For your information, these are long form reviews. If you want a quick replay of my final thoughts, go to the conclusion. If you do not want spoilers, read this post from top to bottom.
- 1 The reason why these are not your typical book reviews
- 2 The reason CADs Academy has anything to do with book reviews
- 3 How I found Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi
- 4 What I thought of Joe before I read Content Inc.
- 5 Monday
- 6 Wednesday
- 7 Goals
- 8 The Hedgehog
- 9 Settling for The Comfortable
- 10 Content Calendar
- 11 Using google trends
- 12 Selecting my platform
- 13 The name of the company
- 14 Fixing My Content Calendar
- 15 Home work from Amanda MacArthur
- 16 How Long Will This Take Me?
- 17 Putting Some of the Work Together
- 18 The End of the Book
- 19 Conclusion
The reason why these are not your typical book reviews
Just before we get into the review for Content Inc, I wanted to give you a bit of a backstory to the idea. You see, you’ll get to know my writing and thinking style a lot more as time goes by but I’ll let you in on a little secret. It very much an expressed internal narrative. My writing style is what they call freewriting.
Freewriting is when you give yourself a time limit, say, an hour; In this hour, you write as much as you can without stopping and you don’t stop for grammar or spelling. In fact, you don’t stop for any reason and you simply write as much as your brain can produce.
This is good for filling space and time, being creative, and breaking down writing walls or creativity issues. A bit of the “problem” though is that I’ve never studied how to write at any professional level, so all my writing is in this freewriting style.
Even when I’m trying to write a more analytical piece, or a review, I tend to just write the same way people vomit. This to say, the first review I wrote below for Content Inc is not meant to be professional. Nor is it meant to be a straight up review. In fact, it’s meant to be much more opening ended and kind of a blurb of my thoughts as I was reading it.
I’m sure ill have these little nonsensical openings for most of my reviews, because for me, it frames the context which led me to this moment. What would be the point of reading my type of writing if it was just a dry review of a book. Instead, I’d rather you know how I got to this point and why.
Book are an adventure of the mind. They’re more than just their cover. A book can be read twice in the same month and mean something different to you from the first to the second time. It’s about mindset and your mental framework. It’s about where you are in your life when you read the book, and it’s about your personal journey and level of curiosity.
My reviews are not only of the content and author’s writing style, they’re also of the context in which the book was read and what this offered me at the time of reading it. If a book doesn’t expand my life, my mind and make me curious, it’s a bad book. If a book has me engaged in it’s words, the homework, interested in the author and wanting to know how I can use it to change my life or mental model, then it was a good book.
The reason CADs Academy has anything to do with book reviews
For those of you who do not know what CADs Academy is, it’s an extension of me. Back in 2015 I was starting back up some online business ventures and needed a name. I had realized at the time that I really wanted to create something that would help people learn life. I didn’t know what that meant or how I was going to do it, but since then, I’ve opened my own online school of thought and tried exploring what this all means to me.
I’ve done many things with CADs Academy trying to figure out just what the hell it is and most recently I’ve landed on book reviews. Since 2015 I’ve also published two books because of working on this project. I’ve quit my job selling insurance for rental properties. And I’ve certified myself as a personal trainer.
As you can see, CADs Academy has been a bit of a personal journey and I’m happy to admit it. As much as I want it to be a business, there is something holistic and true about my journey I need to go through first. The point I’m at right now is building CADs Academy into the Personal Development Network, media company, publisher and philanthropic company I want it to be.
Content Inc has helped me this week to figure out a path and I’m exploring in this review just how it’s done this.
How I found Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi
The first time I read Content Inc was just a week ago. I think I had seen it many time on Amazon as I was browsing book but I always thought it might just be another …I don’t know… random persons take on social media, I guess.
The weird thing about me is that I’m such a skeptic. I hate everything and trust nothing until I read it, then I become enthralled with how amazing it is. Whether this is a defence mechanism or my subconscious is just trying to make sure I’m filtering my consumption, it’s a little annoying.
