Tool for Quora Marketing
While trying to promote my other project, Votre, I reached for Quora as a marketing channel. As I wasn’t an expert in Quora Marketing, I started reading up on the subject. I figured out that a question’s stats are very decisive for an answer’s success. Some people on the web suggest that one should create spreadsheets with questions and their stats. “What a great opportunity for automation”, I thought.
Find Better Questions was available as a desktop app.
After creating a small Quora scraper, I thought that bundling the thing up as a web app wouldn’t be too much additional work 😂.
I wasn’t sure whether people would be interested in such a product, so I started writing about my journey on Medium in my Zero to MVP in 30 Days Series. I made some attempts to validate my idea, but in hindsight, I should have been a bit harder on myself. The product never got enough traction, so I shut it down in 2019. Even in 2022 people still contact me about wanting to use it.
If you want to know more about my journey, you can find a lot about it to read on Medium. I’m very glad that I wrote openly about my project, as it didn’t only drive a lot of traffic, but also helped me reflect on the project, and gain a lot of feedback and motivation.
My #1 most frequently asked question about this project is why it’s a desktop app. It’s because I do the scraping on the client side, so it needs to be a desktop app.
I am very impressed with how you built this as a desktop app and seem to use the users’ own account to crawl the stories. – Quincy Larson (founder of freecodecamp.org)
Anyways, I used this Electron React Boilerplate to build the app itself. Since I wanted the initial version of the product out in 30 days, I used the ant.design CSS framework, which I really liked working with. Since I initially also planned to do a web version of the app at some point, all the data lives in the cloud, i.e. a Graphcool backend and some serverless functions. Except for creating new lists (the main feature), the app could easily be ported to the web. Billing is handled by Chargebee.
Coding was only a fraction of everything that had to be done for Find Better Questions though. I was constantly concerned about validating the idea behind it, and marketing the app.
I already told you about writing on Medium and collecting email addresses at the beginning, but as the project grew, a proper marketing stack had to be installed. I was constantly talking to people, from leads to customers, to understand their problems and help solve them.
Since my target customers already use Quora, it’s easy to find them. One strategy I used was cold-emailing. Tools like hunter made it easy to find emails. I only sent <200 cold emails throughout the whole project. The first half of it was done manully, while for another 100, I used Bluetick. I was surprised by how positive the responses to my emails were.
I even got Gary Vaynerchuk to start posting to Quora again.
Users can also contact me with a chat widget right inside of the app. Surprisingly, quite many chat widgets don’t work with Electron. I finally settled on crisp. As you might have already noticed, I’m a little obsessed with choosing marketing tools. I switched tools more often than would be rational, but I tell myself that I also invest that time for choosing the right tools for future projects. If you’re interested in marketing tools, you might just want to read my article How to Push out SaaS as Quick as Possible.
This project really taught me a lot about selling, marketing, and business in general. I’ve had dozens of sales calls and communicated with hundreds of people.
One last fun aspect: The product was copied and inspired others to create similar tools.
Questions Pro even came up with a very similar logo 🙃.
Other tools in the space now are qapop.com, relevantal.com, and q-answers.com.