Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

By joepulizzi published November 16, 2008

Junta42 Releases New Top Blogs List – TopRank Blog Sneaks By Copyblogger

We’re excited to announce the fourth installment of the Junta42 Top 42 Content Marketing blogs. Congratulations this month goes to Lee Odden and the team from TopRank Online Marketing, whose Online Marketing Blog just squeaked by Brian Clark’s Copyblogger (which held the #1 position for the last two updates).Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published November 14, 2008

Custom Publishing Council Celebrates 2008 Pearl Award Winners

I just came back from the 2008 Custom Publishing Council Pearl Awards Ceremony in New York City at the Rainbow Room. The Pearl Awards is a celebration of the best that the custom publishing industry has to offer.

Some of the highlights included:
  • Don Johnson, Editor-in-Chief for Meredith Integrated Marketing, took home the coveted John Caldwell Award, which celebrates lifetime achievement in the custom publishing industry. Don, a 40+ year veteran at Meredith, won the night over with an emotional acceptance speech that brought tears to many in the room.
  • The Best in Custom Award, sponsored by Nxtbook Media, went to Centurion magazine from American Express, produced by Journal International Verlag.
  • Rodale Custom Publishing was the big winner of the night, taking home an astounding 13 Gold awards.
  • Co-presenter Jonah Bloom (from AdAge – who presented along side Mr. Magazine himself Samir Husni) had trouble pronouncing Lamaze (a Rodale magazine) most of the night (all in good fun). Jonah also wanted to know the ROI on the Merrill Lynch custom magazine.
  • Junta42 came away with two gold awards (best microsite and best blog).
Also, a big thanks to the sponsors who helped make the night possible: Nxtbook Media, Fry Communications, Lane Press, Arandell Corporation, and Convera.

Here is the full-list of award winners. Congratulations to all the winners.  There were truly some amazing print and web publications on display from the best content providers the industry has to offer.


Best Cover
Under 50,000 – Luxury Travel Guide/Faircount Media Group
50,000 – 250,000 – Ethisphere/Mindspace
Over 250,000 – deliver/Campbell-Ewald
Best Opening Spread
Under 250,000 – big ideas in technology/Leverage Media
Over 250,000 – all animals/Time Inc. Content Solutions
Best Overall Design
Under 50,000 – Gilette: The Best a Man Can Get/Time Inc. Content Solutions
50,000 – 250,000 – Momentum/Journal International Verlag
Over 250,000 – deliver/Campbell-Ewald
Best New Magazine
thinkMoney/T3 Publishing
Best New Newsletter
Most Improved Publication
Under 50,000 – Draeger’s Cooking/DCP
Over 50,000 – escape/Great Water Media
Best Special Issue
Capital Thinking/Leverage Media
Best One-Shot
Best Use of Photography
Under 50,000 – Experience Bermuda 2008/09 / HCP/Aboard Publishing
50,000 – 250,000 – Four Seasons Magazine/Pace Communications
Over 250,000 – Hemispheres Magazine/Pace Communications
Best Use of Illustration
Under 50,000 – Independent School/The Magazine Group
50,000 – 250,000 – little brown book/Rodale Custom Publishing
Over 250,000 – Sky/Pace Communications
Best Use of Typography
Hemispheres/Pace Communications
Best Tie-In with Corporate Marketing Objectives
on Investing/Custom Solutions from Smart Money


Best Integrated Print and Web Program
Stir/Hanley Wood Marketing
Best Web Publication
F2/Fader Media
Best E-Newsletter
on Air/Spafax Canada
Best Microsite Creative
Best Blog
Junta42 blog/Z Squared Media
Best Use of Alternative Media or Multimedia Technology
Best Interactive Tool
You24/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Web Feature or Article
You24/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Overall Web Design
Cygnus Custom Solutions/Cygnus Business Media
Best Achievement of Corporate Objectives
Lamaze/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Launch or Relaunch
Guide 2 Gaming/Future Plus


Best Cover Lines
CBS Watch!/McMurry
Best Feature Article/Package
Under 250,000 – Capital Thinking/Leverage Media
Over 250,000 – Look Good Feel Better/Transcontinental Custom Communications
Best Overall Editorial
Under 50,000 – Centurion/Journal International Verlag
50,000 – 250,000 – cleveland clinic magazine/The Magazine Group
Over 250,000 – Acura Style/Javelin Custom Publishing
Best New Magazine
Are You? Central/Emphasis Media Limited
Best New Newsletter
cancer prevention works/Rodale Custom Publishing
Most Improved Publication
Girl Scout Leader/Spot On media
Best Column
diane/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Regular Department
Hemispheres/Pace Communications
Best Special Issue
little pink book/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best One-Shot
Fight One – Doubledown Media
Best International Publication
Automation Today Asia Pacific/Penton Custom Media


