I’ve been running a little experiment lately to see if I could generate some traffic from Quora.
Quora is a question and answer site that generally seems to have a higher caliber of participants than say, Yahoo Answers.
My idea was to find questions related to side hustling, drop in a helpful answer and a relevant link, and see if the traffic flowed back to SideHustleNation.com.
- Quora is the 407th most heavily-trafficked site in the US, and the 436th most popular site in the world (Alexa).
- Quora gets close to a million unique visitors per month.
- Quora answer pages tend to rank well in Google search results, especially for question-related queries.
- You KNOW people are interested in your topic, because otherwise, why would they be wasting time looking for answers on it?
How Quora Works
Users can submit questions to the public and wait for qualified responses. Most answer-ers include their credentials in their profile so people can judge their expertise in any given subject.
Here’s a snapshot of my profile:
Side note: I need to update that headshot … it’s been a few years. Luckily I’ve got a photographer in the house!
The Quora community votes up answers they like and votes down answers they don’t. There seems to be a little bit of self-promotion going on for certain questions, but it’s subtle.
It’s NOT like people are asking, “What’s the best side hustle?” and it would be cool to reply, “Buy my $97 ebook and I’ll make you a millionaire.”
Instead, there’s a bias toward genuinely thoughtful, thorough, and helpful answers, and the democratic voting mechanisms help keep the spammers in check.
But still, any site where you’re free to drop in your own links has to be looked at as an SEO/traffic opportunity, right?
My Quora Strategy
I searched for questions related to side hustling — starting a business, starting a company part-time, freelancing, making money online, fiverr, etc. And I put those into a spreadsheet.
(Actually I had Fancy Hands do this.)
Then, I sorted the spreadsheet by the number of “followers” each question had.
In the top-right of each Quora question page, there’s a green box that shows the number of followers on that question.
I wanted to prioritize the questions with higher follower counts because I reasoned more people were likely to see my answers for those.
The more popular questions generally have way more answers, answers that sometimes have thousands of upvotes and have been around for 12-24 months or longer. Your odds of becoming the “top” answer for those questions is slim, but I still thought they might be a good opportunity for at least some exposure.
Writing Quora Answers
Armed with my list of possible questions about my topic, I set out to answer a couple questions each night.
I started off strong, answering a couple dozen questions in my first two weeks. During the course of this experiment, I wrote over 7000 words of content for the site and answered 25 questions.
At an estimated 10 minutes per question, that’s a little over 4 hours of time spent.
I did my best to provide useful and thoughtful answers, and included a link at the bottom of my post to either the Side Hustle Nation homepage or the side hustle “ideas” page.
How Much Traffic Did I Get From Quora?
A lousy 150 visits, total! And worse, less than half of those were from “new” visitors according to Google Analytics.
Those visits accounted for less than one half of 1% of the overall traffic during this time period.
On the positive side of things, you’ll notice that the Quora traffic was more highly engaged than an average visitor. Then viewed more pages per session and hung around more than twice as long.
In terms of raw numbers, 4 new email sign-ups is pretty weak, but percentage-wise, 4 new sign-ups out of 70 new users is decent (5.7%) for cold traffic that wasn’t sent directly to a squeeze page.
Residual Traffic from Quora?
The other element I was curious to test in this case study was whether or not there would be much “residual” traffic flow from posting quality content on Quora.
And in my findings, at least for the questions I answered, the results say no.
The chart shows a few referrals each day as I was creating answers more frequently early in my study. Then there’s a big valley before I answered a final question the first week of June.
Because that would be one thing — if the 4 hours invested would generate 70 new visits and 4 new email sign-ups every month from now until eternity, that’s an OK investment to make. But it appears the referral traffic spikes on or around the day your answer goes live, and then dies off.
I imagine there are exceptions to the rule, like if you have a highly-voted answer and a highly-trafficked question, I’m sure there are a steady stream of visitors following that link back to your site.
I’m convinced Quora has potential to be a valuable traffic source, but I certainly haven’t cracked the code yet.
After all, here are people seeking answers — answers you can help them with. Talk about qualified leads!
But it’s just a matter of picking the right questions to spend your time on and getting enough positive votes from the community to rise to the top.
If I had a VA find the questions, maybe I could have a writer VA craft the answers — especially for the questions with lower follower numbers. That might be an interesting traffic strategy.
And the links back to your site, even if they’re “nofollow” probably won’t hurt either. It’s another platform to share your expertise and maybe win a few new members of your tribe.
Have you tried generating traffic from Quora? How’d it work for you? I’m very new to the platform and curious to hear if my strategies or execution are flawed!