Joe Pulizzi is a serial start-up founder, brain behind content-creator-education website The Tilt, and best-selling author with 7 book titles to his name, including Content Inc. and Epic Content Marketing, which was labeled a “must-read” by Fortune Magazine.
Joe is very much a content guy. Back in the early 2000s, he launched the Content Marketing Institute and the Content Marketing World event, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Content Council.
Since 2016, he’s been a bit less involved in the content world, but he has written a mystery novel, The Will To Die.
Currently, he hosts 2 weekly podcasts, Content Inc. and This Old Marketing, with Robert Rose. His foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and tech services to over 200 children across the country.
What You’ll Hear
- [2:22] About Joe and his background
- [3:54] Content Inc. summarized
- [8:30] Ranking matters
- [11:42] Joe’s tips for creating content
- [16:51] How many words?
- [20:27] Measuring data to find ROI
- [24:53] The customer journey
- [28:34] Joe’s tips for becoming a best-selling author
- [30:43] Is writing a book worth it?
- [33:13] 2022 content trends
- [33:52] The most interesting place Joe’s been
- [35:56] Final comments
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About Joe and His Background
Joe has been in publishing and content marketing for over 20 years. He stumbled into content marketing and fell in love with it, making it his career.
Whereas he was more involved in content for marketing roses earlier in his career, he now focuses more on content for building businesses. His latest books focus on this!
Content Inc. Summarized
The Content Inc. Model took over 20 years to nail down. Joe suggests figuring out two things (your “sweet spot”) – your target audience and what you’re really good at. The overlap of these will be a starting point for your content.
Next is to figure out what makes you stand out from others. It could be your humor, it could be that you’re talking about something nobody else is.
Once you’ve got that down, build a base for where you want your content to be. Also, choose one form of content and stick to that – rather be great at one thing than average at many things! You can diversify later.
From there, content creation starts and you need to pay attention to things like SEO, generating leads, and revenue. 3 to 5 years consistently, and you can become a millionaire.
If you have your own website, ranking high is important for success. This is where it becomes difficult if you publish content mostly on other platforms (LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube, etc), as you’re at their mercy for algorithm changes and so on.
Joe’s site The Tilt gets daily visitors and subscribers thanks to a high ranking on Google. But it does take time to build it up to that point.
Joe’s Tips for Creating Content
Joe’s top tip: Don’t say the same thing as everyone else. Focus on what Joe calls the content tilt, which is what sets you apart from everyone else.
Joe has seen 2 main problems over the years working with big brands, the biggest one being no content tilt. He uses the example of his own business being the first ones to use the term “content marketing”!
Secondly, deliver consistently. Post or send your stuff the same day, same time, so people come to expect it and wait for your content. You have to spend time and effort on creating and marketing your content.
Joe recommends spending about 25% of time on creating and 75% of your time promoting your content. Speaking about it on podcasts, advertising, etc.
How Many Words?
The trend is toward longer-form content. 1200 to 2000 words is better rewarded by search engines. But it does depend on your niche and what your target audience really wants. What makes the most sense to your audience? Again, consistency is important.
Measuring Data to Find Your Content’s ROI
Look at your metrics. Who’s downloading, how much time are they spending on your content. That’s available on any platform.
Joe’s most important metric is subscribers, his favorite of which is an email subscriber. You’re getting their data and can target them specifically for selling your products and services. It’s easy to measure in terms of number of subscribers and what behavior they take.
Joe recommends creating an email newsletter. He sends his out twice a week, Lilach sends hers out daily. Like everything else, consistency is key!
The Customer Journey
Everyone’s at a different point in the buyer journey. Every subscriber has value, no matter where they are in the chain. Some may be valuable in terms of referrals rather than buying. Joe’s company uses a referral rewards system to drive referrals for subscribers.
Joe’s Tips for Becoming a Best-Selling Author
Joe’s biggest tip is to build an audience first. Everything is much easier from there! Once you have an audience, you deliver a book to suit their needs.
Joe used the Blog to Book strategy. He planned out 9 months of blog posts that would make a good book when put together (ie. chapters of a book). He wrote them, published them on his blog, and 9 months later, he had most of his book written.
Is Writing a Book Worth It?
Joe’s advice is that it depends on your goal. If you want to be known, be found more online, get more podcast opportunities or speaking opportunities, then absolutely. Making money with a book is more difficult but not impossible.
Consider whether or not a book makes sense for your goals. You can also self-publish as long as it’s professionally done. It also doesn’t matter if you self-publish or go with a publisher, you still need to market your own book.
2022 Content Trends
Joe sees the Web 3.0 phenomenon, with social tokens and NFTs, creating multiple opportunities for content creators in 2022.
He recommends doing some research on Web 3.0 for content creators and figuring out how you can fit into it.
For small content creators, Joe sees a partnership trend. Set up a network or partner system to do promotional trades for people trying to reach the same audience as you, while having them help you.
The Most Interesting PLace Joe’s Been
Joe likes warm Sydney, Australia. But he also loves London and all of its ins and outs. He and his wife travel extensively in the States. He recommends traveling while you can!
If you want to understand the business of content creation, check out The Tilt and subscribe! Or get Content Inc. and learn more about content creation.
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