The beginner’s guide to creating quizzes

This is a post for marketers, web developers, small business owners, and anyone who creates content online. It’s designed to help you wade through the loads of steps it seems to take to get a quiz up and running on your site and social media. Quizzes are unlike any other form of content. They have […]

Make Your Own Quiz For Free

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This is a post for marketers, web developers, small business owners, and anyone who creates content online. It’s designed to help you wade through the loads of steps it seems to take to get a quiz up and running on your site and social media. Quizzes are unlike any other form of content. They have the power to instantly drive massive traffic and email leads, but they are also technically difficult to create (an average developer will charge you $1000 per quiz).

That’s why we created Interact, to be the easiest possible solution for online marketers to create and distribute custom quizzes. There are loads of sites out there that let you make quizzes, but they are either too complicated or don’t let you customize the quizzes to match your style guidelines. We’ve solved both of those problems.

To date, we’ve helped 1000 businesses create quizzes, from global corporations like The Red Cross to one-man shops like Clark Wire and Cable in Akron Ohio. Creating all those quizzes, we have discovered what works and what doesn’t when it comes to designing, writing, and sharing your quiz. That’s where this guide comes from, this is my attempt to bring together all the learning gleaned from creating those quizzes and plop it all down in one place.

This post consists of three parts: Design, writing, and sharing. I’ll start with design.

Part 1: Designing your quiz

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The biggest advantage interact has over 99% of all quiz builders is the ability to customize your quiz exactly how you want it. We understand the power of brand continuity, the last thing you want is to spend hours creating a quiz, only to have it send your traffic back to our website. That’s why all Interact quizzes are fully customizable and white-labeled so no one will know you used a tool to create the quiz.

Design is also important for share-ability and overall customer perception. A well-designed quiz gets shared more and tends to receive better reviews. With that in mind, here are the things we’ve discovered to work well when it comes to designing your quiz.

  • Copy your site’s styling. In an ideal world, all of your marketing would carry the same styling so that every interaction with your brand cements your company’s logo into potential customer’s minds. Many people are visual associate-rs, meaning that when they think of your company, the first thing that comes to mind is your logo and styling – not what you actually do. Feed into this by customizing your quiz to look like your site.

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  • Follow basic design guidelines. The main elements we recommend editing are the colors and images on your quiz. To help with picking out good combinations, we’ve created this design sheet which shows a variety of text and background combinations that look nice when paired together.

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Part 2: Writing Your Quiz

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Picking quiz topics

The topic of your quiz is the starting point for your success. Choosing what your quiz is about means deciding who it’s for and where you plan for it to be shared. In general, here are the things to keep in mind when choosing a quiz topic.

  • Target your audience (or the audience you want). Let me give you an example to explain. When Staples created their best quiz, it was titled “Are you a workaholic?” and it was created for young business owners who, on average, work 60 hours per week. Staples needed a way to reach a younger audience and chose a quiz as their method to do that.
  • Don’t try to reach everyone. If you try to reach everyone you will reach no one. For example, there was a newspaper in Faequeir County, Virginia that created a quiz for the residents of the county, which only number 60,000. The outcome was that 10,000 of the residents took the quiz, a very healthy percentage. If you reach one group and do it well, you’ll get enough traffic.

Writing Quiz Titles

Up to 80% of people decide if they should click on a quiz based on it’s title (the other 20% look at the picture or description). Titles are very important and worth investing time into writing. I recommend using Upworthy’s method and writing out 25 different titles and then picking the best to actually use, but in the interest of time we did that for you – here are the winning formulas.

  • The “Actually” headline. “How much do you actually know about the world cup?” This is a simple knowledge test, edited to become a challenge, and who doesn’t like a challenge? This title can be applied to pretty much anything, and all you really have to do is take your title and add the word “actually”.
  • The Celebrity comparison title. “Which Celebrity do you sound like online?” We have a global obsession with celebrities because we project ourselves onto them and feel good about ourselves because they are famous and that makes us feel famous too. This title can also be applied to pretty much any subject “Which Celebrity would live in your house?” “Which Celebrity do you dress like?” it goes on.
  • The “Which (blank) are you?” title. “Which superhero are you?” “Which chair are you?” “Which hookah are you?” this is a great one for E-commerce sites. You can set up a quiz like this, and have the results be products you carry, then offer a discount to buy the product you are.

