10 journalism skills every content marketer needs

 10 journalism skills that each content marketer needs

Hungry, the skeleton of a content marketing campaign has a global objective: to provide attractive and valuable content.

Your prospects must really know that you exist and you must remind your current customers that you still exist.

Everything else rests on this skeleton:

  • The media used , such as blogs, social networks or video.
  • The most granular details , such as the voice used in these blogs and publications on social networks.
  • The colors used in the content to psychologically attract more interest.

When it comes to creating content, most digital marketing agencies look for specific types of content creators (for example, copywriters, bloggers, or producers).

 10 journalism skills including each marketer of content needs

Rarely an agency or companies are looking for a journalist.

This is a huge mistake.

Well-trained and experienced journalists have a skill set that can add 10 times more value to any content marketing campaign.

These skills, including writing, strategy, and keeping everything organized.

My journalism experience has shaped the way I run my agency today.

J I started out as a night reporter at the start of this century, earning $ 24,000 as a night reporter.

Yes - for five years, I made $ 24,000.


The salary may have been beyond horrible, but my vision was not.

I had needs that no school or school had. book could not teach.

I needed to learn how to write and report in real time and quickly complete these tasks,because of the night delays.

I had no idea that a host of other skills would develop from my journalism career - the ones that helped build my successful business model for my marketing agency. content that I launched two years ago.

I love journalism and have never run away from it - even after starting my agency. To date, I travel all over the world driving and writing on motorcycles.

Brands think like media companies

Last year I read a book I should have read years ago - Joe Pulizzi 's "Epic Content Marketing ".

In the book, Pulizzi pointed out that the most successful companies - think Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gambler, Adobe - think like traditional media companies.

And he's right. These global brands do not focus on selling products or services. They tell fascinating storieses.

I have worked in the media for two decades. I have seen, time and time again, engaging and valuable content marketing efforts create loyal readers.

What is the best way to progress?

Take advantage of the unique skills that journalists can

Here are 10 journalism skills that can improve your content marketing efforts today.

1. "5 Ws & How for content creation

From the first day, each journalist learns to trust" Five Ws and How (or, as we sometimes calls, 5W1H).

It means:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • why
  • how

This is the simple formula that journalists use to gather information during their research. It is a must when collecting data or interviewing someone.

Fromnowadays, most interviews take place by phone, chat or online conference via software like Google Chat or Skype.

However, a face-to-face interview will always produce the best results.

 10 journalism skills including each marketer of content needs

When you cover 5W1H, your research will have all the materials necessary to answer questions and solve problems - the two main elements of anycontent marketing campaign.

For online content to be successful, every article - whether it's a blog, a service page, an infographic, or a video - should try to answer the six questions.

The most important is who, what, why and how. If these four elements are not covered, the content message will not resonate with your readers.

When training freelance writers, 5W1H is one of the first concepts I teach. It is simple, but beyond efficiency, to get all the information you need in each piece of content.

2. Credibility and accuracy of the facts

Journalists are respected for reporting factual content. This leads to strong brand awareness (aka, credibility) and a long career.

The best journalists take the time to check the facts - especially those from online sources - and interveneewer or cite only those who are most established in the topics of the content being created.

Marketing content based on vague facts will immediately dilute the authority not only of the content itself, but also of the brand that hosts that content.

For any content marketing effort to succeed, credibility must be established. And the process begins with factually correct content.

It's like seeing this paid ad that guarantees the first three search results for any keyword. 😉

3. Clarity

The best journalists take the dull and make it energetic. It has a lot to do with a journalist's writing or reporting style.

What is the basis of taking something dull and making it interesting?


Journalists are disciplined in clarity. They want to provide their information to as many people as possible.

Theclarity means responding clearly to the 5 Ws and how while avoiding any jargon generally associated with the subject.

If you write content for a medical journal and your target audience is dermatologists, you can use words like hydradermabrasion or microdermabrasion.

But the typical audience for most businesses - prospects who want to learn - wants information in its simplest form.

Journalists understand clarity, and this is vital to the success of long-term content marketing.

4. Balance

How many websites do you visit that are "me, me, me ", the content not wasting time discussing the distinctions or awards of the company, or services and products?

This immediately imbalances website visitors, whether they are prospects or customers for product / service companies or loyal readers to a website based ones news.

Great content speaks to the reader. It responds to their needs, questions or problems.

That said, companies still need to exhibit their products or services. But even on these pages, a balance between information on products / services and value to the reader should exist.

Journalists understand the balance. There are many sides to each story. To convey a credible message, messages from all sides must be balanced.

The same goes for a company's content marketing efforts. Balancing the needs of the business and its audience is essential for long-term success.

5. Understand your audience

Content is useless without a targeted audience. No one knows this better than a journalist - especially a niche journalist.

You can easily find the right keywords to pursue. But if you don't understand who you are forbank, all this effort is useless.

