By now, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “content shock.” No matter where you stand on the concept, we can all agree there is a LOT of content out there. Including a lot of content about content.
As content marketers, we have to strategize, produce, promote and manage our own content, as well as the content of our clients. To be the most successful, we also have to be students of our craft—meaning we also need to consume content on a regular basis. If you’re a business owner, marketing director or blogger who is just dipping your toes into the content marketing waters, it might feel like you accidentally took a head-first dive into the deep end.
To avoid being overwhelmed, you need focus. To help with that, I’ve put together this list of my top 10 fundamental content marketing resources.
Limiting it to ten was a challenge, but the result is a list of resources that will provide you a well-rounded, insightful, and inspiring content marketing education, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned content marketing pro or an eager content marketing newbie.
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi: The king of the Content Marketing Institute covers everything from developing your strategy to measuring its impact and encourages readers to set aspirational goals. The last ten pages or so of this book lit a fire under me—I felt so ready to conquer the world. I love it when a book does that. Whether you’re a content marketing pro or a beginner, if you only read one marketing book this year, this is the one to read.
Content Rules by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman: I’ll admit I’m in the middle of this one, but it still makes my list. After defining the content “rules”, it focuses on various channels and ends with real-life examples of content marketing at work. The “Ideas You Can Steal” section after each case study is a great source of concepts you can take action on.
Content Marketing Institute: This is the go-to resource for all things content marketing from one of the most respected authorities in the industry. Consider it a vital source of content marketing information.
Copyblogger: If writing great content is an art (and I believe it is), reading Copyblogger is like training under Monet. They’re the masters. Their blog is the perfect mix of educational and inspiring without being intimidating.
Hubspot’s Inbound Hub: Hubspot delivers a well-rounded blog with a slight emphasis on the more technical side of inbound marketing.
Convince & Convert: Straight-forward, smart and on-point, Convince & Convert is a well-rounded resource for all things social media and content marketing.
Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide: Heidi was a professor for ten years, and that experience shines through. The tone of her blog is all about teaching and sharing, and we’re lucky to receive an education from her.
Ryan Hanley: I only recently discovered Ryan but he’s quickly become one of my favorites. He’s smart and a great writer, but what really makes me love reading Ryan’s blog so much is his focus on individuality and authenticity. If you’re struggling to find your way, or even if you’re just having a crummy Monday, Ryan’s blog will help get your wheels turning again.
HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing: Educational and insightful (thanks to tons of stats), HubSpot’s white paper can help you understand the current state of the industry and where it’s headed.
Copyblogger eBooks: If these were printed books, I’d have dog-earred and highlighted all the pages. Copyblogger consistently delivers a range of smart eBooks that have practical application. If you’re involved in content creation at your company, you’ll benefit from these.
Don’t let all the content about content marketing overwhelm you. Explore this list and then make one of your own. By having a go-to list of resources you love, you can become a diligent student of your craft— without becoming overwhelmed.
Is there a go-to content marketing resource on your top ten list that I didn’t mention here? Share it with us! We’ve created a Pinterest board full of these and other great content marketing resources. Check it out now, then leave a comment below with your Pinterest user name. We’ll add you as a contributor so you can pin your favorites and follow along as we discover other great content marketing resources.
Thanks for including Content Rules here, Stacy! Very much appreciated. (And this did indeed brighten up my Monday!)
Agreed – Killer checklist – Great to See Joe Pulizzi and Epic Content Marketing on there! 🙂
I’ve read both of the books. “Rules” is pretty darn good and I definitely suggest it as a must-read…but “Epic” is, by far, the best CM book out there. It is comprehensive, engaging, easy to read and delivered in a way that can be interpreted by any type of internet or traditional content marketer. A no-brainer.
I’d (humbly) add http://inbound.org to your list.
A free, online community of inbound marketers. Growing super-fast and the content and discussion is really good.
Great suggestion, Dharmesh! I’ve just started browsing inbound.org but it seems like it has a lot of potential to be another outstanding resource!
Thanks so much for the great recommendations! This is a question I’ve been wanting to put out there for awhile, so I really appreciate your resources list. Time to get reading!
Solid list from start to finish and psyched to see that Content Rules made the list without you even being finished it yet.
Hopefully the second half is as good (Psst…it is because of all the ideas you can steal being at the back).
Nah, the stealable ideas were just the cherry on top!
I’d add Lee Odden’s TopRank Blog to this list.
As for tools, I’d add Buzzsumo, a tool I recently discovered. It shows you what content has received the most engagement for any topic. Not sure if u tried it, but it’s been a lifesaver for me.
Thank you for including me in this great round up.
I’d include Jay Baer’s book, Youtility on the list as well as Andy Crestodina’s Orbit Media blog.
Good stuff. Copyblogger, Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Pulizzi — all the best thought leaders in the biz.
For me – content is useless without being able to measure it. For all things measurement the absolute best resource is Avinash Kaushik: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/
He sets great frameworks on digital strategies and measurements
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