how to become a content marketer

Writer’s Guide: How to Be a Content Marketer in 90 Days?

To be a content marketer, you need to know the basic content marketing concepts, practice them using CMS and SEO tools, and analyze your strategy’s KPIs. 

But that’s easier said than done — especially when you’ve set a target of 90 days to upgrade to content marketing from content writing. 

A simple Google search will take you to hundreds of branded articles, guides, and encyclopedias, such as this one. But if you narrow down your search for writer-to-content-marketer guides, you’ll just find:

Non-contextual video results (and this 5-min quality video guide)

Articles on content marketing vs content writing (What-the-actual-luck?)

Articles on becoming a content marketing writer (Not looking for that, right?)

A LinkedIn article with contributions from community top voice aspirants (IYKYK!)

But not this one…

This detailed guide is loaded with hand-picked resources ranging across six levels of actionable steps to help you become a content marketer —

Level 1. Learn the Basic Concepts of Content Marketing [10 Days]

There’s so much available to learn out there that you’ll get lost in deciding where to start. Consider starting with these basic content marketing concepts — as a content writer, you can sense how this section gives you the all-you-need-to-know vibes, quite literally, though.

Kickstart your Content Marketing 101 action plan immediately —

Topic Clusters for SEO

Call it a topic cluster or hub and spoke strategy — it all means the same, just with different buzzwords. What matters is that you understand it and know how to create one for better SEO results.

What is a topic cluster in content marketing?

A topic cluster is a group of content topics consisting of a parent subject based on which its secondary content topics are decided and then interlinked among each other. As a part of an SEO strategy, creating multiple topic clusters makes it easier for the search engine to crawl through related pages and internally linked semantics.

Resource 1: Topic Clusters Explained

How to build a topic cluster?

To build a topic cluster, start with a pillar page covering the main topic broadly, then create cluster content pages that dive into specific subtopics. Building a topic cluster requires conducting niche topic research, keyword research, and sub-topic research before planning the grouping strategy.

Resource 2: Building Topic Clusters

What is a pillar page in a topic cluster?

Every topic cluster should have a parent content asset called the pillar page. The pillar page is the first and main content topic you decide when planning your topic cluster strategy and serves as the main hub, linking out to related subtopic pages.

Resource 3: Creating Pillar Pages

Different Types of Content Assets

Choose only the best pool of content assets for your content marketing strategy. The content world is full of different types of assets, and even though most of them matter in general, only a select few will matter when you narrow down your strategy to a specific industry, product, service, target audience, ICP, or goals.

What are content assets?

Content assets are various forms of content used in your content marketing strategy, such as blogs, videos, infographics, and eBooks. Depending on your goals, such as brand awareness or lead generation, content assets are created to engage and inform the audience or simply drive traffic to the website.

Resource 4: Content Asset Meaning

Resource 5: Most Effective Content Asset Types

Content Marketing Funnels

Content marketing funnels constitute the awareness, consideration, and decision stages, each requiring different types of content assets to make the potential customer take necessary actions and move on to the next stage in the funnel.

What is the content marketing funnel?

A content marketing funnel is what customers go through in their buying journey, from awareness to conversion, guided by content. It has three stages: Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu).

Resource 6: Content Marketing Funnels Explained

Resource 7: How Does the Content Marketing Funnel Work?

Content Marketing Channels

Content marketing channels are platforms or mediums through which content is distributed, such as social media, email, onsite resources, and online PR magazines. Choose channels based on where your target audience spends their time and the type of content you are distributing.

Resource 8: Content Marketing Channels Explained

Content Distribution Strategies

A content distribution strategy is a plan for promoting and sharing content across various channels to reach a wider audience. Identify your audience, choose the right channels, create a content calendar, and use tools for scheduling and analytics. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can help streamline and automate the content distribution process.