Best Tie-In with Corporate Integrated Marketing Campaign
Smart & Simple/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Achievement of Corporate Objectives – B2B
Wal-Mart world/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Achievement of Corporate Objectives – B2C
little brown book/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Proof of Return on Investment
little pink book/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best Distribution Strategy
Best New Launch or Relaunch – B2B
Wal-Mart world/Rodale Custom Publishing
Best New Launch or Relaunch – B2C
Lamaze/Rodale Custom Publishing
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By joepulizzi published November 12, 2008

Purpose-Based Marketing, Jim Stengel and Content Marketing

I’ve seen Jim Stengel speak many times and always enjoyed it.  For the past five+ years, the global marketing chief from Procter & Gamble seemed a regular on the advertising and marketing speaking circuit.  Now we know why.

Mr. Stengel has formed his own marketing consulting company called (appropriately) Jim Stengel LLC. Stengel states in this Wall Street Journal article that “marketing is in need of a major overhaul…trust in brands is at an all-time low.”
Stengel’s “new way” of selling is called “purpose-based marketing,” which, according to the article, is “about defining what a company does – beyond making money – and how it can make its customers’ lives better.”
Although this is nothing new, it’s nice to see this picked up in the Journal, and that a well-followed and successful marketing executive is carrying the banner of what we call content marketing.
Yes, Stengel’s “purpose-based marketing” is “content marketing”.
Here is what I wrote back in January on this topic:
Content marketing is not easy because you actually have to listen to your customers and know what their challenges are. You cannot solve your marketing woes through buying advertising space. You must make a connection to your customers, and get new customers, by focusing on their true pain points and healing them with information.

In the WSJ article, Stengel discussed how Pampers found its higher purpose: helping moms develop healthy, happy babies.  From that, P&G offered parenting advice (relevant content) and recruited experts on a variety of parenting topics (yep, that’s content marketing).
The Results: the brand won market share. Pampers became not just a product, but a trusted resource through their use of content marketing.  They did it by telling a meaningful, relevant and compelling story.
Look, nothing against Mr. Stengel here, but this “new idea” has been the basis of the custom publishing (what I call content marketing) movement for over 100 years (since John Deere launched the first recognized custom publication called The Furrow in the late 1800s – and still in publication by the way – bless you John Deere).
Stengel’s book release that expands on his idea (currently titled “Packaged Good”) is currently in production.  While you wait for that one to hit bookstores, here’s the original.
By joepulizzi published November 7, 2008

Creating Relevant Content Is About One Thing

I was presenting a speech in San Diego last month to a group of online marketers called “Becoming the Media”. After the presentation was over, an online marketing executive came up to me and asked the following:

“This may be a stupid question, but what does it really mean to create valuable, relevant and compelling content?”

First of all, this is an amazingly insightful question.  Most people really don’t understand what creating relevant and valuable content actually means – either for themselves, their companies or their customers.

Creating relevant, valuable and compelling content is all about just one thing (ever see City Slickers?).

As Curly (the Jack Palance character) states to Billy Crystal’s character, “the secret of life is about one thing.”

The secret of good marketing is about one thing as well – your customer. Nothing else matters.

To take that a step further, the secret of creating great content marketing…content that evokes a behavior and engages customers in a conversation…is about one thing as well.

What is the key to my customer’s success?

Ask yourself that question. Have you thought about this before?  Not for how it can generate more product and service sales, but simply what factors will ultimately make your customer successful?

By asking yourself that question, and doing the research that follows that question, you will find answers to the following:

  • What keeps your customer up at night?
  • How do they keep themselves educated in order to do their jobs better?
  • What channels (online, print, in-person, mobile, etc.) do they use to get their information?
  • How do they engage with each channel?

By answering these questions, you have the necessary components to create your content marketing, custom media program. By understanding your customer’s informational needs, and understanding what channels they use to get their current information, you can develop the tools that will form the base of your content program.

