101 Must-Read Resources To Become A World Class Content Marketer

Content marketing offers many benefits, from providing ongoing value as a marketing asset, to allowing businesses to connect with their audiences on a more personal level.

A complex mix of content creation, marketing & SEO, PR, distribution, social media outreach and networking, content marketing is a fine art. If done well it can produce impressive results. On the other hand, if done badly, it can be a huge drain on your time and resources.

We’ve compiled our favourite research, articles, guides, tips and tricks that we use to learn the ins and outs of creating great content marketing strategies.

Whether you’re new to content marketing, or want to take yours to the next level, these 101 content marketing resources should prove invaluable.

*If you’d like some help with your own content marketing, from strategy to creation, we highly recommend you reach out to CoNorth – they now handle all content marketing for Founders Grid, hence come highly recommended.

RESEARCH

The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing
A comprehensive introduction to content marketing with examples from Upworthy, Tim Ferriss, Babe Ruthe, and the US government.

How I Generated 15,000 Keywords and Found the 20 Best
A great introduction to keyword research and how to find, analyze and evaluate the best keywords to use.

Preparing Your Killer Content Marketing Pitch
A great step by step guide on how to research and perfect your pitching process to get coverage on third party sites.

How to Plan Awesome Content That Grows Your Email List
How Walter Chan turned iDoneThis into a million dollar business with a strong email list using content marketing.

Content Calendar Template: 12 Must-Have Fields
The 12 key attributes you need to include to create a high impact editorial calendar for your content marketing.

Data Is the Next Big Thing in Content Marketing
A look at the growth of data journalism and why companies should use their own data to drive original and fascinating content marketing.

The 4 Essential Research Strategies in Content Marketing
From assessing the audience to the media, four essential research strategies for content marketing that will deliver relevant and valuable target audience messaging.

12 Startup Blogs That Are Killing the Game
A useful look at 12 highly successful startup blogs including Moz, Buffer and HubSpot, with analysis of why they’re succeeding.

The Greatest Misconception in Content Marketing
Why content marketing is all about creating a memory and a positive association about your brand and how long it really takes to be successful.

6 Research Tactics That Set The Foundation For Your Content Strategy
From defining your customer journey to conducting a full competitor analysis, six research tactics to help you make sure you know who you’re targeting and what content they want.

Keyword Research for SEO – you’re Doing it Wrong
From focussing on long tail keywords to choosing upwareds trending words, how to do SEO research properly and leverage use the Google keyword planner effectively.

Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral
From writing compelling titles to using strong emotional drivers, how any business can create successful viral content marketing campaigns.

How to Improve Your Blog by Solving a Reader’s Problem
How you can grow your audience by spotting problems your readers’ are struggling with now, anticipating their future problems and solving them.

2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends (PDF)
An in-depth look at the state of content marketing in US B2B organizations today and how the most effective marketers stand out.

STRATEGY

How to Create Readable, Shareable Content For Your Business (Really)
From creating anticipation to acknowledging controversy, a look at what makes good blog posts and how to create readable, shareable content.

Traffic-Boosting SEO Fundamentals For Content Marketing
From thinking of keywords as concepts to adding internal links, 15 ways to include SEO keywords into your content to help grow your business.

Brian Clark on the Power of Content Marketing
An interesting discussion between Brian Clark and Zac Johnson about how to create powerful content that resonates with an audience.

Why Giving Stuff Away For Free Is The Best Marketing Tool
How one infographic Designhill produced and gave away doubled their web traffic and why it’s worth creating your own.

Our First Post Got 12k Views – This Is The Dead Simple Formula
From finding distribution channels to seeking feedback, how to use the jumpstart technique to research, implement and test content marketing in just a few weeks.

Turn One Research into Dozens of Awesome Articles!
Useful tips on how to conduct better google research and which tools and tactics to use to turn one idea into multiple articles.

Is ROI Really What You’re Looking For?
Why content marketing is an investment rather than a campaign and traditional ROI tracking are the wrong metrics to judge its success.