Content Inc was not a book I would have read willingly. What happened was that I was in a good mood, browsing online for books to buy. I had been slacking off in my reading. A friend and I were meant to do a book club together but he bailed on me. A few other things to take care of, but that didn’t stop me from knowing what I had to do.
As I was buying, there were several books I wanted and some that were being suggested. I loaded up my cart with about $300 worth of books. I suddenly felt guilty. So guilty that I closed the browser. The problem was that now I had Amazon filled with these items in my cart. Every time I would visit a page somewhere with ads, there were those pixels following me, targeting my cart items.
Oh hey.. Did you enjoy Content Inc?
Oh hey, I see you didn’t buy Content Inc?
What… Content Inc could be on sale?
You know those ads. You visit that electric skateboard site once and for two months they’re trying to sell you every damn motorized vehicle from China.
Anyways, so I made my way to Chapters because this was a much better way of sifting. I would read the books a little and figure out what I wanted. Long story short, I ended up getting the books I wanted and twice as many books I wasn’t sure I’d want. One of them clearly Content Inc.
What I thought of Joe before I read Content Inc.
Look, I don’t really want to browse the net and read up about Joe right now. To be honest, I didn’t connect with him as much as I wanted to. Joe seems smart and not so much “sales-ey”, but I just think there wasn’t enough about him that connected with me.
What I do know about Joe is that he’s like most other internet guys who’ve made a living from early entry. When any book you’re reading says something about “When the internet started, online banking wasn’t a thing…” You know these guys were 18 in 1999 and at the forefront of the technological whatcha-ma-callit.
Truth is, online banking, blogging, social media, networking, publishing, writing, self-help gurus who’re popular today and in the last decade were all doing in 1999 what they are doing now. I’ll write a book about that one, one day, not far from “outliers” my Maxwell, but for now, just know that Joe has been content writing and marketing since he was a child.
This really comes at me in two ways. The first, I’m happy he’s experienced. The second, skeptic that he was made because he was in something that suddenly got big and he rode the wave. That’s like people doing genome and DNA sequencing in their garage trying to make glowing weed plants for 15 years and suddenly everyone on the planet starts smoking week in the dark. Of course, the guy is going to be rich. But how much did he put into it before it ever became a thing.
This to say, I know that if I want to be Joe, I’ve got to take a page from his book. I think the next big thing in the world will be consumer mental models. In 2025 when we’re able to plug into a computer to learn, who will be offering the courses…?
Some of the stuff I wrote while reviewing and reading the book, some things, like this, are written and edited in after the fact. Below was the first piece I wrote as I started the idea in my head.
I’m not quite sure what I’m doing here but I thought it would be a good idea to document my reading of content Inc. This would be 1 post for the end of the week since I’ll read the book in 7 days.
This gives me the idea of documenting all my reading. then I could post a blog post once every Friday or Monday for example, of the book I read that week. since I like reading, this would be the personal progression loop. I could keep everything documented on Evernote and just transfer the notes from the notebook to my blog afterwards.
Sometime when I write it’s a short form or bullet point type style. This happens when I want to conclude something or just write without forgetting what I was thinking. Below is an example of such. The below was regarding CADs Academy and what I wanted to do with it as of started my reading of Content Inc. I was noticing that many of the 80+ books I’ve read since 2015 were starting to really come together in my head.
This gave me the idea for a book club, and I started adding in keywords and phrases that reminded me of other lessons from previous reads. I’ll make some comments for extra info
- book club
- read and summarize books
- write based on lessons. People hate reading but love condensed information.
- I’m solving a time problem.
From here, I was thinking that I wanted to build a book club. This was something that I had thought about a long time ago, maybe at the end of 2015. I had thought this because one thing that I’ve noticed is how much I love consuming content. I know that people love consuming content too, but I want to be clear that I’m the kind of guy who will binge watch documentaries.
