I signed up for Yahoo! Answers a long time ago because I remember searching for some information and I was amazed at how much mis-information there was out there! It was then that I discovered that I could share some of my knowledge, help people out and be able to build a reputation all at the same time.
Enter the world of cross-promotion. I talk about this all over my site as a means to help pollinate your image/brand in as many places as you can (without being obtrusive). I say “obtrusive” because you don’t want to come off as spamming. If you have a general passion for your topic of interest, you’re going to love spreading the word about your knowledge. For me, I love helping people out with their computer problems or website questions.
What is Yahoo! Answers
So as not to override the point of this post, I’ll be quick. Yahoo! Answers allows anyone with a Yahoo! login to go to the site, submit a question they want answered and then other people viewing the site who might know the answer can post their opinions. As a member, you can also ask questions as well.
As an answerer, you earn points for every answer you submit and even more points if the asker selects your answer as the best choice. Other members can also vote your answer up to the best choice too. After certain levels of these points are acquired, you can do more things on the site like answer more questions, ask more questions, receive more ratings, etc. More about how Yahoo! Answers works.
Yahoo! Answers as a promotional tool
Just like any other member site, you can create a profile. In this profile you have your standard avatar, email address, website link, etc. All these are quite obvious as promotional tools, but Yahoo! Answers inherently goes a step further. Since you’re answering people’s questions about any topic imaginable, you get to answer freely. This means, you can reference external websites, cite sources, talk about how well you know a particular topic, etc.
So here’s what I do. We all know that I blog about marketing online and building websites and such. Every now and then, I toss in a few posts about computer repairs and fix-it utilities.
Naturally, I go over to Yahoo! Answers and look for questions related to my blog and begin answering them. In some cases, I have already written a detailed blog post that better illustrates my answer and I’m able to insert a link directly into it. This allows the asker (and everyone else reading) to access my link and see my blog post!
What not to do
As time goes on, your answers (with your links) are all floating around Yahoo! and other major search engines which will generate more traffic for your site. However, this can be abused just like every other traffic-technique so you want to make sure you not only follow Yahoo!’s guidelines, but also some search engine one’s as well.
Here are some things not to do:
- Don’t submit just a link for your answer
- Don’t add more than 2 links in one answer
- Don’t give half-assed answers–put some thought into your responses
- Don’t link to webpages that don’t contribute to your answer
My two cents
The main point of Yahoo! Answers is to help people answer their questions. Make sure that you are actually contributing to the cause. The more help you provide, the better your reputation will be. If people start viewing you as a credible source of information, then they are more likely to view your site and if they run sites of their own, they might link back to you. You can see how the dominoes fall from here.
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