Book Reviews

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 27th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing, Online Marketing


The Godfather of Content Marketing has struck gold again. Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi has a new book that will hit shelves and Amazon carts this September.

His newest book, Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses is a delightful blend of inspiration from Joe’s personal experiences building Content Marketing Institute and advice businesses can follow to create an actionable content business model.

Content Inc. takes readers down the logical path from starting their journey, to monetization and creating next-level content.

When the Godfather releases a new piece of content it is always worth a read. If you don’t, you may have to answer to his loyal base of subscribers and followers. Below are some highlights of Content Inc. as well as an exclusive interview with Joe on his new book.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs by Dr. Jim Barry

Ashley Zeckman     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

Social Content Marketing Book Review

How many times have you wished that someone would create a textbook filled with why’s and how to’s of digital marketing? If you’re like me, the answer to that is “Too many times to count!”.

Let’s face it, the work that we do and how we do it evolves so quickly it can be hard to keep up. Unfortunately, that leaves room for us to get swept up in “shiny object syndrome” and lose sight of what is really important; creating quality content that resonates with your audience and helps solve a business problem.

Dr. Jim Barry’s new book, “Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs” helps marketers realign their focus to some of the most impactful inbound marketing strategies.

Lee Odden

BADASS Book Review: The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

The Content Code

The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business is the latest book from Mark Schaefer and like The Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained, it’s a must read.

I’ve known and admired Mark for several years. He is a very generous person and that generosity extends to the knowledge he shares in the content and conversations he’s a part of.

Mark has a valuable ability to take the complexity out of marketing and draw attention to the things you really need to know – and in a way that just makes sense. Let’s face it: marketers are definitely living in an age of increased complexity and information overload. The sheer volume of content now being produced has no chance of being consumed, ala “Content Shock” and businesses are hard pressed to find ways to stand out.

James Anderson

Turn It Up! Book Review of ‘Welcome to the Funnel’ by Jason Miller

welcome to the funnel

Some of the greatest rock songs are short. They start with a hard count, move fast and get your blood moving with just the right amount of energy to leave you inspired and set you on a course to create something of your own.

Music can do this for you, and so can a book. So does “Welcome to the Funnel.”

I connected early on with Jason Miller’s “Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social And Content Marketing Up To 11” early on. By early on, I mean before I actually knew it was a book.

Disclosure: Jason works for LinkedIn, a TopRank Online Marketing client.

Lee Odden

Global Content Marketing – Book Review

Lee Odden     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

Review - Global Content Marketing

The opportunity to attract, engage and persuade  buyers through useful content extends to markets on a global scale. But the same rules about content that work at home may not work abroad. Nor the processes and team structures that many content marketing departments are used to.

That’s why resources around content marketing from a global perspective are essential for international companies. Luckily, I know of just such a resource to point you in the right direction.

I first met Pam Didner when liveblogging one her presentations at Content Marketing World. She was at Intel and I had just given a presentation at Intel’s first internal Social Media conference.

Nicolette Beard

Book Review – Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel

Age of Context Book ReviewThe new book, Age of Context, relates to the messages or information you receive within a precise location.  Where you are at any given moment determines the meaning and relevance of the information you consume and the experiences you have.

When you read Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy, written by veteran tech journalists, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, be prepared to embrace an entirely new way of viewing the digital world. The future includes glass in homes and skyscrapers that adjusts to mood and weather conditions and lets airplane pilots see through fog—all because the ‘glass understands the context of its environment.’

Nicolette Beard

7 Things I Learned From Dan Schawbel About Personal Branding and Promotion

Nicolette Beard     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

Personal Branding and PromotionHaving just finished re-watching the movie, Julie and Julia, I’m struck by how personal blogging has morphed into personal branding over the last decade. Julie Powell launched her food blog, providing readers a daily dose of meal prep and instruction based on The Art of French Cooking, the cookbook that revolutionized American cooking in the 60s.

The movie portrays a 30-year-old governmental worker/writer in various stages of emotional meltdown and marital woe, but, in the end, she triumphs.

Powell dedicated one year to working her way through 524 recipes as an homage to the inimitable Julia Child and also as a means of self-expression and proof that she could (and would) “finish something!” Without trying, Powell created her personal brand via her blog. Her write up in the New York Times generated a wellspring of support from both traditional media and publishing; a book deal and movie became the fruits of her labor.

Lee Odden

A Prerequisite for Content Marketing Success – Book Review: Managing Content Marketing

Managing Content Marketing

Managing Content Marketing by Robert Rose & Joe Pulizzi

There are certain books that I find myself recommending to folks on our team and to people I meet at conferences over and over again. These are books I purchase multiple copies of (I give them away and they also seem to disappear).

One book in particular that fits this situation is Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi.

Sure, Robert and Joe are two of the smartest and nicest people I know, but this book really does deserve to be required reading for any organization investing in content to grow their business.

Here’s why:

Lee Odden

Pioneers of Digital: How Vanessa Fox Helped Google and SEOs Realize They Were a Perfect Match by Mel Carson

Pioneers of DigitalToday’s post is like a virtual reunion with two people I have known in the search marketing industry for a long time that are also authors: Vanessa Fox formerly of Google wrote Marketing in the Age of Google, and Mel Carson formerly of Microsoft has co-authored a new book, Pioneers of Digital.

When writing this book about success stories from leaders in advertising, marketing, search and social media, Mel asked me for a quote about Vanessa’s contributions to the search marketing world. I easily obliged. I’ve had a chance to read through a preview copy of Pioneers of Digital and there are an impressive mix of lessons to be learned within. Rather than doing a regular book review, Mel agreed to share an excerpt from the book so I can share it with you.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: The Book of Business Awesome & UnAwesome – Scott Stratten

Ashley Zeckman     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

If you’ve ever seen Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) speak you know that he offers a great mix of information, anecdotes, and comedy.  When I picked up his new book “The Book of Business Awesome & UnAwesome” I was pleased to see that these traits carried over into his writing as well.

Scott’s new book is very cleverly compiled.  If you flip the book one way, you’ll find a collection of stories and experiences of businesses that are taking an “Awesome” approach to engaging customers in a meaningful way.  On the flipside, you will find companies taking an “UnAwesome” approach that leaves customers wanting more.  If you’re in the market for a new business boo, pick up “The Book of Business Awesome & UnAwesome”.  It’s easy to read and contains many great nuggets of useful information.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: The New Relationship Marketing – Mari Smith

Ashley Zeckman     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

I was very excited to read Mari Smith’s (@marismith) new book The New Relationship Marketing, and once I cracked the cover, I was not disappointed.  Mari was also kind enough to answer a few questions about her new book as an added bonus for TopRankBlog readers.

To sum up Mari’s book in a few words: practical yet genius.  I would recommend this book to any marketer who would like to create meaningful interactions and relationships with their customers. Lets dive in and see what we can gleam from Mari’s experience!

Ashley Zeckman

Tips For Humanizing Your Business from Jamie Notter & Maddie Grant

Ashley Zeckman     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

Our Online Marketing Agency has long been an advocate of taking a customer-centric approach to creating and optimizing content for customers.  It is only natural that companies should be taking that same approach with their employees.

I had the pleasure of attending a session at BlogWorld New York which featured authors Jamie Notter (@jamienotter) and Maddie Grant (@maddiegrant).  The subject of their session as well as their new book “humanize: how people-centric organizations succeed in a social world” intrigued me.

After attending their presentation I was quick to place my order for their book so that I could follow up on some of the key points that I found to be most interesting.  I also had an opportunity to speak with Jamie & Maddie to gain some additional insight into their background, and take on why human-centric businesses succeed.