How Quora Works and Why It Matters image

Quora provides a very different approach to social media. The focus is on helping people find answers to the questions that are important to them. Quora is much more focused on education and information than any other social network.

Quora can best be explained as a cross between Yahoo! Answers and social media. It is a place people go to find the answers to their questions and connect with other people who have similar interests. It’s also a great place for anyone who loves to share information and answers with others.

Everyone is an expert in at least one subject. Quora allows you to share your expertise with the world and be richly rewarded by the expertise of others. One person’s unfathomable question may just be your life’s passion, and vice versa.

Quora allows users to get their questions answered—any question at all, from the meaning of life to everyday phenomenon to advanced questions about CSS and HTML. Quora also gives people like you and me the opportunity to share our expertise with people who are really interested and want to learn more. This is why Quora is one of the most powerful ways for a business to connect with potential customers, because they’re actively seeking out information in the area of your expertise. If you give them the answers they want, they’ll want to do business with you. And Quora makes it easy for these information-seekers to share your words of wisdom with the world, and therefore grow your brand and online exposure for you, free of charge.

I predict that Quora will become the #1 site in the world to go to for advice in the next few years. Yes, that’s right, I think it’s going to be even more important than Google when it comes to getting the right information you need on a specific subject. You see, Google’s search rankings are based on algorithms. But Quora’s Q&A system is all user-generated. That means you can’t buy your way to the top of the Answer threads. The only way to succeed on Quora is to have your audience actually vote your answers as the most helpful. Although this system isn’t perfect, it’s a lot better than Google’s search results when it comes to finding great answers to your questions.

You might be thinking by now that Quora is a lot like Yahoo! Answers, and it is. Except it’s a lot better.

Here’s why…

Why Quora is Better Than Yahoo! Answers

Yahoo! Answers has a lot of spam, an absolutely atrocious user interface, and no way to find similar or related questions. Quora, on the other hand, has a beautifully designed website and interface, is easy to use, has incredibly helpful topics and categories, and has the ability to merge similar questions, among many other key benefits and improvements when compared to other Q&A websites.

It’s also available as an app, making it easy to use on your phone.

The ability to merge questions on Quora means you won’t be overwhelmed with 26 variations to the same question, as you would on Yahoo! Answers or other similar Q&A sites.

And, on top of all that, Quora has a social network, blogging platform, points you can earn to promote your questions and answers, and many more advanced features as well.

Quora is crowdsourcing knowledge, and it’s doing it in an ingenious, powerful and incredibly effective way. Yes, Wikipedia contains a huge pool of crowdsourced knowledge. But it has serious problems and drawbacks. Many companies simply pay people to change listings on Wikipedia, and because of the complex editorial nature of the site, there’s almost no way to detect or prevent malicious, unethical or simple false edits on Wikipedia. The system fails because it is not transparent and the financial incentives are completely out of whack.

Quora is Transparent

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Quora, on the other hand, is completely transparent. You can see who wrote what answer. You can see who voted up the answers. You can even see what edits a user has made to their questions and answers. This transparency doesn’t just improve the quality of the site. It improves the value of the site for every user, and especially for savvy entrepreneurs and businesses.

Quora’s massive user base, combined with their focus on high quality answers makes it a powerful tool for people to promote themselves and their business through providing educational content and helping others. On Quora you can find a community that very much wants to learn what you know, and is eager to hear what you have to say. The process of converting these avid learners into equally avid customers and clients can be a valuable addition to your marketing plan.

Best of all, it’s free to use!

And unlike Facebook, you don’t need to pay for people to see your content. They will see it if it’s good. And if people like your content, you can promote it to more people for free using Quora’s credit system, in which promotional opportunities are earned by providing value to the network. It’s a win-win system that rewards people for helping others.

There’s no way to buy your way to the top on Quora. That means if you’re just a solo entrepreneur or a tiny little business, you have just as much of a chance to succeed on Quora as any Fortune 500 Company. After reading this book, your chances will be a lot better!

This guide is intended as an introduction to Quora for people who use social media to promote themselves or their business. Like all social media sites, Quora provides unique opportunities and challenges to business promotion. Familiarity with the site can help with the process of establishing your presence and building a network of contacts within the Quora community.

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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.