With execution, you will position yourself as a trusted content resource. Trust in today’s Internet environment is more important than ever.  Trust ultimately leads to a sale.

And, as you look to gain support for your content marketing program in your company, keep the following in your back pocket.

Without trust there is no sale.  Without content there is no trust.  Without understanding what makes your customer successful, there can be no valuable, compelling content.

For more, check out Junta42’s free white paper on “How to Attract and Retain Customers with Content.”

Subscribe Junta42 Find Content Vendors Get the Book

By joepulizzi published November 6, 2008

Upcoming Events to Learn More about Content Marketing (Marketers, Journalists, Publishers included)

More and more organizations are starting to feature educational sessions around content marketing and custom publishing. Better yet, there’s something for all disciplines.

Here are a few of my upcoming events…something for everyone.

Are you a marketer?

November 10th, 1pm Eastern
Webinar Presentation
How to Use Custom Media to Generate Marketing Results

Need the basics? Trying to understand how companies are executing on the content strategy process?  If so, this one’s for you. I’ll be presenting this Tech Briefs webinar with friends and colleagues Paul Dunay (Buzz Marketing for Tech) and Rohit Bhargava (The Influential Marketing Blog).

Here’s the Overview:
Custom Media has been around for centuries, but marketers are just now taking advantage of this high-growth strategy. As traditional marketing continues to crack, smart marketers are creating compelling and relevant content for their customers that is leading to sales growth and customer loyalty. There is also no better way to reach prospects via the web than with the creation of valuable content.

December 4th, Noon Eastern
Webinar Presentation
Content Marketing: How to Position Your Company as a Trusted Expert Resource

MarketingProfs webinar that I’ll be detailing for over an hour on why trust is more important than ever and how relevant content engenders trust. Less high-level and more of what you need to do right now to make this happen as a marketer.

You will learn:

  • Six reasons why content marketing is essential to your overall marketing strategy.
  • Using the B.E.S.T. methodology as a litmus test for your content efforts.
  • Setting up “listening posts” to find out who’s talking about your brand and what to do about it.
  • How to execute the content plan.
  • What small and leading brands are doing to leverage content to grow their businesses.
  • Next steps: What you must do now in analyzing and executing your content plan.

Are you a journalist?

November 17th, 1pm Eastern
Webinar Presentation
The B2B Journalist’s Guide to Creating the Next New Media Resource

Harry McCracken (former editor-in-chief of PC World and creator of Technologizer) and I will be discussing how journalists and editors can use their content to create and promote their own brands (instead of always creating content for others).

Learn how to:

  • develop an effective marketing strategy to promote your content;
  • identify and participate in online conversations that can help draw audiences to your work;
  • use social networking Web sites to reach out to online communities who are likely to value your expertise;
  • leverage the power of “free”; and
  • build successful permission-based marketing initiatives.

Are you a publisher?

April 27, 2009 – Denver, CO
Custom Publishing Strategies – For Publishers
Niche Magazine Conference

Are you a traditional or niche publisher trying to figure out how to sustain and grow revenue from your custom publishing operations?  If so, this presentation is for you.

Here’s the overview:
Everybody is struggling with custom publishing and many
traditional publishers don’t know where to begin. Content
creation is the single most important marketing initiative for
your advertisers — help them (and build your bottom line)
with custom publishing. Learn custom from the ground up:
How to set up a partial service model; how to meet advertiser
expectations; how to price; how to sell; how to implement.
Joe Pulizzi is going to change your publishing life forever!!!

Please support these organizations that are evangelizing our content marketing efforts.

Subscribe Junta42 Find Content Vendors Get the Book

By joepulizzi published November 3, 2008

MoveOn’s “Obama Loss” Video a Viral Hit

Okay, okay…I just had to blog about this. This morning counted the fifth person to send me this viral election video from supporting Obama.

As of last Thursday, more than 9 million people have passed this video on to friends and family (as of sending this blog it's 13 million and counting). I'm not sure what they invested in the production and marketing of the video, but you can bet it's less than the three to five million dollars that Obama spent on his 30 minute advertorial on all the major networks last week.

Funny thing is, more republicans than democrats sent this to me because they thought it was a cool video (the personalization does it).  Yikes!  Now that's content marketing.

Check out mine below.

By joepulizzi published November 2, 2008

Attracting Customers with Content and Relevant Direct Mail

I came by this article as I was going through some archives.  Still rings pretty true.  What say you?

