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How This 38-Year-Old Earns $40k/Month Using SEO to Drive Traffic to His Financial Advice Site



How This 38-Year-Old Earns $40k/Month Using SEO to Drive Traffic to His Financial Advice Site

R.J. Weiss has been exploring side hustles for years, dabbling in niche websites, freelancing, and paid marketing, among other areas. His interest in earning money beyond a traditional job led him to create a website on the side: The Ways to Wealth.

Drawing on his extensive experience in the financial services sector, R.J. created his niche site and dreamed of earning an extra $1000 per month. Although his path was filled with highs and lows, through a combination of hard work, persistence, and the right strategies, his site is now bringing in $40k per month. 

Keep reading to find out:

  • Why he created his website
  • What his website focused on initially
  • How he got traffic in the beginning
  • Where his income comes from
  • What happened after the Google November 2019 update
  • His main marketing strategies
  • His approach to keyword research
  • His thoughts on link building
  • How he creates content
  • How he grows his email list
  • His favorite resources and tools
  • His biggest challenge
  • His greatest accomplishment
  • The main mistake he’s made
  • His advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet R.J. Weiss

I’m R.J., a financial professional living outside Chicago with my wife and three young children, ages 4,7, and 10. 

After college, I joined a family-run financial services business and gained a decade of industry experience in various roles. 

I earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation during this period and started working with clients one-on-one. 

Despite my career in the broader financial sector, I’ve always harbored a special passion for personal finance. 

Why He Created His Website

I started The Ways To Wealth in 2016. My second child was born at that time, and money was tight. My dad was considering selling the family business since he was getting close to retirement. I could have taken it over, but I didn’t want to deal with the debt. Something told me to try something new.

When I launched the site, I didn’t think that The Ways To Wealth would be the primary source of income for my family. I got the idea from Pat Flynn’s income reports and wanted to try a niche website. Making $1,000 per month would have exceeded my expectations. 

Ironically, I was also listening to the Niche Pursuits podcast during my commute. I was interested in what Spencer was doing with his Amazon FBA business, so I started an e-commerce business with a partner. It was barely profitable and I closed it down at the start of the pandemic.

The first idea for The Ways To Wealth was to review books and make different best-of lists (e.g., best business books, best investing books, etc). I got decent traffic, but Amazon’s affiliate program doesn’t pay enough for books alone. 

1688792172 906 How This 38 Year Old Earns 40kMonth Using SEO to Drive Traffic
This list of best investing books, shown here with The Ways To Wealth’s original design, was one of the first pieces of content to rank for the site. 

During this time, I saw how other bloggers got incredible traffic from Pinterest. So I started using Pinterest too, and it worked great. 

1688792172 420 How This 38 Year Old Earns 40kMonth Using SEO to Drive Traffic
Pinterest was a great traffic source from 2017 and  2018 but is no longer a top referrer.

I also went to a conference for financial bloggers called Fincon. There, I heard about The Penny Hoarder’s use of paid traffic to make money from affiliate offers.

Utilizing Pinterest and Facebook, by the end of 2017, I was averaging about $3,000 a month. This was enough of a base to where I felt it made sense to at least try and go full-time. 

I knew a bit about SEO from working on digital marketing for my family’s business. I knew that SEO could bring in traffic in the long run, so I was building up that source of traffic as well, which takes significant time. 

Fast forward to 2023, and SEO is where The Ways To Wealth makes the vast majority of its revenue (with affiliate offers and advertising, with Mediavine being the main revenue drivers). 

How Much He’s Earning

My site generates over $40,000 in monthly revenue. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t purely an SEO site. We also invest in paid traffic, so our profit margins aren’t as high as a site relying purely on organic traffic.

The main income streams are affiliate marketing and ads. Affiliate partnerships account for approximately 60% of our revenue, with advertising revenue from Mediavine making up 40%.

The journey to this level of income has seen some highs and lows. 

Initially, my site had a promising start. In 2019, we were attracting more than 10,000 visits a day from SEO at our peak. 

However, the November 2019 Google update significantly impacted us. Honestly, it was warranted. Our content quality at the time wasn’t up to par.

1688792173 141 How This 38 Year Old Earns 40kMonth Using SEO to Drive Traffic
The Ways To Wealth was hit hard in November 2019 and again in early 2020.

This led to an income slump in 2020 and 2021. 

I went all-in during this time, doing everything I could to make the site worthy of getting SEO traffic. 

