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Chapter
9

Resources for improving your content game

The best creative professionals never stop learning. And these books, articles, and blogs should keep you busy learning for a good while.
By
John Moore Williams
Chapter
9
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Unsurprisingly, advocates for content on the web are pretty vocal about sharing their best practices and insights. So I thought I’d gather up a few of the best resources to help you keep your content game in tip-top shape.

Books on content strategy

Content Strategy for the Web

By Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Like it says on the promo site, this is the go-to text for content strategy. Just go buy it.

The Content Strategy Toolkit

By Meghan Casey

The Content Strategy Toolkit has to be the most concretely useful book on content strategy you can buy. This book lives up to what it says on the tin by providing you with real tools (of the conceptual sort) for developing a content strategy.

Letting Go of the Words

By Ginny Redish

As a wide-eyed and idealistic young writer with a love of long, complex sentences, this classic tome came as a little bit of a blow — and a revelation. I still haven’t totally learned to let go, but I’m on my way, and it’s all thanks to Ginny Redish. Seriously — this is a content specialist’s Don’t Make Me Think.

Content Strategy for Mobile

By Karen McGrane

Karen McGrane’s insightful Content Strategy for Mobile manages a rare feat for a book on a technical subject: it was simultaneously super useful in convincing others that a “mobile site” was d-u-m-b back when that was an argument people actually had and it remains super useful today.

Content Everywhere

By Sara Wachter-Boettcher

If the smartphone revolution taught us anything about content, it’s that content likes to move around and do unexpected things in unexpected places. And that we can’t ever make device-based assumptions about what people want — unless it’s “they’ll probably want it.” Content Everywhere is your handbook for the next content-related apocalypse.

The User’s Journey

By Donna Lichaw

The User’s Journey is one of those books that makes you slap your own forehead and say (out loud!), “Why didn’t I think of that?!” If the idea of mapping a person’s experience with a product to the classical story arc makes a whole lotta sense to you, you should buy this book.

Definitive articles on content strategy

Obviously, content strategists and copywriters have written reams of material on why content matters and what role it should play in the website and product development processes. This shortlist captures the articles that originally got me fired up about content on the web. Here’s hoping they’ll do the same for you.

Kristina Halvorson’s The Discipline of Content Strategy

Rachel Lovinger’s Content Modelling: A Master Skill

Steph Hay’s Content-First Design

Dan Mall’s Content & Display Patterns

Louder Than Ten’s Design Machines

37 Signal’s Copywriting is Interface Design from Getting Real

Google Ventures’ 5 Rules for Writing Interface Copy

Kate Meyer’s The Impact of Tone of Voice on Users’ Brand Perception

Meghan Whalin’s UI content resources

Jonathan Colman’s Epic List of Content Strategy Resources

Content strategy blogs to follow

A List Apart

It’s certainly not all about content strategy on A List Apart, but when it is, it’s so, so good.

Boxes and Arrows

Again, Boxes and Arrows covers all sorts of digital design topics, but its content strategy articles are top-notch.

Gather Content blog

You’d definitely hope that the makers of a content strategy–centric tool would also have a stellar blog on the topic, and Gather Content pays off that expectation is spades.

The Content Strategist

Name notwithstanding, The Content Strategist tends to focus more on content marketing — but does it in a way that’s still super-applicable for any fan of content, particularly those who work in the hype-generation world.

Content strategy articles on Medium

It’s Medium, so mileage may vary on any given day, but I’m still consistently impressed by the volume and quality of stories on content strategy that find their way to Medium.

Shopify UX articles on content

Shopify’s team shares a lot of incredibly useful insights on content strategy, particularly that breed that happens within digital products (i.e., mobile and web apps). And yes — before you ask — there’s a need for content strategy within products too.

UX Booth

There aren’t many popular design blogs that dedicate much time to content strategy, but UX Booth is a stellar exception to the trend — especially because their content tends to be rooted in real-world experience, rather than vague tips and best practices.

UX Matters

Features many thoughtful, in-depth pieces on content strategy that focus on practical techniques you can apply today.

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