Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

042: Everybody Writes: Interview with Ann Handley [Podcast]

Everybody is a writer. Writing is a basic life skill and everyone should be able to put sentences together. To be a writer, all you have to do is write.

042: Everybody Writes: Interview with Ann Handley [Podcast]

To be a good writer, you need to consider the needs of your audience. Is your writing adding value to their lives? If not, then it may be time to change things.

Ann Handley is someone who adds value. She’s been living a portfolio life for the past dozen or so years, making a living as an author and a speaker, and as the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. Her latest book Everybody Writes is filled with great tidbits and tricks for writers. I love the short chapters that are part inspiration and part guidebook.

Listen to this week’s episode of The Portfolio Life as Ann and I talk about what makes marketing good, how deadlines are beneficial, and struggles all writers face.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (if viewing this in email, click here)

Play

You can also listen on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Highlights from the show

  • Write first for yourself then switch places with your reader and go through the piece to see what kind of experience you’re creating for them.
  • It’s never a good idea to trick people into paying attention to you. It’s better to be useful to your audience and generous with your help.
  • Good marketing is about helping worthy ideas spread.
  • “You can’t rush art” is folly; you have to rush art otherwise art sits on the couch watching Netflix.

Resources mentioned in the show

If this podcast was helpful to you, please share it with others who could benefit from it and leave a review on iTunes.

Special announcement: I’m giving away a limited number of copies of my upcoming book, The Art of Work (you just pay shipping). In addition to the book, you’ll also get some exclusive bonuses. I’d love for you to get a copy and tell your friends about it, too. Get your copy today!

What is one of your biggest struggles as a writer? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • danesanders

    Two good and trustworthy voices. Both are worth your time.

  • My favourite podcast interview so far. Many of us were taught those ‘rules’ in school but it’s fun to break them.

  • Jeff and Ann, a refreshing shared perspective on the writing life, getting the work done, and done with an ear (both ears) toward the audience. Lots of fun too.

  • Jeff has done it again. This is the best podcast by far. Guess which book I’m going to read next 😀

  • I have Ann’s book and it’s a great read. Good information and actionable steps.

  • Ann Handley

    Thanks for having me, Jeff! Such an honor to connect with you — at last!

    • Dubem Menakaya

      You’re amazing Ann, learnt so much from you from that interview in therms of editing, style. I’m going to get the book ! Thank You!

  • Lots of good information here.

    One thing though. I am always surprised when people still use Word. I have moved away from it and Outlook, for so long (for me since the mid 1990’s) at the top of my toobox. But Word, who wants to do their own page layout?

    For me moving away is saying no to those other tools, and I couldn’t really say yes to Scrivener until I said no to Word. Personally I just don’t want to be distracted by too many toolbar options, but rather just focus on writing.

  • Dubem Menakaya

    This show was absolutely epic! A great friend of mine said ‘Writing is a combination of passion and purpose – passion because it’s what you care about and purpose because it has to be serving other people. The real art is in finding that balance’

    I think that’s the biggest takeaway as I’ve been struggling with not just writing from my own perspective but really getting into what my readers will experience. And how can it transform them. What do I want them to feel? And why?

    The organisation section was brilliant too. I remember your podcast with Robert Greene and he said ‘Organisation is sexy because it allows you to do the things you really want to do’ and that really sums up it’s importance.

    Personally I’ve been delaying creating a content calendar and just spraying articles all over the shop though now it’s a top priority!

    Thanks for the interview Jeff and Ann, I’m going to buy the book today!