🏛️ Content Inc. Summary for Coders

📖 Book

This is an actionable summary of Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi, for code-savvy entrepreneurs.

🚩 Problem

You're getting traffic to your social media account or website, but very few visitors become customers.

💡 Solution

Create content to build an audience around a specific topic related to your product or service so they keep coming back to you as the expert on that topic.

🎯 Outcome

Many in your audience not only subscribe to your offering, but they suggest it to their friends, family, coworkers, and whoever else might need it.

✏️ Steps

To create content that will position you as an expert in your niche, perform these steps:


The Ultimate Niche Discovery System

Uncover a burning need in your niche that you can solve with helpful information.


Find your sweet spot

Not all topics are created equal. For your audience, some topics will be as exciting as watching a sloth race in slow motion.

To ensure that your content doesn’t put your potential customers to sleep, identify what Pulizzi calls your sweet spot: the intersection between your knowledge and your audience’s pain points.

For example...

  • If your customers are writers, find out what problems they encounter in their writing process. Do they struggle with writer's block? Do they need help with research?
  • Then, to find your sweet spot, ask yourself, "What do those writers need to know to solve their pain points, and how can I fill that gap with my expertise?"

Identify your content tilt

You want to make a splash in the sea of information that floods your audience daily.

To do this, you need a content tilt. Pulizzi defines this as a topic or angle that nobody else is talking about, which separates you from the pack.

While your sweet spot ensures you’re helping your audience with an actual problem, other businesses in your niche might be solving that same problem. Your content tilt takes care of that.

One way to find your content tilt, offered by Robert Rose, is to be “narrowly applicable to a broad audience or broadly applicable to a narrow audience”.

For example…

  • Using AI to create highly targeted TikTok content (narrow) for businesses (broad)
  • Creating AI-generated scripts (broad) for sports video game dialogue and cutscenes (narrow)

Content Strategy Generator: Unleash Your Creativity

Having a content strategy you can refer to ensures you're always on track.


Choose one platform

Trying to publish on multiple platforms from the start can be extremely time-consuming and will drain your resources, ultimately leading to slower growth and lower morale.

By narrowing your focus to a single platform, you can hone your skills, learning what works and what doesn’t faster than if you were to just blindly throw your content out into the internet abyss and hope for the best.

When choosing your platform, consider:

  • The type of content you want to create.
  • The most effective format for the stories you will tell.
  • Where your audience hangs out.

Come up with ideas

If your brain has to wrack itself every day for new and compelling content ideas, it won’t be long before you dread the task and procrastinate.

To prevent this, it’s essential to come up with ideas ahead of time.

One way to brainstorm ideas is to ask yourself, “What do my customers want to be five or ten years from now?”

By thinking about where your customers are headed, you can create content that helps them get there. For example, if you developed an app that helps people learn new skills, you might create content that focuses on the jobs of the future and what skills will be in demand.


Create a content calendar

If you rely on motivation alone to create content, you may end up publishing sporadically, which dulls your impact.

To overcome this challenge, create a content calendar that will help you stay consistent.

By revisiting your content goals, you can gain clarity on what type of content your audience prefers and how often they would like to receive it.

For example, would they prefer to receive long-form emails once a week, or short, punchy emails daily? Fill out your editorial calendar accordingly.


The Audience Multiplier

People who subscribe to your content are much more likely to purchase your product or service than people who don't hear from you regularly.


Develop an email offering

To solicit feedback, you could blast a tweet asking your followers, “What do you think about Feature X in my product?”

But are you really reaching the people who care most about your product?

Probably not.

The best way to concentrate your community into a ready feedback source is through exclusive access; give them something they can’t find anywhere else.

Pulizzi suggests creating an email offering and building an email list.

By deepening your relationship with people who care enough about your ideas that they want to hear from you, you cultivate a loyal fan base that will not only consume your content but also advocate for it.


Promote your email offering on social media

If you’re relying on organic search to bring exposure to your email newsletter, you might as well be hiding it in a black hole.

(… or you have infinite patience.)

To help people discover your email offering, promote it on social media. Track follows, likes, and comments to see what topics and formats generate the most dopamine hits, then make more of them.

