How to Become a Content Strategist

How to Become a Content Strategist

Are you an aspiring content strategist looking to start a rewarding career? Look no further! In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the best practices, skills needed, and career outlook for content strategists. Whether you’re an experienced editor or someone just starting out, there’s plenty you can do to get yourself on the path to becoming a content strategist.

First things first, let’s clarify the primary responsibilities of a content strategist. The main goal of this role is to craft and deliver effective content that aligns with a brand’s goals and attracts audiences. Content strategists work within cross-functional teams, collaborating with designers, developers, and social media managers to curate and edit the contents. They suggest the best means to communicate a company or brand’s message to the target audience.

To become a content strategist, you’ll need a solid foundation of skills. While there isn’t a specific degree or program required for entry-level positions, having a thorough understanding of content strategy and the ability to create high-quality, engaging content is essential. Some common skills you should develop include strong writing and editing abilities, knowledge of content management systems, and a good grasp of social media platforms.

As for the career outlook, the demand for content strategists is expected to grow in 2021 and beyond. Every business, from small startups to large corporations, now recognizes the importance of delivering valuable and engaging content to their audiences. This is where content strategists come in, playing a vital role in creating and curating content that drives traffic, builds brand loyalty, and generates leads.

Determine Your Interest and Strengths

Before embarking on the journey of becoming a content strategist, it’s important to analyze your interests and strengths. This will help you choose a career path that aligns with your passions and skills.

Content strategists not only need to be masters of writing and communication, but they should also have a deep understanding of marketing and business strategies. Therefore, if you have a keen interest in both the creative and analytical aspects of content creation, this role may be a perfect fit for you.

Consider what areas you excel in and what topics you find most fascinating. Do you enjoy researching and analyzing data? Are you skilled at crafting compelling brand messaging? Do you have a natural talent for storytelling or creating engaging social media content?

Moreover, content strategists need to possess several key qualities and traits. They should have a strategic outlook, be detail-oriented, and have excellent organizational skills. A high level of creativity and the ability to think outside of the box are also important.

While a formal education in content strategy or a related field can be helpful, it’s not always necessary. Many successful content strategists have built their skills and knowledge through practical experience and industry-relevant certifications.

Overall, becoming a content strategist requires a combination of both technical and soft skills. You’ll need to master the techniques of content creation, distribution, and measurement, but also be able to strategize and align content with business goals.

Keep in mind that the demand for content strategists is high, although the specific job title may vary across companies. In fact, content strategists can be found in various roles such as content managers, content analysts, or digital marketers.

So, take the time to explore the different content strategy roles within the industry. Analyze job descriptions, salary ranges, and required qualifications to gain a thorough understanding of what each role entails.

Remember, in order to be a successful content strategist, it’s important to continuously learn and adapt. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and techniques by reading books, attending webinars, and seeking mentorship from experienced professionals.

Acquire the Necessary Skills

To become a successful content strategist, you need to acquire a variety of skills. These skills will enable you to effectively perform the functions and responsibilities of the role. Here are some essential skills you should focus on acquiring:

  1. Writing Skills: As a content strategist, you’ll need to be a skilled writer. You should be able to craft engaging and persuasive content that meets the needs of your target audience.
  2. Social Media and Website Analysis: Understanding how social media and websites function is crucial. You’ll need the skills to analyze data and measure the success of your content strategy.
  3. Digital Marketing Knowledge: A content strategist needs to be familiar with digital marketing techniques and strategies. This includes knowledge of branding, SEO, and online advertising.
  4. Strategic Thinking: As a content strategist, your work is focused on developing and executing content strategies. Strategic thinking and planning are essential skills for this role.
  5. Communication Skills: To succeed as a content strategist, you need to effectively communicate your ideas and plans to others. Good communication skills will help you present your strategies and deliverables.
  6. Analytical Skills: A content strategist needs to be able to analyze data and make data-driven decisions. Developing strong analytical skills will help you understand the effectiveness of your content campaigns.
  7. Organizational Skills: Content strategists often work on multiple projects simultaneously. Strong organizational skills are necessary to manage deadlines and deliver high-quality work.

