help to make certain parts stick out. Make these words things that would catch someone’s eyes like “free” or “the best”.
  • Use Bullet Points and Numbered Lists: Also known as unordered lists and ordered lists. These stick out when people scroll and help to organize information quickly. Very structured, very clean.
  • Upload a Picture: Pictures are the best way to makes your answer stick out as compared to the other ones. But be careful! Quora doesn't allow memes or any picture that doesn't offer obvious assistance to the question.  Make sure to check out my lessons learned below on how this can hurt you if you aren't careful.

Here is are a couple of examples of my Quora responses, employing exactly these things:

https://www.quora.com/What-software-do-published-authors-use-to-write-their-books/answer/David-Chesson

https://www.quora.com/Can-you-tell-how-many-copies-of-a-book-has-been-sold-by-Amazon-rank/answer/David-Chesson

https://www.quora.com/What-methods-should-a-new-author-use-to-promote-a-book-they-plan-to-e-publish/answer/David-Chesson

What do you think? Did I nail it?  If so, then an upvote is always appreciated 😉

So make sure you spend some time on your answer. It will be a big part of whether or not you will succeed with this tactic.

Getting Your Answer To The Top: Get Upvotes!

So what’s the point of writing a Quora answer if it sits at the bottom and no one reads it?

Well, it turns out that there are a couple of ways to get your Quora to the top, and the best way is through upvotes.

The Upvote buttons are the little boxes at the bottom of answers.

When people like your answer, they will click this box, and you will receive a +1 – sort of like Reddit. The Answer with the most upvotes will usually rise to the top.

To get more upvotes, make sure you provide an excellent response. Follow what we discussed above and ensure your response is ordered and structured for those that skim.  Also, be sure to select a proper picture so as to catch their eyes and make your answer stand out.

Caesar-Chesson-says-Thumbs-Up

Another way to get more upvotes is to share it with your friends and family or post it on your social media. Doing this, you can easily get 5-10 upvotes, which in most cases will get you the #1 ranking.

The Good About Using Quora

Like I said above, Quora has been a GREAT boost of traffic for me. Just check out those numbers.Quora Results for 3 months

The above picture is of my Quora Analytics showing how many people have seen my Quora answers in as little as three months. Not bad right.

But does that translate into visitors of your site or book sales page? You bet!  Check out the picture below of my Analytics account for Kindlepreneur.com.

Quora results on AnalyticsThat's the number of people who read my Quora answer and then clicked on a link that sent them to my site – which I strategically place in my responses. Looking at the Bounce Rate and the Average Time on Site, I would say this is a good kind of traffic.

Plus, I'm not the only one to see that.  Nick Loper, the master behind Side Hustle Nation podcast and a good friend of mine saw similar results as well as improved engagement from that form of traffic.

Now, I will admit, to build that amount of traffic I spent a lot of time on Quora.  To reach that level, I had reserved a couple of hours a week so as to be able to answer questions and keep a constant presence.  But, looking at the results above, I'm pretty sure it was a wise investment of my time.

The Not So Good About Quora

I wrote the above information five months ago.  I never like to just “jump into anything” and then immediately post initial success because, in marketing and self publishing books, we all take our lumps and learn from mistakes.  Sometimes our initial efforts seem too good to be true…and they end up not being that great.

So, let me take a moment and tarnish Quora for a little.

It is true that the information above is correct, but here is the long term look at what that effort did for me, my sites, and my books.

I learned that Quora gives new questions a lot of love, but will quickly let your answer sink to the bottom over time.  This is good and bad.

The good news is that it allows new and fresh answers to see some popularity – so don't get distraught if someone has already answered the question.  The bad news is that it will cause your work not to have as much of an ROI over time 🙁

Quora data on Kindlepreneur after 5 months

After two months of working on Quora, I stopped.  When I stopped, I saw the number plummet.   So, it isn't truly a passive source or asset – although still more passive than social media.  At least my Quora posts provided traffic for months while my post on Facebook lasts for 24 hours.

Also, I had many of my posts removed by Quora – OUCH! Quora is very sensitive about the pictures you post and while the pictures I posted were well within their compliance requirements, someone had reported them and the appeals process takes almost a year (competitor? probably).

For example, below is a screen capture of them telling me that they removed my answer because I need to “disclose my affiliation” to Kindlepreneur.com.

