Lessons from Jay Baer’s “Youtility”


Jay Baer wrote an outstanding book on content marketing called Youtility.

Baer bases his approach to marketing on the realization that in the information age consumers buy online from sellers they trust, and they trust those sellers who help them by giving them tons of high-quality, useful, free information.

It takes a lot of work to create this information, but it’s infinitely scalable once you create it; it costs you nothing more to help out the next person.

It doesn’t take Baer long to demonstrate the importance of content marketing, no matter what you’re selling. After reading the first few pages of his book I decided to put it down and do some thinking. Here’s what I came up with:

Content Marketing Brainstorm:

1. How can I help people use “self-serve information”?

Make my site fun, searchable, organized in multiple ways, and tagged and archived well. Link to related topics. Purposely write on related topics to make linking easier, etc.

2. What answers/information are people looking for online that I can give?
(For each of these, my worldview offers distinct solutions)

How to cheer up a friend
How to get someone to listen to you
How to tell someone they’re wrong
How to feel more accepted
How to worry less about other people’s expectations
How to stop a bad habit
How to talk sense about politics
Why is there so much injustice
How to make a difference
What does God say about success
What does God say about money
How to tell others your faith
How to evangelize
How to stop getting picked on
How to resolve a conflict
How to balance your priorities
How to get more done
How to stay organized
How to find your strengths
How to not feel guilty about your choices
How to know if you’re wrong
How to know you’re not being irrational
How to know for certain
How to be happier
How to be a better communicator
How to be positive
How to meet new people
How to be genuine
How to make a good impression
How to find good friends
How to be a great conversationalist
How to grow in your walk with God
How to enjoy praying
How to enjoy reading the Bible
How to not be a grouch
How to have more self-control
How to get better character

3. What are the issues, topics, or key words people will search?

Some great patterns:
How to X
How can I X
Why is there X
Should Christians X
What does God say about X
How to not feel guilty about X
How to enjoy X
How to get X
How to know X

Some key words:
get someone to listen
talk sense
make a difference
not feel guilty
taking care of yourself
get rich
tell others your faith
resolve a conflict
balance priorities
get more done
stay organized
find your strengths
know for certain
be happy/happier
be positive/think positively
meet new people
good impression
find good friends
great conversationalist
walk with God
enjoy praying
enjoy reading

How do I plan to use this brainstorm?

I have already outlined a long list of Scripture passages I want to write about, and I’ve categorized these passages by philosophical content. I can use the above list to solve the problem of relevance—to show people that my ideas about Scripture and philosophy will help solve their problems.

I’ll spend some time lining up these topics with Scripture passages. That will give me a list of individual blog posts to write.

How can you use this brainstorm?

You could make your own list of problems you know how to solve. Or just use mine. I want to make your life easier. Feel free to take the concept and run with it.


One thought on “Lessons from Jay Baer’s “Youtility”

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Workshop: More Lessons from Jay Baer’s “Youtility” | Reason In View

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