By Joe Pulizzi published November 25, 2010

30 Content Marketing Commandments to Live By

At the end of last year, I published 30 content marketing truths that I have taped above my desk. This list is something that I am grateful for as it is a constant reminder to stay focused. In the spirit of Thanksgiving in the US, I wanted to share revised commandments with you. I trust they will serve you well. 

  1. That the content is more important than the offer.
  2. That a customer relationship doesn’t end with the payment.
  3. That printed marketing doesn’t stop with the full-page advertisement.
  4. That “being the content” is more important than “surrounding the content”.
  5. That interruption isn’t valued, but engagement is.
  6. That a blog can be and should be a core part of communicating with and marketing to your customers.
  7. That internal marketing always takes precedence over external marketing.
  8. That a brand is a relationship, not a tag line.
  9. That focusing on what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell.
  10. That readers are old school, customers are new school.
  11. That the competition can copy everything you have, except your brand. Communications is the differentiator.
  12. That a news release isn’t meant to be picked up by the press, but to help customers find your great content on the web.
  13. That communicating directly with customers is the best choice.
  14. That marketers can and should be publishers.
  15. That today’s traditional publishers are scared of marketers.
  16. That without content, community is improbable, if not impossible.
  17. That the marketing brochure should be stricken from all strategic marketing plans.
  18. That content without design doesn’t look appetizing (or deliver on marketing goals).
  19. That lead generation is only one small part of the marketing picture.
  20. That hiring an editor is not a want, but a must, for the organization.
  21. That, no matter the medium or the provider, someone is always selling something.
  22. That the long tail of search engine optimization is driven by consistent content on your corporate blog or website.
  23. That 90% of all corporate websites talk about how great the company or product is and forgets about the customer.
  24. That 90% of all corporate websites suck.
  25. That the blogging community will be more important than traditional media (if not already).
  26. That in the next five to seven years the majority of content consumers engage in will be corporate media (if not already).
  27. That buyers are in control, the traditional sales process has changed, and that relevant content lets organizations into the buying process.
  28. That long-form branded content can be created anywhere your customers work, live or play.
  29. That the Chief Content Officer is the CMO of the future.
  30. That customers want to be inspired. Be the inspiration!

What is your favorite? Do you have any other content marketing truths? Share them in the comments below.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

Join Over 200,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • Anonymous

    Great post to live by, or at least work by–loved the old one, and replacing it with the updated one. Thanks for the great content, and happy holiday.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Tracy…happy holiday to you as well!

  • globalcopywrite

    Hi Joe,

    That content is developed to become an asset to your organization, not an expense line item.

    That’s my commandment. (It’s also my content mission statement.)

    Thanks for the other 30.


  • Mark W. Schaefer

    Chief Content Officer as CMO? Joe, I don’t know about that one. Content is a tool, content is a channel. You still need a background in research, consumer behavior, pricing theory anf the other fundamentals of our trade to be a CMO … but I admire your enthusiasm. : )

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Ha…thanks Mark. My point here is that content needs to be at the center of the entire marketing structure…it’s that important. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

  • Laurie Dunlop

    Your content should support your goal and make it measurable.

  • Debbie Williams

    I am passionate about # 11.That the competition can copy everything you have, except your brand. Communications is the differentiator.

    It’s your brand voice and your brand story that are your ownable points of difference. So many companies just don’t “get” this yet. The words really make a differnce.. your own words, your story, your voice.