Resource 9: Best B2B Content Strategy Guide

Resource 10: Best Content Distribution Guide

Content Performance Analytics

Content performance analytics involves measuring and analyzing how well your content is performing to optimize future content strategies. Important metrics include traffic, engagement, conversions, and SEO rankings. Tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Ahrefs can help track and analyze content performance.

Resource 11: Content Performance Analytics 101

Level 2. Practice the Fundamentals of Content Marketing [10 Days]

Don’t worry — that title is just for SEO and isn’t rocket science, really. But this section is non-negotiable, and you must follow it to be a content marketer who can actually find content marketing clients. 

Choose a Brand From Your Preferred Niche

It is crucial to choose the right brand to practice content marketing. Start by identifying a brand that aligns with your interests and expertise. Consider factors like industry relevance, market position, and your personal passion for the niche. 

Resource 12: If You Don’t Know Which Niche to Choose

Visit the Website and Social Media Pages for Research

Begin by conducting thorough industry research to understand the landscape and current trends. Analyze the brand’s online presence, including its website, company pages, and social media platforms. This will give you a comprehensive view of how the brand communicates with its audience. 

Study the Industry, Competitors, Offerings, and ICP

Next, examine the brand’s offerings in detail. Understand the products or services they provide and how these solve problems or add value for their customers. 

Define the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) by identifying the target audience and their needs. Align your content strategy to resonate with this audience, ensuring that your content addresses their specific pain points and interests. 

When doing this, also make sure you take a look at what and how the brand’s top competitors are doing in terms of content marketing, strategy, and SEO. 

Resource 13: Content Marketing Research

Resource 14: Identify Competitors

Resource 15: ICP in Content Marketing

Create 3 Blog Topic Clusters Based on the Research

Brainstorm relevant blog topics that align with the brand’s key themes. Organize these topics into three cohesive clusters, each centered around a core pillar topic. 

This structure helps improve SEO and ensures comprehensive coverage of each subject area. Use real-world examples to illustrate effective topic clusters, demonstrating how interconnected content can enhance user engagement and search engine rankings.

Resource 15: Blog Topic Cluster Example

Plan a Content Asset for Each Pillar Blog

Identify the right content assets for each pillar blog. These could include various formats like blog posts, videos, infographics, or eBooks, depending on what best serves the topic and audience. Plan the content creation process meticulously to ensure high quality. Integrate these assets seamlessly into your pillar blogs, enhancing their value and engagement potential.

Resource 16: Pillar Page Linking Examples

Create a Quick Content Distribution Roadmap

Creating a sample content distribution roadmap can be a powerful tool when pitching to potential content marketing clients. This roadmap will demonstrate your strategic thinking and show how you plan to maximize the reach and impact of their content.

Resource 17: My Content Strategy and Distribution Sample [Locked]

Don’t forget to find and save the LinkedIn profiles of the Founder, CMO, HoM, HoC, DoM, DoC, or other Content Marketing Team Leads who’re working at this company. Create a sheet if you want — you’ll need it later.

Level 3. Master Google’s Content Marketing Tools [10 Days]

Mastering Google’s content marketing tools is essential for gaining insights and optimizing your content strategy. These tools provide valuable data and functionalities to enhance your content’s reach and effectiveness. Your content marketing tech stack will always be incomplete without these.

Google Ads

Google Ads allows you to create targeted advertising campaigns that drive traffic to your content. Learn how to set up campaigns, choose the right keywords, and optimize ad performance. Understanding the basics of Google Ads will help you reach a broader audience and increase engagement.

Resource 18: All Google Ads Courses for Free (Official Accreditations)

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing your website traffic. Learn how to set up Google Analytics, create custom reports, and interpret data. This tool helps you understand your audience’s behavior, which is crucial for making data-driven decisions to improve your content strategy.

Resource 19: All Google Analytics Courses for Free (Official Accreditation)

Google Search Console

Google Search Console helps you monitor your website’s presence in Google search results. Learn how to use it to track your site’s performance, identify issues, and optimize your content for better visibility. 

