If you’re not using Yahoo! Answers to promote your business, you’re missing a great opportunity to reach people who might otherwise not see your message. Like forums, Yahoo! Answers provides an opportunity to answer questions, promote your business and enjoy yourself at the same time.

The following tips will make your Yahoo! Answers marketing efforts more effective:

1. Get a Yahoo! 360 account. This is a social network like MySpace and Facebook. Your 360 account will allow you to write a blog and build a page all about you and what you do. When you use Yahoo! Answers, other members can see your 360 profile page, rather than the small and relatively boring profile you get by default on Yahoo! Answers.

2. Use your business name in your nickname. You can use your Yahoo! 360 nickname or make up a username for Yahoo! Answers. Use your business name or a descriptive nickname that tells what you do, such as EbookWriter.

2. Add a picture to your account. You can use the picture from your Yahoo! 360 account, if you have one, or you can build an avatar using Yahoo’s avatar tools. Either way, create a fun image of yourself. People are more likely to check out your profile if you have a picture or avatar and they have some sense of who you are.

3. Answer questions every day. If you’re committed to Yahoo! Answers as a marketing strategy, you should set aside fifteen to twenty minutes a day to answer questions. Understand that this is only a small portion of your marketing effort, but in order to prompt people to visit your profile, you need to be visible. Answering a few questions each day will accomplish that more readily than answering fifty questions each Saturday.

4. Choose your questions carefully and answer them with authority. It can be fun to start answering questions like, “What made the ping-pong balls fall on Captain Kangaroo?” And there’s nothing wrong with having fun. By all means, answer some fun questions. But concentrate your marketing time on answering questions related to your business, and write answers that demonstrate your knowledge of your field.

5. Don’t expect instant results. You can build your traffic by answering questions on Yahoo! Answers, and it’s a welcome change from some of the more tedious marketing tasks you have to do. But it does take time to build up a reputation and get a steady stream of people visiting your profile and checking out your business. Be patient, and work steadily at this marketing strategy, as you would any other marketing technique.

Yahoo! Answers is still a relatively young site, and very young as a marketing technique compared to, say, article marketing. This newness is an advantage for you, as a marketer, because it gives you the opportunity to build a profile and generate traffic before the masses of marketers begin to understand the importance of Yahoo! Answers.

Now is the best time to make Yahoo! Answers part of your marketing strategy. Schedule an answering session each day and take the time to answer good questions well, and this can really be an effective way to market your business.