Quora Removal notice that doesn't make sense

Ummm…..okay?

So, much of my hard work has just ‘disappeared.'

Lessons Learned and How to Succeed

This doesn't mean I don't love Quora as a strategy.  It's perfect for those without a platform looking to build authority and gain new traffic.  It's also a good source for those who do have a platform and want to find a quick and easy way to start developing sustainable traffic.

But here are the things you should keep in mind as you put forth effort:

  • Keep with it and keep answering.
  • Ensure you use your time wisely and answer questions that you actually know how to answer.
  • You'll find better conversions when you answer questions that are asked by your TRUE target market.
  • Be careful with pictures.  They are super helpful but as of right now, Quora is a little illogical.
  • Placing pertinent links in the answer to your website or book are vital for this strategy to actually provide you with success.

Like with any type of marketing strategy, all platforms and strategies have their pro's and con's.  But the thing that separates the successful from those who fail is that success comes to those that keep trying until it works.

If you decide you want to work on Quora, then put forth a full effort.  Don't just answer a question and then complain it didn't work.  Don't just answer a couple of questions in one day and stop.  Set aside some time, work with it, experiment and find out what works.

Your Quora “Take Action” Checklist

If you're liking the prospect of working with Quora to promote your next book, then let's turn theory into practice.

So, to help you get going and start generating traffic to your book or website, here is your Quora “Take Action” Checklist:

1. Set up an account

2. Populate your settings and profile with information that puts you as a person of authority on your target subject

3. Search for questions that would be asked by your target market

4. Spend time and write a well thought out response to include

5. Include header tags

6. Utilize bold in strategic locations

 7. Add picture(s) – but be careful

 8. Socialize your post so as to get upvotes

 9. Provide a call to action or pertinent links in the content

 10. Rinse and repeat

Conclusion

As you can see, Quora can be a powerful way to get a source of passive traffic to your website or book's sales page.

Just sit down for a couple of hours, set up a targeted profile, and answer some questions.

Just start writing.

It’s that simple.

And while you’re at it, check out my profile and follow me so as to see exactly how I got those high click rates and learn by example as I go through navigating Quora and its many opportunities.

Also, if you post a Quora answer, let me know in the comments!  I'll make sure to hop on over, check it out, and drop you an upvote.  Again, a little extra something for you crazy peeps who read all the way through to the bottom of this ginormously long, Moby Dick sized post.

Cheers,

Dave-Signature

37 Comments

  1. Melanie At Home on September 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Quora keeps deleting my answers. I will answer a question about Twitter marketing (because I wrote this book: https://amzn.to/30z98ih ) and if I include a link, It is gone.I guess I could get organic views if someone is intrigued enough to google the book I mention in my credentials.I usually enjoy your advice, and am currently using your AMS advertising course (just waiting for Amazon to save those 998 keywords!), but this is one blog post I disagree with. I have Quora in my “Time Suck” bookmark folder.Maybe you were there for the golden days of Quora when they made it easier on promoters.Thanks,Melanie

  2. clippingpathexpress on February 19, 2019 at 10:06 am

    What a great idea to enhance photography with Fashion of Photography. Love it most . Keep it up. Thanks

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    • Dave Chesson on September 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

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      photo [https://s3.amazonaws.com/uc…] Dave Chesson
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  4. Simon Davies on January 11, 2018 at 4:54 am

    This is in truth enormous promotion technique. Thanks for sharing nice through

  5. Simon Davies on January 11, 2018 at 4:54 am

    This is in truth enormous promotion technique. Thanks for sharing nice through

  6. Sofiq Ahmed on November 27, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    This is really great marketing way. Thanks for Dave for your great information.

  7. Daeus Lamb on May 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Does this only work if you blog? I’m a fiction author and I could put my opt-in offer in my bio, but I don’t have any blog to send people to. Do people actually visit your bio?

    • Dave Chesson on May 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      People visit my bio all the time because they want to get to know who I am – according to my Google Analytics. However, like I used in the example above, you can just put a link to your book as well.

      • Daeus Lamb on May 2, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        Sweet. I’ll have to try this. I can’t stand social media, but I love helping people out with answers.

