This is the ultimate list of books for content writers. Find out which books will help you grow faster than your peers and provide you the career of your dreams.
Reading is a particularly beneficial habit that every person should develop. This article recommends books for content writers since reading is even more essential for content writers. It is through reading that we acquire new skills, whether it be marketing or writing itself.
When you are a professional writer, it is not enough to produce content that could be easily produced by anyone. Since language is used by everyone around us, as writers, you need to be critical and self-aware of your own creation.
Content writers, specifically the ones who are starting their journey, are advised by experts to spend ample time reading. This could be done from various sources such as magazines, newspapers, blogs, journals, advertisements, marketing books, fiction, non-fiction, science magazines, medical books, etc.
The more diverse your reading repository is, the better it is for your knowledge as well as craft.
If we start listing the benefits of reading, the list could go on and on. But in this article, we are limiting ourselves to the scope of content writing and the benefits of reading for content writers.
Benefits of reading books for content writers
Reading is one of the chief habits of any professional writer. Without reading, there is no writing. Period.
The most tangible benefit of reading that can be seen sooner, is the improvement in vocabulary. Through reading, readers come across many new words.
Not only that, but it is also important for content writers to understand the context and connotation of various words. Just because two words have similar meaning does not mean they can be used interchangeably.
The task of reading is even more important for content writers who do not write in their native language or their mother tongue. The Indian subcontinent has numerous content writers due to English being an official language here.
But English is a complex language. Only a person who has been speaking, writing, and conversing in this language for a very long time, understand the subtle nuances of the language.
By learning new words, and their appropriate usages, these content writers can enrich their content and draw variety in the sentences.
Reading helps a content writer in the much-needed skill of articulation. Writing is, after all, an art of expressing yourself. The better your vocabulary, the more powerful is your expression.
Reading not only improves the vocabulary but also the prose. New content writers learn different writing styles, especially from other similar blogs that they can use in their own content.
There are also different forms of English, the British and the American. Mixing the two does not create good results. Thus, it becomes important to make the distinction between the two.
Most content writers in the subcontinent fail at the above two skills. They have a relatively small collection of words. Moreover, their writing does not display the flow like that of a native speaker. This is understood at the beginning of a content writer’s career. But not with a professional content writer.
These issues can be managed by reading for content writers. Over time, you get better at both and the quality of your writing, as well as your content, improves.
You can also read our article on the Top Creative Writing Courses in Kolkata
Learning how to write is one part of the job of content writers, but knowing what to write is equally important. Together they form the two sides of the coin.
Books for content writers have always proven to be enlightening. Curiosity is a precursor to knowledge.
For a content writer who is serious about their profession, he must read in order to gain knowledge about different fields, but also in-depth knowledge of their own domains.
If you read an article written by a senior journalist and compare it to an article written by a newbie writer, you will find many differences. Some are obvious and raise themselves to the fore by themselves. These are vocabulary and prose.
But a senior journalist has infinitely more knowledge than a newbie. This comes from their years of reading and observation. They have witnessed the events happening around them which are history to young writers. The best we can do is to read about those events in books.
Similarly in marketing, there are many lessons that can be learned from books. All this information that you absorb from books will eventually help you in some way sometime in your content writing career.
There is another huge bonus of acquiring knowledge by reading for content writers. Even if you lose your job, your possessions, your money, your knowledge will always stay with you.
Books for content writers are a great way to learn new skills. There are also other media like video tutorials, but no media can provide as much detailed knowledge about any skill as books.
The path will be different for each type of content writer but there are many commonalities.
The non-fiction genre of books is popular for this sole reason. People not only learn new things but also immerse themselves into this another world where they have already transformed into their skillful self.
Books, for example, can teach us about history, art, geography, politics, wildlife, technology, and so on. We could learn coding, design principles, writing fiction, playing a musical instrument, or jungle-survival skills.
Imagination is a strong catalyst for learning. The ability to imagine is directly related to the speed with which a person picks up new skills.
In the case of a content writer, books can teach us valuable skills like marketing and working with various types of brands, brand communication over various platforms and channels, consumer behavior, demographics, marketing case studies, and much more, as we will see.
Books for content writers
In this section, we will list various books for content writers, classified according to their segment and principal benefit. Marketing is a vast subject and there are different skills to master for a content writer or content marketer.
These books can help content writers improve their content, their writing style, as well as teach them necessary tips for better content writing. They can also learn specific skills pertaining to specialized work.
Let’s get to it.
Reading list for content writers on how to begin writing:
Content writing, at first, can be a daunting task. An inexperienced student has no idea how to get work, how to write, what to write about, what the client expects from them, and so on.
