How to find technical writing work using Quora

Are you using Quora to find technical writing work?

Maybe you’ve never heard of Quora.

Here’s how it works.

Think of it as a deluxe ‘Question and Answer’ site focused on the business community.

A lot of influential people are there. It has almost no spam or nasty comments.

If you want to develop your business, Quora is an effective way to demonstrate your expertise and generate leads.

Like the X-Factor, it uses a voting system. The better your answer, the more votes it gets, the higher it ranks, the more links you get, and the more…

Tip – You can link out to other articles, which is what I often (though not always) do.

Here’s my answer to: How can I become a better writer.

On your Quora groups

Let’s look at how to establish yourself (your personal brand) on Quora

Join 10 groups. Make sure they complement your business goals.

Avoid distractions. More than 10 and you lose focus.

Ignore groups with low engagement.

Aim to be a top contributor on your Quora group. To do this, write the longest article you can. Twice as long as others in the group. Even if your article isn’t great, people tend to upvote long posts. I think they appreciate the effort. It looks epic!

Study discussions that have the most comments. See what makes the top post stand out. Make notes.

Write a Quora post about this. Write a Quora post that deliberately takes the opposite point of view. The contrarian angle often works as it evokes a response in others and they feel compelled to respond.

Where possible, include others by recommending their sites, books, or other works. Connecting with others (especially those who have a larger network) raises your profile and gets you on their radar.

When answering questions:

  1. Be selective. Answer one question a night.
  2. Provide more detail than anyone else.
  3. Use the inverted pyramid style when writing.
  4. Use lots of white space, short sentences, and bullet lists. Write to be scanned.
  5. Link to sites you recommend but not affiliates.
  6. Format and style your answer to stand out. Don’t just copy and paste from MS Word.
  7. Add images, slides, and videos.
  8. Aim to write the standout article.

On your Quora profile page

Use a nice, professional headshot.

Write the bio in a conversational style. Talk about how you’ve helped others in the past and look forward to helping others. Be open. Encourage the reader to learn more about you.

Don’t link to your blog homepage.

Instead, link to your About page. That’s where they can learn more about you. Include an email subscription form on your About page in two places, in the side bar and at the end of the page.

On your Quora blog page

You can create your own blog page on Quora. One of mine is at klariti.quora.com

Use this to repurpose content from your blog. I usually sprinkle in a few hundred new words to tailor it to the Quora readers.

Write original content related to the questions you’re answering.

Write ‘original’ content using the material from the question you answered. Avoid copy and pasting. Instead, write a short intro paragraph to put it in context, then a summary to wrap it up.

  • Write frequently. This helps develop your voice.
  • Watch this video on how to create a writing framework.
  • Find an interesting angle.
  • Write 10 x 250 word articles.
  • Don’t write about fads, Apple, Seth Godin… the usual.
  • Focus on potential customers: how can you help them save and make money.
  • Connect it to what you do as a technical writer.

Your Quora to do list

  • Study Quora.
  • Get the app.
  • Observe how others use it.
  • Scan posts during the day. Get a feel for what works.
  • Your aim is to build credibility.
  • Write exceptional answers that make you stand out.

Summary

Before you start. Have your LinkedIn profile, blog, and business web site ready.

When they arrive, offer them ebooks, reports, or checklists. Don’t let them leave empty handed.

If you can persuade them to join your email newsletter, even better.

More next week.

Have you got these templates?