One million visits – that’s the average number of hits each Buzzfeed quiz receives, and that’s no anomaly, they’ve created hundreds of the things. The beauty of their success is that there is now a formula for writing quizzes that can be applied to the industry that you work in. Whether you sell electronics or have a cleaning service, some kind of quiz will work for you, get involved by creating one and follow these best practices to write it perfectly.

Creating a title: 80% of clicking decisions are made based on your quiz title. By the time you even get to quiz content, you might lose most of your audience if the title isn’t compelling. Here’s how to ensure you don’t lose that 80%

  • Go UpWorthy Style: The viral success of news aggregation site is baffling. They still haven’t created a single piece of unique content, yet receive over 50 million unique visitors every month. They are now famous for creating the Upworthy headline writing style, in which you create 25 different titles, then choose three, then choose the best of the final three. I’ve tried this and it’s very effective, by the time you get to 25, a whole smattering of good and off-the-wall titles will surface.
  • Understand who you are reaching: The biggest lesson quiz makers have learned is how to reach a specific audience. My favorite example of this comes from the Irish Post who made a quiz for Irish people living in London, of which there are only 200,000. They ended up getting 10% of that audience to take their quiz – an amazing amount. The moral of the story is to make a quiz for one group of people rather than trying to reach everyone because that won’t happen.
  • Present a challenge: Quizzes can appeal to the inner fighter in all of us. “How Much do You Actually Know About Portland?” is a quiz that received thousands of views in one day and really put out a challenge to quiz takers.

shopping style

Writing questions: The questions of your quiz are the cocktail conversation translated online. It’s an opportunity for you as the quiz maker to chat up your audience and get them feeling comfortable and enjoying themselves. Check out some ways to do that.

  • Pick a style: You don’t have to get crazy, but have a little personality to your quiz. It can be your personality or someone else’s, but having a little life in your quiz questions makes them memorable and meaningful.
  • Keep it short: Don’t drone on and on. The whole point of a quiz is giving the quiz taker a chance to talk and express themselves, keep your questions short, then get out of the way.
  • Stay on the fun side: Even if you make database software, your quiz can be interesting, ServiceMax is a case in point. They built a quiz for their software customers but injected fun questions that almost make you forget you are dealing with super boring computer stuff.

how would you keep our world running

Writing answers: The answers to quiz questions are a difficult piece to handle, you have the power of speaking for everyone who takes your quiz. This can be rather daunting, but the key is to keep it simple – here’s how to do that.

  • Sympathize with quiz takers: Try to get in their shoes. This goes back to knowing who your audience is, if you mainly reach middle aged people, don’t write quiz answers that use super modern lingo they won’t understand.
  • Less is more: To avoid alienating your audience, keep the answers shorter rather than longer. If an answer is “I like movies,” don’t go into detail about what kinds of movies and which genres, keep it at movies.

Creating share-able results: The results of your quiz is where you have an opportunity to amplify your quizzes’ reach. Every person who finishes will have an option to share their results and it’s up to you to entice them. Here are some tips to help.

  • Act like a bull-rider: Meaning that you have seven seconds to entertain the quiz taker or they will leave. Start off the result with a startling fact, large assumption, or deep insight that the taker can’t help but be intrigued by.
  • Stay positive: Quiz go viral on Facebook and Twitter, people share things that are good on social networks, putting two-and-two together, you want a quiz result that makes the quiz taker look good.
  • Be Genuine: Whether you are telling the quiz taker that they are a plumber or Jennifer Aniston, there’s something genuinely good about every result. Build your quiz results off of facts that are indisputable to come off as genuine.

One million views, that’s a lot any way you slice it or dice it. Quizzes have potential to drive huge traffic and really spread your brand name in a positive way. Build your own quiz and write it using the principles above and see the results pour in!