Are you a Quora creator looking for inspiration—or interested in becoming one? In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn key highlights about our creator program, and hear directly from some of Quora’s top creators on how they find and create great content on the platform.
- An introduction to the Quora creator program and what separates it from other platforms
- Best practices and insider tips on how to find and write good content on Quora
- Advice and live Q&A from some of our top creators on how they’ve achieved success on the platform
Simply fill out the form to unlock the on-demand webinar or read the full transcript below.
Adrienne Gomer (00:56):
Welcome, everybody. So glad you could join us this morning. I’m really excited about what we have on our agenda. I’m hoping everybody’s going to learn a lot about what it means to be a creator here on Quora. Please feel free to drop a line in the chat if you have any questions or anything for our panelists, we will definitely get to those. If you’re experiencing any technical issues, please let us know in the chat. We do have some non panelists on the call that are able to assist and answer questions on the fly if anything like that comes up.
Adrienne Gomer (01:59):
Just as a heads up, my email is going to be in the bottom corner of every slide after this slide. So for some reason, you have to hop off the call for whatever reason, you can send me an email and let me know if you had anything that came up that you didn’t get an answer to. I want to welcome whoever’s on this call, new creators, veteran creators, wherever you’re at on your journey, we hope that you find this valuable. So let’s hop right in because we have a lot to cover. I’m going to get to our first slide. As most of you probably know what Quora is, we’re just going to do a quick general overview about what Quora is. Let’s take a step all the way back.
Adrienne Gomer (02:45):
Our mission is to grow and share the world’s knowledge. A lot of you know this. Our goal is to connect people who have knowledge in their heads or through their expertise with people who want answers and are looking for things like that. So that’s basically our large goal here at Quora. On a smaller scale … Actually, no, not on a smaller scale. That’s the biggest scale. I was going to say. In a broad view, here are some interesting facts about Quora. We have 300 million monthly unique viewers on Quora, and this is kind of a general overview of where a lot of our users are based.
Adrienne Gomer (03:24):
As you can see, there’s a huge audience here on Quora. This is a broad overview and then getting more specific, these are some people that are actually writing on Quora. These are some of the creators that we have been working with most recently, and some of the things that they’ve achieved on Quora and off Quora. Just to kind of give you a general idea, I’ll leave this here for one second so you can kind of view. These are the kind of creators that have found success on Quora and hopefully you can learn from as well. Feel free to jot down names to follow.
Adrienne Gomer (04:01):
So what is a Quora creator? I know when we posted about this, we got a lot of questions about what specifically is a Quora creator? A Quora creator is someone who shares valuable, relevant information on the site and our creator team, we’re constantly looking for people who are insiders or experts who have valuable knowledge to share that help with our mission of growing and sharing the world’s knowledge. So we try to identify people who add value, who are writing answers of substance and who are actually doing what our mission is. So we have a team here who is hopefully here to help you find success in doing that. Some of the things we do is promote quality creator content through our publishing partners, on our social media channels, on our LinkedIn channel. Those are some of the ways that we hope to partner with hopefully some of you who are interested in sharing quality content on Quora and we’ll get into a little bit more of that as we go.
Adrienne Gomer (05:07):
Why would you want to choose Quora to be a content creator on? There’s a lot of reasons. As everyone knows, on Quora there are specific topics. You can reach a large audience based on your specific topic and area of expertise. You can connect directly with people and generate leads that way. We also have our creator assistance, which we will also get into where we can highlight your content on some of our publishing partners, on some of our well followed spaces and on our social media channels and things like that. It also allows you the chance to align yourself with other thought leaders in your area of expertise. One great example of that is our Quora expert spaces. If you’re wondering what makes a quality Quora creator or what does quality content look like, I would highly encourage you to check out these five Quora run spaces.
Adrienne Gomer (06:01):
These are the topics that we’re focused on right now. Hopefully we can expand and include more topics in the future, but these cover a lot of the topics that our experts write in. We have education, business, technology, society, and culture, and then we have a niche startup, tech startup space as well. So if you’re looking for what does a good creator look like, what does good quality content look like? This is where you would find it. All of the contributors on these spaces are people that we have invited to be contributors onto these spaces and they consistently contribute good quality content. If you’re looking for examples or inspiration, this is where I would start. If you think that you are an expert in one of these spaces, I would encourage you to apply to be a contributor in one of these spaces. They are on review and invite only basis, so there’s no guarantee you could get added, but we are always looking for top quality contributors here.
