100 episodes

The podcast about how publishers create, distribute, and monetize digital content.

The Business of Content Simon Owens, tech and media journalist

    • News
    • 4.8 • 28 Ratings

The podcast about how publishers create, distribute, and monetize digital content.

    How Joe Pulizzi built and sold The Tilt, a newsletter and conference business geared toward creators

    How Joe Pulizzi built and sold The Tilt, a newsletter and conference business geared toward creators

    Get $100 your CEX tickets by entering the discount code OWENS100
     
    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    When Joe Pulizzi launched The Tilt in 2021, he already had a pretty good idea of how to build a successful media company. Back in 2017, he had sold his previous media startup, The Content Marketing Institute, to one of the world’s largest event conglomerates.
     
    Joe ran The Tilt with a very similar playbook – first starting with a weekly newsletter, and then expanding into an in-person conference called The Content Entrepreneur Expo, or CEX. The venture was so successful that he sold it to Lulu Press in 2023.
     
    In our interview, Joe talked about his newsletter growth strategy, what it takes to put on a successful conference, and why he prefers the term “content entrepreneur” instead of “creator.”
     

    • 45 min
    How Brad Hargreaves built Thesis Driven, a newsletter and data product focused on real estate

    How Brad Hargreaves built Thesis Driven, a newsletter and data product focused on real estate

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    When it comes to knowing all the intricacies of real estate investment, few are more knowledgeable than Brad Hargreaves. In 2015 he founded Common, a company that manages rental properties and consults  with real estate investors on building design.
     
    And then in 2022 Brad decided to begin sharing his knowledge through a paid newsletter called Thesis Driven. Within a matter of months, it was generating six figures in revenue, and he decided to step down from his role at Common so he could focus on building out a data platform geared toward real estate investors.
     
    In our interview, we talked about why he launched Thesis Driven as a paid only newsletter, how his content is differentiated from most other real estate journalism, and why he think there’s an opportunity to build a Bloomberg Terminal for real estate investors.
     

    • 56 min
    How Andreas Sator built one of the most popular podcasts in Austria

    How Andreas Sator built one of the most popular podcasts in Austria

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    I spend most of my time on this show interviewing entrepreneurs who founded English-language media outlets – mostly because that’s the only language I speak – but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the media ecosystems from other regions in the world. That’s why I was super excited to talk to Andreas Sator, the host of one of the most popular podcasts in Austria.
     
    Andreas got his start at a major newspaper, and after a few years at the outlet, he got to experiment with writing an explainer journalism column about personal finances. He found this sort of reporting to be much more enjoyable, so in 2018 he launched a podcast that roughly translates to “Explain The World to Me.”
     
    In our interview, we discussed the Austrian podcast market, how he monetizes the podcast, and why he decided to launch a new show about climate change.
     

    • 44 min
    How to grow your audience in a post-Facebook world

    How to grow your audience in a post-Facebook world

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    Earlier this month, I sent a newsletter to my audience with the subject line: “Ask me a question.” Basically I told everyone to jump into the comments section of the post and ask me any questions they have about the media industry or creator economy.
     
    Several of you did pipe in with some amazing questions. I then invited on Alexis Grant, the founder of They Got Acquired, to help me answer them.
     
    We answered questions on a range of topics like:
     
    Which media companies are succeeding with native advertising
    The best ways for media outlets to run live events
    How to grow your audience in a world where Google and Facebook are sending less and less traffic
    What a Substack advertising platform would look like.
     

    • 1 hr 2 min
    How William Knight built Early Morning Media, a B2B newsletter company

    How William Knight built Early Morning Media, a B2B newsletter company

    Before William Knight launched Early Morning Media, he had worked for years at a company that specialized in sending press clippings to corporate clients. While these services were mostly utilized by a client’s internal communications team, William realized at some point that these same news curation practices would be appreciated by an external audience.
     
    So in 2011, he launched B2B newsletters covering multiple industries. At first, these newsletters were monetized mostly through paid subscriptions, but as the company expanded he began to roll out free, ad-supported newsletters as well. Today, Early Morning Media operates over a dozen newsletters that are read by 500,000 industry professionals.
     
    In our interview, William discussed the company’s origin story, its method for curating news, and the decision process for launching a new newsletter.
     

    • 48 min
    How Tom Arbuthnot built Empowering Cloud, a media comapany focused on Microsoft cloud products

    How Tom Arbuthnot built Empowering Cloud, a media comapany focused on Microsoft cloud products

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/ 
     
    The rise of cloud computing introduced all sorts of benefits for the enterprise software space. Not only could license holders access their accounts from virtually anywhere, but it also allowed the software companies to issue updates on a more regular basis. But this also made the sector a lot more complicated and created a need for more experts who could educate cloud software customers about the intricacies of the tools.
     
    Tom Arbuthnot is one of those experts. For over a decade, he’s been a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, and he spent a significant amount of time in the early 2010s educating the public about these products through blogging and conference talks. But then in early 2022 he realized that there was a market opportunity for a media company to cover these products. That year, he launched Empowering Cloud, an online community that produces a mixture of videos, live calls, and other educational materials centered around Microsoft’s cloud technology.
     
    In my interview with Tom, we talked about the site’s launch, how he finds sponsors, and why he decided to lock most of the company’s content inside a community platform that requires a login.
     

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Nancy0707 ,

Excellent Podcast

Simon is brilliant and thorough. This podcast is full of value. Very important resource for people who want to get better at what they do.

Regina Revazova ,

The host is excellent

So are his guests. I really appreciate where Simon steers the conversations, the topics he chooses and how raw and genuine these talks are. I’d suggest every J school in the country to listen to this one (actually recommended some of my former professors..) while they all are pondering on where the journalism is headed, this podcast actually shows where it currently is with all the changing landscape of content production.

123marketing ,

Questions are awesome.... the whole vibe is awesome

Great questions.... I like every episode so far....never heard of some these businesses until now....

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