$100K Club

Head of Content earning $110,000 per year

Jimmy Daly
October 4, 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.

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

In 2006, I was a staff reporter making $26,000.

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

  • 2006 - Staff reporter $26,000
  • 2008 - associate editor - $32,000
  • 2011 - online editor - $44,000
  • 2013 - product marketing manger - $48,000
  • 2014 - senior marketing manager - $66,000
  • 2016 - senior brand manager - integrated marketing - $70,000
  • 2017 - creative services manager - $82,000
  • 2019 - content marketing manager - $75,000
  • 2020 - content marketing manager ($75,000) + freelance ($88,000)
  • 2021 - head of content - $110,000
Head of Content earning $110,000:yr.jpg

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

I earn $110,000 per year working as a Head of Content.

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

Job hopping and moving from content marketing manager at a B2B SaaS company to Head of Content at a similar company in the same market. My base pay rose a whopping 33%, which is the best increase I've ever managed to get. The benefits were better, and the company culture was/is a much better fit as well. I make a habit of "coming up for air" and actively evaluating the job market and my prospects, no matter what role I'm in or how happy I am with the company.

What is your most valuable skill?

In the past, I would have said writing, but in the last 5 years of my career, I would say being able to listen, integrate ideas, and show a competent understanding of the business, it's objectives, and opportunities for improvement. The most competent content marketers, in my opinion, are those who remain curious about the organization they work for and never stop asking questions. I've been fortunate to work in several organizations that were true meritocracies - hard work, innovative thinking, and positive ambitions were/are rewarded, no matter the employee's current role or specialty.

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

Radical Candor is great because it provides a framework for honest feedback that creates improvement. Similar to the way an editor's objective feedback and markup make a writer's work better, if you can offer radical candor and receive it without your ego getting in the way, you're a more productive person for it.

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

I've had a few, here are some of their chestnuts:

  1. Don't try to be who you aren't, it's a recipe for disappointment
  2. Understand your personality and your work style. For example, you can be a competent manager and leader whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, so long as you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and leverage the strengths.
  3. Saying "no" can be more important than saying yes, especially as your career and experience become more mature.
  4. Be aware of the Peter principle - If you're being promoted up, you won't know what you're doing in the new role. Understand how to counteract this.
  5. Stay curious and be a lifelong student. I loved working as a reporter because it taught me how to ask questions and tell a story based on that. If you don't know or understand something, ask lots of dumb questions. This applies not only when you first start a job, but on an ongoing basis to create continuous learning. You're the only person responsible for making sure you understand a process, program or organization.

What skills or habits help you thrive at work?

Regular 1:1's with my manager and my direct reports (1 x weekly minimum), staying abreast of best practices and trends for my profession and role (Superpath CMCG!), not being afraid to reach out to peers in other companies/orgs to ask for advice or recommendations (again CMCG!), learn how to pitch an idea/campaign or project with direct relevance to the business use case, the expected results, and the benefit to the team or organization you're working for. And, finally, if you're not organized, find someone who is and learn from them.

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

Job hopping is the best way to level up your title and pay in a short amount of time. Get very good at giving an "elevator pitch" about how and why your contribution is valuable (to current employers and future employers). You should always have a shortlist of numbers/analytics that demonstrates your effectiveness, i.e., organic traffic generated, conversions created, email open rates, etc. - understand what your "performance dashboard" looks like and monitor it obsessively. No one will ever be as good an advocate for you as YOU! (Seriously, I get modesty, but why wouldn't you do the best for yourself that you possibly could?)

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

White non-Hispanic male, living in Indianapolis, IN.

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