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

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From one of today's leading experts in content marketing, Content Inc. is the go-to guide to building a solid small business by establishing a loyal audience before you sell products or services. In these pages, 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 From one of today's leading experts in content marketing, Content Inc. is the go-to guide to building a solid small business by establishing a loyal audience before you sell products or services. In these pages, 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. Content Inc. walks you through the entire process, showing how to: ---> Choose a topic ---> Unearth an area where little competition exists (break through the clutter) ---> Choose your best channel to build your platform ---> Build long-term customer loyalty (an audience) ---> Start making money from your content ---> Expand your content into multiple channels/platforms ---> Sell your content asset or scale it into a successful business This updated edition includes new and enhanced coverage of platforms like TikTok, SnapChat, and Instagram, a new section about the exit strategy for the model, more practical how-tos, and current examples of companies that have successfully implemented these strategies. Content Inc. provides an ingenious approach to business based on a profoundly simple concept: Having a singular focus on audience, and building a loyal audience directly, provide the best, most nuanced understanding of what products ultimately make the most sense to sell. Apply the methods laid out for you in Content Inc., and create the business of your dreams.


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From one of today's leading experts in content marketing, Content Inc. is the go-to guide to building a solid small business by establishing a loyal audience before you sell products or services. In these pages, 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 From one of today's leading experts in content marketing, Content Inc. is the go-to guide to building a solid small business by establishing a loyal audience before you sell products or services. In these pages, 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. Content Inc. walks you through the entire process, showing how to: ---> Choose a topic ---> Unearth an area where little competition exists (break through the clutter) ---> Choose your best channel to build your platform ---> Build long-term customer loyalty (an audience) ---> Start making money from your content ---> Expand your content into multiple channels/platforms ---> Sell your content asset or scale it into a successful business This updated edition includes new and enhanced coverage of platforms like TikTok, SnapChat, and Instagram, a new section about the exit strategy for the model, more practical how-tos, and current examples of companies that have successfully implemented these strategies. Content Inc. provides an ingenious approach to business based on a profoundly simple concept: Having a singular focus on audience, and building a loyal audience directly, provide the best, most nuanced understanding of what products ultimately make the most sense to sell. Apply the methods laid out for you in Content Inc., and create the business of your dreams.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Joe had me at the Introduction. His simple, quick style of writing drew me in fast and his personal story and transparent style affirmed I was reading the truth of one man’s content - and personal and business - success story. And I was inspired and motivated to keep reading and dive in to understand the Content, Inc model. The meat of Content, Inc is devoted to explaining the 7-step methodology to implement a Content, Inc. model. The steps are easy to follow and apply, and the style Joe uses to Joe had me at the Introduction. His simple, quick style of writing drew me in fast and his personal story and transparent style affirmed I was reading the truth of one man’s content - and personal and business - success story. And I was inspired and motivated to keep reading and dive in to understand the Content, Inc model. The meat of Content, Inc is devoted to explaining the 7-step methodology to implement a Content, Inc. model. The steps are easy to follow and apply, and the style Joe uses to explain concepts is familiar, clear and filled with stories that illustrate how others have successfully applied the steps in the model across industries. Each chapter also includes simple exercises to put the concepts into action, so it becomes not only a valuable reference but also a working draft of your own Content, Inc. model. As Joe explains each of the steps in the Content, Inc. model, I found myself taking notes, making new slides for next week’s team meeting, and thinking of new ways to help our startup team get more focused. Joe emphasizes and explains repeatedly the importance of focus and slings challenges at readers, such as “Think of yourself as the trade magazine for your industry”. We marketers can’t hear it enough times - focus, focus, focus. As I explained in the first chapter of my book on positioning, Say No to Grow, Joe similarly recommends “Go small to go big. Companies…are afraid the niche will be too small to monetize…Most failures occur because the entrepreneur goes too broad and not narrow enough.” Joe also includes relevant references to research and other books’ that underscore the concepts that underpin the Content, Inc. model steps. For instance, in explaining what he means by the content tilt, his name for the critical importance of content differentiation in step #2, he quotes Peter Thiel, author of Zero to One: “Businesses should ‘figure out something that nobody else is doing and look to create a monopoly in some area that’s been underdeveloped’…There are alot of businesses talking about the same things in the same way. Sameness will never break through the clutter.” Anyone leading the growth of a startup, new product or break-out division of a large enterprise business should hit pause on their execution, have their entire team read Content, Inc. and put their plan to the test. It will shift your mindset and set you up for much greater success that you dreamed possible.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Peterson

