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Career Advice

How to Become a Self-Made Expert in Digital Marketing

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated October 23, 2017
|5 min read

With fewer people shopping in brick and mortar stores and more and more people shopping online every day, it’s no wonder that a lot of people are taking steps to learn more about digital marketing. This is because there is a whole lot more to it than traditional marketing, and most of it is done in-house. This means that businesses are looking to hire experts in this field, and as more people turn to the Internet to shop, digital marketing skills are going to be in greater demand. To become an expert in digital marketing, you don’t necessarily have to take a four-year business degree program. There are other ways to get the knowledge you need to become a self-made, digital marketing expert. If you are interested in learning how you can do this, let’s get started right now.

What is Involved in Digital Marketing?

Before you can dive right into the world of digital marketing, you need to know its various components. For instance, content marketing is involved, but there is so much more than that. You will need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO), paid searches (PPC), email marketing, social media marketing, digital display marketing, web analytics and reporting, and mobile marketing.

The best way to learn about all of these components is to jump right in and start doing it. You don’t need a lot to get started, just a computer, an Internet connection, and a little bit of money, and then you can start to create your own mini-project, and learn as you go. Even with just an hour each day, at the end of a month, you will be pretty well-versed in the art of digital marketing.

  1. Find something you are passionate about, and start blogging about it. This will cost about $50 per year for a domain and host.
  2. Get to know SEO and write blog articles that are SEO optimized.
  3. Install Google Analytics so you can monitor the traffic to your blog.
  4. Get an Adwords account, and find out what keywords people are searching online, and use those keywords in your blog.
  5. Keep writing and publishing your blog articles, and using SEO in each article.
  6. Start a Facebook page specifically for your blog that is separate from your personal page. Make sure your articles are on the Facebook page as well as your blog page.
  7. Promote your page through Facebook advertising, which you can do for as little as $10.
  8. Make sure your blog has an option to like and share on Facebook, and embed social sharing, which you can do through WordPress plugins for free.
  9. Sign up for Aweber, MailChimp, or another email marketing service.
  10. Get subscribers by embedding email signup forms right in your blog. Once you have subscribers, be sure to email them each time you publish something new.
  11. Use email marketing to promote your Facebook page, which is going to help you to get even more email subscribers.
  12. Use Adwords to promote your blog. You can start with low CPC bids, and new accounts often get a free, $100 credit to use for promotion.
  13. Get Google Adsense and learn about how to use advertising codes within your blog.
  14. Make your blog one that is easy to use on mobile devices, and use Adwords to create special mobile ads.

Should You Take a Course?

Everyone learns differently. Some people can read instructional articles online and then jump right in and start working on a project. Others need step-by-step instruction. If you are among the latter group, you may want to consider taking an online course in digital marketing. There are several advantages to taking online courses, including:

  • Udemy
  • Google Online Marketing Challenge
  • Coursera
  • Worldstreams PPC University
  • Simplilearn’s Full Stack Digital Marketer Masters Program

You will see a lot of sites offering free courses and workshops. Are these worth your time? Yes, they are! In fact, you may actually get more out of a free course than you would from a paid one. What you need to do is research the various courses available, and decide which one fits your needs. There are plenty of free courses you can take, and many of them may be better for B2B and B2C, and targeted directly for eCommerce.

Also online you may find marketing channels guide that will not only help you to learn more about digital marketing, but also find lists of all marketing, transactional, delivery, and service channels available to you.

Start Reading

If you really want to become a digital marketing expert, you need to start reading as much as you can about the subject. There are some great sites that will keep you updated about the latest in digital marketing trends, including Inbound.org, and Growthhackers.com. Don’t forget to look for blogs that are specifically about digital marketing.

Put what You Learn into Action

Once you have done your research and you understand the basics of digital marketing, it is time to take what you have learned and put it into action. Start a website, and start marketing a product. You don’t have to do anything huge, just enough to get your feet wet in the exciting world of digital marketing. When you are actually doing instead of just reading, you get to really see how things work, and what you still have left to learn.

Offer Your Services for Free

There are plenty of startups and non-profits that could really use the help of a digital marketing expert, but they don’t have the budgets to hire one. This is where you come in. Offer your services for free. Sure, you may not be making any money, but you will be gaining valuable experience and knowledge that you can take away with you, and that will help you to find work in this field because you are experienced. You benefit from this experience and the organization you are helping benefits by getting the service they need without having to pay for it.


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