VIDEO BOOK REVIEW: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

About Everybody Writes (from Amazon):

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.

My Video Book Review:



Hi, I’m Kelly Schuknecht, and welcome to another video book review. This week, we are looking at Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

I read this book with my marketing team. And I really wanted to like it. I really did.

I do a lot of writing. I am a blogger. I’ve had a blog for 10 years. I do a lot of… I’m a marketer, so I do a lot of content writing for website, for social media. And I thought this book would just be really insightful, but it just was really boring.

There are some things in it that I think were helpful. I think if you’re a marketer, it’s a great book to have on your shelves to know what’s in it, and to reference when needed.

Here are the things that I did think were really helpful in the book:

  • She has a 12 step process that she shares for any new longer content you might produce, like blog posts, eBooks, white papers, website content, things like that.
  • She shares how to find your readability statistics in Microsoft word. And I think this is really helpful if you’re writing anything in Word you can turn this on and then you can, as you’re writing, you can check your readability score to make sure that what you’re writing is readable to the average person.
  • There’s the ideal length for marketing materials. So blog posts, 1500 words, YouTube videos, three to three and a half minutes. Podcast episodes, 22 minutes and a number of other things like that.
  • Then she has a list of tools. So she has, she lists tools to help create an infographic if that’s something you want to do. And then she has lists for research and knowledge management, writing tools, productivity tools, editing tools, style guides, non-text writing tools, blog idea generator, things like that. And I think that’s really helpful.

So, like I said, this book is great to have as a reference to have in your office to be able to lift things up when needed. But if you’re going to read it from cover to cover, it’s super boring. So good luck.

This post contains affiliate links which means, at no cost to you,
I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase using those links.

Want to see more blog posts like this? ⤵️

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketing director with a background in the publishing industry and a passion for all things related to books. She blogs about book marketing because she loves helping authors navigate the world of social media to discover new ways to promote and sell their books. If you're looking for something good to read, you can find Kelly's top picks here:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: