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5 of the Best Books for Improving Your Content Writing Skills

Reading Time: 4 minutes
5 books stacked on a table with green plants next to them

Did anyone else fall in love with the Beast’s library? We say keep the castle, we just want the books.

If there’s one thing we love to do here (besides writing, of course), it’s reading. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and a nice, hot cup of tea. Add in the knowledge you can glean from the pages and you have yourself a winning afternoon.

Some of our favorite books have inspired us to up our writing game. They’ve helped us clarify our message, speak to the right audience and get out of our own way. Since we all seem to have some extra time on our hands right now, we thought we’d share those books with you.

5 of Our Favorite Books for Improving Your Content Writing Skills

Now, before we dive in, we recommend opening up a new browser window to get ready to order delivery or pickup from up your favorite local bookstore.

1. “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” by Ann Handley is ridiculously good itself. Ann Handley (a content marketing genius) will take you from “I’m not a writer” to “I sure am a writer” by the time you reach the end. She shares her inside knowledge about content creation, production and publishing in true, how-to style.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or the owner of a large brand, this book is perfect for anyone creating any kind of content online. You’ll learn the basic rules of writing, grammar, how to tell a story, the differences between various content types and so much more.

2. “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller

One surefire way to improve your writing skills is to learn how to speak to your audience in a way that inspires them to act. There’s no one better to teach you this skill than New York Times best-selling author, Donald Miller.

His book, “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” inspired our team to clarify our brand message. Miller takes you through his entire seven-step StoryBrand process to help you clarify a message that connects with your ideal customers through storytelling.

You’ll also learn how to create the most effective messaging for your website and other marketing materials. And, just like Handley’s “Everybody Writes,” Miller’s book is perfect for anyone writing content for a business.

3. “On Writing Well”by William Zinsser

Some books you reach for time and time again when you need some clarity on your project. William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction” is a simple manual of sorts, chockfull of the basics of writing anything well.

Zinsser dives into the simplicity of writing, how to effectively remove word clutter, how to use humor and more. You’ll also learn how to write interviews, pen articles, and discover the ins and outs of writing for business. He delivers it all with insights he’s gathered from being a distinguished teacher and writer.

4. “Content Rules” by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Ann Handley strikes again! Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman’s book, “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcast, Videos, eBooks, Webinars and More That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business” is the perfect companion for writing for the web.

This book will teach you what you need to know about finding your voice, using social media to share your content, boosting your online presence via content and more. You’ll also find several real-life case studies from companies who have successfully mastered online content.

5. “How to Write Copy That Sells” by Ray Edwards

Writing effective copy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Ray’s book, “How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often” will teach you the techniques and structure you need to get the job done.

You’ll learn how to avoid common copywriting mistakes as well as how to write copy that’s easy to read. Plus, this book gives you templates, examples and checklists you can keep to improve your content each time you write. It’s basically a goldmine of writing goodies.

Books Currently Living on Our To-Read List

We’re always looking forward to the next page-turner. Here are some books about writing currently on our to-read list:

  • “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott
  • “On Writing” by Stephen King
  • “100 Ways to Improve Your Writing” by Gary Provost
  • “Nicely Said” by Nicole Fenton
  • “The Content Strategy Toolkit” by Meghan Casey

What Are Your Favorite Books to Curl Up With?

Have you read any of these books? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Have others you feel should be on this list? Share them with us! Looking for more hands-on help with your writing? We’d also love to help you improve your content writing skills by sharing our knowledge with you. Let’s talk.

Erin Larson