How to Start a Successful Career in Digital Marketing

In this post, you’ll learn how to start a digital marketing career without having prior experience in the field or a marketing degree.

Updated on July 25, 2022
How to Start a Successful Career in Digital Marketing

One of the career options that are high in demand now is that of a digital marketing specialist. Businesses are allocating more budgets to online marketing, creating a need for more digital marketing experts. In this post, you’ll learn how to start a digital marketing career without having prior experience in the field or a marketing degree.

As a digital marketing professional, you have several choices. You can get a job and work in a digital agency, start serving clients as a part-time/full-time freelancer, or even start your own business.

How to Start a Successful Career in Digital Marketing

How to get into Digital Marketing

These are the seven steps to follow to start a career in digital marketing.

  1. Firstly, learn what Digital Marketing is all about
  2. Secondly, choose your specialization
  3. Practice on your web properties
  4. Get your first client
  5. Build your brand
  6. Choose a career path
  7. Finally, enhance your digital marketing skills

1 Learn what Digital Marketing is all about to start a career

The first step is to learn everything there is to know about digital marketing. It’s not an easy task to do, especially if you are a beginner, but with a solid learning plan, you can gradually build the necessary skills.

The best way to get started is to follow a digital marketing course. Instead of searching Google for answers, you can enroll in a class and follow a structured learning approach. 

A good course will teach you how digital marketing works and how to apply what you’ve learned in real-life scenarios.

When selecting a course, make sure you check the syllabus to ensure that it covers the essential digital marketing disciples like SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.

Most courses include a certification which is an excellent addition to your CV, especially if you don’t have a university degree or prior working experience.

An excellent place to start is to follow the Fundaments of Digital Marketing course offered by Google. The system is free and comes with a certification. You’ll learn the basics of digital marketing and get a solid understanding of how to use digital marketing to improve the online presence.

2 Choose your specialization to start a digital marketing career

One of the first things you’ll learn about digital marketing is that it comprises different channels and specializations.

Trying to become an expert on all channels from the beginning can be difficult, so the best way is to build your skills gradually. 

The recommended path to follow is:

Become an SEO Expert – SEO is the most critical digital marketing channel. Knowing how to increase the rankings of a website is a valuable skill that can get you a job or clients if you plan to work as a freelancer. 

Master PPC Advertising – Businesses need more sales, and PPC platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Bind Ads are the tools to get targeted traffic to a website fast.

Learn Content Marketing – Becoming a content marketing specialist will guarantee that you can get a job fast. There is an increasing demand for writers with content marketing skills, which is a good starting point for your career.

Social Media Manager – Social media networks are great for building brand awareness, making sales, and connecting with customers. Start by creating your skills on the most popular networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you plan to work as a social media manager. Finally, you can expand your skills to include trending channels like Tik-Tok and Instagram.

Email Marketing Specialist – While all other channels focus on how to get traffic to a website, email marketing is more on how to convert traffic into customers. All online businesses can use email marketing campaigns, and professionals who possess the necessary skills have a comparative advantage.

3 Practice on your web properties to start a digital marketing career

Once you know the theory behind digital marketing, the next step is to build a website and start practicing what you’ve learned.

Begin by creating a blog on any topic that you’re passionate about. Use your keyword research and SEO skills and try to get your posts as high in Google as possible.

Create an info product and try to sell it through Facebook Ads and Google Ads. Set up an email list and find the best way to get people to subscribe to your list and try to sell them your products.

So, by going through the above processes on your website, you’ll get a chance to:

Test your knowledge and identify learning gaps – once you start practicing, you’ll understand which areas you’re good at and which skills you need to improve. For example, if you’re trying for months to rank your pages on Google and get no results, it means that you need to work on your SEO skills.

Build some working experience vital for your CV – employers like to hire people who are actively trying to learn new things. Having your website, it’s a great way to prove to your future employer that you are hard-working and serious about getting into digital marketing.

Make some money while still learning – There are many ways to make money from your website once you can get traffic. You can sell your products or get a commission from selling other people’s products (that’s affiliate marketing). So, while building your digital marketing skills, you can make some money on the side.

