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Ann Handley Quotes

Ann Handley

Ann Handley quotes: are like cocaine for your nose if your nose was your writing.

“In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.”

“Good marketing is about helping worthy ideas spread.”

“Prior to the web, organizations had only two significant choices to attract attention: buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media. But the web has changed the rules.”

“To me, great content almost always has a story and writing component. So I want people to think of writing and their words not as boring drudgery, but as a way to differentiate themselves online. I want everyone who works in marketing to feel a little more competent and confident about creating content, and also to have a little fun.”

“Content drives conversations. Conversation engages your customers. Engaging with people is how your company will survive and thrive in this newly social world.”

“If you aren’t having fun creating content, you’re doing it wrong.”

“Words matter. Your words (what you say) and style (how you say it) are your most cherished (and, yet, undervalued) assets.”

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”

“There is no one way to write, just as there is no one way to parent a child or roast a turkey.”

“Write for your reader and provide something that is useful.”

“The more you think about what you want to say, and plan for it, the easier it is to say.”

“Content is essentially everything your customer or prospect touches or interacts with.”

“Regard your content as something more, as something other than just words and images on a page—as an extension of your brand.”

“Of course, the key to all of this—making words come alive, adding a human element, and being personable and compelling—is to be specific. To show, not merely tell.”

“Producing any regular stream of content keeps you almost by necessity on the cutting-edge of best practices and developments in your particular industry.”

“Creating content as a cornerstone of your marketing allows you to truly place yourself in your customers’ shoes, to adopt their vantage points, and to consider their thoughts, feelings and needs.”

“Build momentum. Why are you creating? Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action.”

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper (E. B. White).”

“The truth is this: writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn.”

“Writing is a habit, not an art. Set aside time each day when you’re freshest.”

“Writing is a skill, and you can learn to be better at it in two ways: 1) by training at it, and 2) by surrounding yourself with plenty of everyday inspiration. So by ‘training’ I mean write every day (or at least most days). Level-up your skills.”

“As for ‘inspiration,’ tune your eyes and your ears to moments you can riff off or use later. Write them down someplace. Keep them in an online swipe file. Hunt and hoard them like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter.”

“‘Writing is easy,’ said Mark Twain. ‘All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.'”

“Start with empathy. Continue with utility. Improve with analysis. Optimize with love. Empathy for the customer experience should be at the root of all of your content. Utility times inspiration times empathy equals quality content.”

“Empathy—like writing—isn’t a gift. It’s a discipline. It takes some intentional effort and diligence to develop enormous empathy so that you can apply it to your writing.”

“In other words, empathy for the customer experience should be at the root of all of your content, because having a sense of the people you are writing for and a deep understanding of their problems is key to honing your skill.”

“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot… Stephen King writes in his book, On Writing.”

“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that—but you are the only you.”

“The more personal you are, the more universal you become.”

“If you stripped your branding from all your properties and lined up your words alongside a competitor’s, would you recognize yourself? Would you stand out?”

“The primary idea—the important words—should be placed at the beginning.”

“Tell your audience how your stuff helps people by telling them about those people, not by talking just about your stuff.”

“Worry more about creating remarkable content; worry less about being professional.”

“Do not be tempted by a 20-dollar word when there is a 10-center handy, ready and able.”

“When we say to be authentic, we mean you should make it clear that your stuff has the stamp of an actual person or actual people and that that person or those people have the qualities (a point of view, a personality, a sense of enthusiasm for the subject, and suitability to your audience) that make for a compelling approach to content as a solid foundation for the start of your relationship with your audience.”

“Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It isn’t self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates the questions that readers might have as they’re reading a piece, and it answers them.”

“Your awesome site isn’t awesome. Getting your stories into the hands of the people who need them is awesome.”

“Assume the reader knows nothing. But don’t assume the reader is stupid.”

“So, before you begin the writing, be sure you know the purpose or mission or objective of every piece of content that you write. What are you trying to achieve? What information, exactly, are you trying to communicate? And why should your audience care?”

“Shed the obvious. There’s no need to include: in this article, in this post, in regard to, I’ve always felt that, we are of the opinion that… You get the idea.”

“Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.”

“Brevity doesn’t mean bare bones or stripped down. Take as long as you need to tell the story. (The length of content is dictated by the kind of content you’re creating.) The notion of brevity has more to do with cutting fat, bloat and things that indulge the writer and don’t respect the reader’s time. Keep it tight.”

“What matters now isn’t storytelling; what matters is telling a true story well.”

“Creating content as a cornerstone of your marketing allows you to truly place yourself in your customers’ shoes, to adopt their vantage points, and to consider their thoughts, feelings, and needs. In short, it allows you to get to know the people who buy from you better than any customer survey or poll ever could.”

“Anything you write should always be aligned with a larger business or marketing goal.”

“Your customers don’t buy your product to do your company a favor. They’re doing it because your product makes their lives better. So if you want to sell something, you need to explain how you’re helping them.”

“Today, I see my business as a content marketing company. In other words, my entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful, and remarkable content to consumers than anyone else in my field, which will in turn lead to more sales.”

“Influencers that have influenced me are my mom and dad; E.B. White; and my college professor, Sean Gresh, because he told me that learning to write well would give you a leg up in life.”

“Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation.”

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple (Woody Guthrie).”

“Be bigger, bolder and braver.”

“The person with the abundance mentality wins.”

“Do it. Marketing and business needs you. In a world in which there is so much opportunity to create content—so many platforms, so many real chances to talk to our customers directly—businesses need writers like you to help them do it.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.