Content Marketing Track

2023 Virtual Annual Conference: Content Marketing Track

We’re offering the advice and tools you need to succeed in this fast-paced and exciting sector of freelance writing.

From blog posts to white papers, our content marketing track will get you primed for more clients and more assignments. Whether you’re an experienced content writer or just branching out into this lucrative field, you’ll get up-to-the minute insights, featuring some of the most accomplished and knowledgeable freelance writers and clients in the country.

Sessions: Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tuesday Content Marketing Writing Sessions

Finding Opportunities in Brand Journalism

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET

Are you looking for other outlets for content writing? Many journalism outlets feature brand journalism and sponsored content opportunities. Hear from editors that hire for content writing and what they want and need from freelancers.

Jonathan Braunstein is director of sponsored content at Money-Media/FT Specialist. He is responsible for overseeing sponsored content at FT Specialist’s Money-Media titles. He serves as the project leader and works closely with marketing, advertising and editorial teams, as well as with counterparts at the Financial Times. He was previously editorial director for webcasts and has produced written and interactive editorial content across nearly all of Money-Media’s publications. Prior to Money-Media, Jonathan worked as a television news producer and writer for Boston’s NBC and Fox affiliates. Originally from New Jersey, he is an alumnus of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

Megan Gilbert is Vice President of the award-winning FORTUNE Brand Studio (Fortune Media), driving editorial direction, strategy, and production of campaigns for clients like Salesforce and PayPal. Her career includes positions at Gawker, Fusion, The Washington Post, Slate, and VICE. Megan is a graduate of Boston University and earned her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches Branded Content at NYU and speaks at the Summer Publishing Institute. She was named WICMA Content Marketer of the Year (2022) and was included on the 100 Most Significant Women in Native Advertising list (2018). She is a Tellys, AIVA/W3s, Signals, and WICMAs judge and will be attending the 2023 Elevate summit in Sundance, UT.

Darrell Kirton is Executive Editor of Custom Content From WSJ. With 25 years of custom publishing under his belt, Darrell has a long history of writing and editing branded digital and print pieces in finance, technology, B2B, real estate, logistics and more for companies like Charles Schwab, Amazon and Ryder. He has also done considerable work in the DEI space with the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Dow Jones. Darrell holds a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University.

Katie Wojcik is Executive Director of Brand Content for POLITICO Focus, where she leads storytelling, creative strategy, production, and business development for POLITICO’s award-winning in-house brand studio. In this role, Katie works to imagine and deliver custom content advertising solutions for some of the world’s leading corporations and nonprofit/association/coalition clients seeking to reach and engage with POLITICO’s uniquely influential audience of politics and policy decision-makers in power centers across the globe. Prior to joining POLITICO, Katie spent more than a decade at a top-ranked Washington, DC public affairs firm, where she helped lead content, creative, and event strategy for high-profile advocacy and strategic communications campaigns on behalf of Fortune 50 and nonprofit/association/coalition clients. Katie began her career in broadcasting, working at NBC and MSNBC in New York. She has a BS from Vanderbilt University and an MA in broadcast journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Nick Clunn is an associate managing editor in the Forbes Content & Design Studio, where he collaborates with writers and visual creatives to produce high-impact paid content in partnership with the world’s biggest brands. Prior to joining Forbes in 2016, Nick worked on the agency side of branded content (Contently, Group SJR) and spent 10 years as a news reporter in his native New Jersey (Asbury Park Press, The Record). Nick works mostly from his home in Jersey City, N.J. where he and his wife are raising two children.

9-to-5 to Freelancing: How to Establish Yourself as a Freelance Writer

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Want to transition your career to freelance? This panel of successful freelancers shares how they transitioned from nine-to-five careers to full-time freelancing.

Jen A. Miller has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 18 years. She writes about how she does it in her Notes from a Hired Pen newsletter, and the Notes from a Hired Pen ebook series. She lives in New Jersey.

