As the last semester at the university is coming to its end, we all make lists. While my colleagues collected the sayings of our teachers or the most significant takeaways, I decided to show you some of the readings that helped me better understand the mysterious world of content strategy.
You may have heard people say you need something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue for your wedding day.
Well I’m not married to Content Strategy yet (do you remember how our love story started?), but I believe that for a great overview, you will need to read something about UX, something about SEO, and something about Research.
Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Ranch is often considered as the bible of the field – there is basically no thesis bibliography without citing it.
Actually I have come across the book long before my studies: it was on the shelf of our old office at Young and Rubicam. I have no idea how it got there, but today I feel like it was a sign for me to end up studying the field. Halvorson’s book is a true gamechanger if you are a newbie – it takes the reader step by step on creating a content strategy. It’s entertaining and informative at the same time.
Something about UX
Last year I had a chance to attend Confab online – for those of you who has never heard about it, it’s the biggest Content Strategy conference organized by Brain Traffic and hosted by Kristina Halvorson. I joined an online panel with two authors of Writing is designing Michael J. Metts and Andy Welfle. I ordered the e-book right after it was published and it was one of the best purchases of 2020. The book gives you an introduction to UX writing – it shares tips how to write efficiently through interviews and real-world examples.
It’s no surprise that a book about UX design and UX writing was written (designed?) by razor-sharp wordsmiths.
Something about SEO
Franz Enzenhofer’s lecture was one of the most eye-opening to me during my studies. His book, Understanding SEO: A Systematic Approach to Search Engine Optimization is a great choice if you are fed up with the whole bullshit lingo of the field, because Enzenhofer takes all the rocket science scent off the notion of SEO.
Something about Research
I had several courses about research techniques at both my BA and MA studies but Just enough Research by Erika Hall was the only book that somehow managed to keep me awake while reading it. Let’s admit: I am and was not a researcher type.
However, Hall’s book makes the whole process sound easy-to-take-in and effortless to start.
She provides a solid overview of the most common research techniques with not not just theory but scalable and down-to-earth examples.