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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business Paperback – May 22, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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"What To Talk About When There's Nothing to Say," from the authors of Content Rules

How do you create content when you don't have breaking news to share regularly? If you want to remain relevant, you need to find a way to converse much more frequently than when you have big news. Consider these 10 approaches:
  1. Chat with customers.
    Ask customers a single question, such as "What's your biggest marketing challenge?" or "What's a strategy you used to grow your business this year?"
  2. Interview luminaries.
    Q & A interviews with thought leaders, strategic partners, or flat-out interesting creative thinkers make for compelling text, audio, or video content.
  3. Share real-time photos.
    Upload photos from industry events, meetups, or other gatherings. Fresh content matters here, and the faster you can get your photos up, the more likely they will be shared.
  4. Monitor search keywords.
    What keywords are people using to find your blog or website? Those keywords can inform your content stories and suggest new opportunities based on what customers are already interested in.
  5. Trawl industry news.
    Share an opinion about a recent news story that's affecting your industry or audience. Be timely; you could benefit from the extra boost of being one of the first to comment on the topic.
  6. Go behind the scenes.
    Show things that your readers or followers don't usually get to see. Share photos that give an insider's view of your company, or tease some new, compelling content, product or event that you'll be launching soon.
  7. Go to an event.
    Take session notes, conduct interviews, or take photos. Real-time blog or tweet the sessions that offer value to your community, and share with your audience what you learned, enjoyed, or were surprised at.
  8. Share best practices or productivity tips.
    People are always looking for efficiencies, and this type of content is always highly useful and shareable.
  9. Invite guest posts.
    Give your readers or employees or an expert in the industry the chance to guest post for your blog. Don't limit yourself to written content.
  10. Create a regular content series.
    A themed series is a great way to help you create regular content. Pick a day of the week and post the same type of content on that day.




From the Back Cover

The one-stop resource for creating irresistible content and building a loyal following, revised and updated

How do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products and services, and ignite your brand? Content Rules equips you for online success as a go-to guide to the art and science of developing content that people care about. Case studies show how companies have successfully spread their ideas through blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms—and used them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

This revised and updated edition shows you how to:

  • Find an authentic "voice" and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others

  • Use social media to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible

  • Get to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and define the goals of your content strategy

  • Powerfully communicate your service, product, or message across various web media and mobile platforms

Boost your online presence and engage with customers like never before with Content Rules. Find out more at ContentRulesBook.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118232607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118232606
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Whitney S. Hoffman on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should preface this review by saying I have been podcasting and creating content for the web for over five years now, and that I regularly help clients do the same. This said, I was expecting Content Rules to be a good book on the subject, but perhaps one of those that did not speak to me, because of my experience. I was wrong- Content Rules speaks to everyone- even seasoned content creators, by providing the metrics we may know around content creation, but haven't yet articulated, and helps make the case for content for everyone from people getting their feet wet on the Web for the first time, to those who are looking to raise their game and up their level of engagement with others online.

Content Rules is compelling and honest from the introduction on. It is a book I can hand my clients, friends, teachers- almost anyone who wonders why people need to or bother creating content for the web- to help not only explain why compelling content is important, but how to create it. It helps people break down the barriers that often get in the way of creating compelling content, and instead gives them some parameters on how to make sure your authentic and compelling voice shine through. In addition, the examples and case studies in the book bring the rules to life, in a way that will help folks understand how to find their human voice, and why that is so important to success in contrast to another paragraph of over-polished, sanitized, personality-free "safe" messaging.

I'm really excited by Content Rules as a book I can enthusiastically pass on to friends, colleagues, clients and more. If it's between a more generic book on social media or online marketing and this one, you need Content Rules because it will help you understand the fundamental approach you need to take regardless of the tool, platform, network or marketing plan- you need to concentrate on your Content first.
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Format: Hardcover
The forward of this book states that "Marketing is about creating great content" - but that the art and science of producing that superior material has been a mystery to many. David Meerman Scott, the author of the book's forward section, suggests that the answer to the question "what exactly, should I do?" is to tell stories. Granted, that's one important aspect of a forward-looking plan of action.

However, perhaps it's essential to fully understand why most businesses tend to create poor content. In fact, much of the business communication that's being produced today clearly doesn't meet the needs of its intended target customer. To the vast majority of marketers, the task of creating content is still centered upon explaining what their product or service does.

In contrast, great content -- from the customer's point of view -- should provide meaningful and substantive insight or guidance about what products and service will do for them. As I concluded reading this book, it occurred to me that the authors had not made this point in the most compelling way. I was somewhat disappointed.

That said, Ann Hadley and C.C. Chapman have written a very comprehensive guide about how to develop a content marketing strategy and construct interesting information for your intended recipient -- utilizing a variety of digital media in the process.

Chapter 6, "Share or Solve; Don't Shill" is -- by far -- the most useful section of this helpful guide. It shares the six characteristics of a good idea or a story. What's missing, in my opinion, are examples of how companies typically fail to incorporate these basic principles.

Why is this explanation needed?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach online public relations at Tulane University, so I constantly keep watch for new books in the field. Along with my own mammoth how-to book, Complete Guide to Internet Publicity (now out of print) or the stiff but good British book, Online Public Relations, by David Phillips and Philip Young, I like to assign one book that is fresh, hip, current, and relevant.

This year, I picked Content Rules even before reading it, because I love the title concept and I know one of the authors, Ann Handley, from when I used to write articles for ClickZ (back in the day, as they say).

Content Rules is a relentlessly upbeat guide to developing content for the Internet. The authors not only stress that "content is king" online; it's also queen, jack, ace, and most of the rest of the deck. Content Rules will show you how to find content in every corner of your organization, package it in every conceivable format, and syndicate it throughout the universe. Pretty impressive.

The Theory

The authors begin by laying out 11 "content rules," then expanding those in the following nine chapters. This is the "theory" portion of the book; as theory goes, it's very easily digested. The authors stick to the conversational tone they advocate in Rule #4: Speak Human:

"It's not just about getting more traffic; it's about getting more traffic that gives a s**t." The authors quote social media consultant Jay Baer. That's human enough for me.

Highlights in the theory section of the book include:

1) Creating a content publishing schedule, especially the checklist for things to do each month on page 60. It's a good template by itself for an online marketing game plan.
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