The 6 Key Skills of a Brilliant Content Marketer

content marketers

Some jobs are easy to define and prepare for:

Want to be an engineer? Go to school and get an engineering degree.

Want to code for Google? Go to school and study computer science.

What do you do when you want to be a content marketer?

Go to school and study content marketing? Hmm…there doesn’t seem to be a program for that, please try again.

Sure, it wouldn’t hurt to study general business or marketing, but that’s not enough either. You’ll end up learning many things you don’t really need and not learning those you do need.

All the top content marketers I know have a wide variety of useful skills that closely relate to content marketing.

This is largely out of necessity.

Content marketing—the modern version of it—didn’t really become popular until the last few years.

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And while the future looks bright for content marketers of today, who knows if the subject will ever make its way to mainstream education.

If you really want to be a great content marketer, there’s only one place for you to get your education:

Are you a content marketer? Obtain these 6 key skills to become a brilliant content marketer.

The real world.

There is very little barrier to entry, which means you can jump in the deep end immediately and start learning.

You’ve likely already started your content marketing education but might be looking for information on how to take the next steps.

Well, there are 6 skills that I believe all great content marketers need.

I’m going to tell you what they are and go into detail about why they are important and how you can develop them.

1. A love for data analysis sets you apart

Many writers have transitioned to content marketing in the past few years.

They have many of the skills I’m going to go over, but they commonly lack this one.

Being able to tell a story is good, but it’s what you do with that story that really matters.

The content in “content marketing” needs to be created for a purpose. And the only way to know whether that purpose is being fulfilled and goals are being met (or progressed upon) is to look at the data.

A great content marketer is a lover of both content and numbers, which is a rare package.

A great content marketer is results-based: It starts with knowing that you need a way of measuring your results.

To do this, you need to understand the role of metrics in a business. These metrics are also being called key performance indicators (KPIs).

Metrics are a way of describing goals.

If your goal is to increase readership, the metrics you’ll be concerned with are traffic and subscribers.

You can monitor metrics over time to see if you are making progress. If the progress is too slow, you can test different approaches and look at the metrics to see if they are working.

Although every content marketing plan has its own goals, there are a few metrics that are important in nearly every scenario.

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You’ll notice that those metrics cover numbers both before and after a sale.

The most common purpose of content marketing is to improve sales, so you’d better see an increase in revenue if you’re doing it right.

Data collection and analysis are the basic skills a content marketer needs: The first step is realizing that metrics are a necessary part of business.

You don’t need to obsess over them, but you do need to make sure you know how to track and analyze them.

Tracking is very simple.

Know how to install something like Google Analytics or KISSmetrics.

Analytics software not only tracks your readers’ behavior but also provides you with a dashboard for quickly organizing and analyzing it.

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The first big obstacle content marketers need to overcome is learning how to use the analytics software.

You can find tutorials online to help with this, but the simplest way is to simply play around with it yourself and look through different tabs and settings.

The second obstacle is much larger.

You need to learn how to analyze that data.

You can get the basics of this pretty quickly:

  • choose your metrics
  • look at them over a valid time period
  • assess whether the metrics have improved or worsened

The hard part is knowing how to analyze data properly.

Really good content marketers know how to look at the situation, conduct very specific tests, and segment the analytics data to provide meaningful information.

Often, new marketers will make decisions based on analytics, but they don’t look at the right set of users.

For example, if you had two versions of a blog layout and saw that one had a better time on-page, you might conclude that it’s better.

However, it’s possible that it’s really not if you dig into things like:

  • browser
  • returning visitors
  • time of week

It may turn out that the second page performs better in all browsers except Internet Explorer.

That would lead you to investigate why that is, and you’d probably find out that it’s not showing up correctly. Fixing the errors would change the results of your experiment.

By having more experience and knowledge, that content marketer may have just made his or her business tens of thousands of dollars. Repeat that over the course of several years, and you see why a good content marketer is worth a lot.

This is a skill that needs to be developed through experience or mentorship by an expert. There are no shortcuts, e.g., you can’t just read a blog post about it and become an expert.

