JUNE 4, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-a-week newsletter for content creators who want to be or already are content entrepreneurs. We talk aspiration, inspiration, revenue, audiences, tech, trends, and more to help your content business thrive.

full tilt

CRM or Email Database for Your Content Business?

What’s up?

We hope your subscriber base is. Growing your audience goes hand in hand with growing your content business. And email addresses are the valuable compensation paid by some in your audience.

Why are email addresses important?

Email addresses enable you to have direct contact with your audience. They also are so much more when you treat them as the digital identity “code” for your subscribers. Then, you can connect the dots between their touchpoints with your content brand.

How does that work?

You achieve that understanding of connections and behavior through CRM – customer relationship management – software.

Isn’t CRM software designed for bigger businesses?

Yes, but a CRM can offer significant advantages for content entrepreneurs.

What are the benefits for a content entrepreneur?

CRM software can help you have quality data. You can better nurture your relationship with your subscribers when you know who they are and how they interact with your brand.

And all that data – and the resulting knowledge – can be invaluable to positioning your content business as a good investment for brand partnerships.

What’s about upgrading to marketing automation?

Don’t run too quickly in adopting helpful tech solutions. After an email database, the next step is to implement a CRM and then marketing automation tools.

The Tilt Talk and Advice

When should you go from an email database to a CRM?

You don’t need to rush into acquiring a CRM. Get hold of your basic audience data first. But at some point, your email database will be too big to accurately assess and interpret the group’s behavior as a whole. That’s when a CRM becomes a better option.

What’s another reason to add a CRM?

When you expand your content product line, a CRM can be a good option to see how it all connects.

Why is it good to understand the audience’s behavior?

You can better identify which channels or opportunities motivate them to take their commitment to the next stage. That can be invaluable as you chart the growth path for your content business.

How do you find the right CRM for your needs?

Don’t go for the software with all the bells and whistles. You won’t need them. Outline your basic requirements and leave a little room for expansion.

What if you’re not ready for a CRM?

That’s OK. Look at the subscriber data you do have access to and spot-check it to see behavioral trends. Taking that data-first approach to your audience base will help you be better informed and more comfortable when you do need a CRM.

– Ann Gynn

To learn more about how a CRM can work for your content business, read the longer story.

Food Blogger Nosh and Nurture Lands Streaming Show on Amazon Prime

Entrepreneur: Mandi Pimental

Biz: Nosh and Nurture

Tilt: Recipes for allergen-sensitive eaters

Channels: Nosh and Nurture blog (60K monthly) newsletter (18K) Instagram (1.9K) The Clean Plate with Mandi show

First revenue: $50 banner ads on her blog

Primary revenue source: Sponsorships

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • You never know who can help: Though her content is food-centered, her connections in fashion helped Mandi land a streaming deal at Amazon Prime.
  • Develop a media kit: Outline the opportunities for brands to work with you, including audience numbers, channels, and more. Detail what they get and how much those packages cost.
  • Talk in real life: Content creators must work beyond the screen. In-person events are a great way to make connections and to showcase your expertise.

Some of the Story:

What started as a little collection of allergen-sensitive recipes for friends has transformed Mandi Pimental into a full-fledged content entrepreneur. Not only has she monetized her blog Nosh and Nurture, but she has also created an on-demand show called The Clean Plate with Mandi that features her favorite recipes and her sous chef son.

“I went two years eating chicken and carrots because it’s the only thing I wasn’t allergic to,” Mandi says. “I want to make people feel safe with food because that’s where I started,” she says.

Mandi’s first revenue came from banner ads on her blog. “I was literally making my own little banner graphic and sold them for $50 a pop for a month,” she says.

Over time she transitioned to sponsorships as her primary source of income. She attributes her success to the quality of her pitches. Her primary tool? Her media kit. “It’s a package I’ve created that has all of our numbers and what we offer. It includes video packages, social media packages, and photography,” she says, noting it also includes pricing and benefits.

She grew her blog audience through Pinterest. Now, she has found going offline and meeting people in person is critical to her content business’ growth. Conferences relevant to natural foods have netted her many blog readers and newsletter subscribers.

Mandi’s best advice for content entrepreneurs is to stay true to who they are. “Be yourself. Don’t try to do what other people are doing,” she says.

