Freelance

The Ultimate Guide to Upskilling for Freelance Content Writers and Marketers

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 22/11/2214 min read
The Ultimate Guide to Upskilling for Freelance Content Writers and Marketers
Here is the ultimate guide for the top content marketing resources that will help you upskill as a freelance or full time content marketer.

Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is finding your gift. The purpose of life is giving it away.”

As humans, we’ve been fortunate enough to witness people who have their gift all figured out and are actively working towards passing it on. 

We at Pepper Content have curated the ultimate list for freelancer content writers and marketers. What you will see below is a list of handpicked experts and leaders in the field of marketing who are using their expertise and gift of knowledge to educate the masses through courses, books and other resources. 

From content marketing to branding, these are expert-backed resources that you must know about. We have broken them down into five types of resources: Courses, Communities, Books, Podcasts, Newsletters.

COURSES

1. How to Write Thought Leadership Content by Ryan Law

Instructor: Ryan Law

Course structure: 42 Lessons

Price: $99

Ryan Law is a thought leader and the Vice President of Content at Animalz, a content marketing agency. He brings over 10 years of content marketing experience to the table and has worked with clients such as GoDaddy, Google, Hotjar, and more. 

In his self-paced video course, “How to Write Thought Leadership Content,” Ryan aims to teach people the nuances of thought leadership and how to successfully incorporate it into content marketing strategies. The course will also help you learn ideation, writing, and distribution techniques relevant to high-quality and engaging thought leadership content. 

Instructor: Saheli Chatterjee 

2. Freelance 101 Academy

Cost: ₹17,999 

Saheli Chatterjee is a social media marketing strategist and a coach, consultant, and marketing expert for clients around the world. She offers a wide range of services relevant to content marketing. 

Saheli also runs Freelance 101 Academy where she trains participants in freelancing and how to take it on as a career and be financially independent. Apart from this Saheli hosts various masterclass courses on topics like social media, copywriting, content writing, graphic design and much more. 

3. Content Strategy Frameworks for B2B SaaS Companies

Organizer: Omniscient Digital

Course: 20 modules

Price:  $197/month Lifetime access with monthly payments

            $997 Lifetime Access

            $2,997 Lifetime Access + 3 Strategy Sessions

This is a hyper-focused course for B2B SaaS companies, where participants learn the importance of data and how to take data-driven decisions in growing a SaaS. It focuses on how to develop, write and edit content, which will drive conversions and revenue. An advanced level course, this one is highly recommended for growth marketers and SEO managers. 

The plus point is that you have experienced instructors teaching you each module. These include David Ly Khimm and Alex Birkett, Founders of Omniscient Digital; Irina Nica, Senior Marketing Manager at Hubspot; and other guests including Alina Benny, SEO & Content Lead, Nextiva.

4. SiegeLearn Content Marketing Course

Organizer: Siegemedia

Instructor(s): Ross Hudgens, Founder/CEO, Siege Media

          Caroline Gilbert, Director of Content Strategy, Siege Media

          Vince Nero, Director of Content Marketing, Siege Media

Price: $749

This is a highly elaborate, well structured and detailed course that covers all aspects of content marketing. This course caters to marketing professionals, small business owners, SEO analysts, writers and almost all marketing professionals. This course can be an excellent value addition to entrepreneurs as this offers a holistic idea about the dos and don’ts of content marketing. 

5. Content Strategy For LinkedIn

Organizer: The Reeder

Instructor: Devin Reed 

Price: $97.00

Duration: 1 hour

This one-hour video course teaches you skills to build a credible digital brand. You will learn how to tell stories, how to be authentic and much more when it comes to building your LinkedIn brand and personality. You will also learn how to create content for the business networking platform that will make you relatable and relevant. 

6. 28 Days Digital Marketing Workshop

Organizer and Instructor: Surojit Mahanto

Price: Rs. 999

Duration: 4-week Live Online Interactive Workshop 

The 28 Days Digital Marketing Workshop by Surojit Mahanto is a great way to learn digital marketing through a four-week live, virtual and highly interactive workshop. Surojit blogs on Growthdish and has also written books and guides on digital marketing. 

7. CXL – The Premium Marketing Education Destination

Organizer: Peep Laja

Price: 7-day trial for $1. Annual, quarterly and monthly plans are also available. 

Duration: Annual, quarterly or monthly. 

