Creator brand: Employed Historian

Shopify logo and word mark.

Project highlights

Journey mapping

I started writing career content for my users without a plan, but realized I needed to understand their journey through my funnel if I wanted to engage with them. That’s why I created a journey map to understand the steps they would need to follow before building enough trust to purchase something, like an eBook or an online course.

I just read your article on Active History and just wanted to send you a big “hell yes!!” – it was so refreshing to read!There is so much more to a History degree than academia, and I love how you positioned it in your article. I am BIG FAN of the message you’re putting out here and your approach.

Shauna V.

Copywriter, Communications Consultant

Organic traffic growth

Having a background in both content and SEO, I started growing my website with longtail content. I grew traffic almost exclusively this way, complemented by a few experiments in link building. Ultimately I decided this wasn’t the right approach for the brand, but I did score a back link from Rob Carrick, the most prolific finance columnist published in The Globe and Mail (Canada’s largest newspaper).

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Combining UX and conversion copy

Creating a lean marketing and sales funnel gave me the creative freedom to apply what I knew about UX and direct-response copywriting in a single project.

I created an entire website, including a product page, a newsletter signup page, and a range of experimental CTAs. They all make use of UX best practices and marketing trust signals.

I just read your article on how to write a kick ass cover letter and I loved it so much. Thank you for your words. They are inspiring… I think you’re the cat’s pajamas and I just love your energy. So damn happy I serendipitously ran across a piece of your content and had this exchange with you. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Keep on keepin on!

Kelly L.

Hospitality industry

User research

Before starting the podcast component of this project, I wanted to learn what my target audience really thought about the medium.

I sent out a survey to collect data on preferences for content, format, and frequency. This will give the podcast an early advantage to win the audience’s hearts and minds.

It also let respondents join the waiting list for an early word-of-mouth marketing boost.

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Long-form content informed by data

Conventional wisdom about the value of a humanities degree has always felt lacking to me.

That’s why Employed Historian uses data to substantiate ideas wherever possible. I find data from qualified sources (such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and translate it into digestible infographics that support long-form content.

It builds credibility and trust with my audience. Fun fact: this is also my secret to B2B content writing.

What an incredible story and experience! I’m so glad you found your niche – so many of us, I think, experience similar things in that there doesn’t seem to be much validation or recognition for Humanities degrees. Well done! I appreciate it too!

Heather C.

Student Services Professional, Niagara College

Building community through atomic content

Content marketing doesn’t end with blog posts. I found that even though I could grow website traffic through longtail keywords, those visitors didn’t build a relationship to my brand.

That’s when I started building a community on LinkedIn. I tested different content topics and formats on a weekly basis, finding what resonated enough to being people into my digital tribe.

I’ve gained hundreds of followers in just a few months of posting, and it’s something I’d love to do alongside a B2B sales team some time.

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Other contributions

$28 peak EPMV

Before putting SEO on the back burner, I reached a peak ad revenue rate of $28 per 1,000 visitors, which is nearly unheard of with career content, according to my Account Manager at Ezoic.

Podcast guest appearances

I’ve been invited on several podcasts and presentations to talk about my work, my mission, and advice I might have for new grads and professionals with a humanities or liberal arts background.

Creating a Shopify store

I had set up my own store for this creator brand before I worked at Shopify, teaching myself the basics of inventory and order management.

The project results

Employed Historian is now a growing creator brand featuring a deep portfolio of content, all resting on the shoulders of thoroughly-researched data.

It generates a small amount of revenue each month, too, through a combination of display advertising and ebook sales.

To my surprise, I ended up discovering more about sales, building community, and nurturing relationships than I did about advertising and online publishing.

This project has shown me that building a community and championing that its needs generates far greater returns than talking about myself, my brand, or my solutions.

It was an exercise in empathy as much as content creation—and finding the intersection of both of those things showed me how to grow a genuine online community.

Check out my other projects

Click on a project to learn more about it.

BMO

The Bank of Montreal brought me on to help them build content design system standards, processes for their enterprise CMS, and a fresh perspective on their UX practice.

Meta

Meta recruited me as a content designer to improve the internal tools that power sales and support operations for tens of thousands of employees pushing advertising solutions every month.

Shopify logo and word mark.

Shopify

I joined Shopify as a content designer to promote its logistics and fulfillment service. I worked with product UX and marketing teams to create a cohesive experience experience across the app and everything related to it.

Employed Historian

Liberal arts grads are diving into job markets for which their education never prepared them. I'm creating the roadmap and resources I wish I'd had to build my early career.

aha insurance

Canada’s insurance industry leaves a lot to be desired, so I joined up to give it a kick in the pants. My responsibilities included content and SEO strategist, editor, copywriter, web analyst, UX writer, and ad writer.

Honeypot Marketing

I joined in the middle of a Black Friday sale that generated $70,000 for one client, then continued to grow into the team's Content Marketing Manager.

Food for thought

How I became a content designer (or UX writer)

How I became a content designer (or UX writer)

I never thought of myself as any kind of designer. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said “video game journalist.” With a background in history I never expected to work in the tech industry, either. Yet now I’ve worked for two...

What is a UX content strategist?

What is a UX content strategist?

A “UX content strategist,” more commonly called a “staff content designer,” is a fairly new user experience role, evolving alongside UX writing as a major component of the content design discipline. It can be a role on its own, but most commonly it just represents a...

Content design vs. content strategy: know the difference

Content design vs. content strategy: know the difference

Trying to understand content design vs. content strategy after a confusing look through job boards? Good news: I've done both, so I can tell you the key differences between them. Companies often interchange and merge these two phrases, but they are different. You only...

How I became a content designer (or UX writer)

How I became a content designer (or UX writer)

I never thought of myself as any kind of designer. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said “video game journalist.” With a background in history I never expected to work in the tech industry, either. Yet now I’ve worked for two...

What is a UX content strategist?

What is a UX content strategist?

A “UX content strategist,” more commonly called a “staff content designer,” is a fairly new user experience role, evolving alongside UX writing as a major component of the content design discipline. It can be a role on its own, but most commonly it just represents a...

Content design vs. content strategy: know the difference

Content design vs. content strategy: know the difference

Trying to understand content design vs. content strategy after a confusing look through job boards? Good news: I've done both, so I can tell you the key differences between them. Companies often interchange and merge these two phrases, but they are different. You only...

What is a content designer?

What is a content designer?

Most people I speak with don’t understand what content designers actually are, and it’s no surprise. “Content” has become synonymous with the digital marketing industry, and “design” has become a ubiquitous term for visual work. I was guilty of it, too. I would refer...

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