Content Marketing Learning Path & Resources

Content marketing topics that you should learn about if you want to improve your knowledge and progress your career.

Andreea Macoveiciuc

Written on 12th March, 2020 |

5 min read

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This article is intended for beginners and junior content marketers who want to improve their knowledge.

It is based on the T-shaped marketer model, so it covers topics both horizontally (wide, general knowledge) and vertically (deep knowledge).

Horizontal skills for a content marketer — the big picture

These are topics that you should be familiar with, but you don’t need to study them profoundly.

Since these skills form the top layer of knowledge for the T-shaped content marketer, you only need a broad, general understanding of the concepts, terms, and frameworks involved.

In no particular order, here are the areas of digital marketing that you should know at least the basics about.

Web analytics

Good resources here:

Conversion rate optimization

Good resources here:

UX design & UI copywriting

Good resources here:

E-mail marketing

Good resources here:

Demand / lead generation

Good resources here:

On-site SEO and link building

Good resources here:

Social media marketing

Good resources here:


Good resources here:

Branding & positioning

Good resources here:

Marketing automation & lifecycle marketing

Good resources here:

Vertical content marketing skills — the deep knowledge

These are the topics that you should master. They’re the most important skills for a content marketer, so don’t stop at a superficial level. Go deep, read as much as you can, practice and experiment.

I won’t recommend resources here. Instead, I’ll give some recommendations on what you should learn about or understand for each of these topics.

User research

  • How to find the pain points & challenges of your potential customers

  • Jobs-to-be-done framework

  • User intent research

  • Extracting pain points and motivations from interviews & sales calls

  • Identifying themes and topics that your audience cares about

  • How they find information: actions, questions & search queries in each funnel stage

  • Where they find information & where they educate themselves

  • What encourages/prevents them from buying

  • How to interpret analytics data to understand who your customers are

Keyword research

  • Head vs. long-tail keywords

  • Keywords that bring brand value and you should target

  • Search intent

  • Queries that show navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial intent

  • Search queries in each funnel stage

User journey

  • How a user starts searching for information and finds your website

  • User behavior on the website

  • When a user comes on your website, what is he looking for?

  • How to shape the user journey

  • How to push users through the funnel

  • What are new vs existing users doing on your website

  • Correlations: are users reading blog articles about X buying X products?

  • Are users reading the blog creating new accounts? Are they subscribing/downloading?

Gap analysis

  • What topics do you want to be known for and you’re not yet writing about?

  • What types of content/topics are our competitors not writing about?

  • Is this a gap that you can fill-in? Is there search potential?

Content ideation & topic modeling

  • Which themes are the most relevant?

  • What are users/magazines/competitors talking about, for your specific industry?

  • Which topics should you cover, for your target audiences in these industries?

  • How are the topics and sub-themes interconnected?

  • What’s the big picture of your website? What does the content model look like?

Competitor research

  • Themes and topics covered by competitors

  • Keywords they are ranking for and you aren’t

  • Positioning, message, channels of competitors

  • Types of content they create for their website, blog, and social media

Content optimization

Content marketing metrics & goals

  • Metrics that matter for content — time on page, pages per session, scroll depth, interactions with CTAs (download, buy, subscribe)

  • Which type of content performs better for these metrics?

  • Which topic/industry performs better for these metrics?

  • Where to find these numbers in your analytics tool and how to create a content report/dashboard

  • Tools that you can use for analyzing content performance

  • Which goals can be achieved with content marketing

Content lifecycle

  • What are the stages that a content piece goes through, from ideation to publishing and optimization?

  • Who owns each of these stages? How do the workflows look?

  • How does the content governance model look?

  • CMS basics

Content strategy

Content distribution & syndication

  • Which channels can you use for distribution? Where are your users?

  • Per channel, which type of content performs better? What are competitors sharing per channel?

  • What metrics do you look at, per channel?

  • Where can you syndicate content? How is this process structured?

Content curation

  • Where can you find content for curation

  • Tools to speed up your work

  • Workflows & processes for vendor content curation

Content calendar & roadmap

I hope this gives you a bit of clarity and direction in your content marketing learning.

If you're interested in improving your content strategy and marketing knowledge, take a look at our upcoming training sessions.

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