12 Best Content Marketing Books You MUST Read In 2023

best content marketing books

Are you a content marketer looking to unlock the potential of your content marketing strategy in 2023 and soar to new heights?

I have curated a list of the 12 best content marketing books to read in 2023.

Why read these books? One of the best ways to excel at anything is to consume the information available about it. Books allow a wealth of knowledge to flood your mind and give you new insights and ideas.

Content marketing is an essential aspect of digital marketing, and it’s crucial for content creators, digital marketers, and bloggers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and strategies.

In 2021, global content marketing industry revenue was estimated at roughly 66 billion U.S. dollars. A source of Statista projected that it would increase to 76 billion in 2022 and that it would continue growing over the further years to reach 137 billion in 2026.

content marketing revenue
Content marketing revenue by Statista

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 12 of the best content marketing books to read in 2023 that will change the way you think about content marketing (probably).

So, let’s get started!

10 Best Content Marketing Books In 2023

1. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses – by Joe Pulizzi

content inc. by joe pulizzi

Being one of the best content marketing books, this book is a guide to creating a content-first business.

Pulizzi presents a new model for entrepreneurial success through…

  • Developing valuable content
  • Building an audience
  • Then creating a product for that audience.

Notice a shift?

The traditional approach of creating a product first and then finding customers is flipped in this strategy.

Pulizzi used the same strategy to build his own successful company, Content Marketing Institute, which has appeared in Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies for three years in a row.

The six-step process outlined in the book is practical and cost-effective. It has been used by many entrepreneurs to build their own successful, multimillion-dollar companies.

By securing a loyal customer base first (through content), you can build a solid, long-lasting business in today’s content-driven world.

Goodreads: 4/5

2. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business – by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

It is one of the best content strategy books and one of my favorites too.

This content strategy book is a comprehensive guide to creating content that drives business results. The authors cover the key elements of effective content, including storytelling, curation, and engagement.

It is a guide on how to create engaging content on various online platforms, such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

It provides information on the art and science of developing content that resonates with people and helps organizations to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

The book includes case studies of companies that have successfully spread their ideas online.

The book has a detailed chapter on blogging.  For those who want to go down this path, it explains how to create great blog content by applying the ‘12 Blogging Guidelines.’ 

Some of the guidelines are standard, i.e. write killer headlines, consider comment moderation, and categorize and tag your blog post. There are other not-heard-before guidelines.

Goodreads: 3.9/5

3. Everybody Writes – by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

This book is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and one of the best content marketing books. An ideal guide for young writers and content creators looking to improve their brand promotion efforts.

It familiarizes readers with the types of content that drive business success in today’s crowded digital landscape.

It also offers practical tips and strategies for attracting new customers through digital media.

Written content is losing popularity over the more visual forms of content like videos, GIFs, Instagram, and YouTube.

So, how can your writing leave a mark on the reader’s mind? How can you make your written content magical? This book teaches you exactly that.

Ann Handley teaches you how to create engaging content that your mind remembers.

Following the needs of digital media and the fundamental rules of writing will undoubtedly help you win the race in the long run.

Goodreads: 4/5

4. AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer – by Christopher S. Penn

AI for Marketers by Christopher S. Penn

If you are a content marketer, you already might have heard about chat GPT. It’s all over the internet right now.

Through his book, Penn helps non-technical people understand one of the most significant new trends affecting marketing – the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). If you only read one book about artificial intelligence and marketing, make it this one.

The book defines AI and delineates four types of machine learning. It can assist marketers in understanding what they must do to prepare for AI in marketing.

Not a popular book but definitely a good now if you want to know about the AI revolution.

5. Superfans – by Pat Flynn

Superfans by Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn firmly believes in passive income and also runs Smart Passive Income. He is also one of the top affiliate marketers in the world.

With this book, you will learn about brand building that helps you create a loyal customer base.

He shares his firsthand knowledge of the power of shares, likes, followers, and comments in achieving digital success beyond your wildest dreams.

Creating brand engagement and identifying individuals who can become brand advocates is a milestone that few people achieve.

The author emphasizes the importance of positive customer interaction and how it can make a significant difference in the overall growth of your business.

Goodreads: 4.2/5

6. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age – by Jonah Berger

Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age by Jonah Berger

I read Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why things catch on? back in 2016. My love for that book forced me to read this yet another masterpiece by Berger. Also, a New York Times Bestseller.

This book offers valuable insights into how to create content that people will want to share. Berger covers the six key principles of contagious content, including social currency, triggers, and emotions.

Why are some products and ideas more popular than others? Why do some articles make it to the most frequently emailed lists? What causes some YouTube videos to go viral?

Word of mouth.

The information and opinion we receive from others, whether through face-to-face conversations, emails from friends, or online product reviews, have a significant impact on our own behavior.

You don’t have to have millions of dollars to spend on an advertising budget. You just have to get people to talk. The challenge, though, is how to do that. This book will show you how.

