They Have Questions. You Have Answers.

Posted on February 18, 2010 7:47 AM by Joel Comm

If you are an expert in your niche, there are those who will seek out your wisdom.

Your blog is a great place to share your knowledge.

Provide value for your readers and you are more likely to be bookmarked and earn repeat visits.

Keep providing value and you'll find yourself with raving fans.

The same thing goes for social media sites. Twitter, Facebook and others provide many opportunities to share your expertise.

But your blog and social media sites are not the only places you can use to impart your knowledge.

In fact, there are some great opportunities right under your nose. You just may not have thought of them before.

1. Yahoo! Answers

This site has been around for years and there are literally millions of questions and answers in the database.

If you have a question, simply type it in. Any user can answer the question for you. Members rate how good the answers are with a thumbs up/thumbs down. Eventually a "best answer" is selected and the question is closed.

What does this mean for you as the expert?

Search for topics that fall within your realm. For example, I searched for questions with "world of warcraft" as a key phrase and discovered a question someone posted about playing the game as a rogue.

yahooanswers.gif

Having a level 80 rogue in the game, I put in my two cents.

Doing so gave me points. Points allow you to set your avatar, vote on other people's answers and more.

Answering a question leads to similar questions appearing.

So what's the point?

You can embed links to any of your sites within your answers. While I don't have any reason to link to my site for the question I just answered, I'm sure you can see where it would be useful to point people to your blog or a product. It's free, so it's a good idea to check in from time to time.

The biggest problem is that there are tons of kids using the service and cluttering it with relationship questions that would only be of interest to those with undeveloped maturity.

2. Aardvark

This site was recently purchased by Google for $50 million.

Imagine Yahoo! Answers meets social media and you've got an idea of how Aardvark works.

Simply create your account and enter a number of topics that you feel qualified to provide answers for.

Rather than being inundated with hundreds of questions, you will only see questions that are targeted based on your topics.

Questions can be seen on their web site, via email, or direct to your instant messager.

The last feature is especially useful as an IM window opens with the question. If you choose to answer, you can do so via IM.

Since the questions you receive are likely to be targeted, there is a good chance you can answer them.

In the example below, you can see how the question was targeted for my expertise. I took the opportunity to let the person asking the question know where they could read more about the topic.

aadrvarkanswer.gif

Between the two, I think Aardvark is more promising. But both provide opportunities for you to share your knowledge with others online.

Have you ever used these sites? Are you familiar with others? Be sure to leave your comments below.

See Also

Ask Dave Taylor - Nov 24, 2004

25 Comments For This Post

  1. Lynn Harrison Says:

    Joel,

    I did just this on Yahoo Answers. I have a blog on making websites with Wordpress. I was answering Wordpress questions on Yahoo Answwers and included a link to my blog. I was banned from the service because I included my URL. Their policies may have changed.

  2. Brian T. Edmondson Says:

    Joel,

    Thanks for the great resource.

    I've been succesfully using Yahoo Answers to drive traffic to my sites and think it's a great way to establish authority and expertise.

    Any property that Google thinks is worth buying is probably worth testing out :-)

    Brian

  3. Chris @ TBE Says:

    When people use Yahoo Answers to ask a question about t-shirts, I swoop in and provide them an answer, often with a nudge to head over to my t-shirt site.

    I had not thought of using Yahoo Answers and Aardvark to further my blog exploits. Excellent idea

  4. Laura Says:

    I've used Yahoo Answers but never Aardvark. Thanks for the tip, going to check it out now. Just shows how many opportunities there are for us to provide value if you're keeping your eyes open!

  5. Zee Waqar Says:

    I used Yahoo answers very much and it was really helpful in sharing information and driving traffic to my blog..

    I am definitely going to try Aardvark as it looks promising and worth trying.

    Thanks for the review.

    Regards,

    Zee

  6. Agnes Says:

    I knew about Yahoo answers but I didn't know about
    Aardvark. Thank you for the tip Joel :)

  7. Patrick Says:

    Perhaps Youtube could be added to this list. I've seen people posting instructional videos on youtube and answering questions with more videos.
    Vlogging seems to be getting more and more popular.

  8. Mike Stenger Says:

    Nice way to blatantly advertise your book on Aardvark Joel LOL Good information, just a few years late, although I haven't heard of Aardvark or Vark before. May have to check it out.

  9. Phyllis Says:

    Hi Joel - yes - I've used both and I'm really enjoying Aardvark! I've set it up on my gtalk IM and set to only ask me questions at night. I can also set my IM to "away" and the questions stop. Very good design. I've also asked questions there and received great answers. I highly recommend it.