To acquire these skills, there are several pathways you can take. Here are a few tips:

  • Take relevant courses or certifications: There are plenty of vocational courses and certifications available that can help you learn and grow your skills as a content strategist. Look for courses that focus on content strategy, digital marketing, and communication.
  • Attend workshops and bootcamps: Workshops and bootcamps offer hands-on training and guidance from industry experts. These programs can be especially helpful in preparing you for the demands of the job.
  • Get a degree or diploma: While not strictly necessary, a degree in marketing, communication, or a related field can provide a solid foundation for a career as a content strategist.
  • Self-educate: There are plenty of online resources available for learning about content strategy and related skills. Take advantage of blogs, podcasts, and online courses to expand your knowledge.
  • Work on personal projects: Crafting your own content strategies and implementing them on your own website or social media accounts can help you gain practical experience and demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
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Remember, the skills required for a content strategist can vary depending on the industry and organizational needs. Stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques in content strategy to remain competitive in the job market.

Gain Experience through Internships or Freelancing

One of the best ways to gain experience and develop your skills as a content strategist is through internships or freelancing opportunities. These experiences provide you with hands-on experience in the industry and allow you to apply what you’ve learned in a real-world setting.

Internships and freelance work give you the opportunity to work with clients and projects, and gain valuable experience in creating and implementing content strategies. You’ll also get a chance to collaborate with other professionals in the field, such as designers, marketers, and communications experts.

When you take on internships or freelancing gigs, you’ll have the chance to work on a variety of projects and gain experience in different areas of content strategy. This can include everything from creating content calendars, organizing content workflows, and developing content guidelines, to measuring and analyzing content performance.

Internships and freelancing also give you the chance to update your portfolio with real examples of your work. This is important when you’re applying for jobs or seeking new clients, as it shows potential employers or clients the level of work you’re capable of.

One thing to keep in mind is that internships and freelance work may not always be paid positions. While it’s always preferable to be compensated for your work, the experience and skills you gain are often worth the time and effort you put in.

Another reason why internships and freelancing are beneficial is that they can help you explore different industries and sectors. As a content strategist, you can work with businesses of all types, from tech companies to healthcare organizations to non-profit agencies. This allows you to gain a broader understanding of different industries and develop skills that are transferable across sectors.

Whether you decide to pursue an internship or freelance work, remember to remain proactive and take initiative in your role. Ask questions, seek feedback, and continue to learn and improve your skills. This will help you stand out as a professional in the field.

While internships and freelancing can be excellent pathways to gaining experience, there are other ways to develop your skills as well. For example, you can take online courses or earn certifications in content strategy, marketing, or related fields. These certifications can show potential employers or clients that you have a solid understanding of content strategy principles and are committed to professional development.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to gain practical experience in content strategy. By immersing yourself in real-world projects and collaborating with other professionals, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to be a top content strategist.

Build a Strong Portfolio and Network

Aspiring content strategists should invest in building an effective portfolio and networking within the industry. A strong portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills and delivering a visual representation of your work to potential employers or clients.

When building your portfolio, consider including a variety of projects that demonstrate your expertise in different fields and types of content strategy. Curating a collection of your best work will help you stand out among other entry-level candidates.

In addition to your portfolio, networking is crucial for advancing your career in content strategy. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and follow relevant blogs and websites to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and strategies in the field. Networking can help you connect with other professionals and learn from their experiences.

Furthermore, consider pursuing certifications or further education to better prepare yourself for the role of a content strategist. Bootcamps, online courses, or even graduate programs can provide valuable training in areas such as UX analysis, marketing strategies, and front-end tech skills.

Networking can also open doors to job opportunities, as many agencies or organizations rely on personal connections to fill content strategy roles. By expanding your professional network, you increase your chances of finding job openings and securing interviews.

When preparing for interviews, be sure to articulate your skills, experiences, and goals clearly. Highlight your portfolio and any certifications or education programs you have completed. Explain how your skills and experiences align with the expectations and responsibilities of a content strategist.

Keep in mind that salaries for content strategists can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience level, and the organization or agency you work for. It is important to research and understand the average salaries in your desired field to set realistic expectations.

Types of Content Strategist Careers

Content strategists play a crucial role in the field of marketing and branding. They are responsible for creating and implementing content strategies that align with a company’s goals and target audience. There are different types of content strategist careers, each with its own unique set of skills and responsibilities.

1. Brand Strategist: A brand strategist focuses on creating and implementing a clear and consistent brand identity across all marketing channels. They work closely with designers, marketers, and creators to develop a strong brand presence and tell a compelling story.

2. Data Strategist: A data strategist utilizes data and analytics to inform content strategies. They analyze market trends, customer behavior, and competitors’ performance to create data-driven content strategies. They are experts at utilizing tools and interpreting data to make informed decisions.