We focused on link building, site architecture, and topical authority. But just as importantly, we went through the site’s entire content catalog and rigorously reviewed and edited every article to ensure that they provided real value for our readers. It was a resource-intensive process, but it paid off.

In the second half of 2021, the site started to recover. And it was good timing, as I had started to dip into savings to pay for living expenses. I was likely a few months away from having to get some freelancing clients or a more traditional job.

With the recovery—or growth, depending on how you want to look at it—2022 was our best year yet, with profits up 3x over 2021. 

Total traffic to the site from all sources in 2022 was over 4 million sessions. The total from organic search was over 1.8 million sessions. 

R.J.’s Top Marketing Strategies

The Ways To Wealth’s top strategy is creating excellent content. 

I know that’s not super exciting, but I’ve always believed that Google judges your site based on its overall quality. Therefore, I aim to ensure that every page delivers value and deserves to rank first in search results. 

In other words, a site is only as good as its weakest page.

This approach has kept us from experiencing significant hits from Google updates since 2019. There has been a lot of shifting in the search engine rankings during this time, but we’ve managed to stay stable, or even gain, from each core update. 

I still play an active role in the content process. Our managing editor has a journalism background, so he views everything through a critical lens as well. We’ve had a core team of writers who have been with us for a while; they know that we have high expectations (and they consistently deliver). 

1688792173 395 How This 38 Year Old Earns 40kMonth Using SEO to Drive Traffic

While we’re not the fastest at producing content because of this approach, I believe it’s helped us maintain rankings over time.

The Importance of SEO

SEO is very important for my business. It generates about 80% of the revenue on the site. In other words, SEO pays the bills for the company, and me personally. 

I’m glad I focused on SEO from early on. It’s been a game-changer for The Ways To Wealth and is a fundamental part of our strategy going forward.

Keyword Research

Our keyword research process involves various methods, but we still heavily rely on data from Ahrefs. We put a lot of emphasis on developing certain areas or topics. We often ask ourselves, “If Google is to see us as an authority on topic X, what core topics do we need to cover?”

A strategy I’ve found helpful is the Profit First Method, which I highly recommend. It promotes prioritizing profit and helps keep finances in check. 

Sometimes, no exact keyword matches what we need to write about, but the overall concept gets a lot of search traffic when you combine all the long-tail searches. Overall, we find ourselves focusing more on topics rather than specific keywords. 

So, for instance, if we have a list of the best product testing sites (a high volume keyword), Google expects us to have in-depth reviews of many of those product testing sites we mention. These reviews should be based on first-hand experience as well.

Link Building

In the end, a lot comes down to links. Creating high-quality content can only take you so far. 

As the amount of online content continues to grow, the importance of links is likely to increase, so link building is very important.

My current strategies involve connecting with journalists, using HARO (Help a Reporter Out), and participating in Facebook groups where reporters seek expert opinions. A professional credential attached to my name helps in these interactions, so I leverage that as much as possible.

However, I admit that I need to improve in this area. 

Like many website owners, I enjoy creating content but am less enthusiastic about the outreach aspect of link building. This has somewhat limited the site’s growth, and I plan to focus more on it in the future. 

R.J.’s Content Creation Process

Our content creation process starts with my editor and me creating a comprehensive outline for the writer. We use MarketMuse to guide us on what the content should include, but we don’t rely on it too much. 

After all, we’re aiming to create content that’s different from what’s already in the search results. If our content is the same as what’s already out there, Google doesn’t have a strong reason to rank it.

We give our writers plenty of time to create their content. We don’t set strict deadlines because we want our content, especially our product reviews, to be accurate. To assess a product properly, writers need sufficient time, even if it’s something seemingly simple like a survey site.

After the writers finish a draft, the editor reviews it, and then I add my comments. If necessary, we send it back to the writer for revisions.

All in all, we may not be the fastest at creating content, but we focus on quality and thoroughness, and that takes time. This approach might require more patience, but we believe it leads to better content in the long run.

His Email List

Maintaining and growing an email list has been our major focus this year. We’ve recently transitioned from SendFox to ConvertKit, a platform that provides us with more analytical insights to help grow our list.

One effective strategy for growing our email list has been using paid traffic. Instead of squeezing the maximum value from each click upfront, we adopt a longer-term strategy. We aim to convert these first-time visitors into recurring visitors by signing them up to our email list.

