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How to Gamify Your Blog and Increase Engagement

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Capturing people’s attention is an essential part of blogging. Without it, your blog would be useless. Yes, there are lots of ways to do that. But one of the best ones is by gamifying your blog.

Gamifying has invaded the e-learning landscape because of its effectiveness in fostering engagement. It’s also proven to boost brand awareness and make your content more enjoyable. If you want to propel your blog to greater heights, then the gamification strategy is for you.

But this isn’t just about playing games. Instead, it’s all about engagement and mental stimulation. This gives your blog a more solid audience due to our innate nature of loving games.

In fact, the iTunes App Store currently has over 396,000 game apps. There are even lots of LMS gamification systems nowadays — proof of our fondness for games. With this, it’s safe to say that sprinkling a bit of “gaming” to your blog makes it more appealing.

Here, you’ll learn why gamification is a game changer for your blog. You’ll also know how it can increase engagement and drive more traffic.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a strategy that integrates game mechanics into your blog. The goal is to drive audience engagement and participation. It also gives you long-term followers that’ll help your blog achieve long-term goals.

This can range from all sorts of activities. It can be a contest for best comments, highest engagement rate, and more. It’s a way of introducing game mechanics to non-game elements like blogs. Achievement, progress, and competitiveness are some of the aspects of gamification.

1. Leveling System

The leveling system is an effective way to boost audience engagement. It’s all about assigning your audience varying levels that depend on their involvement. The levels can range from 1 to 10, with one being the least involved and ten being the most.

It’s then up to you on how to make the levels appear more creative. Splash in a touch of your brand or perhaps a well-thought-out theme. This motivates your readers to interact with each other. After all, we’re all egoistic creatures at the end of the day. We want to look good. And we’ll look good when we have a high level.

2. Introduce Quizzes

We all want to know our real selves. What better way to do that than to take quizzes. Take for example Buzzfeed’s quizzes. It sparks people’s curiosity and makes them interested in knowing more about themselves.

It might be an IQ test or a “Which celebrity do you look like” kind-of-test. Whichever it is, it’s proven to be useful in making your blog known. Buzzsumo even states that a quiz gets shared averagely 1,900 times.

1 Quiz Software Create Online Quiz Tests and Exams ProProfs

That’ll drive tons of traffic! And what’s great about this is that people want to compare their results with their friends. This makes the quiz turn viral! It’s also easy to make one. There are lots of platforms like ProProfs Quiz Maker you can use to help you out.

3. Leaderboards

One of the best things about humanity is its undying passion for competitiveness. It’s what made us achieve wonders of our own. Why not make use of our hard-wired nature in blogging?

Leaderboards drive your audience’s competitive selves. You can do this by having a leaderboard that ranks your blog members according to engagement. The number of comments, likes, and shares can be some of your criteria.

This is all about driving your audience to outcompete each other. You might also want to give a prize to the top five. This makes them more motivated to rank high. But this doesn’t always mean person-to-person tracking.

You can also feature your most popular articles and rank them by the number of likes and shares. Having a scaling system gives your readers an insight into your blog’s health. They’re most likely to stay when they see people interacting with each other.

4. Reward Badges

This is similar to the leveling system. But this focuses on unranked awards given to your most engaging followers. One of the best feelings in this world is to be awarded something you’ve worked hard for. That’s what we’re going to apply here.

Badges serve as a form of gratification to your audience. It gives them a sense of importance and accomplishment. And it’s in these feelings that they’re inspired to stay on your blog and interact more.

It also gives people the feeling of being “legitimized.” And what do they do when they feel this way? They brag it to their friends. In turn, their friends would also want to outcompete them. It’s a cycle that keeps going on and on.

A good example of this is a badge for the number of blog posts read or comments made. This is what made Quora even more popular as users share intellectual thoughts. Even Facebook’s comment section is gamified.

The more interesting, thoughtful, or funny your comment is, the more likely you gain likes. And when you’ve got lots of likes, you become an instant sensation (sort of). The same goes for Instagram’s likes and Twitter’s shares and retweets.

5. Work on Challenges

Life would be boring without challenges. So does blogging. This is why it’d be wise to challenge your blog’s visitors. Don’t worry about them leaving because it’s “challenging.” Instead, think of it as an opportunity for them to interact.

