Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann HandleyEverybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

byAnn Handley, Vahe Habeshian

Hardcover | September 15, 2014

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Finally a go-to guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive.

Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.

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. We are all writers.

Yeah, but who cares about writing anymore? 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 currency; they tell our customers who we are.

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.

That means you've got to choose words well, and write with economy and the style and honest empathy for your 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. That's true whether you're writing a listicle or the words on a Slideshare deck or the words you're reading right here, right now...

And so being able to communicate well in writing isn't just nice; it's necessity. And it's also the oft-overlooked cornerstone of nearly all our content marketing.

In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.

These lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets — like web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It's designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you're a big brand or you're small and solo.

Sections include:

  • How to write better. (Or, for "adult-onset writers": How to hate writing less.)
  • Easy grammar and usage rules tailored for business in a fun, memorable way. (Enough to keep you looking sharp, but not too much to overwhelm you.)
  • Giving your audience the gift of your true story, told well. Empathy and humanity and inspiration are key here, so the book covers that, too.
  • Best practices for creating credible, trustworthy content steeped in some time-honored rules of solid journalism. Because publishing content and talking directly to your customers is, at its heart, a privilege.
  • "Things Marketers Write": The fundamentals of 17 specific kinds of content that marketers are often tasked with crafting.
  • Content Tools: The sharpest tools you need to get the job done.

Traditional marketing techniques are no longer enough. Everybody Writes is a field guide for the smartest businesses who know that great content is the key to thriving in this digital world.

ANN HANDLEY is a veteran of creating and managing content. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a training and education company with the largest community of marketers in its category. Ann is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur magazine, a member of the LinkedIn Influencer program, and the coauthor of the best-selling ...
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Title:Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good ContentFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6.1 × 1.2 inPublished:September 15, 2014Publisher:WileyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1118905555

ISBN - 13:9781118905555

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome and Helpful book I read this as an adult and really found it helpful. Sean does a great job of relating to the stuggles teens face and then giving them solutions to get through them.
Date published: 2018-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Highly recommend for people who are trying to maximize their potential but don't have a clear path defined
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great lessons I bought this book before I started my job as a content writer. It gave a lot of helpful tips that I apply to my job daily.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Great book to read if you work with the public or in sales.
Date published: 2018-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Motivational One of the best self-help books on store shelves.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Stephen Covey is very motivational and inspiration. I have been to his seminars, and the book definitely completes the experience. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enduring Classic This book endures as one of the best guides for making lasting improvements in one's personal and professional life. It provides a step-by-step process for improving the quality and depth of life. A wonderful read that is worth returning to on a regular basis.
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life Changing Book! Didn't know a book can have such big impact on my life. Definitely worth buying it. It's a book you would wanna read every year for sure.It will never get old.
Date published: 2017-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever!! If you want to achieve amazing things in your life, then this book is a must!!! Stephen R. Covey explains how to do it while keeping a balance in life!!
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the 7 habits of highly effective people good read. knowledgable and deep.
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Loved Reading the Gem The knowledge contained in this book is so simple yet profound. To fully enjoy the experience one needs to actively reflect on what they have just read.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book! Our next book club feature Life changing book, an eye opener
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The authour obviously has a limited perspective Everyone has a limited perspective, obviously, but when you are prescribing things for an audience...
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must have book for everyone! I first read this book when I was 15 and I still take this book out every few years to go through the key points. A must have book for people from all walks of life!!
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational Have recently started reading the book. It is inspiring and gets people to learn about different life experiences and lessons, and tips on how to change oneself for the better.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it One of my favorite self-help books of all time, if you read and follow the steps, your life can change!
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read This book was motivational and shared some good insight, but I wouldn't say it's the best of the best. However, it does give good advice, and it might influence some people more than others, so it's still worth the read.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Educational for Websites and Social Media. Precise and to the point of how to write better online. It discusses writing techniques for LinkedIn, blogs, and website pages.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did Not Like I didn't like this book, it had way to much info to read in a very dry language. I did not understand most of it.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great! Read the one for teens when I was 12 and then read this one when I was 23. Great read!!
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Full of common sense guidance that if implemented in daily life seems to truly make a difference.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Generic But had some good insight in a few of the passage. Not much that I didn't already know, but it is a good read for people who want to put their life together or improve their life.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, and very Inspiring! It has taught me so much about personal changes and tricks on how to manage work in life. I would definitely recommend it to those who needs aid or tips on how to be effective.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book Good book for anyone interested in content marketing.
Date published: 2016-11-14