Adrienne Gomer (06:59):
So let’s get right into our panelists here, myself included. We thought that today we would talk to three people, including myself, that have a lot of expertise in different areas and how to be successful on Quora, how to be successful as a creator from different angles. So myself, I’ve been at Quora over almost seven years now, working with writers and creators on the platform. I’ve worked with over 300 high quality writers that we have worked with in ways that I’ve talked about before, sharing their content, developing good quality content, things like that. I work with PR firms and publishing partners on behalf of Quora and so I have a lot of experience in that area. We’ve also invited Charlene here and she has written a book called Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur. She has developed a digital entrepreneurship MBA program, and she is all about coaching for branding and corporate training and things like that and learning how to grow your business.
Adrienne Gomer (08:12):
Then I’m sure a lot of you are familiar, if you’re on Quora, with Sean. He has found huge success on Quora. He has probably more than 744 million content views at this point. He’s successfully monetized on several platforms and he writes a lot about life and business and things that really resonate with audiences, and so he has a really good finger on the pulse of what audiences want to hear about and how to find success as a creator. So without further ado, I’m going to ask a question kind of for both of you. I want to connect your area of expertise to the platform and I’ll start with Charlene. What has your experience on Quora been like? How did you get started and how is it going?
Charlene Walters (09:00):
It’s been really, really wonderful. I think I began as part of an author program right before I launched my book with McGraw Hill and what I talk about is entrepreneurship, business. I talk about mindset, I talk about work life balance. I talk a lot about a lot of different things and just getting in there and interacting with the users and the content and answering questions has really been a great experience. I’ve really enjoyed working with Adrian and just getting to know people that are actually on Quora. So it’s been really a wonderful experience for me.
Adrienne Gomer (09:32):
Sean, what about you?
Sean Kernan (09:37):
I’ve been on for about six years now and it’s been good overall. It’s crazy that time has flown by. I was the new guy at one point, now feels like I’m one of the veterans here. But yeah, it’s been great. I started writing here, I would Google questions and it kept taking me to Quora and I was working in finance and then I just started writing at nights and it took on a life of its own. So here we are.
Adrienne Gomer (10:00):
Awesome. Charlene, what advice or tips would you give someone who’s just getting started on Quora, on the platform?
Charlene Walters (10:10):
I would say take some time to become familiar with it, kind of see the flavor of the other answers that are out there and think about where you could really add value. That’s the way I look at things. Like, “Could I answer this question? Yes, of course. Am I going to say something different and unique?” Then just don’t second guess yourself. I think a lot of times when you’re new, you’re first getting started with thought leadership, you kind of question what you’re saying, but just kind lean into your opinion and your real thoughts behind the topic, and you always have some. You don’t have to worry about being perfect. Do a little at a time and just be consistent with it. That would be my biggest advice when you’re first getting started.
Adrienne Gomer (10:47):
Yeah, I would say just as reading and working with a lot of writers that the … I think one key thing you hit on there was unique. There’s some questions that have hundreds of answers, but if you have a unique point of view or a unique perspective or something you can add that no one else has added before, I find that those answers end up doing the best. I think that’s really great advice, and also the consistency of making sure that you’re on there and answering regularly. I think that helps a lot. What about you, Sean? If someone’s just getting started on Quora, what’s your biggest takeaway or action advice for them?
Sean Kernan (11:25):
No, everything you guys said was great. I would add on outside of consistency, storytelling. I think that the site is about sharing knowledge, but I don’t think people want to read a dictionary and so anytime you’re telling a story, you’re winning. If you think about it, storytelling’s been used to pass wisdom for far longer than books have. So if you do that, you’re going to be on the right track I would add on and say be competitive. I would say look at a question and if it has a hundred answers already and you think you can write a better answer, do it. I think that answering questions is a skill of its own and you can get better at it with time.
