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Updated by Scott Abel on Dec 04, 2023
Scott Abel Scott Abel
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Content Strategy Books

What books should every content strategist read?



The Language of Content Strategy

The Language of Content Strategy

The Language of Content Strategy is the gateway to a language that describes the world of content strategy. Co-produced by Scott Abel and Rahel Anne Bailie, and with over fifty contributors, all known for their depth of knowledge, this collection of terms forms the core of an emerging profession and, as a result, helps shape the profession. The terminology spans a range of competencies within the broad area of content strategy.

There is a recognition that content strategy is about the care and delivery of content at all points in its lifecycle, from its planning and creation right through to its sunsetting, and all stages in between. This book also recognizes that content gets delivered in many markets, in many languages, and to many devices.

This book, and its companion website and terminology card deck, is an invitation to readers to join the conversation. This is an important step: the beginning of a common language. Using this book will not only help you shape your work, but also encourage you to contribute your own terminology and help expand the depth and breath of the profession.

The Language of Content Strategy is part of The Content Wrangler Series of Content Strategy books from XML Press.

Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits

If you've been asked to get funding for a content strategy initiative and need to build a compelling case, if you've been approached by your staff to implement a content strategy and want to know the business benefits, or if you've been asked to sponsor a content strategy project and don't know what one is, this book is for you. Rahel Anne Bailie and Noz Urbina come from distinctly different backgrounds, but share a deep understanding of how to help your organization build a content strategy. This book provides practical advice on how to sell, create, implement, and maintain a content strategy, including case studies that show both successful and not so successful efforts.


Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy

Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy

Smartphones, eBook readers, and tablet computers like the Apple iPad have forever changed the way people access and interact with content. Your customers expect the content you provide them to be adaptive – responding to the device, their location, their situation, and their personalized needs.

Authors Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper provide insights and guidelines that will help you develop a unified content strategy – a repeatable, systematic plan that can help you reach your customers, anytime, anywhere, on any device. This up-to-date, new edition of Managing Enterprise Content helps you:

  • Determine business requirements
  • Build your vision
  • Design content that adapts to any device
  • Develop content models, metadata, and workflow
  • Put content governance in place
  • Adapt to new and changed roles
  • Identify tools requirements

With this book you'll learn to design adaptable content that frees you from the tyranny of an ever increasing array of devices.

Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy


Every Page is Page One

Every Page is Page One

The Web changes how people use content; not just content on the Web, but all content. If your content is not easy to find and immediately helpful, readers will move on almost at once. We are all children of the Web, and we come to any information system, including product documentation, looking for the search box and expecting every search to work like Google. There is no first, last, previous, next, up, or back anymore. Every Page is Page One.

For technical communicators, this Every Page is Page One environment presents a unique challenge: How do you cover a large and complex product using only topics, and how do you enable your readers to find and navigate topic-based content effectively?

In this ground-breaking book, Mark Baker looks beyond the usual advice on writing for the Web, and beyond the idea of topic-based writing merely as an aid to efficiency and reuse, to explore how readers really use information in the age of the Web and to lay out an approach to planning, creating, managing, and organizing topic-based documentation that really works for the reader.


Content Strategy for the Web

Content Strategy for the Web

Your content is a mess: the website redesigns didn't help, and the new CMS just made things worse. Or, maybe your content is full of potential: you know new revenue and cost-savings opportunities exist, but you're not sure where to start.

No matter who you are or what you do, content problems can be overwhelming. How can you possibly step back and see the bigger picture when you're constantly in reaction mode? Is it really possible to transform your content into a valuable business asset? The answer is a resounding "yes!" … and content strategy holds the key.

For organizations all over the world, Content Strategy for the Web is the go-to content strategy handbook. Read it to:

  • Understand content strategy and its business value
  • Discover the processes and people behind a successful content strategy
  • Make smarter, achievable decisions about what content to create and how
  • Create a long-term plan to keep your content compelling, updated, and relevant to your key audience
  • Build a solid, successful business case for content strategy

When it was first published in 2009, Content Strategy for the Web was an instant classic, serving as the catalyst for the global content strategy conversation. Much more than a simple introduction, this second edition builds upon those foundational ideas and gives you what you need to realize the true business value of your content.


Content Strategy 101

Content Strategy 101

Technical content is often the last in line for investment and innovation, but poor content has profound effects inside and outside the organization—it damages your reputation, shrinks sales, and causes legal problems.

Content Strategy 101 is an invaluable resource for transforming your technical content into a business asset.

Content Strategy at Work

Explore a content strategy framework and processes from both consultancies and in-house marketing departments. Dig into case studies and interviews from brands in academia, apparel, network television, the non-profit sector, retail, and more. Gather practical sales techniques and examples to sell content strategy-or to use content strategy to sell other services and larger projects.

Content Strategy at Work is a book for designers, information architects, copywriters, project managers, SEO consultants, social media specialists, and anyone who wants to create better user experiences, whether in in-house marketing departments or agency consulting engagements.

Clout The Art and Science of Influential Web Content | Content Science

Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content guides you through planning and creating compelling content that influences thought and action.

  • Learn key principles of rhetoric and psychology for content.
  • Get inspired by 152 examples and case studies from Holiday Inn, Sharpie, CDC, and more.
  • Plan content by thinking through key questions and following a clear process.
  • Evaluate your content qualitatively and quantitatively.
The Elements of Content Strategy

Content strategy is the web's hottest new thing. But where did it come from? Why does it matter? And what does the content renaissance mean for you?