CXL’s founder Peep Laja offers access to over 90 up-to-date marketing courses through CXL’s platform. These programs are taught by top marketers across the globe and include expert courses on customer acquisition, product marketing, brand, digital analytics and much more. 

8. Twitter MBA

Organizer: Float

Instructor: Blake Emal

Price: Free

This is a free course run by Blake Emal, creator of Float. This Twitter MBA course will take you from a basic Twitter participant to an expert building your own community. 

9. Reforge Programs 

Organizer: Reforge

Price: Free on creating an account 

Reforge has plenty of programs available for marketers. All you have to do is sign up for a membership, set up an account and access them for free. Some of the programs include Advanced Growth Strategy, Brand Marketing, Scaling Product Delivery and much more. 

10. Personal Enterprise Playbook Email Course

Organizer: Brian Clark 

Price: Free

Unemployable is essentially a community for marketers who are looking to upskill and connect with fellow marketers. You can take their email course and sign up for their newsletter for free and be part of the community. 

11. Coaching with Rico

Organizer: Rico Nasol 

Coaching with Rico is a one-on-one meeting with Rico Nasol. He coaches marketers in his 4Cs program to leadership development. You can start by booking a call with him according to the date and time available.

12. Swipe Files

Organizer: Corey Haines

Swipe Files is a platform that provides courses and community to marketers. Aimed at helping marketers drive MRR, you can find resources, workshops, guides, and other expert-backed materials on Swipe Files. 

You can also interact with industry experts by joining the community of over 400+ seasoned marketers and founders in the industry from companies such as HubSpot, Zapier, Semrush, and more. Furthermore, you can also subscribe to the free Swipe Files newsletter.

13. Social Writing Bootcamp

Organizers: Erica Schneider and Kasey Jones 

Want to learn how to write content that converts? With this course, you can. Social Writing Bootcamp is a cohort-based course spanning across a period of 6 days. In this course, you will learn how to write engaging content, build an idea engine, generate scroll-stopping hooks, and more. You can enrol for the course for $599.

14. Enchanting Marketing

Organizer: Henneke Duistermaat

Hosted by Henneke Duistermaat, the 16-part snackable writing course helps writers execute ultra-short emails and discover the power of a subtle nod. In this course, you will learn tips and tricks to win business with content. You can sign up for free by filling in your email address. 

15. Growth School Content Writing Course

Organizer: Anuj Gosalia

Duration: 3 hours 

Price: Rs. 499

Growth School’s content writing workshop for freelancers is taught by Anuj Gosalia, Co-founder and CEO of Terribly Tiny Tales. Theworkshop helps content writers and freelancers thrive in the industry by building amazing content, landing high-paying clients, building networks, and more. 

BOOKS

1. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Referred to as the “Godfather of Content Marketing,” Joe Pulizzi brings years of marketing experience to the table and is the founder of multiple renowned content marketing startups such as the Content Marketing Institute and The Tilt. If you’re looking for resources to enhance your knowledge around content marketing, what could be better than something by the Godfather himself? 

He is the author of bestsellers such as Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less and Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses.

2. Write Better Now: Digital Book + Exercises by Kaleigh Moore

Kaleigh Moore is a professional freelance writer who specializes in reporting, research, and SEO blog content writing. She brings over 8 years of experience to the table and has worked with popular brands such as Vogue Business, Adweek, Forbes, Fast Company, Shopify, and more. 

If you’re looking for expert-backed freelance writing resources to create high-quality content for e-commerce and SaaS companies, check out Kaleigh’s e-books such as Write Better Now: Digital Book + Exercises, blogs, newsletters, and more. Kaleigh also offers resources and template bundles for editors and content managers. 

3. Founder Brand: Turn Your Story Into Your Competitive Advantage by Dave Gerhardt

Dave Gerhardt has over a decade of experience in marketing and is currently working as a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and marketing advisor for companies such as Hatch, Goldcoast, and Equals. He has previously worked for companies such as Drift, Privy, and HubSpot. Dave is also the founder of Exit Five, a community of over 3,000 B2B marketers.

His book Founder Brand: Turn Your Story Into Your Competitive Advantage offers excellent insight into how brands can leverage the power of storytelling and use it to boost marketing efforts.

4. The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business by Mark Schaefer

The Content Code was rated the finest SEO book in the world by Book Authority and one of INC magazine’s top five business books in 2015. In order to excel at marketing right now, Schaefer has explained how to find a book examining the six characteristics that will help you cut through data density.

5. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

The book Everybody Writes by Ann Handley will assist you in revealing the influence of your online words and generating the kind of content necessary for the success of your company. You are not just producing a mind-numbing list or texts on docs; you are giving your readers something valuable and interacting with them through your writing. 

6. Product-Led SEO – The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy by Eli Schwartz

Product-Led SEO is different from other SEO books because it focuses on the logic and theory of SEO instead of offering step-by-step guidelines and techniques. Schwartz facilitates learning to develop your own best practices, and the book enables the reader to see where most SEO strategies go wrong. If your main goal is to drive traffic, you are missing out on potential sales. Eli also talks about how all the functions need to be aligned to achieve the business goals. 

7. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal’s book, Hooked, dives into the reasons some products keep us coming back for more while others flop. He argues that there are four main steps, or a “hook model,” that companies use to create this sense of addiction in users. The book is based on Eyal’s extensive research in the field as well as his personal experiences working in the industry. 

8. They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan

This book focuses on how to stop selling and answering customers’ questions to get results. It changes the docs on inbound sales, content marketing and tips to connect with the digital consumer. It also busts the myth of the traditional sales funnel and offers a fresh approach to marketing. 

9. Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising by Dan Norris

Learn the fundamentals of content marketing from this book. It focuses on how to grow your business using content. The author Dan Norris tells his own story, his lessons, and mistakes. 

10. Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life by Michael Brenner

This book talks about the benefits of empathy in companies with a toxic culture. It includes stories of companies that could replace mean cultures and unhappy customers with better experiences. 

COMMUNITIES  

1. The Content Marketing Lounge 

Nathan Collier is a content marketer who understands the importance of community and connection in the industry. He founded The Content Marketing Lounge on Facebook as a safe space for members to learn from each other, build relationships, and have some fun! Nathan uses this platform to offer advice and guidance to fellow content creators, while member postings center around queries and conversation starters.

2. Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals

Inbound Marketers is a popular marketing community on LinkedIn that was founded by Dharmesh Shah, the CTO of HubSpot. This community emphasizes the use of inbound marketing and SEO to reach a wider consumer base, and provides a forum for inbound marketers to discuss topics such as SEO, blogging, email writing tips, lead generation, marketing automation, and content marketing. 

With over 140,000 members, Inbound Marketers is definitely a content marketing community worth considering if you’re looking to connect with other professionals in this field.

3. Unemployable

Unemployable by Brian Clark and Jerod Morris is a community and website for entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. It includes creators, coaches, and consultants who can avail of training and build relationships with business owners in the digital space. You can become a member, avail a free email course, and sign up for their newsletter. You can then access the latest podcast episodes, original articles and other resources. 

4. Superpath  

Superpath is a community of 10,000+ content marketers. It is a great place to network, grow one’s skills, and meet like-minded people within your community. You can have conversations and learn from your peers or network and get your content marketing partner. 

5. GrowthMentor

Do you need help with your marketing strategy? If yes, then it is time to pick the platform designed to help professionals hack their way into growth. Founded by Foti Panagiotakopoulos, GrowthMentor is a robust community of mentors and mentees. The mentors are from top companies such as IBM, Typeform, Meta, and more. Mentees can browse mentors and book 1-on-1 conversations to discuss several topics ranging from conversion rate optimization to product management. The membership starts at a monthly fee of $120.

6. Online Geniuses

Founded by David Markovich, Online Geniuses is a community of over 38,000 marketers where they can interact with each other to discuss, solve problems and engage in conversations around various topics in the industry including SEO, social media, email marketing, etc. 

The community has people from top companies such as Netflix, Trello, Uber, and more. Members can also gain access to a talent network. To join the community, all you need to do is fill out a simple form for free. To skip the application review process, applicants can pay a fee of $50.

7. Indie Hackers

Founded by Courtland Allen, a software engineer, and marketer, Indie Hackers is a community of marketers, founders, creators, and more. You can join it for free and interact with professionals via question boards and meetups. You can also join trending groups based on your interests such as branding, email marketing, DevOps, etc. Explore heated discussions, success stories, and community engagement – all in one place.

8. TechLondon

TechLondon is a creative Slack community for marketers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, investors, designers, and more. You can find several sections such as marketing, funding, technology, and more on Slack. You can join the community by filling out a simple form and paying a membership fee of £1.00.

