Top 10 Content Writing Best Practices to Master in 2024

Content promotion channels

In today‘s digitally saturated world, marketers are producing more content than ever across multiple channels and formats. But while quantity has increased, many struggle to generate content that truly engages audiences.

According to research by OptinMonster, 60% of B2B marketers say producing high-quality, effective content is their top challenge.^1^

Simply churning out more posts is no longer enough. To cut through the noise, you need a strategic approach backed by proven best practices.

After analyzing the latest market research and drawing on my 10+ years of experience in web scraping and data analytics, I‘ve compiled the 10 most important content writing tips to follow in 2024.

Implement these methods to create standout content that attracts, converts, and delights your readers.

1. Let Data Guide Your Content Decisions

Gone are the days of creating content based on hunches and intuition. Today‘s top-performing content marketers take a data-driven approach.

Data-driven content marketing

Research shows that while 81% of marketers believe data-informed decisions are crucial, only 37% use data to guide their work daily.^2^

How can you become more data-driven as a content creator?

  • Analyze your existing content performance. Look at metrics like pageviews, engagement rate, and conversion rates to see what resonates.

  • Study competitor content. Use tools like BuzzSumo to analyze competitors‘ top-performing content.

  • Conduct keyword research. Identify high-traffic keywords related to your products or services. Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs and Moz can help.

  • Tap into social listening data. Uncover the questions and conversations your audience is having across social channels.

  • Survey your audience. Directly ask readers about their content needs and preferences.

Let data steer your ideation, creation, and distribution processes to maximize content ROI.

2. Obsess Over Your Audience

Today‘s consumers expect content tailored precisely to their needs and interests. To deliver, you must know your audience inside out.

Develop detailed buyer personas that capture your ideal reader‘s pain points, goals, objections, and information consumption habits. Then carefully tailor content to align with what each persona cares about most.

For example, an HR software company could create a post like "The 5 Biggest Performance Review Challenges for HR Managers." This directly targets a key persona with their precise problem.

Always keep the reader top of mind. Will the topic resonate? Is the tone and voice a fit? Are you publishing on the right platforms? Asking these questions will help your content feel more personalized.

3. Quality Over Quantity

Many brands focus on quantity over quality, churning out as many posts as possible. But engagement data reveals quality trumps quantity when it comes to content impact.

Quality vs quantity

"Marketers should concentrate their efforts on producing less content, but at a much higher quality," advised James Clarke of Forbes Agency Council.^3^

What contributes to high-quality content?

  • Original research and insights – Don‘t just regurgitate facts. Offer fresh perspectives.

  • Compelling visuals – Invest in custom photos, infographics, and illustrations.

  • Polished writing – Work with professional writers or hone your skills.

  • Consistency – Maintain the same voice, style, and quality standards.

Focus on producing fewer but higher-performing articles that attract and engage readers. Quality over quantity.

4. Structure Content for Scanning

Skimming is the new normal. People don‘t read online – they scan. Ensure your content adapts to modern consumption habits.

  • Use short paragraphs of 2-4 sentences.
  • Break up text with subheadings and bullet points.
  • Bold key terms and phrases.
  • Include ample white space.
  • Start paragraphs with transition words like "However," "For example," "Similarly."

Optimizing content for scanning improves readability. Readers can quickly extract key information.

Scannable content

Adapting your format for the way people actually consume content online results in higher engagement.

5. Craft Compelling Headlines

Your headline is the first and sometimes only chance to capture attention. But 78% of marketers struggle with impactful headlines.^4^

To improve your headline game:

  • Focus on benefits. For example, "How to Improve Sales Prospecting With Social Selling" vs. "Our Latest Social Selling Post."

  • Use power words like secrets, proven, simple, or guide.

  • Leverage emotional words – discover, love, transform.

  • Try formulas such as "X Ways to…" or "How to…in 5 Steps."

  • Test options with tools like Coschedule Headline Analyzer.

Spend time perfecting your headlines. Strong titles boost opens, shares, and traffic.

6. Promote Content for Maximum Reach

Simply publishing a post no longer cuts it. You need a promotion plan to get content seen.

Leverage social media, email, PPC ads, influencers, Slack communities, quizzes, webinars, and any other channels possible to amplify reach.

Content promotion channels

Cross-promote your best articles across multiple platforms. Turn posts into video clips and podcast snippets.

The more promotion touchpoints, the better. Be relentless in getting content in front of your audience.

7. Incorporate Engaging Visuals

Articles with relevant images attract 94% more views on average compared to text-only posts.^5^

Yet 46% of marketers admit they don‘t have the resources to create visual assets.^5^ Allocating budget for original photos, infographics, and illustrations is worthwhile.

Canva, Piktochart, and Venngage offer DIY design options. Authentic visuals like pictures of customers also perform well.

Take the time to find or create visuals that make your content more eye-catching and memorable.

8. Keep Content Updated

Evergreen or timeless content offers value year after year. But even evergreen posts need occasional updates.

Revisiting old content to refresh stats, add new advice, and tighten messaging shows readers the post still offers value.

Regular updates also signal to search engines that your pages provide current information. Don‘t let content stagnate.

9. Listen and Respond to Audience Feedback

The days of "publish and walk away" are over. Actively listen to comments, shares, surveys, reviews, and other signals to identify resonating topics.

For example, if a particular post attracts lots of comments and social shares, consider doing a follow-up or part two on that theme.

Likewise, retire or revamp any content that consistently underperforms with your audience. Let their actions guide your strategy.

10. Adopt a Consistent Brand Voice

A cohesive voice helps establish trust and strengthens brand identity. Whether humor-focused, formal, or conversational, choose a tone that aligns with your brand persona.

Once established, maintain voice consistency across all content types and authors. Provide contributors with brand style guidelines.

Regularly audit content to ensure the tone resonates and remains on-brand as your company evolves.

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By mastering these content best practices in 2024, you can create more focused, audience-centric, high-quality content. Data-driven approaches, compelling visuals, promotion and improved writing will take your results to the next level.

Which content creation habits do you want to focus on improving next year? Now is the time to set your content strategy up for success.

Sources:

  1. Ouellette, Coral. "Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics." OptinMonster, April 2022.
  2. "The Data Driven Marketing Report." Hubspot, 2019.
  3. Clarke, James. "Seven Content Marketing Trends For 2022." Forbes, December 2021.
  4. Patel, Neil. "12 Proven Tactics for Law Firm Content Marketing Success." LexisNexis, 2022.
  5. Ouellette, Coral. "Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics." OptinMonster, April 2022.