Content Marketing – How to Build an Audience that Builds Your Business
A great series of 7 content marketing ebooks, from research to effective promtion, by Copyblogger Media founder and CEO Brian Clark and team.

Zero to One Million: an SEO Blueprint
From campaign planning to traffic generation strategy, an SEO blueprint for any SaaS business to use to rapidly grow their online presence and ultimately increase revenue.

SEO Strategy Case Study: 963% More Organic Traffic
From promoting a new blog to getting infographics shared, how to get backlinks and boost organic traffic with the guestograhic method.

How we gathered 2,7K emails & 6,2K page views in 72hrs spending only $150
How Funifi created and distributed an engaging, shareable parenting test and what you can learn from it.

How I Got 6.2 Million Pageviews and 144,920 Followers
A set of tactics that have repeatedly worked for getting huge traffic and visitors and turning them into subscribers or followers across all networks.

A Practical Guide To Building A Killer Content Strategy
From knowing your audience to conducting a content audit, a very useful ebook about how to plan your content marketing with purpose and ease.

WRITING

4 Tips to Ensure Great Content from Your Outsourced Writers
Four trips to ensure that the posts you have outsourced meet your criteria, from creating an editorial calendar to setting guidelines.

What I Learned From Writing 325,000 Words In 12 Months, Becoming A Professional Blogger & Building A $3,500 Per Month Business
From proper research to focussing on the first 50 words, 16 great tips from a professional blogger on how to write better content that captures and keeps readers’ attention.

How Writing Content Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur
Why founders should create content marketing themselves and the benefits of writing in your brand’s voice.

Top 8 Writing Mistakes to Avoid for Online Magazines
Key mistakes to avoid when writing online, from not writing on a regular basis to focussing on the wrong niche.

48 Content Writing Examples, Tools, Tips, and Resources
From not being so serious to using a blog topic too for inspiration, some very useful resources for how to improve your content writing.

How to Write Magnetic Headlines
From 10 surefire headline formulas to the art of great writing great Twitter headlines, an 11 part series with concrete guidance to writing better headlines.

8 Tips For Writing Like You Mean It
From speaking with authority to focussing on quality of quantity, 8 principles to help anyone form engineers to business execs to write great blog posts.

The Ultimate Blog Writing And SEO Checklist
A list of tips and tricks for writing effective and engaging blog posts and a comprehensive SEO checklist to help optimize your blog for a wider readership.

8 Tips for Writing More Powerful Conclusions
From summarizing the article to being real, tips for creating a really powerful conclusion for any blog post from KISSmetrics co-founder Neil Patel.

30 High-Impact Ways to Level Up Your Writing
From keeping your writing active to getting enough sleep, 30 ways to supercharge your writing chops, boost your blogging confidence and slash those paralyzing doubts.

Copywriting 101: How to Craft Compelling Copy
Free ebook designed to get you up and running with the basics of writing great copy in ten easy lessons.

DISTRIBUTION

25 Content Amplification Tools for Marketing Professionals
From Outbrain to Hootsuite, 25 tools and resources you can use to get your content noticed by the right eyes.

How I got 50,851 views on Slideshare and 706 email subscribers for less than $350
An extremely effective guerilla marketing technique to build a pre-launch email list for your startup using Slideshare, promoted tweets and Mailchimp.

40 Experts Unveil Their Top Blogger Outreach Strategies And Tools
The outreach tools that 40 content marketing experts use to connect with bloggers and how they use them.

Should startups and other businesses post their content on Medium?
A look at the pros and cons and whether entrepreneurs and businesses should use Medium as a publishing platform.

9 Content Marketing Growth Hacks to Drive Traffic and Conversions
From using OpenGraph tags to repurposing old content, 9 ways that you can apply growth hacking tactics to your content marketing efforts for impressive, fast-paced growth.

17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content
Advanced techniques for attracting scores of new visitors with your content, from turning your content into a slide deck to mentioning your expert source when sharing.