Ryan Derousseau, CFP®, is a fee-only financial planner at United Financial Planning Group, based in Long Island. He spent a decade working for himself as a freelance writer – and continues to do so on the side – covering personal finance, investing and money topics for places like Fortune, MONEY, New York Times, CNBC, and many other publications. He now uses the tricks and tactics he learned working for himself to help others build security and wealth while reaching long-term life goals from their solo venture. You can find more of his thoughts at or

Brittany VanDerBill is a Minnesota-based freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and travel content. Her work has been published with Travel + Leisure, People, Better Homes & Gardens, HerMoney, My Imperfect Life, and more. She’s a member of The International Travel Writers Alliance and a professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her at home with her husband, spoiled cat, a good book, and a glass of Cab, or exploring new destinations (and writing about them, of course). Connect with her and view her work on her website.

Neurodiversity and the Freelance Writer

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET

Neurodiversity is common and presents both challenges and advantages. Learn how to work with your strengths to harness your focus and turn your ADHD or other neurodiversity into your superpower.

Atlas Katari (they/them) is a neurodivergent freelancing coach, content creator, and community builder. After building to 6-figures as a freelance writer, they’ve pivoted to a new direction: The Neurodivergent Freelancer, a freelance membership community that centers neurodiversity inclusion through written-first communications, pay-as-you-please payment models, and independent research on neurodivergent work-life-balance. You can learn more about The Neurodivergent Freelancer by clicking that link, following Atlas on LinkedIn, or signing up for the guaranteed inconsistent newsletter here.

As a Future of Work thought leader, public speaker, and freelance journalist, Jared Lindzon has spent his career on the frontlines of the workplace evolution currently underway. Beyond his regular columns in Fast Company and The Globe & Mail, Lindzon has also been published by many of the world’s most renowned publications, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The BBC, TIME, Fortune, and many more. Lindzon has also taken his decade of experience reporting on the evolution of work to keynote stages, panels, fireside chat and roundtable discussions online and around the world.

Finding Your “Hell Yeah” Value Proposition

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. ET

Imagine knowing exactly what to say to your audience that would instantly communicate how you’re different, what your unique value is, and inspire them to say yes. Every business has that one extraordinarily effective message. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to craft a message that is pitch perfect for your ideal customer, the difference between the wrong message and the right message for your specific business, and more. Using a series of easy-to-grasp examples, Michael draws on his expertise in linguistics and behavioral neurology to show you how human neurology operates and how understanding that can help you make your audience feel good about your business. You’ll learn specific real-world strategies that are uniquely suited to “speak” directly to this core neurology and have the most impact on your customer’s decision to buy.

Michael Liebowitz is an expert in the fields of linguistics and behavioral neurology. He works with small businesses to craft messaging strategies that target how we are wired to feel resonance and attraction. Over the past 12 years, Michael has created a fresh and counter-intuitive insight of how businesses can use specific language to trigger trust, engagement, and the decision to buy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Monetizing Your Expertise: 3 Short and Lucrative Consulting Engagements Writers Can Offer Clients (and When to Pitch Them)

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET

What if your income didn’t depend entirely on writing? What if you could get paid for the expertise and advice you’re already sharing with some of your clients. In this session, you’ll discover 3 lucrative consulting engagements you (yes, you!) can start offering clients starting today. You’ll learn where to look for these opportunities and the best time to pitch them.

Ed Gandia is a business-building coach and strategist who helps freelance writers and copywriters earn more in less time doing work they love for better clients.

What Makes a Great Freelance Content Writer? Here’s How to Get—and Stay—on Editors’ Go-to List

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET

A content agency or corporate content manager assigns a freelancer regular work, month after month. Is it as simple as clean copy and meeting deadlines that drive the repeat business, or is there more to it? In this session, seasoned editors from T Brand, The American Heart Association and Wellesley Magazine reveal the traits, characteristics and work habits of their most trusted freelancers. Speakers will delve into what makes a freelancer enjoyable to work with and what they consider when deciding whether or not to work with a writer. On the flip side, editors also identify freelancer red flags and horror stories—what to avoid doing at all cost if you want editors to keep you on their go-to list.

