AUGUST 1, 2023

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming …

Lulu Acquires The Tilt and CEX

I’m thrilled to announce that Lulu has acquired The Tilt, as well as our event, Creator Economy Expo (CEX).

Readers of this newsletter are very aware that Lulu has been our strongest supporter since The Tilt’s launch in April 2021. Lulu has been a recurring sponsor of this newsletter, held the title sponsorship for Creator Economy Expo, and this year sponsored our third annual Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Research.

Personally, I’ve been paying attention to Lulu for years as a self-publishing alternative that not only gives authors their share of revenues and profits but direct access to first-party data from customers (instead of giving it to places like Amazon). But when Lulu invested in teaching authors about the complete business model of content entrepreneurship (beyond books), I fell in love with them.

When we launched The Tilt two years ago, much of our education was built around the “three legs of the stool” for content entrepreneurs. The first is building a platform and a regular audience. The second is expanding audience growth opportunities through in-person and digital speaking opportunities. The third is becoming the leading expert in your particular niche through a published book.

Platform. Speaking. Book.

It’s a simple business model that, frankly, works and continues to work. The marriage between The Tilt/CEX and Lulu will help us continue to assist content creators to create truly exceptional content business models based on these three pillars.

You can read about all the details in the news release, but I want to make sure I answer some key questions coming from the community.

What happens to The Tilt newsletter? The Tilt newsletter will remain free and continue to publish the business of content every Tuesday and Friday. The team, including Ann, Laura, Marc, and Dave, will continue in their roles.

What happens to Creator Economy Expo? CEX, the content entrepreneur event that brought 350-plus creators to Cleveland this year, will return to Cleveland in 2024. We will announce the official date soon.

CEX Never-Ending Ticket holders will retain all their current rights, including complimentary access to CEX ’24 and beyond.

What happens to Joe Pulizzi? As some of you know, this is my third official sale of a company (SocialTract in 2010, Content Marketing Institute in 2016, and The Tilt/CEX in 2023). My goal with this sale is to continue doing what I love and am good at and leave the business side to someone else.

This is where Lulu comes in. Lulu will continue to invest in and support The Tilt and CEX with time and resources, while I will continue to write more books, host my two podcasts, and remain in my role as host and event programmer for Creator Economy Expo.

In addition, I will work with Lulu on launching a new imprint specifically designed for content entrepreneurs through The Tilt. The new imprint will provide newsletter creators, podcasters, YouTubers, and other content entrepreneurs a hands-on service to publish their print book, ebook, and audiobook. To be one of the first authors considered, go to

Starting the next chapter. In summary, today is an exciting day for The Tilt and CEX team. We believe that our newsletter and our event provide real value for expert content creators, and this partnership with Lulu ensures we have the resources to continue delivering quality education, research, and networking opportunities.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Thanks again for all your support as a community. It truly means the world to me.

– Joe Pulizzi

full tilt

Prepare for Your Sale

It’s never too early to have an exit strategy for your content business. To help you now, we went back into the archives for advice that remains relevant today:

content entrepreneur spotlight

Entrepreneur: Daniella Flores

Biz: I Like To Dabble

Tilt: Side hustle and financial advice for LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent communities

Primary Channel: Website

Other Channels: Instagram (98.8K), TikTok (34.7K), Twitter (5.8K), Facebook (3.9K), Pinterest (2.7K), LinkedIn (974)

Time to First Dollar: Within the first year

Rev Streams: Ads (through Mediavine), affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, freelance writing, courses, workshops, coaching, digital products, speaking engagements, consulting

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Keep true to yourself: There’s not one right way to approach anything, and the biggest factor helping your content business stand out from others is you.
  • Find others: Entrepreneurship can be isolating, so finding people to advise you and hold you accountable to your goals can make a big difference.
  • Listen to your audience: It’s a good idea to try new things, but once you get feedback from your audience, devote your time to developing what works rather than trying to fix what doesn’t.

– Leo Bonacci

Read more of Daniella’s story.

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

things to know

  • Remix rumble: A lawsuit between Activision and creator Anthony Fantano takes a twist on licensing. He sought a six-figure payment for using the audio from his viral “pizza slices” TikTok meme in an ad. Activision disagrees and is challenging him. (Passionfruit; h/T Creator Economy Law)
    Tilt Take: In a remix world, this case is one to watch. How “original” does content need to be that it doesn’t require the creator’s permission to use in other ways? (Oh, and read the terms of service on a platform because if you publish your content there, you’re likely bound to what they let happen with your content.)
  • No new rewatch: Creators who are members of the SAG-AFTRA union can’t launch new podcasts or other formats that features content under strike. But they can honor any existing contracts for that content, such as podcasts rewatching their old shows. (Hot Pod)
    Tilt Take: Always think through the implications of how one action or contract could affect another action in your business.
  • Scientific impression: A study found when people hear scientific claims made in vague terms, they later misremember them in more definitive terms. (Hidden Brain)
    Tilt Take: Use broad proof about the value or outcomes in your promotions as long as they’re accurate.
  • Unexpected results: Makeup subscription company Ipsy shifted to YouTube Shorts with repurposed content in case TikTok was banned in the U.S. Now, it’s found such a big audience that it’s investing in original videos for Shorts. (Glossy)
    Tilt Take: Repurposing content on other channels can be a good experiment to see if you should commit more resources to that distribution channel.
Tech and Tools
  • Best time to post: An analysis of four studies into the best time to post on Instagram found confusion. On Wednesdays, for example, Hootsuite says the best time to post is 11 a.m. US Pacific time. Later says it’s 3 a.m. local time, HubSpot says 8 to 9 p.m. local time, and Sprout Social advocates for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time. (Search Engine Journal)
    Tilt Take: Forget learning what’s “best” for everybody else. Publish at different times and look at what works best for your target audience.
  • Pinterest plans: Creators who use Pinterest might be interested in its global advertiser summit featuring its CEO and chief product officer on Sept. 13. Registration is open. (Pinterest)
    Tilt Take: Hearing the plan for advertisers can help inform your business revenue plans.
And Finally
  • Crossover: Will traditional media stars move into the creator economy? Megaphone media requires different skills than a community-centric approach needed in the creator economy. (Jim Louderback)
    Tilt Take: The chasm between creators in Hollywood (writers, actors, etc.) and creators in the real (digital) world will likely get smaller during the strike.
  • Sadness: A recent study found 91% of women LinkedIn users have received romantic advances or inappropriate messages at least once. And almost three-quarters have dialed down their presence due to others’ improper content. (Passport Photo Online)
    Tilt Take: Ugh! People need to do better, and that can mean uniting as a community to help you and others who may go through this ridiculousness.

the business of content