Career Growth

The Content Marketing Salary Report (Updated for 2022)

Jimmy Daly
December 29, 2021

Hey folks! Thanks so much for the many contributions to this report. This is the fourth edition (you can see 2019, 2020 and 2021 here). For the first time, I’m combining all the data into one report so that you can clearly see the trends. This makes the good, bad and ugly of content marketing income plainly visible.


This report is presented by

I’m really excited to announce that Clearscope has come on board as the presenting sponsor of this year’s salary report. Clearscope is a content optimization tool, but beyond that, founder Bernard Huang has been an active member of the community and this isn’t the first time he’s supported it either. (Last year, we created some tutorials together and he even offered free keyword reports to our members.)

Their optimization tool, plus the Google Docs add-on, Wordpress plugin and multi-language support are best-in-class. Many thanks to the folks at Clearscope for their support.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLEARSCOPE


Before we dive into the data, I want to briefly outline the purpose of this report. By collecting, analyzing and sharing salary data, we achieve a few things:

  • We provide individuals with data to check their own salaries against. If you believe that you are underpaid, you can use this to negotiate your salary at your current job or bring it to future prospective employers. (And here's some proof that it works.)
  • We find salary discrepancies. Sadly, the content marketing industry is rife with gender and racial pay gaps. Highlighting these discrepancies may feel uncomfortable, but it's a necessary step in fixing them. Employers can use this data to ensure they are paying all employees market rate or better.
  • You can make data-backed decisions about your career. This data sheds some light on the content marketing career trajectory. Should you consider B2C? What about freelancing? Do job titles matter?

Transparency benefits all of us. I believe content marketing is rich with opportunity and this report backs that up. Okay, just a few more notes before we dive in.

  • 326 people filled out this survey (26% male, 67% female and 6% transgender, non-binary or gender-fluid. ). All income was converted to USD.
  • I cleaned up the data as best I could while maintaining accuracy. If a respondent input "W" or "woman" for gender, I changed it to "female" to make the analysis easier.
  • I separated ethnicity into white and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of color). I recognize that this is a massive oversimplification but we did not have enough respondents to make the data for each ethnicity statistically significant. I apologize for this and hope we can collect more/better data in future reports.
  • We had one respondent report making $1.4 million. It was such an outlier that I decided to remove it. We have a few respondents who report making $10,000 or less. I decided to include that data.
  • This data is not perfect and I’ll do my best to explain why a few times in this report. I’m not a professional data analyst but have checked and re-checked my math. If you have any questions, please drop me a line in the Slack channel.
  • If you find this data valuable, would you mind sharing on Twitter or LinkedIn? Here’s a pre-written tweet you can use. Thank you!

Okay, let's dive in!

How Much Money Do Content Marketers Make?

So, how much do content marketers earn?

The average content marketer earns $93,725 ↗

Average total annual income (full-time and freelance income).

This is up 10.49% over last year. This includes all income from all sources, regardless of experience, employment status or gender/ethnicity, meaning that a person could make 90% of their income from a full-time job while supplementing with some freelance work. All of that is included. The median annual income is $83,750.

Here’s how this data has changed over the last few years:

View fullsize

I would like to note that the Superpath audience has grown and evolved quite a bit since we started collecting this data. In 2019, only 36 people filled out our salary survey. This year, nearly 10x that many people provided data. It’s hard to nail down exactly how sample bias affects the data, but I do feel confident that the trend—up and to the right—is accurate based on everything I’ve observed over the last few years.

The bulk of respondents earned between $60,000 and $79,999. In general, content marketing is still a young person’s field. (This is an observation, not a data point.) As the content marketing industry evolves, I expect to see histogram shift to include many more people earning $100,000/year and above. This data is “right-skewed”—meaning that there is a long tail of responses above the average. It’s hard to bucket those folks into income brackets and, in fact, those brackets don’t tell us much. One thing we do know is that once content marketers break out of the $60,000 to $79,999 bracket, there is quite a bit of earning potential.

View fullsize

Full-time content marketers make $91,502 ↗

The average annual income for people who make >50% of their income from a full-time job.

This is up 9.74% over last year ($83,384). This number is meant to capture data from folks who have full-time jobs, i.e. those who make the majority of their income from a W2 job.

