How to Become a Content Strategist without Experience
A content strategist plans a strategy for content, designs the content, and publishes it on digital platforms. Mainly, they are responsible to plan such a content strategy that fulfills business goals and customer needs at the same time.
Becoming a content strategist isn’t hard if you are a skilled content writer with experience in storytelling, search engine optimization & creative writing, and social media & digital marketing. But, the skills are not limited to the aforementioned ones.
In this article, we will provide a detailed guide on how to become a content strategist, along with some skills to set off your career as a content strategist.
How to Become a Content Strategist
The very first thing that matters on the journey to becoming a content strategist is the qualifications. However, sometimes experience and skills beat the qualifications. Still, it is necessary to acquire at least a bachelor’s degree or higher education.
We have provided a step-by-step guide for you to be a content strategist. Also, know that the journey can be easier for some while daunting for others. Confusing, right? By the end of this article, hope you’ll have answers to all of your queries. Let’s jump right into the steps to become a content marketing strategist.
1. Acquire Necessary Qualifications
According to Zippia, 78.7% of content strategists have bachelor's degrees. Although the skills and experience overcome qualifications in usual scenarios, still it is mandatory to acquire a bachelor’s degree.
In addition to that, 15.3% of content marketing strategist roles acquired master’s degrees according to Zippia. From these stats, we can easily analyze that a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is a mandatory requirement to be a content strategist.
On the other hand, you cannot acquire such a senior role with just your high degree or a diploma. However, there are some exceptions for skillful and experienced candidates.
As far as the majors are concerned, the majority of the content strategist’s roles have majors in Journalism, English, marketing, and management.
On the other hand, acquiring a degree depends on a time frame. If you are in the early stages of your high school education, then we recommend you to acquire at least a bachelor’s degree in the aforementioned majors. Otherwise, only mastering the skills would do.
However, keep in mind that a recruiter from the content marketing industry will always prefer a skillful candidate with a higher degree in comparison to a skillful candidate with no higher degrees.
2. Develop the Skillset
The second most major step to becoming a content strategist is to master the required skillset. Although the content strategy is itself a skill, various technical skills are required to call yourself a wizard.
One of the most basic skills to be a content marketing strategist is the ability to plan and design content. Thus, you should be a creative planner with exceptional research and marketing skills to prepare well-like content. The skill that sets apart a digital content creator and a content strategist is the skill of designing and planning the content.
Practice makes a man perfect, thus the more you practice, the more skillful you’ll become.
A professional content marketing strategist should be well-versed in keyword research and search analysis skills. In addition to that, content marketing strategy and SEO should be at the fingertips of an experienced content strategist.
Scroll down to know more about the skills to become a content marketing strategist.
3. Get Involved in Content Creation
It is undoubtedly correct that content writing skills are a prerequisite to becoming a content strategist. Not just written skills both verbal and communication skills are mandatory to have good content writing skills.
Thus, mastering content creation is mandatory. You can do so by winning freelance content strategist jobs to gain experience in content creation. It is relatively easier to secure jobs by proposing a lower rate. This way, you can gain experience as well as get paid. You can also raise your prices with time when you develop your style.
You can also get experience in content creation voluntarily. So, look around and find opportunities. Work for people voluntarily to strengthen your style and skills. In addition to that, you can also grow your portfolio this way.
4. Learn the Process of Search Engine Optimization
Experienced content marketing strategists are well-versed with the know-how of SEO.
SEO allows content marketing strategists to promote their brand, services, products in search engine results. In addition to that, experience in SEO allows you to generate content that is appealing both for readers and search engines.
In other words, SEO means ranking the content among its competitors. Furthermore, the better you are at SEO, the good you are at content marketing and designing. As content strategists are responsible to design the content for digital marketing platforms, they must be aware of how to properly rank it in search engines for organic traffic. Because, if there’s no traffic, there’s no use of content no matter how good the content strategy is. Thus, mastering SEO is a mandatory skill to be a content marketing strategist.