Most documentaries are hours long, and I’ll watch 4-5 of them in a row, completely fascinated and entirely filled with rage at the same time. I get emotionally worked up. In the last 2 years, I’ve read over 80 books, watched a hundred lectures, and gone through web series like the #AskGaryVee. When people consume Game of Thrones I laugh. One hour per episode, 10 per season, 7 seasons? Pft.
The #AskGaryVee show is an average of 30 minutes per episode and there are 264 episodes. That’s 100 episodes of 1-hour long content and there is roughly only 1 main character and all he does is talk. I’ve watched the #AskGaryVee show 1.5 times and read the audio version of it three times.
That’s roughly 200 hours of content consumption. I also have about 23 books with over 10 hours of content on audible, 16 over 5, and about 40 books at home. This excludes all the YouTube, Netflix and Ted X stuff I watch.
I bet I could say I’ve consumed about 600 hours of content a year easily. 2 hours a day, every day for two years.
This to say, the book club idea from back in 2015 was, “hey, what if I create a book club but it’s a social media content and web series review club…”
- Build courses based on those books
- sell those books as an affiliate
- I am a self-help junky
- I want to find my 1000 true fans
This is something done by Kevin Kelly. I don’t know anything about him except that he created the idea of the 1000 true fans. People like Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, London Real, James Altucher and so many more have commented, built on and expressed their interest in the 1000 true fan theory.
- blog long form content. Make it the highest quality content you can.
Tim Ferris said there will always be interest in long form content. He made a point of saying as well that he built his blog with the future in mind, knowing that long form posts would get more traction over time and not just be a daily hot topic.
- I am meant to create the freemium and eventually offer premium.
Another Tim Ferris thing, discussing offering your best content for free to build your audience and selling your best at a premium well above normal. This means you can get the most out of the least for every paid piece.
- I am meant to create the content and find my clients, then let them show me where I can monetize.
One of the biggest things that I’ve had trouble with is the confusion between building an audience first or having a product first. In traditional business models, you would create a product then market it. Built it and they will come. There are so many arguments for and against this though which have plagued my mind since day one.
Just because you build something doesn’t mean they will come. I wrote my first book with this idea in mind and I couldn’t sell a damn copy. I didn’t market the book. I didn’t presell or launch it. I just wrote it an expected people to want it. Even my friends and family couldn’t have been bothered to read the book and give me feedback. It’s been almost 2 years since I gave my father the first copy and he hasn’t said a word to me since.
Fact of the matter is that you can build it and expect people to come. You can have the best product but if you don’t market it, no one will buy. If you have a shitty product but market the crap out of it, you can sell them. If you sell them, it doesn’t mean you come out on top.
Like Amazon ran a million to billion dollars of debt for a long time. Can you run a company in debt like that and stay out ahead? Where do you even GET that kind of money? Anyways, people have said that when you have enough attention, people will tell you what they want.
The truth it, people tell you what they want all the time… But the more people you have telling you about a very specific problem and how they want it solved, all you’ve got to do is provide the solution and they’ll pay for it. Most of the time these days, people will pay for it upfront if they trust you will deliver.
- I am taking business lessons from Content Inc and Gary Vaynerchuk in creating content first. Service first, sell later.
- As content is created, I can still create new posts to amalgamate and create non-book related projects. These larger projects are my own writing without the attached book.
- Build the audience first. Let them tell you what they want.
- I want to know personal development content more than anyone on the planet.
- Start a blog and do what you do best. Get disproportionate success.
- I’ll write about personal development and use books as guides to success while documenting my learning.
- Content tilting: Fill a niche in the market with content where there is none. Take ownership of an area and create the demand.
- What I want to niche is the Personal Development Digest; a book club where high-quality content is created from books and social content. I discuss how I found the book, where and why, what gap in my life it filled. How did it help my life? How many times have I read it. Is there replay value. Why it’s unique, if so. I will get deep. Do the homework of the book and document it.