The Distribution Hacker’s Mission: Create an Unfair Advantage
From distribution as a mindset to using it as a methodology, a look at the role and importance of distribution hacking.

How To Promote Every Piece of Content You Create (in Less Than an Hour a Day!)
A simple gameplan with some quick wins to get the most traction for each piece of content you create and why you need to promote it.

8 Distribution Tactics For Extending The Life of Your Best Blog Posts
How to ensure you’re wringing every inch of potential reach and value out of your very best content.

Content Distribution through LinkedIn
From pulse amplification to influencer outreach, insights and techniques into how to use LinkedIn to amplify content.

Distribution Tactics I used to go from 0 to 20,000, Real Quick.
A distribution strategy that can get you traction quickly, from leveraging the power of communities to other people’s distribution.

15 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Blog Posts
A look at 15 additional places, from Slideshare to Triberr, where you should be sharing your blog posts.

11 Best Social Sharing Plugins For WordPress In 2015
Top sharing plugins for WordPress, from adding social share buttons and follower counts, to encouraging social shares or monitoring social shares.

OPTIMIZATION

How to Get Serious About Content Marketing Analytics
Why 2005-era metrics such as page views, unique visitors, and other basic “insights” don’t cut it any more. At least, not on their own.

A Guide to AB Testing with Google Analytics Content Experiments
A critical look at Google Analytics’ split testing abilities and whether it’s the right tool for you to be using.

Comparing the ROI of Content Marketing and Native Advertising
A survey of over 30 agencies specializing in content marketing about content formats and the metrics they use to track ROI.

Someone Came to Your Site! User Onboarders Get Them to Stay
A look at the importance of user onboarding and how to appraise it.

Color Psychology: The Complete Guide for Marketers
A look at colour psychology in great detail for marketers, with many other practical applications as well.

Is Above the Fold Really That Important?
Article about the space above the fold. How important is it to have your call to action above the fold? Is it true that no one scrolls below the fold?

The Intersection Of Content Marketing And SEO
Why Content marketing and SEO work so well together and how to integrate them.

Optimizing Content Marketing: How HubSpot Doubled Conversions With One Simple Tweak
A conversation with Hubspot’s Joe Chernov about the innovative ways his team is optimizing their content for SEO and conversions with amazing results.

The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past
How to optimise your “old” blog content so it’s fresh, up-to-date and has the ability to generate even more traffic and conversions.

31 WordPress Plugins to Boost Engagement
From Disqus to Facebook Like to Download, 31 WordPress plugs to help you spread your content like wildfire.

A Basic Content Marketing Sales Funnel
The first article in a two-part series on understanding how a sales funnel works in the context of content marketing.

6 Ways to Tell Stories with Data Throughout the Customer Lifecycle
Data-driven storytelling is poised to be the next big trend in content marketing. How to use data at each step in the marketing journey.

PRESS & PR

How to Hack Your Way Into the Press
How to create a strategy for chasing coverage and make it part of your marketing plan.

The Giant List Of Free Influencer Marketing & PR Tools
From Buzzsumo to Crystal, a compilation of over 40 free influencer marketing tools.

The Only Way To Deal With Content Theft!
A method for getting a content bandit’s stolen goods removed from the internet.

The 239 Best Marketing Twitter Accounts Of 2016
The top 239 marketing Twitter accounts worth following, divided by expertise.

7 Ways Content Marketing Will Evolve in 2016
From storytelling taking main stage, to the emergence of new SEO methods, seven key trends to expect for content marketing in 2016.

How to write a great blog post (and get featured on the Founders Grid newsletter)
Why you need to create something truly special to get your blog post featured in startup newsletters and elsewhere.

The Secret Weapon to Content Marketing: Outreach Emails
How to email people to promote content in a way that privileges the relationship.

Stop Complaining about Your PR Firm. Here’s How the Media Works
Startups need to stop blaming publicists and journalists for their lack of press and learn how the media works. A peek behind the curtain.