Writing Quiz Questions. 

The thing I really love about quizzes is their ability to connect you directly with your website visitors. It’s so difficult to “humanize” the people who spend time on your web property, and a quiz gives you a unique opportunity to do that. Given this advantage, here are a few ways to sound more human online and create that connection with your visitors.

  • Let your personality shine. I like to tell people to use the pub rule. The pub rule means that you should ask questions as if you are at a pub with some friends having a good time. Don’t be afraid to get a little edgy, its endearing.
  • Speak to a person. Think of one person who would really enjoy your quiz and talk directly to them. This will help you sound more human and loosen you up.
  • Avoid cliches. The last thing people want when taking your “fun” quiz is to think of the quizzes they had to take while in school. Don’t have answer choices that are “always, sometimes, never” or write questions like your boring professors in college.

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Writing Quiz Results

The results of your quiz is where the real magic happens. This is where you’ll be able to have people share your quiz, click through to your website, or buy products from you. You want to make sure and get this part right – here’s how.

  • Be positive. Even if you tell someone they’re not very smart when it comes to your quiz topic, or they are most like Fat Albert when it comes to celebrities, there are ways to be upbeat about it. In general, pick out the best attributes of the result and avoid the negatives. For Fat Albert, focus on how funny he is.
  • Stay honest. While you want to stay positive, that doesn’t mean you should lie to people. Your quiz takers will know if you are just blowing smoke and won’t appreciate it. The key to pulling this off is to start with facts and end with facts.
  • Prepare for sharing. People will share your quiz if it’s a good one! Now you need to be ready for it. There is a formula that works with quizzes and sharing – it goes like this. “I got (my result)(name of the quiz)” for example “I got newtopians, what’s your customer type?” make sure to name your results with this in mind to maximize social shares.

Part 3: Sharing and driving traffic to your quiz

On Facebook. Facebook owns the lion’s share of quiz traffic (on average about 50%). We’ve created two ways to share on Facebook and optimized those methods for maximum traffic generation.

1. On your timeline. You’ll want to share an image along with a link to check out your quiz. With interact, you’ll send people to a page that’s dedicated to your quiz and your quiz only, so you don’t risk sending people to a page where they’ll be tempted to click on other people’s quizzes.

faequier2. In a custom tab. The other option for sharing on facebook is a much more permanent one. Facebook allows you to embed html in custom tabs and you can place your quiz in one of those. Check out this example from UC Davis. This option is a bit more difficult, so I created a step-by-step tutorial on it, which you can check out here.

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On Twitter. Twitter is the second leading source of traffic for quizzes. The formula here works the same as on facebook where you’ll share the result of your quiz along with a call to action for other people to take your quiz. With twitter, a company called Buffer has created some good guidelines on when to tweet and how much to tweet which will help maximize twitter traffic to your quiz.

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On your blog or website. Quizzes embed into your blog or website the same way a youtube video does. If you haven’t embedded a youtube video, then no worries, we’ve created this handy dandy guide for how to do that.

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In an email newsletter. Many of you send out email newsletters and do an excellent job of keeping those subscribers interested and happy. Good news! you can share your quiz in an email newsletter. While quizzes don’t embed directly into emails, you can share a link back to your quiz, either embedded in a blog post (see above)  or on a dedicated page like the one seen below. When you create a quiz with interact, you’ll get a link you can share anywhere, including in an email newsletter.

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That’s it! Creating quizzes isn’t as complicated as it first seems. All you need is to follow some simple guidelines and you’ll have a quiz that’s worth sharing and takes your content marketing to the next level. All of the screenshots in this post, as well as the advice, were taken from Interact, which you can use to make your own quiz. (it’s free to try)

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Make Your Own Quiz For Free

Josh Haynam

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Josh is an outdoor enthusiast, is very into health/fitness, and enjoys spending time with his community in San Francisco.

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