I can remember it as if it was yesterday — I felt like I was in seventh heaven after Point Visible said “yes” to me.
That was almost a year ago.
After lurking on their social media profiles for quite some time (in the least weird way possible), the first step in the office felt like I was meeting friends on a Friday afternoon.
However, a tiny seed of self-doubt grew inside me. I’m starting from scratch. What if I’m not creative enough? What if I don’t fit in? What if I made the wrong decision when I left the comforts of my old job?
Now, I see it’s the best decision I made career-wise.
Although my first steps in the marketing world were scary, I was driven by a desire to improve myself and find my groove. Along the way to the content marketer I am today, I picked up a few valuable lessons — from a better understanding of myself to a better understanding of the marketing world.
Lesson #1: Tools are my new BFF now?
Before I was a content marketer, the only concern I had when reading blog posts was if the content was worth my time.
Now I have plenty of question marks above my head:
- What is the DA?
- Who are they linking to?
- How frequently do they post?
- Who is on their content team?
- Is the post properly optimized?
Until my onboarding phase, Moz was just the character from White Collar. This connection quickly faded away because I was using the MOZ tool so much — along with Ahrefs, Clearbit, and Pitchbox, among many others.
I had no idea that being a content marketer and link builder meant using so many tools.
Lesson #2: It’s okay to be human
Another thing I didn’t expect was a lack of formality in conversations. Coming from a highly-formal environment, I was going a bit overboard with showing respect to everyone I came in contact with.
Suddenly, I was allowed, even required, to be fun?
From communicating with the editors to communicating with my coworkers, the casual tone was almost always a preferred choice. A friendly and informal style of communication worked so well across every channel and industry that it took me a while to wrap my head around it.
Everyone encouraged me to use humor (within certain limits) — not just in emails, but in articles too. After all, aside from algorithms, the text I edit has to be appealing to humans as well.
Appealing content is catchy, fun, engaging, funny, and relatable — all of which are easier to accomplish with an informal tone of voice. Not so surprising when I look at it back nowadays.
Lesson #3: Creativity vs analysis: Why not both?
As long as I can remember, I was indecisive if I’m more of a creative person or an analytical one.
Content marketing proved to be a perfect blend of both — I get to be creative while editing articles, creating new topics, and writing outreach emails; and I get to use analytical skills while performing content audits, analyzing technical details of the blogs I’m pitching a guest post to, and doing other research projects.
The lesson I learned is that I don’t have to choose — I get to do a job that allows me to exercise both my creativity and my analytical skills, instead of fixating on just one.
Lesson #4: How (not) to deal with rejections
Guest posting is a numbers game — to get a “yes”, you have to get through some “not interested”, a few “not right nows”, and an occasional and dreaded — “unsubscribe”.
I’m highly sensitive to criticism — so it was really painful (at the beginning) to see anything but a positive response after all the blood, sweat, and tears. Now, it still hurts, but I understand that some editors missed my pitch, or don’t think we’re the right fit for collaboration.
The rejections will never sting me less, but I try to think positively — every rejection I get is a new learning opportunity. Why should I lose my joy over a couple of rejections when I can use that to improve myself professionally?
When once in a blue moon a rejection does leave me feeling down — there’s always my fluffy four-legged friend who doesn’t know a thing about content marketing but does know a lot about making me smile.
Lesson #5: Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat
Imagine if Sheldon found himself in the content marketing world — and you’ll get a picture of me in my first months: I had so many questions!
Aside from the help I asked for in my daily tasks, I asked my campaign lead and other coworkers with more experience a lot of questions.
Marketing changes quickly and it’s quite beneficial to talk with coworkers and other people in the niche — their advice and hard-learned lessons helped me avoid repeating their mistakes and be more productive.
For example, instead of using trial and error in my outreach emails, I got plenty of valuable advice on how to land a reply — from creating an eye-catching subject line to hitting the ideal structure of my guest post pitch.
Although I was worried my curiosity gets on people’s nerves, it seems none of my nine lives had been taken away.
Final nugget of wisdom
The beginning is always the hardest part — words that were painfully true a year ago. I’m looking at the marketing industry with a new perspective, thanks to the experience I gained and the knowledge my coworkers are selflessly sharing.
Although I have learned a lot, there’s still so much to explore — and I can’t be more excited about that.