Adrienne Gomer (12:01):
Yeah, definitely. I think that’s great advice. Sean, I have a question in the chat here. Someone’s asking how to grow your space and I know that you’ve successfully monetized some spaces, so do you have any tips for how to grow an audience on a space on Quora?
Sean Kernan (12:18):
So I haven’t monetized a space directly, but I have grown a space over time. I think that it’s the same thing with writing. You know the interview tip you show don’t tell? It’s the same thing with writing. You don’t ask people to follow your space, you provide content that would make them want to follow it and they’ll make that decision on their own. I do think you need to stay consistent. I would stay away from memes, that’s the dark arts of spaces and relying on pictures and stuff, share actual content.
Adrienne Gomer (12:49):
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. One thing I’ve noticed too in terms of growing a space is finding other spaces that are similar to the topics that you’re writing about and inviting people, followers or contributors to those spaces to follow your space. I’ve found that to be also a successful way to grow an audience on a space. Charlene, I want to hear more about your book. What inspired you to write a book about launching your inner entrepreneur and what does that mean to you?
Charlene Walters (13:20):
Basically my background is in marketing and sales and then I got into higher ed and curriculum was really my passion because I’ve always loved writing and curriculum enabled me to do that. I was working on a digital entrepreneurship MBA program and coaching a lot of entrepreneurs and I began coaching also some entrepreneurs with entrepreneur magazines ask an expert platform. The more I was working with these entrepreneurs, I began to realize that the one thing that really kind of differentiate them between being successful and not successful was their mindset. I thought we really need to get a book out there about entrepreneurial mindset and those things that entrepreneurs can do to become successful.
Charlene Walters (14:00):
Eventually, I decided looking at what was already on the market that there really wasn’t anything specifically aimed at female entrepreneurs. I structured my book that way, although a lot of men have read it and I think men can relate as well, but in a way to resonate with that audience. I am in a situation where my husband passed away when my children were really young and I was the sole breadwinner of my family and I think there’s a lot of women out there who find themselves in those situations and more and more women are turning to entrepreneurship all the time. So that’s what really inspired me and it’s just been a wonderful journey from there.
Adrienne Gomer (14:37):
Awesome. What does it mean to do a digital MBA rather than a traditional MBA?
Charlene Walters (14:45):
A digital entrepreneurship MBA, that’s really about being an entrepreneur that works in a digital space versus a traditional entrepreneur. I’ve been involved in the creation of many different programs and I think a lot of the same principles apply across just different entrepreneurship programs or being different sorts of entrepreneurs in terms of mindset specifically.
Adrienne Gomer (15:07):
I see. That’s awesome. I’m going to take a question from the chat really quick. Sean, maybe this is a good one for you because I know you are quick to interact with people on Quora. How do you encourage discussion or interacting with users on a space? How do you get people more involved in being interactive with content?
Sean Kernan (15:30):
I mean, I think you could encourage it near the end of the actual … you need to leave the door open for it and you need to consistently interact with people so that they know you’ll see their comments. When I first started, one of the things I didn’t like is if I would leave a comment, because I started with 10 followers and I saw all these big users and I would leave a comment and it would go unanswered. But if they know that the space is about that and that you’ll actually reply to the comments and offer something thoughtful, that would help. I would also police your comments sections really well too. There’s going to be trolls sometimes. You want to get that out of the discussion, you can always just delete their comments and move on from it. But that’s the best thing I could say.
Adrienne Gomer (16:07):
Yeah, that’s a great point too because when we’re looking for high value writers, a lot of the concerns that we get from people is like, “What if we have trolls? Or what if we have people that are writing bad comments? We don’t want that associated with our content.” So I think that’s a great tip is to make sure you’re policing your comments and making sure that everything’s in line with what you’re trying to do. I have a question that I think is more for me for publishing from the audience. What do media partners look for for syndications? This is a great question and when I do work with writers one on one, I do give a best practices on how to do this. I think a couple of key components are answer lengths. I think anywhere from 300 to 600 words is a sweet spot of long enough, people will read, short enough, people aren’t going to get bored.
