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Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

by Colleen Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 13, 2010 0321733010 978-0321733016 1
Results. Everyone wants them, whether to sell more products, spread good ideas, or win more funding. In our busy digital world, the way to results is influencing people on the web. But how?

An ad campaign won't cut it. A Twitter account doesn't guarantee it. Manipulative tricks will backfire. Instead, you need quality, compelling web content that attracts people and engages them for the long haul.
Clout explains the key principles of influence and how to apply them to web content. Along the way, those principles come to life with practical examples from, Newell Rubbermaid, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many more brands. With this book, you'll:
  • Discover why a technology feature, marketing campaign, SEO effort, or redesign aren't enough to influence online.
  • Understand the business value of compelling web content. 
  • Learn 8 principles for influence from the art of rhetoric and the science of psychology.
  • Find out what context is and why it's so important to influence.
  • Jump start your planning for content with a content brief.
  • Learn how to evaluate your web content and determine whether it's making a difference.
Foreword by Karen McGrane, managing partner of Bond Art + Science

Frequently Bought Together

Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content (Voices That Matter) + Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition + Content Strategy at Work: Real-world Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project
Price for all three: $70.99

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Editorial Reviews


"Clout is for any professional who wants to create content that people will actually care about...put this on your short-list."
Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web

"Clout is worth adding to your book list. But don't limit it to just C-level suite executives or the design team. In order for content to influence, it needs to have complete buy-in from those who will be on the front line." --CMS Wire

"An amazing book for digital content marketing and content strategy practitioners." --Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content, Get Customers

From the Author

More people than ever are using websites to help them make decisions. That means your web content is a huge opportunity to influence people. My goal with this book is to help you make the most of that opportunity.

I wrote this book with interactive, content, and creative strategists top of mind. But, anyone who touches web content will benefit from it. I explain principles of influence without jargon so that marketers, public relations specialists, user experience designers, web writers, technical communicators, product managers, developers, and other interactive professionals can understand. To bring the principles to life, I included hundreds of examples and many case studies.

Our websites are undergoing huge changes. They're becoming mashups of media, marketing, data, and more. To help you adapt, I explain how to plan, evaluate, and adjust your web content. I also give a glimpse into the future that is quickly becoming now.

I can't wait to hear how you apply these principles and transform your web content into a source of clout.

Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321733010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321733016
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colleen Jones has led interactive strategy for Fortune 500 companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group and Cingular Wireless (now AT&T) as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most trusted government agency in the United States. As principal of the award-winning consultancy Content Science, Colleen consults with executives and practitioners about making their web content more influential to improve user experience, build brand reputation and loyalty, make more sales, and spread good ideas.

With her M.A. in technical communication, Colleen is a 13-year veteran of the interactive industry. She was a participant in the first ever Content Strategy Consortium and the founder of Atlanta Content Strategy. Known for practical yet insightful presentations, she has spoken about the value of compelling web content at conferences everywhere from Phoenix, Arizona to Paris, France.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome, succinct summary of a nascent topic December 30, 2010
First, I'd like to say that I normally don't write book reviews. Being a student of the web, I read *a lot* of material and I typically don't have time to write a reaction. But every once and a while, something strikes me as noteworthy. Clout is just such a book.

Having run an industry publication on User Experience Design for quite some time, I'm of course familiar with the discipline of Content Strategy. Unfortunately, though, running it means that most of what I read online or hear at conferences sounds the same. "Yes, I know I have to prioritize things and think strategically about content, thanks." What I like about Clout is how novel it really is. In short, Clout:

(1) Got my attention: its a new angle on what could easily be seen as a tired subject.
(2) Is very "practice" driven: I don't like reading about theory, I want to see how content strategy functions in the real world.
(3) Is for beginners and experts: Clout starts small--a bit of history--and ends with a bang, a call to action for all web professionals.

The author, Colleen, did a great job gathering insightful case studies and overseeing the creation of illustrative diagrams. Reading about content strategy is one thing, but *seeing* it is quite another, and Clout delivers. I find it quite remarkable that such an unassuming volume delivers such a high quantity of information. Here you'll also find some of the major takeaways from books such as Groundswell and Here Comes Everybody.

So, save yourself some reading and grab a copy of Clout. For the budding content strategist, blogger, entrepreneur, etc., I highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a web developer, I don't get very close to the content. In fact, over the years, I've become blind to it when coding clients' websites. It might as well be "lorum ipsum" gibberish like that found on Microsoft Word templates. Granted without this content there would be no websites for me to work on. least there shouldn't be. There are many sites out there that put the technical effort into the coding and treat the content as an afterthought. Content should in fact come first, before coding. This requires developing a proper content strategy and a plan to implement it.