Table of Contents

Foreword Nancy Duarte xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

PART I WRITING RULES: HOW TO WRITE BETTER (AND HOW TO HATE WRITING LESS) 11

1 Everybody Writes 15

2 Writing Is a Habit, Not an Art 17

3 Shed High School Rules 20

4 Regard Publishing as a Privilege 23

5 Place the Most Important Words (and Ideas) at the Beginning of Each Sentence 25

6 Follow a Writing GPS 27

7 The More the Think, the Easier the Ink 33

8 Organize. Relax, You’ve Got This 36

9 Embrace The Ugly First Draft 41

10 Swap Places with Your Reader 44

11 Humor Comes on the Rewrite 46

12 Develop Pathological Empathy 47

13 ‘Cross Out the Wrong Words’ 51

14 Start with Dear Mom . . . 54

15 If You Take a Running Start, Cover Your Tracks 56

16 Notice Where Words Appear in Relation to Others around Them 59

17 ‘A Good Lede Invites You to the Party and a Good Kicker Makes You Wish You Could Stay Longer’ 61

18 Show, Don’t Tell 65

19 Use Familiar Yet Surprising Analogies 69

20 Approach Writing Like Teaching 71

21 Keep It Simple—but Not Simplistic 72

22 Find a Writing Buddy 74

23 Avoid Writing by Committee 76

24 Hire a Great Editor 77

25 Be Rabid about Readability 79

26 End on an I-Can’t-Wait-to-Get-Back-to-It Note 84

27 Set a Goal Based on Word Count (Not Time) 85

28 Deadlines Are the WD-40 of Writing 87

PART II WRITING RULES: GRAMMAR AND USAGE 89

29 Use Real Words 91

30 Avoid Frankenwords, Obese Words, and Words Pretending to Be Something They’re Not 93

31 Don’t Use Weblish (Words You Wouldn’t Whisper to Your Sweetheart in the Dark) 95

32 Know the Difference between Active and Passive Voice 96

33 Ditch Weakling Verbs 97

34 Ditch Adverbs, Except When They Adjust the Meaning 98

35 Use Clichés Only Once in a Blue Moon 101

36 Avoid These Mistakes Marketers Make 103

37 Break Some Grammar Rules (At Least These Five) 107

38 Learn Words You’re Probably Misusing or Confusing with Other Words 109

39 Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy 117

40 Limit Moralizing 119

PART III STORY RULES 121

41 Tell How You’ll Change the World 123

42 Tell the Story Only You Can Tell 128

43 Voice and Tone 130

44 Look to Analogy instead of Example 135

PART IV PUBLISHING RULES 139

45 Wait. What’s Brand Journalism? 141

46 Tell the Truth 145

47 See Content Moments Everywhere 146

48 Post News That’s Really News 149

49 Biased and Balanced 150

50 Nonobvious Interview Tips 152

51 Fact-Check 156

52 Approach Content with ‘Mind Like Water’ 158

53 Seek Out the Best Sources 160

54 Be Aware of Hidden Agendas 161

55 Cite as You Write 162

56 Curate Ethically 166

57 Seek Permission, Not Forgiveness 170

58 Understand the Basics of Copyright, Fair Use, and For Attribution 174

59 Ground Content in Data 178

PART V 13 THINGS MARKETERS WRITE 181

60 The Ideal Length for Blog Posts, Podcast, Facebook Posts, Tweets, and Other Marketing Content 183

61 Writing for Twitter 188

62 Writing with Hashtags 196

63 Writing Social Media with Humor 202

64 Writing for Facebook 206

65 Writing for LinkedIn 210

66 Writing Your LinkedIn Profile 215

67 Writing for Email 219

68 Writing Landing Pages 225

69 Writing Headlines 234

70 Writing a Home Page 238

71 Writing the About Us Page 244

72 Writing Infographics That Won’t Make People Mock Infographics 249

73 Writing Better Blog Posts 254

74 Writing Annual Reports (or Annual Wrap-Ups) 257

PART VI CONTENT TOOLS 263

Research and Knowledge Management Tools 264

Writing Tools 265

Productivity Tools 266

Editing Tools 268

A Few Great Style Guides 269

Non-Text Writing Tools 271

Blog Idea Generators 271

Google Authorship 272

Image Sources (Or, Stock That Doesn’t Stink) 273

Acknowledgments for Tools 277

Epilogue 279

Notes 280

Index 291