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What Quora’s New Passive Income Payment Model Means For Medium Writers

  • 9 min read

New Rewards

$$$ —and the future of making money online

In my latest article ‘Big Changes Will Be Happening In The Writers Community’ I informed you about the future of online writing.

In a nutshell: there’s a broad shift happening all across the major content creation platforms — such as Medium, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Quora. This information was based on insider insights.

Meanwhile Medium, for instance, revealed one of its new features: the Medium Writers Challenge where creators can win up to $50,000.

Let’s wait and see what Ev Williams and his team will be rolling out next.

A few days ago, Quora also had big news. The platform officially launched its new monetization features similar to the Medium Partner Program and it’s a big deal.

With Quora, you could make real money outside of the traditional nine-to-five job in the future and even make a living out of your writing.

About Quora

Some contextual information to classify Quora in the digital publishing landscape:

Quora’s history and the future of monetization

In the first half of 2018, Quora introduced its Partner Program. This was the platform’s first approach to reward its contributors and let writers earn money — but the Program wasn’t targeted at the writers who answered questions but at the people who asked questions.

In the second half of 2021, with their new monetization model, Quora chose to reward those creators who answer the questions based on their performance.

(…) the next stage of Quora’s business will include both ads and premium content

Adam D’Angelo, Founder and CEO of Quora

How can I make money on Quora?

There are two opportunities for writers to monetize their content independently:

Quora+ Program

Similar to Medium’s Partner Program Quora announced that creators can enroll their content on the so-called ‘Quora+’-program.

If you’re interested in earning money on Quora writers can choose to put their answers behind Quora’s paywall — only users who are paying $5/month or $50/year subscription to Quora will have access to your content.

(Writers) will be paid a part of the advertising revenue — 95% of the take. Naturally, the written responses will need to be behind a paywall, and, as with Medium, payment will depend on whether those with paid subscriptions viewed the content.

For those unfamiliar with advertising shares — the norm is 60%. So 95% is very high.

@tessa schlesinger

It’s all about engagement

Similar to the Medium Partner Program Quora measures performance by ‘engagement’. The more users engage with your content the more revenue creators earn.

On Quora ‘engagement’ means = views, upvotes (on Medium it’s ‘claps’), comments and shares. Additionally, whether the reader becomes a paying subscriber.

Aamir Kamal 🚀🚀🚀also wrote in his latest article it’s about

(…) the Quora+ member reading time. (…) When you join (the) Quora+ earning program, you can also start an independent subscription-based Quora Space.

Paid Quora Space Subscriptions

Quora has launched a Space Beta Program where you can monetize so-called ‘Quora Spaces’.

I think you can compare the community feature Quora spaces to Facebook groups. There are some I find very interesting in regard to Medium.

As you can see below there’s for instance a space called ‘Medium Partners & Writers’ or Dr Mehmet Yildiz with ‘Illumination on Medium’.

If you type in ‘Medium’ these are the results you’ll get; screenshot by Kristina God

The space ‘Medium Partners & Writers’ has 11k followers and in the last week, there were 41 posts. Its contributors are Jesse Wilson Liz Gallo Ana Melendez Odyssa and Inpshita Shekhawat.

The space ‘Medium Partners & Writers’ is very interesting for Medium writers; screenshot by Kristina God

Since ‘Medium Partners & Writers’ has hundreds of followers, presumably a broad reach and daily visitors asking questions, with the new monetization feature, they could think about charging their users for access or exclusive content. They could even set the price.

Why has Quora started rewarding its creators?

By allowing creators to earn from the knowledge they share, we enable them to create more and better quality content for everyone, whether they are a member or not.

Adam D’Angelo, Founder and CEO of Quora

As I showed in my latest article on the new rewards on Quora, Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s the golden era of ‘content creation’, and Quora and Co. are racing to attract writers amid a creator arms race.

Medium and Quora both are fighting for two things:

  • 1. the writers: With their changes, the platforms are trying to lure (the best) creators to their platforms. Writers are contributors. Quora can’t publish a million answers in a day but creators can.
  • 2. search engine listings: In Q2 2020 Medium beat Quora in search traffic.
screenshot from ‘What’s around the corner for Medium’ by Ev Williams

As Aamir Kamal as a Quora expert writes in his article about the new features on Quora:

Now, they want to compete with Medium.

Nicolas Cole, who started answering questions for Quora in 2014 and became #1 writer, says:

If any platform is going to nail independent monetization for writers, it’s going to be Quora or Medium. Now, the race is on.

Limitations of the new monetization model

As Tessa Schlesinger wrote in her article about Quora, payment is only for English writers and…

Writers are paid through Stripe — same as Medium. This means that people who live in the third world will once more be omitted from a revenue sharing opportunity for writers.

What I already love about Quora

In order to write this article, I became a Quora member and set up an account:

My new profile on Quora; screenshot by Kristina God
  • Writing ideas: In my opinion, Quora is a wealth of writing ideas! If you suffer from Mother’s Block this may be the cure.
  • Specificity: There are endless burning questions and hundreds of answers in specific categories of interest. When you’re in a specific industry, for instance in my case Marketing, you can share your experience on the site and learn what your potential audience on Medium wants to read about (more).
  • Personal Branding: When you’re in the middle of building your personal brand (in order to sell your upcoming ebook) you can earn from the knowledge you share and become an authority in the topic of your interest.
  • Embrace the power of ‘and’: Despite Medium, Quora could also be one of your major touchpoints online.
  • Answers as or longer than Medium articles: There are answers with up to 50,000 words! That’s insane. Your answer can become the #1 answer on Google and even link to your Medium article.
  • Promote your Medium articles: You have the opportunity to promote your articles, for instance as a go-to link at the end of your answer, and increase your traffic on Medium.
  • Cross-post your Medium articles: If there’s a question you already answered on Medium, for instance ‘How to start blogging’, you can use this, post it on Quora and even make money with it. According to the Medium policies, you own your posts and you don’t need to take permission from Medium to distribute them. But keep in mind: whatever platform you choose to publish your story on first is going to be taken a priority on Google.

Final Thoughts

‘It is, without question, the most underutilized writing platform on the Internet.’ Nicolas Cole

With Quora, you could make real money outside of the traditional nine to five job in the future and even make a living out of your writing.

  • Quora has around 300 million unique users — 10x the size of Medium.
  • Therefore theoretically it has the most revenue potential for creators.

If you still aren’t writing on Quora in 2022, you’re missing out. Nicolas Cole

Since I’m a marketer I’m going to be experimenting and will share my insights with you.

I’m very curious to see what’s coming next!

© Kristina God

Here’s my Quora profile for you!

If you have further information because you’re already a Quora pro, please share your thoughts in the comments. I’m also interested in tips and tricks on how to start on Quora. I would love to hear from you.

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