Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content

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Book Description Publication Date: December 13, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0321733010 | ISBN-13: 978-0321733016 | Edition: 1 Results. Everyone wants them, whether to sell more products, spread good ideas, or win more funding. In our ...
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Book Description

Publication Date: December 13, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0321733010 | ISBN-13: 978-0321733016 | Edition: 1
Results. Everyone wants them, whether to sell more products, spread good ideas, or win more funding. In our busy digital world, the way to results is influencing people on the web. But how? 

An ad campaign won't cut it. A Twitter account doesn't guarantee it. Manipulative tricks will backfire. Instead, you need quality, compelling web content that attracts people and engages them for the long haul. 
 
Clout explains the key principles of influence and how to apply them to web content. Along the way, those principles come to life with practical examples from HowStuffWorks.com, Newell Rubbermaid, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many more brands. With this book, you'll:
  • Discover why a technology feature, marketing campaign, SEO effort, or redesign aren't enough to influence online.
  • Understand the business value of compelling web content. 
  • Learn 8 principles for influence from the art of rhetoric and the science of psychology.
  • Find out what context is and why it's so important to influence.
  • Jump start your planning for content with a content brief.
  • Learn how to evaluate your web content and determine whether it's making a difference.
Foreword by Karen McGrane, managing partner of Bond Art + Science

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Clout is for any professional who wants to create content that people will actually care about...put this on your short-list." 
Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web

"Clout is worth adding to your book list. But don't limit it to just C-level suite executives or the design team. In order for content to influence, it needs to have complete buy-in from those who will be on the front line." --CMS Wire

"An amazing book for digital content marketing and content strategy practitioners." --Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content, Get Customers
 

From the Author

More people than ever are using websites to help them make decisions. That means your web content is a huge opportunity to influence people. My goal with this book is to help you make the most of that opportunity.

I wrote this book with interactive, content, and creative strategists top of mind. But, anyone who touches web content will benefit from it. I explain principles of influence without jargon so that marketers, public relations specialists, user experience designers, web writers, technical communicators, product managers, developers, and other interactive professionals can understand. To bring the principles to life, I included hundreds of examples and many case studies. 

Our websites are undergoing huge changes. They're becoming mashups of media, marketing, data, and more. To help you adapt, I explain how to plan, evaluate, and adjust your web content. I also give a glimpse into the future that is quickly becoming now.

I can't wait to hear how you apply these principles and transform your web content into a source of clout.
 

Product Details

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
 
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome, succinct summary of a nascent topic December 30, 2010
Format:Paperback
First, I'd like to say that I normally don't write book reviews. Being a student of the web, I read *a lot* of material and I typically don't have time to write a reaction. But every once and a while, something strikes me as noteworthy. Clout is just such a book.

Having run an industry publication on User Experience Design for quite some time, I'm of course familiar with the discipline of Content Strategy. Unfortunately, though, running it means that most of what I read online or hear at conferences sounds the same. "Yes, I know I have to prioritize things and think strategically about content, thanks." What I like about Clout is how novel it really is. In short, Clout:

(1) Got my attention: its a new angle on what could easily be seen as a tired subject.
(2) Is very "practice" driven: I don't like reading about theory, I want to see how content strategy functions in the real world.
(3) Is for beginners and experts: Clout starts small--a bit of history--and ends with a bang, a call to action for all web professionals.

The author, Colleen, did a great job gathering insightful case studies and overseeing the creation of illustrative diagrams. Reading about content strategy is one thing, but *seeing* it is quite another, and Clout delivers. I find it quite remarkable that such an unassuming volume delivers such a high quantity of information. Here you'll also find some of the major takeaways from books such as Groundswell and Here Comes Everybody.

So, save yourself some reading and grab a copy of Clout. For the budding content strategist, blogger, entrepreneur, etc., I highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
 
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a web developer, I don't get very close to the content. In fact, over the years, I've become blind to it when coding clients' websites. It might as well be "lorum ipsum" gibberish like that found on Microsoft Word templates. Granted without this content there would be no websites for me to work on. Well...at least there shouldn't be. There are many sites out there that put the technical effort into the coding and treat the content as an afterthought. Content should in fact come first, before coding. This requires developing a proper content strategy and a plan to implement it.

In Clout, the author Colleen Jones concisely outlines the methods and techniques that will aid the development of a successful Content Strategy. There are numerous real-world examples that support the core principles of context, rhetoric and psychology. She advises content creators to turn off their fire hose of information, suggesting effective, proven tools to reach people. These techniques are proven to filter out the static.

This book is a top resource regarding the implementation of content strategy. Clients who are inexperienced or non-technical usually don't understand why developers can't make the gibberish better. Content just isn't our forte. Clout is a well-researched and authoritative source for developers who want to help their clients make content work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
 
5.0 out of 5 stars "Clout" Speaks to Everyone Who Works on the Web June 5, 2011
Format:Paperback
The beauty of "Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content" is that it addresses the needs of so many varied groups of people and does it well.

Everyone who needs to understand the power of content -- from executives to entrepreneurs, marketers and PR specialists to strategists and content creators -- will find critical, practical knowledge in this book that they can put to use immediately. And the best part is, author Colleen Jones begins the book by telling each group exactly which parts of the book they should read to get the most out of it.

As someone who's worked with web content for more than 10 years, I can say that no matter which group you fall into, "Clout" will give you a new perspective on Web content and on the people who read it and use it. Consider this book a step-by-step guide to accomplishing your online goals, whatever they may be.


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