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Scaling Dreams: The Content at Scale/Content Hacker Merger

Julia McCoy
Thursday, 7th Sep 2023
content hacker content at scale merge

Way back in January 2023, I shocked everyone in my industry of content marketing when I revealed that I had crossed over to the Dark Side 🤖.

Specifically…

I had joined Content at Scale as their VP of Marketing.

Coming from someone who built her businesses on the back of human writing (think thousands of blogs, 8 books, and at one point, a 100-person writing agency)…

That was wild.

Here I was, teaming up with the leading SEO AI writer.

Leonard Ravenhill wrote it best: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

If I’ve learned one thing over the years I’ve spent writing for my life and building businesses, it’s this:

When your instincts start screaming at you, listen to them.

Think it through, but: Do. Not. Hesitate.

That’s what happened when I saw the opportunity ship floating past me in the form of Content at Scale. It was the best AI writer I’d encountered, and I knew the industry would inevitably move in the direction of artificial intelligence.

I had to hop on. It was sink or swim.

Looking back, it was quite possibly the best career move I have ever made. Period.

And today, that move is turning into a giant leap.

It’s why I’m here right now talking to you: to announce that Content at Scale has acquired my brand, Content Hacker.

Which means: I’m ALL IN here.

The Content at Scale // Content Hacker Merger Tale

The Opportunity Ship Setting Sail: AI

First: the elephant in the room. 🐘

The ripple effects of AI adoption are touching nearly half of the workforce.

AI isn’t just augmenting work – it’s changing the way we learn and leverage our skills.

According to a wide-ranging IBM study that surveyed 3,000 C-level executives spanning 28 countries, and 21,000 workers across 22 countries:

40% of the workforce will need to reskill over the next three years as a direct result of implementing AI and automation.

That means, out of the 3.4 billion people in the worldwide workforce, 1.4 billion will need to reskill for AI.

And the difference between adopters and non-adopters will be HUGE. According to the research:

Businesses that “prioritize their operating model as an enabler of transformation” will outperform their peers on multiple levels:

  • 55% better profitability/efficiency
  • 44% better revenue growth/effectiveness
  • 19% higher innovation
  • 33% higher employee engagement

Even further, those who successfully reskill “report a revenue growth rate premium of 15% on average.” AND, “those who focus on AI” see 36% higher growth rates.

Now, some people had predicted the AI implosion/explosion in advance of it happening. But me? 👀

I didn’t foresee this sheer level of craziness. AI is literally flipping tables and upending industries. I couldn’t have predicted this level of growth, even as I walked into my AI role at the beginning of 2023.

But I have ended up in the right place at the right time, and I truly believe that’s because God works in mysterious ways if we give our paths to Him.

From AI Skeptic to AI Believer and Embracer

AI is a force to reckon with. No doubt about it. But that’s just one reason this Content Hacker >> Content at Scale merger is happening.

Let’s follow the timeline of my journey with AI to show you why it was inevitable.

2021-2022: Warily Eyeing Artificial Intelligence

A big part of my story is that I sold my successful writing agency in 2021.

Part of the reason I made that move was because I could feel the winds of change shifting.

Back then, artificial intelligence had potential, but it wasn’t doing anything earth-shattering. It was okay at best, and terrible at worst.

Even ChatGPT’s bombastic arrival – 100 million users signed up within weeks, not months or years – was still a bit “ho-hum” to me.

In short, it didn’t prove itself to me in terms of augmenting or improving my writing process.

My bread-and-butter has always been high-quality long-form content. Always.

And ChatGPT couldn’t produce it.

I was not a quick adopter of ChatGPT, because it would have degraded my work vs. enhanced it.

Meanwhile, I was working hard on growing Content Hacker through impactful services:

  • The Content Transformation System, a one-year mentorship program teaching/coaching students on how to grow their businesses through content marketing, which has now surpassed $100K in sales and 80 enrollments.
  • Content Engine, an all-in-one service where I took on both headhunting and hiring/onboarding the perfect writer for elevated brands and B2Bs.
content hacker website

The thing is, neither of these services was easy to sell.

It took serious convincing and converting to get people in the door. I had to fight for every enrollment.

And this is something I rarely shared with the world – just how much I had to hustle to sell these high-ticket offers. The difference between this and the auto-pilot sales my writing agency had brought in daily made me uncomfortable.

However, once someone was inside my mentorship program, the work inspired and fueled me. I was good at coaching, and I was able to help a ton of my students reach greater growth, including one who was able to 10x her business with my help.

Eventually, I shed my agency owner mentality and really leaned into helping my students. My empathy for other people widened and deepened, too.

Meanwhile, AI tools were still in my periphery. I was keeping one eye on them, testing some, talking to their founders, and even consulting for a few.

Every experience, however, disappointed me. A LOT.

The founders of these tools ran the gamut from ethically ambiguous (they didn’t believe their AI tools needed to have fact-checking features) to buggy products run by college kids with too much money, to founders who didn’t even believe in content marketing (😱 the horror!).

But I KNEW that AI wasn’t going anywhere. I KNEW that someday it would shape the future of content.

So, by the start of the new year in 2023, I made a decision.

I would hit “pause” on everything I was doing to study the AI landscape.

Little did I know where that path would take me.

2023: Jumping Aboard the AI Ship

Less than one week into January 2023, I found Content at Scale.

I first saw the tool in an AI content writing video by Adam Enfroy.

I had to pause the video and zoom in so I could stare in wonder at the dashboard Enfroy was screensharing. He was showing a fully formatted, complete (from intro to conclusion) SEO blog that Content at Scale had written in minutes.

Minutes. Not hours. Not days. Not weeks. Minutes.

It wasn’t just some text ChatGPT spit out. It wasn’t an outline. It was a complete, publish-ready blog. It even had headers, a meta description, and a table of contents. And it was good.

content at scale output

Immediately, I started researching the company.

Even though the Content at Scale brand itself wasn’t sleek, even though their logo looked thrown together, I could see the genius under the surface.

I loved what I saw in the tool itself. I loved the potential I was seeing in Content at Scale’s marketing (Josh’s early blogs and Jeff’s TikToks showed a ton of care AND promise).

So far, I hadn’t seen any great inbound content on any other AI tool’s website. Shouldn’t an AI writer brand care about content, the thing they’re essentially selling? Content at Scale stood out for this reason.

I wasn’t converted yet, though. I had to dig deeper. I emailed the founder, Justin, and asked him point-blank: “What are you doing for factual accuracy in AI content? This is the main problem I haven’t seen any AI solve.”

Justin’s response was not what I was expecting:

justin's response on content at scale

He was transparent with me and said “You’d better check the content in a plagiarism tool” – but he ALSO said that CAS had a plan to address this issue, and to link to credible sources automatically.

Whoa.

No other tool was doing this! 🤯

This was what I had been looking for in AI. Here was the opportunity ship floating by – directly under my nose.

I booked a call with Justin for Monday, January 9th. Over the weekend, I emailed him a quick sketch of an inbound content marketing plan for Content at Scale.

When we had the meeting, we instantly knew we saw things eye to eye. He brought a grand vision, technical skills, and a background in SEO and content marketing. I brought creativity, the ability to blaze a trail, and a deep history in content, speaking, writing, and thought leadership.

Justin offered me a job as VP of Marketing right then and there.

We had our meeting on Monday of that week. By Friday, I had signed the offer. Next Monday, January 16, a week after my initial meeting with Justin, I announced my new role with Content at Scale on social media.

It made a few waves, to say the least:

julia mccoy took a job at content at scale

The “content queen” jumping on an AI ship was shocking to a lot of people.

I don’t blame them.

But, the thing is, lots of people were in the same boat as me: warily eyeing AI, a little scared of the advancing tech, not sure how to move forward if it did indeed start coming for our jobs (spoiler alert 🙈).

I saw a rare opportunity to lead the way, to show people that AI wasn’t something to fear, but something to leverage to make our work easier and our businesses grow faster.

I was even more confident after I teased to my email list of 5,000+ that “I finally found an AI writer for long-form content” – and I got the biggest response I had ever received from ANY email I had EVER written:

via GIPHY

It solidified that I was doing the right thing. The opportunity ship had set sail, and I was standing on the prow, looking out to the horizon. 🌅

My First Months at Content at Scale

My first few months as VP of Marketing went by in a blur of activity.

