The $100k Club

Content Marketing Manager Earning $178,000/year

Jimmy Daly
June 16, 2023

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, fill out the form here.

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?

I became a full-time Content Coordinator at an agency after working in the role for several months on a part-time basis. I was changing careers from another industry into the content marketing world.

List out your income by year for as long as you've been working in content marketing.

  • 2017: $42,000
  • 2018: $52,000
  • 2019: $56,000
  • 2020: $62,000
  • 2021: $118,000
  • 2022: $178,000

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

I earn $178,000 per year (and get RSUs) as a Content Marketing Manager in tech.

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

My salary went up 76% when I went from Content Strategist at an agency to Content Lead at a consulting firm.

What is your most valuable skill?

Being focused on strategy and how my work ladders up to business goals. Even as the person who received tasks to create and edit content, it was important for me to know why we chose those pieces, what I could do to make them more effective, and how the end-products performed.

What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity? (Feel free to suggest more than one!)

Andy Crestodina’s Content Chemistry is an excellent resource for creating content.

I’d also recommend Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. With the current macroeconomic conditions and the rise of Chat GPT, we’re all getting asked to produce more with less. Rather than churn out low-quality listicles, we need to prioritize work that moves the needle. This book encourages us to move away from trying to do everything as quickly as possible and focus on what’s most important.

Given how quickly things change in this industry, I’ve found that newsletters and LinkedIn are great for staying up to date on content. Erin Balsa, Devin Reed, John Bonini, and Sara Lattanzio are some of my favorite SMEs.

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

I’ve been mentored through two mentorship programs, one in-house and one open to all women globally.

The in-house program was designed to help mentees navigate that specific company, so it was invaluable, but not specific to my long-term goals. I heard about the other program, which focused on career growth in content and SEO, through a colleague. My mentor on this program really encouraged my ambition and gave me the confidence to apply for higher positions.

I would also credit my first content manager with teaching me all the basics and pointing me in the right direction in my career.

What skills or habits help you thrive at work?

Well organized and able to fix messes: Content can quickly get out of control. Whether I’ve inherited an undocumented strategy or I’m scaling production, I need to be organized if I’m ever going to stay on top of everything. I enjoy creating processes that allow everyone to find what they need, so they can focus on their work and keep the momentum going.

Not afraid to speak up: If I see something, I say something (respectfully, of course). Are we proposing content that doesn’t take our audience or goals into account? Is there a way we can improve our processes? Did someone say something I didn’t understand or forget to credit the right person? I’m happy to raise my hand to make sure we’re producing our best work as a team.

Open to opportunities: The two jobs that have had the biggest impact on my life came when I was perfectly happy in my existing roles. It’s easier to avoid risk and stick to what you know, but that’s not how you gain experience and grow your skills. I’m not advocating job-hopping or sacrificing your wellbeing for a bigger paycheck, but I am saying you’ll be surprised what you can achieve if you keep pushing yourself to learn new things.

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

Too often, content is seen as a nice-to-have or purely a creative effort. If you want to move into strategy and/or up the career ladder, you need to show leadership the value of what you’re doing. Start working with data and building insightful reporting as early as you can.

There’s a big difference between demonstrating value and justifying your existence, though. Make sure you’re working at a company that sees the potential of content and isn’t just checking off a box on the marketing to-do list. I know from experience how frustrating this is and the situation doesn’t usually change by staying around longer.

Where do you live?

San Francisco, USA

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