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

8th May 2022
Everybody Writes book cover


Everybody Writes is about writing and publishing good content. The purpose of this book is to wage a war on content mediocrity. Since I am blogging, I want to know more about writing good content.


Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. She is also  a speaker, author, and member of the LinkedIn Influencer program. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. She is cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognised by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers.


Everybody Writes has an introduction, 6 parts, and an epilogue.

Part I is Writing Rules: How to Write Better (and How to Hate Writing Less). It is made up of 28 chapters.

Part II is Writing Rules: Grammar and Usage. It consists of 12 chapters.

Part III is Story Rules and has 4 chapters.

Part IV is Publishing Rules. It contains 15 chapters.

Part V is 13 Things Marketers Write. This part has 15 chapters.

Part VI is Content Tools and introduces 9 types of tools.


Everybody Writes is meant to be part writing guide, part handbook on the rules of good sportsmanship in content marketing, and all-around reliable desk companion for anyone creating or directing content on behalf of brands. I think it hits all its objectives.

Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience. The 3 principles of good content are brevity, clarity, and utility.

Writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn. The key to being a better writer is to write. Do not be afraid to produce an ugly first draft as the author says that brilliance commonly comes on the rewrite.

Good writing is more about thinking, rewriting, and keeping your focus relentlessly on the reader.

Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. Think what you want to say, then say it as simply as possible. Simple means making it easy for the customer/audience. You should be as specific as possible – specific enough to be believable, but universal enough to be credible.

The author opines that good writing serves the reader. Writers should assume the reader knows nothing but keep in mind that they are not stupid. Tell the readers why you matter to them, not just who you are.

Your content is about telling a true story well. Thus, always fact-check to avoid mistakes as they undermine your brand’s credibility.

She introduces a lot of tools to aid writing in the book. Nonetheless, as this book was published in 2014, not everything still exists. She also references a lot of literatures and people.

Overall, I enjoy reading this book. Though it is a heavy topic, she manages to lighten up this book with humour. This book is more suitable to content marketers, but it contains valuable lessons for bloggers too. As the author says, there is no right or wrong way to write. The most important thing is to write consistently if you aspire to be a good writer/blogger.


  1. Because learning to craft better content can involve nothing more than developing some necessary muscles.
  2. Content can be complex, but it’s inherently easier to use your content as a driver of business when you start with a quality product, clear thinking, and good writing.
  3. That writing is a habit, not an art.
  4. No one will ever complain that you’ve made things too simple to understand.
  5. But no business truly sells to another business; we all sell to people.


3 out of 3 stars

Interested in Everybody Writes?

You may get the book from through the links below*.

Get the print book from Kinokuniya Malaysia here

Get the ebook from Lazada Malaysia here

*Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through these links.

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