7 Steps How to Start a Career in Digital Marketing | SEO ZONE

A career in Digital Marketing. Do you want to take a bite from the pie of digital advertising? This guide will help you. I don’t have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, only a psychology degree. However, I’ve worked in the field of digital marketing for the last five years.

This is the great thing about this field. It is not necessary to be a certified professional to be an online marketer. There aren’t any gatekeepers.

You’ll also need both digital marketing expertise as well as practical experience.

This guide is where it is available. I’ll help you increase your knowledge and guide you through the various steps you’ll have to traverse on your way to becoming a professional digital marketer.

Start your career in digital marketing by following these steps:

  1. Make your own website
  2. Choose one marketing channel in the digital space to concentrate on
  3. Learn more about your chosen digital marketing channel
  4. Make sure you apply what you’ve learned
  5. Be familiar with these free marketing tools that are digital in nature.
  6. Find a job opportunity in the marketing
  7. Growing your career

1. Make your own website

Although you don’t need any qualifications to be able to apply for employment in the field of digital marketing, that does not mean that companies can choose to hire you for a job immediately.

Create your own website
Create your own website

The first step is to:

  1. Build your skills in digital marketing;
  2. Prove that you are able to demonstrate these skills.

The most effective way to accomplish this is to make your own site.

Creating your own site is creating a lab that allows you to test and study different strategies for marketing. You don’t have to worry about damaging another site.

And, of course, there’s nothing else that can prove your abilities better than demonstrating how you’ve actually developed something from scratch?

As an example the first time I got into online marketing, my buddies and I developed a site about our passion: breakdancing.

The website, to be honest, was not the best. However, it provided me with an opportunity to learn things such as the use of content in marketing outreach, and much more. Although the site was ultimately not working, was crucial in helping me gain tons of experience.

It’s not necessary to be overthinking this. The important thing is to simply start practicing. Pick a subject you’re interested in and then create your website with WordPress. Don’t worry about details such as logos or monetization strategies.

If you’re unsure of what to do to get a WordPress website, conduct one quick Google search. There are tons of tutorials.

2. Select one channel of digital marketing to concentrate on

There are many marketing channels that are digital. The book Traction includes 19 channels that include:

channel of digital marketing
channel of digital marketing
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Marketing of content
  • Email marketing
  • Display and social ads as well as display

Because you’re operating your website on your own, it’s impossible to devote the time, energy, and resources to implement each advertising channel. Instead, we suggest choosing to focus on a single area in digital marketing.

What channel should you pick? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the three channels that are popular.

Online ads

It involves purchasing ads on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. In general, this method is effective in bringing traffic to your site quickly.

channel of digital marketing
channel of digital marketing

If you’re new to the world it could be a bit risky. The management of online ads isn’t just a matter of switching it on and letting it flow. It is still necessary to have some understanding and experience to ensure that you don’t lose the entire amount you paid for.

If you’re able put aside money to try and master this channel, then go for it. If not, it may not be the best choice for you.

Marketing via social media

It involves establishing an online following and driving traffic to these platforms. You must be aware of these platforms. Furthermore, since it’s completely free to publish content, it’s easy to experiment.

Marketing via social media
Marketing via social media

This could be the perfect channel to begin.

But, keep in mind the fact that marketing on social media doesn’t just post something to your Instagram every couple of days. Each platform has its own nation. For a successful experience it is necessary to know the “culture”–what is it that makes it tick and what people want to see, the kinds of content well, and so on.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the art of optimizing web pages so that they be highly ranked in search engines, such as Google.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization
SEO or Search Engine Optimization

The best part is that, once you’ve been ranked on the search engines, you’ll get free constant, passive web traffic.

However, the drawback has to be that it will take longer to see results. It takes time to see the results. However, it’s rewarding.

Not sure which CHANNEL to CHOOSE?

Begin by implementing SEO. Sure we’re biased. However, we’d still suggest it for a variety of reasons:

  • It’s free to begin. Contrary to online advertisements and other forms of advertising, you don’t require funds to begin an SEO campaign.
  • There are many free SEO tools available;
  • It is among the few long-term and scalable channels for acquiring customers;
  • The techniques you acquire from SEO (e.g. content writing outreach, link building Content promotion, etc.) can easily be applied to other areas that are part of the digital market.

3. Learn more about your chosen digital marketing channel

To find this out start by searching for “[your selected location Beginner’s Guide” in Google.

chosen digital marketing channel
chosen digital marketing channel

You should look for a manual that’s complete, well-written, clearly explains the concepts, and has been updated recently. The last point is significant due to the fact that digital marketing is an extremely fast-paced business.