Resource 20: Google Search Console Full Guide for Free by HubSpot

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a tool for researching keywords and planning your content strategy. Learn how to find relevant keywords, analyze their performance, and integrate them into your content. This tool is vital for optimizing your content to match search intent and improve your SEO rankings.

Resource 21: The Only Video You Need to Watch to Learn Google Keyword Planner

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool for local SEO and enhancing your online presence. It allows businesses to manage their online information across Google Search and Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Resource 22: All Google My Business Courses for Free (Official Accreditation)

Level 4. Master Other Popular Content Marketing Tools [10 Days]

Relying solely on Google’s content marketing tools isn’t enough. If you want to grow your skills (to get more and better clients), your skillset must comprise software knowledge and hands-on tool experiences to prove your credibility to new prospects. 

Start with at least one popular tool in each category below, and later, you can (should) continue upskilling to outperform your own competition in the market.

The resource links to learn and master the respective tools are directly attached (because, of course, there’s no point in providing the official websites of these software brands, right?)

Keyword Tools for SEO

Optimization Tools

CMS Software

Project Management Tools

While it’s always great to have access to the tools you choose to learn, in this case, you can simply start learning these tools through the course links provided.

The purpose here is to “know” how the tools work so that when your prospects approach you with specific requirements, you get to say, “Oh yes, I know how to use that tool.”

Level 5. Complete this Content Marketer’s Exercise [20 Days]

This exercise is designed to help you practice your content marketing skills. It does not define content marketing as a whole but rather gives you a sense of how different content marketing channels work.

  1. Plan & launch a free webinar.
  2. Create a blog before the launch.
  3. Share and promote it on LinkedIn.
  4. Click snapshots during the webinar.
  5. Record and extract video clips from it.
  6. Post video clips & carousels on LinkedIn.
  7. Create a blog on the webinar discussions.
  8. Create quotes from the webinar discussions.
  9. Include them in the blog after seeking consent.
  10. Link to relevant LinkedIn profiles inside the blog.
  11. Embed videos/images & insert links to the posts.
  12. Share it with the attendees & ask them to share.
  13. Create a post with images — tag the attendees.
  14. Form a web of everything you plan and create.
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My newsletter for personal branding and content distribution. Subscribe here.

Level 6. Create a Content Marketer’s Portfolio for Pitching [30 Days]

Follow these steps carefully — the sequence and understanding matter as much as your pursuit of becoming a content marketer.

Create Your Content Portfolio (Not Just Blogs)

This is one of the many documents you must have as a content marketer. If you’ve got a wide range of published content assets, do this:

  1. Add your top-ranking blogs to this portfolio.
  2. Add other content assets, such as:
    • Case Studies
    • Whitepapers
    • Press Releases
    • eBooks and Guides
    • Landing Pages
  3. Add whatever top-ranking information you have for each asset.
  4. Organize your content portfolio niche-wise & asset-wise.

Resource 33: My Content Portfolio on Notion [Locked]

content portfolio for content marketers showcase proof of work blogs case studies landing pages website projects whitepapers ebooks dashify darshan shah
A glimpse of my content portfolio

Create Your Content Marketer’s Portfolio

First, request this from your old and existing content-writing clients —

  • GSC+GA access
  • Social media reports
  • Blog performance reports
  • Content performance reports
  • Recommendations/testimonials

Chances are you might not get what you asked for. But if you do, that’s awesome — add the successful results to your portfolio!

Next, embed the Sample Content Distribution Roadmap from Level 2 into your portfolio.

Now, here’s the thing — as long as you have sufficient content performance to show in your content marketing portfolio, you’re good to go, and you can simply use Notion, Google Docs, or any other free portfolio website to create your content marketing portfolio.