Every marketer should be able to do basic A/B testing: I’ve already mentioned testing a few times.

While there are a few types of experiments you can run, the most basic is an A/B split test.

First, you should understand what split tests are and why they are valuable.

They allow you to test two different versions of content to see which one leads to better metrics.

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Split-testing is very useful for gaining continual small improvements in metrics such as conversion rate.

These small improvements add up to impressive results over time.

Second, you need to know how to run split tests and analyze the results.

Fortunately, it’s very simple now with modern software.

If you want a more detailed look at running a split test, you can refer to my guide on conversion optimization. Otherwise, there are just a few main steps.

First, you’ll need to pick a piece of software to help set up the test and track the results. For example, you can use Optimizely.

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Then, you’ll need to create a hypothesis for a test.

The best split testers know how to test something that is likely to have a big impact on the metric you’re trying to improve.

These aren’t usually pulled out of thin air. Instead, they are determined based on analyzing analytics and user behavior data.

Software like Crazy Egg can show you how visitors use your website. You can use that information to make an educated guess about how to improve the clarity of your content.

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Finally, you’ll need to determine a significant sample size and collect data. Most types of software do this for you nowadays.

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At the end, you pick the winner and start again.

It will be a big benefit to understand the statistics behind split testing to spot mistakes and set up useful tests.

If you’ve never taken a statistics class, you can take one online free.

There are many, but here are two popular classes:

It’s not mandatory, but it’s a nice asset to have.

2. Research is the key to any type of marketing

One of the most important but overlooked skills a content marketer can have is the ability to conduct research.

That’s a pretty broad term.

It covers everything related to discovering and understanding a topic.

With respect to content marketing, there are a few main reasons why your ability to research effectively is so important.

Reason #1 – To understand your customer: If you want to be a good content marketer, you need to understand the type of reader you’re trying to attract.

If you don’t, you can’t produce content that they will be interested in.

You won’t be able to write about the right topics, and you won’t know how your readers enjoy consuming the information.

If you don’t research your target reader and understand them, you’re basically just guessing what they might like.

It can still work, but be prepared to produce hundreds of pieces of content until you learn what works.

Or do some research, and get it right the first time. Clients don’t want to pay you for months on end while you figure things out by trial and error.

So, how do you actually research your reader and customer?

There are tons of ways.

And there are no wrong answers.

You might start by paying attention to what readers are saying in the comments of your, or your competitor’s, website.

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Answer questions like:

  • what do they like about the content?
  • what don’t they like?
  • what other subjects are they interested in?
  • what kind of job/life do they have (readers will often tell you)?

Or you can hunt down small niche forums and spend time digging into threads:

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This is a great way to find out about their problems, which make great content ideas.

Or you can research demographic data using sites like Alexa.

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Demographics are a key part of building a reader profile.

These are three of many options.

Great content marketers keep digging until they have as clear of a picture of their reader as possible.

They do this before they ever start writing.

An hour of research here might save several hours of work in the future.

Research #2 – To understand your product: Selling products isn’t an accident. You need to have a plan to effectively sell anything with content marketing.

Many inexperienced content marketers will say, “I’ll worry about the product later,” and focus on just producing content.

BIG mistake. Why?

Because when you do that, you don’t ensure that your product matches your audience’s needs.

This is called product-market fit.

Instead, you need to figure out how your content should relate to and add to the promotion of any products you sell.

This is where research comes in.

There are two main scenarios that you’ll need to be comfortable in.

The first is when you’re hired by a company that already sells a product. You need to research the product and understand what it does (and sometimes how it does it).

Pretend I hired you to manage the Crazy Egg blog. How could you do it without understanding the product?

You wouldn’t be able to create product tutorials or content that features the software until you get familiar with it:

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While that’s far from the only content produced on the blog, it’s a type of content that plays an important role in the sales process.

The other scenario is when you don’t have a product yet.

Research is even more important in this case.

You’ll need to find out which products your audience will pay for and potentially how to create those products as well.

Finally, and most importantly, a great content marketer knows how to research content topics.

You need to know what you’re talking about in order to write a high quality article.

