Become an Expert on Your Topic


One of the main reasons people go online is to solve problems, whether they be questions about their nagging cough, fixing a gutter, recovering a password or what have you.

Ask the ExpertThat's where you come in. You're the expert on the topic you'll be blogging about (or you will be soon).

As I mentioned in my previous post (How to Create Content for Your Site), I created a site where people could ask me questions with the promise that I'd answer them on my blog.

My site for asking questions about affiliate marketing is AskShawnCollins.com. The site is simply a submission form and a thank you page.

I keep the form quick and easy. If you'd like to include some sort of upsell and/or collect additional information, check out how Tim Carter collects questions.

I created the question page as a standalone site a while back and managed to get the site indexed well for my name, so I don't want to mess with that. But there is no reason why you should do that – it's easier to just have the form as a page on your blog.

Ask Shawn Collins in Google

Anyhow, there are a number of ways you could put together the form to collect the questions. I like to use Freedback, which enables me to have each submission hit an online database, as well as being emailed to me.

Also, Feedback sends an auto-reply to the person submitting the question, so you have a chance to remind them to opt-in to a newsletter, subscribe to your RSS feed, or some other action to keep them coming back to your site.

While you are setting up a question form in Freedback, go to the account tab and select Spam Settings. On that page, you can choose to add a CAPTCHA to your question submission process to reduce or eliminate spam submissions.

spam settings in Freedback

I have a CAPTCHA and get few junky submissions.

The easiest way to answer these questions is by writing a blog post with the question the person asked and then your answer.

In the event you are not equipped to answer a question, just do a little research and cite your source(s).

You can see my past answers from submissions to my form in the Ask Shawn Collins category of my blog.

Some other Ask the Expert site examples are Ask Dave Taylor, Ask Leo, and Ask the Mama (my wife).

As you can see with those domains, you can go with branding yourself and your name or make it more about the topic.

You can stick with text for your answers, but adding video to the mix is a great enhancement for your site and to get more reach in the search engines.

Comments

  1. CAPTCHA codes are really great ways to eliminate spam. As far as becoming an expert its a matter of spending a lot of time learning the stuff and implementing and then talking with experience.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post, Shawn. This is a great idea. I just added an “Ask Erik” page to my blog and I’m looking forward to getting questions and book recommendations!

    • Great to see, Erik – one thing I don’t like about using Google Docs for it is that you don’t get an email alert for each new question, which you do get with Freedback.

      Good luck!

  3. This is a great idea. I haven’t yet tried questions for creating content. Inside WordPress as my CMS so could maybe use the built in feedback system. Trying to get fresh content ideas for my marketing blog so think this will help. Any success of this with WordPress?

Trackbacks

  1. […] up, I’ll explain both setting up your site to accept questions and to use Google Alerts to track news […]

  2. […] III. Chapter 2 I answer questions I receive at AskShawnCollins.com on video, and then transcribe those answers to make blog […]

  3. […] Alerts as a Content Source In addition to using questions you receive from people to generate content, Google Alerts are also a good content […]

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