Resource 34: My Content Marketing Performance Case Study [Locked]

content marketing portfolio Google Search Console reports proof of work impressions ctr serp rank graph
My Google Search Console reports as a content marketer for an ex-client

But when you don’t have it — you’ll have to create and achieve it. And that’s possible only if you’ve got your own website…

Buy a Domain and Launch Your Website

If it were just content writing, using free portfolio websites would’ve made sense. But for content marketing, you’ll need Google Search Console (GSC) access because it’s mandatory to prove that you own the website you’re trying to add to GSC. Adding content performance reports from GSC into your portfolio is one of the mainstays for proving your content marketing efforts.

dashify homepage darshan shah content marketing services portfolio website wordpress
My Website’s Homepage

Use website builders like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace to create a visually appealing and user-friendly site. Your website will serve as your digital portfolio, showcasing your skills, experience, and content marketing successes.

Free Alternative

Medium is a popular platform for sharing content without the need to buy a domain and maintain a website. Create an account and start publishing high-quality articles. However, be aware that ranking on Medium can be challenging. 

My Medium profile website content marketing writing portfolio free
My Medium Profile

Also, it provides basic analytics to track the performance of your posts, including views, reads, and engagement rates. Use these insights to understand what topics resonate with your audience and refine your content strategy accordingly. 

Create a Content Strategy and Start Posting on Your Website

As a content marketer, your content strategy should include defining your target audience, setting content goals, and planning an editorial calendar. It should also outline the types of content you will create, how often you will post, and the key themes or topics you will cover.

My LinkedIn Post on Content Strategy marketing 101 guide factors results performance analytics kpi metrics data
My LinkedIn Post on Content Strategy

Begin publishing high-quality blog posts and other content on your website. Focus on topics that demonstrate your expertise and provide value to your audience. Use SEO best practices, including keyword optimization, to enhance the visibility of your content. 

  • Start measuring KPIs using GSC and GA.
  • Keep adding successful reports to your portfolio.

Also, convert all of your actionable steps in Level 2 into a well-optimized case study and publish it on your website. 

When pitching to any prospective brand, present your sample distribution roadmap as a part of your proposal. Include visuals like charts and timelines to make the roadmap easy to understand and impactful.

Create Your CV for Content Marketer

Yes, you do need a CV in most cases when applying as a content marketer, whether it’s a job or a freelancing gig.

All the knowledge and skills you acquire from levels 1, 3, and 4 will make it to your CV.

Provide direct links to your content portfolio and content marketing portfolio within your CV, and smartly write your experience section. You can also link your website in your CV if you want.

Resource 35: My Content Marketing CV [Locked]

My Content Marketing CV – Page 1 (Hidden) and Page 2 (Blurred)

Top Left: As shown in the blurred image above (page 1), I’ve provided direct links to my cover letter, content portfolio, and performance proof (content marketing).

Personalization: I’ve customized my CV’s design in such a way that content marketing prospects get a clear glimpse of my relevant work experiences first and then the corresponding testimonials from past and existing clients on page 2.

From being a content writer to becoming a content marketer is the easier part of the process — the tough part is to learn content marketing as a beginner writer because there’s so much to know, practice, and master.

Unlock all my personal content marketing resources that I use for pitching and getting new content marketing clients — CV, portfolio, cover letter — everything!

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Stay tuned for the upcoming editions for aspiring, new, and senior content marketers:

  • Growth Guide: How to Get Content Marketing Clients?
  • Expert Guide: How to be a Content Marketing Manager?
  • Manager’s Guide: How to Lead a Content Marketing Team?
  • Business Guide: How to Launch Your Content Marketing Brand?

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54 Content Marketing Meanings and Definitions – Glossary

Here are 54 meanings and definitions of content marketing concepts and related terms for an aspiring content marketer!

