Why I'm Excited to Join Boston Content

Image via BosCon member  Ben Lewis

Image via BosCon member Ben Lewis

This post was written by Boston Content Co-Executive Director Mike Baker, content strategy manager at InsightSquared. Follow him, @MarketingBaker.

I went to my first Boston Content event in the winter of 2012. And, oh man, did I ever need it.

At the time, I was cranking out 4,000 (occasionally coherent) words a day for a local content marketing agency, completely unsure of what my long-term plan was.

After years of trying to cobble together a career on the half-submerged Titanic that was the newspaper industry, I had finally abandoned ship in 2010 and moved into content marketing. Although, at the time, I probably couldn’t have told you what the “content marketing” field was or how I planned to start a career there. I just knew it seemed like a growing industry — one that allowed me to write every day, and almost certainly offered more career development opportunities than traditional journalism. 

But in the winter of 2012, I wasn’t seeing much of that. I was writing every day (to say the least), but I was decidedly not getting to explore the larger content field, nor was I sniffing even the slightest opportunities for career growth.

In other words, I was feeling pretty discontent.

So when a friend invited me to the Boston Content event, I decided to give it a shot. I remember feeling pretty skeptical at the time (churning out 4,000 words a day will do that to you), but I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Plus, there was free beer.

Over the course of the evening, I warmed up considerably. The presentations intrigued me, the questions they prompted excited me and, most importantly, the people asking them seemed smart, engaged and generally invested in creating great content.

I went home that night more enthusiastic about the field than I ever had been. It started small: I began noticing and dissecting interesting pieces of content on my own time:

"Wow, you can do some creative stuff with content."
"Hmm...content can actually be really useful."

From there, I got deeper and deeper into the content world. I started attending Boston Content events regularly, of course, but also started reaching out to local experts, looking for a new gig and creating more creative content on my own time.

It shouldn’t be surprising to learn, then, that in a few months everything changed for me. I got a new job that emphasized content strategy as much as it did content creation, and I quickly became immersed in areas of the industry I had never been exposed to before. Not only could I tell people what content marketing was all about, I did it all the time. Often without even being asked. To complete strangers. In an inadvisable level of detail.

Throughout all of this was Boston Content.

The events and community helped me explore and absorb the content marketing industry much faster than I could on my own. So when the opportunity arose to play a more active role in the group, to help it provide a better and better community for other lost souls like me, it was a no brainer. And I couldn’t be more excited.