This is exciting. Not one, not two, but fifteen of today's top entrepreneurs took time out of their busy schedules to tell me their top writing tips, so I could share them with you.
And these folks really are busy. Neil Patel, for example, gets 1,450 emails a week. That's 207 a day! He sends 637 emails a week—91 a day. And on a sunny February afternoon, one of those 91 emails came to me.
He was replying to the question I'd put to all fifteen of these top entrepreneurs.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?
Some of their answers are one-liners, others are paragraphs of creative insight. The writing tips are honest, diverse, and have helped these entrepreneurs build all kinds of successful businesses.
Some are writing businesses, but most aren't. They're business coaching and systems management and law firms and life coaching and marketing and podcasting... All built by entrepreneurs.
Why are we talking to entrepreneurs? Why not just writers?
Because you're an entrepreneur. And these folks, who started just like you, have accomplished what you need to do...
Though they may not identify as writers, they've harnessed the power of writing.
They've used it to earn trust from their readers, to show their true selves, to convey the utility of their products, and to build hugely successful business empires.
If you have an online business, like these entrepreneurs, your success hinges on your ability to do all that. Because when people are reading your website, your blog, your sales copy and your life story, they won't give you a free pass for not "identifying as a writer."
But I want you to be inspired by that. Be inspired that so many entrepreneurs have successfully harnessed the power of writing.
If you can learn to connect like they have (and you can learn), you could be sharing your advice in an article like this, in the not-too-distant future!
So, in no particular order...
15 Writing tips from today's top entrepreneurs
1. Marie Forleo
Marie created a multimillion dollar empire from scratch, has a bestselling book in 16 languages, 275,000 subscribers in 193 countries around the world, 4 top selling fitness DVDs and a weekly online show.
"I'm a writer because I write. I've never actually had any formal training, I've just been doing it for years. And when I first started I was pretty darn bad.
"But there was one thought that really helped me out. Writing is just talking in text form. And most of don't ever get talker's block, right? When we've got something to say, we just say it. So think of writing as just talking in text form, and write how you talk."
2. Jeff Goins
Jeff is the author of four books, including the best seller The Art of Work. His website, Goinswriter.com, has been visited by more than four million people from all over the world. (Photo by Ashley Goins.)
"The biggest piece of advice is simple, don't quit."
3. Heather Crabtree
Heather is a Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs. Her first course launch made her $28,000 in two weeks! Now she has over 7,000 Facebook group members and over 6,800 email subscribers.
"The best writing advice I ever received was actually more about what I learned than what someone actually told me. Write from your heart. Whether you love to write about business (like me), parenthood, food, parties, fitness, or anything else, if you write it from your heart, you can never go wrong.
"Be vulnerable. Open up your heart and let people in to see the real, authentic you. If you are a book nerd like me, own it. Love unicorns... own it. Love Harry Potter... own it. Love painting all day until your eyes can't stay awake anymore... own it.
"Tell your story, share your smarts and write from your heart!"
4. John Lee Dumas
John is the founder of award winning podcast EntrepreneurOnFire, and is the man behind The Freedom Journal, THE solution for anyone who struggles with setting and accomplishing goals.
"Write as if you were speaking in your own voice, with your own pizazz, with YOUR personality."
5. Louise Presley-Turner
Louise is one of the UK’s most prolific life coaches and author of Finding a Future That Fits. She's been featured in top UK magazines, newspapers and BBC radio, and blogs for the Huffington Post.
"Having written two books and hundreds of articles in my time, the best writing advice is to GET IN THE VORTEX and then write! By vortex I mean find your flow, get in alignment to source and then let the writing inspiration flow. All bestselling books are written in the vortex.
"To get in the vortex you can meditate, exercise, go outside, do yoga, dance, sing, anything that gets you in the creative flow."
6. Alexis Neely AKA Ali Shanti
Alexis (artist name is Ali Shanti) is the CEO of New Law Business Model + Eyes Wide Open Life. She's built four million-dollar plus companies and a couple of six-figure companies as well.
"In law school, I was told that I wasn't a good writer. I had to get over that and understand that legal writing is different than personal writing or business writing for marketing purposes.
"The best writing advice I ever received from the perspective of writing sales and marketing copy is to write to one specific person. Get a picture of that person in your mind and speak to him or her directly. It'll make all your writing so much more personal and fun to read.
"Another piece of advice I got was to read everything I could by the best known marketing copywriters and copy out (by hand) some of their marketing letters so I could ingrain their way into my being.
"The one thing you need to be careful about with that as we step into a new heart-based paradigm is that much of their copy is seriously manipulative and if you do not want to infuse more of that into the culture, you'll have to be aware of it and identify where you can utilize the basic rules of copywriting and evolve beyond the manipulation strategies to infuse heart and soul into your offers."
