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When Cassandra Jowett graduated with her journalism degree, she found herself right in the middle of the Great Recession.
“Journalism jobs were drying up,” she says. “Most publications were doing more firing than hiring.” But rather than give up, Cassandra adapted by finding a different job where she could use her writing chops: content marketer.
What is content marketing? Content marketers produce a variety of content, from articles to podcasts to videos, for companies and blogs. They think strategically about how to provide outstanding content that helps readers and brings in revenue for a business.
Today, Cassandra works as the director of content marketing for the content platform provider LookBookHQ. Here’s how Cassandra discovered the world of content marketing, along with her advice for other wordsmiths looking to do the same.
From journalism student to ‘accidental’ content marketer
After four years studying journalism, Cassandra graduated into a bleak job market. Instead of getting stuck in the unpaid internship cycle, she took a job at an early-stage startup as the editor of its fledgling blog.
Cassandra used her writing skills to produce content and promote the company, plus she persuaded newspapers and magazines to republish her blog posts. But since the job of content marketer wasn’t on her radar, Cassandra didn’t realize that content marketing was exactly what she was doing.
“It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized I was doing content marketing, and it was a real career path,” she says. Once the realization struck, she updated her LinkedIn profile to reflect her content marketing experience.
“Within a few weeks, I got a message from another startup CEO who wanted to have coffee about the first content marketing role at his company,” she says. “I joined his company as the content marketing manager shortly thereafter and was eventually promoted to senior content marketing manager.”
After five years into that role, Cassandra moved on to LookBookHQ to take the reins as its director of content marketing. Although her move into the world of content marketing was somewhat accidental, Cassandra was prepared thanks to her journalism and editorial skills.
What is content marketing? It can include a little bit of everything
Although content marketing involves a lot of writing, the responsibilities of the role can change on a daily basis. Content marketers might produce blog articles, podcasts, or videos. Those at the manager or director level often work across teams to help with public relations and product marketing.
“Depending on the size of the organization you work for, you might be responsible for or support a lot of different things: content, such as blog posts, e-books, and video, of course, but also social media, public relations, analyst relations, brand voice and tone, visual brand, customer marketing, product marketing, sales enablement, and more,” says Cassandra.
“As a result, no two days are the same and content marketers tend to work on a really diverse range of projects with people across the organization and outside of it.”
This cross-pollination is part of what Cassandra enjoys so much about the role. “The collaboration and creativity you get to experience as a content marketer [is] extraordinarily satisfying, especially on fun projects like videos,” she says.
She loves that every day brings a new challenge, so she’s always learning and improving. Perhaps most importantly, though, is the satisfaction that comes with helping others.
“The best thing, however, is that I know I’m helping people with the content I create,” says Cassandra. “No, I’m not saving lives, and yes, it sounds a little cheesy, but the right information presented to the right person at the right time can make a huge difference in their career and in their life.”
In her role as content marketer, Cassandra has found a job that’s personally fulfilling and contributes to the common good.
Empathy, creativity, and curiosity are core skills
To work as a content marketer, you must have solid writing and editing skills. But Cassandra says it takes a lot more than that to succeed in the role.
First, she says content marketers must be sensitive to the needs of others.
“At the heart of content marketing is the ability to understand both what your organization needs and what your audience or customer needs, so you can create content that serves them both at the same time,” she says. “Empathy also helps you put yourself in your audience’s shoes and create content that truly appeals to them.”
Besides flexing your empathy muscles, you can’t be afraid to unleash your creative side.
“When your content is competing for your audience’s attention in an ever-noisier world, you have to be creative about the topics, formats, tone, and experience that your content presents,” advises Cassandra. “Plus, when your company’s goals and your audience’s goals seem to be at odds, that’s when you really have to get creative and find solutions that work for both.”
Finally, she encourages content marketers to not forget about the business side of their work.
“The more I know about how my content is tied to revenue, the better,” says Cassandra. “Give yourself some broad knowledge about the marketing funnel, marketing automation and operations, lead nurturing, lead scoring and qualification, sales processes, and more so you know how your content is being used, where, why, and how it’s impacting your company’s revenue.”
Although these terms might sound foreign to anyone outside the industry, learning about them could help you stand out in interviews. To improve your knowledge, you might seek out a career coach or mentor who works in content marketing, or take on an internship during college.
By understanding both the creative and business sides of content marketing, you’ll be a well-rounded candidate for any content marketing job.
Brainstorm ideas even if you haven’t gotten hired yet
If you’re eager to work in the field of content marketing, you don’t have to wait for the job title to get started. Instead, Cassandra encourages anyone to start creating content right away, so they can impress a hiring manager and hit the ground running once they get hired.
“Even if you’re not in a content marketing role, find ways to create content: blog posts, videos, social media posts,” she suggests.
Cassandra also encourages aspiring content marketers to experiment and challenge the traditional content marketing definition. “Develop your own ideas about what content should be created and why, and share those ideas over coffees, in job interviews, and in strategy meetings,” she says.
Finally, she says not to forget about the role’s core competency: writing. “Write as much as you possibly can and find an editor to give you feedback on your work,” she says. “Ask for feedback so you can get better and understand what works, what doesn’t, and why.”
By welcoming feedback and taking the time to process it, you’ll keep honing your skills at crafting stories people want to read.
Students who love to write should consider a career in content marketing
Because content marketing involves writing, editing, and creativity, it can be a great fit for English, journalism, and communication grads.
“Unfortunately, most journalism and communications students and grads don’t have this career path on their radar, but they should!” says Cassandra. “Traditional journalism and [communications] jobs are on the decline, while more and more content marketing jobs are created every day.”
In fact, marketing agencies Fractl and Moz found that job listings for content marketers exploded by 350 percent between 2011 and 2015. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that marketing jobs will grow by 10 percent over the next decade.
Not only are content marketers in high demand, but they earn decent salaries. According to Glassdoor, content marketers make between $45,000 and $96,000, depending on their level of experience. In its 2018 salary guide, The Creative Group found that content strategists start with a median salary of $73,000.
Many companies hire for this role, especially those that participate in blogging, social media, or online advertising. You can find opportunities on job boards across the internet, but don’t forget to rely on your network, too.
If you don’t know anyone in the field, try a networking app to make new contacts. You never know — a conversation over coffee could lead to your next great job.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 0318/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|