“A million girls would kill for this job.”
Emily Blunt’s Devil Wears Prada character might as well be referring to my content marketing job at MarketerHire: supportive coworkers, 100% remote, flexible hours and unlimited PTO.
It wasn’t always that way.
Five years ago, I was certain marketing had been the wrong career choice.
“Maybe I should just go back to school for dental hygiene,” I said to my dad on a family vacation. After all, it was flexible and paid well. That’s how I defined “good job” at the time. Plus my dad’s a dentist. Dentistry’s what I knew!
But I also knew I would hate dentistry. My dad knew it, too, and he talked me off the ledge.
I didn’t want a new career; I wanted freedom. If you’re in journalism, advertising or marketing, you probably want it, too.
That’s more than an educated guess. According to FreshBooks’s Third Annual Self-Employment Report 2019, 40% of people considering self-employment want to take control of their career. Leading to the question: What is control? Here’s what FreshBooks found:
Flexibility, freedom, choice. For survey respondents, “control” meant being able to work the way they wanted.
The same goes for content professionals.
Lucky for you, remote jobs in marketing that pay well not only exist, but are attainable. Here are four common content marketing jobs well-suited for remote work, followed by some tips for getting them:
1. Content writer
Definition: Someone who writes marketing materials that attract an organic audience
Popular projects: Writing e-books, blog articles, white papers and case studies
Core skills: Writing, research, storytelling and basic SEO
Sometimes confused with copywriters, content writers typically focus on top-of-funnel marketing content while copywriters tend to work deeper in the funnel. (I’ll address copywriting more shortly.) Content writers aim to educate — and they can do it remotely.
I can say from experience there is demand for this job. I have worked as a remote freelance content writer. We’ve hired several freelance content writers through MarketerHire.
It’s not just us. Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 survey found marketers identified content creation as the most popular content marketing activity to outsource — by far. Marketing teams are nearly 3x more likely to outsource content creation than content distribution.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Why so much outsourcing? It’s an area where marketers often feel like they need to bring in help. Marketers attributed content marketing fails far more often to struggles creating content than distributing it.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
So this is where help is needed. Frequently, that help comes from an outsider. “Writing is easier [than editing] to outsource if you already have editing chops,” Rebecca Reynoso, senior editor at G2, told MarketerHire.
Erin Balsa, Director of Marketing at The Predictive Index, finds that SEO content writing works particularly well on a freelance basis. “I have two full-time content writers on my team. When they're overloaded, I'll outsource SEO blog writing.”
All of these factors combine to make content writing an attractive freelance career path for those looking to maximize flexibility while remaining in the writing field.
Definition: Someone who assigns, finalizes and approves content
Popular projects: Managing writers, assigning stories and editing content
Core skills: Writing, research, storytelling, editing and content strategy
When you hear “editor,” you likely think of media, not marketing. But according to marketing thought leaders Gary Vee and Dave Gerhardt, marketing teams will soon look more like The New York Times than Mad Men.
Hubspot is a CRM software known for its SEO content marketing. Their acquisition of The Hustle is a prime example of the blurring line between media and content marketing. Even before HubSpot’s big move, Robinhood acquired financial newsletter MarketSnacks and Business Insider bought Morning Brew.
The truth is, marketing teams desperately need someone who not only knows quality content, but can also assign and upload stories, maintain editorial standards and deeply understands the brand’s voice and audience. A good editor can do all that and more.
Outside of her full-time editing job at G2, Reynoso offers freelance editing and writing to B2B tech companies. She summarizes the core differences between a writer and an editor in one sentence: “[A]ll editors can write, but not all writers can edit.”
Again, I can attest from personal experience that editing can be handled remotely. MarketerHire is a fully-remote marketing company that employs two full-time editors and proves an editor can work effectively from home.
Definition: Someone who writes conversion-oriented content
Popular projects: Writing website copy, landing pages, and ads
Core skills: Persuasive writing, research and storytelling
Responsible for creating persuasive content aimed at driving sales, copywriting represents another opportunity for writers seeking flexible careers in marketing. It’s also a great entry gig at a company. The Predictive Index’s Balsa says that while she will “always need to be publishing educational content,” that isn’t the case with sales copy: “Copywriting is a skill I’ll outsource.”
As a former freelance copywriter, I found this to be true. I was typically brought in to help companies rewrite their websites. While that’s an important project, it’s not something that needs to be done as frequently as content writing.
My advice to aspiring freelance copywriters: work at an agency first while building your portfolio and client base. You’d be surprised at how many coworkers go on to start their own agencies, and reach out to you for freelance copy work. Agency work builds your experience and network.
