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.
This year (2023) represent a major update to these resources. Enjoy!
23 Insightful Blogs and Websites
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.
- A List Apart — Offers a range of content related to personalized digital experiences, emphasizing the importance of creating intentional, ethical, and technologically sound experiences. The site explores the concept of content models and how they need to adapt to various delivery channels.
- Boagworld — Provides resources and guides on website copywriting, landing page design, and creating compelling website content. Additionally, it covers topics such as user-centric information architecture, chatbot design, and handling objections to improve conversion rates.
- Boxes and Arrows — Focuses on topics related to content strategy and user experience (UX) design. Articles cover various aspects of content strategy, including ontology modeling, navigational structures in UX design, content recommender systems, and the importance of user-centric language.
- Brain Traffic — Offers a wealth of content strategy articles and resources. The site provides insights on estimating content production time and dealing with complex content strategies. It also delves into the role of a content strategist, building a community of practice, and the importance of content audits.
- Cleve Gibbon — Contains a range of content related to various topics such as content management, content modeling, digital ecosystems, and technology evangelism. It covers articles, news, and insights on subjects like AI, automation, branding, content strategy, customer experience, innovation, leadership, marketing, platforms, productivity, sustainability, technology, and transformation.
- Content Inc with Joe Pulizzi — For entrepreneurs and startups who want to be big by creating content that attracts a loyal audience. Joe Pulizzi, known as the “godfather of content marketing,” believes most small businesses and startups are going about things the wrong way. Instead of starting with product, Joe believes entrepreneurs should be building audiences… then they can sell whatever they want.
- Content Marketing Institute — Helps content marketers enhance their strategies and stay informed about industry trends. They offer numerous resources on topics such as optimizing content for Google Search Experience, incorporating AI, and creating a workable marketing analytics strategy.
- Content Science Review — Covers various topics such as content strategy, content technology, content operations, content automation, content voice, and content systems. You’ll find articles, checklists, guides, webinars, and demos to help optimize content operations, improve content effectiveness, and make informed decisions about content management systems (CMS).
- Eating Elephant — Specializes in content strategy, information architecture, and understanding user needs. Here you’ll find posts discussing various topics including web operations, content governance and ongoing maintenance, site readiness for launch, website hosting, selecting a content management system, and translating design and IA into code within a content management system.
- Elle Geraghty — Contains a variety of resources related to content strategy, including communication, generative AI, measurement, and professional development. Some of the topics covered include using ChatGPT in content creation, content promotion strategies, common content strategy problems, categorizing content, and information architecture.
- Gather Content — A variety of resources and articles for content teams. Topics covered on this blog include collaboration, determining ROI, finding the best software, automation, and content accessibility.
- Less Work, More Flow — Tackles advanced topics related to content strategy, adaptive content, component content management, experience design, stakeholder alignment, and customer journey mapping. The site offers valuable insights, thought-provoking opinions, and practical advice for professionals in the content strategy and marketing fields.
- Nicole Fenton — Features various articles on topics such as plain language testing, bridging the gap between writers and designers, and interface writing.
- Pybop — This site covers a range of topics related to content marketing and strategy, including using AI-generated content, brand messaging, content management, SEO writing, and social media content.
- Scriptorium — Offers a range of content-related resources and insights. The site covers diverse areas such as learning content, localization, change management, mergers and acquisitions, and tools. It features a blog with articles on content operations, content strategy, industry insights, and more.
- The Content Wrangler — Articles, interviews, event announcements, and other information to help content professionals stay up-to-date on industry trends, methods, standards, tools, and best practices.
- Working In Content — Aims to help individuals grow their careers in content design. They offer a variety of resources, jobs, and a supportive community for content professionals at all stages of their careers.
42 Content Strategy Books to Read
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.
- Content Audits and Inventories, by Paul Landenburg Land
- Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing, by Andy Crestodina
- Content Design, by Sarah Richards
- Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content, by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
- Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
- 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 Transformation: An Introduction to Enterprise Content Ops and Content Strategy, by Scriptorium Publishing
- 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
- Information Architecture, 4th Edition, by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, Jorge Arango
- 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 Puzzle and the Missing Piece, by Andi Robinson
- 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 Erin Kissane
- 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
- This Means This, This Means That, Second Edition, by Sean Hall
- Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture, by Andrew Hinton
- Web Content Management: Systems, Features, and Best Practices, by Deane Barker
16 Content Strategy Courses Worth Investigating
Courses are another great way to get team members discussing and collaborating, and are quicker than gleaning information from dozens of blogs. Nearly 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.
- Content Marketing University — Content Marketing University offers 11 core learning sessions and additional content from industry leaders. They aim to help you improve your content strategy and offer the opportunity to obtain a Content Marketing Certification from the American Marketing Association.
