If you’re a seasoned content strategist it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Even after you’ve done a content inventory to fill the gaps and looked to your competitors to see what they’re publishing, there’s still a good chance you’re struggling with keyword research, user intent, SEO or simply coming up with new content ideas.
If you are approaching content strategy for the first time, planning for all those elements can be overwhelming. Where do you even begin?
But you don’t have to go it alone. There are blogs, books, courses and content strategy experts you can look to guide you through your pain points.
We’ve rounded up
183 over 225 of our favorites to help you begin your journey as a content strategist, up your content game, or even share your own expertise with others.
The Content Strategy Collective, a community of content strategy professionals, periodically holds Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with leaders in the field. It’s free to join here.
We always like to ask participants what resources and thought leaders they regularly read.
30+ Personal Recommendations
I would first advise online and dynamic content. SEO books are usually outdated before they are printed. For beginners, I think Brian Dean’s blog is a good place to start. I do enjoy the content that Craig Campbell puts out. Most of what I find valuable are online groups. I like the Facebook SEO Signals group and get a lot of value form that.
Senior Director of Customer Education, Chartbeat
AMA/Webinar: Understanding the Data Behind Your Content Strategy
I read a lot. Particularly news, since that’s my background and we work with some amazing news publishers. I try to keep that diet pretty diverse to get a range of perspectives. One newsletter I really enjoy at the moment is Ben Thompson’s Stratechery email.
AMA With Mike Leonhard: Content Creation
There are many, but these are some of my favorites.
Brian Dean (Backlinko) – Great newsletter with a lot of helpful marketing tips and tactics. His articles don’t have a lot of fluff, just straight to the point.
Rand Fishkin (Sparktoro) – Rand’s an industry leader and provides a ton of fantastic insights in regards to SEO and content marketing.
Tim Soulo (Ahrefs) – I highly recommend listening to any of Tim’s interviews—he’s an awesome (and entertaining) speaker.
Ross Hudgens (Siege Media) – Ross offers great gems of wisdom on Twitter.
Neil Patel – Neil’s led to some controversy in the past, but it never hurts to read his insights; after all, there’s a reason why he’s been able to amass such a large audience. This means his surveys have a lot of insight.
Blogs About Content Marketing, Strategy, and Creation
These blogs look at all angles of the content strategy and creation process. Some of them, like the Content Marketing Institute, you’ve probably heard of and may already follow. Some, like Less Work, More Flow are hidden gems of information on content marketing.
22 Insightful Blogs
- Adventures in Content Strategy
- A List Apart
- Boxes and Arrows
- Brain Traffic
- Cleve Gibbon
- Content Here
- Content Marketing Institute
- Content Science Review
- Creek Content
- Eating Elephant
- Elle Geraghty
- Every Page is Page One
- Gather Content
- Gerry McGovern
- Less Work, More Flow
- Nicole Fenton
- The Content Wrangler
- Voice, Tone and Content Guides
- Web Content Strategy
Books on Content Strategy
Books are a great way to start a discussion within your company and get major stakeholders engaged and talking to each other. Many companies distribute copies of books they find helpful to employees and hold a sort of book club to discuss ideas and strategies and how they apply to their own work.
38 books on content strategy to get your team talking.