Terms and JargonMeanings and Definitions
BacklinkAn incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website, important for SEO.
Bounce RateThe percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Brand StrategyA long-term plan for the development of a successful brand to achieve specific goals.
Call to Action (CTA)A prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action.
CMS (Content Management System)A software application used to create, edit, manage, and publish content on a website.
Content AnalysisThe process of studying and evaluating content to understand its effectiveness and areas for improvement.
Content AssetVarious forms of content, such as blogs, videos, infographics, eBooks, etc., used to engage and inform the audience.
Content AuditA process of systematically reviewing and assessing existing content on a website to ensure it is relevant, accurate, and effective.
Content CurationThe process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest and presenting it to an audience.
Content DistributionThe process of promoting content to reach a broader audience through various channels such as social media, email, and blogs.
Content EditorA professional responsible for reviewing, editing, and improving content before it is published.
Content ManagerA professional responsible for overseeing the creation, editing, and publishing of content.
Content MarketerA professional who creates and distributes valuable content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
Content MarketingA strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
Content Marketing ChannelPlatforms or mediums through which content is distributed, such as social media, email, blogs, and more.
Content Marketing FunnelA model outlining the stages a customer goes through, from awareness to conversion, guided by content.
Content Marketing ManagerA professional responsible for planning, creating, and overseeing content marketing strategies.
Content Marketing StrategistA professional who develops and implements strategies for content marketing to achieve business goals.
Content DirectorA senior professional responsible for overseeing the content strategy and production for a company or organization.
Content RevampingThe process of updating and improving existing content to make it more relevant, accurate, and effective.
Content SyndicationThe process of republishing content on third-party sites to reach a broader audience.
Conversion RateThe percentage of visitors to a website who complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.
DelegationThe act of assigning tasks or responsibilities to others to manage workload efficiently.
Editorial CalendarA schedule of content to be produced and published, often used to plan and organize content marketing efforts.
Employer BrandingThe process of promoting a company as a desirable place to work to attract and retain top talent.
EngagementThe measure of interactions that consumers have with a piece of content, such as likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
Evergreen ContentContent that remains relevant and valuable to readers over a long period, not tied to current events or trends.
Google AdsAn online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, and product listings.
Google AnalyticsA web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.
Google Keyword PlannerA tool by Google for researching keywords and planning your content strategy.
Google Search ConsoleA web service by Google that allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize the visibility of their websites.
Guest PostingWriting and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog to reach a broader audience.
Head of MarketingA senior professional responsible for overseeing the entire marketing strategy and operations of a company.
ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)A detailed description of the ideal customer, including their demographics, needs, and behaviors.
InfographicA visual representation of information or data, designed to make the information easily understandable at a glance.
KPI (Key Performance Indicator)A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.
Keyword AnalysisThe process of evaluating keywords to determine their effectiveness and relevance for SEO and content marketing.
Keyword ResearchThe process of identifying and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines to use them for SEO or content marketing.
Landing PageA standalone web page created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign, designed to convert visitors into leads or customers.
Lead GenerationThe process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service.
Marketing ManagerA professional responsible for managing marketing activities and campaigns to promote products or services.
Meta DescriptionA brief description of a webpage’s content that appears in search engine results below the page title.
Organic TrafficVisitors who come to your website as a result of unpaid search results.
Personal BrandingThe practice of marketing oneself and one’s career as a brand.
Pillar PageA comprehensive piece of content that serves as the main hub for a topic cluster, linking out to related subtopic pages.
ROI (Return on Investment)A measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)The process of optimizing web content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increase organic traffic.
SEO AuditA process for evaluating the search engine friendliness of a website in multiple areas.
SEO ManagerA professional responsible for developing and implementing SEO strategies to improve organic search rankings.
Social Media MarketingThe use of social media platforms to promote products or services and engage with customers.
Social Media OptimizationThe process of using social media networks to manage and grow an organization’s message and online presence.
Talent BrandingThe process of building a company’s reputation as an employer to attract and retain talent.
Topic ClusterA group of interlinked web pages centered around one core topic to improve SEO and provide comprehensive coverage of a subject.
User-Generated Content (UGC)Any form of content created by users of a platform or service and shared publicly, often used in marketing to engage the audience.

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