– Kimmy Gustafson

All the Story: To learn more about Mandi Pimental, the content entrepreneur, and Nosh and Nurture, the content business, check out the longer story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us or email [email protected].

quick talk

Caught on … Skyword

Nothing begets creativity like constraints.” – Christopher Mims

things to know

  • Keep your house clean: Plan to apply for YouTube’s Partner Program to earn revenue? You better behave well and make sure your channel subscribers do too. You can’t apply for YPP with any strikes for its community guidelines. (H/T to Benjamin Ward)
    Tilt take: Social media can be a haven for bad behavior. We’re glad to see YouTube doesn’t want creators on its channel to profit from it.
  • Go direct (financially) to your audience: A new category of crypto, social tokens (also known as creator coins) allow creators to own and control their financial relationship with audiences. You can create your own economy and maintain ownership of your intellectual property. (Fast Company)
    Tilt take: We keep talking creator coins because we’re not fans of a content business built on a long-term plan that lets social media platforms not only take a cut of the action but control and sometimes own the content.
  • Partly cloudy with 100% chance of content creation: Twitter just launched the Tomorrow platform, a bootstrap initiative around local weather service from a climate journalist and meteorologist. While free content will be available, members can pay $10 a month for exclusive content, ticketed live audio sessions, and audience Q&A sessions. (Axios)
    Tilt take: This is just the beginning of Twitter’s promotion of creator collective revenue-earning opportunities that can use all its newly launched or acquired services – Revue newsletter, Twitter Spaces, and more.
  • Find harmony in Discord?: Discord’s marketers are touting it as the Facebook alternative in a new campaign, Imagine a Place. It promotes its freedom and community atmosphere. Unlike other social platforms where users see content in their newsfeeds, Discord users see content in the “servers” (similar to chat rooms) about a topic or type of conversation. (Fast Company)
    Tilt take: Once a place for gamers and podcasters, Discord (150M) is a growing opportunity for content creators to build and engage directly with their community. It’s a lot easier than other social channels where a mysterious algorithm (or a paid budget) dictates if you show up in your fans’ and followers’ feeds.
Tech and Tools
  • Stop the music: That’s the mandate to Twitch from music publishers. The Amazon-owned livestreaming platform received a takedown notice for about 1,000 individual claims of copyright violations. They deleted the videos. While the notification is a first, it won’t be the last. (Music Business Worldwide)
    Tilt take: Content creators take note. You can’t use copyrighted material (music or otherwise) without the explicit permission of the owner.
  • Death of print greatly exaggerated: A recent survey of Americans’ media consumption habits found many still prefer print. Sure, the older generations are most fond of the format, but younger people are too. 27% of adults aged 18 to 24 prefer reading books in print, and 44% say they better understand a news story reading it in print. (O’Dwyer’s)
    Tilt take: Yes, print presents an expense that digital doesn’t for content entrepreneurs. But it’s a tactic that should be considered. As your business grows, consider a special print product for VIP members of your community (and build the cost into the subscription fee).
And Finally
  • 5 Things turn into more: CNN Digital’s 5 Things daily e-newsletter has spun into its own franchise. It is a podcast and TV segment and could add international and evening versions of its podcast and newsletter. (Digiday)
    Tilt take: It’s a good reminder to build your content business on a single product. Once it achieves some success, you can expand its format and distribution. It’s also a noteworthy lesson on how to repackage the same content into several formats.
  • Charlie keeps biting on YouTube: An update on an item we shared last week … The YouTube video (8.8M) of 1-year-old Charlie biting the finger of his 3-year-old brother Harry sold for $760K for an NFT last month. It was expected to be taken down from YouTube. But the buyer 3FMusic says it’s too important a part of pop culture to be taken down. (USA Today)
    Tilt take: Well, we’re glad Charlie’s biting continues to entertain. We also can’t imagine paying three-quarters of a million dollars to own an asset on YouTube.

shout-out in the tilt

Shout out to Filo, the virtual event, meeting, & workspace platform. Zoom-integrated, flexible, and collaborative. Thanks Filo!

Now, you can send the next shout-outs. Spend your $TILT coin to create your shout-out and we’ll publish it in an upcoming issue. See here for details.

we’re a stan for Skint Dad

Skint Dad is the blog where “every penny counts.” Started in 2013, British couple Ricky and Naomi Willis wanted to help others who, like them, were “fed up of being skint and struggling to make ends meet.”

They turned the Skint Dad into one of the largest money-focused blogs in the United Kingdom, with over 300K readers monthly. (Skint is British slang for “penniless.”) The Headline Money Awards recognized it as the financial blog of the year.

In a twist of success, the penniless-focused blog turned into a revenue generator that sustains their family. ProMarketing reports Skint Dad earns revenue through advertising on their site as well as affiliate income.

Their origins story is helpful for aspiring blog content entrepreneurs. As ProMarketing explains: “It is much easier to succeed as a blogging influencer and make money blogging if you have a narrative, that is a story that people can relate to and buy into.”

Why we’re a Stan: We love that the Willises share their core values – trustworthy and approachable, helpful and responsive, informative and engaging, jargon-free and light-hearted, community-focused, and inclusive. (Content tilt, anyone?)

Yes, that’s a lot of words, but they all connect to its content mission “to provide relevant and useful guides, tips, and resources, to make sure everyone has access to fun and original ways to save and make more money.”

the business of content

This week on Content Inc podcast is the first of a series of interviews with case studies from the Content Inc. book. Michael Stelzner talks about how he used a content-first model to build a multi-million-dollar business.

In the latest This Old Marketing, Robert comments on John Oliver’s latest on sponsored content, while Joe passes on the sad news of another social media platform killing.

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Kimmy Gustafson and Don Borger.