And they’ll do because of the thought of getting a prize. It can be a simple freebie or an incentive. An example would be to ask your followers to share photos on social media about your recent blog post. Or perhaps ask them about their opinion about your niche. It’s all about compelling your audience to voice out with the hope of getting something in return.

Conclusion

Gamifying has shaped blogging and the whole virtual world. It’s out there in more ways than we ever thought of. From the comments and likes to the number of shares and views, it’s easy to say that gamification is everywhere.

Engagement equals more traffic. And higher traffic leads to higher profits for your blog. It’s all about ingenuity at the end of the day, or a case of manipulation perhaps? Nonetheless, gamifying is the way to go.

Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal.

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Blogging

Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

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Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.

I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.

Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:

7 Tips for Writing Successful eBooks Quickly

I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.

Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.

From my trip to Oman.

Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.

I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.

Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain

Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.

Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.

Write and ship.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger

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My eBook: 10 Tips to Be a Smarter and Richer Blogger

possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.

For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.

I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.

Smart and Prospering Means Different

Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?

From my trip to Oman.

I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.

Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different

Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?

But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals

Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.

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Why Should You Help Other Bloggers Succeed?

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If you build it AND if you help other bloggers build it, then they will come.

We have all seen the famous line from Field of Dreams rehashed many times, regarding blogging. Building a blog solo ain’t good enough. Platitudes of content being king and networking queen get bandied about, and I do not disagree.

But I wanted to put a spin on the line; if you build your blog and help other bloggers build their blogs, THEN people will visit your blog, hire you, buy your stuff and endorse you.

A few moments ago, my friend and power house blogger Julie Syl Kalungi tagged me on Facebook with kind words.  She mentioned a common mistake we both see often; bloggers pitch us content with nothing else to show for the pitch, other than mediocre or OK content from an unknown blogger. If it were that easy to get featured on Blogging From Paradise or on Julie’s blog, we would both place 5 to 10 to 20 guest posts daily, or a helluva lot more.

Of course, landing features on established blogs is not easy at all. But struggling, failing bloggers mistakenly believe it *is* as easy as tempting pros with a helpful post, or some other lukewarm incentive, and wonder why they never get featured on top blogs. Plus bloggers do the silly thing of offering a $1 or $3 bulk discount for 25 posts. Having a poverty consciousness makes you do silly things.

Anyway, these strategies NEVER work because the pitching bloggers are trying to build it – aka their blogs – before building other blogger’s blogs. Build your blog and other blogger’s blogs. Grow your friend network. Be genuine. Be generous. Help. Expect nothing. Ask for nothing. As you help other bloggers succeed and improve your writing skills, something neat happens; you befriend a bunch of skilled bloggers who boost your traffic and profits through endorsements, promotions, by buying your stuff and by hiring you.

From my trip to Oman.

This is why you should help other bloggers succeed. Make friends. Profit. 100 is better than 1.

100 Is Better than 1

I learned years ago the efforts of 100 blogging buddies beats my individual efforts. I am not super connected to 100 plus blogging buddies, but at least that many folks promote me or endorse me routinely across a wide range of channels. Imagine how much 100 bloggers can expand your reach, compared to your individual, singular efforts?

Why do 100 plus bloggers help me out? I have helped thousands of bloggers grow their traffic and profits over a decade online by commenting genuinely on their blogs, by promoting them on social media, by endorsing them, by promoting them on my blog, by inviting them to guest post on my blog and by guest posting for them.

I benefit too, of course. This marks my 6th guest post of the day. As I promote my 71% blogging course discount (use the discount code in the first paragraph) across a slew of these guest posts I gain profit potential and boost my blog traffic too. But I also drive free, passive traffic through each guest post. My 3 blogging buddies living in India who I guest post for wake up to free, passive traffic. I help them succeed. My blogging buddies help me succeed by giving me platforms for reaching their readers.

Do you see why building it and helping other bloggers build it makes you incredibly successful over the long term?

Julie became a wildly successful blogger by generously helping other top bloggers succeed. Now, her blogger friend network expands her reach far and wide.

Give What You Want

Do you want money? Help other bloggers make money. Promote them on your blog. Link to them. Buy and review their eBooks. The number of friends you make by being generous will astound you. As this loyal tribe grows in size and scope, and helps you make more and more money, you will be even more astounded.

Blogger Outreach Resource

Are you looking for bloggers to help? Buy my eBook:

27 Influential Bloggers to Follow

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