How Nina Clapperton Optimized Quiz Promotion with Targeted SEO

Nina Clapperton is the founder of Nina Out and About, a solo female expat blog based on Nina’s experience of living in 8+ countries in 10 years, and She Knows SEO, where she teaches travel bloggers to scale their business with SEO. Here we’ll learn how Nina Clapperton optimized quiz promotion with targeted SEO!

Our favorite quote: 

Rather than just embedding the quiz like a lot of my competitors did, I added about 700 words of actual context. Did some internal linking across my site and yeah, really built up that page. So it was a strong page unto itself.

A tip that I have, if you don’t know how to like fill your quiz with information: I use an AI writer to help me write my quiz… I use Jasper AI and it really helped me write interesting titles, but it also helps me write the quiz questions themselves. So if I’m doing something that is kind of more general personality, or if I am doing something that does have right or wrong answers, it’s really great to use an AI writer to help you come up with those.

Read the full transcript below:

Meet Nina Out and About

Hi, my name is Nina Clapperton. I run, She Knows SEO dot Co and Nina Out and About dot CA and I want to talk to you about Interact quizzes because I am obsessed, I’m so excited by them. I started using quizzes early in 2022. My business was kind of taking off, not quite yet. I was really working on getting into Mediavine and making my blog a passive income generator.

And while I was doing that, I was trying to find different ways to make income. And one of the ways that I found is email lists. So I figured I need to get on that. And I tried all of the freebie options for a travel site. My travel site is for solo females looking to live abroad. And I tried the packing list, I did the itineraries, I did the checklists, I did checklists for different posts.

I did all the stuff you’re like kind of supposed to do and that you see everyone else doing and it just wasn’t converting. At the end of 2021, I had 74 people on my email list. By the summer of 2022, I had 5,000. And that’s a pretty significant difference. And the best part is those 5,000 people didn’t just sit there, they made me money.

The new subscribers from the quiz helped me hit my first $10,000  passive income month, much quicker than I expected. They also paid for themselves time and time again, and they’re super engaged. So I have over 47% open rate on my Mailerlite, and that’s after the iOS update, which like, apparently that means it’s higher than it’s reported. I’m not an email expert, but that’s really great for me and it’s meant a lot of affiliate income that I didn’t otherwise expect. 

“What country should you move to next?” Quiz

So the quiz that I have on that site is about where to move to and where to move abroad. I was trying to come up with something to share and people did, like, the few people I had on my list, did ask me like, okay, so you have all these on living in different places. 

Cause I’ve lived in over 18 countries in the last 10 years. And they’d say I’d see all these posts, but which one’s right for me? And I didn’t really want to do custom coaching on that. I didn’t feel super qualified, especially with the legalities of visas and stuff. And I was getting so many emails.

I was like, okay, I need something that will help them. And that’s when I stumbled into quizzes. I’ve had quizzes on my site before, they’re like free ones that don’t collect emails. And they are some of my most popular posts. People really like those posts. They’re quite engaging. So I figured I should make something like that.

But of course I wanted to find a way to up-level from the way I did those other ones four years ago when my blog was still just a hobby. So I found Interact through some friends that have used it before and wanted to give it a try with this. And really the goal was to get people on the email list and then I’d kind of figure out what to do with them after.

Nina’s Target Audience

My target audience were people who want to live abroad, definitely. I talk specifically to a female audience, but I have a number of men that sign up as well. And the quiz really is about figuring out their problem and answering, where should you live? So it’s not one of those like Buzzfeed quizzes where it’s like, okay, what design do you see in this?

It’s very much like pick a house and each house is in a location. Pick the type of weather you like, what do you like, what do you do for work? Things like that. And I made it a very, very practical quiz. So I wouldn’t say it’s the most fun quiz in the world, but it is a personality assessment to see, okay, where should you live?

I do get a lot of people that say, that’s exactly right. I get some that say that’s not right for me. And I’m like, okay, well then you’ve ruled that one. And then you can move on to the others. But it’s pretty accurate I’ve found, and a number of people have ended up moving to the places I suggested, which is really cool.

