Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content shows you how to “create ridiculously good content! This “Go-To Guide” offers practical tips that can be applied to owning and running bed and breakfast inns.
Author Ann Handley explains the Everybody Writes 12-step “Writing GPS”:
- Goal: know what you are trying to achieve and why it matters to your readers. Is it to educate them about your local area? Inform them about upcoming events? Entice them to vacation at your B&B?
- Reframe: phrase the idea in a way that relates to your readers. Can they relate to needing a break? Are they seeking to improve a relationship?
- Seek out the data and examples: use credible sources that support your main points and/or discuss personal experiences. Your sources could be about travel and leisure, health and fitness, or food and wine. The personal experiences could be yours or a story (told with permission) of a couple renewing their vows, for example.
- Organize: know what structure best helps communicate your point. The story about the couple could be put in interview format, for instance.
- Write to one person: your goal is for your readers to recognize and relate to the issues. If may help to speak as though you are writing to a dear friend about the benefits of a bed and breakfast stay.
- Produce the ugly first draft: you first just want to get your initial thoughts written down. This may not be pretty, but the object is to start writing! You can edit it later. What compliments do you hear from your bed and breakfast guests?
- Walk away: put some distance between your first draft and your second draft. Even if it is to get up and make breakfast for your current guests. The point is to allow yourself some time to get away from what you are writing.
- Rewrite: shape it into something a reader wants to read. You may think of some additional points or some more specific examples to illustrate your points. Perhaps you live in a historical bed and breakfast and learned more about the people who lived here and/or the guests they entertained.
- Give it a great headline or title: make sure you deliver on what the title says. If your title is “10 Ways to Have Fun In [insert your area here]” make sure that you list 10 Ways and that people really have fun doing those leisure activities.
- Have someone else edit it: for grammar, usage, style, and punctuation. Spell check is not enough and even that will not correct every spelling error.
- One final look for readability: make sure it is alluring, easy to scan, maybe part of a list or have bullet points. Can people easily find my main points or do they have to hunt for them?
- Publish: know what you want your readers to do next so you can give your call to action. This could include following you on social media, subscribing to your blog, booking a room, etc.
Ann Handley says that the more you think about what you want to say, and plan for it, the easier it is to say.
- Why am I creating this? Your content has to matter to your target audience.
- What is my objective? Know what you want people to do as a result of reading your content.
- What’s my point of view? Always be focused on your readers perspective (have a customer-centric point of view).
- How will this impact my readers? Put your readers into the story.
Creative Approaches To Frame Your Writing (examples listed apply to B&B’s):
- Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Bed and Breakfast Etiquette
- Skeptic: Are Bed and Breakfasts Really Better Than Hotels?
- Explainer: The Bed and Breakfast Difference in Plain English
- Case study: How One Couple Renewed Their Relationship At a B&B
- Contrarian: Why Relaxation Is Underrated: The Key To More Productivity?
- How-to: How To Plan Your B&B Vacation
- Quick how-to: 3 Ways To Jump Start Your Vacation Plans
- How NOT to: 5 Ways to Compromise Your Relationships
- First person: My Personal Experience At Bed and Breakfasts
- Comparison: How B&B’s Measure Up To Hotels
- Questions and Answers: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Data:Are People Working Longer Hours? Yes, Says Survey
- Man on the Street: Experts Offer Opinions On B&B Stays
- Outrageous: Why No Breaks Can Actually Make You Sick
- Insider secrets: The One Thing You Need To Know About Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and breakfasts can write using the Everybody Writes 12 Steps of Writing GPS and they have many different ways to creatively frame their writing to their readers. The important thing is that consistent, quality content keeps you in the forefront of people’s minds when they go to book their next vacation!
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