The best content strategy resources

September 2019

Our pick of the best books and blogs to read, podcasts to listen to and communities to join. For content strategists present and future, these are the shoulders of giants.

Content strategy blogs

Sources of regular content strategy sustenance and wisdom in blog form.

A word to the wise: try using the browser extension for the app Pocket to save articles for reading later. If you use Notion, you can do a similar thing with that. We also subscribe to RSS feeds of our favourite blogs in a #reading Slack channel. Because we’re keen like that.

Brain Traffic

The Brain Traffic team really know their onions. Come for the unmatched content strategy insights, stay for the beautiful illustrations.

Brain Traffic blog

Zen

Carrie Hane is a nuanced and perceptive writer on content strategy. She’s particularly good on developing rigorous processes and improving relationships. And she’s an expert advocate for a content-first approach.

Content Meets Strategy

A non-profit content strategist based in Washington DC, Josh Tong blogs in meticulous detail about his methodology a few times a year. When he does, it’s gold.

UX Booth

A community of user experience designers show you the ropes, with how-to guides, interaction design tips and practical advice.

UXBooth screenshot

Content insights

Hilary Marsh is an experienced digital strategist, and her articles on digital transformation are super handy if you’re putting your mind to organisation-wide strategy.

New thinking

We’re big fans of Gerry McGovern’s top tasks methodology; he also spins a good yarn, using everyday situations to find genuinely insightful observations on customer experience.

A List Apart

This blog started life as a mailing list in 1997 and has been a leading voice on web standards and best practices since then, from trans-inclusive web design to digital democracy.

The related A Book Apart (“Brief books for people who design, write, and code”) is also an excellent source of content strategy intelligence and advice.

GatherContent

Rob Mills expertly curates articles from industry experts and the GatherContent team on a wide range of topics. Great for practical tips and tricks.

Scriptorium

Specialising in topics at the more technical end of the content strategy rainbow, such as XML data modelling, Scriptorium are especially good at sharing their owl-wisdom on content’s return on investment.

Content strategy books

Longer reads, with actual pages.

The Elements of Content Strategy, Erin Kissane

In this neat little guide, Erin explores the roots of content strategy and demonstrates how to do it well with wit and insight.

You can now read the whole thing for free online.

Content Strategy for the Web, Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach’s seminal book is full of great stuff guaranteed to make anyone who works with content smile, nod and exclaim out loud.

CSFTW on iMac

Content Everywhere, Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara walks you through how to make future-ready, flexible, reusable, manageable content that will be meaningful in all sorts of contexts. Rosenfeld Media publish lots of other good books on design that are relevant to content strategy. 

Content Strategy at Work, Margot Bloomstein

Case studies, real-world examples and practical approaches you can adopt, no matter what your role is on the content team.

Clout, Colleen Jones

A useful approach to assessing content qualitatively as well as quantitatively, using principles of rhetoric and psychology.

Content Strategy Toolkit, Meghan Casey

From audit to analysis, strategy to implementation, Meghan’s toolkit gives you everything you need to solve all your messy content problems.

Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen McGrane

Karen will teach you everything you need to know to get your content onto screens of various shapes and sizes, strategically.

(Bonus tip: Content in a Zombie Apocalypse, a talk by Karen about separating content from form is well worth watching. Several times. Until you know it off by heart.)

Nicely Said, Nicole Fenton and Kate Keifer-Lee

Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee write beautifully about how to write beautifully. A useful guide to being clear and concise, and a joy to read.

Designing Connected Content, Mike Atherton and Carrie Hane

Design should start with words not pixels. And in the 21st century, content needs to be structured for multiple uses, platforms and devices. There’s lots of supersmart thinking behind Mike and Carrie’s model, which will make your content fit for the future.

Just Enough Research, Erika Hall

Good content needs good research. Learn how to do just the right amount with Erika’s excellent book.

Just Enough Research

Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design, Lisa Welchman

Getting digital right in organisations is painfully hard. Lisa charts a way to manage people, content and technology without being buffeted by political infighting.

Why you need a content team and how to build one, Rachel McConnell

You can’t have good content without good content people to create it and look after it. Rachel McConnell has lots of convincing arguments up her sleeve as to why a content team is crucial.

Everyday Information Architecture, Lisa Maria Martin

Structuring and organising content is really hard. Lisa Maria Martin’s book is brilliantly accessible. She shines a light on everything IA and also explains why it’s something that everyone should care about, referencing white supremacism and the Great British Bake Off in the process.

The Web Project Guide

Corey Vilhauer and Deane Barker’s “emergent book experience” isn’t finished yet, but it’s already an invaluable guide to building a website, taking a route that travels via many content strategy landmarks along the way.

Content Strategy podcasts

The Content Strategy Podcast

Kristina Halvorson talks to all sorts of interesting people about their content strategy work.

Content Strategy Insights

Larry Swanson interviews content strategists from around the world about all sorts of things, from conversational journalism to finding your brand voice.

Voice of Design

Content and design thinker and writer Erika Hall co-hosts interesting conversations about design with Mike Monteiro.

Episodes sometimes focus on content.

UX Podcast

Twice a month, James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom talk about the closely related discipline of UX. Occasionally they talk to content strategists.

Content strategy communities

The content strategy community is great. There are lots of friendly, intelligent people out there who have a heartfelt belief in what they do and are happy to share their ideas and experience. Across all sorts of different contexts.

Content + UX

A brilliant, friendly Slack community of 5,000 people, Content + UX is full of proponents of and experts in content strategy and user experience design.

The Content Strategy community

The newer, and slightly more strategy-focused, Content Strategy community is hosted by Hilary Marsh on Mighty Networks, which is a neat platform.

Content Strategy Facebook group

A Facebook community of 3,500 practicing content strategists which is another good place to ask questions.

Twitter

Twitter is the social network hangout of choice for many content strategists. Lots of our favourites can be found on this list we put together.

Other sources of resources

Content strategy people are very good at sharing. These are a couple of our favourite lists.

The Alphabet of Content Strategy, Jess Vice

This A-Z of all things content strategy is packed full of good links to useful, interesting resources.

The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources, Jonathon Colman

This treasure trove hasn’t been updated in a long while, but it’s still well worth trawling for gold.

This post grew in part from the seed of one originally written by our content strategy intern Joseph Straiton in January 2019.

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