Your content is the most important part of your website. It underpins your design, development, and your web accessibility efforts. You create good, usable content by developing and then implementing a content strategy.
If you’ve never done this, it can seem like an incredibly daunting task, especially if you’ve got lots of content. So I thought it might be helpful to put together a content strategy reading list. This list takes into account books that are also available in accessible formats, so it’s not that large. But each of the books listed here will help you get a handle on your content, and, if you’re aware of web accessibility and attempting to implement it on either your own website or on the websites you’re building for your clients, help you come to terms with the recommendations you’re getting from either WCAG itself, or from your web accessibility consultant.
Content Strategy for the Web, Second Edition, by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
Content Strategy for the Web is the book I would recommend starting with. It doesn’t just present the case for content strategy. It also gives you a step-by-step path to follow in order to create a content strategy for yourself or your organization. It covers every aspect of content strategy without making it unenjoyable and without using highly technical language for the sake of it. It’s available as a Kindle e-book, but not in any other format that I’ve found that’s accessible. So I would suggest getting this from the Kindle store and reading it on your phone if you’re a screen reader user.
Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-ready Content by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
This book covers content strategy as well, but goes beyond it to help you ensure that you don’t get stuck on the content treadmill. Creating content is a necessary task, but it’s a given that it’s not just consumed on websites, and content creators have no way of knowing how users prefer to consume that content. content Everywhere will help you take the content you’re creating and prepare it to be consumed in multiple ways, so that you don’t have to run to keep up with the ever-expanding reach of technology. Nobody wants to do that, not even those of us who love tech. Content Everywhere is available on Bookshare, which you can get access to if you’re a print-disabled individual. It’s also available on Kindle.
Content Strategy for Mobile by Karen Mcgrane
Content Strategy for Mobile focuses on helping content creators develop one content model that can adapt to both desktop and mobile devices, instead of developing content for desktop and then redeveloping that same content separately for mobile. Mobile is important, and in some parts of the world exceeds desktop usage. See also, my comments about the content treadmill above. This book is a sort of companion to Content Strategy for the web, and if you don’t read them at the same time, they should definitely be read one after the other. This book is also available on Bookshare for those with print disabilities, as well as on Kindle.
Content Strategy for WordPress by Stephanie Leary
Content Strategy for WordPress will help you take everything you’ve learned from the previous three books and implement it using WordPress. It goes through the technical details of designing and building a WordPress site around the content it contains, and gives coding-specific as well as user-specific information on how to implement the tips it suggests. Definitely a necessary edition to the library of anyone who’s building websites with WordPress along with the three books listed above. This book is available on Kindle, so see the notes about reading Kindle books above if you’re visually impaired.
All four of these books are entries on the list of books I keep open while I’m working. They serve as excellent reference material while I’m either creating content strategies for my own sites, or those I create for clients. I hope you find them useful, and happy reading.