|Great Books on Content Strategy|
People often ask me about the most important, foundational books one should read when starting a career as a content strategist.
There are many great texts out there about content strategy, but here are five that I think you should start with when you begin your practice as a content strategist. I’ve picked five that were the most influential for me—I’d love to hear the texts you found foundational as well.
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug: This “Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” started my career in how to make interactions online easier for people. Funny and wry, the examples and straightforward text inspired me to tackle a career in digital communications.
- Letting Go of the Words by Ginny Redish: I took a workshop in 2005 with Ginny Redish: it completely changed the way I thought of writing forever. Letting Go of the Words brings everything I learned in that workshop (and more) to life with awesome examples and clear how-to's.
- Killer Web Content by Gerry McGovern: While I think some examples in the book are outdated, Gerry’s basic concepts and crystal clear, take no prisoners attitude helps content strategists think about how to build digital communications from the ground up. While more about writing, marketing and branding side then it is about content strategy as an online publishing life cycle, it is a MUST for anyone considering a career in content. Incidentally, Gerry still publishes timely, relevant topics on his blog for content and digital marketing professionals.
- Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson: I once asked Kristina why she wrote her “red bible” and she replied, “Everyone was talking about it and no one was saying anything. So I decided to SAY something”. No one can deny she changed the trajectory of web publishing forever, and she did it with her characteristic humor and fun. Kristina also produces the ConFab conferences, which are very popular in the content community.
- Switch by Chip and Dan Health: When creating a list like this one, you always have to throw in one that’s unexpected, and Switch is that one for me. Switch is about “How to Change Things When Change is Hard.” More often than not as a content strategist, I consult about change management, workflow and moving the right talent into the right roles. Switch helped me learn a tremendous amount around individual and organizational change and shaped my conversations for the better.
As I said, the great books on content are many, and a list of five cannot possibly list them all. But these are the five that most shaped my career around content strategy—what about you?