20 Telltale Signs You Are a Content Marketer

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This post was written by Melissa Nazar, manager of content marketing for Experian Data Quality. Follow her, @melnazar.


So you call yourself a content marketer?

That may be what your job title says, but do you really embody the true spirit of being a total content marketing nerd? Take a look at my (heavily biased) list below to find out.

No. 1) 

You have very strong opinions when it comes to grammar. For example, you may think the Oxford comma is never acceptable (it isn’t). It’s gotten to the point where I’ve declared an Oxford comma-less dictatorship, much to the chagrin of my extra punctuation-loving employees.

No. 2)

Your favorite non-work activities are word-based, including crossword puzzles (in pen, naturally) or destroying your friends at vocabulary games (Boggle, anyone?). How the heck did you find “pneumatic” on those tiny blocks anyway?

No. 3)

No one really understands what you do. In fact, when your mother explains it to her friends, she usually says, “I think she’s in advertising, but I’m not sure for what.” Sometimes your mom accuses you of not having a real job, even after you show her your business cards.

No. 4) 

Your obsession with word connotation makes you seem like a jerk. An argument with your partner over doing laundry could lead to you saying, “Oh honey, I wouldn’t say I’m nagging, I’m just reminding you. And I’m not nitpicking, I’m just being meticulous.”

No. 5)

Thinking about language and ideas energizes you. A day full of creative brainstorming sessions and message development sounds like the best day ever — only second to a day getting retweeted by Seth Godin.

No. 6) 

You sneer at the synonyms featured in Microsoft Word. After all, you’re already a virtual thesaurus.

No. 7) 

"TOFU" doesn’t make you think of stir fry. When someone offers you TOFU, you say, “No, we really need more case studies and other MOFU content.”

No. 8)

You are the default writer and editor in your circle. Whether it’s a resume, eulogy or dating profile, you are the first one your friends and family reach out to and ask, “Does this sound OK?”

No. 9) 

Books are really, really important to you. And you have one or more tattoos that can be explained by, “Oh, that’s a line from my favorite book.”

No. 10)

You are notorious for making snide comments about proper usage and punctuation.

“Are you writing this on an old-timey typewriter? Then why are you double spacing after every period?”

No. 11) 

Long form content makes you happy. The idea of digging into writing a brand new e-book or white paper fills you with glee. 

No. 12)

You know actual proofreading marks — and use them. You also roll your eyes when one of your colleagues asks you to clarify what that “squiggly line thing” means.

No. 13)

You blog ... or have tried to. You are the current or previous owner of domains for at least four failed personal blog attempts — at least one of which had a clever grammatical name like, “Doing It AP Style.”

No. 14)  

Reading the classics was enjoyable to you. When friends joke about getting through high school and college living on SparkNotes, you’re perplexed. Why would someone avoid reading "To Kill a Mocking Bird" or "Slaughterhouse Five?" In fact, you’ve read them both since. Twice.

No. 15)

You live by K.I.S.S.: You like to keep it simple, and get straight to the point. This can backfire, especially on first dates, where, in the first 10 minutes, you’ve said, “Well, you’re pretty weird, can I just go home now?"

No. 16) 

Writing accessories are important to you. You have a favorite red pen you use specifically to edit content. And if it’s lost, no editing will be done. 

No. 17) 

Resource books litter your desk. This includes the following light reading: "The Elements of Style," the most recent version of the AP and Chicago style books, Stephen King’s “On Writing,” "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" and an unabridged dictionary.

No. 18)  

Social media matters. You stay on top of your social profiles, making sure to tweet and retweet the latest and greatest in the content world. You also have an affinity for Instagramming signs that are pun-ny, or those with bad punctuation use.

No. 19)

You like grabbing attention. Most of your writing time is spent crafting the right title or subject line, ultimately ending up with 15 versions for the rest of the team to choose from.

No. 20)

No matter what organization you’re in or what you’re marketing, you’re a writer at heart, focused on getting the right story across to your audience.

What do you think? Do you see yourself in these examples? Can you think of any other telltale signs you’re a content marketer?