9. Demand Curve

With over 1000 world-class marketers, Demand Curve is a private Slack community with members from top companies such as Salesforce, Unity, HubSpot, and more. You can engage with marketers and experts in the industry, discuss growth tactics, solve growth problems, and more. You can get a chance to engage in various Slack channels such as SEM, Landing Pages, Content and SEO, and more. After applying for membership, your application will go through a 30-day review process.

10. DGMG Community

Founded by David Gerhardt, an entrepreneur, and marketer, DGMG is a Facebook community of marketers where you can get a chance to get valuable feedback, ask questions, and interact with industry experts. It is an active community with over 3,000 members and a posting frequency of approximately 10-12 posts per day. The membership starts at a monthly fee of $10.00 USD with a 7-day trial period. 

11. Some Good Content

If you are planning on boosting your content marketing game, then this community is what you should go for. Founded by John Bonini, Some Good Content is a community of over 600 content marketers from top companies such as Buffer, Zapier Drift, and more. You can unlock exclusive posts, podcasts, and one-on-one chats with industry experts by joining the community. The membership starts at a monthly fee of $10.

12. Product-Led Growth

Founded by Wes Bush, Product-Led Growth is a free Slack community for marketing enthusiasts. The members belong to top companies such as PayPal, Amplitude, Openview, and more. It has over 13,000 members, and you will explore various sections such as a question forum, job board, community sourcing, and more. You can join the community for free by signing up with your email.

PODCASTS

1. Pepper Spotlight

Pepper Spotlight invites and brings together industry professionals, artists, and independent creators to discuss ongoing scenarios  of the content industry and get an understanding of where the future is headed. This is a great opportunity to network and learn from some of the top minds in the field. 

2. Breaking Brand by Buffer

The Buffer podcast series “Breaking Brand” will take you behind the scenes with the Pattern Brands team as it launches its first direct-to-consumer business and brand. The first two episodes of “Breaking Brand” were launched in 2019. But they are back this October with a new episode on Introducing Small Businesses Big Lessons.

3. The Digital Marketing Podcast

The Digital Marketing Podcast is a weekly podcast that covers all things digital marketing. From interviews with experts to the latest news, tools, and strategies, the podcast aims to be both informative and entertaining. Perfect for your daily commute, the podcast is produced by Target Internet and hosted by digital marketing and e-commerce expert Ciaran Rogers and award-winning author and speaker Daniel Rowles. 

4. Copyblogger FM

Join Darrell Vesterfelt and Tim Stoddart every week as they explore the world of content marketing, copywriting, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset, and more. With a rotating cast of experts, you’re sure to learn something new every week!

5. Marketing Over Coffee

Marketing Over Coffee is a weekly discussion of what’s new in marketing with John Wall and Christopher Penn. This focuses on advancement in tech that enables marketers to take marketing to a new level.

6. Freelancer to Founder

Every week, co-hosts Preston and Clay offer tailored advice to their guests in a fresh and fun way. Preston and Clay have built their own successful businesses, so they know what it takes to be a freelancer-turned-founder. They share their advice in a way that’s entertaining and easy to understand, making the Freelance to Founder podcast a must-listen for anyone who’s thinking about starting their own business.

7. This Old Marketing

This Old Marketing is the Content Marketing Insititute’s podcast. It is hosted by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. It includes the hosts’ opinions on the latest trends and news in content marketing. 

8. Everyone Hates Marketers

Hosted by Louis Grenier, this contrarian podcast includes a variety of marketing topics including content. Grenier also shares his tips for people who are not interested in direct selling and want to look at more ethical ways of marketing. 

9. The GaryVee Audio Experience

Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast has content and clips from the uber popular #AskGaryVee show on YouTube. It includes topics on marketing and entrepreneurship, storytelling, content creation and much more. GaryVee also interviews guest speakers. 

10. Digital Pratik Show 

Digital Pratik is a personal branding practitioner, a marketing consultant, influencer and podcaster. His Digital Pratik Show has over 200,000 downloads, 500 episodes, and is one of the top-rated Indian marketing podcasts. 

11. B2B Marketing and More 

This podcast by Pam Didner focuses on digital marketing, content marketing and sales enablement, but through personal stories. Pam invites a guest to every episode and talks about some aspect of marketing in it. You can also send her your questions and she will answer them on the show. 