Adrienne Gomer (17:01):
Kind of going back to what Charlene was saying earlier, any kind of unique insight you have, anything specific to you and your expertise, anything people haven’t heard before. I think in terms of topics, I think life advice, business advice is huge. I know especially on Quora, people come looking for advice on how to start and grow businesses. Technology trends, if you have any insights into how AI is being used or where that kind of stuff is going, anything that’s relevant, topical. Then the most important thing I would say is things that are accessible to a broad audience. You don’t want to write anything too technical or too specific that wouldn’t resonate with everyone. I’m not a very technical person, but I do get a lot of pickup from publishing in terms of technical pieces when it’s stuff that even I can read.
Adrienne Gomer (17:57):
If I can read it and understand it and I find it interesting, I think other people will as well. I think those are some of my biggest tips in terms of getting things to our publishing partners. Obviously, please reach out to me because I manage a lot of those partnerships. So again, my email’s on the bottom of this slide and feel free to email me. I think a lot of writers will email me pieces that they’re really proud of or answers that they’ve written, and I’m more than happy to say, “This is good, happy to pitch this,” or, “Let’s work on this,” and give some tips there as well. So please feel free to reach out for that kind of stuff. Aside from publishing partnerships, I think, Sean, I have a question for you. You’ve managed to grow big audience on Quora. What do you find resonates with audiences on Quora in terms of on platform? What kind of content do you think does the best?
Sean Kernan (18:54):
Well, I think that it’s important to share a bit of yourself in it and be vulnerable and why does this matter to you. Weave in the story, don’t let it turn into an information dump. What was the question again? It was how to …
Adrienne Gomer (19:12):
What kind of content do you find is most successful on Quora?
Sean Kernan (19:16):
Yeah, it’s definitely storytelling and I think it all goes back to the basics of writing. You need to open and close strong. You need to have clean paragraphs but not giant paragraphs. Like you said, 300 to 600 words, that’s usually a good sweet spot to be in, but it’s not a hard rule. I think that the beauty of Quora is that even if you’ve never written before, it gives you small chunk sized prompts to write from, and that’s how I started. Because it’s very intimidating to sit down and just write a book. When you have these little pieces that you can work with, you can start testing things out and seeing what works. I’ve always done a lot of experimentation too. That’s how I got my style developed.
Sean Kernan (20:00):
Also mind your tone as well, be careful if you’re starting to sound overconfident or you’re sound like you’re venting, just try to think in terms of what the readers are seeing. If you get a negative comment, sometimes it’s very useful too. You need treat it like customer feedback because one person’s feedback could represent what a lot of people think.
Adrienne Gomer (20:20):
Charlene Walters (20:24):
From looking at Sean’s content, he definitely shows a lot of personality there, so I think that really resonates with the audience.
Sean Kernan (20:29):
Adrienne Gomer (20:31):
Yeah, you definitely get a good sense of who Sean is from his writing.
Sean Kernan (20:34):
For better or worse.
Adrienne Gomer (20:38):
Charlene, we get a lot of questions about brand building and I know this is an event for creators, so what are some of tips you would give for building a brand, leveraging things like Quora or Twitter or Medium, things like that? What role do you think platforms like Quora play in brand building?
Charlene Walters (20:59):
I think they’re really huge and I think we are so busy focused on some of the socials that we forget about Quora and Medium and what a great way they can be to grow your brand. What I always tell people is it feels really overwhelming at first, but to really think about maybe three areas that you want to be known for. For me, it’s business and entrepreneurship, mindset and then I kind of go into organizational behavior, work/life balance, that type of thing. So those have been my areas and when I’m thinking about what to write about sometimes, I’ll look on Quora and I’ll find some great questions and I’ll say, “This is something that I really feel strongly about that I want to add to.” If there’s something that’s trending out there and that I feel like I really want to add, I’ll reach out to Adrienne and say, “Hey, Adrienne, maybe can you put a question up for me?”
Charlene Walters (21:44):
Then I think just really start small, start kind of gauging your audience, see which ones are really gaining traction and then trying to go from there. Just be consistent and then lean into your strengths. Some people really love writing, some people hate writing. If you are a creator, lean into the areas that you really care about and that you’re good at, and even if you don’t think you’re a good writer, you might be a much better writer than you think. Give it a whirl and put yourself out there. But that’s what I say, just think about your target audience, think about your area of expertise, and then really be consistent and don’t try to be everywhere at once. Start small and then kind of build from there.