This involves knowing how to look up high quality journal articles as well as other resources:

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It also involves spending the time understanding those resources.

If you’re writing about advanced topics, this takes considerable persistence, and many weak content marketers will simply find a lower quality resource instead.

Great content marketers aren’t lazy.

Reason #3 – To solve problems independently: The final main reason why research is an important skill for content marketers to have is because without it, you’ll often get stuck.

Content marketers will always be faced with questions and problems:

  • What should I write about?
  • What’s the best format for this content?
  • How do I create this form of content?
  • I don’t understand this topic, so what do I do?

Let me give you a realistic scenario…

Let’s say you’re keeping up with the latest SEO posts, and you see this filter before a list of tools on Backlinko:

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And you think: “A filter like that would really improve a piece of content I’m working on.”

Here’s the problem: there’s no simple plugin to do it for you.

So, what then? Most will give up. A great content marketer, however, will dig in and figure it out.

They will learn that the filter uses a simple Javascript script.

Now, most content marketers don’t know how to create one of their own. However, the best will find someone who can make one.

They’ll head over to Odesk or Upwork and create a job posting for a developer.

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(That’s not a relevant posting to this problem, by the way.)

The big difference between a good and bad content marketer is persistence.

Great marketers will keep researching until they find the answer to their problem. That’s what makes them stand out from everyone else.

3. Content takes many forms; being able to create it starts with writing

Although content marketing is a niche of marketing, it’s still fairly broad.

Content can take many different forms:

  • text posts
  • infographics
  • videos
  • slide shows
  • tools
  • charts
  • e-books

While it’s good to know how to create all types of content, they all, to some degree, involve writing.

Even making videos requires you to produce a script.

As you also know, most content marketing is done in the form of blog posts—typically text- and image-based content.

There are a few skills that go into being a good writer (and content marketer).

Skill #1 – Basic writing ability: There’s a common misconception about what it takes to be a “great writer” (at least when it comes to web content).

No, you don’t need to be able to write an essay like you were taught in school.

No, you don’t need to have an extensive vocabulary with tons of fancy words in it.

In reality, great writing for most situations is very simple. As long as you can write while following basic grammar and have enough of a vocabulary to express your ideas, you’re fine.

Basic writing ability also includes a few more things.

Research, as we talked about before, is one.

In addition, do you know how to use the writing tools at your disposal? Can you work in MS Word or Google Docs and know how to format your content?

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Can you then take that post and format it in a major content management system such as WordPress and Drupal?

No, it’s not difficult, but you still need to know how to do these things.

If you don’t, spend a bit of time Googling and learning how to make the most of modern writing tools.

Skill #2 – Being able to write persuasively: When everyone has the same basic writing tools (that we just went over), how do great writers stand out?

Using the same words doesn’t mean you’ll have the same message. The words you choose will have a large effect on how interesting your content is to read.

You want to be able to write persuasively and conversationally:

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Writing persuasively begins and ends with how well you understand your reader.

If you know exactly how they think, you can guide them from one thought to another until they reach a conclusion that provokes action.

This takes practice, and the more you write, the better you’ll get.

Additionally, you want to write conversationally.

It’s not complicated. There are only two main aspects:

  • Use first and second person pronouns – e.g., “you”, “us”, “your”, “we.”
  • Use the reader’s language – use the same words they do to describe their problems.

You can see that writing persuasively and writing conversationally overlap because to be good at both, you need to understand your readers’ language.

Skill #3 – Being able to come up with the right kind of ideas: There are some fantastic writers out there who make poor content marketers.

While they can write well when given a topic (or guidance on which topics are best), they struggle to see how it all fits together.

It’s not enough to come up with ideas to write about. You have to come up with content ideas that address readers at each step of the buying process.

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In addition, you need to take interesting angles on each topic so that people actually would want to read them.

Let’s look at an example.

If you follow multiple marketing blogs, you’ve seen several posts on video marketing in the last few months.

These are typically along the lines of “X tips on using video marketing effectively.”

A post like that doesn’t have an angle to it. There’s no hook.

