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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,278 ratings  ·  343 reviews
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

Kindle Edition, 301 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2014)
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Zowie Zep van den Goorbergh I would say this book is better for someone who has never written content before, than its is for an expert. Good mix of fundamental information and s…moreI would say this book is better for someone who has never written content before, than its is for an expert. Good mix of fundamental information and specific information. Some stuff is a bit outdated, but you can read that more casually. (less)

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Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
While the author has a very readable style and the book is broken up into easy to read sections, I found most of the information either repetitive or just plain tips I already knew. For example, the notion of "writing for one person" is pretty common, as were the tips for attention-grabbing headlines. I have already read such tips on Copyblogger and other writing blogs. Same for the social media tips --one can find the suggested length for a tweet or Facebook post almost anywhere. I would have a ...more
Richard Wu
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Quite basic and repetitive at times. I'd wager most marketing professionals are already intimately familiar with the vast majority of the content presented here. If you're not a businessperson, don't bother - if you're a journalist, don't bother.

1. If you don't work in marketing, or would like to hire a marketing person, this book can help you understand the day-to-day responsibilities of a content producer.
2. The guidelines on writing for different social media channels are relevant. Still
Erica Metcalf
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
I took a number of writing classes in school and none of them prepared me for writing in the business world. For my first few assignments for work, I found that I was spending far too much time drafting, just to have it be so reworked that I hardly recognized it by the time it was published. To be totally honest, I felt stupid trying to write in the business world.

Of course, writing takes practice. Lots and lots of practice! After reading Everybody Writes, I wished that I had found it much earli
Peg Fitzpatrick
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Ann Handley's style of writing and she shares great tips for writers as well as content marketers and bloggers who write a lot.

I'd recommend this plus Content Rules, Ann's first book, for anyone that wants to blog and work in social media. Great read!
Asha Seth
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
One-word review: Disappointing
Perhaps, meant only for beginners. If you are someone who has their basic grammar and writing rules in place, this book has nothing to add to your writing bucket.
Divided in five parts, this book only reiterates the same thing over and over again - write simple, avoid adverbs, use first person, use active voice and not passive, and some more of awfully insufficient information if one really wants to create ridiculously good content .
Ridiculously average, is
Patrick Rauland
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall I was a bit disappointed by this book. I think had expectations that this would unlock some secret writing ability within myself but surprise surprise it doesn't work like that.

I really liked the beginning of the book where the author focused on marketing / content marketing instead of fiction writing. She communicated over and over again why & how writing is important which I loved.

In terms of the tactics of writing it was a bit dry and boring. But I suppose that's to be expected with w
Anne Janzer
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
I enjoy Ann Handley's writing, so of course I got her new book when it was released recently. Even as a professional writer and former English major, I found the book valuable, in several ways.

First, validation -- here's someone who cares about the quality of the writing we read, even on webpages and in marketing materials. Thanks to Ann for that - I agree with so much of what she says.

Second, she has found ways to formulate some of the rules that I knew instinctively or intuitively - if nothing
Brandy Cross
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you're an experienced writer this book is 100% worthless. It was recommended to me at the end of a marketing course and I learned absolutely nothing reading it.

However, if you have never written for the Internet, it could be a valuable resource and guidebook for producing better content. It is well laid out, easy to read, and unlike the classics like S&W focuses more on creation rather than grammar rules.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ann Handley provides a quick, in-depth explanation of how to write everything well. Whether you’re interested in social media, blogs, or research papers, there are many good lessons in this book. Check it out!
Elisa Doucette
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for the ultimate primer on how to create compelling content (especially in a marketing world) then this book is the absolute go-to. Part mindset and understanding, part theory and grammar, part messaging and "Why", Ann breaks down her decades of experience in writing and editing to give readers everything they ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Meh. Nothing you don't already know if you are pretty sure you know what you're doing and have been successful at it already and/or you read blogs like Copyblogger, Contently, or Marketo and/or you are currently a content writer and/or have been a content writer for a long time. Get this one from the library if you must.
Nixy Rigmarole
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is quite possibly the best book I've read in years. The target reader writes content for his or her customers - marketing materials, website text, social media posts, etc. But the concepts here cover so much more. I'm thinking it's even helped my songwriting! I read it online, and I'll be looking for a hard copy soon. Great book!!
Dave Rothacker
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read the hardcover but I don't think the ISBN listed in the book brings up the correct version here at Goodreads.

Here is the best way that I can sum up Ann's work. I write. Ann's book is designed to help people write better. I will keep Everybody Writes within arm's length of my writing chair.

Towards the end of the book Ann says, "By this point in the book you and I are friends, so you know my position."

Truth be told I've known Ann's position for years (I do not know her personally though). Bu
Kirsty Johnson
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My husband was initially supposed to read this book for work but never did. I just happened to have a spare few minutes and started to read the first page...well that was it, I couldn't put it down. This book is not only a good read being funny and addictive, but its so educational; Ann Handley talks about writing in a sense that you want to start writing your self. She provides you with the tools to start writing in a way that schools never provided us with.

