While many people with a background in journalism may feel their opportunities are limited to reporting on the latest news, they’re also well-positioned to succeed in content marketing based on their relevant experiences and transferable skills.
But why even consider a shift? For some journalists, following the expected path is more than fulfilling. However, others may find the day-to-day life of a journalist too strict and devoid of opportunities to be creative. Enter content marketing.
Journalists—whether they know it or not—are primed to excel in this exciting industry for several reasons. From their sharp writing skills to their well-practiced research capabilities, they’re well-equipped to be creative and find success.
If you’re a journalist looking to jump into content marketing, keep reading to better understand your skills and how they can help you!
This one might be the most obvious, as sharp writing skills are the primary tool in every journalist’s toolbox. From writing eye-catching headlines to leads that pull a reader in, journalists are well-trained in working with words. However, they may not fully understand the transferability of these skills.
Being able to write punchy, concise headlines will be advantageous when tasked with writing title tags people will want to click. Journalists know the importance of first impressions and understand the shortness of most attention spans—nobody wants to click on a piece of content that leads with a long, clumsy headline!
It’s particularly advantageous to be a strong writer when producing long-form content of over 1000 words. This time of content has many benefits for businesses and has become increasingly popular, but is understandably harder to write. Journalists with experience writing features and long-form news are primed to succeed at it.
Research is king in content marketing. Generating great content involves familiarizing yourself with what else is out there. If a business hires you to write a blog for them, you’ll want to make sure you know their company well but also know enough about their competitors to find avenues through which you can stand out.
As for Journalism? It’s all about the research, too. Whether it’s getting on the phone with an expert or digging through archives of notes, good journalism is thorough and highly detailed. Having a keen eye for what matters and being able to support your points with solid research will serve you well in content marketing!
Being an effective researcher in content marketing is especially important in this developing age of AI-generated content. While programs such as Chat GPT are fast and convenient, they cannot fact-check, meaning thorough, detail-focused researchers are still invaluable to producing content with verifiable sources.
Content marketing is a fast-moving industry. On any given day, an agency will work with countless clients to meet their needs. They offer extensive services, all of which must work together to get the job done on time. Fortunately, those with a background in journalism are experts at meeting deadlines under pressure.
Successful journalists work quickly without compromising the quality of their work. They know the value of being the first person to break the story of a new development or event. The turnaround time between being assigned a story and date of publication can sometimes be as little as a few hours. Having learned to work and thrive under pressure as a journalist is a skill that will help you succeed in content marketing.
A huge part of content marketing is staying on top of trends. Knowing what’s popular and what’s working—and what isn’t—goes a long way toward getting the most out of your content and getting the results clients expect.
Journalists know all about keeping their finger on the pulse. They have no choice but to stay on top of things, constantly looking for leads that might turn into their next story. They have to watch their competitor newspapers to see what they’re doing well and figure out how to put their own spin on similar topics and ideas.
Staying connected to the world will help you generate keywords, the backbone upon which SEO-friendly content is built. They’re what people are searching for, and a huge part of being successful in content marketing is matching search intent with results. Having a finely-tuned sense of what people want is an incredibly valuable skill for both journalists and those working in the content marketing industry.
The worlds of journalism and content marketing are similar in that they both rely on extensive collaboration. Across both disciplines, producing content is a multi-step process involving team members with different skills and experiences.
Journalists writing a story can expect to work with sources, photographers, web designers, copy editors, and more. Content marketing teams typically have people in these roles, as well as plenty more. The communication and organizational skills needed to know your role and fit in a larger team are undoubtedly an asset.
Being able to work in a team is an essential skill in any job, but one both journalists and content marketers need in particular to excel in their roles!
There you have it: five skills journalists have that can help them succeed in the fast and exciting world of content marketing. While this list is not all-encompassing, your journalism background—and, by extension, these five skills—already has you well-positioned to transition into this industry.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity to apply your journalism skills, consider what you’ve learned and take the leap into content marketing!2