Book Review: Content Rules

Content rulesBook Review: Content Rules

By Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

Should you buy this book?

Absolutely, even though it has a loooong subtitle. I don’t like long subtitles because they take forever to read and make empty promises. This one, however, accurately reflects what’s in the book.

I bought Content Rules because I knew I’d be doing some serious highlighting. There’s a lot to know and retain — hence, the highlighting — as well as stuff I don’t need to know or retain but can access easily, as needed.

What stands out?

The most helpful section for me is “Part Two: The How-to Section.” Although it covers the usual stuff (blogs, podcasts, webinars, videos, etc.), Handley and Chapman manage to elevate the material. There’s always a tip or two (or more) that you will not have read elsewhere.

The chapters are well organized and wonderfully scannable. The writing is crisp, which, as a writer, I appreciate greatly.

What I especially like is that the book makes me think and rethink content so that words carry their weight and more, no matter what their function. Take FAQs.

According to the authors, FAQs are the unsung heroes of a company’s website. Visitors seeking answers likely want to do business with you, so don’t miss the opportunity to cement your relationship. Content Rules offers guidelines for doing so. For example:

Be personable

Show personality

Post direct, simple, searchable answers

Organize by topic area

Include graphics and contact links

Encourage interaction

Enable printing, etc.

What else is in the book?

Case studies. I haven’t gotten to these yet and will likely pass over a few (e.g., big corporations like Boeing and Kodak. But I certainly want to know more about Hubspot, AskPatty.com, PinkStinks and the CoolBeansGroup.

Comments? Your own review? Other books we should read?

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