This was the point of reading the book and piecing my thoughts together that I came up with the better version of this book club. Below, I started to wonder if I had just been influenced by Tim Ferris too much.
- I thought this idea might be too close to Tim Ferris, the notorious interview experimenter. He had a podcast and blog but he didn’t really blog the documentation of his homework. He only really posted results. I will create content based on my continuous learning and application. There will be video, audio and text. Each of these will be in a single post with the book name on the website.
- I will not interview people, I will interview their content. I will review 1 book per week. What I do best is be opinionated about content. I love reading and judging books. In the future, I will be paid through amazon affiliate links and authors will ask me to review their books and content. I will be paid to market their material. I have the best and most in-depth reviews of the books. You can use my site to browse subjects, personal development terms. You can see from this online library which books are worth buying, who are the hot speakers and what keywords are on the hot list.
- When I say library, I mean because each book is put into categories of their development topic.
I ended up doing research on Tim Ferris and figured out a timeline of his success, money and audience. I realized that Tim was already a successful guy before what we know him for. It was Brain Quicken that made him rich and inspired his first book. The first book got him his audience. That audience got him his interviews. His interviews got him his blog, podcast and notoriety.
There was a part at the beginning of Content Inc that exclaimed the importance of writing goals down every day. Rewrite those goals. Read them, listen to them, understand them, update them and execute based on them. This is also something that Grant Cardone is HEAVILY into according to two of his books. James Altucher and Seth Godin are very much about goal and system setting, daily practices and setting mental models through repetition and mindfulness.
It’s one of those things that MANY rich, successful, interesting people do, mostly every day. I’ll write about the inner working another day but for today, I had written out some goals.
Also, just to be clear, I have a daily journal. It’s more personal than public but I write in it every day. Its an extension of my mind since my brain can only hold so much. And I’ve been writing goals regularly for years now. Not religiously the way that these guys claim to, but regularly anyways.
I am making 4000 per month to support my family
I am making money to support myself through my writing
My children are happy every day
my wife smiles at me every day
I am at peace with my actions and do not have regrets
I meditate every morning for 20 minutes
I read 1 book per week
I journal every day
I am eating as healthy as I can and improving my nutrition
I am sleeping 8 hours a night
I am working out every day for a minimum of 30 minutes
I am helping children who do not have the support they need
I am helping the education system become more valid in this age
I’ve got to say, I really like the part about the hedgehog. I’ve got to read the book, Good to Great. Put that one on the list!
Anyway, the part of the hedgehog was to say, “That thing that you do that no one else can do”, when referring to your niche content and delivery method. If I were to take all the content away that CADs Academy produces, would it matter? Right now, no. Which sucks for me. But as I get better at this, it’ll be paramount to many people.
The thing that drives me nuts about people saying things like, “The cornerstone of passion and knowledge is the product of success”, is that it doesn’t really help me understand the context of that experience.
Sure, I love personal development and I know a lot about my opinion, but writing about personal development isn’t necessarily anything I’d think to be interesting to people. I just don’t understand the angles. I don’t know what my writing sounds like outside of my own head. I don’t understand what of me is a product. I don’t really have much self-awareness in that respect because I’m not a business person. I’m not strategic enough or as entrepreneurial as I’d like.
This of course against how I see other people, because comparisons are the only way I understand how to quantify my skill.
But anyways, content Inc then goes to provide some details on the practicality of it. Loosely:
- What am I writing about
- How is this writing being done?
- Why am I writing about this?
- and who am I writing it for
The continuation of those four statements is where the gold is, but it sets into motion a much better understanding of what I’m doing, how, and why.
Settling for The Comfortable
On page 61, Content Inc discusses what it means to set goals. They follow the same theory that Grant Cardone does: 10x. You’ve got to have such audacious goals that there is little room for failure, in terms of how much you succeed with. Somehow, if you do anything less than say you want to be the 100% best, in any given venture, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
As always, I would agree and disagree in the same breath. It’s for sure that if you set goals too low, you’re not even allowing yourself to succeed. If you set goals that are Just Right and you miss them, you’ve failed. If you get passed them, you succeeded immensely. And if you set goals too high to hit and fail at 50%, it’s still times ahead of the modest goals.