- Content Strategy and Marketing Course — A 6-week online training program designed for entrepreneurs, agencies, and freelancers. The course offers a step-by-step approach to learning market-ready content skills through actionable steps and implementation methods.
- Content Strategy and Planning in B2B Marketing — Designed for B2B brand marketers, content marketing agencies, and individuals interested in becoming content strategists, it covers the Why, What, and How of B2B content strategy, providing valuable insights and practical knowledge.
- Content Strategy and SEO for Lead Generation — Focusing on practical strategies and tactics, participants learn to generate awareness, demand, and revenue through content. A variety of topics are covered including keyword research, influencer collaboration, maximizing email list growth, repurposing content, and measuring and optimizing for better traffic conversions.
- Content Strategy for Marketers — This short course focuses on honing marketing skills by delving into the nuts and bolts of content strategy. It covers key aspects such as identifying content objectives, finding your audience online, building a unique strategy based on objectives and audience, and measuring ROI.
- Content Strategy for Professionals Specialization — A comprehensive program designed to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to create and implement engaging content strategies. The specialization consists of five courses that cover various aspects of content strategy, including audience engagement through strategic storytelling, content management, engaging with multi-channel digital communities, maximizing content impact, and measuring content effectiveness.
- Digital Content Planning and Management — This course aims to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively plan and manage digital content. It covers various topics such as audience analysis, content audits, content creation and maintenance, and digital content governance.
- Full-Funnel Content: A Data-Driven Content Strategy For Humans — Oriented towards marketers looking to improve their content marketing strategies and small to medium-sized business owners interested in incorporating valuable content practices. The course breaks down content strategy into three types of content: top-funnel, mid-funnel, and post-funnel, each serving a specific purpose in attracting new prospects, educating customers, and building relationships.
- HubSpot Content Marketing Course — This program covers various aspects of content marketing, including strategy, creation, promotion, and measurement. The course also covers topics such as lead generation, nurturing, and conversion through content marketing.
- Lightning Fast Content Design 101 — For content writers, editors, and strategists looking to improve their content creation process, this course aims to teach participants how to create user-centered content quickly and at scale. It covers various topics such as the history of content design, the difference between content design and editorial, and how to use content design for different types of content.
- Nielsen Norman Group Content Strategy and Governance — Designed to equip participants with the techniques and tools needed to implement an actionable content strategy. This course covers various aspects of content strategy, including developing a content strategy, measurement and optimization, accessibility and inclusivity, inventories and audits, and research to inform content design.
- Northwestern University Graduate Certificate in Content Strategy — This interdisciplinary program focuses on teaching students how to translate information and data into meaningful visual forms, narratives, and interfaces. It covers various topics such as content strategy, communication impact, designing seamless experiences across digital platforms, and creating engaging content using digital media.
- Rutgers University Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing Curriculum — Offering a comprehensive view of digital marketing strategies and techniques, the course covers a wide range of concepts. Topics include digital marketing strategy, search engine marketing, social media marketing, artificial intelligence in marketing, content marketing, personalized digital experiences, web analytics and ROI, digital customer acquisition, and integrating digital marketing tactics.
- The Strategy of Content Marketing — Gain insight into the core strategies used by content marketers to acquire and retain customers profitably. Topics covered include developing and implementing a content marketing strategy, analyzing and measuring its effectiveness, writing compelling copy, and building your professional brand through content marketing.
- University of Washington Certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy — Designed for professionals in marketing, communications, advertising, and public relations, as well as those interested in entering these fields. The program focuses on creating a powerful cross-channel content strategy by studying storytelling principles, defining the user journey, and planning for content distribution across multiple channels.
- Web Content Strategy: Planning, Producing and Managing Website Content — This course focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of website content that aligns with user needs and organizational goals. It provides practical, hands-on skills in content strategy and content design, applicable to websites of all sizes.
44 Conferences and Events to Attend
There’s nothing quite like meeting people in the flesh. Well, maybe not in all cases because some of these events are virtual. Still, it’s always great to make a human connection, even if it’s over Zoom.
- Adobe Summit
- Digital Summit Chicago
- Digital Summit Deep Dive into AI
- Digital Summit Philadelphia
- Digital Summit San Diego
- MarketingProfs B2B Forum
- Content Marketing Conference
- Digital Summit Kansas City
- Digital Summit Raleigh
- SMX Next
- Strategic Marketing NYC
50 Content Strategists to Follow
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.
- 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)
30+ Personal Recommendations
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.
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.
In my industry, I follow Julius @EventMB. I am a part of several CMO roundtables and try to keep our blog to the level that it can be published in any media outlet.
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.
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.
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.