There are many steps to find your first job as a content writer. First of all, you need to decide what you want to write about. At first, you do not need to be specific about the genre but knowing beforehand will simplify the process of client prospecting.
Before you land your first gig, it is always better to know your craft in detail, for the sake of professionalism.
Once you read these books, practice. Write some sample articles and post them on your blog to show what the client can expect from your work.
There are also recurring cycles of editing and rejections until your work is finally accepted. Before jumping into this field, it is always smart to know what you are signing up for and how not to get disappointed and keep moving forward.
These books will help you do just that.
Word work by Bruce Rogers
Before you could learn how to market your content and engage yourselves with the details of content marketing, it is better to focus on how to become a good writer.
Effective content writing involves many steps that a new writer must be acquainted with. These include how to start from a blank page, how to get ideas, how to deal with writer’s block, and stuff like that. These experiences form an integral part of a writer’s life.
Freelancer content writers should especially learn these lessons since they work alone. If you start working in an agency as a new content writer, it is much easier to learn the tips and tricks of the trade. But freelancers are pretty much on their own, therefore, they need a material that can guide them at various stages of their career.
The successful author mindset by Joanna Penn
This is a great read for people who are at the very early stages of their writing career or are only just thinking about starting. Although this book is meant for all writers in general, professional content writers can also take huge lessons from this book.
This book for content writers teaches the correct mindset with which a writer must approach everything. During the struggle phase, a writer has to deal with issues like self-doubt, motivation, rejection, confidence, and such.
New writers deal with many criticisms and fears, and that is common with almost all writers. It is about how you approach these fears and how you can make your craft better.
Joanna Penn is also a motivational speaker and runs a writing blog that is frequently featured among the best blogs for writers.
The book also gives insights about the publishing and editing world so the writers understand at a deeper level, the commercial side of the writing business.
Books for content writers on creating content:
Now that we have dealt with the challenges of professional writing in general, let’s dive into specifics of the profession of content writing. These books for content writers are full of lessons on how to create great content, consistently.
Everybody writes by Ann Handley
Ann Handley is a well-known marketing expert, digital marketing specialist, and a bestselling author. According to her, everybody uses language and writes to some degree to promote themselves and their products.
In this book, she explains why content has become central to any digital marketing strategy for all businesses. She also deals with the fact that how writing is changing in the current scenario with abbreviations and hashtags increasingly used on social media and why professional writing matters more than ever.
She has also provided actionable insights on the process of creating content, publishing and marketing, and how to get results for your business and your client.
The lessons in this book apply across various platforms like blogs, websites, landing pages, ad copy, emails, social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. The practical strategies presented here work whether you are a big brand or a new ambitious one.
Content marketing by Gavin Turner
Writing content is one thing and marketing that content is another. You need to learn various techniques of optimization for search engines, writing in a promotional manner, learning about sales funnel, generating traffic via social media, and so much more.
This book is great for content writers to learn about strategic marketing for your content for any brand or product. It gives plenty of data and statistics to prove its point. Basically, there are tons of content published on the internet each day. A successful content writer is the one who knows how to make his/her content stand out from the crowd.
The ultimate purpose of any content is to drive sales and brand growth. This book tells you how the growth of a brand is tied to its content marketing strategy. This could make all the difference between a high conversion rate and missed sales.
Content code by Mark Schaefer
This book was hailed as the best SEO book when it was released. Even though SEO changes a lot with time, the book ahs concrete lessons on how to approach the content creation process.
Mark Schaefer is the best-selling author of the book ‘Social media explained’, another great read for content marketers.
This book essentially deals with the marketing aspect of the content, for example, how the reach of your content can be increased, how to create content that people share, and numerous ideas for marketing your content and take your success to another level.
The book gives special emphasis on the factor of ‘shareability’. According to Schaefer, a content that people feel the need the share is what can be called a successful content. The book focuses quite a deal about achieving this ultimate target for any online content.
Data story by Nancy Duarte
Research has proven that when concrete information is told in the form of a compelling story, it gets much better reception among audiences. This book tells us exactly how to do that.
As a content writer, data will assist you to gain actionable insights and improve your results, but a data-intensive content does not work well with the audience. That is why content writers today need to learn how to wrap the data around a story and a narrative for your content to stick.
Duarte and her team have collected and organized tons of data points in this book for content writers, by analyzing sectors like finance, healthcare, tech, and consumer goods. This data is indispensable in learning how successful brands communicate with their market.
Writing to persuade by Trish Hall
Trish Hall has been the editor of the New York Times opinion page, and in this book, she has mentioned the lessons she has learned while reading and editing thousands of pieces of content.
