How to Become a Better Writer and Create Ridiculously Good Content

October 2, 2014

Do you not think you’re a “writer”?

If you answered yes to this question, you share a similar feeling that many others have which is a misconception. If you write a Facebook update, Tweet, or craft an email, you are a writer and this episode is your guide in how to become a better writer and create good content.

This week on the Social Media Social Hour podcast I am joined by Ann Handley, author of the new book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. Ann and I discuss tips and tricks for writing in a marketing/business realm and other topics included in her new book.

About the show:

The Social Media Social Hour is a podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to get on the social media fast track. The podcast is an interview format, where each week I get up close and personal with top brands and influencers to talk social media, tech and online marketing. Each week I also share tools that I personally use to help me with social media management, sales, marketing, accounts management, and productivity. The Social Media Social Hour is presented by Scoreboard Social.

In this episode, here is what you’ll discover:

About Ann Handley:

  • Career and life:
    • Co-founder of Click Z
    • Chief content officer at Marketing Profs
    • Columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine
    • Key note speaker, mom, & writer
  • Author of 2 books:
    • Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
    • Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.
  • How she became an authority on writing:
    • Background as a journalist, writer, and editor – including at the Boston Globe
    • Was the “World’s First Chief Content Officer” at Click Z  in 1997/8 – before “content” was “content”

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

  • Fundamental writing rules framed for a marketing/business audience
  • Writing is a tool that every professional needs to have in their arsenal
  • Our words tell the world who we are – we have to be really clear with what we’re putting “out there”.
  • Topics discussed in the book:
    • Shed high school rules – there’s more than one way to write!
      • More conversational style these days
    • Mistakes marketers/businesses tend to make:
      • Using “this” and “that” when it is not clear what the antecedent is.
      • “Obese” words
      • Active v. Passive voice
    • How you find the story within your own business
    • Publishing rules
    • Things that marketers write
    • 70+ Tips:
      • Approach writing like teaching – the key to being a good writer is to always think about the reader.
      • Avoid writing by committee
      • Hire a great editor

Notable Quotes:

  • “Our words are our ambassadors.”
  • “It’s a very noisy world we live in.”
  • “Adult onset writers”

Items/people mentioned in the show:

Laura’s Social Media Six Pack:

  1. What’s your lucky number? 3.
  2. Have you ever been bungee jumping before? Never.
  3. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage? Malbec – red wine.
  4. Have you ever done something heroic? I think I’d have to let someone else answer that for me.
  5. Last CD or album you bought or downloaded (cannot include automatic download of U2’s album)? The NPR app, I rarely listen to music.
  6. Do you find clowns funny or scary? Freaking scary!

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