Jaime Aron knew early on he’d never be a high-level athlete. So he figured out another way of getting close to sports: writing about games and the people who play them. He spent 20 years with The Associated Press, launching a book career along the way. He’s now a senior writer for the American Heart Association. He’s the author of a memoir of Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew called “One Tough Out” and “Breakthrough ‘Boys,” the story of the Dallas Cowboys’ first Super Bowl-winning season. He and his family have also created a mesmerizing hoops trick shot extravaganza video. For more, visit and

Sona Pai is an independent editor, narrative strategist, and writer who helps organizations big and small find their authentic stories, articulate them clearly, and tell them in ways that resonate. For branded content, thought leadership, custom publications, and more, Sona establishes core narratives and editorial direction, and then works closely with creative teams to develop compelling stories that meet her clients’ goals. Collaborating with writers is her favorite part of the job, and she’s always on the lookout for new voices.

A longtime ASJA member, Catherine O’Neill Grace is in her tenth year as senior associate editor of Wellesley magazine at Wellesley College. Previously, she was editor of Independent School magazine for the National Association of Independent Schools and held editorial positions at the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, the National Geographic Society, and the Washington Post. She’s the author of numerous nonfiction books for children, among them 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving. She co-authored the adult trade book Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children (Ballantine) with Michael Thompson, Ph.D. She is at work on a memoir about her childhood in India.

The Freelance CV: How to Optimize Your Online Presence

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET

Marketing your skills online is integral to finding quality clients. We’ll look at the places you need to be present including on your own website, portfolio sites, and LinkedIn.

Ashley Amber Sava spent her formative years living and breathing journalism. An obnoxiously proud graduate of Mizzou’s formidable J-School, she set out to take journalism by storm. 

While she no longer practices journalism, the scrappy journalist inside her fuels her fire in the content marketing and communications world. 

She’s worked for newspapers and magazines and ran content marketing and communications for a university, Austin-based B2B tech organizations, an international SaaS company and an international HR tech business. She hosts the podcast Unpopular Opinion for professionals from all walks of life who’ve won by taking the path less traveled.

Sarah Colley initially thought she would make it big working in public relations. She worked with one of the best PR agencies in South Florida for brands like Lifetime Fitness, iPic Theaters, and Miami Subs.

Once she figured out that you can make a career out of writing (outside of journalism), she couldn’t resist. After traveling extensively, she jumped into in-house content roles. then sprung into agency work for several agencies nationwide before finally working directly with big and small companies worldwide. She now consults on content and content strategy, while still offering content writing services to B2B SaaS, Martech, and e-commerce companies.

Help! How to Hire and Utilize a Virtual Assistant Effectively

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. ET

Your calendar is loaded with great clients but you’re overwhelmed and need help. It might be time to hire a virtual assistant (VA). We’ll talk about how to find a good VA and how to work with them effectively to help grow your business or just take pressure off your shoulders.

Melissa Smith is the Founder & CEO of the Association of Virtual Assistants & The PVA (The Personal Virtual Assistant), a virtually-based firm that matches clients with the right virtual assistants.

Melissa is also the best-selling author of two books, Hire The Right Virtual Assistant: How the Right VA Will Make Your Life Easier, Create Time, and Make You More Money and Become A Successful Virtual Assistant: Learn the Business Side & Ditch 9 to 5. Additionally, she mentors for Remote-how Academy and is a passionate teacher and consultant for those looking to grow their business remotely.

