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What Is Quora? Everything a Beginner Needs to Know

Mary Clare Novak
Mary Clare Novak  |  June 3, 2019

People ask a lot of random questions.

How long do sea turtles live? How many kilometers are in a mile? Who is the king of Sweden?

Nowadays, when a question pops into your head, the first place you go is the internet, as it is filled to the brim with resources that can give you the information you are looking for. One of them being Quora.

After hearing that description of Quora, you might be thinking, “Well why don’t I just use an everyday search engine?”

I’ll tell you why. Quora has some qualities that those other research tools don’t:

It allows users to create social networks and follow topics that interest them. 
It focuses on high-quality questions and answers. 
It enable users to vote on answers to highlight the most accurate information possible. 

Are you thinking about switching to Quora for all of your information searching and sharing needs? Let’s go over the basics of Quora and what you need to know before you start using it.

How to use Quora

To use Quora, you need to create an account. Then, you can learn the basic functions of the website. Don’t worry, they make account creation and navigation of the website pretty easy for you. Plus, it’s free!

How to create a Quora account

When you first visit Quora, you will be asked to either sign in or create an account on this colorful screen:

how to set up a quora account

From that screen, click “Sign Up With Email.” After you fill out that page, you can complete the other typical account creation requirements, like adding a photo to your profile and connecting with your friends on the site.

You can then start to follow things that interest you. Quora is the perfect mix between a search engine and social media. You follow things on the website, but there is a greater emphasis on topics, like the ones shown below, rather than people. Either way, whatever you choose to follow will make up the content in your feed.

topics to follow on quora

How to ask questions on Quora

After you’ve created an account and chosen topics to follow, you can start using Quora. This includes asking questions on the site.

To ask a question on Quora, hit the red ‘Add Question or Link’ option in the top right corner. A box that looks like the one below should pop up:

asking a question on quora

Enter your question and then hit ‘Add Question.’ Quora will ask you to select and verify the topics that are relevant to this question. After that, you simply wait for people to respond.

How to answer questions on Quora

On the other end of Quora is the ability to answer other users' questions.

Before we go into how you can answer questions on Quora, let’s touch on why you should.

The only reason you should be answering someone’s question on Quora is if you have a high quality, honest, and accurate answer. Don’t respond to user’s questions with nonsense. The only way a website like Quora can thrive is if all users respect the requests and answers of others.

That being said, answering questions on Quora is simple. Your feed will consist of questions related to the different topics you chose to follow. Click on one of those questions you have a solid answer for, and hit the “Answer” button.

answering questions on quora

Go ahead and submit answers on Quora to your heart's content, just make sure it is all accurate and helpful to the user who asked the question.

How to upvote and downvote answers on Quora

Another feature on Quora that is helpful to users is the upvote and downvote option. If you see a response on Quora that you think perfectly answers the question presented, you can upvote it. On the other hand, if you see an answer that is inaccurate and uninformative, you can downvote it.

The number of upvotes and downvotes on a particular response will affect its visibility. If a response has a lot of upvotes, it is seen as valid and Quora will push it to the top of the response list. If an answer has more downvotes, users see it as invalid and Quora will not prioritize it for others to see.

Here’s what the screen looks like beneath the section for an answer on Quora. The upvote button is labeled to the left. The downvote button is not labeled, but it is the one pointing straight down on the right. I circled it for reference:

upvoting and downvoting answers on quora

Back to Quora basics

In a world full of search engine options, finding the one that best fits your personal preference is important. Quora is a great tool for anyone looking to find and share information, especially if you enjoy a more social and conversational experience when researching. If you liked what you read above, you might want to consider creating a Quora account.

Want to learn more? Discover why content distribution is so important or read some Quora reviews.

Read Quora user reviews, FREE →

Mary Clare Novak
Author

Mary Clare Novak

Mary Clare Novak is a Content Marketing Associate at G2 in Chicago. A recent graduate, she is happy to be back working in her favorite city. In her free time, you can find her doing a crossword puzzle, listening to cover bands, or eating fish tacos. (she/her/hers)