Making Money Online By Answering Questions Is One Of The Smartest Businesses Now. Google Loves And Ranks Those Who Answer Clear Questions Specifically.
Did you know that one of the fastest ways to rank your blog posts high on Google is to answer questions people have? If you type in any keywords into Google, you’ll find a section that says “People Also Ask” and Google posts some questions people have searched for.
There is even a section on many Google SERP pages that calls for you to give fresh answers to people’s questions. If you’re lucky if could be your answer that satisfies Google – and bingo, you are ranked.
Why is answering questions so much coveted by people who want traffic to their websites? Because questions are very specific search terms. Imagine if a person typed the keywords “mobile phone charging problems” vs. “How to fix my mobile phone if it won’t charge?” The more specific your answer, Google loves to rank it. And clear questions beget specific answers.
At Solohacks Academy, we think you can make a Knowledge Commerce business just by answering questions people ask in your niche. Answer them on your site as blog posts, or answer them on Q & A sites with links back to your site. Create ebooks and courses for in-depth answers. You have a no-fail business model.
1. How Google is fast-changing into a mega-sharp AI-driven Q & A machine
There are some niche topics rife with questions people ask. For instance, take “weight loss” … or take ‘starting a business online” … or take “how to make money”. We know such topics have endless popularity online, and people have enough and more questions to ask, even if there are tons of blog posts, ebooks, courses, and other free and paid information online.
As long as topics interest people a lot, or exacerbate their pain points or problems, they will have questions – and you can make a whole smart business out of answering them. How? That’s what I am going to show you.
Leading journalists often say, that in any story, you have to give the people the “6-questions-and-answers” first (right there in the first paragraph) before you ramble on with the details of the story. The 6 questions are “Who?”, “What?” “When?”, “Where?”, “Why?”, and “How?”
What this shows you is that before people want to hear what YOU want to say, they want you to answer THEIR questions first.
Responding to this thirst for specific answers, Google – the most famous traffic-begetter for online businesses – has changed into a more thinking machine, using Artificial Intelligence (AI). It started saying to itself, “Searcher Intent is the most important thing – and we have to give the searcher the exact answers to what they were intending to ask, when they typed in their searches into Google.”
That means when someone types “Apple buying issues” into the Google search box, Google’s AI brains have to first figure out if people mean Apple the fruit or Apple the computer. Then Google has to see whether people are asking about general buying problems or specific buying problems of the “apples” in mind. Naturally, it’s all easier if a person types a clear question to Google, like, “Where can I buy Washington Apples near me, freshly delivered?”
When Google gives people a satisfying answer to the specific intent they had when searching, Google’s mission in life is met. And if your blog post has met the exact criteria for the best and most perfect answer for the question the searcher asks, Google loves to rank you atop of its list as its best answer to the query.
All in all, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – the science of getting hordes of traffic to your business website – has gone from being a hit-or-miss match between blog posts and searchers. It’s grown into a more specific game of answering clear and precise questions, to cream the traffic from Google.
Now, just to see for ourselves what Google is up to, look at the latest way they display SERPS (Search Results Pages) with tons of Q&A listings. See the diagram below:
(Click the image to see a larger version.)
Here are a few pertinent things to notice:
- The search terms typed into the Google box, in this example, were “mobile phone charging problems” (a very non-specific search term). But Google has chosen to interpret it as: “How to fix my mobile phone if it won’t charge?” and given a whole page of answers to that. Why? Maybe because Google’s AI brain has deciphered that particular specific question as the most prevalent intent for that non-specific search term.
- See the topmost Featured Snippet box where Google has chosen a potential best match query and its answer (marked as Callout No. 1 on the image).
- Then, in Callout 2, on the diagram, look at the accordion-type queries under “People Also Ask”. The list shows questions most asked by people on the issue from different angles. The more you click those queries, the list of queries expands …
- Next see Callout No. 3 on the diagram. It’s a list of YouTube videos demonstrating how to get a recalcitrant mobile phone to start charging. Video answers to the query!
- Alongside Callout 4 on the diagram, you’ll notice some blog posts that ask a question and promise an answer rank very well (other factors aside). If your article headline seen to be raising a question and answering it, and it matches “search intent” as Google sees it, you rank high.
- Now, look at Callout 5 on the diagram. It’s called “Q & A on Google” and invites you to answer queries from searchers, with short quick solutions. People can upvote on these answers.
