crowdsourcing

In my previous post I wrote about How LinkedIn Convinced Powerful Influencers to Create Content. I was curious about LinkedIn's Influencer Program, more specifically I wanted to know how they managed to get so many influencers to write on their platform. Since I'm not a LinkedIn insider or have access to a source there, I knew getting an answer would be a challenge. So, I turned to my social networks that led me to the answer and ultimately a full blog post.

As you can see in that post, most of the content was user generated. All I did was weave user responses into a story.

Using responses on Quora tackles common objections anyone has to blogging, "I don't know what to blog about" and "I don't have enough to say." All you'll need to do is ask a question and wait for responses to come in. You'll be able to turn the responses into talking points for your next blog post, or like in my example post you can quote Quora users directly.

The steps described here can work on any question and answer site, but Quora is unique in its user base and its ability for you to reach an expert directly.

In the following example, I asked an SEO related question.

Asking The Question

Begin by asking a question. Make sure it's clear, grammatically correct and specific.

You'll also need to make sure that your question is unique. Otherwise you'll get no responses, get redirected to a similar question, have the question removed or moved to a different thread.

Make sure the question is categorized correctly. This way followers of certain topics will be able to see it in their Quora feed.

Once you publish your question, you'll have an opportunity to invite Quorans to provide answers. At this point, you'll need to sort through suggested users and invite only the ones that fit this criteria:

- Have many responses in the category your question resides in

- Good response rate

- Cost - are they free to ask or will it cost you credits

Most of the time I'll quickly scroll through the suggested list and only invite a handful of Quorans based on my criteria above. A better way to seek help from experts is to actually invite them on a one by one basis.

If you know who the experts are, look them up by name:

If you can't find experts, head over to the categories that your question is listed in and look up active users, especially those who have many upvotes.

For my sample question, I went into the SEO, PPC and Copywriting categories. I was able to identify experts within each category and invited all of them to answer my question. My invites went out to a total of 50 people. Just two days later, I received 10 responses. Take a look: How to Identify Keywords with Purchase Intent

What To Do With The Responses

Besides learning from the experts, share what you've learned with your networks or post the question and answers to your blog via the 'Share' link.

Another way to use responses is to inform and help you craft your next epic blog post. This is crowdsourced content that you can use in your own writing. Take a look at my previous blog post on how I used Quora answers to create a full blog post.

Show Respect And Give Credit

Before you start posting your questions and soliciting answers, you need to follow some rules. Remember, respondents are providing you with free content - so respect the time and effort someone is giving to help you. As mentioned earlier, use the answers to help inform your blog post content. Don't claim them as your own. Give credit or link to the original source. Use the answers to craft a compelling story.

Conclusion

Writing a blog post may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There's no shortage of online idea generators, forums and research tools to help you come up with ideas and content. In Search, Social Media or Forums, all you have to do is ask a question.

Now read: 10 Tools to Help You Generate Content Ideas