Quora recently announced the launch of Quora Blogs - a new service that allows Quora users to create their very own blogs - turning it into a blogging platform overnight.
Quora targeted its new blogging service at individuals who "want an audience, but don't have an established blog already."
Being a blogger myself, I was naturally inclined to give the new platform a try - and this what I found.
To begin with, the Quora blogging platform is in the very early stages of its development (or did they mean it this way?). It comes across as a mere extension of the existing question-answer platform and the tools it offers look primitive when compared to some of the other blogging platforms around. Clearly the Quora developers have a lot of work to do if this platform is to cut ice with the community of bloggers.
Quora as a blogging platform suffers from the following shortcomings
1. Little control over the appearance of your blog. With the default theme and just two colour options to choose from, all blogs are set to look the same.
2. All links are set to NoFollow. There is no way in which you can set links within the text to DoFollow.
3. No option to move your blog to a custom top-level domain.
4. No option to import from other blogging platforms.
6. A default widget beneath your blog post promotes content from other blogs. (It can potentially cause visitors to 'bounce' on to other blogs. On the other hand it can also do you good by finding you more readers)
7. No option to manually edit post URL.
8. HTML editing is disabled.
9. Image Alt attributes are not supported.
Given the shortcomings discussed above, Quora Blogs are certainly not suitable for professional blogging. However, Quora Blogs could be still be beneficial if you want to reach out to a large number of people in a short span of time.
Who should be using Quora blogs?
Well, anyone wanting to reach the masses without going through the 'gruesome' steps of slowly building an audience should be using Quora Blogs.
As a Quora blogger, you can use the existing following that Quora enjoys, to catapult your blog to success. All you have to do is to come up with good content and Quora will provide you with the audience.
To quote Mark Bodnick, "Building a blog and marketing it is really hard work and requires a lot of time. On Quora, if you come on and write one good thing it could explode. No matter who you are, (Quora) can provide you the audience."
The Quora blogging platform is still in its infancy and offers only limited tools. Given its SEO shortcomings it can give you only limited exposure. However, we can certainly expect more from it in future, including potentially some revenue sharing features. Till then lets keep our fingers crossed.