- Paperback: 210 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1441482628
- ISBN-13: 978-1441482624
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Web Content Strategist's Bible: The Complete Guide To A New And Lucrative Career For Writers Of All Kinds 1st Edition
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About the Author
Richard Sheffield is currently Managing Editor for a Fortune 50 company's Web site in Atlanta, GA. He specializes in Web site content management system issues, editorial workflow, and content development processes. Prior to this, Richard was a Senior Content Strategist in IBM's Interactive Design Studio where he worked on Web content strategy engagements with a long list of IBM's top-shelf clients Richard has a B.S. in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. The Web Content Strategist's Bible is Richard's eighth book.
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The Web Content Strategist's Bible is well organized and easily digestible - just like good Web content. It is a breezy, but never superficial read. TWCSB gives a complete picture of the expected duties and deliverables for a strategist, so the book is excellent for those just entering the field. However I wouldn't say the book is only for newbies. TWCSB is suitable for anyone who deals with content and has the sense that things are being overlooked or that workflow could be improved. Sheffield clearly outlines the different project phases and associated challenges. Small organizations could use it to help create their content process and make the business case for having a strategist.
Make this part of your required reading and you will automatically be several steps ahead of your competition.
After spending some time explaining the processes and ideas behind web content strategy and exploring the career path, Sheffield moves directly to the task at hand: how to actually do the job.
Since the job of content strategist is closely linked to that of a web developer, the phases are more or less the same. However, the book concentrates on what the content strategist has to do:
This is a pretty clear picture of what kind of work being a content strategist entails.
He also ads a few useful chapters about dealing with translation, SEO, web content management systems and finding a job in the field.
Good things: the book is highly practical and doesn't spend much time talking about research or theory. I especially appreciated the SEO section where Sheffield gives clear and no-nonsense (i.e., free of marketingese) instructions on how to optimize a web site. It gave me an action plan that's more practical than anything I have read in Audience, Relevance and Search. If you are lost with all the theoretical SEO stuff out there, the book is a must if only for this chapter.
Less good things: If you come to this book with the right frame of mind (you want a practical book to show you how to do the job, not throw numbers and research at you about the job), you shouldn't have any problems with the book. What it lacks in theory (which is easily accessible through a slew of other books, ebooks and blogs out there anyway) it compensates in tips, templates and an on-the-ground impression of what it really is to be a content strategist.
After reading this book, I'm pretty sure I could be awesome at that kind of job (wink, wink!). As he says in the book,
What any company mainly wants when looking to hire a content strategist is:
A decent writer and editor (check)
Someone who understands how to plan and implement a project (check)
Someone who really wants to do this kind of work (check)
Someone who understands the bare basics of how the Web works technically (check)
The rest is all gravy.
The book is expensive-ish on paper but the Kindle version is definitely more affordable. Highly recommended for those who want to explore this new career option!
This book by Sheffield, Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition by Kristina Halvorson, and the newly minted Erin Kissane book: The Elements of Content Strategy (Brief Books for People Who Make Websites, No. 3) are all necessary reading material for the well-read content strategist. Now those people that complain about any of these books not being adequate for the knowledge contained in them just don't get content strategy, as this field IS NOT limited to its own definition. Every time that you begin a CS project -- it is a different experience. There is no one way, right or wrong, to begin. it is a combination of events, and also it has alot to do with your client's need or ability to be involved in the process.
Each of the above books are excellent in the same way. They all do a good job of helping you understand CS, and I wouldn't think of being without any of them to refer to.