15 Posts With Key Takeaways That Will Make You a Content Marketing Expert (And some Bonus Links to Research)

January 14, 2014

30,416 total views, 5 views today

I’ve been told that you can learn anything by spending an hour a day researching the subject you want to learn and in a year you can become an expert…

While I believe this to be true for most topics, there are some subjects that need to be learned quicker than in a year. Maybe need to be learned now? Like content marketing.

If you consider yourself new to the tactic, a dabbler in content marketing or if you simply want to improve the way your brand does content marketing then this post is for you.

It’s full of posts that once you get through them all, will make you a content marketing expert.

Basic Advice

I’m a fan of “getting the basics down” first. And that is exactly what all of the following posts do. They make sure you have the content marketing groundwork laid before you start delving into some of the more technical stuff.

10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers

Getting subscribers to your blog is one of the best ways to perpetuate your content marketing strategy. Your blog keeps your audience engaged and informed and you can link to other assets within your blog.

Copyblogger is one of those “go to resources” when it comes to blogging and writing content that has a purpose. They have a huge following and in this post, the founder of Copyblogger, Brian Clark explains exactly how his blog has become so influential and how he’s accrued so many subscribers.

Here’s the Difference between Content Marketing and Social Media

In this post, Jay Baer tackles the common question of what is the difference between Content Marketing and Social Media?

I suggest reading the post for yourself since Jay has a great way with words. But the gist is that social media is used by customers to communicate with each other and occasionally with your brand. While content marketing is a “device” used by your brand to inform and educate your audience. Hopefully it’s through valuable content that makes you look good, engages potential consumers and keeps them coming back for more.

The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends that Will Dominate 2014

In this post, Jayson DeMers, Forbes contributor, makes some really bold but founded claims to go with his bold post title.

This post appeal to all levels of content marketing creators. He opens with explaining the popular types of content, offering great hyperlinks and then goes into his predictions.

Jayson predicts that companies are finally grasping how important and effective content marketing is as a strategy and will leave more room in the budget for it. Not only that, but companies will also designate teams and directors in charge of content creation and content marketing. Right now trends show that content marketing doesn’t often have its own department.

A point that really intrigued me is that this year new SAAS companies will come out of the woodwork to measure ROI on content marketing. Well, this makes me super eager to sit back and watch!

Content Creation

By this point in your content marketing training you know what to do, but not everyone has the skills to do it. Or so they think.

I believe that with enough work and patience, everyone is capable of creating great content. And if you’re not, well, the following posts can at least help you know what to look for in a writer if you choose to hire one!

Most Content Marketing is Crap

I’m a Barry Feldman fan. He is blunt, to the point, weaves in a dry sense of humor into his posts and makes fantastic points. He is a great “go to resource” when it comes to content marketing.

In this particular post, he discusses how much crappy content is polluting the marketing atmosphere and it’s ruining content marketing.

Therefore he suggests only publishing content that makes readers say “holy smokes.” Read the article for yourself for the full effect but here are a few takeaways:

  • Know your audience and create content FOR them not ABOUT you
  • Care about your content
  • Be creative and original
  • Don’t let yourself be lazy

Copywriting 101

Another fantastic post from Barry Feldman.

This post ensures that you have the copywriting basics. After all, if you can’t write grammatically, interestingly and creatively then your content marketing efforts are moot. So check out this post to “brush up.”

Of course there are plenty of copywriting 101 posts out there but this is my favorite because it’s easy to get through.

The main takeaway from this post is that anyone can write content by simply trying, practicing, thinking of their audience and writing clear and concise sentences.

Joe Pulizzi’s Six Steps to Epic Content Marketing

I look to Joe Pulizzi as the king of all things epic content creation. He writes a lot on this topic and advises that only epic content should be published. It’s not about quantity, content is about quality.

In these six steps, Brian Conlin discusses a bit about Joe Pulizzi’s new content marketing book and how emphasizes the need to have a content marketing mission and answer questions that your customers are asking.

The biggest takeaway from this post and other posts involving Joe Pulizzi’s books or own words is that as marketers we can’t overlook the value of organization and we need to possess a thorough understanding of our target consumer’s needs.

10 Content Marketing Tools for Creation, Distribution, and Analytics

In this post, Lee Odden of TopRank Blog, emphasizes the value of having a marketing tool kit to create, distribute and analyze content—especially if you want the ability to scale your content marketing efforts.

Here are some tools, most seem to be newer to the content marketing scene, to help propel your strategy forward.

16 Free Tools that Make Content Creation Way Easier

While Lee Odden’s list (above) focuses on the technical part of the content marketing strategy, this list from HubSpot focuses on making the content creation process more streamlined and easier on the writer.

This list breaks up the content creation process and offers tools to use from finding ideas of what to write about to helping your content become more visually appealing.

