In 1997, we established Scriptorium Publishing with a mission to streamline publishing workflows. Over time, the tools and technologies have changed, but not our focus on automation and efficiency. In the mid-2000s, the term “content strategy” was first applied to our work.

Today, publishing is being revolutionized by two factors:

  • The rise of digital content (such as ebooks) that eliminates distribution costs and increases publishing velocity
  • The rise of community content (blogs and wikis, for example) that disregards content gatekeepers

Many technical content producers are ill-equipped for these changes. They cling to the old way of doing things because it’s comfortable and familiar. But their printed books (and PDF files) are competing with third-party blogs—and Google search performance determines the winner.

Content Strategy 101 gives you a roadmap for understanding your business content requirements. This book will help you understand the different content options, identify the best choices for your unique requirements, and develop a strategy for your technical content.

Most of the books written about content strategy focus on web content strategy, which is usually synonymous with marketing content strategy. Content Strategy 101 focuses on the often-overlooked technical content. We assume that you are responsible for technical communication in your organization—traditionally, user manuals and online help. You probably already make this information available on the web or are trying to do so. You may also create other information products1, such as podcasts, videos, screencasts, technical illustrations, and posters. If you are trying to establish a content strategy for these core technical documents, this book is for you.

Chapter 1, “Getting started,” discusses the history of content and publishing before turning to the specifics of technical content and the modern concept of structured, intelligent content.

After that, the book is divided into three parts:

  • Part I: Business goals describes how technical content can contribute to controlling technical communication costs, improving product marketing, and ensuring legal and regulatory compliance.
  • Part II: Developing a technical content strategy explains how to turn the business goals you identified into a plan.
  • Part III: Implementing your content strategy provides a method for going from the plan to reality.

We hope that you find this information useful.


1 For lack of a better term, “information product” means any content collection, including books, PDF files, ebooks, web sites or pages, and help systems. The word “document” is simpler but has print connotations. Other than in academia, “text” does not include audio, video, or graphic content.