May 17, 2021 Content Chat Recap: What’s Your Content Tilt? A Conversation With Joe Pulizzi On Content Inc. 2.0

A #ContentChat header image saying today's topic is what is your content tilt, with guest Joe Pulizzi.

In this #ContentChat, we’re joined by Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing, to discuss the second edition of his bestselling book Content Inc. Read the chat below to learn about the essence of the Content Inc. model, what’s new in Content Inc. 2.0, and ways that creators can diversify their revenue sources.

Get the full details on Content Inc. and grab your own copy here! Tweet us your favorite tips and takeaways with #ContentChat and #ContentInc.

Q1: The first edition of Content Inc. came out in 2015. What was the purpose of the first edition, and why did you decide to update it now?

A1: The purpose of Content Inc. V1 was to see if there was a business model where content creators develop sustainable businesses by building an audience first, then launching products/services. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A1.2: We found that, in many cases, building an audience first was a less risky, less cash intensive way to build a business. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A1.3: I wanted to update Content Inc. (the book) in 2021 because the model wasn’t finished in 2015. We’ve added new social platforms, re-engineered the model, and added multiple chapters on exit strategies. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A1.4: Long-story short, I believe the Content Inc. model is the best business model for content creators who want to become content entrepreneurs. But I am bias πŸ˜‰ #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Q2: For those who are not familiar with it, what is the essence of the Content Inc. model?

A2: The Content Inc. Model – Instead of launching product first, the content creator FIRST builds an audience over time. Once an audience is built, only then do we launch products and services. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A2.1: Once an audience is built, and the creator understands that audience better than anyone else, we can create 10 different ways to generate revenue. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A2.2: The experts out there saying that you have to create an amazing product first? Well, they “may” be right…but that’s expensive and always involves a pivot. The better model is to develop a loyal audience first and then listen to what your audience wants to buy #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A2.3 – One of the other reasons I wrote Content Inc. – SO many content creators out there that don’t understand that there is actually a business model for content creation that has been shown to work. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Correct….if you are a large enterprise, you could use the Content Inc. model to sell more product or generate leads…but I LOVE when entrepreneurs use it to build/grow a business #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Here is the Content Inc model in visual form. From a time standpoint, it takes about 5 years to get to a 5 million dollar valuation. #contentchat pic.twitter.com/PX9FgMy7dB

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Q3: Explain the difference between what you call a β€œcontent gig worker” versus a β€œcontent entrepreneur.”

A3: Most content creators are “gig workers”. They make a little money one one (maybe two) platforms but not enough to be financially independent (content entrepreneurship). #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A3.1: I love that YouTubers/Twitch Streamers/TikTok creators are generating revenue…BUT…most become dependent on that platform and don’t understand how a Content Inc. business works…that you can actually be financially independent. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Would that mean diversifying your content and the platforms you are on? #contentchat

β€” Jennifer L. Dawson (@JLDContentQueen) May 17, 2021

Yes, but…so the model is first build on one platform (a minimum viable audience), THEN diversify into more controlled platforms (email)…AND then create multiple revenue streams #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Love the term “Content Entrepreneurship.” Now I have a title. #ContentChat

β€” Shane Shaps (@520eastbrands) May 17, 2021

Awesome…if you like “content entrepreneur” – here’s the article for you https://t.co/NibGWJhqnu #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

So focus on one platform I have learned πŸ˜‰

β€” Bas Hakker (@bashakker) May 17, 2021

Yes…focus on one platform for at least 12-18 months. Build a loyal audience. Then you can diversify into other platforms. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Q4: Explain “the content tilt,” which sounds like an important part of the model because you formed a new business @TheTiltNews around it.

A4: Finding your content sweet spot is not enough – all content creators need a “content tilt” – an area on the web of little to no competition where you have a chance to break through all the clutter. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A4.1: 99% of companies DO NOT have a content tilt. They create content in the same way to the same audience as dozens of other companies. It never works. You have to “tilt” the content and find you hook…your seam. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

What’s your advice for finding that “sweet spot” (maybe this is coming in an answer…) #ContentChat

β€” Melanie Graham (@WriterGirlMel) May 17, 2021

πŸ™‚ The sweet spot is the intersection between your skill/expertise area and your audience’s desire/pain point. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Here is the sweet spot #contentchat pic.twitter.com/Dp9go3qvps

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Our sweet spot at @TheTiltNews is helping content creators develop sustainable business models. Our content tilt is focusing the story around “the content entrepreneur” #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Q5: You say people should focus just on one channel or platform to distribute content, which surprises most people. Why is this advice so important?

A5: Perhaps the biggest problem with content creation is diversifying too soon…creators believe they need to be everywhere their customers are at online (this is not true). #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A5.1: Successful Content Inc. models become indispensable at ONE platform (YouTube, Twitch, Email, Blog, etc.) first. They stick with that platform for years…THEN they diversify.

Those that create a YouTube, Blog, Podcast, etc all at the same time generally fail. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Do you distinguish between having a presence on a channel vs. building an audience? Or does your model focus on the single-channel life to the exclusion of any other online presence? #ContentChat

β€” Derek Pillie 🎯 (@derekpillie) May 17, 2021

Great question…Your platform is your content home. It “could” be on LinkedIn (publishing) but you could just use LinkedIn to build a following and push to your main platform. I’ve found one platform two social channels work pretty well. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A5: So what is your response to voice content creators who transform their content to reach across different voice ecosystems? #contentchat #contentmarketing #voicemarketing

β€” HeidiCohen – Top Global Marketer (@heidicohen) May 17, 2021

Content syndication? Well, let’s say for podcasts, the main platform (the podcast) needs to be syndicated to reach a large enough audience. ALTHOUGH, you could say I’m ONLY on Spotify…but I think we are a year away from that. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

Q6: You say if a person is in the “creator middle class” they need to diversify their revenue sources to survive. Can you elaborate?

A6: If you are a celebrity influencer, you can make plenty of money on one channel (YouTube, Insta, TikTok). For everyone else (the middle class), we need to have a real business model where we generate revenue multiple ways. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A6.1: Think of content creation revenue just like a financial portfolio – you need to diversify your revenue in multiple ways to protect yourself. All great media companies do this. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

I think @MarthaStewart and her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia family of businesses is a fantastic example of that. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Founder @ErikaHeald (@SFerika) May 17, 2021

Q7: One of the book’s new sections is about having an exit strategy, which seems to be a little controversial and even maybe unnecessary to some. Why was this so important to add?

A7: The exit strategies part of Content Inc. is perhaps my favorite. Most content creators don’t have ANY PLAN for where they are going. They just create and see. We need to be better. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

A7.1 Content creators should have some idea of what they want their business to become. Do you want to get bought? Do you want a lifestyle biz? Give to kids?

Know ahead of time so you can plan accordingly. #contentchat

β€” Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) May 17, 2021

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