As every elementary school teacher in the world has told us, “There are no stupid questions”. With Quora– the Silicon Valley question and answer site – growing in popularity every minute, the value of a poignant question has never been so important. While nothing is too stupid, some inquiries are clearly better than others, and if you want to get your questions answered, there are some strategies you can use to increase the quality of your questions and your chances of getting responses.
It’s been said before, but it really cannot be stressed enough; one basic way to write a good question is to use proper grammar and spelling. Not only does this establish credibility, it also helps questions be found in searches. After all, there’s a pretty big difference between asking “What is the world’s best desert” and “What is the world’s best dessert?”
2) Make Friends
Quora is, ultimately, a social network. The first step to getting questions answered is to build a strong group of contacts and followers. To do so, start with your friends. Ask them to answers questions, and make sure you answer theirs. To build on your existing social network, follow users with similar interests and give serious and thorough responses to their questions. This will encourage people to reciprocate, making your social network not just a list of people, but a functioning group you can actually rely on.
3) Timing is everything.
Questions asked at 1:20 am are less likely to be answered because there are fewer people on the site. By the time people sign on, your question will likely be lower on the feed or your questions won’t show up in the home stream at all. Most people are on the site during daytime and evening hours, so questions posted during this time have a better chance of being answered.
4) Search Engine Optimization
Having a sense of Search Engine Optimization never hurts. While your followers will be immediately notified of your questions, you want your questions to be found by other users. While you’re building your social network, two basic SEO techniques can help you. First, use keywords in your question. This will increase the chances of someone browsing the site finding your question. Second, use appropriate tags. Some tags have thousands of followers while others have far fewer. So, if you pick your tags wisely, you increase the chances of your question being found and followed.
5) Ask To Answer
Ask to answer. If you feel confident in your question, and have done your research, use the “ask to answer” feature. This allows you to ask a user to take a look at your question and answer it. However, there is a degree of etiquette involved. Just as “poking” on Facebook needs to be used sparingly, “ask to answer” requires some self control. When “asking to answer” someone you don’t know, don’t just use it as a way to connect with a celebrity, make sure they are qualified to answer your question. Otherwise, you risk your question being dismissed.