For those who don’t know what I mean, Quora is a question and answer website that covers an astonishingly huge range of topics.
If you’re curious about anything, you’ll probably find it here—recipes for the best casserole someone’s mother ever made; the top 10 Bollywood films of all time, and the funniest game show bloopers in television history. Politics are also covered, although the company’s official POV is to not take sides.
I’ve been familiar with Quora for a couple of years (the company started in 2009) because I’ve replied to a handful of questions about movies, clowning and circuses. So at some point, I must have created an account. But I didn’t know that 200 million people around the world clicked on the site every month.
Then, at the end of last year, I received an email from Quora’s corporate office.
The message was an invitation to join the Quora Partners Program (QPP), which meant that if I signed up, I could now make money for asking and answering questions. The amount varies for each question, since each query is dependent on how many people view and respond to the question; the number of internal and external traffic a specific question generates, and other mysterious revenue parameters way above the pay grade for this Girl Clown.
There’s also the secret of how one gets invited to be in the QPP.
The answer is that no one is sure, since Quora won’t give out that information. Still, some speculate that candidates are selected because past responses they’ve submitted are well written, accurate and complete.
It’s also a mystery as to how many Partners there are, maybe because the number is constantly changing. My guess is more than several hundred, but less than 10,000. (As it turns out, I’m acquainted with two Partners. I once worked with one on a TV series pitch.)
In any case, I needed to know the bottom line, which is this: how much money could I make?
The short reply is not very much.
While a teeny tiny group of Partners do rake in beaucoup bucks—half a dozen participants consistently see a few thousand dollars every month—these members must be at their computers nearly 24 hours a day. That’s because in order to reach that tier, a Quora Partner needs to post at least 100 questions, daily. Also, they have to be questions which aren’t already on the site, and which are also going to engage thousands of viewers.
So, most Quora Partners see pennies a day.
I decided to give it a whirl anyway.
When I started, I focused on questions about my favorite movies, as well as life as a journalist and clown.
But within a few weeks, I realized I’d have better luck (in other words, more money) with queries about everyday topics, such as recipes and fashion and work. For instance, I’m a very good home cook, so I wondered what surprising ingredients folks added to their beans, potato salad and scrambled eggs. (This was done by asking three separate questions. Thanks to many replies, I now have a favorite new way to make green beans, and directions for a spinach cheese pie with matzo.)
It’s not much work.
I write between five and 10 questions every day, asking about topics that just pop into my head. I also answer
twice that many. My current financial stats are this: since February, I’ve made enough every month for a coffee
date with the Hubster. And this last month, I earned $35—sufficient to cover a dinner for two at our neighborhood
I realize that my Quora Partner earnings aren’t making my piggy bank jingle much at all.
But that’s not important.
What’s more essential is this.
I’m getting the chance to polish my writing, where my words are read by millions. There’s also the opportunity to interface with folks who I’d never otherwise know. And of course, I’m learning a lot about a lot of things. As a naturally inquisitive person, that fact alone is intoxicating.
One more thing: I’m having a lot of fun.
p.s. My Quora profile is here, at https://www.quora.com/profile/Hilary-Roberts-Grant.