The ability to create an entirely new world for someone else is incredible. This is exactly what every writer wish to do. Long before we stepped into the Digital Age, aspiring writers had to hunt down publishers to help them promote their written work of art. They had to work really hard to convince these publishers so that they may support them to share it with the world. But this quickly changed with the evolution of the Internet. With the launch of so many online platforms, reaching out directly to your audience have been possible.

Quora is one such platform for all its members to share their thought processes, experiences and ideas with everyone. A platform to build your Personal Brand. Quora has encouraged everyone to find the writer in them. It has helped writers to reach out to their potential audience directly without being dependent on anyone else.

As a writer, all you want is to capture the heart of your audience. You can do that in one of the following two ways –

1. By creating a story which they can relate to

2. By providing an answer they have been long seeking

Quora has been one of the most popular online community platforms for many successful writers.

Quora turns out to be a blessing for every writer as it provides the two main elements that any writer is looking for –

1. The major topic in discussion

2. The right audience

With around 40 million active users and 400K discussion topics, Quora has become a huge database of knowledge, experiences and life lessons from around the globe.

With so many writers sharing their views and ideas on a common platform we end up contemplating whether we are taking the right steps to set ourselves apart from the rest. There are many blogs that would tell us the best and efficient way of using Quora to build our personal brand.

But we should never forget the things that may end up damaging the very personal brand that we are trying to build.

Allow me to share the most common mistakes that we make while using Quora –

1. Too Much Self Promotion

Quora is a platform where your thoughts and ideas will define who you are and what you stand for. It is how your audience will recognize you. So you do not have to sell yourself too much to prove to people who you are. Just keep sharing your views and give people the chance to understand who you truly are.

2. Posting Irrelevant Posts Just For The Sake Of Views

Getting a lot of views tells you that the question is in demand not whether you have written the best answer. An upvote bears more weight than your overall views. You will only receive an upvote if you provide relevant answers to the query.

3. Writing Bookish Answers

Always remember, life experiences and lessons learnt are have more respect than any answer you will find in a textbook. So keep it real. When explaining your point of view, share an experience or provide content that your audience can relate to. Once you do, you will notice a steady increase in your views and upvotes.

4. Replying The Same Answer For Too Many Questions

Quora is now being used as a promotion platform. As a writer, you are there to sell your art which is writing, so do that. Write more and promote less. The more unique the content, the more value it holds.

5. Just posting links or URL as a reply

As mentioned before, the best answers are the ones that come through experience. Links and URLs should be shared as a reference but if you share it as a complete answer, you will find your answer at the bottom. Quorans do not tend to click through links if they do not know where the link might lead. The best part is that you can directly paste the content from the link to the Quora Answer submit and they copy the original formatting as well. Convenient, isn’t it?

6. Not Being Interactive

Your job doesn’t end after submitting your answer. You may receive views, upvotes and possibly comments which are important but being interactive paints a wider picture of you as a writer. It shows professionalism and depth of knowledge. This creates a sense of trust among your audience.

7. Not Using Related Credentials

You may have noticed many online influencers constantly keep changing their credentials on the basis of the question they are answering. Although this may not cause a huge difference, it creates a sense of ‘spoken with experience’ kinda feeling among your readers, which is always a plus.

8. Not Researching Publisher Patterns

Online Publishers like Inc. have a separate section where they publish the best answers from Quora. If you are hoping to be found by publications, you will need to analyze the topics these publishers follow and understand how they select the best answers. Once you have done that, with continuous hard work, your dream of being published by one of the top online publishers will never be too far.

Quora will never stop you from posting your views and sharing your experiences. It would be a pity if you do not make the most of the opportunities given to you.

“Most people miss Opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

— Thomas A. Edison

Applying these changes may seem like a lot of work but with a little dedication and hard work, you can kick-start your way to success.

Originally Published in Market Growth & Hacking