What kind of editor are you? How Qzzr can boost your reader engagement
Admit it – you’ve taken at least one goofy online quiz you’ve come upon on Facebook or some other corner of the interwebs. These quizzes certainly aren’t scientific but they can be pretty fun. It’s easy to get in on that fun using Qzzr, a free quiz-generating tool (you can pay to upgrade but I found it unnecessary).
I’m not going to lie — putting together a good quiz isn’t easy. Not because the technology is hard. It’s actually quite easy. But in order to produce a quiz that people will want to take and, perhaps more importantly, to share, it has to be good! More of your time will be spent thinking about the content of the quiz than actually putting it together.
Qzzr offers two types of quizzes: a graded quiz, as in you answer right or wrong questions and get a grade; and an outcome quiz, such as “which Kardashian are you?”
Ken Johnson and Maria Caporizzo, both digital editors in New England, have found engagement success with graded quizzes.
“I really liked Qzzr,” said Caporizzo, the managing editor for digital at the Providence Journal (R.I.). “More than any other third-party tool I’ve worked with, the staff was very accessible and responsive.
“We did get, I think, pretty good participation from readers in terms of taking the quizzes,” she continued. “Our fall experiment with quizzes was tied to the NFL season. We posted a quiz in advance of every Patriots game. They were not easy. After several weeks, we tried to get the sports department to make the quizzes a little easier since everyone likes to win, so I might recommend aiming quiz content to some mid-range where users have something to talk about, like, ‘Look how smart I am…'”
Johnson posted a graded quiz before the primaries, to test people’s knowledge of the candidates.
“Qzzr’s a great tool, with incredible support even for freeloaders,” said Johnson, digital editor at The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA) and The Enterprise (Brockton, MA). “It has a bit of a learning curve, but worth the time for some uses. It looks a lot nicer than Polldaddy.”
Johnson notes, however, that if you want a true poll, you can only use Qzzr if you pay, so stick with Polldaddy or some other poll tool for those.
For the purposes of this rundown of how to use Qzzr, I produced an outcome quiz. Here’s what I learned while doing it.
The first thing you’ll want to do is sort of sketch out your quiz, maybe even on paper, before you build it in Qzzr. I had to think of a topic I would actually have knowledge about for the outcomes. I came up with “What type of a journalist are you?” from some observations I’ve made in the last two years of traveling around newsrooms for CMS training. In general, the quizzes that do the best, according to a Qzzr blog post, fall in these categories: entertainment, pop culture, nostalgia and funny.
After you have a topic, think about what you will want the results, or outcomes, to be. My outcomes were: The Newbie, The Cranky Editor, The Techno-Phobe, The Newsroom Mom and The Eccentric Veteran Reporter.
Then you’ll have to think of the questions that will lead people to each outcome. The answers to those questions should fall into each outcome (you can choose more than one outcome for a question, too). I only have five questions in my test quiz, but I would recommend more, as I found the outcomes didn’t always hold true because there weren’t enough questions to reliably steer a person to their “true” outcome.
Qzzr says photos really liven up a quiz and they’re right. I grabbed art for each of my outcomes. I didn’t for the questions, but you could.
JUMP INTO QZZR
- Create a free account.
- Click on the button in the bottom right corner that says “Create Something Great.”
- Choose Graded or Outcome quiz
- Type in the quiz title and description. This will appear on the title page of the quiz.
- You sort of start at the end by typing in the outcomes. The outcome title is the answer, e.g. The Cranky Editor. It’s the description that’s the hard part, so to speak. It should be creative, compelling and fun. But hey, that’s what we do, right? You can add media.
- In the left rail, click the + button to add more outcomes. You can click on any at any point to edit them.
- On to Questions (click the button in the top, right corner). Add the question title (e.g. What is your daytime drink of choice?) I did not add a description here for my quiz.
- For each Question, you have to “map” an outcome. So if a person choses that answer, which outcome does it lead them to? Click the purple “Map an Outcome” button under the answer and choose one or more outcomes. A cool feature is all the outcomes are listed at the bottom. As you map them, they go away, so you know if you’ve forgotten to include any by the end of that question.
- Hit the + button in the left rail to add more questions.
- Now configure the quiz; how should it look? It shows you a preview of the quiz. There aren’t many options with the free account, but you can change the color of the quiz’s background box.
- Click on the Quiz Settings cog wheel in the left rail. Here you can choose whether to have the questions and/or answers presented randomly.
- Finally, publish the quiz. You are brought to a page that includes an embed code, URL link and social share options.
- You can always log back in and edit the quiz. The embed code and link stay the same.
After your quiz has been online for a while, check out what sort of engagement it has received by clicking on the Stats button in the top right corner of the quiz in Qzzr. This will tell you how many times someone took the quiz, what percentage of the time the quiz was completed, the average time spent on the quiz, the engagement “funnel” (how many viewed, then started, then completed, then shared the quiz), the outcome results (so far, lots of newbies out there!), and few other bits of info.