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3. Content Marketing Strategist: A content marketing strategist focuses on creating and implementing content marketing campaigns. They work closely with content creators and designers to ensure that the content is aligned with the brand’s messaging and goals. They also analyze the performance of content campaigns to optimize future strategies.

4. UX Strategist: A UX strategist focuses on optimizing the user experience of a website or digital product. They work closely with designers, developers, and marketers to ensure that the user interface and overall experience are user-friendly and intuitive.

5. SEO Strategist: An SEO strategist focuses on optimizing a website’s visibility in search engine results. They are experts in keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building strategies. They work closely with content creators and developers to ensure that the website is search engine friendly.

Although each type of content strategist career requires a different set of skills, there are common skills needed across all roles. These include excellent communication and project management skills, strategic thinking, creativity, and strong problem-solving abilities.

To become a content strategist, you’ll need to invest time and effort in gaining the necessary skills. There are industry-relevant courses and certifications available that can help you gain the knowledge and skills needed for a career in content strategy.

Entry-level content strategist roles typically require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or a related field. However, a diploma or industry experience can also be a pathway to entry-level positions.

The earning potential for content strategists varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and industry. According to the Professional Certificate in Content Strategy and Content Design (PCM) FAQ, content strategists can earn an average annual salary of $75,000 to $100,000+.

In summary, there are various types of content strategist careers, each with its own specific description and responsibilities. Whether you’re a creative, analytical thinker, or enjoy organizing and outlining data, there’s a content strategist role that may be a perfect fit for you.

Web Content Strategist

A web content strategist is a professional who suggests and takes thorough steps to improve the digital presence of a company. In this role, it is important to have a deep understanding of content management, branding strategies, and effective copywriting. Becoming a web content strategist can lead to a rewarding career with high earning potential.

What Does a Web Content Strategist Do?

A web content strategist is responsible for analyzing and organizing content to meet the needs of the target audience. They create and implement content strategies that align with the company’s branding goals. This involves outlining plans for creating and managing high-quality content for various digital platforms.

Web content strategists also work closely with other professionals, such as content creators, designers, and social media managers, to ensure that all elements of a digital presence are cohesive and effective. They use analytics and data to monitor the performance of content and make adjustments as needed.

Steps to Becoming a Web Content Strategist

  1. Obtain a degree: Although it is possible to become a web content strategist without a degree, having a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field can give you a competitive edge in the job market. Degrees in marketing, communications, or digital media are common pathways to this career.
  2. Earn relevant certifications: To further enhance your qualifications, consider earning certifications in content strategy or digital marketing. Certifications, such as the Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer program or the Facebook Blueprint program, can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field.
  3. Build a portfolio: A strong portfolio showcasing your past projects and strategies is essential when applying for web content strategist roles. Include examples of successful content management, branding campaigns, and analytics-driven decision-making in your portfolio.
  4. Gain experience: Start by taking on internships or entry-level positions in content management or digital marketing. This will give you valuable hands-on experience and allow you to learn from experienced professionals in the field.
  5. Master analytics: An important aspect of being a web content strategist is the ability to analyze data and make data-driven decisions. Familiarize yourself with analytics tools and learn how to interpret the data to improve content performance.
  6. Stay updated on trends: The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Take courses or attend workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in areas such as SEO, social media, and user experience.

Web content strategists are in high demand, as companies recognize the importance of having a strong digital presence. The median salaries for web content strategists can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the company. However, compared to other roles in content management, web content strategists often earn higher salaries.

Becoming a web content strategist requires a combination of creativity, analytical thinking, and strong communication skills. By following a step-by-step guide and continuously improving your skills, you can successfully embark on a career as a web content strategist and contribute to the future success of companies in the digital world.


What is a content strategist?

A content strategist is a professional who plans, creates, and manages the content strategy for a brand or organization. They are responsible for developing a strategic approach to content creation and ensuring that the content aligns with the brand’s goals and objectives.

What skills are required to become a content strategist?

To become a content strategist, you need a combination of creative, analytical, and strategic skills. Some key skills include content planning, research and analysis, writing and editing, project management, and knowledge of SEO and digital marketing.

Is there a difference between a content strategist and a content designer?

Yes, there is a difference between a content strategist and a content designer. While both roles involve content creation and strategy, a content strategist focuses on the overall strategy and planning of content, while a content designer focuses more on the visual and interactive design of content.

What is the job outlook for content strategists?

The job outlook for content strategists is promising, as the demand for content marketing continues to grow. Brands and organizations are recognizing the importance of strategic content creation to engage and connect with their audience. This has led to an increase in job opportunities for content strategists in various industries.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.