I recently received a US Postal Service direct mailer on Variable Data Printing (VDP). It’s a nice piece. It had my name all over it…very personable. The only thing:  I was a bit bothered by some of the copy.

The last line of the insert read, “As a large business looking for new ways to appeal to customers, personalization may be the exciting new temptation you’re looking for.” Besides the fact that I run a small business, the question begs: As marketing professionals, are we really looking for a “new temptation” to reel our customers in?Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published October 29, 2008

Writing a Book? 6 Ways to Launch Your Book Using Social Media

It’s funny…the more our society focuses on the Internet, the more niche print books you tend to see.  Sounds counter intuitive, but the Long Tail has created opportunities in book publishing that were never before imaginable.

Since we have the ability to target the slimmest of customer segments, more companies are developing content to serve those niches and drive revenues. Yes, even books. From to LuLu, publishing has become easier from both a production and promotion standpoint.

This was one of the reasons why Newt Barrett and I launched our book Get Content. Get Customers., which revolves around the philosophy and execution of content marketing. We believed that we could develop a content marketing book, without a major publisher, that could get traction through the use of social media and the Internet. And we were right. (Note: Last month, Newt and I sold the book rights to McGraw-Hill. The marketing of the book was the major reason we were approached with this opportunity – that, and hopefully the fact that it’s a good book had something to do with it.)

We didn’t do everything perfect, but we did a lot right, and there are others out there doing some amazing things.  Below are six social media and online keys to promoting a book for yourself or your business.

NOTE: Remember, this is not a traditional book launch.  Thinking differently is the key.

1. It Starts with Relationships

This is less of a “way” than a philosophy.  The key to your online promotion success is having lots of conversations with lots of people online. Then, those people have more conversations and presto, you have a successful book launch.

Your online relationships need to be in place before you launch your book. Trying to create a movement at the same time you are trying to find influential business colleagues is difficult at best.

Get and stay active online by using social networking and communication tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and FriendFeed. Each one will give you the opportunity to grow your network and find your place.

But it’s not enough to just join…you have to do two things: get active and have something to say.

Look at it like this – if you are having a one-on-one conversation with someone and all you do is talk about yourself and how wonderful you are, how long will that relationship last?  Same thing goes for anything online. The more valuable information you communicate, the more people want to hang around you.

By doing this, you will build your base of followers that will make everything else on this list possible.

2. Why a Blog is so Important

First off, the blog can be where you actually start and finish the book.  A good portion of the chapters for our book originally came from popular posts from my blog. The same goes for authors like Seth Godin or Rohit Bhargava, both of whom have used their blogs to develop and promote their books.

But, the bigger point is that you need consistent, relevant and valuable content to continually communicate to your followers/colleagues from point #1. Nothing does that better or easier than a blog. I know with 100% certainty that I couldn’t have launched the book without the blog – in terms of both creating and cultivating a following.

Content marketing works because a valuable piece of content delivered to people who want it is still the best marketing on the planet. It positions you as a trusted content resource. Once you become a trusted resource, anything from a marketing perspective is possible. Possibly no one does that better than Seth.

3. Viral Marketing and the eBook

I’m a big David Meerman Scott fan. David’s books Cashing in with Content and The New Rules of Marketing & PR both discussed how content marketing can fuel a business and a brand.

Before Launching “The New Rules”, David created an ebook entitled The New Rules of PR that has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. By giving away this wonderful and free piece of content, David was setting the groundwork for the explosion of his best-selling book.

Newt and I flat out stole the same concept with the release of our free eBook, Get Content. Get Customers. We gave it away for free, placed it on LuLu, and promoted it on our blogs.  We actually used much of the feedback we received about the eBook as part of the printed book. It’s almost like sending a rough draft out to the world and seeing what sticks.

It really could have been anything…an article series, a white paper, a video, etc. But we’ve found, as David has shown, that an eBook serves as a good preview of the book, and is easy enough for people to link to and pass around.

4. Don’t Wait for Your Prospects to Find You

Yes, you should have a destination site that people can visit to get your information. That could be a website or a blog. That said, you can’t expect everyone to find you by getting to YOUR site.

There are plenty of sites that you need to leverage all that great content you are creating in anticipation of your book launch.

