In 2009, a Google search for “content strategy” returned around 8,000 results. There were two books about it on Amazon. You could send connection requests to all 30 people on LinkedIn with the title of “content strategist.” And if you looked really hard, you could dig up four, maybe five blogs devoted to the topic.
I know these factoids because that was the year I was trying to do research for my book, Content Strategy for the Web. That was also the year I did, in fact, send connection requests to all 30 content strategists on LinkedIn and discovered that I wasn’t alone: there were other folks out there who wanted the same thing—get the wider UX field to embrace content strategy as an essential practice. So we all started talking, and the conversation quickly picked up steam. Meetups were held. Books were written. Conferences were born. UX teams got excited, content strategist jobs were posted … and voilá! Everyone everywhere understood the strategic value of content, and all was right in the world. The end.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Not really. Things were still hard. Things are still hard. Many organizations out there have leadership that still views content as a commodity—easy to come by, easy to publish—and don’t dedicate meaningful resources toward content strategy, content design, or UX writing. (We know these organizations because their websites suck and their apps are hard to use. I am just saying.)
However, good news: there are also organizations waking up to the fact that content can make or break a user’s experience… and they’re ready to get serious about content strategy.
Of course, there’s a massive gap between “seriously interested” and “seriously invested.” That’s where you come in. Your job is to help your team (or client, or leadership) transform their thinking and processes so that content strategy becomes part of the very fabric of how business gets done. No big deal, I know. But it is achievable. And From Solo to Scaled:Building a Sustainable Content Strategy Practice will help you make it happen.
Natalie‘s book is by no means a magical, failsafe formula for scaling up a content strategy practice—no organization is the same, and your path will be yours alone. It’s also not a fairytale with a happy ending where all things content play nicely together, no matter who owns them or where they sit. However, it is a gloriously informational and empowering work that our field has needed for actual decades. Natalie presents a “blueprint” for change that doesn’t require months of banging your head against the wall trying to get people to get it. It’s a pragmatic guide to navigate the path of growing a sustainable content strategy practice grounded in shared principles. It is a game-changer, and I’m so grateful it’s here.
So. If your personal endgame is better content for everyone, then you’re holding your new favorite playbook. Go forth. Get started. Natalie has your back.
—Kristina Halvorson, founder and CEO of Brain Traffic and author of Content Strategy for the Web