Boost Your Blog Audience’s Engagement With Gamification

blogging engagement digital

Before your brain immediately screams “Nerd alert!” at the sight of the word gamification – give it a chance. It means to bring gaming techniques, mechanics and thinking into a non-game context. What can it do for your blog? Engagement, activity and increased participation across multiple online platforms. Humans are psychologically pre-disposed to gaming – and funneling that natural inclination into different features of your blog and social media isn't difficult (or nerdy) at all.

Here are 6 ways to incorporate gamification elements on your blog:

 Quiz

  • The possibilities for quiz topics on your blog are practically endless. You could cover anything from the history of a famous designer to a fashion week refresher to a quiz about fall trends. Consider what kinds of posts and topics usually generate excitement (c0mments, tweets, likes, etc) among your readers and go from there. Have fun with it, get creative and be silly if you feel so inclined.
  • To create a quiz that can be installed (usually as an in-post widget) a quick search in your favorite browser can usually point you in the right direction. Quizbox is one option, though it's not particularly visually appealing. WordPress also has plugins you can use if you blog on that platform. The OnSugar platform also has very simple, user-friendly tools for creating quizzes (and more). (If you have a sectret weapon for quiz-making – please share in the comments!)

 Poll

  • Polls are a great way to source opinions and thoughts from your followers and readers. Like quizzes, the topics you could cover are endless, from who wore it best to thoughts and feelings on your content or current events.
  • On IFB, we use an easy-to-install WordPress plugin for our polls.
  • In lieu of a widget, you could also pose a question at the end of a post that invites opinions, responses or yes or no answers.

Contest or Giveaway

  • (Almost) everyone loves winning, free things, and competition. We've mentioned before how beneficial giveaways can be for your blog because they can build a relationship with a brand, increase traffic and comments on your site and grow your social media following – and that's the best outcome of gamification!
  • Depending on how much effort you want to ask of your participants, you could do a contest (where a winner is chosen based on the quality of their entry), or a giveaway (using a random number generator like random.org).

Infographic

  • Infographics are amazing and fun. If you're savvy with design this is a really creative and original way to engage with your audience and flex those Photoshop muscles. (A classic example is this one from Refinery29, about how to get shot by The Sartorialist.)
  • Whether it's a map that leads to a conclusion or an illustration of a point you're making, visual guides are far more effective than written ones.

#hashtag

  • There are a few different ways you can use a social media (Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest) hashtag to engage with your communities. You could create one to track entries for a contest or giveaway, or create a stand-alone tag for an event or Twitter chat.
  • Participating in already established hashtags is also a great way to get in on the fun of something like #OOTD or #latergram and find new people to follow or something cool and interesting to read or see.

IFB project & Links a la Mode

  • Shameless self-promotion! The IFB Projects and Links a la Mode are a unique and interactive way to engage and find new bloggers to follow in our community.
  • The IFB Project is a weekly post challenge that centers around a specific theme or idea and asks each blogger to create content that fits around it – whether it's a favorite British style icon or a fashion haiku (really, we did that once!).
  • Links a la Mode is a community-building and traffic-sharing opportunity for IFB members, and you can read all about it here!
[Image credit: Shutterstock]

Have you used gamification on your blog before? Do you think it increases engagement with your audience?

 

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18 Responses

  1. Marielley

    I have not had any giveaways yet, but I have definitely entered them on other blogs. I have used twitter, facebook, etc. I also have never tried a poll before…but I am thinking of trying it!

    Reply
  2. Sarah's Real Life

    I did a contest of sorts recently (but I called it a “challenge” because there was no prize), where I asked bloggers to create an outfit entirely out of items that were at least 3 years old. I was hoping for more interaction. I think I only had 5 people try it. And one person just reposted an old pic, not even a new outfit. It didn’t give me much of a traffic boost either (not that that’s the only reason I did it). I think next time I will make the challenge a little easier and give everyone more time to complete it. I might also declare a “winner” to be featured so that there’s more incentive to make it really good!

    Sarah’s Real Life

    Reply
  3. Kionon

    I’ve used a number of these of the years, but to be honest, they often generate hit and run commenters. I find very deep and controversial articles are the best generation of commentary, but I admit, I don’t know if they manage to generate increased amounts of readership.

    I’ve never tried IFB Projects, but I’ve had a very tumultuous relationship with Links a la Mode. I was featured a few times, and while I was absolutely honored that I was chosen, I found that it created the kind of hit and run commenters I mentioned above. I’m still having difficulty finding my particular demographic, which tends to be Ivy/Trad/Prep. If there is a subgroup for that demographic on IFB, I haven’t found it yet.

    That being said, this should not be seen as criticism of IFB, which I believe is a valuable platform, and which I enjoy. I do think there are a few categories of style and fashion which it excels in, and Ivy/Trad/Prep are not amongst them.

    Reply
    • Lizzie Clayton

      Try Monthly. I’ve seen a lot of blogs that do it this way. Some even have a “Monthly Deals” page dedicated to giveaways.

      Reply
  4. Liya

    I love this idea but when i did a give away, of course readers increase and so does the comments but after a while they are not there anymore so yeah, i only did it once at that time i was still a newbie, it still gave a boost. I am holding another one real soon. and hoping for readers to be engaged in my content not just my gifts. I am also looking into rafflescopter? i think?..to host the giveaway because its interactive.

    thenuliya.blogspot.sg

    Reply
  5. moiminnie

    Out of all of these things, I think only giveaways can do a bit of a boost to your traffic because, rare are those who visit, comment and engage with blogs just because they´re really into it. People are just too lazy to read, to write and even think. That´s the main reason they like giveaways: there´s not much reading, nor writing, nor thinking – just follow, like or share and of course there´s the free stuf syndrome.
    http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Anne G

    during my first months of blogging, i was really into blog giveaways. i gained followers and the traffic depends on the sponsor. if the brand was big enough, i can gain a hundred participants, and for new online stores u can have around 40+ participants. the problem with it was i was only gaining the “contest mob” and not the real audience/readers. right now, i stopped blog giveaways and im trying to focus more on my content and not on the giveaways. it’s nice to have sponsors for the giveaway, but it will be nicer to gain “real followers”. i noticed that some of them even make a separate account for joining contests. and some will unfollow after the contest. so it would really be good to host a giveaway from
    time to time to reward your readers but not too frequent.

    http://anneg08.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  7. Erin @ Loop Looks

    I’ve tried quizzes and giveaways and neither get much reader participation. Seriously. I practically had to beg people to enter the two giveaways I did. And when I do polls I get MAYBE 12 responses when I know I’m getting 100+ hits on my blog each day. So, yeah, I don’t see that either of these things are particularly good for building readership or getting much engagement. Am I doing something wrong?

    Reply
  8. Creative Side Of Me

    I have not tried doing giveaways yet on my blog, but I sure would like to sometime very soon. I am doind a Photo Sharing Party right now, asking people to send their photo in an outfit and one of their friend’s photo…not even asking they to follow me or “Like” me, and no one is interested. Why is that? Am I doing something wrong?

    Reply
  9. Zamri A.

    I’ve done before, but it seems no one bother. I think my readers then are not too ‘fashion literated’. yikes!

    Reply
  10. Forever Fashionably Late

    This came at the right time for me… I literally just started my first giveaway on my blog today (for it’s 1st birthday!). Anyways, I hope that I get more than just 5 entries lol… but I guess I’m not exactly sure what else to do? What are the best places to market giveaways? I don’t want to have to shove it down people’s throats… that approach never gets me so I don’t think it would work too well in general.

    Victoria
    Forever Fashionably Late

    Reply