Examples to Learn From

After reading the basics and information about the creation process, I think the best way to learn is by example. That means looking to brands who do an amazing job of content creation and their entire content marketing strategy.

Even if the brand differs from your industry, you can still get ideas of how to implement creativity and tactics that work into your own strategy.

Foster a Creative Content Marketing Culture: 5 Takeaways from Coca-Cola

This post stresses that all the pioneers and successful brands have one thing in common when it comes to content marketing: creativity.

Using Coca-Cola as a springboard, Mark Sherbin talks about how your brand can look to one of the most creative content marketing strategies—Coca-Cola—and implement creativity in to your own brand.

My favorite takeaway from this post is to question everything you’ve learned about marketing and go do your own thing…

5 Businesses that Rock Content Marketing

This piece put together by Mashable dissects why the five businesses in the post “rock” at content marketing. The businesses stuck out because they embrace the fact that traditional advertising is out and target marketing tactics to their information seeking and mobile using audience.

Find out why brands like Sweetgreen and Birchbox are dominating their niche by checking out this post for yourself.

Take it a step further and determine how you can get creative and use similar tactics in a way that work for your own brand.

11 Content Marketing Lessons Learned From 20 of the Top 100 Blogs

Some good basic content marketing advice from Neil Patel on QuickSprout. He talks about how he got as influential as he is now and how he learned it from the best of the best.

Of the many tips that he offers, the key takeaway from this post is that quality content leads to audience loyalty. Ensuring that your content is quality and can be done by hiring influential writers or creating thought out content on your own. Never ever produce content for the sake of producing content. Only put out words and posts that are helpful, inspired and original.

5 Examples of the Best Content Marketing Ever?

Another fabulous one from Jay Baer. In this post he makes the point that every industry should embrace content marketing. Why? Because all big brands are embracing content marketing and this fact is changing the expectations of your consumers. (GOOD POINT!)

Think about how consumers expect ALL BRANDS to interact with them on social media. Your brand is no exception.

Jay uses McDonalds Canada to emphasize his point of the importance and weight a content marketing strategy holds. Check out how effectively they communicate with their consumers. (Seriously check it out, this is an amazing read)

8 Examples of Content Marketing in Traditional Industries.

Many people think that their industry is “too boring” to embrace the creative and educational aspects of content marketing. But they are so, so wrong. Check out this post on how supposedly boring or traditional industries are implementing content marketing and doing it very well.

They key takeaway from this post is that ANYONE can embrace content marketing and use it for a successful brand and to even change your brands image.

Cautionary Tales

While the previous posts were full of examples to inspire and to educate, the following posts teach by showing you what not to do.

Think of how children learn—often by doing something they shouldn’t—and I’d like to teach you this lesson with these posts.

With social media and our technology driven world being what it is, brands that “screw up” their marketing strategy often get publically criticized via twitter or a blog post. I’d love for this to never happen to you…

Stop Linkbait Before it Ruins Content Marketing

This post tackles the ever so common problem of baiting and hooking an audience with an epic title that doesn’t match up to the content.

There are too many “content creators” producing content that doesn’t deliver what the title of a piece promises.

Among many great tips offered on this piece are an emphasis on originality and the advice to stray away from creating content for the sake of creating content—only create worthwhile stuff.

If your audience reads a piece of content that you create and they don’t like, you missed your one chance to engage with these potential consumers because they will not be coming back for more…

Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails

In this post by Mark Scott on Search Engine Journal, the different harmful ingredients of a bad content marketing strategy are explored. It’s full of common mistakes such as not knowing your audience and executing content poorly.

There are in fact many takeaways from this post so please read it but my favorite is “your content marketing should be like Pringles, once you start you can’t stop.”


In order to get behind any strategy or tactic, one should always evaluate the research and see what’s working for others in your similar field.

Part of this involves looking to successful brands in your niche and checking out their marketing strategy. The other part involves looking to the experts. So, here are links to the latest research pertaining to content marketing strategies.

Included are links to posts that offer an insight on what is working, what isn’t, what strategies the majority of marketers are implementing, etc.

B2C Research

Nonprofit Research

B2B Research

Do you have a favorite post that teaches or exemplifies content marketing campaigns or strategies? Whether you’ve come across it or wrote it yourself, I would love to see links to great posts in the comments below!

30,417 total views, 6 views today

About Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, an SEO and content marketing agency. Pratik has contributed on sites like Moz, Fast Company, Social Media Examiner, KISSmetrics, and Content Marketing Institute to name a few. He's a "must-follow" SEO expert according to Search Engine Watch and has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica. He's passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and all things digital marketing. Hit him up on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik for a quick chat on any of these topics.

  • Thank you for this post! It’s an awesome list of references. I’m new to the industry (just completed an seo course) and have been spending a lot of time doing research. I truly appreciate your compilation and will bookmark it for future reference.