June 21, 2024

Joe Pulizzi is the author of seven books on content marketing, host of two podcasts, and a popular speaker. He’s the founder of multiple content-marketing businesses, including The Tilt (website, newsletter, publishing services) and the annual Content Entrepreneur Expo.

His latest book, “The Content Entrepreneur,” is a 40-chapter guide from 33 seasoned content marketers. Topics include choosing a content niche, technology and platforms, audience-building, revenue channels, and long-term growth. The book is available in hardcover ($45), paperback ($25), and as an ebook ($10).

I asked Pulizzi about the book, the industry, authorship, and more.

Practical Ecommerce: What’s a content entrepreneur?

Joe Pulizzi: A content entrepreneur is a mini media company. This means first building an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you. What are the members’ pain points? What keeps them up at night? If you solve their challenges consistently, you’ll be a content entrepreneur in no time. Produce a compelling newsletter, podcast, or YouTube show. Then monetize.

It’s different from launching a product — the content is the product, but you can’t make money until you build the right audience.

An entrepreneur’s life has crazy ups and downs — tremendous successes and incredible failures on the same day.

"The Content Entrepreneur" book cover with photo of Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi, publisher of “The Content Entrepreneur”

PEC: Why publish “The Content Entrepreneur“?

Pulizzi: My VIP group from Content Entrepreneur Expo wanted to collaborate on a project. We believed a resource was needed for content entrepreneurs. We met at CEX 2023 and assembled 33 authors to create the book, which we launched before CEX 2024 in early May.

Collaboration among 33 contributors is incredibly difficult. I wouldn’t recommend it. Luckily, we have a group of content pros who know their areas well. Most are authors in their own right. A fantastic editorial and project management team through Tilt Publishing made it happen.

PEC: You’ve now published seven books since 2008 on content marketing.

Pulizzi: The book business has changed. Most authors assume they must publish and sell through external channels. That’s no longer the case.

Affordable technology can create amazing book experiences without a traditional publisher and sell directly from authors’ websites. Why create an audience and send members elsewhere to buy the book? It makes no sense.

I created Tilt Publishing to help authors create excellent books and then sell them directly to subscribers, fans, and followers. It’s essential for long-term success.

Tilt Publishing is a hybrid — not a traditional publisher but not a vanity (custom) press, either. We assist with the backend editing, design, and distribution. Authors no longer need publishers for credibility.

Yet books remain vital. The data doesn’t lie. In 2023, almost 1 billion books were sold worldwide.

A nonfiction book is a content entrepreneur’s mission statement. What do I stand for? What do I believe?

PEC: What’s the future of content marketing?

Pulizzi: Innovative companies will continue focusing on building or buying their own audiences. Ads will never go away. They serve a purpose and still work. But why rent when you can own? To own, you need to tell a compelling story. If you do it well, you can dominate your industry. It’s not a bad place.