The thing that gets me is that you’re still ending with the modest goals in mind. That and the large goals were not your real goals, they were just the psych trick to get you at least to your modest goals or higher. This is a bit of a farce to me. It’s like saying that if I want to lose weight and I’m eating too much food right now, I should aim for eating no food, so when I eat some, it’s still less than what I should be eating.
This is just dumb. On the other hand, if you don’t know what it takes to succeed, unlike calories and weight loss which is a pretty accurate and exact science, how would you know where your modest goal SHOULD be? Have you ever made a million dollars? I haven’t. So how do you know that 1000 true fans are all you need? Maybe you DO need 1 million of them.
Maybe the only reason you don’t need 1 million of them, once you make it to the future, is because of changes you made and other influences on your business over time that changed your goal requirements without your knowledge. So really, there is no perfect way of knowing what’s real, realistic, needed, wanted, or required. There are guesstimates.
If I look at hard math and know that I have something I can profit 1 dollar from and I want to be a millionaire, I need to sell 1 million of them. Not accounting for taxes paid doesn’t mean my goal was wrong, it means my understanding of all the facets of my business was wrong. Had I known I needed to pay taxes, I would have said I wanted 2 million customers instead. If I knew I had to pay a lawsuit for a faulty handle on my product, I would have said 3 million customers… And so on.
So yes, maybe on my 1-dollar product needs 15 million customers, which is 15x. That’s even MORE than 10x, wow! (sarcastic tone)
And in this case, sure, your goals should always be 10x what you think they should be.
There is this thing that Content Inc talks about called the Content Calendar. As far as I understand it, think about what I’m trying to do. I’m writing a blog with a bunch of posts about my thoughts while reading books. There is obviously going to be a lot of content. So, where do I put it while I’m writing it and how to I manage it all. One idea from Content Inc is to create a Content Calendar. Again, no big details but, you need to know where your content is going, who’s writing it and when it’s getting published.
I didn’t realize this before hand, but that’s if you have a back log of content. Meaning that, as a Media Company, I would be writing many posts in blocks when the writing is good, but breaking them into the pieces which are properly edited and distributed after the fact. I need to keep control of who wrote those posts and where they are going. This way, when a post gets popular, I know where all the rights to the post and content are, who they belong to, and the path to maturity of the article.
These are things I never really thought about. So basically, since I’m the only one writing the content, I was thinking that just having them in Evernote is a great place to hold onto them. In the Evernote note, I could signify where they’ve been posted and when. Maybe for example I would organize Evernote to have an unpublished section and a published section within the book name I’m writing about that week. Who knows how I’m going to have this all set up, but it’s something I need to work on.
[After having written most of the first review, I realized that all this talk about a content calendar didn’t make much sense for me. Fact is, I want to write 1 review per week. There doesn’t need to be a calendar for that. I’m the only writer.]
At this moment, I feel like I want to have much more regular content for publication. But I know that a large portion of what I’m doing is about translating that reading into something else, like a subscription of some sort. I need an audience. I know that I hate things under 1000 words or so. unless it’s a transformative amd amazing fucking, even brilliant piece of writing, 500 words is just too short for my brain to get IN the mood of the content. By the time that a point is properly explained, most writers end the post.
It makes me feel like I’m getting right to the point of the sneeze or yawn or orgasm and someone pokes me in the eye with a salty finger. Screw it. So, I need to write at least 1000 words or more for each of my posts. And so far, this piece about content calendar is only 450 words. So really, it’s enough to give someone a glimpse of something but nothing more really. Especially since the type of writing style I have is called freewriting.
It’s more creative by nature because I’m just BLEUUURG, all my thoughts out on the page as quickly as I can type!
