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Everybody Writes | Ann Handley

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

The most influential woman in social media, according to Forbes, Ann Handley is a world-renowned author and speaker on the topic of writing.

In her 2014 book Everybody Writes, she explores the key principles and steps to create better content.

Before starting to write, put your pen down and think about your goal:

  • What point are you trying to make?

  • How will you back it up?

Be super clear about what you’re trying to get the reader to do whether it’s an ad headline, or a customer service email.

Writing is a process - an ugly draft is not a disaster - it’s just one step of the process.

Don’t try to get it right the first time and don’t be afraid to add in a few “need to add more” ’s as you go along, so you don’t get hung up on some detail and lose focus.

Split your critique between two methods;

  • Developmental editing is the broad brush review, looking for ways you might have contradicted yourself, or not been clear.

  • Line editing comes next. As it suggests, line-by-line, word-by-word - removing superfluous words, or those which sound cliched the second or third time around.

How do you keep someone's attention?

Start with the big stuff - get to the point early and focus on the results, not the background.

Too short is better than too long...It’s a New York Times best seller. Go read it now.

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