Instead, I wrote a post titled “4 Clever Ways Videos Can Help You Attract Customers”.

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My readers are smart. They don’t want to do video marketing for the sake of it; they want to do it to achieve a result.

So, I took an angle on this topic. I showed how videos can be used to get more customers.

That’s something readers are actually interested in.

Skill #4 – Being able to write efficiently: Finally, it’s worth noting that the best content marketers are able to crank out high quality posts on a regular basis without burning out.

They can only do this by writing fast.

They’ve all developed a process that works for them, and it’s something that you’ll have to do as well.

If you’re a slow writer, read how you can double your writing speed.

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One final note about this is that it will take time.

Everyone is a slow writer when they start. At that point, focusing on quality is most important.

Once you have a handle on that, then start focusing on producing content at a faster and more consistent rate.

4. The world of marketing will always change: those who adapt will survive

If you look at the great content marketers of today, you’ll notice something.

They were great marketers a few years ago although they might have had a different title.

All industries evolve over time and shift to new areas.

When a shift occurs, usually over a few years, everyone has a decision to make:

Should I adapt?

Some never make it and fall into obscurity.

There are still SEOs who are preaching tactics from the early 2000s that are no longer effective.

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They never adapted to the changes in the SEO industry because they were afraid of losing what they had gained.

But the people you see who stay consistently at the top of their fields are always looking to learn about the “next thing.”

They adapt no matter what the circumstances are.

What this means to you as a content marketer: Content marketing, as we define it today, is still relatively young.

It’s only going to grow in the foreseeable future.

However, that doesn’t mean it won’t change.

Content marketing itself will continue to evolve. It’s up to you to always keep learning and improving your skill set.

Many poor content marketers know how to implement only one tactic or strategy successfully.

However, that’s not enough. A single tactic or strategy will never work in all situations. Also, it may not work in the future.

The best content marketers right now know how to use a wide variety of tactics and strategies depending on the situation (client, niche, resources, etc.).

They are also continually testing new ones to stay ahead of everyone else.

For you, this means that you need to keep learning.

When you find something that works, by all means use it. However, don’t think that you “figured it all out.”

5. No time should be wasted waiting, which is why you need to be a jack-of-all-trades

There’s one more area that I think will continue to become more important.

And it doesn’t contain just one skill, but a few different ones.

I’m talking about two in particular:

  • coding
  • design

These are “accessory skills.” You don’t need them to be a great content marketer.

However, they will help.

There are two main benefits of having some skill in either of these (you don’t need to be an expert).

First, it will save you time.

Instead of having to hire a developer to create a simple script (like that filtering example we looked at earlier), you could do it yourself.

Typically, being able to do something like that can save you days when producing a piece of content.

Add that up over many instances, and a content marketer who can code or design becomes even more valuable.

The second main benefit is that it will help you come up with better content ideas.

When you understand the role of design and coding in content, you start to see opportunities where they could be used to improve content.

Instead of just making a list post, you might think of creating a sortable list post where each item has its own custom icon.

But if you have no knowledge in these two areas, it’s never going to cross your mind unless something tells you to do it.

Helpful skill #1 – Coding: For the non-programmer, coding is very intimidating. It’s actually simpler than it looks (for most basic things).

In particular, for content marketing, you’ll want to learn three different languages:

  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • Javascript

Yes, technically HTML and CSS aren’t programming languages, but to a non-coder, they all appear similar.

The first two are the simplest and affect how your content shows up on a page.

Javascript is an actual programming language that allows the visitor to interact with a web page (and run a script).

You don’t need to become an expert, but you should be able to sort out simple problems.

For example, if a picture isn’t showing up correctly on a page, what do you do?

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That’s a simple issue. You really want to avoid having to find someone who can help you fix it because that results in wasted hours.

Instead, you can go into the page source, find the error, and then fix it (in this case, the image width was wrong):

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That fix should take less than a minute.

So, how do you learn these?

Take them one by one, and start with the Codecademy track for each of them:

If you complete each of those, you’ll be ahead of the majority of marketers.

Helpful skill #2 – Design: Design skills can be used for just about every piece of content.