  8. Karen Schmidt on April 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I do love your valuable content about quora marketing. If you search into quora “clipping path experts” then you will get my update information on quora. I really love quora marketing. That is really effective, honestly quora is the best place to get better conversion rate. Its also help you to make brand business.

  9. JC Mitchell on January 8, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Dave, the reason Quora keeps collapsing your posts seems to be your promotion pics of the Kindlepreneur site. I write on there a lot and I have often put your link in, but as they are strictly against promotions of any kind, you can’t use your logo or image etc. At this point you can only add a link, and it has to be relevant to the question or its deleted. So it’s not your competition deleting them, that’s just Quora policy as they get all kinds of people trying to hawk everything. And Quora has not aided me in the least in selling any books, I’m only there because I like to answer questions and help others. That was the primary intent of the site . I frequently refer folks to your site when they ask how to promote books, Best to you always! JC ps- they have recently collapsed a few of your posts for the site logo image, so I just added your site to my answer, so folks could come here.

  10. Sean Marshall on January 2, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Suuuuupper helpful write up Dave! I keep seeing my friends (like, the smart ones) hopping on Quora so I figured I’d research it a bit more. A quick google search and your post came up at the top. Thanks again for a great post with actual action steps. Cheers.

    • Dave Chesson on January 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      No problem Sean. The key to the above article is seeing how the traffic dropped after a while of not doing anything. So, it is a great way to get the ball rolling, but it will require the extra push consistently to see consistent results.

  11. Jaime D. Buckley on November 1, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Great information, Dave. I started doing this almost a year ago, but for other reasons….and was doing most of this on ‘accident’! Soooo, wooHOO =)

    LOVING your website, BTW.

    This has become my #1 place to come and learn and even brag about now–as all your information is focused on the success of the user. Many claim to do that, but you are proving to deliver on that promise and as for me, I greatly appreciate that =)

    Thank you.

    – Jaime Buckley
    https://wantedhero.com

    • Dave Chesson on November 2, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Thanks Jaime, that means a lot to hear.

  12. Ntathu Allen on April 16, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Thanks Dave. You certainly rasie the bar in showing me how to write gooood blog posts and thanks for all Quora info. Have dabbled in it before and shall now set time aside and use it ‘properly’????

  13. R. E. Hunter on February 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    You don’t really explain why images can cause problems. Just a theory, but I suspect it may be copyright issues.

    Whoever created an image owns the copyright of the image (unless they’ve sold that copyright, which is not the same as licensing use of the image). If you use the image without permission from the copyright holder, they can have it taken down with an automated DMCA take-down request. Quora may just take down the whole post.

    It doesn’t matter how many times that image may have been shared without permission. Many people on the internet seem to feel that if they can view the image for free, they can copy it and use it for free. Practically speaking, there’s nothing stopping them. But it is illegal.

    • kindlepreneur on February 1, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Yup only theory because Quora doesn’t explain beyond what I wrote above. However, in my case, it definitely wasn’t copyright. I only used the images that I created myself…but for some reason they were labeled meme’s. So, ultimately not sure. I’m just trying to report the facts to the situation, and any theory behind the “why” so that people can be a bit wiser as they move forward in this tactic.

  14. Michal on December 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    The only misinformation I find in this post, is the one about headlines. Last week Quora changed their interface and there are no longer headline as well us underline options available.

    Unfortunately. Without headlines the only way to differentiate your post is using images and you’re right, Quora can be illogical here.

    I’ve lost a nice post with a few kilo views and counting, because of the image :/

    I’m bypassing this change in the interface by making an image of the headline’s words and putting it at the beginning of the answer. Like this: https://www.quora.com/Self-Improvement/What-are-some-good-%E2%80%9Cmini-habits%E2%80%9D-to-practice-each-day/answer/Micha%C5%82-Stawicki
    Quora can be illogical in other ways too. I found an excellent question, huge one, with a lot of followers and I prepared a detailed answer. In the meantime I answered a different question. Both questions were merged by editor, albeit I don’t see much common points between them. Now the answer I prepared sit idle on my disk and the one I intended for different question, that is ill-suited for this question is submitted for this nice fat question :/

    • kindlepreneur on December 28, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Want to know another way around that? Go to one of your old ones that had the headers, edit it, copy it, and then go to a new question and paste it in there. It will keep the formatting 😉

  15. Chris Backe on December 27, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Two questions for you:
    ~ Did you add any fancy headers to your Google Analytics, or just sort by traffic source?
    ~ How / where did you learn your answers were taken down? Your notifications or when you searched for an answer?