Now that we’ve switched platforms, I’m revamping our automated email campaigns and developing more lead magnets across the site. For instance, we offer a financial goal-setting workbook, which is available on several pages. 

Ideally, I want to create more lead magnets that address specific problems for our visitors. 

For example, one of my personal passions is travel hacking. I’m able to pay for multiple trips each year through reward points. And I recently just created a six-part series on travel hacking for beginners. So, up next is creating a lead magnet and autoresponder series that further dives into this topic.

How Much Time He Spends on His Site

I typically work on my business for around 4 to 6 hours daily, doing focused work with clear breaks in between. 

My usual routine involves waking up at 5 am and working until about 7 am when my children wake up. After preparing their breakfast and getting them off to school, I return to work around 8 am and continue until about 11:30 am, when I head to the gym.

One of my favorite midday breaks is my CrossFit workout session. I’ve made some great friends at my local CrossFit gym, which adds a social element to my daily routine. 

After the gym, I tend to have a slower pace in the middle of the day, enjoying time with my kids when they return from school. 

Then, I return to work and wrap up by about 4 p.m. So, in terms of actual work hours per week, it averages between 20 to 30 hours.

R.J.’s Favorite Resources

I’m a big fan of podcasts for staying up-to-date with business and marketing trends. Some of my favorites include:

  • Niche Pursuits: I’ve been listening to this since 2016. It’s been a great resource for insights into the industry, and it’s truly an honor to be featured here.
  • Marketing School: This podcast is great for keeping up with the fast-paced changes in the marketing world.
  • Authority Hacker: I’ve been a long-time listener and have purchased multiple courses from them. 
  • Content and Conversation with SiegeMedia: They host some of the best guests in the SEO world, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone interested in this field.

His Top 3 Tools

My go-to tools are:

Ahrefs: I use Ahrefs daily for keyword research, site audits, and tracking rankings.

Trello: Trello is an invaluable project management software. It’s user-friendly and versatile, perfect for coordinating tasks between myself and the managing editor for the site. Whether it’s content creation or site updates, everything is organized in Trello.

Spreadsheets: I religiously track our performance using spreadsheets. With over a hundred partners, monitoring revenue daily is important to understand how the site is performing. This regular analysis helps us spot trends and opportunities and address any issues.

His Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge I’ve faced while growing the business has been managing cash flow. 

The nature of the business can make income quite unstable, which can be tough to navigate. 

A strategy I’ve found helpful is the Profit First Method, which I highly recommend. It promotes prioritizing profit and helps keep finances in check. 

However, it’s not perfect by any means for me. I’m always tinkering with the ideal system that allows for what’s just right based on the unique characteristics of my business. It’s improving, but I still have a long way to go. 

His Most Important Accomplishment

One accomplishment I’m proud of is bouncing back after the seismic November 2019 Google update. 

With the pandemic hitting in early 2020, my personal and professional life underwent a huge transformation. We suddenly found ourselves homeschooling two kids with a newborn in the house, all while my business was experiencing serious turbulence. 

It was not easy, but I doubled down on my efforts and stayed committed to the site’s growth. I’m deeply grateful that this hard work paid off. This resilience during a tough period is a major achievement in my journey as an entrepreneur.

What He Wishes He Knew When He Started

When I started, I focused too much on affiliates rather than on truly providing value. I had a short-term perspective when it came to content creation, which is something I wish I had done differently. The hard truth hit me like a ton of bricks, and I learned my lesson the tough way. 

If I could share advice with my younger self, it would be to prioritize value over short-term gains. Delivering useful, quality content is what attracts and retains loyal readers. 

Trust me, it’s a lesson you’d rather not learn the hard way.

R.J.’s Biggest Mistake

My biggest mistake was not hiring a top-notch editor sooner. 

Honestly, when I started, I had no idea how a professional content team operated. My approach was simple and flawed: get content from writers, scan it for grammar mistakes, and hit “publish.” This approach lacked strategic direction and a cohesive content plan. 

An editor doesn’t just proofread; they can guide the overall content strategy and ensure the material aligns with your core values. 

Understanding this earlier would have saved me from many headaches and improved the quality of my content significantly.

His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

If you’re just starting to build something, don’t expect everything to go as planned. Try out a lot of different approaches and see what sticks.

We learn best from hands-on experience. Once you gain that experience, don’t become complacent. Keep refining your strategies, your methods, and your business model. 