    There’s a reason why Joe Pulizzi is called the ‘Godfather’ of Content Marketing. After years of navigating the content marketing space, I know that there is no one else that knows as much, or CARES as much about this industry, which is why I was delighted to find out he was updating his 2015 version of Content Inc. I was at Content Marketing World for the 2015 launch of 1.0 and the buzz it created then, is nothing compared to the anticipation of this version. Not only does Joe hit the ball out of There’s a reason why Joe Pulizzi is called the ‘Godfather’ of Content Marketing. After years of navigating the content marketing space, I know that there is no one else that knows as much, or CARES as much about this industry, which is why I was delighted to find out he was updating his 2015 version of Content Inc. I was at Content Marketing World for the 2015 launch of 1.0 and the buzz it created then, is nothing compared to the anticipation of this version. Not only does Joe hit the ball out of the park, but he has modernised the framework, that frankly, had already helped countless content entrepreneurs establish successful businesses that often became landmarks within their respective space. Content Inc 2.0 adds an additional step to the model; that of preparing to sell your business, or to ‘go big’. Step by step Joe outlines what and how to achieve success at each touchpoint along the way to a successful content driven business. One of the things I loved the most was that you won’t see the word ‘HUSTLE’ in this book, to describe any of the steps needed to be successful. Methodical, thoughtful, and well-planned steps lay out a success path that can be as big or small as you like, taking as little or as long a time as you want or need. Success with the Content Inc model does not happen overnight. If you are interested in creating something today and making a million dollars tomorrow, then this book is not for you. But if you want to create a business that you love, resonates with your chosen audience (or as Joe calls it your ‘Content Tilt’) and steadily build this into a money making venture within two years, then this book is for you. While there are many take-aways from this new version, the biggest question you need to answer for yourself and your business is “If my content disappeared tomorrow, would anybody miss it?” From Day 1 of building your Content Inc business, you need to keep this question in mind. What’s the point of a blog post every day, if the quality of it is average at best? A few key, anchor pieces of Content, relevant, useful, and helpful to people in your niche or industry, done consistently, is what will help your business be a raging success. If you do this and follow the Content Inc model, you will do well. Buy this book, and let it become your business bible. You will be glad you did. Michelle Peterson Clark Savvy Travel Historian

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna Moritz

    When the person who coined the term Content Marketing (and lives and breathes the very success of the model he is teaching) shares his framework for success, you sit up and listen. As someone who has benefited greatly from elements of the Content Inc model, I was excited to hear that this revised 2.0 edition of Content Inc. was in the works. Joe not only revises the essential steps of finding your 'Sweet Spot' and 'Content Tilt' to building an audience, but he breaks down multiple case studies f When the person who coined the term Content Marketing (and lives and breathes the very success of the model he is teaching) shares his framework for success, you sit up and listen. As someone who has benefited greatly from elements of the Content Inc model, I was excited to hear that this revised 2.0 edition of Content Inc. was in the works. Joe not only revises the essential steps of finding your 'Sweet Spot' and 'Content Tilt' to building an audience, but he breaks down multiple case studies for establishing revenue, diversifying your income and growth (or selling!). Wherever you are in your content journey, this is an actionable handbook, packed with case studies from businesses of every size, and step-by-step strategies for leveraging content. You can even 'choose your own adventure' and jump in at the stage your business is at (but seriously, just read the whole thing). Suffice to say, I have made a LOT of notes. The world has changed and the messages in this book have never been as important as they are now, so whether you are building a business from scratch or pivoting to a 'content tilt' or leveraging what you have already built.... keep this in your back pocket. You'll be needing to refer to it at arm's length. A lot.  Some context for this review: using the model in this book, I have been able to diversify a fledgling blog into a solid content base, with multiple income streams (from consulting to affiliate income to speaker fees to online courses to royalty payments to brand ambassadorships and more).  Joe's Content Inc Model is a game changer for any size business. I am forever grateful I leaned into my 'content tilt' after listening to Joe speak about it few years ago. But reading this revised edition has given me new direction and a blueprint for many next steps I hadn't considered!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. There are lots of entrepreneurship books that give you a disclaimer like "there's no secret formula for success," and then proceed to lay out exactly that. In all honesty, you might pick up a little of that vibe, especially in the early chapters of the book. But what you don't get is a guarantee that with some gumption, insane amounts of luck, and a $300,000 investment from your parents, you too can be a millionaire Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. There are lots of entrepreneurship books that give you a disclaimer like "there's no secret formula for success," and then proceed to lay out exactly that. In all honesty, you might pick up a little of that vibe, especially in the early chapters of the book. But what you don't get is a guarantee that with some gumption, insane amounts of luck, and a $300,000 investment from your parents, you too can be a millionaire. What you do get is a step-by-step outline of how to create an audience-first business model. Like most good strategy books, the value isn't in the details, but the overall framework that shifts the way you look at creating a profitable business. In fact, my main caveat of the book is that you're going to need to take some of the details — especially around social media — with an increasingly larger grain of salt the further away you get from the time of this review (May 2021). The section on Clubhouse might be comedy gold by the time you read this. While the book is aimed at entrepreneurs, most of the principles are just as valuable for content creators working within larger organizations. So if you create content for a living, whether you're working inside a large marketing department or starting up a blog on your own, there's something in here for you. Do I think ANYONE can make millions off this business model? No. You don't need a ton of resources, but you do need some, and you need to have a certain level of skill to create content. But, if you're the kind of person looking up this book and reading this review, you probably have the resources and skill to be at least moderately successful following this model, and I think you should make a go if it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Neal

