Joe Pulizzi

Founder of CEX: Creator Economy Expo and The Tilt

With over 20 years of experience in content marketing, publishing, and growth, Joe Pulizzi is also referred to as "The Godfather" of content marketing. He is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and The Tilt. He has also co-founded CEX - Creator Economy Expo and The Orange Effect Foundation. He has previously worked as Vice President at Penton Media. 

Joe Pulizzi has received the following recognitions across his career:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award by the Content Council in 2014

  • FOLIO: 100 Honoree in 2015

  • Smart Business Smart 50 winner in 2015

  • John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement winner in 2014

  • Cleveland Champion of the Year in 2013


The journey

Joe Pulizzi started his career in 2000 when the concept of content marketing was nothing but an unrealistic myth. However, by 2007 when Joe had already begun blogging, content marketing underwent a transformational change with businesses realizing they could produce content in different formats such as podcasts, printed content, etc., and use a variety of platforms to market it.

What’s changed is it’s [content] everywhere, people are talking about it, and most businesses are doing content marketing.

Joe was the Vice President of Penton's Custom Media Group and oversaw the content marketing, repurposing, and publishing activities. Later, he founded the Content Marketing Institute and The Tilt. He has also authored books such as Epic Content Marketing, Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit, Content Inc. series, etc. 


Challenges in content marketing

With the myriad of content dissemination platforms available, it's possible to get lost in the clutter. To counter this, Joe Pulizzi recommends having a clear picture of the target audience, their pain points, the company's vision, etc.


Some challenges to look out for are:

  • Not having a specific and impactful content format. 

  • Inconsistency switching between formats. 

  • Not defining the target audience, content goals, and other indices. 


Build community through content 

The use of community and content interchangeably has gained prominence over time. Addressing this, Joe Pulizzi says it's essential to comprehend the distinction between audience and community. He believes that an audience that merely consumes the information differs from a loyal community, and one needs channeled efforts to build the latter. This can be done through an email newsletter, devising feedback methods, etc.


So, as a business, decide what you want to do but I would start with let’s build that audience on that one platform first, and then we can say well, do we want to build a community?

Future of AI and content marketing

Joe Pulizzi believes that the future will witness an automated approach to content production. However, manual intervention will also be required for activities such as proofreading, fact-checking, etc. He also thinks that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will play a role in business models and content creation. 

Brands like publishers and a content mission statement

In an attempt to keep up with a continuous flow of content, companies must continue to ensure that their content stays interesting. Acting like publishers should not be a pass to dump content on the audience.  


To achieve goals, it is imperative that businesses create a content mission statement, also known as an editorial mission statement, that includes relevant information such as the target audience, content format, potential results, etc. To put it simply, before publishing a piece of content, companies should be able to answer questions like why they are publishing it, who they are publishing it for, what results they expect from the content, etc. 

The creator economy and its success

The current content trends offer immense opportunities for creators to thrive in the creator economy. According to Joe, the secret behind succeeding in the creator economy does not solely depend on the content one publishes. It also involves self-branding and building a retention factor among the audience and community so that alteration in the rules and regulation of platforms, major or minor, still leaves creators with something left to talk about with their customers.

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