Okay, I exaggerate…
But that’s what it felt like. I’d taken a job as the VP of Marketing at Content at Scale, and pushed my full-time work at Content Hacker over to the side.
To write is life… or so goes the version of a botched-up quote originally penned as something else entirely by Ernest Hemingway. (I blame Pinterest and memes.)
Writing was my life.
It was my self-built career, the foundations of my 100-person empire, and eventually – I’d written so much content (over 1,000 blogs, emails, and 8 books), it was my life.
So why would someone like me suddenly take a role working at a leading SEO AI writer?
Leonard Ravenhill, a famous UK evangelist, wrote in the early 1900s: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”
When I see the ship of golden opportunity landing at the shores of my life, I know I have to jump on it before it leaves.
And I’ve learned never to hesitate on my instincts.
I’ll think it through – but I do not hesitate.
When Ravenhill wrote that quote, he knew that opportunity can leave as quickly as it comes. You have to be ready to jump at the right one. Otherwise, you could completely miss out on the life you were meant to live.
It’s now August.
As I look back at January, I take a moment of silence and gratitude as I bring back to memory the best move I’ve probably ever made in the past 11 years in my career.
And now today, I’m announcing another shocking move. Content Hacker has officially merged with and been acquired by Content at Scale. Here’s the story.
The ship of opportunity
IBM did a study this year pulling data from a survey of 3,000 C-level executives across 28 countries and another of 21,000 workers in 22 nations.
Their conclusion: 40% of the workforce will have to reskill in the next three years – because of AI.
Specifically, a whopping 1.4 billion of the 3.4 billion people in the global workforce will need to reskill for AI. 🤯
According to the IBM research, adopters who successfully reskill to adapt “technology-driven job changes report a revenue growth rate premium of 15% on average” and those who focus on AI “see a 36% higher revenue growth rate than their peers.” And 87% of the executives surveyed expect generative AI to augment roles rather than replace them.
And the World Economic Forum, in the same study, predicts that workers’ skills will be disrupted between 2023 and 2028 – now and in the future.
Did I know this walking into the role in January? I could not have predicted the growth of AI this year. However, I do believe that when we walk in self-made paths, follow our instinct, and give our paths to God, He looks out for us in amazing and mysterious ways.
2021 to 2022 – the AI skeptic
When I sold my writing agency in 2021, I knew that GPT would change everything. The technology possibilities with it were simply huge.
However, I wasn’t a firm believer in AI or GPT. Why? It wasn’t that great.
Even when ChatGPT came out and was widely adopted by over 100 million users in just a few short weeks, I didn’t find it capable of augmenting or improving my own writing process.
I live in the real world. Clients pay you – or they don’t, depending on the quality and the actual value you bring.
If something works – actually saves you time or money – you use it. You introduce it into your business, your team, your clients.
But you don’t introduce it, if it will ruin or degrade quality, efficiency, or output.
And I couldn’t introduce AI because it just wasn’t there yet.
In 2022 AI would have degraded my workload, not enhanced it.
And that’s why I was on DigitalMarketer’s stage in December of 2022 saying, “don’t use AI – it won’t replace a human.” 😅
- My one-year mentorship, now surpassing a whopping $100,000 in sales and 80 enrollments – where I taught and coached students to grow their own online businesses with content marketing.
- Content Engine, a high ticket, $10,000 service where I headhunted and hired the perfect writer for B2Bs and elevated brands.
If we’re being real, though…
Selling coaching and high-ticket services was a struggle.
This was the truth of the inside that I rarely to never shared on the outside.
I’d been used to the agency life, where sales rolled in almost on autopilot day after day – the agency I sold in 2021. I missed it a ton.
I was lucky to get five mentorship enrollees per month, and I had to fight for each one. Convince and spend weeks to get people in the door.
And I enrolled ONE Content Engine client for all of 2022. (It was a hard sell, although people loved the idea.)
That said, I shone at coaching – and even helped 10x one of my student’s businesses. I grew in my empathy and care for other people, and shed my agency owner mindset.
