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 Jimmy.
For more info on content marketing salaries, check out our salary report.
I started as a freelance content writer in 2010. I didn't have a salary, but charged around $10.00 an hour. I also attended school full-time and worked off-hours at a local café (met some great clients through that job!).
From 2010 to 2014 I was attending college full-time and working a part-time job at a café.
From 2015-2017 I raised my hourly rate to $12.00 an hour and expanded my work into SEO, product copy, and communication services while still working part-time at a café.
In 2018 I took on significantly more clients, worked with clients from out of state, and began offering larger 3-6 month long contract work.
From 2019-2021 I worked primarily in-house as a B2B Content Writer, Specialist, and Manager. I still held retainer clients for minor work.
In 2022 I decided to pursue leadership opportunities to apply my experience at a higher level and grow with an organization that challenges me. I still hold minor retainer clients.
Today I earn $135,000.00 a year. $120,000.00 comes from my role as Director of SEO Content and the remainder from retainer clients as an SEO Content Consultant.
My biggest salary jump was from job hopping in 2021 from $60,000 to $90,000. My second is in 2022 when I consistently hit my goals to join the $100k Club!
The most valuable skill I have is self-education. If I don't know how to do something, I take the time to teach myself so I can either service that need or be educated enough to know what to ask for from others.
My two best book recommendations are Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller and Atomic Habits by James Clear. The first is because there's a reason compelling narratives work in marketing and the second is because bad habits create friction in personal and professional life, so knowing how to address them is crucial!
Honestly I have to give a special shout-out to Jimmy from Superpath. I met Jimmy during my application to Animalz back in 2020. Though it didn't work out, I followed him because he was located in Colorado and I thought he knew a lot. Fast forward to today, he's brought a lot to the content community and has given me professional advice to grow as a content marketer.
One of the biggest habits I take seriously is taking breaks to go outside. The amount of times I caught myself in a bad mood or feeling lethargic and stood outside for five minutes to get sun and immediately felt better is astounding. It doesn't have to be a profound nature walk—literally, step out your front door, your office's walkways, that WeWork balcony, a rooftop, a sidewalk, or anywhere.
Aside from that, figuring out my preferred way to consume content helped me identify how I can learn more. For me, that's scrolling Twitter on the #contentmarketing tag in the morning and learning a few new things, or taking an afternoon walk and listening to the latest Superpath or Marketing Made Simple podcast episode. The point is, find the best way you enjoy learning and use it!
Find the niche that you feel is the most fulfilling and you're knowledgeable about. I tried for years to be a generalist thinking if I could do everything, I'd be paid like it (turns out you'll just get underpaid for doing the work of many). The moment I decided "I want to lead and guide less-experienced content marketers," I found myself landing opportunities I only dreamed about.
So find your niche and don't be afraid to apply to that position or start a business venture that helps you reach your dreams.
I'm a White male living in Denver, Colorado.