I've enjoyed it that much that it has
Erin Brenner
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing-books
If I were going to write a book on writing for business, this is what I would have written. Only Ann is much funnier than I am! She takes readers through, step by step, sharing plenty of examples and making the process easy to understand. If you're doing more business writing or -- gasp! -- been charged with content marketing, Ann will help you improve your writing skills and become comfortable with being a writer.
Steven Lewis
47 pages in and she's used the word "grok" twice. I'd no idea what it meant (ironic, as it's a 1961 coining meaning "to know immediately"). Is "grok" something any of you throw into conversation? If so, I'd love to know how it's used properly. "It was a gnarly problem but I had no problem groking the answer"? "She so groked it"? "He just looks at you and he groks what's on your mind"?
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyvody Writes is easily recommendable to anyone who specializes in or is planning to work in content marketing. I can even go further and say this book is a must read for anyone who wants to write anything. From social media posts to emails and year-end annual reports this book covers it all. And in an understandable way.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I would recommend this book to a colleague rather than to a friend struggling to write for a hobby. The Content Tools section at the end of the book has some great resources that I should look into in the future!
Trang Ngo
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinishable
Blah blah guide to writing for brands.
Some good tips and tricks.
Can be used for reference but quite boring to read.
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-writing
This book is useful for content writers and general people as well. This will not make you a novelist but gives useful tips about writing on SM and web. This gives us confidence that anyone can write. Not only write but write well.

This is explained beautifully in the book:-

"In our world, many hold a notion that the ability to write or write well, is a gift bestowed on a chosen few. Writing well is considered a kind of art, linked murkily to muse and mysticism. That leaves us thinking there are t
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book very helpful for my purpose: writing blog posts. It is a straightforward and comprehensive guide that covers almost all the basics for writing great web content.
I loved Ann Handley's previous book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business so I had to read this. As the author accurately points out, most books about the era of content aim to be inspiring and encouraging, but they don't actually tell you what to do. I've noticed they also often treat their audience like either insiders or idiots.

This book assumes the reader has some experience of writing, at least
Tim O'Hearn
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
More than three years old and not aging well. Ann's prediction of LinkedIn growing as a medium for publishing came true (though I find the quality of posts there horrendous), but what stands as the most unsightly blemish is her frequent quoting of Dan Lyons. Dan Lyons worked at HubSpot, hired as the token middle-aged man who knew how to write. Unfortunately for Ann, after Lyons left Hubspot, he wrote Disrupted, a searing criticism of the company's culture and the way new media has changed how we ...more
Lenny D
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started off kind of skeptically with this book, but Ann Handley quickly won me over. I generally hate cutesy, like me! like me! copy, but that's not Ann. She's just a fun, knowledgeable lady who very much sets the tone for the type of writing marketers need to adopt with her own prose.

The book is a highly actionable guide to marketing writing. It is short on preachment and long on concrete tips to actually help writing achieve what it's supposed to in a marketing context. This doesn't at all t
Isla McKetta
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not the right audience for this book. If you're a marketer who's afraid of writing (or insecure about your writing) or if you aspire to marketing writing but have never done any, it's a decent primer.

Containing a rehash of all the standard writing tips, too many quotes from other writing books (especially Stephen King's) and a mishmash of how-tos on writing copy for particular marketing scenarios, it'll get you started. There's also some information on the ethics of publishing that feels a
Tony Jr.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource for every writer not just authors. This book covers writing great content for pretty much every situation you can think of: email writing, blog writing, headline writing, social media site writing (all the major ones), and more. The author also gives tips on interviewing people to create content for your audience, do and don'ts of content creation, editing and grammar,story telling tips, writing style and voice, and using humor in writing. I love the authors writing style: its ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
This book came highly recommended by a trusted resource in the industry, but I found it a bit an effort to go through. While written to benefit writers of all levels/experience, it will deliver the most value to those who are newer to content creation and writing. I found some of the references, references and tools helpful and some good reminders but it was less inspiring than other guides.

If you are a seasoned writer, you may just want to skim it or turn to sections of interest (I forced myse
Joseph Serwach
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended - Excellent primer on digital marketing and communications

Digital marketing and communications, brand journalism, owned media, inbound marketing and content marketing are all terms that confuse most or (worse) people think they know what they are but don't really quite get it at all. Ann Handley offers an excellent primer on what it's all about. She writes simply enough for a beginner to understand yet also offers enough good solid tips so experienced pros can pick up dozens o
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction
Some useful marketing information, but as far as the writing tips, it was pretty basic. I suppose with a title like "Everybody Writes," you should expect a pretty basic overview of writing best practices rather than in-depth analysis/tips/tricks.

I did enjoy Handley's sense of humor and there were definitely a few gems here and there ... I just probably could have gotten the same information in a few good blog posts rather than reading a whole book.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
It's written like a typical list article of tips and suggestions, which makes the book browsable. I got some good tips and suggestions here and there, but at least two-thirds of the suggestions I've read before in various places. I was hoping that the book focused mostly on writing style, rather than say tips on content creation.
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Ann Handley is the author of Everybody Writes (Wiley 2014), co-author of Content Rules (Wiley 2011), a speaker, and the world's first Chief Content Officer. More at

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