How is the Quiz Promoted?

I run the quiz across my site, so the way that I promoted it is a little bit different, I think, to other people. Because I’m an SEO specialist, I do SEO first with everything I do. So the first thing I did once I had this question idea of like, okay, I’m gonna help people figure out where to live. I didn’t know if I should do country specific ones.

I didn’t know if I should do cities, people should live in or country generally, etc. There’s so many options. So I went to key search to make my decision for me and I searched what I call root keywords. Root keywords is essentially the basis of whatever you’re thinking of. So I searched expat quiz just to see what came up and then did some variations. Saw what keyword worked for me and then ran with it. And I created this post on the quiz. 

Rather than just embedding the quiz like a lot of my competitors did, I added about 700 words of actual context. Did some internal linking across my site and yeah, really built up that page. So it was a strong page unto itself.

I then promoted it in my sidebar, I created just like a little canvas, still image. It’s not super cute. I’m not a design expert. But I created one based on like their Facebook ad templates and then just put the static image in my sidebar and I link from that to the quiz page across my site. I also do have it as like an opt-in every now and then in some posts where it’ll be like, “Struggling to figure out if this country’s for you?” and then image for the quiz. They click on it, they go to the quiz, and then they can take it. That’s basically my promo method. I keep it running all the time. It’s evergreen for me, which is great because it continually brings in a crazy amount of traffic to the post itself. But also a lot of email subscribers just completely organically, which is really nice. 

How has the Quiz Performed Since it’s Been Live?

I took December off and I had over 900 people sign up in December, which is one of my lowest traffic months. I write about travel and people are busy with their family, but I also write a lot about Canada. And Canada sucks in winter.

I can say that as a Canadian. So I had a lot lower traffic then. My best month was 1500 people in a month, which was really cool. I chose the quiz mostly because I just needed something different. Nothing was converting. I thought this was a good alternative to offering one-to-one service.

It seemed scalable and I didn’t expect it to go this well. Honestly, I thought I might like at best, get a hundred people a month and I would’ve been so blown away by that cuz like 74 people was four years worth of work to accumulate. So I had no idea that this would happen and it really did help me get new people to my site and then keep them engaged with me long term, because I do have a lot of SEO posts where it solves one problem and I solve the entire problem in that post. And then they’re kind of like, okay, thanks, bye. 

So this was a great way to continue to help people. And then it tied in really nicely to a welcome sequence I’ve been using. And with that, it’s kind of almost like a free email course where I walk them through a number of challenges of living abroad and how to solve them.

And tying those two together was really nice cuz I’ve done a free email course as a promo before, as a freebie opt-in. But if people aren’t on your site to find it, if it’s not like well broadcasted, if it’s in their email too – it often gets lost. You don’t feel like they’ve engaged with you, but with the quiz they engage with me.

They already are like, Nina, help me. I’m gonna keep using her stuff, and that was really nice. So, yeah, I found that that works very well. I think honestly I did it kind of on a whim too. Cause I was just like, let’s try it. At that point I had started to make a bit of money from my blog, so I was like, let’s invest it and see what happens.

What Were the Challenges You Encountered?

And then it really massively worked. It helped me hit my first $10k passive of income month. Probably about three months ahead of what I initially planned for when it might happen. I don’t know if it would’ve without the emails. When I was making the quizzes something that was a problem or kind of a challenge was a lot of my competitors seem to be massive sites.

So like think Buzzfeed and you often feel like I can’t compete with that. But those quizzes, because it’s just Buzzfeed so they can get away with stuff, they don’t put in as much effort as we do. And really I treated this like a way for me to interact with my users. I was like, okay, let’s not just do something like the rorschach test. That means you saw a butterfly, so it means you should live in Canberra or something. 

I really wanted to make it answer the questions I would ask people when they asked me where they should live. I would say, okay, do you like heat or cold? What are your jobs? What are your plans? Do you have kids? Where are you from and how would that impact? Things like that.

