“In our world, many hold a notion that the ability to write, or write well, is a gift bestowed on a chosen few. Writing well is considered a kind of art, linked murkily to muse and mysticism. That leaves us thinking there are two kinds of people: the writing haves—and the hapless, for whom writing well is a hopeless struggle, like trying to carve marble with a butter knife,” says marketing veteran Ann Handley.
“But I don’t believe that, and neither should you,” she adds. “The truth is this: writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn. We are all capable of producing good writing. Or, at least, better writing!”
In Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice for smart businesses that know great content is the key to thriving in this digital world and getting results. Because in a content-driven world, everyone is, in fact, a writer.
“If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages,” explains Handley.
“In a time-challenged world dominated by short and snappy, by click-bait headlines and Twitter streams and Instagram feeds and GIFs and video and Snapchat and YOLO and LOL and #tbt. . . does the idea of focusing on writing seem pedantic and ordinary? Actually, writing matters more now, not less. Our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.”
Handley explores how the lessons and rules of creating good content apply across all of online assets—web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. She deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content - whether a big brand or small and solo.
“Our writing can make us look smart or it can make us look stupid. It can make us seem fun, or warm, or competent, or trustworthy. But it can also make us seem humdrum or discombobulated or flat-out boring,” Handley says. “That means we’ve got to choose words well, and write with economy and the style and honest empathy for our customers. And it means you put a new value on an often-overlooked skill in content marketing: How to write, and how to tell a true story really, really well.”
Pick up your copy of Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes on Amazon and dive in, then come back and tell us what you think. In the mean time, enjoy these ten brilliant quotes from the book:
10 best quotes from 'Everybody Writes'
- “In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.”
- “What matters now isn't storytelling; what matters is telling a true story well.”
- “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience:”
- “Your customers don't buy your product to do your company a favor,” Eghbal said. “They're doing it because your product makes their lives better. So if you want to sell something, you need to explain how you're helping them.”
- “The truth is this: writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn.”
- “If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages.”
- “Actually, writing matters more now, not less.”
- “There is no one way to write – just as there is no one way to parent a child or roast a turkey.”
- “We are all capable of producing good writing. Or, at least, better writing!”
- “Write for your reader and provide something that is useful.”