Think of the number of times a custom image could improve your content. Probably at least a few times a post.

One option is to hire a freelance designer to create them, which isn’t a bad option.

However, it’s silly to be waiting for a freelancer when all you need is one simple picture.

You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have basic design skills.

I can show you 90% of what you need to know in a single post. And that post is my guide to creating custom images for your blog post without hiring a designer (like the one below).

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6. Oh yeah, there’s one more thing that’s kind of important…

No, I didn’t forget it…

The final skill you need in order to be a great content marketer is a strong knowledge of content marketing.

Without that, you can’t put together a full effective strategy that produces results you want, no matter how well you write, research, adapt, etc.

This is where blogs like Quick Sprout and Content Marketing Institute come in. Short of having a great content marketer as a mentor, in-depth blog posts will be the best way to learn (along with paid courses if possible).

There are no shortcuts here either.

There are many areas of content marketing to learn about.

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It will take continuous time and effort to learn all of these. I’d estimate at least three years for someone very committed to become an expert in all of these.

That doesn’t mean you’ll suck before you get to that point—you can still have a lot of success.

The important takeaway from this is that you need to make learning an integral part of your life, even when you get busy.

Conclusion

Being a content marketer is not easy.

You’re expected to wear a lot of hats and contribute to a business in a lot of ways.

While doing this, you need to be developing these 6 skills along the way.

If you do, you will see your value as a content marketer rising, and you will get to the top of the field in time.

If you stay committed to developing these skills, you’ll stay there too.

I have a few quick questions for you now: Which of these skills do you still need to improve? And are there any in particular that you need more detailed help with? Let me know in a comment below.

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Comments

  1. Chris Hufnagel :

    Awesome tips for us content marketers Neil.

    For a long time I was making the mistake of not knowing my audience. When I finally took the time to do the research and figure out who they were, my growth sky rocketed.

    I love the idea of having accessory skills. You don’t have to be the best at those, but having an idea of how they work is key. Know enough to be dangerous. This way even if you don’t do those tasks yourself you know the right people to hire!

    Great read, thanks for sharing.
    Chris

    • Chris, glad you found the article helpful.

      It’s important to figure out your buyer personas and what makes them stay on your page. Once you figure out that formula you are golden.

      I always find the best people to hire to do the things I am not always as great at doing.

      Keep up the great work!

  2. Effective article!
    I’m new into blogging and I know very well that being good content marker is not easy goal. To achieve that goal I want to start from basic level and always be a ready for challenge.
    But at now i’m facing problem of correct english writing in grammar and vocabulary portion. I need some help if you give me some tips to improve writing skills.
    Thanks for publishing it.

    • Aakash, you should hire an editor I am sure they can help you with grammar and spelling. Based on your comment here — you seem to write pretty well.

      Let me know if you need anything else in the meantime.

    • Het Aakash, You could also instal the free tool; https://app.grammarly.com/
      This helps you in your spelling and sometimes grammar, too.

      You can always hire a freelance copywriter on platforms like Fiverr. Wil cost you about $5 😉

      Check it out! I hope this helps.

      • Aakash

        Grammarly is a useful tool, but it’s not always accurate at understanding the context of what you are writing and sometimes suggests things which are grammatically silly. I’m a copywriter myself, and at the risk of doing myself out of a job, it’s much better to learn how to write good English than pay for someone else to do it. If you are unsure of the difference between good and bad English, you won’t be able to know whether the people you hire to write for you are any good anyway.

        My advice is to enrol on an evening course and develop your skills. In the meantime, you might learn something from this – the content you wrote above should have been written like this:

        Effective Article
        I’m new to blogging and I know that being a good content marketer is not an easy goal. To achieve that goal, I want to start from a basic level and always be ready for a challenge.
        However, at the moment, I’m facing the problem of how to write English using correct grammar and vocabulary. I need some help and would be grateful if you could give me some tips on how to improve my writing skills.
        Thanks for publishing this.

        If you look at the difference between your version and mine, you might pick up a few tips on how to improve.

        Good luck.