7. Kelly Acevedo
Kelly is the founder of custom coaching program She's Got Systems. She's grown six-figure and million-dollar online businesses with a variety of entrepreneurs, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, Inc., US News, Mashable and The Huffington Post.
"The best advice I got around writing was to stop editing and simply write. Each November I participate in a challenge and realized that I can write 1500 words *a day* - as long as I don't stop and edit and judge my words. There's time for editing later but if you don't do the writing work first you can't edit a blank page."
8. Nisha Moodley
Nisha is a Women's Leadership Coach, offering retreats and coaching to expand freedom. She's a featured expert on DailyWorth, and has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post and The Daily Love.
"The best writing advice I've ever received came from Anne Lamott's brilliant book, Bird By Bird. In it she talks about the power of the "shitty first draft," whereby, rather than focusing on writing exquisite prose as soon as you sit down, you instead allow yourself to just write a "shitty first draft" that will eventually (hopefully) lead to something good."
[Liz's note: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott really is a brilliant book! I'm not an affiliate but highly recommend it for people who want to become better writers but hate boring grammar books.]
9. Ash Ambirge
Ash has created multiple six-figure brands, and is CEO of House of Moxie Creative and The Middle Finger Project Blog. She helps businesses use words as weapons to make real money.
"The best writing advice I’ve ever received was from Seth Godin: “Go, go, go.” It’s the only reason I’m now a represented author!"
10. Neil Patel
The Wall Street Journal calls Neil a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.
"The best advice that I got was that if you are writing a 1000 word post, it can be condensed into 500 words. In other words, get to the point. No one wants to read fluff."
11. Kathleen Shannon
Kathleen is co-founder of Braid Creative and, with pal Emily Thompson, she hosts Being Boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs about being boss the way we choose.
"The best writing advice I've ever received was from Jessica Willingham and it was if you want to write well you need to read well. I loved that and have found it to be so true in my own career.
"I love reading books by authors who write authentically as themselves – Nora Ephron is my hero right now and I would love to be able to write more like her. "
12. Corbett Barr
Corbett is co-founder/ CEO of Fizzle, which offers honest video training for online business builders. Over two million people have read their blog, and their podcast is the #1 rated business show.
"The best writing advice I ever received was this: know who you're writing for."
13. Amber McCue
Amber McCue is a business consultant who Danielle LaPorte called "80 percent get-it-done and 20 percent fun!" She helps entrepreneurs leverage their righteous potential, through her business Nice Ops.
"Write the way you talk. Your clients will thank you for not being a robot."
14. Lacy Boggs
Lacy is a ghost blogger and Director of The Content Direction Agency. She quit her editor job to become an entrepreneur, doubled her income and cut her working hours from 60 to 20 a week.
"Make yourself cry. (In other words, if it doesn't move you, it won't move them.)"
15. Carrie Green
After launching her first successful business in university, Carrie founded the Female Entrepreneur Association, an online support hub with thousands of members from across the world..
"I remember a mentor once saying, “What kind of relationship do you want to have with your audience? Do you want to be the best friend, the older and wiser sister, the mum, the firm, but fun aunty?” At first I thought, “how on earth are you supposed to choose to be one of those things?!” but the more I wrote, the more I started to realise what he meant and the more I realized that I wanted to be the friend.
"The friend that was right there by your side, the friend that had your back and wanted to encourage you and to share everything I’d learned with you. This helped me to find my voice when writing posts and emails, because all I had to do was ask myself, “would I send this to my best friend?" If I did, would they love it and appreciate it or would they think, “what on earth has Carrie sent me?!”
"Putting yourself out there and sharing your message can be pretty scary and it can be easy to get in your own way with it and think, “I need to sound more professional/more like this person or that person” and we put pressure on ourselves to be someone we’re not and then everything we write feels totally inauthentic.
"So I’m really grateful for that mentor for encouraging me to think about the kind of relationship I wanted to develop with my reader, because it allowed me to just be me (with lots of practice I might add!!) and that has helped me to build a much deeper and real relationship with my audience."
And a bonus one... me!
I can't leave you without the best writing tip I ever received. If we haven't met yet, I'm Liz, the writer behind Green Goose Freelance Writing. I help entrepreneurs blog like a boss, and build their businesses through that blog. Read more here.
"My writing, and confidence, really improved after reading William Zinger's classic 1970's book, On Writing Well. Even today it's amazingly useful and readable. William talks about ditching old cliches and writing with fresh words and perspectives.
"Cliches come into my drafts all the time. But stopping, deleting, and choosing unexpected words instead has made me much happier with the final product."
What's the best writing advice YOU'VE ever received? Share your golden nuggets in the comments below. I'd love to hear.