Mar 1, 2017

5 Content Strategy Books For Word Nerds

One in four Americans don’t read a single book all year. This is a sad and seemingly unwavering statistic. While it’s tempting to view the first rays of sunshine and the first bulbous purple bloom of the crocus flower as a sign that it’s time to start spring cleaning — don’t.

Make a pledge to ignore the leaf-ridden gutters and cobwebs in the corners and pick up a book instead. Give your brain a little fuel and inspiration for the season that represents new life. And for you agency and content nerds who need a little nudge in the right direction — we’ve got you covered.

“Content Strategy for the Web"

Kristina Halvorson is the mother of content strategy. Her seminal article, The Discipline of Content Strategy, was published in 2008 and the first edition of her book, “Content Strategy for the Web,” was published the following year. At the time, it was the only book published on the topic. The second edition was published in 2012, and much like the first, you need to read it. (Authors Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach)

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The definition of content strategy and its business value
  • The processes and people behind a successful content strategy
  • How to make smarter, achievable decisions about what content to create
  • How to create a long-term plan to keep your content compelling, updated and relevant to your key audience
  • How to build a solid, successful business case for content strategy
“The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right”

This guide walks users step-by-step through content strategy creation, from audit to analysis to strategy to implementation to management. A true toolkit, the book offers tips for solving real-world content problems. (Author Meghan Casey)

You’ll learn how to:

  • Tell your boss or client what’s wrong with their content
  • Make sense of your business environment and understand your audience
  • Get stakeholders aligned on business goals and user needs
  • Set your content strategy and decide how to measure success
  • Create, maintain and govern on-strategy content
  • Control your content (and not have it control you)
“Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content”

This book obviously makes the plea for good writing, but it goes one step further by placing the blame (responsibility) on those that have the power. The argument is simple but incredibly clever. If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means we are all writers. Is your mind blown? Ours too. (Author Ann Handley)

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create content that makes you look smart (not stupid)
  • Tell a true story well
  • Tell your customers who you are
  • Write with economy and style with honest empathy for your customers
“The Elements of Content Strategy”

Two words — content renaissance. This quick, approachable book attempts to define the content era, offering a brief content strategy origins overview with an explanation of how it’s done and how you can do it well. Enough said. (Author Erin Kissane)

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Where content strategy came from
  • Why content strategy matters
  • Why content strategy is the web’s hottest new thing
“Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight Into Your Customer’s Expectations, Align Your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business”

Content is useless unless you’re actually writing it for someone who cares. But how do you determine who will actually care (and how to reach them)? This book will give you a head start. The book offers an in-depth guide for conducting one-on-one interviews with customers in order to implement buyer-expert marketing and guide business strategies. (Author Adele Revella)

This book will teach you to:

  • Create buyer personas
  • Understand customer purchasing decisions
  • Build three-dimensional profiles of real buyers
  • Translate buyer personas into initiatives that drive leads and sales that measurably impact your business goals


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