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The Elements of Content Strategy (Brief Books for People Who Make Websites, No. 3) Paperback – January 1, 2010
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Content strategy is the web’s hottest new thing. But where did it come from? Why does it matter? And what does the content renaissance mean for you? This brief guide explores content strategy’s roots, and quickly and expertly demonstrates not only how it’s done, but how you can do it well. A compelling read for both experienced content strategists and those making the transition from other fields.
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I'm a veteran copywriter living and working in Shanghai, and found "The Elements of Content Strategy" (buy direct from A Book Apart) great food for thought in thinking long and hard about content, particularly in ways to talk with clients about what content is, who it serves and how to best leverage it in meeting business objectives. The clients I work with often struggle to keep up with and understand new marketing trends, language and increasingly diverse channels, particularly in digital. What's more, all too often their orientation toward content is to instinctively, yet unconsciously, write content "for themselves" (or to please the boss, a particular problem here in China) as apposed to genuinely focusing on end-user needs.
"The Elements of Content Strategy" provides strategists, copywriters, creative directors--anybody in the content chain--with keen insights, both conceptual and nuts and bolts stuff. As for being "hard to read" as one reviewer wrote, well, every industry has its jargon and abstract ideas. It's best to educate oneself in what they are and make them work for you.
This is the 3rd book in the "A Book Apart" series that I've read (I've loved the others). I'm surprised this on met their own content review. And I'm shocked that Kristina Halvorson would endorse this book. Her book "Content Strategy for the web" is what I was looking for in the first place but I will not value her forwards in the future because she allowed her name to be attached with such a poor product.
Frankly, after I read this I turned the entire book into a mega outline that I am going to further develop into a database and then add-on Halvorson's and Sheffield's info. Anyone who complains about any of the text's in this area doesn't truly understand that this is a new frontier, and anyone who attempts to organize their thoughts around it are trying to do it for the first time.
You know it's a great book when you feel that the author has painstakingly edited her works down into a digestible book. There is so much more content that never made it into this book but Erin has done an incredible job of communicating the breadth of the topic and clearly sign-posting where to get into more depth.
I love the book and would recommend it to anybody and everybody that comes into contact with content strategy.
I'm only about 20 pages through this book and I love it. So many dysfunctional things about a website are apparent once you see it through someone else's perspective and words. This will definitely be a helpful read going forth in my career!