What Is Quora and Why Should I Provide My Knowledge There for Free?
I wrote my first post on May 15, 2013. I had 3 followers. I felt ignored since only 102 people viewed my content for the whole month, so I wasn’t compelled to write again.
Then on June 20, 2013, my first post was promoted to 1,000 people by Erin Paige Law, probably because I was stalking her and upvoting all her stuff. So I kind of got excited, so I wrote my second post. From there, I had the motivation to kind of post on an every day basis. In June, I only received 3,475 views, and 1,000 of those were from Erin’s promotion. By July 25, I had written 100 answers, and for some reason my view count jumped significantly to 61,298 for the month. I started September with about 374 followers. In September, I picked up 667 followers. In October, I picked up another 707 followers. Actually, to be accurate, after using the calculator, that is 1 follower every 22.52 hours.
Let’s go back through my posts to see what I did in retrospect. I’d say most of the advice I have is the same as Jessica Su, because well… There are not many things you can do to make something work. She seems to have gotten it down pretty well in her list.
She says tell your story. When I used to work in sales. In sales there is a quote that always sticks out. Facts tell. Stories sell. What does that mean? It means we should be using stories, whether it is our own, our friend’s, a story we heard, or something to share our message. My first post was a how to guide. I focused mostly on philosophy. It was really long. So no one wanted to read it. My second post wasn’t much better.
Well, what really helped me out in gaining followers would be… Answering questions about myself. About where I was in my life, what I saw, what I did, and where I am today. So, after building up this “profile” of myself across a multitude of answers, people got to see how I am as a person. Some people decided I was likable. Some people thought I was annoying and decided to block me. I find annoying people on the site, but I never decided to block anyone for some reason. It just feels… Too harsh… Then, after I write these things that talk about me, I can share my opinion about other things. I see a lot of people writing one liner answers on this site. I think you should try to put as much of a story as possible into an answer. Make it the size of an essay. Then it would probably do much better. Don’t make it sound like an essay though, because essays are boring! If you don’t know how to write either, I suggest finding a few books from your favorite authors and writing them out on word or by hand, word for word, so you can get a subconscious understanding for their writing style to adopt into your own.
Personally, people who have a profile as opposed to not having one gather more of my attention, so that is another indicator. As seen from other members, it doesn’t really have to be a picture of you. It just has to be a picture. For the style of writing, I would highly suggest to not use words like “obviously”, “of course” (unless in response to a question), “to be honest” and phrases like this. If something was so obvious, then the person wouldn’t be asking the question. Also, most people are oblivious of the obvious anyway. “Of course” indicates that your way is the only way, which isn’t true. Then “to be honest” subconsciously makes others thing that you are being honest right now, yet anything else you say is a lie.
For formatting, I would highly suggest using these buttons that say Bold, Italics, Heading, etc. Also, short paragraphs are really important. When I see huge blocks of data stuck into one paragraph, my mind shuts down and I can’t go on, so I just skip to the next answer.
In content, I would suggest being humble, honest, genuine and sincere. Jessica says we should bash no one. I think it’s okay, as long as we leave the party nameless and don’t give away indicators so people can guess who they are. I’m not a fan of defamation. I’d much rather defame myself than someone else, but sometimes it’s necessary for a particular story. Oh, Jessica makes a good point on the controversial topic. I’m a minority when it comes to everything, so I never talk about any of my beliefs, even though no one probably cares anyways. As far as advice goes, I’d say promote other people’s answers, your own answer’s, engage with other people, message them, write comments, upvote posts, strike up conversations, and just be a good friend. Be the type of person who just wants to help everyone and write a lot of content. Sometimes though, you’ll get a weird message asking for something you don’t want to do. You don’t have to do it either. Learn to say no!
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media
2 thoughts on “How Can I Become Popular on Quora?”
Kim, I read and I love your take. It may appear as a rambling but its actually filled with golden nuggets.
I really love the way you incorporate stories into your article-that’s what kept me going despite little or no white space. And that shows you are going to explode so soon. If you already haven’t. Looking forward to more from you
Thanks Peter! I appreciate it! Somehow this strategy got me into the top 20 top writers on Quora after a year and a half.