Along the way, I’d been testing out AI tools, talking to founders, even consulting for some.
That was a disappointing experience in 2022.
From buggy products built overnight by college kids that got their hands on unhealthy amounts of funding… to AI founders that didn’t actually believe AI tools didn’t need to have built-in fact-checking features. Or other founders that didn’t believe in content marketing. (I can’t help them.)
But I was determined that AI would absolutely shape the future of content, and I knew it was just a matter of time till the right tool came along.
And so – when 2023 rolled around, I decided to do something wild.
I stopped everything I was doing and studied AI that January.
2023 – the great AI embracer
On January 4th, I was watching another AI content writing video (by Adam Enfroy).
And as soon as I saw Content at Scale, I knew I was looking at the Holy Grail of solutions for long-form content.
I paused the video – zoomed in on the dashboard Enfroy screenshared – and saw everything. The SEO content itself. All the formatting with H2s, H3s, and a full table of contents. Hours and hours of human work, done in minutes.
I began to research Content at Scale. Even though the brand logo identity was poor at best – it looked thrown together – I knew I was looking at something genius.
The content writing Content at Scale on their site to sell their own tool was good.
Josh’s guides, like this one on a simple but mind-blowingly good keyword research strategy, demonstrated real experience.
And Jeff’s TikToks, like this one, showed that Content at Scale was serious about getting video content out.
All the things I loved seeing in a brand’s marketing plan.
I was pleasantly surprised–I hadn’t till now seen great inbound content on any AI content tool’s website.
However, a total skeptic, I emailed Justin and asked, “What are you doing for factual accuracy in AI content? This is the main problem I haven’t seen any AI solve.”
Not expecting much, I hit send on the email.
Justin’s response blew me away –
Not only was Justin transparent and told me, “you’d better check the content in a plagiarism tool” – but he said they actually had a plan linking to credible sources automatically.
That alone made me incredibly excited. (Come to find out, Content at Scale directly ties into the tool I used daily in my agency – Copyscape! You simply hit the button and it’ll run a plagiarism check for you.)
I was instantly intrigued and excited. I booked a call with Justin for Monday, January 9th, and that weekend, emailed him a quick gameplan on how to grow Content at Scale with an inbound plan.
I wanted to jump on board this opportunity ship immediately.
Because I’d finally found the AI writer that would augment or replace all the human work I did as a service.
January 9th, Monday, Justin and I hop on a call. We instantly identified with each other, and knew we saw things similarly. He had the technical skills and vision, with a strong background of SEO and content marketing – I had the creative and market trailblazing capabilities, with a history of content, writing and speaking skills, and thought leadership.
I was offered the role of VP of Marketing on the spot.
Not one to make the rare boat of golden opportunity wait around, I said yes and signed the offer by Friday.
On January 16, Monday, I announced to the world that I was joining Content at Scale.
People were shocked.
I saw LinkedIners create posts just to talk about my post. 😅
All in all, 13,000 people saw my work announcement post in the next few days.
The week before I accepted the offer to work at Content at Scale, I decided to learn how to use Content at Scale and create a free tutorial for my Content Hacker peeps.
I worked my knuckles off to film, write, and publish to build up Content at Scale on my own site before I took the role, to show people how much I believed in it.
And – something crazy happened.
I teased my list to see if there was any interest in Julia’s AI adaption. 5,000+ people got an email that said “I finally found an AI writer for long-form content.”
And I had the most responses I’ve ever had to ANY email ever.
It confirmed the direction I was going in, in a huge way.
Sharing Content at Scale started a fire. 🔥 (And that fire has only grown bigger.)
In fact, longtime friend and Content Hacker alumni Jacki Alcorn told me – “I was getting ready to buy Content Engine. Thank the Lord you found Content at Scale when you did, Julia. Pivoting and adapting saved us over $10,000.”
January to March was a wild season as I came in like a whirlwind and started doing a lot.
From building out new concepts like AIO writer and the AIO model, to starting a weekly newsletter (3,500 subscribers on LI, and a 50k email list), to filming an innovative video at my lake that earned me an invitation to give my first keynote, to rewriting my 8th book to include AI 30 days before it launched – it was a crazy wild ride. I loved every minute of it.