This brief guide explores content strategy’s roots, and quickly and expertly demonstrates not only how it’s done, but how you can do it well. A compelling read for both experienced content strategists and those making the transition from other fields.

The Elements of Content Strategy


The Social Life of Information

The Social Life of Information

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid (HBS Press, Boston, 2000). This book provides an insightful and relevant introduction to genuinely human side to information and why, despite so many attempts to pretend otherwise, information remains intrinsically difficult to manage. Particularly memorable are some of the points made about the sometimes surprisingly valid reasons why certain practices persist and will return even after the new broom has swept through. And all of this helps us to understand what designing and managing content might mean - which will presumably help the aspiring Content Strategist.

Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content - by Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eva Lotta Lamm (D...

Great resource with practical examples. It's easy to read and a great place to start if you have questions about structured, reusable content.

Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software

This is actually a book about software design, but mainly walks you through practical methods for thinking about complexity. It looks at how to get a multi-disciplinary team to all collaborate around a model of a particular subject domain. That's golden learning for any content strategist who works in content modelling (especially for responsive/adaptive systems) or needs to interact with developers, business analysts and other specialists in their team to accomplish their goals.

This book isn't about content but it helps you upgrade how you think about content. Check it out if you're looking to really stretch your brain muscle and get big rewards for doing so.

From "This is not a book about specific technologies.

Readers learn how to use a domain model to make a complex development effort more focused and dynamic. A core of best practices and standard patterns provides a common language for the development team."

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ig...

From the marketing description: The guide to creating engaging web content and building a loyal following, revised and updated Blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms are giving everyone a "voice," including organizations and their customers. So how do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business? Content Rules equips you for online success as a one-stop source on the art and science of developing content that people care about. This coverage is interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online—and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.


XML: A Manager's Guide

XML: A Manager's Guide

Extensible Markup Language (XML) has revolutionized distributed computing. By providing a standard means for specifying the structure of information, XML enables sophisticated e-commerce systems and facilitates interoperable enterprise software. Knowing how to leverage XML's technical capabilities into business value has become an important asset for managers.

Fully updated and expanded to incorporate the latest in XML technology advances and its application, XML: A Manager's Guide, Second Edition serves as a concise guide for managers as well as a starting point for developers. It helps managers build a working knowledge of XML's capabilities so they can communicate intelligently with XML developers and make informed decisions about when to use the technology. This book also provides manager-specific information about software acquisition, staffing, and project management.

XML: A Manager's Guide


What You Need To Know About Strategy

What You Need To Know About Strategy

In any career in business, chances are that the time will come when someone will ask you to do a strategy for something. Too often, this will be a cue for stress at work and sleepless nights.

What You Need to Know about Strategy shows that it doesn’t have to be like this. Taking you step-by-step through the basics of what you need to know to come up with a great strategy, it shows:

  • That getting the right answers depends on asking the right questions
  • Why priorities matter
  • How to map out your internal and external situation
  • How to deal with uncertainty
  • How to make tough choices
  • What your brain does while you’re doing strategy

By cutting out the theory, and focusing on the things you need to know and do to come up with a killer strategy, this book means that you never need to panic again.

The Web Content Strategist's Bible

The Web Content Strategist's Bible explains how the practice of content strategy can be used to effectively manage the size, scope, and cost of content-heavy Web development projects.

Presented in an easy, readable style, the book explains the fundamentals of content strategy using recent examples and the presentation of best practices. Focusing on asking the right questions and gathering relevant information needed for efficient project planning and development.

Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand

In my first book with Newt Barrett, Get Content Get Customers, we needed to explain the why of content marketing. Back in 2008, most marketers didn't get the concept yet. Fast forward three years and everyone we talk to and consult with get the concept, but they are all struggling with how to actually implement and integrate content marketing into their organizations.

Content Strategy for Mobile

You don't get to decide which platform or device your customers use to access your content: they do. Mobile isn't just smartphones, and it doesn't necessarily mean you are on the move.

Document Engineering: Analyzing and Designing Documents for Business Informatics and Web Services

Content is not only for moving customers to conversions, in marketing speak. Content can also guide organizations and businesses, regulate events and activities, and even suggest pathways to and through human knowledge. Well-engineered content can serve as a rules base or programming language in the sense that it can actually automate the processes of business, education, entertainment, and more. "Document Engineering" provides deep insight into the design of information models that represent the roles, the structure, and the meaning of content. This book is by no means a casual read (and that is an understatement!), but for the content strategist whose content may represent the trade secrets--the intellectual property--the functional principles--of the business, this book provides a solid grounding for taking that content to new levels, from persuasion to orchestrating business workflows and human activities.

A review by the submitter, Don Day.

Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content

This book is not about SEO, though it covers SEO at one point. This book is about aligning the language of your content to the humans who use your site. Search engines are just proxies for the language of your target audience. They are giant urban dictionaries of how language is used on the web. Only the results that users find relevant to their queries stand the test of time on the first page of Google and other search engines. You can mine this data source to discover what your target audience is looking for and build content that meets their needs, on and in their terms. Along the way, you can help them achieve their goals, connect with experts and become loyal advocates for your brand. This book shows you how to do this from the strategy to the tactics to the tools you will need.