Content Inc

Content Inc. Summary

Erik Book Review, Entrepreneurship, Thoughts of a Mastermind, Wealth Creation 10 Comments


Content IncThe majority of start-ups around the world begin their journey in exactly the same way as every other company. Why do companies continue to make the same mistakes over and over? The formula for business must change. Have you thought about building a following through content? Whether you are a solo start-up or an innovative group within a large enterprise, the Content Inc. strategy can and will work with patience and the right content plan.

Content Inc., by Joe Pulizzi, discusses a new way on how to build a business and brand. First, build an audience. Then, create the product. Traditionally, businesses have tried to do the opposite, and the track record speaks for itself: 90% of start-ups fail. With the Content Inc. strategy, you will instead be first building an audience and following through a platform of your choice, listening to your customers and audience, and then monetizing your products.

In the rest of this post, I give you a brief overview of Content Inc., my takeaways and action steps for myself, and my recommendation for you.

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

Summary of Content Inc.

Content Inc. breaks down the business startup process into six steps, making it simple for your to visualize, launch and monetize your own business. These steps are:

  • The Sweet Spot
    • Identify the intersection of your unique competency and your personal passion
  • Content Tilt
    • Determine how you can “tilt” your sweet spot to find a place where little or no competition exists
  • Building the Base
    • Establish your number one channel for disseminating content (blog, podcast, YouTube, etc.)
  • Harvesting Audience
    • Use social media and SEO to convert onetime visitors into long-term subscribers
  • Diversification
    • Grow your business by expanding into multiple delivery channels
  • Monetization
    • Now that your expertise is established, you can begin charging money for your products or services

The Sweet Spot

“The sweet spot is a place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort.” – Wikipedia

The Content Inc. strategy begins with a sweet spot, the intersection of your knowledge or skill area and your passion. While it’s possible to develop a sweet spot without a passion point, it’s the passion that gives us our drive to continue until we employ a successful Content Inc. strategy.

Content Tilt

“Everything under the sun has been said… you have to find a new way to say it.” – Henry Winkler

The majority of content developed every day is just like everything else out there. It does nothing for the reader or the producer. It doesn’t matter the frequency or delivery or the channel you deliver the content through; if the content doesn’t tell a different story, it will most likely be ignored.

Building the Base

“It is not the beauty of a building you look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” – David Allan Coe

Choose an appropriate platform for your audience. Are you comfortable making videos? YouTube might be your best bet. Do you enjoy writing? Start a blog! Maybe you enjoy taking pictures? Instagram is the way to go! Just be aware, you give up control when you move to certain platforms. If YouTube changes their algorithm, you might be out of luck. With a blog or mailing list, you are in complete control of who you can reach with your content.

Harvesting Audience

“You can only build something massive by starting with something small to effectively close the distance.” – Danny Iny

Without an audience, your Content Inc. strategy will not work. If there is no one looking at your website, blog, YouTube Channel, how will you make any sales? There are a number of ways to build an audience, but not all subscribers are created equal. If you have a choice, go for email first. Web traffic and social media shares are great, but if you are not building an audience, those may be meaningless metric. Focus on the metrics that help you build an opt-in audience.


“Career diversification ain’t a bad thing.” – Vin Diesel

As you diversify your platform, be sure to look beyond digital for hidden opportunities. The greatest media brands in the world leverage not only digital, but in-person and print components as well. The most successful Content Inc. entrepreneurs focus on a blog, a book, and public speaking. All three of these in combination will help take your Content Inc. strategy to the next level.


“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

There are many ways to make money from your content and subscribers. It’s important to explore many different revenue generation sources because your audience may be receptive to other products. Some of the best Content Inc. models employ multiple ways to make money from their audiences.

My Takeaways

With all books I read, I look to have a few takeaways and action steps to apply in my life.

After reading Content Inc., I now have knowledge of a legitimate framework for growing my online presence. With The Mastermind Within, we have found our “Sweet Spot” (personal finance, self-development, entrepreneurship), and our “Content Tilt” (Non-traditional ways to build wealth and reading books for success). One thing I do worry about is if our sweet spot is not small enough and we have diversified too quickly. What are your thoughts readers?

Right now, we are at the “Harvesting Audience” stage. This is our 5th month and we just reached 100 email subscribers. Shout out to all our subscribers and a big thank you for reading! 🙂

The next few months will be continuing to focus on creating a strong base. We want to help you by providing tremendous value and freebies.

Eventually, I’d love to have a The Mastermind Within book. That’s probably a year out for me, but I’m wondering if I can get the other gentlemen I work with to get one out 😉 I’m very excited to keep this train going – let’s get it done!

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

My Recommendation

Content Inc. is for marketing executives and managers looking to increase the number of leads coming to their business. Content Inc. is well written and has very actionable advice, but for the average person, I wouldn’t recommend it. I plan to take what I learned in Content Inc. and apply it to The Mastermind Within. We are still in the “Harvesting Audience” part of the Content Inc. model. Going forward, providing tremendous value for free and making the user’s experience on this site fun and informative are our goals.

Content Inc

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Are you interested in using content to build an audience and business? What steps are you taking to build your email list? Which channel (blog, video channel, social media, etc.) interests you most? Is The Mastermind Within too spread out with it’s content?






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Comments 10

  1. I’m hoping to in the next few weeks to put together a course. I’d love for it to be something that could be taught in the community like a Dave Ramsey type course. I think Dave’s advice with investments are awful and I’d love to offer a different perspective. So that’s what I’ve been working on behind the scenes. Hopefully once it’s done I will put on the blog and allow people to download to gain more email subscribers.

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  2. I have found my sweet spot, but I am still struggling to harvest subscribers. I am not using the pop up subscriber form as I think it’s a bit annoying when it pops up on every page. Do you think the pop up subscriber form is working well for you?

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      On the dropdown, we are getting a 5% conversion rate (this includes a freebie worksheet).

      For the freebies, Debt Destruction tool and Personal Finance Income Statement, we are averaging closer to 10%.

      These conversion rates are in line with the average conversion rates for a blog giving away something free.

  3. Congrats on the 100 subscribers nice accomplishment! I’m just focusing on writing for now and trying to allocate a reasonable amount of time. Since I work full-time (as I’m sure many other writers do too), I really have to stay organized and disciplined. My sweet spot I suppose is PF with some comedic relief baked in. The tool you mentioned sounds interesting and I’ll look into it a bit further.

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  4. Wow this company sounds interesting. I just started my blog and hope it will grow into a business one day. Right now I’m just trying to take advantage of any free marketing resources available. In the future, I might use profession marketing services. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hey Erik, congrats on the 100 email subscribers!! That’s a great mark to hit 🙂

    I’m focused on blogging and social media right now, but I would like to expand into video down the road. I have some experience with podcasting and video — and I enjoy speaking — so those are other ways I do plan to use. But, it’s important to focus and gain success in one area (at least in my humble opinion) before I use other media. I learned from experience not to spread myself too thin.

    Thanks again for sharing. I enjoy your book reviews since I can’t read as often as I like with a toddler 🙂

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      Thanks Dave, I’m pretty pumped, the email list is growing very nicely!

      I think having a vlog channel would be really fun and cool. It’d also be fun to do it with other bloggers.

      Have a good one.

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