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The Business of Content

Apr 23, 2020

Because I write and podcast so much about the business of media, I regularly get emails from founders of niche media companies who want to tell me about their successful ventures. A few months ago, I received an email from a guy who identified himself only as Meathead, and after reading only a few paragraphs I knew I wanted to have him as a guest for my podcast.

Meathead, who’s been writing about food on the internet since the days of dial-up AOL, started the website almost as a lark. Flash forward 15 years, and it’s the preeminent authority on all things barbecue. It generates a healthy mix of revenue from advertising, affiliate sales, books, and paid subscriptions, and it grew its business without help from any venture backing.

I recently interviewed Meathead about writing for AOL when it was the biggest game in town, running the third most popular wine magazine, and stumbling into a website venture that made him one of the most famous people within the barbecue scene.