  3. Yeah, you really do have to be a jack (or jill) of all trades.

    The more I get into marketing my businesses, the more I realize the unique skill set required.

    I think the thing I love most about marketing online is that everything can be tracked, analyzed, and consolidated into useful data.

  4. You know, Neil… like a lot of us, I’m super busy. And in recent months I’ve been systematically unsubscribing from most of the marketers’ lists that I’ve been on. At this point there are only a couple whose lists I’m still subscribed to — and yours is one.

    In addition, I’ve become a scanner, meaning that most of the time I skim articles to glean the gist rather than reading them intensively. And yet, somehow, you keep me clicking through to your articles and reading them top to bottom.

    Even if the content per se weren’t as excellent as it is, the fact that you can get me (and apparently lots of others) to consistently read your work makes your process well worth studying. Thanks 😉

    I dig this piece. My background is in biology, and the phrase that constantly comes to mind is: “Adapt or die”.

    Thanks again for all you do.

  5. You are absolutely right Neil, Content goes hand in had with numbers and of course, good sourcing. I never like reading data without a valid source.

    You, of course, are exceptional in implementing great data and sourcing 😉

  6. Thanks for the piece Neil.Meanwhile I have a question for you.You talked about being a jack of all trades of some sort, so I would want to juxtapose it with the advice a lot of gurus give about outsourcing when starting Internet Marketing.Could you please throw more light on it.

    • Hi John,

      I hope this helps.

      “I love the idea of having accessory skills. You don’t have to be the best at those, but having an idea of how they work is key. Know enough to be dangerous. This way even if you don’t do those tasks yourself you know the right people to hire” -Chris Hufnagel

    • John, I would say you should become a jack of all trades to a certain extent. If you don’t know how to do certain things don’t force it — find the best person for the job and go from there.

  7. Hi Neil,

    One must have to admit that this content is a career defining content. The new comer will be able to judge themselves whether they are fit for content marketing. If they are really passionate towards content marketing then they will modify themselves to improve or incorporate these 6 skill within themselves. If they are like “worth a shot” guys then they will step back.

    Look forward to having many more contents like this in coming days.

  8. I just want to say brilliant new viral loop on the Quicksprout homepage. Even better than Noah Kagan’s email1k.com. Definitely going to write about it in a guest post.

    • Cody, thanks for all the support. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

      • plastikiniai langai :

        Grammarly is a useful tool, but it’s not always accurate at understanding the context of what you are writing and sometimes suggests things which are grammatically silly. I’m a copywriter myself, and at the risk of doing myself out of a job, it’s much better to learn how to write good English than pay for someone else to do it. If you are unsure of the difference between good and bad English, you won’t be able to know whether the people you hire to write for you are any good anyway.

        • You wouldn’t be able to run your entire business on it if you have poor english skills in the first place, but it certainly helps.

  9. Very good article.

    Neil, I read every word you write no matter how many other emails in my box I never get to.

    You have given me more understanding of content marketing than I have been able to find anywhere else.

    Thanks!

    • Jim, glad to help. If you need help with anything else at all please let me know.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  10. Great post Neil!

    Just one little detail: the url is “the-7-key-skills…” so I was looking for the 7th skill…

    And one question BTW: do all the Content Marketing posts apply the same to product ecommerces (e.g. Tots)? Do you thinks it’s really important in that context?

    Thanks
    Abel

    • Yep, I removed 1.

      They do work for all types of businesses. You have to adapt the content to make sure it makes sense for the products/services you are offering.

  11. Great post. For me personally, it takes a lot of time to write something good. I don’t want to post something that someone has already said before – and look for things that other people haven’t done before. Like Neil said, research is key.

  12. Great article Neil.
    I got the first two skills which was mentioned by you in this article. Now learning JavaScript. In fact, I drove 10K+ organic traffic to my blog by creating a simple tool in JavaScript instead of a long blog post.
    Yeah, content marketing is an art which cannot be learnt on schools. One has to experiment which works out.

    • Somesh, it definitely is a hands on thing — I always encourage people to implement the tricks and tips that I teach on here.

