co Got Answers? Join Yahoo! Answers to Promote Your Small Business |

Small businesses provide services and products that keep the world going ’round. Many small “potatoes” later grow into big businesses because they were ahead of the curve and provided something new that filled a need. Enter the World Wide Web. You’re a small business, but now, you have the chance to be viewed by millions. That’s impressive, by small business standards. People have questions, and you’ve got answers, and one of the best cites for people who have questions is Yahoo Answers–and that’s where you come in.

Yahoo! Answers is a great place to share what you know and help folks out. It’s an active communitiy and it does have a devoted following. Yahoo! Answers is now the the second most popular Internet reference site–second only to Wikipedia.

On Yahoo! Answers, people from all over type in a question, and it’s categorized on Yahoo! Answers, and people like you find those questions and answer them–and these are your potential customers who have just “found” you–because chances are, if you have one question, you might be in need of a product or service. These questions are short and to the point–and your answer should be as well. You can spend as little as a half hour to a couple of hours a week answering a few questions, which will lead people back to your website/blog where they can learn more about you.

Yahoo Answers is easy, and many people use it as an alternative social media site–for networking purposes. As on any site, be polite, be helpful, cite your sources (including your own website and blog)–and be professional. Also check under varying categories. People are supposed to ask questions and then place them in the appropriate category, but let’s face it–things get misplaced, so check around.

Yahoo! Answers Basics:

You must open Yahoo! ID, using either a Yahoo! avatar or Yahoo! 360° picture. You can also create a profile that will contain your website, email, and other info such as your blog.

You can ask a question by having a Yahoo! account–but you have to have at least 5 positive points. Questions are open for four days–unless the poster takes it down–and it can be up for as long as 8 days.

Another interesing aspect of Yahoo! Answers is that you can earn points. The best questions are featured on Yahoo!’s 360° blog page. The points system is weighted. This is meant to help encourage users to answer questions. There are levels that have point thresholds, which then allow great site access. give more site access. “Best Answer” for a question answered gets 10 points, which is voted on by the comnunity, and yeah, you can vote for your own answer. All this is meant to encourage involvement. If you do really well, you’ll receive an orange badge and named “top contributor” in that category–which means your answers are respected.

Is all this worth it? Yes, it is. While some people follow Yahoo! Answers as a social network, other people are really there just to get a questioned answered. There are many categories, and it’s quite likely that you can drop by and answer a few, and then watch your small business website and blog traffic increase–and that’s not a bad thing.