The $100k Club

Content consultant earning $201,000/year

Jimmy Daly
January 17, 2021

Welcome to another post in the $100k Club series. You can see the full series here. This is "My Morning Routine" for content marketing folks making six figures. The goal is to shed light on the skills and habits that enable people to achieve lucrative jobs and help get more people in this club.

These will be anonymous and updated regularly. If you make more than $100k/year and want to contribute, email me.

For more info on content marketing salaries, check out our salary report.

If you'd like to see more info on salary by job title, check out these resources: Content Marketing Manager Salary, Content Strategist Salary, Head of Content Salary, and Content Director Salary.

What was your first full-time job in content? What was the salary?

My first full-time job in content was a marketing writer for a local SEO company in Long Island, New York. It was winter 2017, and I'd just started freelance writing earlier in the year and was making okay money.

At the time I was charging around $35/hr for freelance work. But the clients were rolling in and I wanted to learn more. So I figured the agency experience was a good route.

It paid $16 per hour. You read that right, $16 per hour. And if I could "prove myself", they'd consider bumping my pay to $20 per hour in a few months.

Needless to say, I lasted a few months at that agency. After writing and ranking blog posts for their clients, I went back for my $20 an hour and they shot it down.

So I went on vacation, didn't tell them, and never showed up again. I messaged the accounting guy and told him to send my last paycheck to my house.

Quitting that job was good though. It helped me figure out what I wanted to do. It freed up my time so I could build on my freelance career. And shortly after, I picked up a startup client 20 hrs a week at my $35/hr rate.

So all in all, it worked in my favor.

How much do you earn today? What's your job title?

I'm a full-time Content and SEO consultant, membership community Co-founder, and writer. In 2020 I earned just over $200,000.

What's the single biggest salary jump you've made? (either from job-hopping or a promotion/raise)

The single biggest jump was from 2019 to 2020. I went from making under $100,000 to over $200,000 in one year.


What is your most valuable skill?

My most valuable skill is that I'm relentless. I don't slow down, and when I see opportunities I take them without hesitation. I'm not afraid to take risks, and am always looking for new ways to do things: whether it's trying new article formats to rank in search, learning new skills, or diversifying income streams.

What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity?

Have you had a career mentor/coach? If so, how did you find them and what have you learned from them?

Yes. One of my former clients (Steve Berry from Thought Merchants) taught me so much about being a contractor. He was a freelance UX designer before creating a small agency and helped me get to where I am now. He encouraged me to raise rates, tweak my website, strive for more. He always jumped on a call with me if I had a question - we even got to hangout in person in LA!

I 100% wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for Steve. I tell him that quite often.

What skills or habits help you thrive at work?

I love to talk to people. I make a habit out of getting to know people on Twitter and grow my network. It helps to make friends who understand what you do. Because some days in freelance content marketing are hard. It's nice to have people to lean on and help you with problems, whether it's related to content, SEO, writing, clients, business, etc.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the $100k club?

If you want to join the $100k club, I'd do these three things:

  1. Learn new skills that complement your work. For example, I learned SEO to complement my writing work. This made me a more strategic asset to clients because I could help with planning, finding new opportunities for growth, and optimizing content. Versus just writing a one-off piece of content.
  2. Raise your rates constantly. To this day, I raise my rates every time I get a new client. Anywhere between 5% and 10% is a good range. You'll double your income faster than you think.
  3. Make friends. My highest paying work comes from referrals. Referrals come from your friends / network.

What is your gender and ethnicity? Where do you live?

I'm a gringo who lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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