    Content marketing mastermind Joe Pulizzi has done it again. A must-read guide for novice and seasoned marketers alike, the second edition of Content Inc. offers rich, authentic, actionable, and educational step-by-step instruction for how to strategize, execute, scale, and optimize content marketing programs, starting with winning over audiences. Not only does he give you an honest look under the hood—trials and tribulations included—of his journey launching and scaling the Content Marketing Ins Content marketing mastermind Joe Pulizzi has done it again. A must-read guide for novice and seasoned marketers alike, the second edition of Content Inc. offers rich, authentic, actionable, and educational step-by-step instruction for how to strategize, execute, scale, and optimize content marketing programs, starting with winning over audiences. Not only does he give you an honest look under the hood—trials and tribulations included—of his journey launching and scaling the Content Marketing Institute, but he unveils invaluable, behind-the-scenes insights from the industry’s finest marketers to serve up a smorgasbord of insight from the most successful content marketing operations. Chapters are thoughtfully organized so content marketers can self-select passages most relevant to their pain points, timeline, or objectives. Filled with case studies, tactical recommendations, assignments, templates, and anecdotes, Pulizzi’s book is a master compilation of learnings, successes, guiding questions, and an honest look at building content marketing programs from scratch. Filled with personality and humor, Content Inc. is an enjoyable and informative read that promises how to get content marketing right. Get your highlighter and pen and paper ready. You’re going to want to take notes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    In Content Inc, Joe Pulizzi walks the reader through a tested model that enables entrepreneurs to build a business from scratch by focusing on audience first and products and services second. This read differs from other content books out there in that it doesn't just focus on editorial and marketing. Towards the end, a good portion of the book is dedicated to the business side of things, including creating a revenue model and preparing an exit strategy. Overall, the book is well structured, ent In Content Inc, Joe Pulizzi walks the reader through a tested model that enables entrepreneurs to build a business from scratch by focusing on audience first and products and services second. This read differs from other content books out there in that it doesn't just focus on editorial and marketing. Towards the end, a good portion of the book is dedicated to the business side of things, including creating a revenue model and preparing an exit strategy. Overall, the book is well structured, entertaining, and an easy read. Throughout, Pulizzi uses case studies from successful channels and businesses that have executed the steps in the Content Inc model. My only concern with the book is that a disproportionate amount of the case studies come from fellow content marketers, such as Ann Handley, Jay Acunzo, Rand Fishkin, and Brian Clark. For the third edition, I would love to see entrepreneurs of more diverse backgrounds highlighted.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Koen Denolf

    Can Joe Pulizzi still teach me something with his new book? I had read the 2016 version of this book and enjoyed the 2021 version even more, maybe because the Content Inc-model seems more relevant now than ever. The book meticulously describes how you can build an audience with content and next put a business on top. Not the other way around. Most content books get immediately shelved, as they are a bore to read. Joe put all his enthusiasm in this book, which made it a lively read. I especially li Can Joe Pulizzi still teach me something with his new book? I had read the 2016 version of this book and enjoyed the 2021 version even more, maybe because the Content Inc-model seems more relevant now than ever. The book meticulously describes how you can build an audience with content and next put a business on top. Not the other way around. Most content books get immediately shelved, as they are a bore to read. Joe put all his enthusiasm in this book, which made it a lively read. I especially liked the examples of small businesses or initiatives like 'Accidental Wes Anderson' getting hugely successful with this strategy. So, yes, the book gave me some interesting insights, it shows we can all still learn new stuff from a 'retired' content marketer.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deb P.