- Finally, in Callout 6 on the diagram, we have the classic “Related Search Suggestions” from Google. But notice how more and more these are clearer as questions than they ever used to be on Google.
Moral of the story? The Internet, via Google, is becoming one big FAQ, and if you are in a question-answer mode in your blogging and other knowledge products like ebooks and courses, you will run ahead faster than others.
2. Where can you find the questions that people ask most of all so you can answer them?
To start your Knowledge Commerce business as a question-answer model, you should take the first few basic steps:
- Choose a niche where you are comfortably placed to handle questions – it could be your area of career expertise, or just a subject where you’ve had intense personal learning like a hobby or passion. Maybe you’ve just read a lot on the subject and have many answers within you.
- Set up a domain name and website (with a blog), and start blogging profusely on queries people ask on your subject of expertise (your niche area). Track your rankings in Google. See if you are gaining traffic. Look for people asking the same questions on social media or forums. Answer them in brief and point them with a link back to your blog post for a stronger answer.
- Create a “lead magnet” – a free downloadable ebook, perhaps – on a query most asked in your niche, and offer this in exchange for people’s names and email addresses. Add their contacts automatically to a mailing list like Mailchimp (which is free till you get thousands of subscribers). Keep these subscribers happy by emailing them whenever you have new blog posts, or by encouraging them to treat your newsletters as a Q&A sheet where you answer their queries. Make them eager to send you more queries. Who says “engagement with subscribers” is tough?
- Query your subscribers on what ebooks or courses would help them most in areas of great difficulty. Set up products you can sell – your ebooks and courses. Your video tutorials could again be structured as demos that answer questions. Or you could host webinars where you invite big-name influencers whom your audiences can ask questions of.
Now, you may have a question I can answer. “Where can I find questions people ask on my niche topic?”. Good question. Three great answers below:
QUORA is your ultimate Q & A site
Have you ever visited Quora? It’s a complete Q & A site. Just type into the search box any term related to your niche, and a horde of questions will appear, asked by lay readers and answered by other lay readers. I just typed in “What is Spirulina?” and got a string of endlessly scrolling Q & A on the topic. (If you didn’t know spirulina is a superfood – a form of algae.) See the diagram below:
(Click the image to see a larger version.)
Set up Quora to alert you on topics related to your niche, and you’ll get questions you can answer and link back to your blog posts for more detail.
ANSWERTHEPUBLIC is a Q & A keyword tool
For those who want only keyword suggestions as questions there’s a dedicated tool called AnswerThePublic. See the image below. I just typed in my search term as “info-products, and it gave me a diagrammatic set of different most-asked queries on the topic.
(Click the image to see a larger version.)
The tool is awesome for anyone wanting to make a serious business out of seeking questions to answer – and thereby grabbing traffic, subscribers, sales, and wealth (in that order).
SPARKTORO is the new smarter superman on the block
There’s now a smart new “audience insights” tool called Sparktoro. See the image below. I typed in my search term as “blogging mistakes”, next to the prompt “My Audience Frequently Talks About …” – and it gave me a host of places online where my audience usually hangs out, and the influencers and sites it looks up to for answers.
(Click the image to see a larger version.)
Ask yourself how to make yourself one of your audience’s go-to watering holes, for the best answers and discussions on their hot queries in your niche. This tool tells you who are the competitors you need to spy on, and go one-up on.
3. Seek sites that pay for answers, choose the ones where your niche is popular
There are several types of sites (or opportunities) for making money instantly by answering questions (but be sure you know what you are talking about and the question is around your niche of expertise. Here are the categories of sites that pay:
1. Sites that do surveys and want your inputs
- IPSOS: Ipsos is one of the oldest survey sites around. You can earn bonus points for surveys you complete, and then cash-out your earned points.
- MINDSWARMS: This is another survey site, but instead of form-based surveys, you’ll answer video surveys on your phone.
- SWAGBUCKS: Big and small brands give you questions to answer when they want to gauge the market. Swagbucks is one of the oldest and best sites with great rewards.
- HARRISPOLL: A very trusted online paid survey site, where your opinions can even inﬂuence important decision makers in government, corporations, and non-proﬁt organizations with your unique insights.
2. Sites dedicated to Q & A that pay for answers
- ANSWEREE: Earn bonus rewards while posting answers on Answeree Q&A.
- EXPERTS123: You can search for questions people are asking to create an informative blog post, where pay is determined by traffic to your answer.
- DIRECTLY: Once a question comes through in your area of expertise, you’ll have an opportunity to answer it and get paid.
