Quizzes are in now. You can't look at your Facebook feed without being begged to take one or being informed of a friend's results. They do make nice sharable content, and they can really increase time-on-site so you can deliver more messaging, but there's a back-end functionality that can be helpful to content marketers and brand journalists, too.

Not all quizzes are fluff or strictly recreational. Tie them to a larger campaign and they can be promotional or educational. Use them after an article or other informational text and they can be an assessment.

And think about the things you can learn about your quiz takers--and I don't mean in a nefarious, NSA way. I mean about preferences. You can spot trends, interests and preferences that inform story ideas and angles, not to mention which types of quizzes get the most traction. Paying attention to these basic analytics makes it easier for you to make more of the kind of content your audience wants--and that's the key to cutting through the clutter and building relevance.

I've probably written hundreds--seriously--quizzes since the turn of the century. The overwhelming majority was for Match.com (see some of them here). More recently, I created this quiz for Staples: