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

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 2, 2014 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
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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.


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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is a useful book that is full of great tips.

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Very details on how to write good content.
Love it!


Writing Rules How to Write Better and How to Hate Writing Less
Everybody Writes Chapter 2 Writing Is a Habit Not an
Shed High School Rules
Regard Publishing as a Privilege
Place the Most Important Words and Ideas at the Beginning of Each Sentence
Voice and Tone
Look to Analogy instead of Example
Publishing Rules
Wait Whats Brand Journalism? But Is It Really Journalism?
How Brand Journalism Works
Tell the Truth
See Content Moments Everywhere
Post News Thats Really News

Follow a Writing
The More the Think the Easier the
Organize Relax Youve Got This
Embrace The Ugly First Draft
Swap Places with Your Reader
Humor Comes on the Rewrite
Develop Pathological Empathy
Cross Out the Wrong Words
Start with Dear
If You Take a Running Start Cover Your Tracks
Notice Where Words Appear in Relation to Others around Them
A Good Lede Invites You to the Party and a Good Kicker Makes You Wish You Could Stay Longer
Show Dont Tell
Use Familiar Yet Surprising Analogies
Approach Writing Like Teaching Chapter 21 Keep It Simplebut Not Simplistic
Find a Writing Buddy
Avoid Writing by Committee
Hire a Great Editor
Be Rabid about Readability
End on an ICantWaittoGetBacktoIt Note
Set a Goal Based on Word Count Not Time
Deadlines Are the WD40 of Writing
Writing Rules Grammar and Usage
Use Real Words
Avoid Frankenwords Obese Words and Words Pretending to Be Something Theyre
Dont Use Weblish Words You Wouldnt Whisper to Your Sweetheart in the Dark
Know the Difference between Active and Passive Voice
Ditch Weakling Verbs
Ditch Adverbs Except When They Adjust the Meaning
Use Clichés Only Once in a Blue Moon
Avoid These Mistakes Marketers Make
Break Some Grammar Rules At Least These Five
Learn Words Youre Probably Misusing or Confusing with Other Words Similar or Seemingly Interchangeable Words Usage Confusion
Scuse Me While I Kiss This
Limit Moralizing
Story Rules
Tell How Youll Change the World
Tell the Story Only You Can Tell
Biased and Balanced
Nonobvious Interview Tips
Approach Content with Mind Like Water
Seek Out the Best Sources
Be Aware of Hidden Agendas
Cite as You Write
Curate Ethically
Seek Permission Not Forgiveness
Understand the Basics of Copyright Fair Use and For Attribution
Just Link?
What about Images? How about Logos and Screenshots?
One Final Point
Ground Content in Data
13 Things Marketers Write
The Ideal Length for Blog Posts Podcast Facebook Posts Tweets and Other Marketing Content How Long Should a Blog Post
Writing for Twitter
Writing with Hashtags
Writing Social Media with Humor
Writing for Facebook
Writing for LinkedIn
Writing Your LinkedIn Profile
Writing for Email
Writing Landing Pages
Writing Headlines
Writing a Home Page
Writing the About Us Page
Writing Infographics That Wont Make People Mock Infographics
Writing Better Blog Posts
Writing Annual Reports or Annual WrapUps
Content Tools
Research and Knowledge Management Tools
Writing Tools Productivity Tools
Editing Tools
A Few Great Style Guides
Acknowledgments for Tools

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About the author (2014)

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 book on content marketing, Content Rules. She is also a keynote speaker, mom, and writer at AnnHandley.com.

Connect with her on Twitter via @annhandley.

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