The guide also serves as a point of departure to discover more subtopics that you’ll be able to learn about.

If you’ve made the decision to concentrate on SEO I’d recommend watching our tutorial on SEO for novices:

This should provide you with an excellent foundation for understanding the fundamentals of SEO.

If you’d like to know more about SEO I’d suggest reading these sources:

  • Keyword Research The Beginner’s Handbook by Ahrefs
  • SEO on-page: A Complete Beginner’s Guide
  • Content Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide For 2021
  • An Introduction to Link Building
  • What is technical SEO? 11 Best Techniques

4. Learn to apply what you’ve learned

If you’re looking to perform an exercise, it doesn’t matter how you watch or how many YouTube tutorials you view. You’ll still need to find the right bar and then practice.

apply what you've learned
apply what you’ve learned

The same goes for marketing via digital channels.

Don’t simply watch content. All that leads to is analysis paralysis–overthinking and yet not doing anything. Be assured I’ve been there.

If you’ve learned something new then you must take it to the ground and do it. This is why you’ve created your personal website.

To be successful in SEO this means focusing on the basics like the research of keywords, writing content, and constructing links. These three elements alone will improve the performance of your site faster than any other.

5. Be familiar with these free marketing tools that are digital in nature.

As you’re only starting out it will be difficult to spend money on top-quality marketing tools.

There are many free ones to choose from. Here are some to be familiar with:

  • Google Analytics. Find out information such as the number of visitors to your website, the pages they visit as well as the length of time they spend there and a myriad of other metrics that are actionable. Learn to make use of Career in Digital Marketing in this tutorial.
  • Google Search Console (GSC). Find out the pages that are indexed by Google and the keywords your website ranks in, and the sites which link to your site. This guide will show you how to utilize GSC efficiently.
  • Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT). Check your website’s backlinks as well as search engine rankings, as well as check your site for issues with SEO that may be affecting the performance of your site.
  • ConvertKit. A tool for marketing emails. The free plan allows you to manage up to 1,000 subscribers.
  • Buffer. A free tool for scheduling social media. This tool automates publishing content.

6. Find a job opportunity in marketing

With all the new skills you’ve acquired now, you’re ready to hit your job listings.

Find a job opportunity in marketing
Find a job opportunity in marketing

What you’re seeking is an internship or entry-level job. It could be with a digital marketing agency or an in-house job. For instance, I was hired by working as a Marketing Intern in an innovative wearable tech company. I later converted this possibility into a full-time job.

Even in these roles, there is a lot of competition. Therefore, you’ll require an approach to make yourself stand out.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Briefcase Technique
  • Networking
  • Public service work
  • Advertising yourself

Briefcase Technique

This is a tactic for job interviews developed by Ramit Sethi who is an author who is a New York Times bestselling author. Basically, you:

  1. Do your research on the company you’re applying to;
  2. Learn about their most pressing digital marketing issues;
  3. Develop solutions to address them.

Find out more about the technique here:


Sociologists have discovered that the majority of jobs that aren’t visible, but high-paying, aren’t obtained through close acquaintances. Instead, they are found via weak connections, i.e., casual acquaintances or individuals with the same education or background.


This is the reason it is essential to be constantly networking.

The first step is to find some people who you admire in the field of digital marketing. Follow this three-part plan:

  • Consume everything the person has written. If you enjoyed or learned something from a particular article, you can share your Career in Digital Marketing via social media and mention the individual. It is also possible to write an email to thank you or give an appreciation;
  • Create an online platform to showcase your work. Interview them for an article or video or any other. It doesn’t need to be your personal site It could be for a different. Don’t feel discouraged even if are running a modest site. There are people who would be more than willing to help.
  • Find out about the project they’re currently doing. This could be obvious from their posts on social media or personal accounts. You can also ask them. Find out the best way to assist them to achieve their goals.

Do you want proof that it works? Actually, this is the way I was able to get an offer at Ahrefs.

I started by taking in every article that was on Ahrefs’ blog. Ahrefs blog. Then, I posted them on Twitter.

I also frequently promoted these articles on GrowthHackers without anyone else from the team ever asking:

Then I reached out to Tim and arranged to interview him for a guest piece on LeadFeeder. Through this process, I found out that Tim had been working to launch Blogging for Business.

So, I assisted:

  • I attended the beta course and provided my opinion. I even left a testimonial;
  • We have promoted the course all over the internet, including Slack communities and Facebook groups, among others.
  • I made contact with Tim with people who have an audience so that he could help make the course more visible.

The most important thing is that I was able to do everything for free and received nothing in exchange. Well, as they say that the rest is history.

