Question and answer websites can be a powerful tool for marketing and building traffic to your website. They let you show your expertise within a domain and to get exposure for your business. LinkedIn Answers is LinkedIn’s answer to Q&A sites. By answering a question on LinkedIn Answers, you not only show new users your expertise, but also spread your answer on your own network and profile.
The primary benefit of LinkedIn Answers is that it establishes your expertise. When the individual who asked the original question chooses your answer as the best one you will get positive feedback on your answer. This adds to your expertise points, and if you accumulate enough points you will be listed as an expert in your niche.
The important thing is to select questions that are relevant to your business and domain of expertise. A key strategy is to choose topics that have recently blogged about, and to include a link to your blog post in your answer. This not only provides vital information to those who need it, it also increases traffic and exposure to your blog.
LinkedIn Answers can also help you to expand your area of expertise. While it’s easier to answer questions you already have a solution to, sometimes it can be a good challenge to step outside your comfort zone and do some research on a question. While you don’t want to go too far outside your domain of knowledge, pushing the boundaries a little can show that you have a broad area of expertise and are willing to learn.
Asking questions can also be a useful method for getting exposure and interacting with other experts in your field. While you shouldn’t just ask questions for the sake of asking them, don’t be afraid to post a question on that latest cutting edge technology you’re working with, or seek the advice of other experts in your field. Even the best of the best sometimes seek the opinion of other experts.
Performing a keyword search is the typical way of finding relevant questions you need. Start by searching for subjects and technologies that you have been involved in recently; for example if you’ve recently learned a lot about social networking, start searching for social networking and look for questions that you can answer with your new-found knowledge.
Notifications can also help to automate the process to some extent. Set up a notification to be notified whenever someone in your network asks a question about a subject you’re interested in. You can also subscribe to LinkedIn Answers with an RSS feed and have it sent directly to your feed reader or Outlook account.
Don’t go overboard by trying to answer every single question with one-liners or unsubstantiated knowledge. Spreading yourself too thin can get you a lot of exposure, but in fact it will be the wrong kind of exposure! It’s better to provide extremely valuable and pertinent advice than it is to provide a whole lot of mediocre advice. Would you rather look like an expert to a handful of people, or an amateur to a whole lot of people?
Instead, focus on providing answers to questions you are comfortable with solving expertly and be consistent.