Writers can come up with all sorts of ways to choose topics for books we want to write. From personal experience to keyword research, there are a myriad of ways to test the market, research the market, and write for the market. Even writers who aren’t market-oriented come up with creative ways to address the subject they want to write about. Now I’d like to share one other way savvy writers can find their next topic, research it, find experts to interview, and kick out their next title. It’s called Quora.
If you’ve never heard of it, Quora is the Internet’s most incredible question and answer website. Even better than Yahoo! Answers.
What makes Quora so incredible? That’s what the rest of this post is about.
How to Use Quora to Write Your Next Book
If you think about what goes into the writing of a book—research, interviews, data sourcing, organizing information—then this question should answer itself. But I’m not letting myself off the hook. Instead, I’ll share six powerful ways Quora can be your next great book writing tool.
1) Find a Topic to Write About
Chances are, you know what you want to write about. But even if you do, you can use Quora to hone your topic to a finer, more narrow topic. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
- Ask a Question – It’s a question and answer site, so ask a question about a topic you want to explore. This will do a couple of things for you. First, it will help you gauge interest in the topic. If no one answers your question, then you know it’s a topic few people are interested in. Secondly, the answers you receive could give you plenty of fodder for research and digging deeper into your subject.
- Subscribe to a Few Topics – Pick some topics in which you have an interest and subscribe to them. That way, you can see what questions others are asking. If you see a question someone else has asked that is getting a lot of response, then you know there’s another hot topic. It could be a potential book for you. Quora will ask you which topics you want to follow when you join.
2) Find Experts to Interview
It is easy to find experts on Quora for that is precisely what makes Quora the best question and answer website online. It is designed specifically to appeal to professionals and experts in practically every subject area. Once you follow certain topics, you can go to the home page for those topics and view the most viewed writers who post on those topics. For instance, here are the most viewed writers in the Law topic at Quora. You’ll see that the top Quoran in that topic is a lawyer by the name of Chris Gilley. He specializes in product management and legal technology. If your book touches on those topics, you can contact Mr. Gilley and request an interview.
3) Conduct In-Depth Research
Besides finding people to interview, it’s easy to conduct in-depth research on Quora because every topic knowledgeable people post about is covered in so many different angles. All you have to do is conduct a Google search on any topic and add “Quora” (without parentheses) to your search query. Here’s an example:
Google search query: publishing e-books quora
This search query reveals over 100,000 search results. The entire first page of search results show content on the Quora website, and most of the results on the second page do, as well. When I click on the first result, the Quora question, “What’s the best way to publish an e-book?” there are 62 answers. Imagine how much information you can find about your topic just by Googling for Quora content!
Now, I’m not saying you should end your research with Quora, nor do you necessarily have to begin there. But Quora is a rich source of information on many topics, and a huge amount of it is produced by expert-level sources.
4) Produce Content For Your Book
Besides answering questions asked by other Quorans, you can test content for your book by starting a Quora blog. If you go to your Quora profile, there is a button you can click on to start a blog. You can start as many Quora blogs as you want, but the reason Quora is a good place to start a blog about a particular topic on which you wish to write a book is because other Quorans interested in that topic can follow your blog and provide feedback on your posts. This will be tremendously helpful as you engage potential readers of your book.
Of course, you can always start a blog at Blogspot, WordPress.com, or set one up on a dedicated Web domain, but at Quora you won’t have to fiddle with themes, spend money on hosting, or search for an available domain name. Plus, your Quora audience is a tight group that you can target with your content without having to research keywords or expend a lot of time on search engine content just to find readers. The readers are already there, and if they are following the topic of your blog, you have a built-in audience.
5) Build Your Platform, Market Your Book
Marketing takes place long before your book is published. In fact, you should start marketing your book as soon as you start writing it. And with Quora, that’s precisely what you’ll be doing. It begins with your Quora profile. Mention that you are an author and tell your potential audience what topics you like writing about.
Next, answer the questions related to your topic of interest. Other people interested in those topics, asking questions—and answering them—related to your niche are potential readers, interview subjects, or partners in some other way.
Using Quora to write your book can focus your content toward an audience that is already defined by the question and answer platform. From there, it’s just a matter of turning that platform into your own personal tightly targeted author platform. Once you penetrate the niche market of Quora experts, you can migrate that audience to your external author platform on your website, author blog, and other social media.
6) Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn: Social Push and Pull
If you are active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can connect your Quora account so that answers you post and questions you ask are automatically shared on your other social media accounts. This will draw your fans from other social media sites to Quora to follow you there. Anyone really interested in your topic will want to follow you anywhere you are posting expert-level information.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you are familiar with Quora, try using it to write your next book. You can use this social media site for finding topics, conducting research, finding suitable people to interview, and even marketing your next book.
Allen Taylor has been a full-time online content creator since 2006. He is a ghostwriter, blog content writer, and author of “E-book Publishing: Create Your Own Brand of Digital Books”, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple’s iBookstore, and Smashwords. He hangs his hat at TayloredContent.com.
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