4. Content marketer
Definition: Someone who plans, creates and shares content
Popular projects: Developing a content strategy and content calendar
Core skills: Content writing, copywriting, data analytics, social media and distribution
While it overlaps with content writing, content marketing deserves its own category. It often requires a combination of all three of the above skills: writing, copywriting and editing. It also requires content strategy and planning skills. That’s because you need to know how to create and distribute content that drives marketing business outcomes (brand and sales).
Here’s how we define content marketing at MarketerHire:
Not only does MarketerHire’s talent platform for hiring remote marketers include content marketers, but they are also one of our most in-demand roles. Over the past four months, they’ve consistently stayed in the top four (out of eleven), alternating between the third and fourth spots.
Here’s our most recent micro-report on the hiring trends we’re seeing:
Getting into our network is competitive — we accept just five percent of marketers who apply. That said, freelancing through MarketerHire allows marketers not only to work with Fortune 500 brands and fast-growth startups, but often to do so remotely.
Getting That Great Remote Gig
Just because marketing jobs can be remote, doesn’t mean all employers are open to it. Although 2020 warmed many companies up to the idea of a remote workforce and we at MarketerHiredo our best to educate on the benefits of remote hires, there are still myths to bust.
In the meantime, here’s what I recommend for writers looking to improve their chances of finding a remote content marketing job with maximum flexibility:
Look to the New Kids
Traditional industries and established enterprises generally built themselves up without much communication technology. Startups and tech companies are the opposite. Thus, early-stage tech companies tend to be more open to remote work and communication.
Start a Side Project
Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs, advises growth marketers to start an e-commerce store as a side hustle. The content marketing equivalent of this is building an audience through podcasting, a newsletter or social media content.
Share what you learn from your marketing project on social media. This will help you attract the employers and clients most open to flexible employment — those invested in digital channels.
What’s more, starting a successful marketing side hustle will increase your leverage, giving you the confidence to ask hiring managers for more flexibility.
Tinker with the Tools
Put yourself in a potential employer’s shoes. Are you more likely to hire someone who needs time for training… or the person ready to hit the ground running? Familiarize yourself with the technology and tools used in remote content marketing. Testing them ahead of time gives you an edge in interviews and helps ensure you’ll be good to go if hired.
Peruse the Platforms
Before you can get a remote content marketing job, you need to know where to find them. Short answer: On freelance talent platforms.
They’re booming. Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report that more than 40% of business leaders said “using new talent platforms helped [their] organization hasten speed to market.” (For more details, check out “Building the On-Demand Workforce.”)
Indeed, roughly 90% of business leaders see freelance talent platforms as very or somewhat important to the future of their business.
Source: Harvard Business School
Of course, there is a downside to the popularity of freelance talent platforms like Upwork. They’ve become crowded, and a big part of that crowd is unvetted, unproven talent. Which leads to one more tip.
Explore Something a Little More Exclusive
To improve efficiency and reliability, we created a platform exclusively for top marketing talent at MarketerHire; as noted, we only approve one in 20 applicants. The result of this is that when we connect a marketer with a potential employer, that marketer comes with a stamp of pre-approval, a nice leg up on the competition.
Besides MarketerHire, you can find remote content marketing jobs through:
- Upwork or Fiverr
- Relevant Facebook groups, like The Freelance Content Marketing Writer
- Your LinkedIn network
Spot co-founder and former Cameo CMO Greg Caplan has observed the rise of verticalized marketplaces signals a move toward a freelance-first, ultra-specialized workforce. Connecting with MarketerHire or a similar platform can demonstrate you’re ready for these prize gigs.
This started with horizontal labor marketplaces like @Upwork and @fiverr , but is quickly fragmenting into vertical labor marketplaces like @MarketerHire @paro and @toptal and use case specific like @BookCameo @Shopify developer marketplace and @webflow experts
— Greg Caplan (@gdcaplan) January 1, 2021
The Right Time for Remote
While this list of remote content marketing jobs is certainly not exhaustive, it covers the most popular marketing job titles related to writing. As the creator economy grows — on TikTok, LinkedIn, SubStack, Gumroad, and more — you’ll see the demand for content marketers and creators rise.
Now’s the time to level-up your content marketing skills and break into the growing remote marketing workforce.
Simply making the effort to write every day and reach out to content marketers in roles you want goes a long way. Remember, attention and engagement through content will never go out of style. So show you know how to capture, sustain and capitalize on that attention and see your stock soar in 2021.
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