      Sometimes it can be the difference between sustained traffic and no traffic 🙂

  13. Hello Neil,

    Again a great post, I’m regularly follow your posts. I hire US content writers for my websites and posting unique content. But, unfortunately my website is not getting that much traffic.

    I’m also using some paid PR, Articles for my websites. And, also posting guest post in top sites like: Chicagotribune.com, elearning.com, examiner.com and more. But not getting traffic from that.

    Can you help me.
    Waiting for your response!

    Thanks

  14. A very very long post, but it was worth to read it. I love the idea of solving problems from own point of view. People surely appreciates that a content is helping them.

    Targeted population finding and what they like is the key factor when I am trying to do content marketing.

    • Delwar, demographic targeting definitely does help.

      It’s all about finding the right solutions and reaching the right audience.

  15. Thanks for this post. I am a print graphic designer by trade and have recently completed a copywriting course in an effort to redirect my career. I have basic HTML knowledge and have avoided learning JavaScript in the past! After reading your post I realise I have almost all qualities it takes for a all round content marketer. I just need to go and learn some coding.

    • Jaci, glad to help. I think you’re on the right track — you can always find someone who is a great coder to help you out too 😉

  16. Singaravelu A.P :

    Thank you Neil for this excellent article regarding the content marketing skill list.

    I am updating my website with html pages occasionally.

    Please keep writing, I got the key point, Research.
    This is absolutely required whenever we start writing.

    Thanks again Neil.

    • Research is a must. Before I write any post I research and find data to back my claims — It really helps when people ask questions.

  17. I always appreciate Neil writing way of the article.I always got some new idea by him.This time also he has written good article about content marketing.

    thanks

  18. Thank you for sharing a great post. It really helps for newbies in content marketing.

  19. Yupp Neil. understanding the readers and research, These are two main factors we have to focus on.

    Keep up great work.

  20. Hi Neil,
    I want to know without blogging how can I do SEO and get traffic on my website related to RFID products?

  21. Hi!

    Thanks for giving all sorts of advices.
    I noticed that in permalink of this article there are 7 and not 6 key skills. Which one was meant to be the 7th?

    I have never learned so much as I was in one month reading your blog.
    Thank you

  22. Hi Neil

    I’ve been noting a few websites have started using their post as a series and maybe providing a PDF at the end of the series with the complete post. I personally think that this is not going to have the same result and impression of the full post in one go. I Would like your comments on this if possible.

    • Joe, I think if it achieves it’s aim of providing valuable information and educating users it’s a good strategy.

      At the end of the day if you’re building engagement and providing results that’s all that matters.

  23. Found this detailed and very deeply researched post, mate how do you get all these idea to write up on? Thanks, keep sharing 🙂

  24. Howdy Neil,

    As you have said Neil, There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going…

    “These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”

    To be on the top of game ‘content marketing’ is one of the best choices these days.

    These skills should be on everybody’s must-have list.

    You just have to follow these steps
    • Dig the data
    • Tell and think
    • Think graphically
    • Work with others
    • Seek the innate
    • Demonstrate return

    Modern content marketing is often an exercise in learning, so that content marketers not only need to market, design, and write, but educate.

    Thanks Again

    • Prakash,

      There really aren’t. You have to work hard to achieve the best results.

      I agree with you — modern content marketing is needs to be approached holistically. When you do that the results will come more readily.

  25. Wow, another killer blog post Neil. Very well researched to say the least.

    Btw, beyond using forums to understand the customer, I find Reddit to be a great place to kill two birds with one stone. Traffic + Learn your customer. I guess this depends on the niche you’re in though.

    • Matt, glad you liked it.

      Reddit really is great. Finding the right subreddit can make or break you at times 🙂

  26. Hi patel..

    Love very much your article. I’m having problem with no.1. Actually the data, what exactly its all about. I have all the basic.

    For 1st step I will start to translate using google, to know more suitable sentences. Then I will write in my local language to English. Since I have basic understanding in English, maybe difficult for me to write something. But I managed all my writing skill to the top level. So far my website in page 1 and 4 in Google. Do you have some training for content marketing

    • Wira, I don’t have training but you can use my blog to reference and find new ways to grow traffic. If you have specific questions I am always here to help too. I think you just need to be patient 😉

  27. sania@delhi institute of internet marketing :

    Nice post. Very imperessive.

