I write about content development a lot on this blog, not only because I do a lot of it myself as a freelancer, but also because it’s a fast-growing field for writers. If you’re interested in what goes into making content that doesn’t suck, then you could do a lot worse than read these three blogs. There’s a lot of wisdom here.
Chicago’s own Orbit Media Group is a consistent source for solid advice about blogging, optimizing what you write for search engines (SEO), and developing a strategy to reach the audience meant for you. Some highlights include Andy Crestodina’s SEO and web design tips, and Mary Fran Wiley’s guidelines for blogging and styling your typography. New and experienced bloggers both will find something worth adopting to your own particular practices.
This is certainly not its only focus, but I really like Copyblogger’s lucid and thoughtful writing about how content creators can better understand our audiences and give them what they’re looking for. These range from useful pointers on affective and visual rhetoric, including valuable lessons from non-textual media, to advice about re-energizing your own writing so that you don’t get bored with yourself, and then risk boring your audience as well.
Like The Orbieter and Copyblogger, there is a wealth of insight about content marketing at CMI, but also a healthy dose of self-criticism about content. Why do I like it? It’s not just because I agree with a lot of what they say (e.g., that there’s too much bad content out there): it’s the actionable strategies they follow up with. As is true of Copyblogger and Orbit Media, veterans and amateurs will find something useful here: take their Content Curation Scorecard, for instance.
Content is a pretty hot industry, and if it’s something that interests you, you’ll learn very quickly there are lots of self-promoters out there pawning off the same clichés as worthwhile advice. In such an industry, these three websites are each a welcome break from all the white noise. Follow them closely!