 10 journalism skills including each marketer content needs

The best journalists are trained to understand their audience and write for them. It means creating a voice that appeals to this target audience and always knowing what questions and issues the audience has.

Good journalists today have endless tools for finding their target audience and all the questions that are asked.

Spend someoneBe on Reddit or Quora and you will have hundreds of questions and content topics to start a solid content strategy.

6. Telling stories: it's necessary!

Telling stories through content is nothing new. The earliest figurative cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic (about 40,000 years ago) told simple stories about things like hunting animals.

The company thrives on storytelling.

Don't just think about the most popular TV series but the stories behind athletes and criminals.

The same goes for businesses.

Your business can create a story that provides valuable information to readers in a variety of media, whether on your blog, via third-party guest posts, or on social media.

Success will follow.

Journalists practice telling stories every day. VoBeing a business should do the same. You do it through your content marketing.

Give your business a voice and a face with good old and proven storytelling.

7. Deadlines are important

Journalists must respect deadlines. For some - like daily reporters - sometimes on a daily basis.

This is another acquired skill that requires you to focus and think more clearly so that the best job is done in the shortest possible time.

Once learned and mastered, this skill can provide infinite value.

Creating project deadlines for things like copying or video will help ensure that the final product is complete and fine-tuned on time.

10 journalism skills that every content marketer needs
And they must be real deadlines. I used to set myself soft deadlines , thinking that would allow me to finish a project earlier and better. But the real deadline is always looming - even if it is unconsciously.

That doesn't mean you can't create deadlines sooner for those who work with you.

For example, I am providing some of my freelance writers with earlier deadlines. This gives me more time to complete the changes before the content is due to the client. , and a little buffer time if the editoreur needs to make revisions.

8. Learn how to manage an editor-controlled process


"Editors are allowed to be curious. " - William Zinsser

If a company takes content seriously, it must have a systematic editorial process. This applies to any type of content production, from blogs to video content to infographics.

For example, my blog writing projects go through seven layers, with different editors for each:

  • SEO provides keyword research.
  • The content strategist provides global main points and optimized sub-themes based on work with SEO.
  • SEO provides guidelines with the target keyword / associated keywords / average length / etc. .
  • Writing process.
  • First editing process.
  • SEO improvement and second editing process.
  • Final SEO / edition on the page

Throughout these seven layers, there will be critics. But it is not personal. It is about providing only the highest quality work to the client.

Like a reporter, all content marketers must learn to accept criticism - and learn from it.

as many looks as possible on any project. Sometimes those furthest away from the process can quickly spot an error or area for improvement.

9. Frequent and consistent editorial calendars and content

One of the greatest professionals, the secrets of ductivity create blocks of time for a specific task. Some people have endless to-do lists, and others just freeze time for "client work."

I worked once with someone who always announced his number of tasks at the end of the day. The list contains up to 150tasks to do at some point! I am sure that 80% of these tasks were unnecessary and could have been deleted or delegated.

Anyway, this is nonsense.

If you don't actually place a task in an exact block of time and have the usual discipline to follow this daily, this list of tasks will only get longer - probably with a little stress and weight.

 10 journalism skills including each marketer of content needs

The best journalists think the same way when creating their content calendars.

Frequency and consistency are essential to effective content marketing. This helps advance your brand story smoothly.

A business should do the same with its content marketing calendar. Some companies create annual or quarterly calendars. Other companies plan content from month to month due to the constantly changing nature of their business.

No matter what distance you want to plan ahead, have a content schedule for each blog post, guest blog post, social media post, video, or whatever you produce.

Again, the best content marketing campaigns are based on strict frequency and consistency. Do the same if you want to succeed in the long term.

10. Super Focus

VWant well-written content quickly?

Journalists are used to completing writing tasks and meeting deadlines.

This is where you have to learn to kill the distraction and become super focused.

I recently wrote about increasing productivity. All of the habits that I talk about in this post can help you become super focused and do more quality work in less time (and with less stress).

Most of the lessons are soured because of my work as a journalist. To learn more, I would also like to check out Cal Newport's book "Deep Work - it gets seriously" deep to become super concentrated.

Final thoughts

When companies start thinking about their content marketing needs, hiring a reporter is the thing further from their mind. Most companies advertise for editors,s blog designers or editors to meet these needs.

But these companies are absent. A qualified journalist can bring you many benefits and great value.


  • Know what information is needed to balance the content.
  • May adhere to strict editorial calendars.
  • Can quickly help a business grow.
  • Help you succeed with credibility.

Above all, a reporter will help you tell a great story about the success of your business along the way.

More resources:

  • Why authentic content marketing is more important than ever
  • 21 marketing tips Fast, Dirty Content for More Traffic and Conversions
  • Content Marketing KPIs: Your Guide to Choosing the Right KPIs for Content