4 Actionable Steps to Becoming a Professional Marketer

If you are interested in entering the marketing, especially internet marketing, industry then here is the first part in a series of articles I’m writing to give you the foundation you’ll need.


Before you begin: If you’re like me, reading when you’re mentally ready to be doing can feel like pulling teeth. I like to screw around in a sandbox first, and then read. If that’s you, then jump to the Experimenting section first.



Budget Reading Time

Firstly, there are so many great resources out there. But it’s a rabbit hole. So limit your reading time.

For your first 3-6 months, I recommend reading 1-2 articles a day (less than 20 minutes of reading). If you have a daytime job, you can fit that in on your break. If you want to fast track it, double or triple that, but much more than that and you’re not going to have time to apply what you’ve learned (more on this later).



What to Read

There’s a saying “Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach them to fish, feed them for a lifetime.” Today I’m just going to give you the fish. But in the next article I’m going to teach you how to identify authoritative resources for your continued education – which is a critical component of being a life-long marketer.

That being said, here’s some marketer blogs I recommend you subscribe to as a beginner:


Iterate Marketing has an amazing blog

Read everything these guys have written. The blog is young, so if you’re reading 1-2 a day I think you’ll get through it in a month or two.

These guys are not on-the-map as a marketing authority. I happen to know them only because I used to be Director of Website Development there, and am now partners with the owner in WPPluginCo.com.

You might wonder if I’m being biased or something: so just read some of their articles like Shaheen’s article on neuromarketing hacks. I can tell you, he’s not BS-ing when he says they’ve made their clients millions.

While they aren’t an authority on internet marketing, they are “great thinkers”. Most other marketing blogs really fail to go beyond the basics of marketing. These guys have quiet a few diamonds that will show you what it looks like to be unique in marketing.



These guys started as a marketing firm, and wrote articles like this infrequently to begin. But they created a tool called Website Grader (then called Marketing Grader, than split apart again to Marketing and Website Grader) that they used to automate auditing of clients sites. Eventually they became an authority and are great at staying ahead of current trends. They have a strong relationship with Google and can be trusted to give accurate information.

Here’s a few articles you should begin with, but I’d subscribe to their blog for regular reading:

  • Context (Infographic) – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/intelligent-marketer-infographic#sm.001aw4pks14r1d6gvy51he34eymnp
  • General SEO – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/fact-fiction-seo-quiz
  • Email Marketing – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-myths-experiments-tips
  • Paid Advertising Management – https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34069/a-simple-guide-to-setting-up-your-first-linkedin-ad-campaign.aspx
  • Trending Marketing Techniques – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-experiential-marketing-works#sm.001aw4pks14r1d6gvy51he34eymnp
  • How to Stay Current – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/keep-up-with-latest-social-trends#sm.001aw4pks14r1d6gvy51he34eymnp



Similar to HubSpot, but these guys focused on automating marketing (from my perspective). They’ve got some fantastic tools that you need to experiment with and they share some good information in their blog.

Here’s a few articles you should begin with, but I’d subscribe to their blog for regular reading:

  • Google Maps Local – https://moz.com/blog/reputation-rankings-and-revenue-navigating-local-for-non-technical-people
  • Possible Trends for 2017 – https://moz.com/blog/seo-and-digital-trends-in-2017
  • History & Context – https://moz.com/blog/time-to-stop-doing-onpage-seo-like-its-2012
  • Illusions of Authority – https://moz.com/blog/google-search-console-webmaster-tools-reliability
  • Standards – https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-seo-company-whiteboard-friday


I would also suggest reading the Product pages for these services that Google offers, as they are central to the work we do in marketing.



Stay Current

This industry has a way of leaving you in the open with you’re pants down.

After your first 3-6 months, you still need to be reading for a few hours each week. In future articles I’ll go into detail about what you should probably be reading – as it differs from the organizations I mentioned above.




Important Backstory

Skip ahead if you’re impatient, but this context will probably help you!