By the end of March, I was President of the company. It’s just my style – in fact Steve, our Partner Manager, recently called me Overlord and President. 😆
But the truth is I would never have gotten there without a team that supports me, and a founder that really gets out of the way of good people and simply lets them get to it. That’s Justin – and when he handed me the President role, I was excited and completely honored that he saw the potential in what I could do both in AI and for this company.
Another 6,500+ people saw that career move on LinkedIn – I received hundreds of messages that day congratulating me.
But there was one thing plaguing me all along.
And it was the fact that I couldn’t be an entrepreneur.
I was a full-fledged, super proud, incredibly hard-working business builder. I was, and am, an entrepreneur.
I’d worked for myself for 10 years.
Working for someone else was hard.
Harder than hard. In fact, I’d leave meetings in tears because my subconscious was nagging at me about working for someone else. I tried to translate it in a million different ways, tried to make sense of it, tried to hush it – but in the end, my brain was sabotaging me because I didn’t have full freedom. I wasn’t a partner. I was just an employee. Building an empire of my own that I had a real share in was something I sorely missed.
2024 – the great AI merge
In mid-August of this year, Justin and I had a talk about the Great Mind Struggle I was going through.
I’d complained about not feeling like a President, not getting to do bigger things. He said – “You need to go bigger. You need to be on bigger stages. We can get you everything you need to achieve all of this. But you’re going to have to be all in.”
So then, I said something crazy.
“Alright, make me a partner.”
Like a pro, Justin didn’t flinch. Batting that ball right back, his answer was – “Alright, I’ll do it if Content Hacker and Content at Scale can merge.”
That thought shocked me.
In fact, I paused for four days to think, pray, ask mentors, and really get serious about it. That’s how long it took me to wrap my mind around literally merging all my IP into the Content at Scale brand.
The more I thought about it, the more the sky opened up.
I get unlimited resources.
I get to do all the things I love. (Some crazy backstory: Justin tried to buy ContentHacker.com a couple of years ago. But I’d already beat him to the punch. Of course, we didn’t know each other back then, but the trajectory of our paths was so uncannily lined up in the same direction even then… that he thought the Content Hacker brand was perfect for what he wanted to do. So did I. 😅 )
And as we’ve mapped out a plan of action for Content Hacker, I see with incredible humility and honor that it becomes infinitely bigger than myself.
As big as the stars, in fact.
Because the plan is to start our own event. Book out Content Hacker Live in 2024 with 500+ people. We’ll have the budget, resources, and brains to do it all.
Create incredible impact through community, resources, and training. My new AIO Blogger course will be included – all my best trainings under one roof as free, or nearly-free, Content Hacker resources.
And we’ll kill it.
My goal, which I say out loud with hands shaking, because that’s my style 😂 – to do it even in the face of my fear – is to become what Russell Brunson is to Funnel Hacking/ClickFunnels, here at Content Hacker merged with Content at Scale.
I want us to be the AI writing brand with 100,000+ users. And I have no doubt that once all the things in the pipeline launch – by the end of this year, we’ll have a new app, a new website, and so much more – the markets will notice.
And we will climb, climb, climb.
Dream, Hack, Scale – We’re Going to the Moon
This is a story of two original Content Hackers finding each other and pooling all their resources together – so people like you get a tenfold benefit.
The world truly works in mysterious ways.
Stars aligned for this to happen.
I cannot wait to help you navigate the new realm of AI with the incredible resources we’re going to build for you.
From Content Hacker Live 2024 in the heart of downtown Austin, to the world’s best AI writing platform and SO much more, we’ll have a ton to offer you in the days ahead. I hope you stay tuned and follow this incredible journey, so we can make an impact on your workplace efficiency, skills, and education – and help you achieve incredible things, too. ❤️
Content Hacker will be changing soon into a community-focused resource featuring free training and courses, a full AIO writer directory, live events, and more. Stay tuned! ✨ Watch this video for some insights on this big change from Julia: