Five Content Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Simon Cowell

Lessons Learned from Simon Cowell

I’ve always been a fan of Simon Cowell. The moment he stepped out of American Idol, I immediately stopped watching it and switched to X-Factor – only because he’s there.

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Most people think that he’s nothing but an insulting guy, but he’s more than that. One of his great characteristics that I really admire is being stinking honest, and although I know this trait had hurt thousands of people, if taken positively, his comments are somewhat a guide to work harder and become a better performer.

In my years of watching him, I got used to his harsh words, and instead of seeing them in a bad light, I took them as constructive criticisms, applied ‘em in my life, and even on my blog. So, here are some of my favourite quotes from him, and how they relate to content marketing, yes, content marketing!

1. “It was like ordering a hamburger and getting only the buns.” 

These are the exact words he said to Brooke White of American Idol Season 7 after she sang “Hero”. Brooke is a great singer, although that time I was definitely on Simon’s side, for the reason that even I didn’t feel she’d given her best. This is the same with content marketing.

What makes content marketing special is that it wasn’t made for search engines, but for actual readers who are fishing for really useful content. So, if your audience is expecting a hamburger of ideas but only get buns, I don’t think you’re doing it right.

Make sure that the most important part of your business, which is the consumer, is getting the best out of your blog. Sing your best! Give them the patties, not just the buns.

2. “I’m tempted to ask if you sang that the night before your wife left you.”

Losing a wife is probably the worst thing that could ever happen to a husband. As a content marketer, losing a reader is the worst thing that could happen. Do not write something that will only disappoint and force them to leave you.

When Neil Patel wrote his entry entitled “Why Successful People Are Douchebags”, I was shocked, intrigued and couldn’t believe that he actually used the word “douchebags”. Two days after, he wrote a sort of follow up post that shows how that controversial article affects his traffic and revenue. And although he said its traffic increased by an extra 4,061 visitors, he also admitted that his income dropped by 26%, and the unsubscribe rate was three times higher than the usual rate of a regular post.

You’re not yet Neil Patel, you can’t afford to lose.

3. “I want people to understand that from the minute Lady Gaga arrived, she created a new set of rules: being different is good; embrace it.”

What makes content marketing different from other marketing strategies is that it demands creativity and uniqueness.

Avoid writing stuff that was written a hundred times already. Try to add twist into your title because a compelling title generates more leads, but take note that you should never ever mislead your audience by putting a great title with nonsense body – do not fool your readers.

4. “My dad said to me, ‘work hard and be patient.’ It was the best advice he ever gave. You have to put the hours in.”

Content marketing is a constant battle with your competitors. If you stop writing fascinating articles, you’ll definitely lose the battle. If you stop because you’re not ranking well enough, take a deep breath and be patient. Results don’t come out in the blink of an eye, you’ll need to work hard to achieve it, and if you still think it’s not working, I have 3 options for you:

  • Wait more.
  • Do more because you’re probably just doing it wrong.
  • Stop. Maybe it’s really not for you.

Although, I don’t recommend number 3 until you’re sure about the first two. Just work hard and be patient, you’ll get there!

5. “The only people with power today are the audience. And that is increasing with Twitter, Facebook and everything else. We cater to their likes and dislikes…”

As a content marketer you should cater to your audience’s likes and dislikes.

On one of many e-books produced by Copyblogger, they said that the first thing you must do before actually starting your website and writing a post is to know who your target audience is and what are the things that will hook them forever.

Whether you like it or not, the audience has been blessed by a great power – if you don’t give them what they like, they don’t give you what you want.


It’s not the way he criticized people, or how hard his words hit people’s hearts that made me admire him so much, rather the lessons I get from him, and how I was able to apply those in marketing, and even in my personal life.

Maybe you have content marketing tips that you’d like to share. Do not hesitate to do so! Share it here by commenting below.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.