    Content, Inc. (second edition) provides a clear, proven strategy for not only starting but building successful businesses, based on Joe Pulizzi's own life. He writes with a storyteller's flair, illustrating each step that brought his multimillion-dollar startup to his current success. CEOs will appreciate his keen business acumen and analysis of trends that are shaping industry. Dreamers will find practical inspiration to motivate their dedication. I especially liked the personal growth principl Content, Inc. (second edition) provides a clear, proven strategy for not only starting but building successful businesses, based on Joe Pulizzi's own life. He writes with a storyteller's flair, illustrating each step that brought his multimillion-dollar startup to his current success. CEOs will appreciate his keen business acumen and analysis of trends that are shaping industry. Dreamers will find practical inspiration to motivate their dedication. I especially liked the personal growth principles to become one's "ideal self." These actionable principles can change not only your career, but your life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dan Moyle

    I loved the first edition. So when I heard Joe was updating Content, Inc. with new stories and a fresh perspective, I couldn’t wait to dig in. Joe did not disappoint. The content first strategy is strong today, with new channels and tactics coming out all the time. This new edition highlights some amazing examples while encouraging us content creators, marketers, sales professionals and business owners to keep leaning into serving great content to our circles. I loved this updated Content, Inc.!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janet Armstrong

    Reading Joe Pulizzi's Content Inc. is like talking to a wise friend with fantastic advice on how to drive business forward with a contest-first strategy. I love, love, love Joe's use of anecdotes to bring his concepts to life in every chapter. I took notes the whole way through. I will admit that I never read the first edition of Content Inc. (although I've read Killing Marketing three times), but I can say without a doubt that this second edition is a must-read for anyone trying to build an aud Reading Joe Pulizzi's Content Inc. is like talking to a wise friend with fantastic advice on how to drive business forward with a contest-first strategy. I love, love, love Joe's use of anecdotes to bring his concepts to life in every chapter. I took notes the whole way through. I will admit that I never read the first edition of Content Inc. (although I've read Killing Marketing three times), but I can say without a doubt that this second edition is a must-read for anyone trying to build an audience in today's noisy world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Manouane Beauchamp

    Voilà un livre très intéressant afin d'élaborer une stratégie de diffusion du savoir (content-first business). La première section permet de peaufiner les trois éléments de base de la stratégie, à savoir l'audience cible, le contenu et l'angle particulier qui sera offert - ce que l'auteur appelle le "content tilt". Puis le reste de la planification : le choix de la plateforme, des médias sociaux, des sujets à aborder ... Très utile et très pertinent! Voilà un livre très intéressant afin d'élaborer une stratégie de diffusion du savoir (content-first business). La première section permet de peaufiner les trois éléments de base de la stratégie, à savoir l'audience cible, le contenu et l'angle particulier qui sera offert - ce que l'auteur appelle le "content tilt". Puis le reste de la planification : le choix de la plateforme, des médias sociaux, des sujets à aborder ... Très utile et très pertinent!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ozy

    This is the perfect business book for everyone who hates business books. A blend of self-growth, real-life examples and advanced thinking on content entrepreneurship and its future makes Content Inc. an excellent read. Especially for those just starting out. It will show you how to begin, but also how to properly evaluate (and even sell) your future content empire. Joe Pulizzi is Joe Pulizzi for a reason. Now go get this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jackson

    This book is a must if you want to success in marketing as an entrepreneur. I read the first edition and it became my “marketing bible” now Joe has taken it to a new level on this second edition with fresh examples, new concepts and his amazing and educational style. Totally recommended!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Clo Willaerts

    This book will teach you how to grow a business using content I love the link between content production and actual business goals. For those who want to dive deeper: the book concludes with a very long and complete list of recommended books, blogs, newsletters and podcasts.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Huey

    Very well put together and gave lots of insight.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Hall

    Amazing Read! Love the content Joe puts out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jay Croft

    Great stuff, as always, from The Godfather of Content, Joe Pulizzi. A great introduction or a review, depending on where you are.

  18. 5 out of 5

    R.

    Approachably designed, a lot of case studies, and tons of ideas.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    With people's attention being the most important commodity of our time, this book will walk you through attracting it. Joe Pulizzi gives real-world advice in a workbook format. With people's attention being the most important commodity of our time, this book will walk you through attracting it. Joe Pulizzi gives real-world advice in a workbook format.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zahedul

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorie Farrell

  22. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

  23. 4 out of 5

    Louise Maidment

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mr Richard Hassall

  25. 5 out of 5

    Filip Kuna

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick McLachlan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hinton Wolfe

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lluís Vives

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