Adaptability is key in business. Mistakes and setbacks are part of the journey, so don’t be discouraged by them. Instead, see them as opportunities for growth and learning.

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Revolutionising affiliate marketing in the era of influencers, ET BrandEquity



Revolutionising affiliate marketing in the era of influencers, ET BrandEquity

Affiliate marketing spends in India are estimated to be Rs 2500 crore in FY 2023, constituting eight percent of the overall digital marketing spend, according to the State of Digital Marketing in India report. Despite the popularity of affiliate marketing, the model presents its own challenges, such as onboarding and managing affiliates, high commission fees, and vulnerability to fraudulent and malicious practices.

During a discussion at DigiPlus Fest 2023, marketers explored the evolving landscape of affiliate marketing and strategies to optimise return on investment (RoI). The session featured Nishant Jaiswal, VP – marketing, Zupee; Sachin Vashishtha, chief marketing officer, Paisabazaar, and was chaired by Saumya Jain,

Essentially, affiliate marketing involves incentivizing affiliates with a commission or payout to drive a business action, such as a click or purchase. The practice began with blogs, websites, and email but has since expanded to include social media and e-commerce platforms.

Vashishtha observed that while affiliate marketing was one of the most profitable and RoI-positive ways for online businesses to grow, it didn’t take long for bad actors to leverage it for fraud. Affiliates with malicious intent began generating traffic for brands using any means necessary to earn a commission.

The practice started losing its appeal until the explosion of the creator economy and the rise of influencers. Additionally, improvements in technology and the emergence of attribution models like multi-touch attribution or view-through attribution started bringing transparency into the affiliate marketing model.

Jaiswal remarked that affiliate marketing in India is still nascent compared to global platforms, where many end publishers are not directly accessible to advertisers. He said, “With technology, many fraud-related concerns like click hijacking, app install hijacking, and click spam can be controlled by your mobile measurement partner (MMP) or attribution partner.”

However, despite technological advancements, brands still run the risk of being visible in an unsafe environment due to the way affiliate marketing models are structured. While advertisers primarily engage with larger affiliate networks, campaigns might be outsourced to smaller publishers, networks, and individuals, making it challenging to map where conversions are coming from. Additionally, smaller publishers or creators may create clickbait content or reach out to irrelevant audiences simply to drive traffic or act with malicious intent, harming the brand’s reputation.

Vashishtha stated, “You can go back to the affiliate network and ban the publisher, but it is still very difficult to work with the ecosystem the way it is now. We prefer to work with large publishers or content creators directly.”

By working directly with publishers or creators, brands can see how content gets created and deployed to generate conversions. Jaiswal suggested that brands could share a high volume of assets with affiliates directly to test their effectiveness and ensure that the brand positioning and messaging remain consistent.

While it is not entirely avoidable to discourage malicious activity, Jaiswal opined that assigning realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) while designing the campaign can automatically rule out any fraud from the equation. He said, “Marketers could leverage a combination of hard KPIs and soft KPIs, where soft KPIs can be click-to-conversion rate, sign-up-to-purchase rate, and hard KPIs could be cost-to-purchase or cost-to-sign-up.”

Affiliate marketing has its fair share of challenges; however, the ecosystem is continuously evolving. With new technologies like AI, affiliate marketing initiatives will become sharper and more targeted.

  • Published On Dec 9, 2023 at 05:03 PM IST

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First, AI came for Sports Illustrated. Soon, it will want to give you sports betting advice



First, AI came for Sports Illustrated. Soon, it will want to give you sports betting advice

Open this photo in gallery:

Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto on Nov. 24, 2016.Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

When Sports Illustrated was outed last week for its alleged use of generative AI to create online articles – and, even worse, for topping them with fake bylines and AI author headshots – readers of the legendary glossy were appalled and disappointed at how the mighty had fallen.

But there was one element of the story that largely got lost amid the outrage, and it hints at an even darker prospect of what lies ahead for sports media and fans.

The SI pieces in question were product reviews: Inoffensive rankings of say, seven brands of volleyballs, which included links to Amazon that a reader could click on if they suddenly felt the urge to take up the sport. So, not only was the editorial copy generated by fake people, it was actually fake editorial copy. It was real advertising.

The practice of peppering editorial content with commercial links – known in the business as affiliate marketing – is a mainstay of Internet advertising, from movie reviews that direct readers to online ticketing sites, to podcasters and TikTok influencers giving out discount codes for listeners or viewers to buy merch from specific retailers.