In Clout, the author Colleen Jones concisely outlines the methods and techniques that will aid the development of a successful Content Strategy. There are numerous real-world examples that support the core principles of context, rhetoric and psychology. She advises content creators to turn off their fire hose of information, suggesting effective, proven tools to reach people. These techniques are proven to filter out the static.

This book is a top resource regarding the implementation of content strategy. Clients who are inexperienced or non-technical usually don't understand why developers can't make the gibberish better. Content just isn't our forte. Clout is a well-researched and authoritative source for developers who want to help their clients make content work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Clout" Speaks to Everyone Who Works on the Web June 5, 2011
The beauty of "Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content" is that it addresses the needs of so many varied groups of people and does it well.

Everyone who needs to understand the power of content -- from executives to entrepreneurs, marketers and PR specialists to strategists and content creators -- will find critical, practical knowledge in this book that they can put to use immediately. And the best part is, author Colleen Jones begins the book by telling each group exactly which parts of the book they should read to get the most out of it.

As someone who's worked with web content for more than 10 years, I can say that no matter which group you fall into, "Clout" will give you a new perspective on Web content and on the people who read it and use it. Consider this book a step-by-step guide to accomplishing your online goals, whatever they may be.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts well, but loses interest fast. April 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Back in the fall of 2011, I bought a few books about content management, hoping I would make it my career. Although this hasn't really happened (yet), I still find the books I bought useful for my PR studies and my work with several clients on their web content strategies.

Among the books I picked up is Colleen Jone's Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content. This book started well: an interesting combination of marketing, psychology and rhetoric. However, as soon we hit the later chapters, it becomes too practical and superficial for my tastes.

I found the early chapters interesting: they take apart the idea of "influence" and explain how to turn this to your advantage. I especially enjoyed the analysis of the goals of your content vs. what kind of attitudes or actions you want to instill in your readers. I appreciated the chapters on the psychology of influence and rhetoric. If you thought that ancient Greek philosophy is irrelevant today, think again. I came out with a sudden desire to read Aristotle's Rhetoric again.

Outside of these early chapters though, I found that most of it was common sense and not very useful for someone who wants to deepen their understanding of online influence. It has a few useful tables laying out what actions should be taken for what objective, but it ends up not going very deep into the strategic side of things. It's very much a technical book, rather than a strategic one.

Taken all together, this is a quick technical textbook that tells a lot of "what", but not a lot of "how" or "why". I could see it used in an introductory course on web content management or web content marketing, or even writing or web project management.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for companies looking to establish well written online...
Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content was a great book to read if looking for tips and guidelines on how to improve your company's online content. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, clear and precise
Love it - absolutely clear communicated, with great examples - ready to use!
I recommend it to all writers of the web who writes for a purpose. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Claus
5.0 out of 5 stars Pathways to Clout through Content Strategy
Need to know how to establish an authoritative digital presence? Read Clout by Coleen Jones for concrete advice and examples.
Published 4 months ago by Eddie VanArsdall
1.0 out of 5 stars Clout: Not for Your Average Joe
I had ordered this book so I could build a better website. Unfortunately, although I was able to glean a few tidbits of knowledge, most of the book is written for someone who is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kelly Horsley
1.0 out of 5 stars No there there
Normally, I write detailed reviews. After reading Clout, I tossed it in the trash (the paper recycling bin, actually). Read more
Published 11 months ago by M. L Lamendola
3.0 out of 5 stars Meandering Style Not My Thing
I really didn't love the way this book was presented. I didn't find a rhythm of the read, which I find happens with a good book, whether it is technical, fiction, etc. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kevin Buckley
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference guide for content writers
Some very practical advice, that's easy to action. This is a great reference guide if you're just getting started and want to know WHY great content rules and how it's developed
Published 13 months ago by janine
5.0 out of 5 stars "Clout" must be read by anyone who is faced with using the web to...
I really enjoyed the angle at which Clout comes at content. Unquestionably you've heard the overused phrase, "content is king," and while there is heavy emphasis placed on the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the components of influential content
What struck me about "Clout" was that it goes into significant detail about the specific influences that inform our thinking and behavior as it applies to content. Read more
Published 21 months ago by JoWebGeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful on a Practical Level
The biggest question I always have when reading a book that ties to my professional career is: Will I actually do anything different or think differently after I read it? Read more
Published on March 19, 2012 by Lauren
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