So, this calendar thing, all to say, between 500 to 1000 words per post. A thought, or a well explained idea. Something relative to the book I’m reading that week. Posted somewhere, likely on my blog. Shared to other media sites if it’s tiny. Then, maybe there is a schedule for a compilation post, a merging of, or a best of, once a week through an email service.
[Oh right, because I was going to post content through the week instead of waiting until I was done the review. That’s changed since. I’m posting the review once the post is complete. I may post smaller bits and pieces on social media and those will link back to the blog and main post.]
I suppose that would technically be a product, of some sort, and which product is best; Only to be known once I have an audience to comment and bring awareness. So, for now, this means that I’ll be posting the 500+ to the blog every time I have one, on a schedule of… daily… I guess. I feel like I’m never going to get a book read and written about in a single week.
I’ll think about this more later. I must be getting tired.
Using google trends
So, this one is about using google trends to find out what people are talking about, relative to your niche.
For me, it would be a good way to see which books are popular. Another way is just to see which books are being bought online the most.
There was a medium story I read about how to create an engaging blog post title. I need to use it when writing these things. There is a formula, and I want to try it.
Selecting my platform
The platform will be my blog, where I post all the original content. I’m starting to feel like each post can/should be small and maybe what I do is PIN or STICKY the book name post with a conclusion and link to all the other tinier posts.
In that same post about titles, there is a section about making audio of y your posts for people who like listening. I think that’s cool.
I don’t need ideas, I’ve got books
I tend to come up with a billion ideas a day, honestly. I don’t need more. I need to streamline a process and stick to it. I should read The One Thing again.
The name of the company
If I was smart about the company name, CADs Academy, I’d change it to something like, Self-Help Reviewer.
Fixing My Content Calendar
I’ve read from page 60 to 110 in Content Inc. now and I’ve stumbled across some new information that I need to look at. All of this is in the terms of what I’m doing with CADs Academy. The list is:
now that I have my content tilt
The big thing about figuring out what I’m doing was coming up with the content tilt.
I posted about it on an internal post called Wednesday (At the top of the post) The idea is to find that place where your interests meet your expertise. There is more to it than that, and this has been written about many times before by people like Tai Lopez, Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin and James Altucher.
Read about in Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi.
I was afraid at first because as I started finding out what I was good at and what I knew, I ended seeing that I was framing myself into the likeliness of Tim Ferris. The more I thought about it though, I realized that Tim Ferris isn’t really a book reviewer. He is a human interviewer. The difference is that I’m more the introvert stereotype and don’t care to meet the people I’m judging. I’ll do it from afar, in the safety of my own home, away from their critique lol…
But really, I wrote in my journal, who is Tim Ferris? I found out some information and came up with a few judgements that helped me understand how I’m NOT like him. First off, he graduated from some super ivy league university with degrees of shit I cannot even pronounce, in 2000. He is a decade older than I am.
From 2001 to 2010 he ran Brain Quicken which is basically the thing that made him who he is. That company sold for a shit load of cash and made him rich. Running Brain Quicken gave him the ideas for the four-hour work week. which he wrote and published in 2007. its the book that made him popular.
It was AFTER the first book and his popularity that he started his podcast and blog, both of which were shit until about 2014… 7 years later, the same time he became an angel investor.
All to say, he graduated, made brain Quicken, sold it, got rich, wrote a book, sold it, got popular, then pandered for 7 years until he came up with good blog content and got connected.
The most important part of this, his blog, suffered for years before he got his shit together. I think that shit together was the interviews. It’s when he started getting connected that he sored. And his content was his interviews.
the only thing I’m missing from this equation, of the blog and content, is the disproportionate success of the connections. If I start reviewing and interviewing books today, I’ll be where he was in 2007. If I find my disproportionate success path, I’ll be where he was in 2014. Hopefully it doesn’t take me 7 years to find it.
Home work from Amanda MacArthur
There is some homework from Amanda Macarthur that I wanted to do. I think I should put this on a to do list but I thought about it while writing this post, so I mentioned it here… This brings me to a point where I want to talk about organization.
