Writing

🤔 Is this going to work?

Posted: January 19, 2023
Word count: 1,120 (4 min)

👋 Hi! I’m Tom, and this is the Best Writing Newsletter (Issue #23). I share great reads, tools, jobs, tips, and friendly encouragement to do your best writing. Sent every week.

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Tomas Laurinavicius

Co-founder & Chief Editor, Best Writing

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Uncertainty is a given.

“Nobody knows anything...... Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what's going to work. Every time out it's a guess and, if you're lucky, an educated one.” – William Goldman

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Will the client like my pitch? Am I using the correct copy layout? Can I do this job?

We all doubt our abilities.

That’s natural.

Even the best people in the industry, like William Goldman (Hollywood's legendary screenwriter) or Bela Bajaria (Netflix’s global head of television), aren’t 100% sure which multi-billion dollar content idea will pop.

The key is learning to make educated guesses.

Research more about your audiences. Observe industry changes. Analyze things that worked in the past. Reiterate good ideas and shelf the less-stellar ones for later.

Then start acting even if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Without risk-taking (and occasional failing), you’ll never learn how to succeed in any content role.


⭐️ 2 Million Books

Scribd is considered “the Netflix of books.” One subscription gives you access to 2+ million eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and documents. Access from anywhere.

👉 Read Unlimited Books

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Writing Tip of the Week

🚀 HubSpot growth hacks. Kieran Flanagan just vacated the SVP position at HubSpot after 10 years at the helm — and shares some of the best growth tactics the company used to dominate outbound marketing.

HubSpot pioneered some of these growth tactics back in the 2010s. Many later became “textbook” practices:

📧 Viral newsletters. HubSpot invested a ton in its email content. It was soo good that people forwarded newsletters to their contracts, giving HubSpot free exposure.

💭 Think big. The team wasn’t afraid to pursue moonshot ideas to rock the Internet and create a big buzz for the day.

👭 Co-market. HubSpot regularly teams up with other businesses to co-promote products, freebies, and new content.

🤑 Do freebies. Free templates became a staple in the company’s marketing, driving tons of traffic to this day.

🙏 Thank you pages offer quick wins with new prospects when well-optimized for the right type of action.

🌅 Show up early. The early mover's advantage can be massive. HubSpot was the first B2B brand to capitalize on Twitter. Explore untapped channels too.

📖 Storytelling. “Make Marketing people loved” is an iconic tagline, which resonated perfectly with HubSpot targets and became a core part of its brand identity.

😨 Forget fear. Flanagan says: “Experimenting with new platforms, content, and stories is such a critical part of growth.”


Best Writing Examples

Discover sharp copy, inspiring quotes, and powerful messaging from the best apps, websites, magazines, and books.

Asking customers not to buy your product is bold and effective because of the pratfall effect. We tend to like people more when they show a flaw. Being transparent helps you humanize your brand and build more believable claims.

This classic ad by David Ogilvy remains a great example of storytelling for brands. If you’re doing branded content write-ups, take the cue!

Sproos sums up its value prop in one snappy, non-gimmicky sentence.


Best Reads

Favorite stories from all around the web.

⚔️ Apple vs. Google. Wondering who does website UX and copywriting better? This teardown compares how the two user-obsessed companies handle user intent, content layout, screen design, and other conversion-focused page elements.

🔎 How to Edit Content. If you want to produce 10X better content, this post offers four easy-and-effective editing frameworks you can adopt. Learn to find gaps in the narrative, logic flaws, and factual inconsistencies like a pro editor.

🤔 How Many SEO Keywords Do You Need? Many writers have a love-hate relationship with on-page SEO optimization (keywords and stuff). Ahrefs explains how to decide on the number & type of keywords per page, plus gives a refresher on the best placement strategies.

📚 Must-Read Books for B2B Writers & Editors. Avid readers make the best writers. Pick one of these 7 books, recommended by Velocity Partners, to hone your copywriting and editing skills.

P.S. We have more great book picks for all writers here.


Cool Tools

Handy apps and helpful software for growth-driven writers.

LanceID. Create a beautiful, free page for sharing your current availability with clients in one click.

PeopleToNotion. Prospect like a pro with this free browser add-on for saving LinkedIn profiles to your Notion database.

Cushion. Frustrated with income peaks and valleys? This app helps you predict your monthly pay and project schedule — and avoid overlaps in timing or fluctuations in income.

Purrli. If you want an alternative to standard white noises or coffee shop sounds, this website makes realistic cat sounds. Meow! 🐈‍⬛


Food for Thought

Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.” – David Ogilvy

To simply wait and be bored has become a novel experience in modern life, but from the perspective of concentration training, it’s incredibly valuable.” – Cal Newport

Before a marketer can build trust, it must breed familiarity. But there’s no familiarity without awareness. And awareness— the science of letting people know you exist and getting them to understand your message— can’t happen effectively in today’s environment without advertising.” – Seth Godin

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” – Stephen King


Did You Know?

🕵️‍♂️ In 1893, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle decided to kill off Sherlock Holmes in an issue of The Strand Magazine. Over 20,000 readers got so upset that they canceled the subscription.

Doyle brought Sherlock back in 1903 (much to fans’ and publishers’ delight). He also got paid £480-£620 per each new episode, which was a lot of money in those days. Talk about going back on bad decisions.


Best Writing Jobs

Find your next writing job, freelance gig, or side hustle.

  1. Full-Time Creative Writer at Mindojo (Remote)
  2. Full-Time Content Manager at Malt (Remote, Europe)
  3. Full-Time Content Writer at Hostinger (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  4. Full-Time Head of Content Marketing at Inspectorio (Remote, Europe)
  5. Full-Time Content Strategist at Eargo (Remote, US)

💼 Check all open roles or become a member to get daily job alerts.

Hiring writers? Use the code “FIRSTJOB” at checkout to get $100 off your first job post.


Did You Like the Newsletter?

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Until next week,

Tomas Laurinavicius

Co-founder, Best Writing

P.S. Feelings.

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