Content strategy is a topic that I find myself talking about with people more and more lately through my job as Manager of Communications, Web Content and Community at Connecting Up. Through these conversations, I get asked questions like: “So, what is it?”, “What should be part of a content strategy?”, and “How do we get one for our organisation?”
So, I keep saying that I’d blog about everything I know about content strategy (Mind you, I don’t know everything about it! I’m still learning a lot. And mostly, learning on the job.). But, like many things on my “To Blog” list, it keeps getting pushed down the list.
But, today, during one of my regular content meetings*, I was reminded that I haven’t really shared much of what I know about something that I’ve been doing for years. You see, my basic training on content strategy has officially started in 2000, when I joined About.com as a Guide for Language Arts for Kids. And again, when I rejoined them in 2004 as the first Guide to Web Logs. In-between 2000 and now, I’ve planned and created dozens of sites, including a whole network of blogs.
So, after over a decade of working on content strategy, and having the word ‘content’ in my official job title nowadays, I figured it may be time to start sharing. And, I’d like to start off my content strategy sharing by pointing you to five of my favourite resources (there’s more, but let’s stick to 5 for now):
1. The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane – I really liked the simplicity and brevity of this book. It’s a great little “starter” book for anyone thinking of understanding content strategy better. It doesn’t have a lot of how tos/templates on getting a content strategy up and running, but it’s a good way to get an overview of the topic without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson – This book is both an overview and an in-depth look on content strategy. It has some really great insights on why there is a need to have one, and what may be the necessary steps to create one. It’s more comprehensive than “Elements…” so it may be overwhelming for people who are still trying to get their heads around content strategy. But, if information overload doesn’t put you off, then this book is definitely a good resource to work with.
3. The Web Content Strategist’s Bible: The Complete Guide To A New And Lucrative Career For Writers Of All Kinds by Richard Sheffield – Another great, comprehensive resource on content strategy. Some useful insights on different aspects of content development, such as design, matrix, and even translation.
4. Chief Content Officer – This is a print and/or digital for content specialists. While it’s not primarily on content strategy, the articles in this quarterly publication are very useful for anyone interested in the topic. There’s an Australian version and a U.S. version, I believe. The one linked here is the Australian version. Oh, and as a bonus, I just found out that Contents Magazine is also coming out soon, which is a publication on content strategy and related topics.
5. Content Strategy Group on LinkedIn – Moving on from reading material, I thought I’d also share a network/community resource. On this front, I highly recommend the Content Strategy Group on LinkedIn. There isn’t a lot of activity, but I always find something useful in the discussions and resource sharing within the group. So, it’s definitely an online community of content strategists that’s worth connecting with.