How to Write Effective and Better Answers on Quora?

Writing on Quora takes its own time to get better but if you have some handy tips to craft your answers for Quora, why not make use of them? In this post, I shall reveal some tips on how to write effective and better answers on Quora, I've learnt these tips over the last 4 years of Quora writing:

My Quora Statistics

Writing Better on Quora

3 Tips

1. One Para One Theme - I learnt this writing tip from Krishna Bharadwaj, one of the Quora writers and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. In one of his Quora answers, I found that he had written:

I could just list out the points, but I like telling long, rambling stories. If you hate stories, just read the text in bold.

What he had done was - he had divided his answer into small paragraphs with each paragraph having one central theme. He had marked that sentence in bold which best represented the theme of the paragraph. I absolutely loved this technique because of two reasons:

  • First, it keeps a check on your writing. It ensures that you're only talking about one thing at a time in one paragraph. This improves your ability to structure the entire answer.

  • Second, it makes it easier for the readers to skim through the details if they're running short on time. Your readers won't always need the details, so give that option to them by marking the sentence in bold which represents the central theme of the para.

2. Reveal at the Top - If you're writing an answer which is informative and which can be answered in one or two words/numbers, make sure to reveal those words/numbers at the top. Counter intuitive, isn't it? Most people would want to create some sort of suspense before revealing the correct answer, but the truth is that often times, it would backfire. There are two kinds of readers on Quora:

  • Scrolling through to pass time.

  • Looking for an objective answer.

If you're answering a question for which a reader needs an objective answer, you wouldn't want to mess with his/her time. Just reveal the answer at the top and then start describing the details. I had a hard time incorporating this technique because by the time I identified the two kinds of readers, I had developed a certain writing style which was to create suspense. But, remember that the readers of the latter kind have a lot of answers to choose from. They're not looking for a style of writing, they're looking for the right answer.

This technique will also help you by getting your answers featured in the rich results of Google. Let me explain what that means. Rich Featured Snippet or Google Answer Box is a special search result shown by Google in a box format at the top of all the results. Google only puts those answers in here, which it feels are to-the-point and adequate enough to answer the searcher's query. Here's how it looks like:

Google Answer Box

Now, think from the standpoint of Quora. As Quora, you'd want more and more of your writers' answers to feature as a rich snippet on the top of the Google Search Results (because you'd want to divert the traffic from Google to Quora). So, Quora is more likely to spread your answer internally to make it more visible to Google if it answers the questions to-the-point. This brings me back to what I said initially, reveal the answer at the top keeping this Google Answer Box strategy in mind.

3. Make It Personal - I've observed this over the years that I like reading answers which address me as 'You' rather than 'OP' or the 'Questioner'. Think about it this way. As a writer, you'd want to put yourself in the shoes of the reader and then write the solution to his/her problem. If you address him/her as 'Questioner' you're disassociating yourself with that individual. Let me give you an example:

"I was in the same place as you!"
"I was in the same place as the Questioner!"

Which one do you like more? When you write in the latter format, it seems like you're writing for some third party. Every individual who comes in search of an answer to a question wants to be understood by the writer. So, don't use the questioner as a tool to frame your answer. Address every person who might read it as 'You'.

I once read a beautiful advice, "Always write like you talk". So, don't shy away from getting close to your readers and helping them by being a little personal in your answer. Help them feel comfortable with your writing and it'd really help you in the long run.

These were just 3 tips I wanted to drop by to help you frame better answers on Quora. Hope you find them of use. If you have any query on Quora writing, you can drop it by in the comments below.

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