You’ll attract a wider audience and reach potential users who may not have found you through organic search.

Further, engaging on social media can help you refine your email offering to better meet the needs of your target audience.


The Content Monetization Recipe for Long-Term Success

You worked hard to create an amazing bond with your followers. It's time to harvest the benefits!


Find a way to make money in the short-term

Finding the best way to monetize your content takes time.

Meanwhile, you need to pay the bills and invest in services like web hosting.

To stay afloat, explore creative ways to generate quick revenue from your content.


  • Enhanced Ebooks. Compile your articles into ebooks. Add interactive elements like video and audio, or quizzes and worksheets, to engage the reader.
  • Affiliate Marketing. Promote a web hosting service, then develop a custom plugin that helps users integrate that service into their website. Promote the plugin and the service, and earn commissions when people subscribe to the service.

Identify the most profitable revenue model

The revenue model you started with may not be the most profitable one you’re capable of building.

To grow your business, maximize profits, and create redundancy, explore multiple revenue streams.


  • Consulting. Once you have built authority in your niche, you can offer your services as a consultant. You may notice a pattern in the questions your audience asks you that points to an unfilled need.
  • Sponsored content or product placements. Brands pay to get featured in your content. For example, if your content is geared towards fashion influencers on Twitch, approach a clothing brand or online retailer and offer to mention them in your next video.

Streamline with Ease: The Automation Hack

Turn your hundred-hour work week into a ten-hour work week.


Define the roles you need to scale production

If you’re a small or one-person team, you may struggle with burnout, inefficiencies, and slow progress.

To scale production and automate your content creation process, identify the roles you need to fill in your team.

Delegate these tasks…

  • Repurposing content. Expand ideas in long-form content into separate pieces in different formats. Possible titles: Content Strategist, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Cross-promotion. Interlink related pieces of content across channels. Possible titles: Brand Manager, Social Media Manager
  • Graphic design. Ensure that all your individual pieces of content, social media profiles, and websites have a consistent look and feel. Possible titles (besides Graphic Designer): Creative Director, Brand Designer
  • Communications. Develop and maintain relationships with influencers. Possible titles: Public Relations Manager, Marketing Communications Manager
  • Project management. Ensure content is delivered on-schedule by setting up workflows, templates, and guidelines. Possible titles: Managing Editor, Content Operations Manager

Create SOPs

It’s common for teams to improvise when creating content, resulting in content that appears to be made by different people.

To ensure consistent, predictable content production, create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), step-by-step instructions for each stage of the content creation process.

You can then identify the most routine tasks and automate them with your coding skills.

For example…

  • If you make videos, you could write a script or find an AI that generates the basic structure and initial drafts of video elements, such as a storyboard with thumbnail sketches describing each scene.
  • If you write similar types of articles, you could train a machine learning model on what you’ve previously published and their metrics, e.g. views and shares. Each time you want to write an article, the model would generate a list of topics based on what’s done well before, create an outline, and even draft sections like the intro.

Outsource content creation

As your reach grows, you may find that the demand for content creation by users and hungry algorithms outstrips the capacity of your team.

To take advantage of new monetization and distribution opportunities, outsource some of your production.

For each core content creation task…

  • Ask, “Can I pay someone, or an AI, or a combination of the two, to do this for a lower rate than I currently earn?”
  • If no, move on to the next task.
  • If yes, experiment with it until you find the most cost-efficient combination of humans + tools.

As AI tools improve, the best strategy is synergy. For example, have AI generate initial drafts of your content, then have your human content team focus on refining and personalizing the results.

Coder’s Edge

With your technical background, you can develop automated content systems that seamlessly integrate with your existing content production processes. This will help you scale content in a streamlined way.

🧰 Tools

  • GummySearch • Find your sweet spot and content tilt on Reddit.
  • Semrush Topic Research Tool • Generate topic ideas, then compare search volume and difficulty, so you know which topics are easiest to rank for.
  • Newsletter OS • Grow your email offering with this treasure trove of resources.
  • Printful • Give loyal fans a way to support you while you explore other revenue sources.
  • Splasheo • Repurpose your long form videos into snippets for social.
  • Levity • Automate your daily tasks.