A year before finishing my master’s in Content Strategy, I came across a former program student selling books on the topic. I contacted her to buy some of the books, and she recommended me “The Content Strategy Toolkit” by Meghan Casey. “It helped me a lot with my thesis,” she said. It did for my thesis, too. So, I recommend the book to anyone interested in developing a content strategy.
The book contains methods, guidelines, and templates for “getting content right.” Published in 2015, it is the best material I could find to develop a content strategy for the first time. Here are three reasons why the book is so handy.
1. It guides you step by step
The author does not assume you have learned much about content strategy, only that you are interested and motivated to develop a strategy. Because of that, she guides readers through developing a content strategy step by step.
In 214 pages, she covers everything from convincing a management team to trust and provide budget, time, and human resources for a content strategy to implementing the plan for the future. For an example, see the content of chapter 9 called “Review how work gets planned and done.” First, the author mentions common content problems in projects about websites or blogs, such as “You are about to launch a new site section, but no one knows where the content is coming from.”
Then, she explains what type of problems you can look for in two critical elements of a content strategy: roles and responsibilities and planning and processes. For each problem, she recommends what to look for and how and how to document them.
Later in the book, she asks you to come back to these findings and explains how to use them step by step for the strategy.
2. It provides clear examples
Casey offers one or two examples for every step, process, or method. One I found very handy is her example of setting metrics for content success. After explaining a set of terms and guiding the process of defining metrics, she offers the following table:
3. It offers useful templates
In addition, for every tool, Casey offers an accessible template. If you buy the book, you can download over 30 ready-to-use tables, documents, and guidelines.
One template I used for my thesis is creating a core strategy statement, which the following image shows.
As you can see, the template is a “fill the blanks” document. The author’s idea is that you can share it with stakeholders, use it in a meeting, or, as I did, use it for your own work.
How to use the book
The book is convenient to have when developing a content strategy.
I recommend using the book as a base and complementing some specific topics with other expert’s books when needed. For example, while Casey offers two pages on content audits, Paula Land has written an entire book.
If you are interested in buying it, here is a link to the book on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Content-Strategy-Toolkit-Guidelines-Templates/dp/0134105109
Writing this post, I learned that a new second edition was published in May this year. I have not yet accessed it, but it indeed sounds like a good idea to do so. It is also available on Amazon, at https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Meghan-Casey-dp-0138059276/dp/0138059276/ref=dp_ob_title_bk