I'm pretty shocked, honestly.
What started as me searching for an answer to a question on Quora and finding nothing relevant ended with me getting a bunch smart people to sign up to my blog.
First, I stumbled upon a relevant question (I wasn't even looking for it!):
It just so happened that I had created a free downloadable Google Doc that contained the Top 150 Tech Blogs to Pitch Your Startup To.
I wrote a really quick reply:
I wasn't expecting much to happen - there were already 88 other replies by notable people like Robert Scoble (who happens to run one of the blogs on the downloadable list). Why would anyone be interested in, let alone see, what I have to say about the topic?
About 5 minutes later I see there are 4 new signups to my site. I'm perplexed. Where did they come from? I had already written off the potential of anyone seeing my Quora answer. After all, the question was nearly 4 years old and, by my estimation, beaten to death.
But signups kept coming in. I booted up Google Analytics and looked at the Real-Time traffic to see what was happening. A steady stream of people were visiting from Quora!
I went back to Quora to see why this was.
Then I realized: 1,935 people were following the question.
If you aren't familiar with Quora, it's an online platform where you can ask questions and post answers which are then upvoted by the community if they are deemed useful/entertaining/insightful/etc. I've used Quora (though mostly as a lurker) from the beginning. Somehow I had forgotten that users can follow questions. When a user follows a question they are notified every time there is a new answer.
1,935 people were notified of my answer and the link to a free download I was offering to the community.
- 84 of the 1,936 (4.3%) people that followed the question visited my landing page for the free download.
- 52.3% of those that visited my landing page ended up giving me their email address for the free download!
- (2.2% of the people that followed the question)
44 emails does not make me a superstar marketer. I know that. But when your new blog is 2 days old and you aren't Noah Kagan or Seth Godin that's a pretty damn good way to start.
A word of caution:
Make use of, but don't abuse, the power of Quora. I wasn't trying to sell anything. I wasn't promoting an app or company. Though I was indirectly promoting my blog, note that I never said, "check out this free download on my website." I was also adding to the conversation in a meaningful way.