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Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content Hardcover – September 15, 2014
Enhance your purchase
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.
- 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.
Frequently bought together
From the Inside Flap
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. We are all writers.
Everybody Writes is your go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is a writer.
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 emissaries; 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’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…
So you’ve got to choose words well—and write with economy and style and honest empathy for your customers. And that means you have to put a higher value on an often overlooked skill in content marketing: how to write, and how to tell a true story really, really well.
Being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s necessary. And it’s also the often 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 practical how-to advice designed to get results.
These lessons and rules she lays out apply to all of your online content—your Web pages, home pages, landing pages, blogs, emails, marketing offers, and to your posts and updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media.
Everybody Writes is designed to be your go-to guide for creating or publishing any kind of online content—whether you’re working for a big brand or a small business… or yourself.
From the Back Cover
“Throw the others away because this is the only guide you need to elevate your content to the level of awesomeness! With wisdom and an infective wittiness, Ann shows you how to take your writing from awkward or awful to electric or elegant. She’s your favorite teacher, cracking you up while her tough love gets you to do the work to improve. Even though I’ve written 10 books, I still learned a great deal in these pages and now I’m eager to flex my newfound content creation muscles.”
—David Meerman Scott, best-selling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR
“The alternate click-bait title of Ann’s great new book could have been 73 Ways to Improve Your Writing and Conquer the World! …and it would have been an understatement. We’re all publishers now, and the better writers connect, persuade, and win. Be one of them with this book.”
—Brian Clark, Founder and CEO, Copyblogger Media
“All your shiny new channels, properties, and platforms are a waste of space without smart, useful content. Ann Handley’s new book helps make every bit of content count—for your customers and your bottom line.”
—Kristina Halvorson, President, Brain Traffic
“I just glanced at the table of contents and I’m already a better writer. Ann Handley might just single-handedly save the world from content mediocrity. Really, really ridiculously good-looking content just got an owner’s manual.”
—Jason Miller, Senior Content Marketing Manager, LinkedIn
“Let’s face it, writing is not optional for today’s marketer. Ann’s witty take on what works and what doesn’t will help you master business writing and—more importantly—have fun while you’re doing it!”
—Ardath Albee, B2B Marketing Strategist and Author, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale and Digital Relevance (coming in 2015)
“Useful to the extreme, Everybody Writes is the first must-read book on the subject since Stephen King’s On Writing. Bursting with ways to improve your short and long-form content, it’s too good to be skimmed. This book should be included with every keyboard sold, like a combo pack of communication clarity. You’ll be a better writer by page 15. By the end of this book, you’re thinking about giving Steinbeck a run for his money. I passionately recommend Everybody Writes.”
—Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert, and Author, Youtility
“Finally, a sensible writing guide for a digital age! Everybody Writes is a unique blend of how-to-write rules and what-to-write revelations. Whether you are overhauling your everyday communication or sitting down to write a book, Ann Handley’s irreverent style and inspirational wisdom will transform the way you write. Move over Strunk & White, Everybody Writes is the creative resource for a new generation.”
—Andrew M. Davis, Author, Brandscaping
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (September 15, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1118905555
- ISBN-13 : 978-1118905555
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.9 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The good: Each chapter has a catchy title, a title with sound advice.
The book is a quick read.
The bad: The book does not explain how to execute the sound advice it contains.
This book focuses on social media like Facebook posts. Writing is much more than social media.
So, I will slide "Everyone Writes" into my writer's library. Perhaps this book will learn through osmosis from the other books surrounding it. If you want to expand beyond "The Elements of Style," try: Stephen King's "On Writing," John Trimble's "Writing with Style," William Zinsser's "On Writing Well," or Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird."
But the truth is I could have read this book in college as an English Education major and gotten just as much value out of it. Although it seems geared toward content marketers, so much of it can be applied to communication in all forms.
Handley is the Strunk and White for contemporary authorship. Her advice is designed to improve both the clarity and the engagement of your work, especially for consumption in the digital age. The book is broken into tiny chapters that zoom in on specific issues in writing, covering everything from planning to drafting to editing and everything in between. The end of the book is especially interesting, sharing insights into how to write highly practical things like blogs, LinkedIn profiles, and infographics. Handley is committed to actionable advice, providing a wealth of tools and tactics rather than esoteric, ivory tower advice.
The one problem I had with this is really my own fault: I'm not sure it's best consumed cover to cover. Though it is entertaining, it covers so much information that by the end of it you may feel unable to sort it all out. It may be better used as a reference text that you consult at various stages of your writing process. I do think that reading it from top to bottom gave me an intimate understanding of its content, which means I can more effortlessly brush up on specific topics as the need arises. But a word of advice to anyone who is interested in this and wants to do what I did and consume it in its entirety to familiarize yourself with it: breeze through it. Try to knock it out in just a few days. I tried to savor it and collect all of the information, and it was a fool's errand.
No matter how you choose to approach this, it is absolutely worth your time. I plan to keep it on my desk and look back at it frequently.
Looking through the praise pages of "Everybody Writes" I was awed by the content creators that heap gushing praise for the book and author. It's a Who's Who of the best content creators of the day, David Meerman Scott author of "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and Brian Clark who sits atop the Copyblogger empire and Jay Baer President of Convince and Convert are just three of the heavy hitters who love this book.
I am not a heavy hitter, I struggle to find my voice and distill a story down to its essence. During my reading of "Everybody Writes" I found myself putting it down and sitting at my keyboard testing Handley's suggestions. I've tested some (to early to have adopted all of them) and they work if you are willing to put the time in. There is no shortcut for putting your fingers to the keyboard or pen to paper. You just have to do it.
I encourage anyone who writes for pleasure or profit (or hopes to write for profit) to buy this book, turn off the T.V., radio, computer, etc. and just read "Everybody Writes" from beginning to end. Then go back and read it again extracting the strategies and tips that resonate to you. The responsibility to be a good writer then lies with you. The tools have been given to you, sharpen them daily and see how your writing improves.
This is the most practical, readable, and enjoyable book on writing I've read.
Top reviews from other countries
Sell your brand with this guide to better online writing. You will attract more customers and keep hold of your existing ones. However, I bought it as a guide to hobbyist non-fiction writing and I still learned beneficial ideas. The section on blog posting and social media I found particularly good with plenty of tips to get your message across to your audience. The first part of the book helps you plan out an article better and there is also a section to help you with grammar.
These books can be ‘yawn’ material and they don't grip us like a good novel. They are there to teach us and sometimes that isn't engaging but Handley’s sense of humour keeps you entertained throughout the whole book.
I would definitely recommend the book to marketers but also blog writers and hobbyists can definitely learn something here too.