But affiliate marketing has exploded in recent years in one notorious segment of the industry – sports betting, and its gush of ad dollars that are falling on a desperate media sector like rain on a parched prairie.

Affiliate sites that funnel new customers to online gambling operators are raking in the cash because of a quirk in that segment of the business – and they’re doing it on the backs of those new bettors.

In the spring of 2021, the Canadian sports media startup Playmaker Capital went public on the TSX Venture Exchange and quickly began scooping up digital properties with large followings that the company believed could be converted to bettors. When I interviewed Playmaker’s CEO, Jordan Gnat, shortly after shares began trading, he said he wanted to be in “the fan monetization business.”

There were tens of millions to monetize. The company began by buying soccer-focused sites in Latin America such as Bolavip, which targeted fans in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Central America and the United States, then expanded into the English-language North American market with the newsletter publisher and aggregator Yardbarker. Here in Canada it bought The Nation Network, which operates the hockey fantasy site, Daily Faceoff, and the Quebec-based La Poche Bleue.

But last month, Playmaker went from the hunter to the hunted when Better Collective, an affiliate-marketing giant based in Denmark that Gnat had cited to me as an inspiration for his company, gobbled it up for about $260-million.

The flurry of activity is partly because affiliate marketers who funnel customers to sportsbooks are an entirely different beast. They’re not just making one-time commissions, as they would if they were helping to sell concert tickets or tennis racquets or fly traps. Instead, they get a percentage of the sportsbook’s net revenue made from any new bettor.

“Net revenue” is another term for “total lifetime losses by a new bettor.”

Forget the pennies that digital ads are infamous for bringing in. If a site converts a reader or listener or viewer into a regular gambler – that is, a regular loser – the payday can be hundreds of dollars or more.

Here’s where it might occur to you that the incentives for a site to give you good betting advice might clash with that same site’s incentive to get you to sign up with a sports book and then lose a lot of money.

You would not be wrong.

In the social-media industry, there’s a saying that if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. In the world of affiliate marketing, you are the product – the one that’s being sold to the sportsbooks. But boy, are you paying for it.

An academic paper published in January, 2020, in International Gambling Studies titled Affiliate Marketing of Sports Betting – A Cause for Concern? points out that many sites aren’t transparent about their duelling allegiances. It also notes that “people assign greater levels of trust to expert advice during decision-making tasks involving financial risk. This may be a particular concern for those who are just beginning to gamble upon sport, as they may be more inclined to rely on expert advice on bet choice due to their lack of experience.” Newbies may be especially susceptible, given that affiliates position themselves as being on the side of the bettor, when in fact they’re being paid by the sportsbook.

Which brings us full circle back to where we started. Generative AI is notoriously bad at a lot of things, including getting facts straight. But it’s very good at sounding confident, even as it bluffs its way through life.

And it’s about to use its charms to lull you into thinking you can beat the house.

Last May, Lloyd Danzig, the managing partner at the New York-based venture-capital company Sharp Alpha Advisors, noted in a piece for Sports Business Journal that publishers doing affiliate marketing for sportsbooks, “will soon leverage generative AI to instantly create thousands of SEO-optimized articles that discuss the current day’s calendar of games, betting trends, stories to follow, and sportsbook promotions. Pregame previews, postgame summaries, and highlight reels can be created on command without the use of specialized software or manual oversight. Articles, sportsbook reviews, and odds comparison pieces can be generated for any audience, with a fraction of the effort required from human writers.”

Think we’re already swamped with sports betting content? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Après ChatGPT, le déluge.

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What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist?



What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist?

You’ve decided you want a career as a content strategist, and we’re here to help you reach your goal. A content strategist is a key player in determining the success of a brand’s content strategy, and it can be an exciting career path.

We discuss below the duties of a content strategist along with tips for becoming the most successful one you can be.

What Does a Content Strategist Do?

A content strategist brainstorms, plans, and executes the content strategy for a brand. This can be done either in a solo environment or with a content strategy team.

The material that’s crafted by content strategists for various social media platforms and other digital marketing efforts is designed with the objectives of the business in mind.

Understanding what content strategists do means we first need to understand content marketing.

Content marketing is a useful type of marketing that involves creating content designed to build interest in a brand’s products or services without explicitly promoting them.

Content strategists are content marketing experts.