Freelance content marketers make $105,787 ↗

The average income for people who make >50% of their income from freelancing.

This is up 10.4% over last year. I define freelancers are people who make >50% of their income from 1099 work. We’ve seen a lot of great content folks pursue freelance careers in the last year. There is quite a bit of demand for content and these freelancers are building good businesses servicing it.

Here’s a quick comparison of full-time vs. freelance income over the past few years. Please note that this data isn’t perfect—e.g. a full-time employee who does some freelance work has that extra income included in their total. Because many full-time folks also take on freelance work, their employment income is actually lower than what’s reported here. Summary: freelancers are doing quite well.

View fullsize

32% of content marketers with a job also freelance ↗

This is up from 27% last year. While not a massive increase, it’s an indicator that more people want in on the creator economy/side hustles. There’s quite a bit of demand for content these days, more than the current crop of full-time employees and freelancers can supply.

B2B content marketers make $94,168 ↗

This is up 6.1% over last year ($88,679).

B2C/DTC content marketers make $93,183 ↗

This is up 22% (!!!) over last year ($76,378). It seems like a lot more e-commerce brands are taking content very seriously these days.

Do experience and job titles translate to higher income? (Hint: yes)

Of course, average income can only tell us so much. It's helpful to segment individuals by experience to see what kind of pay you could expect if stay in this industry. In general, folks with eight or more years of experience are in the $100k Club. This data includes income from any source and does not delineate between full-time and freelance.

View fullsize

And here’s how this data has changed over the past few years. (Note: This is the first year we’ve collected data for the “13+” category.)

View fullsize

And here’s a look at average annual income by job title. We used a simple formula to pull keywords from job titles. Example: “what’s the average annual income of respondents whose job title includes the word director?” This data is not perfect—e.g. it’s possible that a job title like “lead strategist” got counted twice. Still, it shows a clear trend. More senior folks earn more money and job title definitely matters. Another note: we had one VP respond. I included this because $250,000/year is on par with VP salaries in other areas of marketing.

View fullsize

What about benefits and perks?

In the past, we’ve asked about remote work. This just didn’t seem to make sense this year since pretty much everyone worked remotely at least some of the time. But, for the first time, we collected data on benefits and perks. This applies primarily to full-time employees and accounts for existing benefits rather than desired benefits. I’d consider it a starting point rather than an end goal.

The above options were selected from a menu but we also asked what other benefits folks get. Here’s a sample of the most common responses:

  • Unlimited PTO
  • Lunch/meal stipends
  • Mental health days
  • Health savings accounts
  • Equity/stock options
  • Coworking stipend
  • Profit sharing

The Bad News: Gender and Racial Pay Gaps Got Worse

Up to this point, it’s been all good news. Salaries are up, freelancers are doing well and content marketing is clearly in demand. The bad news is that income is not consistent for eveyrone.

A quick note on this data: We didn’t have enough respondents to differentiate between every ethnicity. I chose to bracket everyone who did not identify as white or caucasian into the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) category. I recognize how imperfect this is and I’m sorry that this data isn’t as thorough as it ought to be.

Men make $14,604 more per year than women.

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap increased over the last year. Last year, women earned 92 cents for every dollar a man made. This year, women earned about 86 cents on the dollar.

View fullsize

We asked respondents which gender they currently identify as. We left the field open for folks to respond however they like (i.e. not a dropdown). We will collect more data on non-binary and gender-fluid content marketers for comparison in future surveys.

White content marketers make $22,059 more than their BIPOC peers.

This data is really disheartening. Not only did the pay gap increase, but total income decreased for our BIPOC respondents. In a year when content was in demand and average income increased nearly across the board, it’s upsetting to see that those benefits were disproportionately experienced by white respondents (and especially white men).

View fullsize

Now What?

Some of this data is uplifting, but some is downright disheartening. Here are a few things you can do now:

If you want to talk with other content folks about this report and other career development topics, come join our free Slack group. There are already 5,000 of us learning and supporting one another and we'd love to have you.

Any questions about this report? Feel free to DM me on Slack or email me at jimmy@superpath.co.

Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.