Get the confidence needed to apply for a job – Successful digital marketers have confidence in their skills, and there is no better way to do this than creating a website and gradually increasing your traffic. 

4 Get your first client to start a digital marketing career

Once you’re past the learning phase, the next step is to offer your services to other people. You should do this even if you plan to pursue a full-time job and not work as a freelancer. 

The reason is simple. It will help you understand how digital marketing services work from start to finish, from finding the clients, agreeing on the requirements, implementing the work, and measuring the results.

In addition, if you have a couple of clients in your portfolio, you can apply for jobs that require experience and secure a higher salary rather than applying for entry-level positions.

It’s easy to get your first client if you keep an open mind. Think of any relatives, friends, friends of friends that have a website or a business and offer them your services for a reduced price or even for free.

Remember, your goal at this stage is not to start making money by selling digital marketing services but to gain experience by working on a website that is not yours. What you want is to add customers to your portfolio so that it’s easier to get a formal job or start your own business (as a freelancer or digital marketing agency).

5 Build your brand

The last step before boosting your career is to work on your branding. Companies, agencies, and clients want to work with experts, and the best way to prove your expertise is to work on your brand.

Besides having your website and digital marketing blog, you can promote yourself by:

Guest posting on reputable websites – The post you’re reading now is an excellent example of how guest posting can help you boost your brand. Websites like have a lot of traffic and are trusted by both users and search engines. 

Connect with industry experts – Spend some time on Twitter and LinkedIn and connect with other digital marketing experts. Introduce yourself and offer to help them in any way you can. So, many of them will return the favor. Don’t be shy to say that you’re just starting; everyone was in the same position when they began their career.

Publish your success stories – Try to document your achievements so far (no matter how small or big they are) and publish them as case studies on your blog. Even small wins like achieving certification or a top ranking for a non-competitive keyword are helpful for your brand and great additions to your CV.

6 Choose a career path.

Once you reach this point, you’re ready to start a successful digital marketing career. Let’s recap the process so far:

  • Firstly, you’ve learned the basics of digital marketing
  • Secondly, you have the necessary skills to work with one or more channels
  • Start your website 
  • You’ve gained some experience offering services to other people
  • Finally, you’ve started working on your branding

The next step is to decide what career path to follow. You have three choices:

Get a job in a company or agency. You’ve built your CV and experience and can apply for a digital marketing job. 

If this is the path you want to follow. You need to prepare yourself for the interview and apply for a job. Learn as much as you can about the companies you use and be honest about your skills and experience. Recruitment managers can easily spot if you’re trying to oversell yourself, which can hurt their final decision. 

Work as a part-time or full-time freelancer. You already have some experience in what it takes to work directly with clients. If this is the path you want to follow. In addition, you need to build your portfolio. Gather reviews from existing customers, and keep building your brand.

The fastest way to get clients is by monitoring job posting websites and applying fast to any jobs you can handle. 

Start your agency – This is a path not recommended for beginners. But once you have a few years working in the industry, this can be an excellent option to follow. 

You are creating your own business means that you need to expand your skills to learn how to run a business. Most importantly, how to get new clients on an ongoing basis to cover your business expenses and make a profit.

7 Enhance your digital marketing skills

Something that should be clear in your mind from the very beginning is that learning never stops. Once you enter the digital marketing industry. Digital marketing rules change all the time. New channels are emerging, and you need to stay informed of everything that is happening. This practically means that a portion of your time should be spent on building new skills.

Enrolling in new courses, following the news on social media channels. So, testing new techniques is the best way to keep your skills up-to-date.


Getting into digital marketing is a great career option. There is an increased demand for digital marketing experts of all specializations. Which is expected to rise in the coming years. 

You don’t need to have a university degree to get started, and no prior experience is required. You can build your skills with the help of a good course. Moreover, other online resources at your own pace and time. 

To increase your chances of securing a job with a good salary. So, you can start practicing digital marketing on your properties and building a small portfolio by working for other clients. The experience gained will be a valuable item of your CV. Finally, help you understand if freelancing or starting your agency is a good option.