For example, a content marketing strategy for a social media coach could involve a series of blog posts about why it’s so important to post on social media.

content strategist

Now you can understand how a content marketing strategist engages in content marketing in the day-to-day execution of their job.

Content Strategist Job Description

Here is a sample content strategist job description:

The content strategist will develop a content strategy that meets key business objectives. They will reach the brand’s target audience through various marketing channels using their supreme content delivery skills.

The content strategist will use the organization’s content management system to oversee marketing campaigns across a variety of specific social media channels. In addition to content planning and content creation, content strategists will report on how their work met content strategy deliverables.

A typical content strategist salary ranges from $40,000-$80,000 based on location, experience, and the type of company you’re working for.

Here are a few examples of roles for the job title “content strategist” that illustrate a varying salary range based on location throughout the United States:

content strategistcontent strategist

As you gain more experience and rise in seniority, you could become a senior content strategist or even advance into marketing leadership. It’s up to you where you want to take your career.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Content Strategist

To add to the content strategist job description, we list the roles and responsibilities of a content strategist below.

The content strategist role varies on a day-to-day basis, but the overall tasks that need to be completed remain consistent. Content strategists will:

  • Facilitate content planning sessions across a variety of editorial calendars and marketing channels.
  • Perform a content audit of all existing content, evaluate its effectiveness, and update as necessary.
  • Conduct extensive keyword research to guide the direction of the brand’s content creation.
  • Pitch existing and prospective clients on their content creation ideas.
  • Build target audience profiles to create content for.
  • Understand the many ways future content can generate leads and be monetized.
  • Stay informed on social media trends and changes in consumer behavior.
  • Create content across various digital platforms and social media accounts.
  • Oversee a marketing team and delegate tasks for ongoing and upcoming projects.
  • Collaborate with other team members, like copywriters, UX/UI designers, editors, and more when creating online content.
  • Analyze its successful content strategy and report back on its performance. A working knowledge of SEO reporting tools is crucial.

Who Does a Content Strategist Report To?

The content strategist will typically report to a manager in the marketing department. This could include a marketing manager, the vice president of marketing, or the marketing director.

However, keep in mind that every company is structured differently.

For example, a large corporation will be structured differently than a small start-up.

The content strategist role at a start-up might report directly to the CEO. Furthermore, a content strategist at a large corporation might report to the marketing manager.

Depending on how large the marketing team is, the content strategist might report to a more specialized person, like the digital content manager.

Understanding the marketing team structure of the company you want to apply for will help you understand where you fit in the organization.

1702005989 977 What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist1702005989 977 What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist

Types of Companies Content Strategists Work For

Because every type of company can benefit from having a content strategy team, there are a variety of companies a content strategist could work for.

A few types of companies a content strategist could work for include:

Large Corporations:

Major recognizable brands need content strategists to maintain their position in the market as thought leaders.

Marketing Agencies:

Marketing agencies provide a wide range of services, and content marketing is just one of those services. A content marketer will help marketing agencies create engaging content as part of overall content strategies for clients.

Small Start-ups:

Content strategists are an important part of the business for small start-ups because they help attract new and existing customers.

Having content monetization skills can be especially important for start-ups as they run lean in the early days.

Content Agencies:

Content agencies are similar to marketing agencies. However, they provide a more niche service that’s specific to content marketing.

These types of agencies will need to hire teams of content strategists to serve their clients’ content marketing needs.


There is another option that’s entirely different from the employers we’ve discussed on this list. That alternative is freelancing.

A career as a freelancer means that you will be self-employed and responsible for obtaining your own clients, delivering the project, and billing the client.

While there is potentially more money to be made as a freelancer, it does also come with more risk.

1702005989 736 What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist1702005989 736 What Are the Duties of a Content Strategist

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Content Strategist?

Becoming a successful content strategist requires a variety of soft skills and technical expertise. We break down the necessary skills in each category below.

Soft Skills

Here are a list of the soft skills you’ll need in your career as a content strategist:


You will need to tell compelling stories to a variety of audiences as a content strategist. Whether it’s pitching ideas to clients or educating your audience, you will need to learn to relay information in an engaging way.


Ultimately, you’re creating content for your target audience to consume. This means that it needs to be engaging, exciting, and creative. Having creativity will help you put together the best content.


As a content strategist, you are communicating every day. Whether it’s to your boss, other teams within the company, or your target audience, having top-notch communication skills will be very important.


An aspiring content strategist needs to be very organized. They will be managing multiple campaigns simultaneously, so they need expert organizational skills to keep everything running smoothly.

