Joe Pulizzi: How to Create Content Marketing That Succeeds

Joe Pulizzi created the Content Marketing Institute then sold it for 17.6 million. He attributes his early success to his blog. Now he’s an expert on why content marketing succeed.

During a conference Joe once said (with a look of amazement), “For the first 24 months all we were doing was blogging. That’s it.” So, is a blog is all you need to succeed with content marketing? It may be according to Joe Pulizzi.

Today, a podcast will probably get you a lot further. But it seems to me that Joe’s five little known rules for succeeding with content marketing – apply equally to podcasting.

Rule 1. Use a Single Content Format

In Pulizzi’s book, Epic Content Marketing he describes content marketing success stories. What they all have in common is they stuck with one content format. (e.g. podcasting, video or textual). Switching formats might confuse your audience and you could lose them.

One popular content format that’s versatile and convenient is Podcasting. Or, video can be quite engaging. Though both of these can be costly to produce and complex.

A Podcast is easier to consume and can be re-purposed into many other formats including blogs. Be consistent with your content format and your chances of success will increase. While you have lots of content format options, you’re better to stick with one.

Rule 2. Don’t Change Platforms

Joe’s second content marketing rule is to not switch platforms – otherwise known as channels. (e.g. iTunes, Youtube, your website).

Social media channels can be an affordable platform. But they keep changing and give you the least control. A platform like Facebook could change and you might lose the time and money you’ve invested. Instead, Pulizzi recommends using a platform you own. He used his own website for blogging.

Further, he suggests you offer a free download to build an email marketing list. He says email is the most powerful platform of all. It lets you reach out to your audience anytime you want. While there are many platforms, Joe recommends sticking with one. As he pointed out, your own website gives you the most control.

Rule 3. Publish on Schedule

Pulizzi’s third rule is to schedule your publishing. We live in an unpredictable world where everyone wants consistency. For content marketing to work you must run it like a 9-5 business.

A routine builds momentum and good habits. When you publish high-quality content on schedule, your readership will increase. People will somehow find the time to fit your high-quality content into their schedule.

Rule 4. Be Patient

Joe’s next rule is an easy one. Never stop publishing. It takes time and patience to build an audience of people who know you, like you and trust you.

While it’s simple to follow a publishing schedule, Joe says few marketers will do it. Pulizzi’s research shows the shortest time to see results is 9 months. The average is 15-17 months.

Rule 5. Build Value to Get Value

Joe Pulizzi’s golden rule of content marketing is, “You can’t get value until you build value.” The takeaway here is that you can’t start pitching your product and expect anyone to care.

Joe is emphatic about his belief that people care about their themselves, not your product. So you must start from your prospects point of view. This means putting their needs ahead of your own initially. This is not easy. But unless you do, they won’t be interested.

What they want to know is… W-I-I-F-M (What’s in it for me?). They and everyone else is asking that question 100 times a day (at least).

Start Building Value and Growing Your Audience

Joe Pulizzi is an expert on content marketing. His advice on blogging comes from launching the highly profitable Content Marketing Institute. A modern alternative is podcasting.

He says you should put all your content eggs in one basket by picking a format you’re willing to stick with. Then choose a platform and don’t change. Once you start, don’t stop. And you must follow his golden rule: you can’t get value until you build it. If it worked for Joe Pulizzi, it can work for you too.

If you’re considering starting a podcast, check out my Free Podcast Launch Guide.