How Long Will This Take Me?
Last night I wrote in Fixing my content calendar about how and when I was planning on writing according to a content calendar. Having spoken to my wife about it, I was reminded that a while back I had a post on medium discussing my writing speed. The reason I’m bringing this up is because I concluded that if I wanted to have a certain number of books written, to become successful in writing from a certain perspective I was examining, then I would need to write for 3 hours a day.
I’ve been thinking about this now, and trying to imagine where I’ll get three hours a day. I’m thinking quite a bit about Gary Vaynerchuk too because it kind of pisses me off that all I hear in my head right now is “There are 24 hours in a day, so if you’re taking care of your kids and working and eating and whatever you do in your life, but you sleep 8 hours a night, then there are your three hours. from 9 at night until 1 in the morning Chris, write, and stop bitching that you don’t have the time to start your business.”
Not only is this something Gary would say, this is how he thinks and feels because this is what he’s done. It’s no wonder why he’s gone grey, has a raspy voice, needed two years of a 24/7 personal trainer to get healthier and looks like he’s shrinking. Maybe this is the cumulative lack of sleep over the years.
Anyways, backing up, this is about where I will get those three hours but honestly, sleep and my family health is much more important to me than what I’d have to give up or give in to get financially independent. So where do I get the time? Well, right now I’m at home because I don’t have any clients scheduled for this morning. Instead of taking this time and doing whatever I would normally do, I’ve decided to do a little writing. If I’m able to get 1 hour this morning and maybe an hour tonight, I’m not doing too bad.
Now I’ve got to get those missing hours done over the weekends and other down times. I know this is doable and I can keep a relative amount of my lifestyle the way it is. What I’m mostly concerned about is my healthy and the health of my children and family atmosphere. Because I’m so well read on health, I’m very concerned about many things like stress levels, sleep, food, and how our bodies and minds are reacting to stimulus through the day/week.
Putting Some of the Work Together
So now that I’ve read a good portion of the book, I’ve come up with some conclusions as to how this has helped me plan what I’m doing with CADs Academy.
First off, I’ve read 113 pages of the 330. There are still many chapters to go through including diversification, monetization, and their little sub chapters. At this point I’ve decided …
I will not be changing the name of the company. I don’t know if I’m doing this wrong or not, or maybe I’m setting myself up for a lot of failure and trouble in the future but for now, I still really like the CADs Academy name. I want to keep it. I know it might be harder for me to express what I do and what the company is, but then again, so did google when they started. I don’t know whose page to take from which book on this one, so I’m sticking to what I want.
Second, I know that I need to publish LOTS of content. It’s got to be good content too. Hard to formally decide what is good content and what is a lot of content. I know there are a million adages about quality over quantity, and I’m not even arguing one over the other; I’m just saying that it’s hard to know which is which and that’s before even ever deciding if one is better than the other.
Here is what I DO know about quality versus quantity. When you want good quality content, you’re not saying it’s got to be the best out there, you’re saying you don’t want to publish shitty work.
What is shitty work? Incomplete, unthoughtful, argumentative and pointless.
So, what is good content? this… What I’m writing. I’m doing my best, it’s thoughtful and competent and I will not leave it incomplete, so it must be high quality. Is there better? Sure. Is there worse? Sure. Ok, so we’ve got to just move forward because I cannot analyse it further than this now.
What do I know about the arguments of quantity? Well, it’s about reach. No matter how good the content is, if no one sees it, it’s pointless. So maybe good content is OFTEN content. Right, maybe pointless isn’t so much about quality as it is about quantity. And if something is VERY well done, like an episode of games of thrones, but they released one a month, I have a hard time believing it would have a following. Even worse so, no matter how good it is, if there was no schedule because they skipped some months, that would also make is poor quality.
