Growing your blog can sometimes feel like a labor of love, with the emphasis on labor.
It’s not uncommon for bloggers to have a shortage of quality ideas from time to time; coming up with all of that entertaining and challenging content is hard work. Building a community of engaged readers is also a daunting task — how do you convince an audience that your work is worthwhile?
The way you address these situations can mean the difference between building a thriving and authoritative blog — or causing your readers to look elsewhere.
One often-overlooked resource is Quora, a social media site that encourages users to ask and answer questions related to their experience and interests. Whether you’ve been struggling to find inspiration for your blog posts or you’re looking to stay on top of trending topics and conversations, Quora could be a great addition to your toolbox. Here’s a quick guide to help you maximize its potential to strengthen your blog.
Find ideas for new posts
After you’ve been blogging for a while, you might feel like you’ve covered just about every conceivable topic in your niche. How do you come up with new angles and fresh content?
Digging through Quora’s archives of questions is sure to inspire an idea or two. When you register, which you can do with a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, choose topics related to your blog’s niche. The site will populate a feed of recent questions and answers tailored to your interests. Go deeper by diving into the comment threads; perhaps you’ll find a new development in your field or a new point of view to tackle in a future blog post.
Test potential blog post ideas by asking questions
Asking questions on Quora allows you to “field test” post ideas that you’ve been kicking around. The interest level and answers you receive will help you judge which ideas are worth fleshing out into full posts, and which aren’t a good use of your time.
To amplify the number of responses you get, try sharing your questions on your Twitter or Facebook feeds using the built-in sharing buttons. Sharing will also promote your work and help you attract more followers.
Answer questions to position yourself as an expert in your niche
Running a successful blog relies as much on your communication skills as it does on your ability to appear knowledgeable and authoritative on your chosen topic. With so many other voices clamoring for attention, how can you do this effectively?
When I want to provide new and relevant content about my blog’s niche — productivity — I browse through the many productivity questions that other people have asked. When I feel my experience is relevant and useful to another user, I respond to their question with my advice, and make a note to write a blog post on that topic.
By answering questions on Quora (and, eventually, on your own blog) that relate to your area of expertise, you position yourself as an authority on your chosen topic. You’ll also have the opportunity to test your convictions and opinions against individuals who may share your passion, but not your point of view.
Have you used Quora as a resource for blogging?