Without futher ado, because this is one of those headlines that says everything:
1. Content Strategy Google Group
This group started in 2008—yes, that’s at least how long content advocates have been advocating—and it’s still my first stop when I want to know what content folks are talking about. The group is active, but not overwhelming (on average a few posts a month). My favorite part? You can interact with content strategy thought leaders here, especially if you pose a challenging question.
How to join: Go to the Content Strategy Google Group.
2. MarketingSherpa’s free reports and excerpts
You may already know about MarketingSherpa’s valuable, yet expensive, benchmark reports. But did you know that you can get the highlights—including interesting trend charts worth blogging about—for free? Download the excerpts available on their site and mine them for content marketing ideas.
Where to download them: Go to the MarketingSherpa Free Stuff page.
3. Lou Rosenfeld’s SlideShare presentations
Couldn’t make it to ConFab 2012 this month? Don’t worry, one of its speakers—IA consultant and founder and publisher of Rosenfeld Media, Lou Rosenfeld—has published 26 of his presentations on SlideShare. They’re interesting, comprehensive and fun. Let’s hope he puts up his ConFab presentation soon. (And don’t worry. If you like to hear content speakers in person, there’s still time for you to attend Content Marketing World in September.)
Where to click through: Lou Rosenfeld’s Slideshare page
4. Erika Napoletano’s Bitch Slap posts
Erika, otherwise known as RedheadWriting and the author of The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters), can write a rant like an angry bumblebee on speed. When you’re frustrated but it’s not appropriate to write/say for your business, read one of her infamous Bitch Slaps to simmer down. (Heads up: Expect strong language. They’re called Bitch Slaps, after all.) Then get to work on some content that you can market for your business.
Where to read them: Check out the Bitch Slap category on the RedHeadWriting blog.
5. Content Strategy LinkedIn Group
This group has more than 7,000 members worldwide, and it’s very active. What I like is that both content strategists and content marketers tend to hang out here. Very kumbaya. Conversations range from writing to audits to books to SEO…and beyond. Again, it’s a great place to interact with this industry’s influencers. Note: There’s also a LinkedIn Content Marketing Group, but I’m not as much of a fan. I think the Content Strategy group’s content is better, frankly.
How to join: If you’re a LinkedIn member, simply join the Content Strategy LinkedIn Group.
6. ‘Contents’ online magazine
What happens when four intelligent, insightful people start an online magazine “for readers who create, edit, publish, analyze, and care for the contents of the internet”? Smart content. Now in its third edition, Contents magazine is doing exactly what those four promised, publishing articles “at the intersection of content strategy, online publishing, and new-school editorial work.” My favorite from the latest issue is Melissa Rach’s post, “We Can All Learn From Retail? I’ll Buy That“—though Angela Colter’s post on low-literacy audiences from the second issue is another don’t miss.
Where to read it: Online at Contents Magazine.
7. A List Apart’s content section
A List Apart might be best known as a resource for web designers and developers. But its section of content-related articles is not too shabby, with plenty of think-pieces that will get your creative ideas going. From writing to branding to content strategy, you’ll find archived articles including Words That Zing, as well as more recent posts such as Tinker, Tailor, Content Strategist.
What to bookmark: A List Apart’s content section.
8. Richard Ingram’s Flickr photostream
I admire visual thinkers, and Richard Ingram is one of my favorites. Richard is a writer, information designer and content strategy advocate from England who conceives, researches, prototypes and designs fascinating posters about content strategy. One of my favorites is his “Approaches to Web Content Strategy,” which shows the relationships between developers, brand strategists, content creators, editors and more, depending on the background from which you approach content strategy. I also like that Richard has posted early sketches in his photostream, so you can see how his information design posters came to life.
What are your hidden sources for content strategy and marketing inspiration? Share in the comments.