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…
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.
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
Table of contents
- What is Quora
- How Can Authors Use Quora
- For Your Website
- Create a Quora Account
- Find Threads and Topics – Where Your Fans Go
- Writing Your Response
- Getting Your Answer To The Top: Get Upvotes!
- The Good About Using Quora
- The Not So Good About Quora
- Lessons Learned and How to Succeed
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.I'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.
Your profile has to reflect the type of questions you intend to answer. This includes:
- Profile picture
- 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
That'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 🙁
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.
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.
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.