The problem with writing about writing is that readers can so easily judge your writing more harshly. I shudder to think how many times I’ve submitted a résumé touting my attention to “detial”and great proofing skills. I’ve always admired people with the courage to take on the topic of writing, especially when they do it well.
In their book “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and more) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business,” authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman promise to not be boring, give some context and draw plenty of road maps. I have to say, they kept all their promises and have created an interesting easy-to-use resource on how to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars, (and more).
Easy and quick to read, the book was just long enough to give general guidelines as well as specific ideas, examples, and, in some cases, even templates for creating excellent content.
I walked away from this book (well, actually, I’ll walk back to it, pick it up, put it down, write, pick it up again) with tons of practical specific ideas about how to improve content. Ideas were flowing by page 12. Evidence of my inspiration is in the number of idea notes I scattered throughout marking pages, so many the book no longer closes properly (see picture). No matter what you write, reading this book will help you do it better. While some of the technology the book covers in detail may change, the content rules laid out are timeless. The only thing now lacking is capacity to create all the content I’m inspired to write.
A special thanks to the authors for reminding me of Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style.” I’ve somehow missed it over the years and finally pulled a copy from the bookshelf and read it. I especially liked the part in “Elements” that suggests never using “folks,” a rule which the authors of “Content Rules” clearly ignored, one of the ways they totally surprised me (rule #8), and giving the feeling that they were real people talking to me (rule #4).
If this is a killer blog, then, it works! So, you be the judges, what do you think?