    What are the most indispensable qualities and skills needed to thrive in the future of content marketing?

  28. Amazingly Defined … Neil its being Proud to be one of your regular Reader and every time i take action on all those steps you define in your posts .. seriously im getting more then 20k traffic and email subscribers daily .. thanks Sprout !

  29. Hi Neil,

    You never fail to surprise us every time. This topic might have been discussed numerous times here or by other bloggers but the extra dash and extensive research that you bring in, is unparalleled.
    Just that this article would be better aligned if you would have followed Wikipedia or Moz style content item listing in the start. That’s just my bit and you now what works best for you.

    Thanks Again !

    • Krishan, glad to help. I like to go in-depth to provide the most value possible. It helps me gain insights from readers and vice versa. Thanks for all the support and feedback!

  30. Thanks for your interesting and thorough post, Neil

    Based on your criteria, I will never become a great content marketer. I don’t have the analytical chops for it.

    Am I sad about that? Not for a second. I have found there is a place for people like me who are more intuitive and have other talents to bring to the table. I continue to make money online, week after week, year after year (and travel the world too) – despite my handicaps.

    Newbie marketers need to work to their strengths, manage their weaknesses, and find a success formula that works for them. There is no cookie-cutter approach to making money online.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment

    • Kim, that’s definitely not the spirit — I have all the faith in the world that you can achieve great success if you just put your mind to it.

      When I don’t know how to do something I force myself to learn — it’s a skill that has helped me succeed over the years. I am sure you will figure it out 🙂

  31. Andrew D. Roper :

    Good content does not simply include the word good. Those who do content will know how a piece of information appears on a page of paper will make the difference for the reader.

    Many readers feel the paper looks so boring Word dock genus and even scary. To avoid that, people who make content marketing should know how to diversify the length and structure of the text, making the content appeared a pleasant way and easy to read.

    “Tips” is recruiting please see your candidates have the skills to “disconnect” the tangle of terms into the text, and use the Creek circuit structure fit to retain the attention of the reader.

    • Andrew, thanks for these in-depth actionable tips. It’s all about getting the attention of your audience and then providing value – that’s the most sustainable way to grow traffic.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you!

  32. Christina Lynn :

    Hey Neil,

    How to start an article, there all kinds of information step by step. Any article can be start when we have bunched of information, and checked by tools that its informative of not for Users. An impressive and interesting information, thanks for shared.

  33. nice one neil, you are great

  34. Nice Post neil, you are great.. It’s Really helpful information..

    Regards- Raj Sharma

    • I’m happy this was helpful Raj. If you get stuck or need help, please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

  35. Charles Bosse :

    This blog is very helpful! As a content marketer it is best to always have a research, set a schedule in your writing and always adapt to the constant changes in the world of online marketing. At Internet Marketing Experts Adelaide we understand that as a business owner or manager you know that an online presence is vital.

    • That’s what it essentially comes down to. But it won’t happen overnight, it’s a process that can take years.. persistence

  36. Thank you for this blog! If you actually analyse your metadata for your busness you are statistically more likely to be successful. It’s important to remain result focused, making sure you numbers are adding up is crucial. Research and surveys can help you to optimize your current business plan. In Australia, the key to succeeding online is simple; everything you do online has to revolve around your SEO/Marketing Strategy. You may love the look of your website, you may love the images or the words you have used. Just visit our website at http://www.internetmarketingexpertsgeraldton.com.au/.

  37. Neil please tell us about New Mobile AMP Pages and how to use them on Blogger sites as well … everyone’s updating about WordPress sites Only 🙁

  38. you are great writer

  39. couplesshowerinvitations :

    TIL the sun is actually only like 2cm wide I perceive it like that

  40. I bookmarked this Page of your site a long ago Neil. Can u plz update me here with your latest Social Bookmarking, Do Follow Commenting Back linking sites ?
    Thanks in Advance !

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