I just put all those questions into a quiz and was able to go forward from there. I also did find that, like my competitors had very short quizzes and I am a long-winded person, so I was like, no, you know what?

I’m not going to stick with what everyone else is doing. I’m gonna do what I want to do and what I think would work, and it really, really worked. So I think that was a challenge to kind of impede me from getting started. I also, like, I definitely knew of Interact at least a year before I started running these quizzes.

And I think the price scared me. Cause I was like, well, what if nothing happens? And that also held me back from all my blogging stuff. There’s a reason I had a blog for four years and everything went wrong. And then in six months I turned things around and went from $5K sessions to $55K sessions.

And it was from doing stuff like this, like finally investing in programs that actually work and tools that will help you and save you a lot of wasted time, which I wish I had done before. 

What were the Wins from Your Quiz?

When I started the quiz it was in like spring or late winter of 2022 and I did kind of just throw it up cuz I was like, let’s see what happens.

Since then my business has been booming. That summer I had my first $10K month in January of 2023. I just had a $31.5K month that was majority passive income. There was a couple little course sales in there, but most of that was affiliate revenue from my blog. And a big part of that has been email affiliates where I will promote things on my email list to my people.

It’s also been a great way to sell my two $7 mini courses on moving abroad. I find that the quiz converts way better than they do, not just because the quiz is free, but because it has that level of interaction. And people are prepared to do a quiz, they really want to.

And so even the last page of my quiz where I recommend some products to them and then through the email sequence afterwards, that welcome sequence has continued to generate a lot of income. And then they stay super engaged. I have over 47.5% open rate on my emails in Mailerlite. And that’s with quite a high number of users. 

I do go through my email list pretty regularly to make sure that I don’t have inactive people on there cuz I, I don’t care about vanity metrics. I don’t really care if I have a list of a million people. If they’re not opening the emails, I have to pay for them to be there.

So I’d rather have a small but mighty list that’s super engaged, that is hyper-focused and are my target audience because those are the people who will make me money, but who will also like join my community and really grow with me. And it’s been great because they’ve given me ideas for more quizzes with their questions.

I’ve also been able to help them more. I can then address their specific questions when they do ask them. So I’m not having to be like, okay, here’s some boiler plate stuff about which country to pick. They can say, okay, I got Germany, I want to move there. What do I do? And then I can give them specifics to help them.

How has Your Quiz Impacted Your Business?

The quiz was a big part of an SEO push I did that threw my business into the stratosphere, which has been amazing. I was able to leave my job at a law firm and start doing this full-time, and my dog and I are hitting the road to travel to even more countries and live in more countries full-time in 2023.

If I had to describe what Interact has done for my business, Interact has completely changed the way I can connect with my community. Before, I tried all these static things that I saw everyone else doing and they didn’t convert. But with the quiz, I’m able to have almost one-to-one interaction that lets me become a part of their life and their journey in a way that helps us both.

It’s been the best, so I really enjoy Interact. I share it around a lot. I’ve even taught on like how I create quizzes. I create them for clients now who want to grow their blogs and it was really cool getting to make quizzes for fun, which I really enjoy. 

A tip that I have, if you don’t know how to like fill your quiz with information: I use an AI writer to help me write my quiz because I’m not very good at coming up with like the results names. If it’s gonna have a creative result name. I don’t know what to name it. I’m so bad with titles.

I use Jasper AI and it really helped me write interesting titles, but it also helps me write the quiz questions themselves. So if I’m doing something that is kind of more general personality, or if I am doing something that does have right or wrong answers, it’s really great to use an AI writer to help you come up with those.

And you can tell it like give me six options for the selections below for this question, have them relate to X, Y, and Z and it massively works and I think that speeds things up too and helps. You can tailor the questions later if you see that like you want to adjust stuff.

But it helps you get past that whole blank page fear, which is really, really scary when you’re first doing stuff. And yeah, that’s how I’ve been able to produce a lot of them as well from my various sites because I am just one lady trying to run everything by myself. If you’re on the fence about interact, I definitely recommend purchasing and seeing how it skyrockets your business too.

Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for readability and clarity.

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