Content Marketing

Some Thoughts on How to Write Personality Quizzes for Link Building

First off, I’ve only written one quiz and I’ve currently generated 0 links using personality quizzes. I write this to share the research I’ve done thus far for folks who’d like to think WAY TOO MUCH about quiz writing in the future.

A SMStandard article first got me interested in personality quiz writing. The article mentions a quiz called “how geek are you?”

Here is an example of one of the more than 80,000 links developed with this campaign: How geek are you? Notice the badge that links back to the quiz location AND the sweet little bit of link text pasted beneath it… (free online dating). WOW!

Here are some of my hypotheses and questions for your consideration:

1) Start With a Pre-Built Personality-Type Framework
I’ve been working towards creating personality-insight quizzes that begin with a set number of end results (8) for those taking the quiz. To create a stronger framework for my types – which will ensure that people get results that actually match their personalities – I’ve spent a great deal of time researching the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test.

The Myers-Briggs system has 16 types. This page grouped them into 8, which was convenient for a particular quiz I’m writing: http://homeopathy.healthspace.eu/psychology/8types.php

2) The Ring of Truth Will Increase Usage and Linkability
I speculate that people will be more likely to post results (and generate more links) if they feel their results have the ring of truth – if they see something of themselves in the results. Perhaps more to the point, that they see something in the results that resembles their ideal for how they appear to others.

3) Have Lots of Questions but Only 2 Possible Answers per Question
Rather than forcing people to select from LOTS of potential answers, let them pick from just two. This is easier on the brain and helps the quiz go by faster. If you’ve done your homework in understanding the framework of the Myers-Briggs types you can then ask questions based on the binaries they developed in their work.

Here’s an example of such a quiz: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

4) Differences Between 1%-100% Quizzes and “Type” Quizzes?
The wildly successful “How Geek are You” quiz is a 1%-100% quiz. There is only one type – geek – and you get your percentage based on your answers. I have the sense that these types of quizzes would be easier to create, especially if you have a deep knowledge of a given area. Further, in certain areas where people place value in how steeped they are in a stereotype/lifestyle you may see wider link placements. Further, the 1-100 gradient frees you from a more rigorous type system. I can see both having strong marketing application though, and I think there’s a deeper thrill of discovery when it comes to discovering your type.

5) The Crazier the Better?
Upon reading this blog post by How Geek Are You? creator Matt Inman: Fighting 5 Year Olds, I recognize that there may be more in writing crazy, depraved and/or ridiculous quizzes than I initially thought. My brain usually tries to work the site’s content/intent into the quiz itself. I suspect that this may limit who takes the quiz though, and how popular it can become.

Ok – enough writing about writing – time to do the actual hard work of writing quizzes!


Categorised as: social media marketing


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