Adrienne Gomer (22:21):
Yeah, I think those are two really good complimentary pieces of advice, what you’re saying, Charlene, and then tying into what you’re saying, Sean, be yourself and write about stuff that shows your personality and that’s interesting. I think those are really good pieces of advice. Kind of building on the creator thing, I know, Charlene, you mentioned work/life balance. When you are a creator, there is a pressure to constantly turn out content and building an audience. How do you find a work/life balance when also trying to grow your audience on these different platforms?
Charlene Walters (22:55):
I heard somebody once early on refer to it as feeding the content monster. That’s really a good way to think about it. I think it can feel really overwhelming, like you have to be everywhere all the time. Something that’s really worked for me is I have certain days that I dedicate. So I have a weekly article on Thrive Global. I have a weekly article on Medium. I set aside a certain day for that. I set aside a certain day for my Quora answers when I want to get on Quora for sure. Not to say I won’t get on at other times, and then really setting those chunks and then I have another day I create fit videos or do social.
Charlene Walters (23:30):
When you have it balanced out that way, it really just feels like part of your schedule. Then something else that I really like to tell entrepreneurs, creators is to really pay attention to your mood. Sometimes you’re more of a mood to write than other times, so lean into that. If you’re in the mood to write, kind of crank it all out. If you know you’re going to be traveling, shift your schedule, get ahead of it and just keep it in perspective and make sure that you’re obviously doing all those things, getting enough sleep, getting enough time to eat right, exercise, et cetera, and you’ll be able to do it. Just don’t get overwhelmed and try to overdo it. Again, set aside the schedule and just be consistent with it.
Sean Kernan (24:09):
Can I add something onto that? So the mood part is really important for editing too because when I’m working on a draft, if I find myself getting really bored or if the draft is extremely painful the whole time, it’s generally a bad sign. There’s an element of work with writing. It should be hard sometimes, but if you’re dreading every step of the process, it’s probably a dud at that point. You need to rethink what you’re doing and pivot the idea or start deleting stuff. Deleting works wonders for a stuck draft.
Adrienne Gomer (24:43):
Yeah, that’s great advice.
Charlene Walters (24:44):
Mood is often overlooked and underrated, but definitely lean into it when you’re in the mood and kind of like Sean said, if you’re not in the mood, come back to it later. Definitely.
Adrienne Gomer (24:56):
Yeah, that’s great advice. In terms of getting started, I know we’ve covered a lot of ground in terms of what makes good content and stuff. So if people are inspired and ready to start creating content, Sean, this is a question for you. What writers or books or things get you inspired? If people want to write but they don’t know where to start, what kind of outside resources would you recommend?
Sean Kernan (25:19):
Oh, gosh. So I actually think it’s important for people to read. If you’re on a platform, I think you should read what the popular writers and the big following writers are doing to get a feel for what’s happening. I think when you get started, the best tip I would give, if you’re starting from zero, you need to celebrate little milestones when you hit 10 answers or you hit a hundred followers and a thousand followers, keep your vision very close and get excited about the little things early on. I would rarely tell someone to turn on notifications for an app, but for Quora I would tell you the notifications on that and put it on your homepage of your phone and pay attention to them because it’ll get that dopamine going when you write and it’ll get you to write more.
Sean Kernan (26:05):
It’s very good starter mechanism, a dirty trick you can use to get yourself consistent with your writing. Because eventually, I mean, for me it did feel like work sometimes, but it becomes so automatic after a while that I almost get anxiety when I don’t write on a given day. But in terms of outside stuff, I look in platform, that’s where I’ve studied.
Adrienne Gomer (26:26):
That’s great advice, especially if you’re trying to find success on that platform. I think that’s really good advice. What about Charlene? What about you? What inspires you to write? What kind of gets ideas flowing and that kind of stuff?