- Content Audits and Inventories, by Paul Landenburg Land
- Content Design, by Sarah Richards
- Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content, by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business, by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman
- Content Strategy, by Smashing Magazine
- Content Strategy 101: Transform Technical Content into a Business Asset, by Sarah O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle
- Content Strategy for Mobile, by Karen McGrane
- Content Strategy for the Web, by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
- Content Strategy at Work: Real-world Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project, by Margot Blumenstein
- Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, Rahel Anne Bailie and Noz Urbina
- Does Your Content Work: Why Evaluate Your Content—and How to Start, by Colleen Jones
- Enterprise Content Strategy, by Kevin P. Nichols
- Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, by Ann Handley
- Global Content Strategy: A Primer, by Val Swisher
- HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy, by Michael E. Porter, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
- Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand, by Gerry McGovern
- Letting Go of the Words, by Janice (Ginny) Redish
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Managing Chaos, by Lisa Welchman
- Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, by Anne Rockley and Charles Cooper
- Metadata Basics for Web Content: The Unification of Structured Data and Content, by Michael C. Andrews
- Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose, by Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee
- Outside-In Marketing: Using Big Data to Guide Your Content Marketing, by James Mathewson and Mike Moran
- Planning for Everything: The Design of Paths and Goals, by Peter Morville
- Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, by Julia McCoy
- The Accidental Taxonomist, by Heather Hedden
- The Art of SEO, by Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer and Eric Enge
- The Content Advantage (Clout 2.0), by Colleen Jones
- The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right, by Meghan Casey
- The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change, by Bharat Anand
- The Elements of Content Strategy, by Kristina Halvorson
- The Language of Content Strategy, by Scott Abel and Rahel Anne Bailie
- The Stranger’s Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, by Gerry McGovern
- The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love, by Donna Lichaw
- The Web Content Strategist’s Bible, by Richard Sheffield
- Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture, by Andrew Hinton
- Web Content Management: Systems, Features, and Best Practices, by Deane Barker
- This Means This, This Means That, Second Edition, by Sean Hall
- Content Chemistry, by Andy Crestodina
Courses are another great way to get team members discussing and collaborating, and are quicker than gleaning information from dozens of blogs.
All of these courses are available online. Some are simple training courses on creating content, while others are more in-depth courses that cover your entire content strategy and offer a certificate of completion.
14 Content Strategy Courses Worth Investigating
- Content Design: Planning and Creating User-centred Content
- Content Marketing University
- Content Strategy and Marketing Course
- Content Strategy and SEO for Lead Generation
- Content Strategy for Professionals Specialization
- Northwestern University Content Strategy Training and Tutorials
- Content Strategy UBC Certificate Program
- HubSpot Content Marketing Course
- Introduction to Content Strategy
- Lightning Fast Content Design 101
- Nielsen Norman Group Content Strategy Courses
- Oregon State University Digital Brand Management Certificate
- Rutgers University Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing Curriculum
- University of Washington Certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy
Content Strategy Conferences and Events
43 Conference and Events
- Content Marketing Conference
- ContentTECH Summit
- Gartner Marketing Symposium
- Gilbane’s Digital Experience Conference
- Marketing Summit DC
- MarTech West
- Brand Marketing Summit
- Digital Pharma East
- Digital Summit
- Marketing Nation Summit
- MarTech East
- SMX East
And of course, there are plenty of content strategy professionals and SMEs out there with all kinds of pearls of wisdom. These are 50 of our favorite. Follow them for the latest news and insights in the content marketing industry.
50 Content Strategists to Follow
- Scott Abel (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Rahel Anne Bailie (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Deane Barker (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Mollye Barrett (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Sarah Beckley (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Margot Bloomstein (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Michael Boses (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Richard Brooks (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Sharon Burton (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Jonathon Colman (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Charles Cooper (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Laura Creekmore (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Laurence Dansokho (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Don Day (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Don DePalma (LinkedIn)
- Kristen James Eberlein (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Talia Eisen (LinkedIn)
- Tosca Fasso (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Linda Francis (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Stefan Gentz (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Cleve Gibbon (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Robert J. Glushko (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Joe Gollner (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Brenda Huettner (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Richard Ingram (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Char James-Tanny (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Colleen Jones (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Kate Kenyon (LinkedIn)
- Eliot Kimber (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Paula Ladenburg Land (LinkedIn)
- Cheryl Landes (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Mark Lewis (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Rachel Lovinger (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Kevin Nichols (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Sarah O’Keefe (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Marta Rauch (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Ann Rockley (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Jim Romano (LinkedIn)
- Robert Rose (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Rebecca Schneider (LinkedIn)
- Bill Swallow (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Val Swisher (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Mat Szwajkos (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Lori Thicke (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Lisa Trager (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Sharon Twiss (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Noz Urbina (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Kathy Wagner (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- Leigh White (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
- John Yunker (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
Keeping abreast of industry news, learning new skills, or finding content strategy tips as a content strategist doesn’t have to be a chore, and you don’t have to do your job in a vacuum. Following people, groups and blogs; attending classes and events, and reading the right books can help you up your content strategy game.
Written by Stephen Jeske