I built new concepts (AIO writer and AIO model), started a weekly newsletter that now has 50K subscribers, filmed videos for the Content at Scale YouTube channel – one of which earned me an invitation to give my first keynote – and even rewrote my 8th book to include AI 30 days before it launched. 😅

Soon, in true Julia-fashion, I was promoted to President of Content at Scale by the end of March.

julia mccoy linkedin post - president of cas

I was beyond honored when Justin handed me this role. The thing is, he sees the potential in good people, and he knows exactly when to get out of their way and let them do their thing.

His support – and that of the whole CAS team – has meant the world to me as I step into this new AI world and lead the way.

But, despite the highs, despite all the great things happening to me and around me, one little thing was always in the back of my mind.

I wasn’t an entrepreneur anymore.

That had been my identity for over a decade: a hard-working, self-made business builder. Entrepreneurship is in my blood.

After working for myself for over 10 years, flipping the switch and becoming an employee was more difficult than I expected.

It was a small voice in the back of my head that I couldn’t quiet. I tried to make sense of it, tried to drown it out, but it was insistent. Sometimes, I would leave CAS meetings in tears because the struggle inside of me wouldn’t let me be at peace.

And though I gave Content at Scale my best, a tiny part of my brain was always elsewhere. After all, I still had Content Hacker to worry about. And I couldn’t fully own my work at CAS like I wanted to. I was just an employee.

I was being pulled in two different directions. But that was about to change.

Looking Ahead to 2024 – and Beyond: Going All-in on AI (The Merger)

In mid-August 2023, Justin and I sat down to talk about the tug-of-war I was going through in my mind.

I wanted to do bigger things. I didn’t really feel like a “President.” My Great Mind Struggle was really nagging at me in a way I couldn’t ignore.

Here’s what Justin told me:

“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.”

At this point, I went for it:

I said, “Alright, make me a partner.”

Justin didn’t flinch. He said, without missing a beat:

“Alright, I’ll do it if Content Hacker and Content at Scale can merge.”

For the second time that year, all I could think was:

Whoa.

But as I prayed about it, as I consulted with mentors, talked it out, thought about it, and wrapped my brain around it, I realized –

It was the perfect solution.

The more I let it sink in, the more the skies opened and the world got brighter. ☀️

This merger presented me with an unbelievable opportunity to take Content Hacker farther and wider than I ever could have gone by myself. Folded into Content at Scale, Content Hacker can go to infinity.

Because Justin’s trajectory and mine have always been aligned. Even before we knew each other, we were hurtling toward the same vision.

(Fun story: A few years ago, Justin actually tried to buy ContentHacker.com, not knowing that his future partner had already beat him to it.)

With our brands merged, we can chart a course for Content Hacker AND Content at Scale that will take us to the moon.

Our plans are lofty. Here’s what we have cooking:

  • Start our own event, Content Hacker Live, in 2024. Get 500+ people to Austin, TX for an incredible experience.
  • Continue to create impact with community, training, and resources all rolled into Content Hacker. That includes my new AIO Blogger course, and all of my best training, offered under one umbrella for free or nearly-free.

And my own goals?

They’re pretty big, too. So big, they scare me. But my style is to speak them out loud, even as my hands shake with fear:

In my roles at Content Hacker/Content at Scale, I want to become what Russell Brunson is to Funnel Hacking/Click Funnels.

I want to grow Content at Scale into THE AI writing brand with 100,000+ users.

Don’t underestimate us, friends. We’re steadily working our way toward ALL of these things behind the scenes. We’re like an ant hill right now – you can’t see much on the surface, but go underground and the sheer amount of orchestrated work is mind-boggling.

New app, new website, new features, a more robust community, and live events – it’s all coming.

Scaling Dreams to the Moon

As you can see, the merger between Content at Scale and Content Hacker is about more than just little old me.

It encompasses the dreams we have as a company to take this rocket ship further than we’ve ever gone.

Are you securely buckled in? It’s going to be a wild ride. I hope you’re game for the adventure.

Written by Julia McCoy

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