I’m starting to think that quantity and quality are pretty much the same thing depending on what and how much of something you value, because even fantastic content coming out at the speed of light without you being able to keep up will lose value.
Ok, so I’m not changing my name and I know I need a lot of content. So next question would be, how much. Well, I’m thinking, like I posted in this book posts already, that every time I get to about 500 or more words, my thought is complete enough to warrant being published. This means I could come up with one or more a day. So far, I’ve written two.
One this morning about 9am and another now at 11:43.
So, every day or so I’m posting an article on something I’ve done, read or thought while contemplating the book of the week. This week it’s Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi and next week it’ll be something different. Every Friday or maybe on the weekend I’ll post a conclusion. This conclusion will be my overall thoughts on different points of the book, the practical application, the author, the writing style, how I found it, where it led me, if it helped my mental models, how fun it was, how engaging it was, how informative it was etc. This conclusion will be written with links from the other articles I’ve written that week. This way, I can take the conclusion and put it in an email newsletter. If you subscribe to the newsletter, you get 1 giant book review per week.
The idea is to get subscribers to the service of my book reviews. This in large has been the setup of something great and a few crossroads in my entrepreneurial mindset. You see, I love being opinionated and I love reading and learning. I also enjoy teaching but I’m not necessarily great at any of these things. A blog is the introverted way for me to share with you what I think about something and if I do it in a way that you can benefit from it, then this is the teaching that I want to accomplish.
I realized while trying to find ways to teach things to people that I’m not as interested in writing courses as I am telling people what I think about something. I’m the kind of teacher who likes to lecture and get people to challenge me to see if my mental model is broken or not. And this leads me to the social portion of the decisions I’ve made this week because if Content Inc.
The smaller articles, I’ll chose to post those on social media sites like linked in, Facebook and Medium. I’ll create videos of readings and do some audio on medium to have a podcast. This is going to make more sense maybe when I read the repurposing chapters in Content Inc.
Ok, so I found my niche, won’t change the name, have a content schedule, know how I’m posting and where. I think the only thing I need to do right now is finish reading this book and see what else there is.
The End of the Book
So, looking at the rest of the content I realized that I’m not nearly close enough for it to be useful. I mean to say that, when you’re experienced with something to a certain degree, you can judge it and make sense of it. Maybe understand it well enough to hear something from a different context and make your mind to something new from it. With the rest of what was in Content Inc, over 100 pages of it, I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around it well enough to judge it.
I could understand it and be judgemental, but not from an educated place. That being said. I’m going to leave the rest of the book to the side and move onto the next book. I think I’ve also decided that I’m going to post all these smaller posts into one large one and just make 1 post per book. The title of the post will be the book name. I’ll create headings and allow there to be linked to let you navigate the post.
From there I could create smaller post chunks and put them on social media.
I just don’t see why the large evergreen post or the smaller post mashup would be better. For the moment being, I cannot spend too much time focusing on the who what where then and why’s… I’ve got to get my writing done. This means I need to read and produce as quickly as possible.
The book was good. It was worth the read. I think it really helped me demystify some of my thoughts of the media company world because I’m too Gary Vaynerchuk biased. This book was directed towards the writer. It was meant for bloggers and more specifically, media companies full of bloggers. While it was good enough for a marketer, I think the main audience who would benefit from the tactics are media companies who want to build an audience by producing daily content in a niche.
Half of the book as something that I cannot take from because I’m not far enough, but the first have was enough to spur CADs Academy into a healthy direction for my writing.
Joe doesn’t have a noticeable personality in the book. But it’s not dry. I read it quickly. He’s also got another book I’ll end up reading later down the road. There were some other good recommendations. If you like to spend your time online but you don’t own a business. I’d say that Content Inc is still worth it if you care about publishing, writing, media creating or building an audience.
As far as reading goes, I think any contrast is good because it sets the mental model into play. Content Inc was worth it and still have quite a bit to be discovered before I can say I’m done. I will keep this as a play book for current writing and hold onto it for the future to see where I might want to explore next.