Book of the Month Review – Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi

content inc
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In the first of the series on “Book of the Month” we are reviewing author Joe Pulizzi’s best selling book “Content Inc” .

From September 2017, we are starting a new “Book of the Month” column. Each month, our editorial staff will review an interesting book or two and recommend it to our readers. The book will not necessarily be of technical nature but something that our audience will love to read and share.

The idea came about from reading IEEE Spectrum monthly section on book reviews. Over the course of many years, we found many interesting and sometimes, obscure titles, that we loved and shared with our friends. We want to bring that love to XenStreet and therefore are going to feature books each month that we think our readers would also love. The books may not be the newest and the greatest. At times, they would originally be published decades ago but we still find them interesting.

In the first of the series is the best selling book “Content Inc” by author Joe Pulizzi.

Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi – Book of the Month

content inc titleWe meet a lot of bloggers and authors who want to know the secret of monetizing from their online brand. This book is ideally suited for the bloggers and authors who want to go out there solo and make a name for themselves and make a small fortune while growing.

Joe Polizzi observes and shares his insights on how to go about it successfully. In the book he talks about entrepreneurs who love to build beautiful products but we never come around to telling a good story around it. Sure they market, brand and even do events around it, but they never consistently connect with their audience to share and build a community. In this book he talks about numerous small businesses that ventured out to connect with their audience and found a huge following that ultimately resulted in more sales and brand following.

Content Inc actually lays down the plan of action, the playbook so to speak, for how to build and grow your brand online. Whether it is through blogging, Youtube videos, podcasts or even printed newsletter. He believes the key is in understanding the audience and connecting with them in a way that they trust you. It is surely not easy, and requires a lot of persistence and patience. But eventually, the rewards are great.

The model that Content Inc presents is broken down into six simple steps.

  1. Find the sweet spot (what you think is unique)
  2. Find a content tilt (your niche)
  3. Build your subscribers, audience
  4. Harvest your audience
  5. Diversify the audience
  6. Monetization

In Content Inc, Joe wants entrepreneurs to focus on building a loyal audience the first year of their business before they think of diversifying. Which means, if they are doing Youtube videos, they should focus on it more till they have enough clout and subscribers before venturing into podcasting or blogging. By building multiple platforms and messaging mechanisms they may actually confuse their message and eventually lose the core audience. So focus is the key the first year in building the core audience.

Monetization is something that every blogger wants to learn how to do. Joe, surprisingly, believes that our reliance on social media and Google ads will not make us rich. Rather, he believes that our real value comes from our subscribers that we build over time. The reason is simple. Social media platforms constantly change the rules of the game and tweak their algorithms to favor paid advertisers. This leaves the organic growth of the brand into jeopardy. Beyond a certain point, the social media will not add any value to the brand. But the email subscribers will grow and the blogger can control what to share with them over time.


In Content Inc, Joe also contends that we can monetize in various methods other than just advertisements. Here are a few that he emphasizes that everyone must consider.

  1. Sponsorship
  2. Events
  3. Sell more products
  4. Sell more services
  5. Create more loyal customers
  6. Data to launch new products
  7. Donations

Over time, these methods can generate tens of millions of dollars for the brand. The book quotes examples of successful brands that used these methods to reach out to new customers that helped them make millions of dollars over time.

So before you start building a blog, Youtube, or podcasting business, read this book and use it as a playbook.

The book can be downloaded or ordered from Amazon through this link.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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