Best content marketing resources for absolute beginners
A curated, updated list guaranteed to move your content career forward.
When I first started transitioning my skills into the field of content marketing, I remember how overwhelming it was at first (career change can be scary).
Not only did I have to be a great writer, but I had to learn so many other related skills such as SEO, content strategy, graphic design, marketing principles, and more.
Most of the recommended resources I came across went right over my head. Same with the highest-rated industry tools: they're only useful if you know what to look for.
That's why I created this resource.
If you're looking for beginner-friendly resources that can help you understand the basics of content marketing, this is for you. Below, you'll find a collection of books, online courses, podcasts, and more to help you create great content that moves businesses forward.
Best content marketing books
I learn best by reading, so books are always my go-to when diving into a new subject. If you're a reader too, you'll find these titles helpful.
Content Strategy for the Web — Kristina Halvorson is an icon in the content marketing world. CEO of Brain Traffic and one of the leaders of Confab, she's a reliable source of industry knowledge and innovation.
How to Make Sense of Any Mess — Abby Covert was one of the first people to hold the title Information Architect, and deeply understands why content is so important and how it needs to be organized in order to be useful.
They Ask, You Answer — Marcus Sheridan is a leading figure in the content marketing world, specifically for their work with the "inbound" model which relies on attracting customers through outstanding content experiences.
Doing Content Right — Steph Smith, a growth marketer and indie hacker, shares a comprehensive introduction to SEO along with guiding principles to make your writing get noticed online.
The Elements of Content Strategy — Erin Kissane, editor and prolific writer, compiles the best snippets of content marketing advice into a short and accessible read.
Best content marketing podcasts
Content marketing is a bit of a niche-within-a-niche. It's easy to find business podcasts, and within that category, there are even a handful of worthwhile marketing ones.
But if you go a level deeper, you'll find that it becomes difficult to find podcasts that share actionable specifics for people who write and create content online. Thankfully, I've been able to find a few worth recommending.
CareerHQ by Superpath — This podcast hosted by Jimmy Daly focused on the professional aspects of content marketing, such as how to land roles, get promotions, and help upper management see the value of (and allocate resources towards) great content.
Content Strategy Podcast — This series, hosted by Kristina Halvorson, the author of our first recommended book, is a gold mine of interview-style information to help you create and organize content that moves the needle.
Writers in Tech — Yuval Keshtcher, a UX writer, curates some of the best thought leaders across the industry. If you want to learn all the ways content can be used with a technology company, from content design to content management, this is an excellent place to start.
Best content marketing YouTube channels
It's no secret that YouTube is my social media channel of choice. Whenever I need to learn something new or a question answered, YouTube is the very first place I look.
Naturally, this list wouldn't be complete without a few recommended channels. Note, there are dozens of more that could be helpful. I focused on the most beginner-friendly ones that weren't trying to sell viewers something every chance they got (although, each of the recommended channels does have products available).
Ahrefs — They are an industry leader for a reason. Their level of detail and quality is unmatched. I recommended visiting their playlists to find the ones that interest you. They've even labeled a few "beginner" to help differentiate between their more complex topics.
Jaume Ros — This creator has an impressive history of running content teams for fast-growing startups. His videos offer deep dives into particular strategies. It's best to begin with their short videos. These 30-second clips offer one-off tips guaranteed to accelerate your learning curve.
Project 24 — Project 24 (aka Income School) is a resource led by two business owners who specialize in niche-website development. They know what it takes to get noticed by Google and attract the kind of traffic that leads to sales. I mostly rely on their content for SEO news updates and strategy overviews.
Best free courses on content marketing
One of the reasons people prefer online courses over other forms of learning is the order they provide. A well-organized course will save you enormous amounts of time searching and stumbling down irrelevant rabbit holes.
Of all the materials I've tested, only two free courses are worth diving into.
HubSpot Academy — HubSpot offers a Content Marketing Certification that aggregates dozens of individual lessons into a cohesive learning experience. Although they are slightly biased in the way they explain the inbound framework (they did coin the term after all), this course is an excellent resource for anyone just getting started.
Ahrefs Academy — Similar to their YouTube channel playlists, Ahrefs' academy courses bring together the most useful items into a digestible learning experience. First, use their SEO Training course to build your base knowledge. From there, you can jump into their Blogging for Business course once you've ranked a few pieces of content on your own.
Additional content marketing resources
To wrap up, here are a few more links to assist you on your journey.
Superpath — Part blog, part community, Superpath is a staple in the content marketing space because of its give-first mentality. Their Slack group contains a wide variety of people, from first-time freelancers to veteran content leaders, all sharing their struggles and successes for the benefit of others. They also have an excellent blog series called The $100k Club that offers career advice similar to that found on their podcast (mentioned above).
Search Engine Journal — Most of SEJ's content is geared towards advanced-level content marketers. However, new subscribers are given access to a welcome page containing two dozen ebooks that offer wonderful intros to their respective topics.
Backlinko — Few SEO experts practice what they preach as well as Brian Dean. In this content hub, you'll find a meticulously organized library of knowledge that's regularly updated and clearly communicated.
If you've found this resource helpful and want to learn more, subscribe! I look forward to sharing more resources and insights as I discover them to help you create your way to success.