Average Time It Takes to Learn Digital Marketing
The average time it takes to learn digital marketing for beginners is 3-5 months. This assumes that you’ll allocate at least a couple of hours per day to learn the theory of online marketing and practice on your properties.
What does learning digital marketing mean?
Digital marketing is a complex discipline. It involves using a number of digital channels and strategies to reach your target audience to promote your products or services.
As a new learner, you first need to learn what each digital marketing channel does and then how they can be used together in a digital marketing strategy.
In practice, this means you need to build skills in a number of areas, including:
- Internet marketing fundamentals
- Keyword research
- SEO Fundamentals
- Social media management
- Email marketing
- Content strategy
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Social media advertising
- Conversion rate optimization
- Analytics and data interpretation
- Marketing automation
- Advanced SEO tactics
- Video Marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- eCommerce marketing
- Website marketing
For each channel, you must learn how it works, what the strategies involved, how to optimize your campaigns, and how to measure and analyze the results.
Can I Learn Digital Marketing on My Own?
There are many ways to learn digital marketing, including using self-study resources.
As shown in the diagram below, the suggested learning plan for going from a novice to a digital marketing pro is as follows:
Step 1: Learn The Basics of Digital Marketing
There are several free resources you can use to learn what digital marketing is and how it works.
For this part, you only need to allocate a few hours. It’s the easiest part of the process, but it’s not less important.
As a beginner, you need to understand how the different components of digital marketing can work together for the maximum possible results.
We’ve hand-picked some high-quality resources you can use to understand the basics.
Step 2: Digital Marketing Courses
After you learn the basics, the next step is to follow a more structured learning approach and learn the specifics of each digital marketing channel.
We suggest using an online course for this purpose since many great courses are available that will save you a lot of time than trying to learn using free resources.
The average time it takes to complete a course is two weeks to a couple of months, and the cost is as low as $149 and as high as $1997.
There are many reasons why there are big differences in the price and duration of courses. We won’t confuse you with the specifics.
Instead, you can use our guides below to find the best course for your needs and budget.
Step 3: Practice on Your Own Properties
This is an important step that many people entering digital marketing neglect.
You cannot learn digital marketing by studying only the theory. Digital marketing is a highly practical discipline, and this means that in order to become an expert, you need to do a lot of practice.
The best way to practice is to start a website and apply the techniques that you’ll learn through a course (step 2) to get traffic to your website using SEO, social media, paid ads, and other methods.
Many of our students ask me if it’s possible to learn digital marketing without going through the process of creating a website and publishing content, and the answer is no.
Even if you learn the theory well, you won’t be able to work as a digital marketer if you don’t have practical hands-on experience.
When you have your own website or blog and try to rank for your chosen keywords in Google, you’ll learn many valuable lessons along the way.
You’ll have to build several skills, including keyword research, SEO, copywriting, CRO, and many others, that will prove very valuable in your digital marketing career.
In addition, doing this work will help you build self-confidence, a factor that is super-important if you want to start your own digital marketing agency or do consulting work.
Step 4: Become a Digital Marketing Pro
The next step is to put your skills to the test by applying for an internship or entry-level job.
Getting an entry-level digital marketing job is necessary for new digital marketers because it will give you a chance to work with experienced marketers and learn various techniques and strategies they are using.
An established digital marketing team, either in an agency or in a digital marketing department of a company, will have processes, workflows, and standards you can learn from that are proven to work.
This way, you won’t have to wonder what the best approach to optimize a campaign is, but it’s a matter of following a blueprint with more chances of getting positive results.
Is it Hard to Learn Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is not hard to learn, provided that you’re willing to put in the required effort to go through the necessary learning curve. How steep the learning curve will be depends on your background and previous experience.
If, for example, you have a degree in Marketing, digital media, or Journalism, it will be easier for you to understand the different concepts, and learning will be faster.
If you have no degree or a degree in a totally different subject, you’ll need to work harder in the beginning to understand the specifics of the digital marketing landscape.
The good news is that anyone can start a digital marketing career with or without a degree.
There are many courses and certifications (like the ones listed above) that require no prior experience and will teach you everything you need from the beginning.
Does Learning Have a Start and Finish?
One of the things you need to realize from the beginning is that digital marketing learning never stops.
Maybe a degree and certification are enough in other industries to become a pro and work in the field, but that’s not the case with digital marketing.
The industry constantly changes with new technologies and tools that affect digital marketing. A recent good example is the introduction of AI (think Bard, Chat GPT), which created several problems and opportunities for digital marketers.
The key takeaway is that once you get into digital marketing, you must be prepared for lifelong learning and development.
Learning digital marketing does not have a start and finish point; it’s a continuous process.
Is Digital Marketing a Good Job?
If you’re wondering how long it will take to learn digital marketing, then most probably, you also want to know if this is a good career option.
Let me help you by explaining why digital marketing is a great profession to be in.
High in demand – the first reason is demand. Various studies show that digital marketing is a profession that will be in high demand for the next 10 years.
The Internet has become crucial for all kinds of companies, and this increases the need for freelance digital marketing professionals, digital marketing consultants, experts in specific areas, and, in general, all sorts of digital marketing professionals.
High salaries – The average salary for digital marketing professionals ranges from $55K to $179K annually.
It’s one of the highest-paying jobs you can do, especially as you become more experienced and have a couple of success stories in your resume.
Unlike other jobs, the role of a digital marketing professional is to generate profit and money for a company, and this is reflected in the fees (in the case of freelancers) or salary.
Flexibility – Digital marketers can work remotely without having to be physically presence at a company or particular location. This is a huge advantage if you’re looking for a flexible job both in terms of location and working hours.
Exciting – Once you enter the digital marketing market, you’ll soon realize that what makes this a great career option is not the money or flexibility but the excitement of working with search engines and social media networks.
It’s not a dull job or a job where you repeat the same things repeatedly. It requires creativity, knowledge, patience, and thinking out of the box, and this combination makes digital marketing an exciting industry to be in.
Learning digital marketing is a continuous process. While you can learn the basics and get started in 3-5 months, learning never stops.
Digital marketing is a dynamic industry that changes all the time. Once there was Facebook, then came TikTok, and then AI was introduced.
Successful digital marketers are constantly educating themselves to stay current and find ways to use new technology to create better and more effective campaigns.