- FIXYA: This site aggregates questions related to fixing things. You’ll receive points – and prizes – for your answers.
- WONDER: Wonder expects more research and in-depth responses than other Q&A websites, but it also pays more.
3. Sites that pay for answers via apps on mobiles
- 1Q: Receive questions via text or download the app. Answer questions from your phone.
- 6YA: 6ya allows professional experts to earn money by providing quick help to customers over the phone.
- COLLIDE: Collide is a platform empowering creators to get paid for their content and every interaction with fans.
- COINBASE: Earn crypto while learning about crypto. You’ll receive crypto in your Coinbase wallet for every quiz you complete.
4. Sites where you can set your own rates as an expert
- CLARITY: A site for startup advice from world class experts.
- KEEN: People ask life questions here for clarity in times of uncertainty.
- MAVEN: The world’s largest micro consulting company. Great subject-matter experts answer queries with a mentoring approach.
- PRESTOEXPERTS: Where people can get immediate help from top talented experts. Any time. Any matter.
- LIVE PERSON At LivePerson, the most extraordinary intelligence isn’t artificial. Their USP is that real people answer real questions.
5. HARO: This is the big one that pays with handsome backlinks and high mentions
Although technically HARO (Help A Reporter Out) doesn’t pay money, it pays you with something more precious if you’re an online entrepreneur. It pays you with backlinks from the world’s top sources of news and information – sites like Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, Huffpost.com, or the websites of mega brands. How does HARO work?
In its own words: “HARO connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.” Acrss the world there are top journalists looking to include real life opinions, case-studies or examples from real people with expertise on the topic of the articles they are writing for leading publishers. They email their requirements in a thrice-a-day email that solicits replies from you. If you qualify as someone who can answer their queries, you ca answer. If your answer is chosen and included in the article by the reporter, you may get yourself a mention, a citation, or a precious-as-platinum backlink from some huge online publishers. You have to sign up with HARO to get their emails and answer those queries you may think of as right up your street.
4. Great tips for answering queries that successful pros recommend
There are three simple rules to answer queries very satisfactorily, so that you become a go-to source for great answers for people – and can eventually start charging high for your opinions.
1. Read the question very carefully. See what is asked exactly. See what is not asked. Use your intuition to fathom the real intent of the questioner in asking the question.
You’d be surprised at the effort entrepreneurs put into answering questions without understanding the question properly. For example, if the question states this: “What is the easiest way to learn professional copywriting?”, how would you be tempted to answer this? You have to ask yourself: “What problem could this person have that makes him/her ask this question?” The “why” behind the question (and a mental visualization of someone with this question in mind, and his/her mood) may give you the clues to answer this properly.
2. When answering a question give a bit of all three facets – your quick answer; your deeper thinking behind the answer; and how to implement the answer (with examples).
People don’t want to reach the fourth paragraph of your reply article before they get their answer. So make sure you start your reply with a quick and succinct paragraph that answers the question. Then go into explaining why you are giving this answer – what is your rationale for thinking this way. Finally, show people how to implement the answer in their lives – giving a lot of examples they can get inspired by.
3. Where allowed, try to support your answer with images, graphics, and diagrams that simplify and speed up understanding. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Often a simple diagram would more easily explain an answer to someone who cannot grasp the complexity of a thousand words. Wherever scope allows, include quick graphics that explain what you mean when you answer a question. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Think about a question like: “How does one calculate the ROI of an ad spend?’. Instead of putting it all in words a small graphic version of the formula to use may get the answer home to the reader in a jiffy, right?
5. The reverse view – how to ask the right questions to succeed spectacularly
While most entrepreneurs are preoccupied with answering questions for a living, there is another side to your success. If you ask yourself the right questions, the answers you discover can change your life quite dramatically. So look up these wonderful books if you have a yen to take a break from answering and to start asking …
(Click the images to buy from Amazon.)
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
This post is part of a series that elaborates on “How To Make Money Online Without Investment For High Profit“.
Other related posts you may like to read are these:
- How To Make Money Online From Home Via Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online Freelancing In Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online On The Side Via Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online By Writing For Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online As A Student Via Knowledge Commerce
- How Beginners Can Grow Passive Incomes … 10 Suggestions
- How To Make Money Online For Beginners in Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online From Blogging In Your Niche
- How To Make Money Online Affiliate Marketing In Your Niche
- How To Make Money Online Genuinely Without Getting Scammed