5. Master Content Editing Techniques
Content editing is a very basic yet crucial skill for the success of your content. The more you edit the content and polish it, the better its quality becomes.
If you are on the journey to becoming a content marketing strategist, familiarize yourself with editing and proofreading the content.
Editing means polishing the content to remove any typos, grammatical and punctuation errors. Errors can not be tolerated whether it is in the content strategy or the content creation. Thus, remove the errors with editing and proofreading. This way, your output will become productive and fruitful with no errors or mistakes.
6. Design a Portfolio
No one is going to hire you if you don’t have proof of your words. On the journey to becoming a content marketing strategist, you must prepare a well-structured portfolio to exhibit your digital marketing and content samples. This way, the creative professionals showcase their talent to potential clients through portfolios.
There are multiple portfolio websites with different minimalistic and professional designs. You can look up those sources, and see which one you can use to develop your portfolio.
Now, you must be thinking what should you include in your portfolio? Well, no worries. List the work you have done voluntarily for friends and relatives. Include any content strategy plans you have to showcase.
In addition to that, list your awards and achievements too, so the viewer gets to know the success you can generate for them.
When you have a portfolio, you can secure more digital marketing jobs based on your solid copywriting skills.
7. Gain Experience
Again, company recruiters, who are creative professionals, do not hire a candidate with less or zero experience. To become a content marketing strategist, you should attain some experience.
The first option is to opt for paid or unpaid internships. With internships, you can not just gain more experience, but also develop your portfolio. You get to explore more content strategies, thus your thinking broadens.
The next option is to work with startup companies like digital marketing agencies. This way, you can get to know the tactics of working in small businesses, and later you can practice your skills in bigger organizations when you gain more experience.
If you do not have enough qualifications, know that experience matters the most after skills. Thus, this is one of the most mandatory requirements to fulfill on the journey of a content marketing strategist.
8. Acquire Certifications and Testimonials
This step is crucial for candidates with less education and experience. But, is not just limited to them. Certifications enable you to upskill your talent. In addition to that, online certifications from globally reputed institutes complement your resume and skills.
You can hunt for online courses offered by various social media managers and well-known content strategists. Know that, certifications add up to your experience and know-how of your skills. Furthermore, these also build a client’s trust in you.
Apart from that, testimonials from a startup marketing agency and a digital content manager justify your skills. You can request your employers to provide you testimonials and then later include these in your resume when you apply to a content marketing job.
9. Hunt for the Right Role
Lastly, when you think you are experienced, have a deep understanding of content strategy, and are skillful enough to successfully work as a full-time content marketing strategist, then hunt for the right role.
Search for the jobs relevant to your skills on social media platforms, search engines, and online resources. Submit your content strategist job application after carefully reading the job description. Then, turn in the application along with your portfolio projects as your key performance indicators.
These are the necessary steps to follow your dream to become a content strategist. Follow the above step-by-step guide to land your dream content strategist job.
Content Strategist Requirements
We have already provided a step-by-step guide to becoming a content strategist. But, that does not include the required skills to become a content strategist. Here are providing detailed insights into the skill you should master to become a content marketing strategist.
1. Search Intent Analysis and Keyword Research
Search intent analysis is a process of knowing the goal of users when they type in a question into the search engine. Thus, a content strategist must be skillful in search intent analysis, to understand the audience’s needs.
Similarly, keyword research is sort of a similar term just like search intent analysis. It is a process in which people type in a specific word in a search engine to inquire about their question.
So, both these skills are mandatory for you to learn to become a content strategist.
2. Content Promotion and Distribution
Content promotion is a process to promote the content to reach the company's target audience. In addition to that, content promotion includes the promotion of content through paid as well as organic reach.
On the other hand, content distribution is a process of distributing the content through cold emails, and social media marketing.