Public service work

Being in the business for quite a while I’ve seen numerous marketers emerge from the bushes and begin to gain traction and influence. They simply started to share their learnings publicly.

Public service work
Public service work

Austin Kleon writes in Show Your Work:

Every day, when you’ve finished your tasks, revisit your notebook and locate the smallest detail of your work that you are able to share.

Don’t be shy about sharing the things you’re working on. Be transparent about your achievements and mistakes. This won’t only draw advertisers and increase your network, but it’ll increase your personal image.

Nina Mufleh wanted to work at Airbnb. But, applying for jobs wasn’t working for her. So, she wrote an application that showcased her knowledge of Airbnb as well as traveling, along with the possibilities they had missed.

Advertising yourself
Advertising yourself

The tweet was then sent to Airbnb’s Chief Executive Officer and CMO of Airbnb which caught their attention, and they arranged for an interview.

The resume was also viral and caught the eye of Uber as well as LinkedIn.

How do you show that you’re a marketer? Try what Nina did, get inventive, advertise yourself, and get the attention of companies you’d like to work for.

7. Enhancing your career

After a couple of years of digital marketing, you’ll be able to begin looking into different possibilities to advance your career.

Enhancing your career
Enhancing your career

While discussing the whole career advancement process isn’t appropriate in the Career in Digital Marketing article, let’s take a look at some possible future career opportunities.

  • The house is rented out
  • Freelancing
  • Establishing your own business
  • Consulting
  • Create additional websites

The house is rented out

In general, it’s the most popular way to go. Contrary to what you’re told to believe there’s nothing wrong with working as an employee. It’s not easy for everyone to go out and be a successful businessman.

In the meantime, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t abandon your personal websites. Companies that are good will encourage you to work working on side projects to develop your skills.

They’re usually the kind of people you’d like to work with because they’ll push you to be the best at your job.


Freelancing is an excellent way to gain experience while earning more. If you’re just a couple of months into your professional career you’re likely to find that you have freelance projects waiting for you.


Even if you’re not receiving referrals or outbound inquiries, don’t be concerned. You can still submit your resume to sites such as Upwork, ProBlogger, etc.

Recommend reading What you need to know about how to become an SEO Freelancer The lessons learned from more than 10 years in the industry

Start your own business

Many who excel in digital marketing begin to create their own business. The benefit of creating your own business is that:

Start your own business
Start your own business
  • You’ll have the ability to handle several clients at once because you’ll be able to have teams that will manage the accounts of clients.
  • Additionally, you’ll be able to offer more services since your team is diverse.
  • A one-stop shop will allow you to maximize the earnings potential from upsells.

But, setting up an agency involves recruiting an entire team. A career in Digital Marketing could be expensive (salaries as well as office space etc.). Also, you’ll have to acquire other skills in marketing that aren’t digital, such as hiring, sales accounting, hiring, etc.

It’s also possible that you’ll need to work on simultaneously the plan and the execution before hitting the scale.



If you’re:

  1. Are you interested in working independently;
  2. Are you they aren’t interested in establishing an agency

Independent consulting could be an option.

Samantha–our YouTube guy — was a digital marketing consultant prior to working full-time for Ahrefs. Based on his experiences consulting offers a higher net profit margin over an agency. Hourly rates can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

But, you’ll be restricted in the number of clients you are able to have. Businesses typically employ consultants to specialize in a particular field.

Even though you might employ a small group of people to handle the more systematized aspects of your company, customers are hiring you for your knowledge. Naturally, this reduces the possibility of gaining many clients.

Create more websites

Many digital marketers choose the Career in Digital Marketing option because it allows the practice of their profession while making money from time to time. One of the most popular options, particularly in the SEO field, is to create an affiliate site.

Create more websites
Create more websites

Find out more about Affiliate Marketing in this blog post, or take a look at the Career in Digital Marketing video:

Further reading

  • How to Create a Profitable Amazon Affiliate Website (Step By Step)
  • 7 Highly Successful Amazon Affiliate Sites (That You can Take Away)
  • How do I Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Sites

Final thoughts

Whatever route you decide to take in order to master the art of digital marketing there are two essential things you must always do.

Final thoughts
Final thoughts

It’s the first step to learning. Marketing is a continually developing field. A career

in Digital Marketing is a constant process of studying about, applying, and improving. You can read books and listen to podcasts. View videos, and follow thought-leaders online.

The second is network. Not only will networking open your eyes to new career possibilities, but it can also help you meet individuals with new and unique ideas to yours. This can help broaden your mind and allow you to improve your performance in your job. Remember, you’ll not know all the answers for yourself.

Did I miss something that’s essential to begin an online marketing career? Tell me on Twitter.