Many content writers report thoroughly enjoying this book while learning valuable lessons. The book focuses on the fact that the prime purpose of any content is to drive sales and revenue growth for any business.
In this book, she also provides examples of content that followed or did not follow and got rejected as a result.
Books on social media
Content writers are not only charged with handling blogs. Many clients would also want them to manage their social media accounts.
But social media communication is very different from writing long content. Often you are limited to very few words, in platforms like Twitter and Facebook. But platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are purely visual and written content only serves a secondary purpose.
But social media is all about sharing. The mark of a great social media post is that people share it with their friends and family. If you are running a paid promotion, leveraging the share feature is one of the most crucial techniques for exceptional campaign results.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook by Gary Vaynerchuck
Gary Vaynerchuck is a marketing genius. He has utilized social media, especially Youtube, to its fullest potential. He also has an amazing knack for compelling storytelling. All these qualities work really well in today’s noisy communication environment.
This book teaches us how we can create social media content that goes viral. It is not enough to post good and nice content. The content must hook with the audience.
In this book for content writers for social, Vaynerchuck explains why good content must be presented in the right context and how to combine various elements to create high-quality content for Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and so on.
Books on marketing for content writers
Content writing is, after all, a part of the digital marketing campaign. Every content must be edited with respect to the market ie target audience.
As we have seen, marketing has changed a lot since digital came into being. Lots of traditional marketing knowledge has been put to test and many principles that held good until now, are being challenged.
This reading list is for learning lessons from marketing experts with conventional as well as digital technologies.
Superfans by Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn is a marketing expert and thought leader on entrepreneurship and lifestyle businesses. He is popular due to his genuine and authentic values and principles.
In this book, he deals with how marketers often get tangled in the data and statistics, figures like engagement, shares, retention, etc. and fail to do the one thing that is the most important of all – to connect.
Through this book, he convinces that even if you are a month-old YouTuber or a well-known CEO, you always have some people who are your fans from the moment they got to know about you.
It is important to connect with these superfans who are your biggest supporters. These are the people whose lives you have transformed and those who look up to you for inspiration.
Non-Obvious by Rohit Bhargava
This is a great book for marketers in general, but specifically for entrepreneurs. The book compiles various trends that have the potential to go big soon.
It also teaches how to have the eye for spotting new trends and judge what trend can be used in your marketing campaign to stand out from others.
The book has won several awards and has been on the list of Wall Street Journal bestsellers.
Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding by Cynthia Johnson
This is a great read for people who are looking to build a personal brand in various fields, like digital marketing, social media influencer, art, music, and so on. It is not enough to be skillful. All successful artists and professionals spend a great deal of effort into building their personal brand.
There are many benefits of personal branding. And this book perfectly explains why and how to accomplish that.
Books on how to find clients
How to Get Great Freelance Clients by Carol Tice, Linda Formichelli, Chris Marlow
This book becomes especially important for freelance content writers because unlike the agency model, you will have to find clients for yourself.
The three successful freelance writers have collaborated to create this book that contains great insights for new as well as professional content writers on how to forge and sustain relationships with clients.
How Clients Buy by Tom McMakin & Doug Fletcher
If you are a person whose skill is the product itself, it is especially important to find the right clients who pay well and have consistent projects for you.
But the problem with most such people is that they are trained at their craft and not on the skill of finding clients.
This book will help you become the right salesman for your product ie. you. You will learn many lessons on how to approach clients, how to negotiate, and other lessons in client prospecting.
This section contains various books that do not teach any tangible skills directly related to content writing but are, nonetheless, valuable skills that are sure to help you immensely in your career.
Words That Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet
Most of us work with people, and people can very hard to convince and persuade sometimes. But how do make people important to us, look at things from our perspective without seeing us as manipulative?
This book has loads of research and plenty of ways that tell us how to convince. Different people have different ways of communication, different motivations, different ways to process information, and different life stories.
The lessons in this book involve using the psychology and language of the person to address them so that we can enhance our relationships with them and reduce conflicts.
The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
The main focus of this book is how to channel our energy instead of our times so that we become more effective and efficient in our work and life.
This book has many ways through which we can manage our stress and work-life balance by managing our schedules in a different way.
This is an essential book for every professional today. As we see more and more people working outside the general confines of the 9 to 5 jobs, we are witnessing an increase in stress and decreasing quality of life even among people who are earning a great income.
So we are done with our list of books for content writers that will help them grow and develop their skills to create a sustainable writing career.
We hope you found this comprehensive list helpful.