Content Inc

Content Inc. Book Summary

Book Review, Entrepreneurship, Wealth Creation 10 Comments


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Content IncDo you have a content based business, or want to build a following through content marketing?

The majority of start-ups around the world begin their journey in exactly the same way as every other company. Product first, and then build a following.

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.

The rest of this post includes a summary of Content Inc., takeaways from Content Inc., and a reading recommendation for you.

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

Book 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.

What do you love, are passionate about, and know? That is your sweet spot for content marketing.

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.

Be unique and original! No one wants to hear the same thing they always here.

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?
  • 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:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Paid Products
    • eBooks
    • Courses
    • Physical Products
    • Premium Content
    • Coaching
  • Advertisting

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. (Just like financial investing, it’s important to diversify!)

Takeaways from Content Inc.

With every book you read, it is a must to have takeaways and actionable items to implement in life.

The main takeaway from Content Inc. is how people in the 21st century are crushing it by writing articles, producing videos, and publishing podcasts.

Content Inc. is very inspiring to me as a content creator on this blog. It also was very informative as it provides detailed steps to start, grow and monetize content based businesses.

By following the six steps discussed above to set-up a content based business, you’ll be on your way to success as a blogger, YouTuber, or podcaster.

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

The Mastermind Within Recommends Content Inc

For writers, business owners, and marketers, understanding how to create content to connect with readers is so critical for success online.

Content Inc. is a fantastic read for marketing executives and managers looking to increase the number of leads coming to their business.

If you are looking to start or build a content based business, I’d highly recommend Content Inc.

Content Inc
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?

About the Author

Hi! I'm Erik, the creator of The Mastermind Within blog.

I'm passionate about helping you improve as a person, get better with your finances, and create your dream life over time.

Through setting goals, critical thinking and intentional living and action, I believe you can master your life, win with money, and get on the path to freedom.

Get your free goals guide below, or browse through the 6 portal pages after the guide form.

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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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