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 Philip Taylor built FinCon, the leading conference for personal finance creators

    How Philip Taylor built FinCon, the leading conference for personal finance creators

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    Today, the personal finance content niche is absolutely ginormous. You can’t open up YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram without encountering an influencer who gives advice on how to make and save money.
     
    Today’s guest Philip Taylor anticipated this content explosion all the way back in 2011. That’s when he launched FinCon, a conference specifically designed for personal finance content creators. That first year he attracted around 250 attendees, but over the next decade it grew into the largest conference in this niche, attracting over 3,000 attendees a year.
     
    In our interview, Philip walked us through how he got into the personal finance space, his strategy for growing the conference, and his ambitions for launching similar conferences in other niche categories.
     

    • 50 min
    The economics of ghostwriting books

    The economics of ghostwriting books

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    I’m sure just about everybody has had the experience of looking at a celebrity memoir and wondering: did they actually write that? In many cases, they didn’t, at least not by themselves. There’s actually an entire shadow economy of ghost writers who do the bulk of the work on these books – not just for celebrities, but all kinds of public figures ranging from big-name CEOs to politicians.
     
    But how does one go about hiring a ghost writer? And what’s it like to work with one? To answer these questions, I turned to Dan Gerstein, the founder of Gotham Ghostwriters, an agency that specializes in connecting clients to professional ghostwriters.
     

    • 43 min
    How Ben McCarthy built a Salesforce-focused media company with 400,000 monthly readers

    How Ben McCarthy built a Salesforce-focused media company with 400,000 monthly readers

    My newsletter: https://simonowens.substack.com/
     
    Ben McCarthy didn’t set out to create a media company focused on Salesforce, he just began blogging about his use of the product as a way to document the various use cases he encountered. As it turned out, there were thousands of other people who were encountering those same use cases, and via Google searches they began landing on Ben’s blog posts. 
     
    Fast forward 10 years, and he now runs a 20-person media company that generates over 1 million pageviews per month and is the most authoritative resource for Salesforce customers. 
     
    In our interview, we discussed why there’s such a huge audience for Salesforce content, how he monetizes with webinars and white papers, and whether he wants to launch more media outlets centered around other cloud technologies.
     

    • 42 min
    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

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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