Technical Skills

Beyond the very important soft skills you’ll need, there are a variety of technical skills that you’ll also need in your career as a content strategist.

Here are a few of them:


Strong technical writing skills are one of the most important hard skills you’ll need. Being able to write high-quality long-form content will be a key component of your job.

Search Engine Optimization:

SEO is another one of the most important technical skills you will need to have in your career. You’ll need to understand how to perform keyword research with SEO research software, along with how to seamlessly incorporate these keywords into the text as part of the content creation process.

Social Media Platforms:

Having an understanding of the posting style of each of the different social media platforms will be helpful to your success as a content strategist.

Your long-form content will be shared with your audience in the form of social media campaigns. If you’re able to lend your knowledge when creating these campaigns, you will be able to provide more value for your team.


Part of the content strategist’s job is understanding how the content you’re creating can be monetized and earn your employer money.

Whether it’s incorporating banner ads or partnering with affiliates, you will need to be an expert in monetization methods for the content strategies you implement.

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Tips for Becoming a Content Strategist

You know the skills you need to develop and what the job description entails. Now it’s time to discuss tips for optimizing your career in content marketing. Read our top 5 tips for becoming a content strategist below.

Prioritize Your Education

You will need to have the knowledge if you want to earn a job as a content strategist. This means that prioritizing your education should be at the top of your list.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a bachelor’s degree, some employers might require you to have one. For example, if you want to work at a large corporation or a major brand where you work your way up to a leadership position, they might require a bachelor’s degree for those types of roles.

Examples of bachelor’s degrees that you could obtain include marketing, journalism, public relations, or communications.

Gain Professional Experience

After you’ve obtained the education, you want to add professional experience to your resume.

Professional experience can occur in many forms, including internships and paid positions. Learn from the other content strategists you’re working with as you contribute to content marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re working directly as a content strategist or something adjacent to this position, give it your best effort to learn as much as you can while also impressing your employer.

References from internships and entry-level jobs will be helpful to you in the future!

Start Networking

In addition to developing your skills, you’ll also want to start networking.

Networking with other professionals in the industry will be helpful for you when searching for jobs. Sometimes, jobs aren’t even posted on online job boards, and instead, companies ask for referrals from their existing employees.

Similarly, when employers are looking at a large stack of resumes, seeing a name they recognize makes the hiring process easier for them.

Also, remember that you’re networking with people of all experience levels, not just people who are more advanced than you in your career. The person that you’re taking a course with could one day be promoted to the marketing manager you’re applying to work for.

All this to say, conduct yourself professionally and courteously when networking.

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Show Your Expertise Through Personal Projects

Even if you haven’t obtained that internship or first job yet, you can showcase your expertise through your personal projects.

Starting your own blog site, YouTube channel or newsletter will help you develop skills and gain hands-on experience.

Working on your own projects requires you to develop a content strategy, create content, and grow your audience.

How long does it take to make money from a blog? You will be able to answer this question for future employers based on firsthand knowledge.

You can then tell future employers about your expertise and the success of your marketing campaigns.

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Always Continue Learning

Even though education was already a priority for you on your path toward being a content strategist, learning will always be important for furthering your career.

Whether it’s taking online courses, reading books, or listening to podcasts, find the learning method that feels right for you.

Courses are a great way to further your education as a content marketer. Here are two great courses to get you started:

The Affiliate Lab

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The Affiliate Lab is an expert source on creating content optimized for SEO. This course contains more than 100 hours of training on how to conduct keyword research, select your niche, rank in search results, and more.

If you’re looking to improve the SEO rankings of your content, this course is for you. Niche Pursuits readers receive an exclusive discount of $200 off The Affiliate Lab course here.

Project 24

If you want to learn how to drive real results, Project 24 is the course for you. This will help teach you how to create the best possible content for a blog site or YouTube channel.

Its 27 online courses will teach you how to create and monetize content that’s been optimized for SEO.

The end goal of this course is to teach you how to generate passive income from your content marketing efforts. Check out our Income School Review to learn more about Project 24 and its founders.

No matter which course you choose based on your goals, what’s important is that you’re expanding your knowledge base to create results-driven content.

Your Career as a Content Strategist

Whether you work for a fast-paced marketing agency or an exciting brand, your career in digital content creation is sure to be an exciting one. We wish you the best of luck in your career as a content strategist!

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