Before I started advertising The Portland Company as a Portland SEO company I was designing and developing websites for about 6 years. I read a lot about SEO but was afraid to step out and say we offered it because – although I seemed to know what to do – I had no first hand experience. Then, one day, I wrote an article about “How to watch Google Play movies on the Playstation 3” and started to get 1,000 unique visitors a month to it. After about 2 months of this I optimized the front page of my website to say “Portland SEO Company” and within days my ranking was #1 and I started getting phone calls and emails.

For the next several months I experimented by changing references to “portland seo company” to “portland website design”, “seo portland”, and other variations. The results were just as spectacular. It was this experimenting that finally gave me the confidence, and the authority, to say “I know how to get your website #1 in Google’s search results.”


How to Experiment

A lot has changed since then, so it’s not quiet that easy anymore. But below is one of the exact experiments I do to train my own staff to become experts in internet marketing. I’ll share more experiments in the next articles in this series.

  1. Choose 1 key phrase that is unlikely to be something people search for. Ex. “Portland Oregon Spencer Hill and the Amazing Monkeys”
  2. Create a simple website with something like Wix.com – for free.
    1. Create a front page, about, blog and contact page.
    2. Write one paragraph of content on each page, it must be unique from the other pages and intelligible.
  3. Now add that phrase, 3 times, to every page on your new website and link them all to your home page.
  4. Write a blog post and give it a tag and a category using that phrase.
    1. Add additional Tags that are variations of your phrase (different ways of saying it, different order of words, etc…)
  5. Set your website’s “Name” to that. (That’s the name that appears in the top of your browser).
  6. Create an account with Google Search Console and follow the on-screen instructions to add your website to it.
  7. Write a public Post on Facebook / Twitter that uses that phrase and links it to your front page. Ex. “Check out my new article and website on Portland Oregon Spencer Hill and the Amazing Monkeys” and ask 5-10 people (obviously friends or family willing to help you) to click it and follow the sub-points to #8 below.
  8. Go to Google and search for your phrase.
    1. Navigate down 10 pages (there are 10).
    2. Look for your site, it probably won’t be there, that’s okay.
    3. But if it is, click it, leave the page open for 60 seconds, scrolling up and down.
    4. Then click on your about page, do the same.
    5. Then click on your contact page.
  9. Wait 3 days.
  10. Repeat step 8, and ask 5-10 people to do the same. One person per day for a week is probably plenty.

By the time you start or finish step 10 you should begin seeing your website appearing in search results. As you monitor it every day while people are repeating step 8 you should see your website appear in results, and begin to climb until it’s #1 in the search results.


THIS is a perfect example of why I believe business is math. Marketing can be too. Maybe SEO is more like following a recipe than math, but either way the point is that you should be emboldened as you learn and experiment. Learning will give you the knowledge, experimenting will develop skills from that knowledge.

Want to try another experiment? Subscribe to this series and when I write the next article I’ll share another one.




Next in the Series

In the upcoming articles in this series I’ll cover:

  • Authority – How to find authoritative resources instead of getting lost in rumors.
  • Certification -When and where to get certifications. Knowing when the right time to get certified, and when not to can save you time and money.
  • More Experimenting – I’ll give you more practical application examples in Google AdWords, Etsy, and more.
  • Perspective – I’ll share perspective that will help you get back up after you fail, hard.
  • Big Data – You can’t master marketing in every industry. But you can avoid flying blind into a new one by using big-data from trustworthy resources.
  • Getting Staff with or without Funding – Everyone has ideas, not everyone has money. And it’s not flattering to offer ownership or trades when you have nothing certain to give. I’ll share my process to getting designers, programmers, accountants, managers and more to join brand new startups without spending any money or over-obligating myself and resources.
  • Finding a Job / Career – I’ll share resources and tools you can use to get employed.
  • How to Get Your First Clients – If you don’t want employment, I’ll show you how to get customers.
  • Terminology – There’s a LOT of slang in this industry. Much of it is repetitious and incorrect too. I’ll give you a handbook of terminology you need to know, should probably know, and don’t need to know so you can spar with the competition.

Spencer Hill
Categorized in: Press Releases
This post is related to: how to become an internet marketer,


Since 2005 we've been offering digital and content marketing strategy and implementation. Including website development, search engine optimization and marketing, search marketing and more.

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