How To Make It As An Online Content Marketer (with little to no experience)
You’ve all seen the pictures of these remote workers and you probably get a little jealous. I certainly did before I started out. I definitely wanted to be one of those digital nomads. The office is where they make it — and wanting to step out of mine was no longer up for discussion. 8 years of monotonous corporate BPO work does that to you.
But the question is, where do you start? Better yet, what skills do you need? People keep asking me this and I always end up repeating the same answers. That’s why I finally made a decision to write this and just refer to this blog whenever someone wants to know.
This blog will discuss the necessary steps you need to make it specifically as an online content marketer. Not the actual job itself (that will make this blog a long ass blog as it already is), but only the grounds you need to cover to jump start your career as a content marketer.
Luckily for me, when I started a couple years back, my brother Ram was already connected to an Australian agency (still is) and they needed a copywriter. I’ve always been a creative writer since and I’ve had a few samples stashed away to serve as my portfolio. From then on I progressed to become a content marketer and content producer for social media (another story for another blog). Which I later found out was a natural thing to evolve into as a writer.
But what to do if you don’t have any experience in writing? Just follow these steps I’ve outlined for you.
- Write Practice Articles
After that, write a few more. Write until writing becomes natural to you. In my experience, writing something you’re passionate about comes easy. Nobody needs to see them just yet. You just need it to get your sentence construction right. Your subject-verb agreement near flawless. Why? Because copywriting is the backbone of every social media manager or content marketer.
For those of you who don’t know: “Copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action.” -Wikipedia
These texts include but is not limited to copy on sites or landing pages, social media captions, blogs, and articles. There’s a science to it.
2. Get Comfortable With Social Media
Marketing is for a specific type of personality. It’s not for every body. It’s usually for the storytellers, the showy types, the creatives, the obnoxious ones. You can easily tell if you’re the marketer type by how comfortable you are with posting in social media. There’s a certain wit and flair to it — and majority of the job does require you to be on social media.
If you look at your past posts and all you get are 2–3 likes, usually by your mother, sister and best friend — that’s going to be a problem. Marketers are sociable people, practice social skills first.
3. Take Online Courses and Certifications
It’s the best you can do for having zero experience. At least your first clients are confident you know what you’re doing. There are free courses online for copywriting, digital marketing and content marketing etc. The paid ones are recommendable as they have certifications and license numbers after completion which can be linked to your LinkedIn profiles. A nice feature you’ll appreciate soon.
Mine was a different case, my previous boss wanted me to transition to a content marketer so he sponsored my courses. I’m grateful for that.
Last time I checked, udemy.com had a digital marketing certification on sale for $15, that’s only 750 pesos. Consider that as a tool to get where you need to be. Don’t skimp on your tools.
4. Come Up With A Portfolio
Apparently, you won’t have any marketing campaigns or managed content saved up yet for your portfolio. You need to come up with something, right? Give your clients at least some of your written pieces. After you’ve done a few practice articles, write at least 3 samples you think are worthy to be presented and used to gauge your writing skills. Upload them in Google Drive or Dropbox for easy sharing.
5. Create Accounts and Search Jobs on Job Posting Sites
If you don’t get a referral like I did, best bet would be to create accounts on job posting sites.
My recommendations are:
onlinejobs.ph -international clients/employers
upwork.com -international clients/employers
mynimo.com -local clients/employers
My best experience is with Onlinejobs.ph so far. Its user experience is very good. You can filter job searches to full-time, part-time or freelance. Navigation is easy to understand unlike Upwork. Mynimo is for local PH job openings if that’s your thing. Local jobs usually mean a local office. Albeit in a much cooler setup than regular offices. Think startups.
Remember, these sites allow profile creation so it’s best you follow instructions and optimize how your profile appears to employers too. I can PM you how mine looks like if you want.
Tip: Take the English proficiency test, the IQ test, the personality test and upload the necessary government ID’s to make your profile rank higher and more visible.
So, not only are these sites for job searching but for talent searching as well. So you’ll have employers and clients actively searching its database of workers. Even if I have full-time work now, I still get regular emails from potential clients wanting to know if I’m open for work — and I still correspond to the occasional side-gigs. Consider that as a fallback plan. You won’t know if someone comes along with a better offer too.
6. Take A Low Paying Job
With zero experience, you can’t be choosy. Take a low paying post at first. Assuming you’re transferring from another industry, the mere fact that you’ve had jobs before means you are a professional and that already means you’re hire-able to employers. I was lucky I have writing skills so my first pay as a copywriter was $600. So zero writing or content marketing experience at all should place you at the $400–500 range. You have to accept the fact that you don’t have anything to say yet at the bargaining table. Low starts usually mean they hire an inexperienced person, hoping that training makes him better. As opposed to hiring an expensive expert.
So, suck it up. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Learn as much as you can. Soak up all the experiences as much as you can. Take all the courses they’re offering you. Again, these are tools to get you where you want to be. All of it can be milestones you can put on your resume.
7. Keep Moving
Try to stay with your company for at least 6 months. Focus without looking for other jobs. A year would be better if you can take it. Longer if you’re happy. If your company offers you growth and other career opportunities, then that’s great. As long as you keep progressing. If not, it’s time to move on to greater things.
Use the job posting sites again to search for vacancies. With experience and a loaded portfolio, you already qualify for the higher-paying content marketing jobs. At best, you may negotiate job offers.
8. Network With Other Content Marketers
There’s a lot of ways to do this. I won’t elaborate on it. Attend conferences, join Facebook groups for content marketers, connect with them on LinkedIn, visit co-working spaces etc.
The aim is to keep tabs with your fellow content marketers to stay updated with anything that has to do with your chosen career. Stay updated with jobs, strategies, current pay rates as well as opportunities. Knowing so helps you gauge yourself how much you know and how much you’re worth to the market. Eliminating the possibility of you getting exploited and low-balled by employers.
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I hope this helps you find your way to becoming an online content marketer. It’s not an easy route I tell you. However, if you look at it the way I did, the necessary steps you take are all part of a bigger picture. Thanks for reading and good luck!
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