The book flows like a story and can give you that cozy feeling you get while reading a novel.

This book can’t be left when listing the best content marketing books.

7. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization – by Eric Enge, Jessie Stricchiola, and Stephan Spencer

The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Jessie Stricchiola, and Stephan Spencer

When talking about content marketing, especially written content, one cannot ignore SEO. Search engines are the most reliable source of traffic for any piece of written content.

This book is a 600-page essential guide for anyone looking to improve their website’s search engine rankings. The authors cover all aspects of SEO including:

  • Keyword research
  • On-page SEO

They also provide practical tips and best practices for creating SEO-friendly content.

It should be noted that this book might get your brain juices flowing if you are an SEO newbie.

Why? Because this book, apart from the basics of SEO, majorly deals with the technical side of SEO which isn’t all that sweet and simple.

Goodreads: 4.1/5

8. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – by Donald Miller

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

This is the best content marketing book in the sense that it offers a clear, step-by-step guide to creating a powerful brand story.

Miller covers the seven elements of a great story and provides practical advice for creating a message that resonates with customers.

You just need to understand the theme of this book, the customer is the hero. If you do, can dramatically improve your marketing message.

Miller explains a seven-part framework called StoryBrand that organizes your marketing story.

This framework employs the time-tested power of story to assist your customers’ brains in understanding what is going on and get them out of any confusion.

The book teaches you to focus on your words to clearly state how your product or service helps customers survive or thrive.

Goodreads: 4.3/5

9. F#ck Content Marketing by Randy Frisch

F#ck Content Marketing by Randy Frisch

Everything aside, here’s a surprising extract from this content strategy book: Almost 70% of the written or visual content always fails to reach the right audiences.

You might start to doubt your content strategy, won’t you?

To help you not doubt your strategy, Randy teaches you to shift your focus from the volume of content to the more important stuff that customers really care about.

The need of the hour is to generate and develop organic, readable, and genuine content.

Immersive and engaging content will improve customer experiences and encourage them to return for more.

The author backs up his claims with case studies of well-known brands such as Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube.

Goodreads: 3.8/5

10. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less – by Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the only author who has two entries in this list.

One of the best content marketing books (if not the best) I have ever read. It is not just another book on content marketing. The author went for EPIC! as clearly mentioned in the title.

Pulizzi, through this book, goes on to provide six principles of epic content marketing:

  • Fill a need
  • Be consistent
  • Be human
  • Have a point of view
  • Avoid “sales speak”
  • Be best-of-breed

All these principles are centered around and supported by case studies of big companies like Red Bull, the Coca-Cola Company, and P&G.

When reading this book, be sure to keep a notebook handy as you will want to take a lot of notes.

Goodreads: 4/5

11. Content that converts – by Laura Hanly

Content that converts by Laura Hanly

In this book, Laura focuses on how to develop content strategies that consistently bring in qualified leads and sales.

You’ll learn how to create long-form content pieces that can help you:

  • Establish yourself as an industry leader
  • How to use SEO in your content
  • How to effectively distribute your content through email marketing.

Scribd: 3/5

12. The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas – Melanie Deziel

The Content Fuel Framework by Melanie Deziel

So you’ve developed a content strategy and ways to market that content but you still need to come up with topics!

Even in 2023, it remains a significant challenge. The Content Fuel Framework assists you in overcoming that challenge, even if it appears to be simple.

This book is fantastic for content creators who have deadlines and a strict schedule to maintain.

It will help you discover surefire ways to never run out of content ideas. This way, you never have to waste time thinking about what to write. You only have to write.

Goodreads: 4.3/5

Best Content Marketing Books In 2023: Key Takeaways

In conclusion, there are many great books on content marketing that can help businesses and individuals improve their strategies and create more effective marketing campaigns.

These books offer valuable insights and practical tips on topics such as

  • Creating viral content
  • Building a content marketing plan
  • Measuring the success of your marketing campaigns
  • Making positive customer interactions
  • Producing content that people actually give a damn about.

In the above list of the best content marketing books, not all the books are over-hyped bestsellers.

There are also some not-so-popular books that have the potential to teach you a lot about content strategy and distributing and marketing your content.

Overall, reading and implementing the advice from these content strategy books can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

Now, I leave it up to you. Which content strategy book will you read first? Will you read Contagious by Jonah Berger or F#ck Content Marketing By Randy Frisch?

Feel free to add to the list in the comment section below.

Happy Reading!

If you found this list informative, consider sharing it with your friends or fellow content marketers who you think might benefit from it.

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  1. Kristen Osborne says:

    This is such an amazing collection of resources. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Pulizzi is a champion too. He knows his content marketing inside-out. A real leader in the game.


    1. I agree! I have read Epic Content Marketing. And definitely going to read Content Inc. next.

  3. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Each looks inspired Ali; Pat Flynn is a pro. Anything he creates is good money.


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