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:
- 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!)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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!
Have you used gamification on your blog before? Do you think it increases engagement with your audience?