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by Ann Handley

Ann has created what I deem the Bible of Content creation.
She lays out the most useful formula for writing that I have ever seen, combined with a seemingly endless list of tangible advice you can use to be a deadly effective writer.
Usually I would give you the formula she has created as a guide for crafting perfect content, but I really want you to read the book so go and check it out.
However, I am going to give you a series of helpful tips I received from this book, such as:
  • Never start content with a warm up. Jump right into the story!
  • To crush writer's block, start your content with "Dear [insert name of someone close to you]", and then just write them a letter regarding what you wish to write
  • Get rid of any words that don't add to the direct message of the content. This reminds me of when Marissa Mayer would try to get the content Google was putting out to an absolute minimum.
  • Swap places with the reader to make sure you're actually writing something they'll find useful
  • Write everyday (easier said than done, Ann!)
  • Use POWERFUL, violent verbs
I really enjoyed this book.
Most books contain a few great golden nuggets, and 250 pages of redundant metaphor. This book felt more like reading a handbook for great writers.
While this isn't much of a guide for selling, such as Peter Gruber's Tell to Win, I doubt you'll be in a position to sell anything to anyone if you can't write with the clarity and relentless creativity Handley is teaching you in Everybody Writes.

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Matt Steffen

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