Top 6 Content Marketing Books for Nonprofits

Hardback books against a white brick wall.

It’s no secret that I love books. In a previous blog, I recommended 8 of my favorite branding books for nonprofit communicators and marketers. Now, I’ve compiled a list of my 6 favorite books to kick start your organization’s content marketing.

Plus, these books are available on Bookshop, which means you’ll be supporting local bookstores while using my affiliate purchase links!

Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing

By Andy Crestodina

The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, Andy Crestodina (of Orbit Media here in Chicago) explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of successful modern content marketing. 

This book is perfect in both content and design. Orbit Media does a lot of research into content marketing, so Andy provides lots of examples and super actionable advice that you will refer to often. The updated edition was released in October 2022.

“Advertising is fast and temporary. Content marketing is slow, but durable.”

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Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

By Ann Handley

Let’s just say it: Ann Handley is the queen of content. In her best-selling book, she delivers all the practical, how-to advice and insight you need for content strategy, creation, production, and publishing—making it fun, to boot. 

Between seeing her speak and reading her books, I can safely say that Ann taught me the ropes of content marketing—and she can do the same for you. As Ann says, “every one of us is a writer.” The updated edition was released in September 2022.  

“Don’t just tell readers that you feel something; tell them why you feel it. Don’t just say what works; tell them why it works and what led you to this moment.”

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Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

By Joe Pulizzi

One of the world’s leading experts on content marketing, Joe Pulizzi explains how to attract prospects and customers by creating information and content they actually want to engage with.

Just like with Ann Handley, I’ve seen Joe speak and have read his books—in both, he is clear and to the point. He makes content marketing seem easy. And after reading this book, you may think so too. 

“Content marketing is not a campaign—it’s an approach, a philosophy, and a business strategy.”

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Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful (with Little to No Money)

By Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi provides a lower-risk, more effective way to create a path to success by re-engineering the process that so often leads to failure: You’ll learn how to develop valuable content, build an audience around that content―and then create a product for that audience.

One of the parts of this book that I love is his advice to write a content mission—something that I also encourage people to do in my talks. Joe offers several examples that will inspire you. 

“Every successful content creator has a ‘sweet spot’: it’s the interaction between your expertise and an audience’s desire.”

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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

By C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley

C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley equip you for online success as a one-stop source on the art and science of developing content that people care about. It’s interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

I’ve already admitted to being an Ann Handley fan girl and this book is why. This classic showed me how to do content marketing the right way—and led me to a love of content. 

“Ground your content solidly in your unique perspective, voice and point of view but give it wings to soar freely and be shared.” 

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Writing for Humans and Robots: The New Rules of Content Style

By Maddy Osman

It’s difficult to write and design with consistent style and formatting without concrete content rules to follow. Whether you’re a seasoned writer, new to the craft, or trying to develop a uniform approach for your team, Maddy Osman of The Blogsmith can help you build a foundation for a coherent, on-brand experience with your content creation efforts.

I have attended Maddy’s webinars and she shares so many practical and useful resources, such as The Blogsmith Style Guide, so I was excited to buy her first book as soon as it was released. I can already tell this will be a fixture on my desk.

“Words matter. Words can inspire—or they can alienate.”

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Need more recommendations? See my top picks for branding, marketing, and work-life books on

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