Charlene Walters (26:41):
I like to look at what’s trending and what a lot of people are talking about when it comes to business writing. People are talking about, say quiet quitting or whatever it is, and then just based on my experiences too, whether it’s with other entrepreneurs, whether I’m out in a store, something that’s happening that I really think about and I think, “I really have something different to add.” Like I said, I look and see what other people are saying and how I can put a new spin on it. I just find so many different, interesting things to talk about and sometimes it’s something that I don’t necessarily consider myself an expert in, but something that I have a strong opinion on or that I have experience with. So it just depends. But there’s so many different ways to tackle the same question and I think that what really gets me inspired and gets me going.
Adrienne Gomer (27:28):
Yeah, that’s great advice. I think the two of you have a really good balance of content. I think, Charlene, you hit on something interesting there in terms of what’s going on in the news or things you’re hearing about. I think you’re really great at writing about things that are topical and relevant right now. I think, Sean, you do a really good job of evergreen content, things that kind of resonate anytime, anywhere. I think those things often gain good, build good following on Quora because they can live there in perpetuity and people can find it at any time and it resonates at any time. I think those are two really good important things to think about when you’re answering questions. Do you want to write about something topical that is going to get a lot of views right now because people are talking about it? Or do you want to write about something that’s going to resonate over time?
Adrienne Gomer (28:21):
I think both are equally important on the platform. I mean, we obviously don’t want a platform full of stuff that is just life advice, but we also don’t want a platform of stuff that’s not going to be relevant next week. I think finding that balance is really good and I think you guys do a great job at that. I just wanted to end really quick, thank you both for your time and your expertise. I think this has been really helpful for me even thinking about creators in different ways. At Quora, on all of our all hands meetings, at the end of our meeting we ask a team member to share a fun fact about themselves, so I wanted to ask each of you if you have a fun fact that you wouldn’t mind sharing about yourself. Sean, I’ll start with you.
Sean Kernan (29:03):
Yeah, I grew up in a military family. I’ve lived all over the country and in the Philippines. My parents run a vineyard in Northern Virginia, so I’m flying there tomorrow and they just got done with harvest. So I spend a lot of my time up there and that’s part of the beauty of being a creator is I can work from anywhere.
Adrienne Gomer (29:21):
Yeah, that’s awesome. What about you, Charlene?
Charlene Walters (29:24):
That is really cool. I take a Pilates class every single day no matter what. I take one all the time, so that’s a fun fact. The other fun fact is that I teach for a couple of universities. I teach for the University of Connecticut and the University of Alaska, Anchorage, which are like here and here, but everyone always gets a kick out of that. Like, “How are you getting to these places?” and of course, it’s all online.
Adrienne Gomer (29:48):
Awesome. That’s awesome. Yes, a fun fact about me, I guess I have a lot of interesting things, but I live near Disneyland and have a Disneyland annual pass, so I take my kids to Disneyland at least once a month. I grew up not ever going to Disneyland and not liking Disney, so it’s funny that now as an adult I’m at Disneyland all the time. So that’s a fun fact about me. I’m going to go ahead and go to our last slide here, just to give a quick overview. I think step one for anyone following this is please reach out to me about becoming a Quora creator who wants to grow and build what they’re doing on Quora. A few advantages of reaching out to me and working with the creator team. Definitely community building, aligning yourself with other people in your area of expertise. We can definitely help you with your Quora profile, establishing you as an authority and what you’re talking about.
Adrienne Gomer (30:50):
As you can see from my email being in the corner, we offer one-on-one guidance and support for building your profile, for writing good content, for sharing your content. We can also help find new questions. I know Charlene talked about if there’s not a question that she wants to answer but there’s something she wants to talk about, reach out to me. I can help find questions for you, I can add questions for you, I can help curate some questions for you. Definitely best practices if you’re looking for syndication or audience growing, I do have some best practices that I can share. And obviously expanding your reach. We want every creator on Quora to be successful and so work with us and let us know what your goals are and definitely we can help you grow your audience however way we can.
Adrienne Gomer (31:38):
So if you do have any interest in getting started, learning more, getting some one-on-one coaching, this is the best way to reach me. Very easy, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope everybody has a good rest of their day, great rest of your week, and thank you so much to Sean and Charlene for taking this time with us.
Sean Kernan (32:26):
Happy to be here.
Adrienne Gomer (32:28):
Thank you. Bye.