Digital Press Relations Tips & Essentials
From Tuesdays being a bad day for a press release to building a journalist list for your niche, a short list of digital PR tips and essentials.

Hacking the Press: Clever Ways to Get Free Press Coverage with Zero Budget
Some of the cleverest ways to get any influencer or journalist’s attention, even in a crowded space, to get more traffic and sales for your business.

How To Get Noticed By The Press And Drive 150,000 Page Views In 24 Hours
A Product Hunter called Bram Kanstein talks about his startup called Startup Stash, which attracted 150,000 page views in 24 hours.

How to Get Press for Anything
How top publications operate and choose stories and what you should do to get their attention, from having a specific goal in mind to know when to try and get coverage.

The Press Release Is Dead
How to pitch your startup to get coverage from Techcrunch’s Mike Butcher.

How to Get Yourself on Stage and in the Press
How one woman stopped complaining that there were no women on stage at tech events and decided to do something about it.

Top 6 Chrome Extensions That Simplify Content Marketing
6 chrome extensions that are made specifically for content marketers.

27+ Handy Tools for Better Visual Content Marketing
8 best practices and more than 27 handy tools to create quality visual content and give your brand a distinct and powerful look.

A free, customizable content calendar for 2016
An annual content calendar on Google Sheets that allows content producers to view the entire year at a glance and plan content as far ahead as possible.

58 Websites With Free Stock Pictures For Commercial Use
A complete list of 58 websites offering free stock pictures for commercial use.

9 Essential Content Marketing Apps That Will Grow Your Blog Traffic
From Buffer to Summall, 9 content marketing apps designed to take your simple content and boost its perceived value.

Chrome Extensions: The Big List For Growth Hackers & Marketers
Why chrome extensions are a must and which ones you should be using.

How to research content and add it straight to Trello
How to add things that you find in Uprise.io straight to Trello.

Welcome to the MailChimp Content Style Guide
A style guide created for MailChimp employees that’s also very helpful for other content and communications teams.

15 Content Marketing Tools I Use Every Day (And You Should Too)
From SEMrush to Zemanta, 15 content marketing tools to help marketers ask the right questions.

The Best Free Tools for Content Marketers
A very useful categorized list of the best free content marketing tools from the team at ReadThisThing.

SOCIAL MEDIA

We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months
A look at the content crush and why Buffer has been losing social referral traffic.

5 Steps to Creating a Profitable Facebook Advertising Campaign
If you’ve been considering getting started with Facebook ads, this post will help push you over the edge.

So You Want To “Market On Reddit”
Columnist Brian Patterson’s handy guide for entering the world of Reddit.

What 1 Million Tweets Taught Us About How People Tweet Successfully
Given 140 characters, how can you make the absolute most of every single word, hashtag, and link in a tweet?

4 Reasons Your Social Media Traffic Isn’t Converting (And How to Fix Them)
If other companies are successfully converting social media traffic, then what are you doing wrong?

Social Media Is a Conversation, Not a Press Release
How @nytkeller and @emmagkeller flunked understanding @adamslisa.

12 Ways to Generate Blog Traffic Using Facebook and Google+
How to include social media when planning to generate blog traffic and use it efficiently.

We Analyzed the 3,000 Most Successful LinkedIn Publishing Posts
A look at 3,000 of the most successful blog posts on LinkedIn to get some insights about what makes a long-form post successful.

Pinterest Marketing Tips & Strategies
How to get twice as much traffic than on Facebook using one of the most underrated social networks.

The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet
An analysis of over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles with stats on how clicks and engagement and timing occur throughout the day and in different time zones.

50 Tools to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing Efforts
A comprehensive list of 50 tools to help bolster your content marketing strategy for the future.

5 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Social Media Marketing
5 ways to build your social media campaigns around stories, stand out from other brands and grab the attention of consumers.

23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media
The tools that Buffer uses to create all their images for their blog posts and social media sharing without any outside design help.

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