    • kindlepreneur on December 27, 2015 at 1:52 am

      1. Not sure what you mean by GA headers, but to get to the Quora specifics, I went to Acquisition > Overview> Social > Quora.
      2. Quora sent me a notification and give a one sentence answer as to why it was taken down. I appealed, but they said that due to high volume it is taking a very long time before they’ll address my request. I looked on the Quora forums/questions and people are saying it takes over a year.

      • Chris Backe on December 28, 2015 at 1:56 am

        Yikes. I’ve linked to (highly relevant and specific) travel posts in almost every Quora post I’ve written. Thus far, no problems ::knock on wood::

        That’s how I figured you’d be able to track visitors from Quora. UTM headers more explicitly register the visit as being from a specific post, but they take some time to setup.

  16. Dave Lynch on December 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I always thought of Quora as the “adult” version of Yahoo answers. I’ve been helped by a lot of techie answers on there for some diverse questions but never twigged to the idea of using it for site traffic. Great article.

    • kindlepreneur on December 24, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Awesome. Yeah, it’s also really good for answering questions as well.

  17. Effrosyni Moschoudi on December 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Great article, Dave. I followed your recommendation to sign up with Quora – sounds like it’s worth a go, although my time is very limited as it is, but nothing in this life is given to us free, right? I am happy with the traffic I get on my site but it sounds like it could help spread the word about my books, so thank you 🙂 Here is the answer I just gave on Quora: https://www.quora.com/What-historical-romance-novels-would-you-recommend/answer/Effrosyni-Moschoudi Thanks a lot in advance if you do an upvote. I just followed you on there 🙂

    • kindlepreneur on December 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Awesome Effrosyni and I did the same as well.

  18. Joanna on December 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Dave

    Great article. I didn’t realise fiction authors could also leverage Quora’s superpowers!

    I do write on Quora and quite a lot (https://www.quora.com/profile/Joanna-Jast-1/highlights). To the point that I’ve got something you forgot to mention in your post, so I’m going to add it here: the status of the Most Viewed Writer (in a given category) – and this is something that that, apart from adding a little glamour, can also help with establishing yourself as an expert in your area/niche.

    I’ve got 10 Most Viewed Writer badges at the moment, including the coolest one I’ve ever got: Most Viewed Writer in Human Memory (see below for proof) – now, that’s something! 😉

    I also answer a lot of questions in my niche: learning, study, memory, habits/behaviour, learning languages, etc. I may not get the same volume of traffic you show in the post, but it is almost always a very targeted traffic- people who come to my site from Quora spend at least a couple of minutes, often more, exploring my content.
    I did include the link to my book during the recent promo, but can’t quantify the traffic.

    • kindlepreneur on December 23, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Oh yeah! Good point. Like you said above, its not about the numbers so much as its about the targeted traffic. I found that I had better engagement from those who came from my Quora answers than those who found me on google. Also, your link above is a 404.

      • Joanna on December 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

        Thanks Dave.
        Fixed the link. It should work now

        • kindlepreneur on December 23, 2015 at 7:01 am

          Awesome sauce. Also, go ahead and share a couple of Quora answers you made that are good examples.

  19. Texas Patriot on December 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Great article. Quora, in fact, is where I first encountered you and from there linked to your web site. Under my actual name, I’ve written comments and answered questions, but not related to my writing endeavors, which I will start addressing. I wish I could post my name here and get up votes, but Texas Patriot has been heavily involved in the political realm. 😉

    • kindlepreneur on December 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Haha..score 1 for Quora and happy you liked it. When you do start your writer’s one, come back and post and way to read to the end 😉

  20. Nicola McDonagh on December 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Very informative blog post. I write fiction and would never have thought to promote my series in this way. I shall do some research into my genre and have a go.

    • kindlepreneur on December 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Yup, it’s all about the right question and where the buyer is at the point they ask. Asking for things like “best sci fi book” or “books like Starship Troopers” is an eager fan looking for their next Sci Fi military book. That’s the kind of person you want to get in front of…and that’s when tactics like above give fruition to your efforts. In a way, that thought process can be a guiding light in other online marketing efforts as well.

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.

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