12. Content Logistics 

Want to build a content engine that helps grow your audience and drive revenue? If yes then you’ve got to check out the Content Logistics podcast. Hosted by Camille Trent, a copywriter and brand strategist, Content Logistics is one of the best podcasts for B2B marketers out there. You can find information-packed episodes featuring some of the biggest names in the content marketing industry such as John Bonini, Ryan Law, Jeremy Moser, and more. 

13. The SaaS SEO Show

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the SaaS industry, this podcast is an excellent choice. Hosted by George Chasiotis of Minuttia, The SaaS SEO Show is a podcast where you can find meaningful conversations with leading professionals in the SaaS industry. It is available on platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. 

NEWSLETTERS

1. Content Workshop

A prolific freelance writer, Masooma Memon writes for B2B SaaS. Her newsletter, Content Workshop, talks primarily about the “How tos” of content and marketing.

2. Animalz

Animalz delivers high-quality content marketing to enterprise companies, startups, and VC firms. Their newsletter primarily focuses on content and marketing happenings around the world, especially in the startup ecosystem. It is a weekly marketing newsletter full of insider insights from the world’s best startups and tech companies. 

3. Copyblogger

Copyblogger helps writers find their way in the creator economy. Their newsletter is full of copywriting and content writing advice for freelancers and content creators. They suggest creator-friendly tools and new innovations in tech, which enables creators toward productivity.

4. Morning Brew

Advertising and marketing is a fast-moving industry, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest news. Morning Brew is perfect to catch up on the latest news in marketing. This thrice-a-week newsletter highlights the biggest news items in the advertising and marketing world, with fly-by commentary and big-picture context.

5. Mind Meld

Marketing is all about understanding the human psyche and what drives us to make the decisions that we do. The Marketing Mind Meld newsletter explores the correlation between successful marketing campaigns and human behavior. It has been written by Kushaan Shah who is a growth marketer. Some topics the newsletter provides insight into include what makes memes popular or how scents can impact our purchase decisions.

6. It Depends 

Kameron Jenkins is the Content Lead at Shopify. She is a content strategist and SEO specialist. Her new newsletter It Depends breaks down the essential statement every marketer uses and focuses on the nuances of marketing. 

7. The Menu 

The Menu by Amanda Natividad offers her personal insights about marketing and content creation. Forbes has also named it one of the top marketing newsletters to subscribe to. 

8. Contentment 

Contentment is a marketing newsletter by Tracey Wallace, Director of Content and Klaviyo. This weekly newsletter talks about how to produce scalable content. 

9. SEO For The Rest of Us

SEO For The Rest of Us is a platform by Brendan Hufford where he blogs, runs courses and offers subscriptions to his newsletter on SEO. On signing up for the newsletter you not only get information on the top tips and tricks markets use but also get access to Brendan’s 4-Step Search Intent Framework! 

10. SEO Notebook 

This newsletter by Steve Toth was voted one of the seven best marketing newsletters by Ahrefs.com. It has over 10,000 subscribers who receive his insights and tips in their mailbox. 

11. Foundation Lab’s Newsletter

Foundation Lab uses data to help B2B SaaS brands build their revenue, leads traffic and much more using content marketing. Its newsletter offers information on how some of the biggest B2B SaaS brands are leveraging content marketing. 

12. Below the Fold 

This weekly newsletter by Anum Hussain has over 15,000 readers. They look for stories that are not picked up by any other resource and share it with their subscribers. 

This weekly newsletter is curated by Katelyn Bourgoin and has over 23,425 subscribers. She refers to herself as “The Customer Whisperer” and aims at helping marketers dive into buyer psychology and behavior to understand why people buy. You can subscribe to this newsletter for free with your email. 

13. Why We Buy

14. Repurposing Rundown

This is a weekly newsletter by Justin Simon, a content marketer, and advisor. With over 10+ years of experience in the content and marketing industry, Justin has curated an excellent newsletter that will give you insight into how you can repurpose and distribute your content to drive growth for your business. In the newsletter, you will find stories, playbooks, strategies, and more that will help you maximize results from old content. 

A Quick Summary 

Now that you have a list of over 60 resources you can use to learn more about content marketing, go sign up for that newsletter or just buy that book. You will always benefit from upskilling and learning more about your field, and every resource you access is just another step in the right direction for your career.