Use sites like, SmallBusinessBrief and Junta42 to upload links and abstracts to your content. Get active in StumbleUpon. Upload to Facebook. Promote on Twitter. Upload full articles to

Of course, the sites depend on who your target is (each industry has their own targeted content sites). You may also consider creating your own Squidoo page as I have. Guest blog as much as possible at relevant sites (bloggers are always looking to do Q&A’s or guest blogs). Place articles on sites such as EzineArticles.

Also, don’t forget to get involved in other communities that can help people find you as a resource.  Those include Yahoo! Answers, LinkedIn Questions and posting reviews on

The point is that you want to create as many highways into your site as possible (what Hubspot calls Inbound Marketing) and be everywhere that makes sense with your target audience. Yes, it takes time, but done right, there may be no better way to market.

5. Building a Community First

Seth Godin’s release of his latest book, Tribes, was simply amazing.

Seth created an invitation-only community site called, where leaders and students could learn and be inspired (the site uses technology). Seth called for the movement initially on his blog, which is how I found out about it.

Seth did all the right things. In exchange for putting a little skin in the game (buying the book), Seth gave you access to people who really cared about marketing.  He also made it a limited proposition, made it viral (email to a friend), and made it easy to join.

The community is pretty vibrant, and I check it out when I can.

Seth built a community of fans who are all working to promote Seth’s book.  By just getting a few passionate people involved in the beginning, Seth created something bigger than the book.

Something to aspire to…

6. Leverage Others to Organize a Movement

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton. Drew and Gavin were the masterminds behind Age of Conversation 2, a book I recently co-authored with 236 others from 15 countries.

This was not a book project, this was a major social movement that Drew and Gavin worked to perfection for the second time (I wasn’t a part of the first book).

How do you get others to believe in something as much as you?  Make them a part of the process.

What does that mean for your book experience?  Whatever it is, if done right, you’ll create something that transcends the book, which is what Drew and Gavin have done.

And these six strategies just touch upon what can be done in this ever-changing online climate.  There is one constant though – none of this will work without the creation of valuable, consistent and compelling content. If you have that, you just need to find ways to get people to engage in that content. The six points above will help – go out and find more…

More reading at: 10 Keys to Writing a Book when You Have Absolutely No Time to Write a Book

Subscribe Junta42 Find Content Vendors Get the Book

By joepulizzi published October 28, 2008

Age of Conversation 2 Officially Launches – Get this Book!

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard me talk about
The Age of Conversation project. Well, the time has finally come – Age of Conversation 2 officially launches tomorrow, October 29th.

I, along with an amazing 236 other marketing thought leaders from 15 different countries, are participating in this much heralded book sequel that is a literal treasure-trove of content for anyone in looking for insight into the business communication processes and thinking of the future.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published October 22, 2008

Alltop Launches New Content Marketing Category based on Junta42 List

Guy Kawasaki and hit Alltop team recently launched the content marketing category on The list is based on our Junta42 Top 42 Content Marketing blogs list, which we (Junta42) rate and update on a quarterly basis. Although the Junta42 list contains 173 total blogs right now, Guy and I both agreed that focusing on the Top 42 was best. As we continue to refine our top 42, we’ll send the updates to Alltop.

How did this come about? Let’s thank Twitter. Guy (@guykawasaki) and I (@juntajoe) traded tweets a few weeks back on the concept. Guy liked it and ran with it.
Who says that social media doesn’t work?
Here are the details on how we score the Top 42.
  • The number of posts in the five most recent posts prior to the close date for judging that pertained to a content marketing topic.
  • Substantiveness of Posts. Here we worked to weed out posts that fell short of adding value to the collective body of knowledge about content marketing. For example, blogs that simply linked to other blogs or articles without adding new information, perspectives or ideas to the commentary received lower scores than did blogs that consistently delivered unique ideas, thoughtful insights, deep coverage, rich media and the like – you know, high-value content – to the community.
  • Regularity of Posts. Here we looked at the frequency of posts. Those posting on 3 or more days per week received the highest number of points.
  • Google PageRank. All blogs were checked on the same day to record Google PageRank.
  • Junta42 Member Ratings. Blogs ranked on our previous Top 42 list received points for their position and their Hitch! (voting) popularity. Blogs that were newcomers to our list received a first-round quality score instead.

The process is not perfect (we continually try to improve it), but we believe it’s a good start and an excellent resource for marketers. The list contains some of the best marketing thought leaders on the planet.

Thanks again to Guy for making this happen.Alltop/Junta42 Press Release