Both these techniques aim to acquire traffic on a content channel. Thus, the content can only be successful only if the content strategy is well-planned and designed. Hence, you must learn these skills to become a content strategist.
3. Customer Personas
It is a mandatory duty of a content strategist to comprehend the customer experience. Because, if a content strategist is skillful at judging the customer personas, only then they can efficiently draft the content strategy of the brand, services, and products.
In addition to that, a content strategist must know how to support the customers and ultimately improve marketing and sales.
Thus, this is another mandatory skill a content marketing strategist must be experienced at.
4. Creative Vision
The creative vision of a content marketing strategist is an absolute mandatory skill. If you are not creative in planning and writing the content, we’re afraid content strategist is not the right role for you.
The creative a strategist is, the unique and appealing content they generate. This does not mean that you should be a prior artist. This means that you should be skillful to envision such a content type that will be appealing to both the readers and search engines.
A content strategist decides the writing style and content tone, thus you must be able to think from outside the box.
5. Strategic Planning and Thinking
A content strategist must have strategic thinking when planning the content. After all, this is truly the main duty and at the same time a mandatory skill for a content strategist.
Thus, when you are learning the skills to become a content marketer, then make sure you master these skills to truly fulfill the criteria to become a content strategist.
6. Analytical and Technical Skills
A major portion of the work duties of a content strategist spends in interpreting the stats, and numbers. Thus, becoming a content strategist requires good analytical and technical skills to judge the performance of a content strategy.
So, work on improving your technical and analytical skills for better performance in planning your content strategies.
7. Content Management System
Experienced content strategists and digital creators are well-versed in using a content management system (CMS).
A CMS is a software or tool that allows you to manage all the content, and share it with other teammates for collaboration. In addition to that, it allows you to put together all the marketing strategies of your content. This way you can efficiently manage the content.
Hence, familiarity and skills in using a CMS are necessary to become an experienced content strategist.
8. Content Strategy Tools
When it comes to the tool, a content strategist is not just limited to using a CMS tool. There are several tools like research tools for keywords and content optimization tools.
A sound understanding and skills to use these tools are mandatory in the journey to be a content strategist.
Above, we have provided the basic skills which are necessary to become a content strategist. Follow the guide and master these skills to call yourself an experience content marketing strategist.
Is a Content Strategist a Good Career?
Yes, it is indeed a good career choice, but a difficult one. A content strategist on average earns approximately $64k per year according to Payscale.
Hence, content strategists have a rewarding career in terms of financial figures. However, know that it is not easy to master this field completely. The skills are much technical and carry high expectations, this role can become challenging for some to fulfill the job duties fruitfully. But, for experienced and skillful content marketers, generating good results should not be a challenge.
In short, we would say that, if you have the mandatory skills, and are an experienced candidate, then a content strategist career is a good choice.
A content strategist is responsible to plan the strategy of content creation for the brand’s product and services.
If you want to become a content marketing strategist, then first work on improving your qualifications. A minimum bachelor's degree is required for this role.
In addition to that, acquiring the qualifications is not enough. Skills are necessary too. So, work on improving your skills to become a content strategist. Go through the skills sections to get an insight into what skills are required to become a content strategist.
Furthermore, gain experience through internships, working in digital marketing agencies, and freelance jobs. This way, you can diversify your thinking style and content creation approach. In addition to that, you can also improve your organizational skills. And, at the same time, you can draft an appealing portfolio to showcase your talent to potential clients.
Moreover, enroll in online courses that provide certificates. Certifications provide more value to your resume. Go through the above-written guide on how to become a content strategist.
When you master the basic skills, you can apply to jobs to pursue your career. In addition to that, being a content strategist is a good career choice. Good luck with your journey to becoming a content strategist.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He is considered one of the top product influencers in the world by Product School and one of the top technical writers. He has been writing software tutorials, manuals, handbooks, and white papers for over eight years. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.