Dissecting the Brilliance of The Word Alchemist

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Introduction to Ann Handley Biography

Ann Handley is indeed an outstanding figure in the literary world. Her Journey is an inspiring example of how hard work, dedication, and passion can lead to success. Through her writing, she has impacted countless readers and aspiring writers, and her influence continues to grow. This Ann Handley Biography promises to be a fascinating exploration of her life, which, as we’ll see later, didn’t always smile on her face.

Early Life

Ann Handley was born on November 3, 1963, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. She was up in a household of writers and was encouraged from a young age to follow her passion for writing.

She documented her desire to become a writer in her diary when she was eight. She wanted a readership to engage with since she found writing in her journal boring. Even if they did not yet exist, she yearned for interaction with others, feedback, and social media. She struggled to gain a following as a kid living in the Boston suburbs.

So she made a newsletter for the area and rode her bike around, dropping copies off at people’s doors. Ann had pen friends worldwide, and as she became older, she would describe her made-up adventures to them. She read up on topics she had never experienced and visited locations she had never heard of to create a world in which she did not exist. It was all made up, but it was still fun to read and gave her material for her writing.

You can read her own words on this part of her life here.


Handley obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Simmons University.

Ann Handley and her Mother (graduation day)
Ann Handley and her Mother (graduation day)


Early Career

Handley began her work as an associate editor at Banker & Tradesman in 1985.

In April 1990, she began working as a correspondent for the Boston Globe, the primary source of news and opinion in Boston and New England.

She also worked as a writer and editor for a number of business and consumer magazines.
Handley co-founded in 1995 as the world’s first digital marketing news and opinion source.

She eventually sold it in 2000, but the site remains active and aggregates a wealth of content, including webinars, reports, and a marketing services marketplace. Currently, those responsible for are Rebeca Sentance and Chris Camps.


Content Marketing Influencers

A great thing about this industry is that so many so-called marketing influencers have come into our own as “thought leaders” these past several years. So people like Ardath AlbeeJoe PulizziJay BaerLee OddenRobert RoseAndrew DavisPam DidnerAndy CrestodinaDoug Kessler, and many others have become her collective mentor. As they have evolved their thinking and expertise, they’ve inspired and challenged her to evolve her own.

Outside of Content Marketing

Avinash Kaushik is one of the main influences for Ann “he’s a wonderful, spirited writer,” she says. You can hear his voice when you read him. Seth Godin is another because she respects “the heck out of his ability to always push himself (and us) forward, and I love his commitment to write and publish every day.”

She reads way more non-business books than she does business books. So her influencers include decidedly non-marketers who are nonetheless great writers and communicators: E.B. WhiteMary NorrisAnne LamottChimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Breakthrough Success

Ann Handley has been part of MarketingProfs since 2002, where she actively participates, holding the VP of Content or Chief Content Officer (CCO) position. She screens all content produced in the company.

MarketingProfs bed

She is passionate about marketing writing and believes that good writing is essential for effective content marketing. She also emphasizes the importance of empathy in marketing, which involves understanding the customer’s needs, problems, and desires to create marketing programs that offer real value.

She believes marketers need to take the time to understand their customers deeply to create effective marketing campaigns.

Handley co-wrote “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Webinars That Engage and Ignite” in December 2010. The best-selling book teaches content authors and businesses about content marketing.

Ann Handley Biography

In 2014 she wrote “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content,” a Wall Street Journal bestseller. It guides content creation that engages and maintains readers.

Everybody Writes has become her most famous book, which has helped thousands of people improve their writing. The book is good for new and experienced writers and covers many topics, such as language, style, and storytelling. Whether you are a writer, a marketer, or a business owner, Everybody Writes is a useful tool to help you make great content.

The book is easy to read, contains useful writing tips and examples, and has been translated into 19 languages, including Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, and Czech.

Recent Projects

She began writing for Total Anarchy Newsletter in 2018, considered the world’s most intriguing newsletter, including marketing ideas and writing tips.

With over 600,000 users, the organization encourages training content marketers and writers worldwide through its online and in-person education programs.