  10. Ray Says:

    Joel,

    I find that on Yahoo! Answers that people will answer questions that are incorrect or just plain childish. What would be a great tool is a website similar to yahoo answers that moderates who can answer questions. I could at this point compare yahoo answers to wiki, both websites can write whatever they want without it being valid.
    Great review!

    Ray

  11. Scott Love Says:

    Joel,

    As always, very practical advice.

    I am just beginning to use yahoo answers and you are spot on about searching wisely. however, I am finding that it is a great way to find relevant things to write about.

    I have not heard of aardvark and will be definitely checking it out. Do you recommend the email reply or IM? It sounds like you prefer IM.

    Thanks for contributing value.

  12. Mel Smith Says:

    Joel,

    Yahoo answers is a very good site to receive traffic to your blog, when you answer some great questions.

    There are many young people that have concerns about health and need answers that deal with their problems, and I try to give them answers that will ease their minds about their important concerns.
    It works very well and drives lots of traffic to my blog.
    I haven't tried Aardvark yet, but will try soon.
    Thanks Joel

  13. Jack Smith Says:

    I think you're spot on, so long as the answers that people give are truly pertinent and not just canned spam meant to attract people to sites.

    So... So long as they're GOOD answers, it's all good!

  14. Cody Says:

    I am going to give these two sites a look and use them to leverage my knowledge and boost my blog traffic!

    Great tip Joel!

    Thank you.
    Cody Lettau
    www.CollegeConundrum.com
    Your Source For Everything College

  15. Wasiu Says:

    I have known yahoo answers for a long time before now but I never thought of it as a traffic mover to my personal blog or website.this is a great info.thanks and God bless.
    http://infobiznez.blogspot.com

  16. Clay Franklin Says:

    I am using Yahoo answers, yet we are not allowed to point to a personal site. We are allowed to point to a commercial site.

    Thanks for the tip on Aardvark. I will sign up today.

    @clayfranklin

  17. George Says:

    Thanks for the info Joel! I hadn't heard of Aardvark, so that tidbit may be of use. Useful posts as usual. Hope you're still feeding your Warcraft addiction -- LOL

  18. Federico Says:

    Yup. I have used Yaho Answers before with this purpose, but am not sure if it has provided any traffic to my travel blog. Aaadvark is new for me though, will give it a shot as well.

    Cheers,

    Federico

    www.maitravelsite.com

  19. Markus 'giles' Koehorst Says:

    Great advice. I am going to have a look now.

    www.lifes-is-bliss.net

  20. For Sale By Owner Says:

    I have used Yahoo Answers. I found it tedious just to get to a place to provide an answer. I was told that it would really help so I continued the painful process.

    Perhaps it was just my market but I didn't see ROI (time invested). And yes, I did see a lot of people responding that really did not have a clue.

    I gave it up. Maybe I should not have. This was at least two years ago.

    I have found places that do have a good ROI (time) Maybe I should try them again. Haven't tried AARDVARK.

    Thanks for opening my mind.

    Connie

  21. mk akan Says:

    i know of yahoo answers but never knew about the second one.will check em out and start using them

  22. Denise Griffitts Says:

    Hi Joel -- thanks for the Aardvark tip. I just signed up, answered a question and asked a question.

  23. Dan Says:

    I used Yahoo Answers several years back. It was decent in the beginning... you'd actually get a "followed" link to your site. But now (at least last I checked) they are all "no followed" so no link juice. Worse, my posts kept getting removed because of the link to a commercial site. I know it was probably just my competitors flagging my posts as there were lots of other answers still up there that were not even useful, just pure spam.

    So to those who beat the system and are making YA work for them, touche', but for me, I've had to move to greener pastures.

  24. Doria Says:

    Thanks! Never heard of Aardvark before... Will try Aardvark after this.

    Needing answers in a hurry? YA's your best friend. We have Lord Google but you'd need a few clicks to get to the answers you're looking for. I wire my laptop to broadband in class and find answers to our professor's questions in an instant.

  25. Chuck Says:

    I need to check out aardvork. I had never heard of it. That is a strange name. I think that it is some type of animal.

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INFORMATION

Joel Comm is an Internet entrepreneur who has been online for over 20 years. In 1995, Joel launched WorldVillage.com, a family-friendly portal to the web which enjoys thousands of visitors each day. Joel is the co-creator of ClassicGames.com, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 1997, and now goes by the name Yahoo! Games. Since then, Joel's company, InfoMedia, Inc., has launched dozens of web sites which offer online shopping, free stuff, website reviews and more. Joel is the author of many popular books, including the NY Times Best-Seller, The AdSense Code. He regularly makes appearances at Internet marketing conferences and seminars.
FTC Disclaimer: Posts written before December 1st, 2009 may include endorsements of products or services that include a material connection to the author. Readers should assume a material connection for any product or service endorsed prior to December 1, 2009.