Recently she published a New and Improved version of “Everybody Writes. “

"Everybody Writes - New and Improved"
“Everybody Writes – New and Improved”

Ann’s Favorite Writing Tools

 “I use it every single day, yes, you put on my own vlog, and one of them is the Hemingway app, and I some I swap it out with Grammarly, which is another similar app, and what that is it’s essentially just, you know an app that’s available on a number of different platforms you take your text you know from wherever you’ve written it whether you wrote in a text editor or word doc or whatever and just paste it into this app and just sort of flag different issues with it well, and so it’s super handy.”

Awards and Recognition

She writes a monthly column for Entrepreneur and is a member of the LinkedIn Influencer program, where she has over 250 million followers and has published 20 articles on LinkedIn Pulse.

Forbes named her the woman with the most social media influence, citing her 454 million Twitter followers. ForbesWoman also named her one of the top 20 bloggers in the world.

She was named one of the seven people shaping modern marketing by IBM.

Ann Handley Writing process

On her website,, she writes about how to rethink a company’s marketing to achieve long-term success and specifically in content creation.

The texts are always related to some part of daily life and are written in a lighthearted tone, making them an enjoyable read for anybody interested in the subject, not just marketing professionals.

Ann Handley also gives more than 40 international talks to a select audience annually. If you want to see it in action, see the video “Good content vs. Good enough content.” This nearly one-hour presentation is available on YouTube and summarizes the ideas Ann defends well.

Personal Life

Private Life

Ann is married and has two children, her son Evan and her daughter Caroline.

Evan and Caroline - Ann Handley children
Ann Handley with her two children

Ann was a first-time mother of Colin, a boy who died from “a virulent and rare form of strep” at one year and three months old.

Collin, Ann Handley deceased son

Handley currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband. 

Hobbies and Interests

Besides being a dog enthusiast with a special interest in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,

Ann Handley with her dog
Ann Handley with her dog

Ann is also a Tiny House ardent believer. It is actually in one of those houses that she set up her office in the backyard at her house.

It is also in that office that she showcases her vintage typewriter collection.

Typewriter keyboard attached to Ann Handley`s PC
Typewriter keyboard attached to Ann Handley`s PC

Ann Handley loves having fun playing accordion, and she is a novice in tap dancing.

Ann Handley playing the accordion.
Ann Handley playing the accordion.
Ann Handley MarketingProfs B2B Forum Opening Tap Dancing

Social Networks


Ann Handley Website
Ann Handley Website


Ann Handley Facebook
Ann Handley Facebook


Ann Handley LinkedIn
Ann Handley LinkedIn


MarketingProfs Twitter


Ann Handley Instagram
Ann Handley Instagram


Ann Handley’s Youtube Channel

Books Written and Published by Ann Handley

  • 2020 – “The Scrappy Marketing Handbook: How to Create and Execute a Killer Marketing Strategy That’s a Success Every Time” co-author Nick Westergaard.
  • 2022 – “Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.”

Quotes from Ann Handley

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

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

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

“Your customers don’t buy your product to do your company a favor,” Eghbal said. “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.”

“No business truly sells to another business; we all sell to people.”

F.A.Q. about Ann Handley

Who is Ann Handley?

Ann Handley is a celebrated author, speaker, and industry influencer in the writing world. She is known for her bestselling books, including “Everybody Writes” and “Content Rules,” as well as her work as the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs.

What is Ann Handley known for?

Ann Handley is known for her exceptional writing skills and ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and engagingly. She is also recognized as a thought leader in content marketing and has helped countless businesses and individuals improve their writing and content creation.

What books has Ann Handley written?

Ann Handley has written multiple bestselling books, including “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content,” “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business,” and “Digital Marketing Growth Hacks.”

What is MarketingProfs?

MarketingProfs is a leading online resource for marketing professionals, offering training, tools, and resources to help businesses and individuals improve their marketing skills. Ann Handley serves as the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and frequently contributes to its content.

What awards and recognition has Ann Handley received?

Ann Handley has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including being named one of the top 20 women bloggers by Forbes and one of the top 25 influencers in the world of marketing by Forbes. She has also been recognized as a top Twitter influencer by Business Insider and a top content marketer by the Content Marketing Institute.

Attention: All photos in this article were taken from Ann Handley’s social public pages, and all copyrights belong to her.

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