Tom Gerencer is the CEO of Blue Button Marketing and an ASJA content writer and editor in the fields of science, tech, business, healthcare, and the outdoors. He has written over 1,500 high-traffic articles with more than 70 million readers worldwide, for publications like HP Tech Takes, Boys’ Life, The Boston Globe Magazine, Fast Company, Outdoor Life, and Costco Connection. He’s the author of the business book Think Like Google, the Discovery Channel children’s book How It’s Made, and the short story collection Intergalactic Refrigerator Repairmen Seldom Carry Cash. Tom appears regularly on Wired Magazine’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, and lives in Maine and West Virginia with his wife Kathy, two adventurous boys, and a couple of ornery dogs.

Jenni Gritters is a freelance writer, editor and business coach living in Central Oregon. She writes about parenting, purchasing and psychology, and coaches freelance creatives about how to build sustainable businesses. Subscribe to her free newsletter Mindset Mastery, for a dose of relatable, practical, business-focused storytelling.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Story-Framing System: Learn How to Find and Frame Stories for Corporate Clients

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET

Story-telling and story-finding are two different things. In this session, writers will learn how to find stories to sell to their corporate clients. You will be introduced to the Story-Framing System, which will help you create a list of story ideas that are not blah blah content but are born from a thought-leadership niche. The method can be used for your own stories for your own business, or you can apply it for your corporate clients. This session includes a live story-finding demonstration with a member of the audience. You will also map your own ideas and create a list of ideas for stories to promote your own business. In addition, participants will work with other members of the audience in Zoom breakout to articulate a problem in their niche. They will then do a mind-mapping exercise about that problem. Finally, participants will create a list of story ideas to a) suggest to a client or b) write for their own business.

Rhea Wessel is a writer and founder of the Institute for Thought Leadership. She helps subject-matter experts in companies find and frame their best ideas in her thought-leadership writing incubators, like the one she gives for Harvard alumni. Her book, Write Like a Thought Leader, was published in early 2022.

Strategies for Crafting Compelling Thought Leadership

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Join our panel of seasoned editors as they share their best practices for creating thought leadership that stands out in today’s crowded media landscape. From identifying original ideas to collaborating effectively with authors, our panelists will offer practical advice on crafting content that resonates with your client’s audience. Whether you’re an experienced writer or editor or just starting out, don’t miss this insightful discussion on the art of crafting compelling thought leadership.

Mickey Butts is a business editor, writer, and content strategist who has helped leading thinkers, writers, and organizations bring out the best in their ideas for more than 25 years. Most recently, he was editor in chief at Tanium’s Focal Point brand journalism magazine. He’s also been a senior editor at T Brand Studio of The New York Times and deputy editor at Boston Consulting Group. He has written and edited for major magazines and newspapers and collaborated with leading thinkers to write and edit articles as well as bestselling business books. More information is at his web site:

Hannah Miet is an award-winning creative writer, veteran business journalist, and thought leadership expert with 15 years of experience. Her bylines have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and Complex. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in PANK Magazine, the Rumpus and others. After a decade in journalism, during which she launched and led the West Coast division of the Real Deal, Hannah expanded into B2B marketing in 2017 with a role directing editorial content at JLL. She helped launch and run the company’s thought leadership platform, Trends & Insights. In 2022, Hannah founded her thought leadership consultancy. Today, she plans and writes relevant and original white papers, reports, e-books, messaging, and articles that position her clients as unparalleled thought leaders.

Frank Kalman is a seasoned writer and editor who is currently leading content marketing and editorial strategy for global construction software firm Bluebeam Inc. Prior, Frank spent several years as a managing editor overseeing digital and print operations for various trade publications, in addition to consulting financial services firms on creating white papers and other forms of thought leadership content. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and resides in Franklin, Massachusetts, with his wife, daughter and dog.

Jonas Allen is an award-winning marketing, PR and writing professional who’s helped organizations tell strategic stories for more than 23 years. After starting his career as a journalist, Jonas ventured into PR at FleishmanHillard before pivoting to marketing leadership roles for a national wireless operator, a global mobile-technology manufacturer and a tech-centric sustainability nonprofit. He currently leads two areas for a leading IT services firm as Global Head of Marketing for Wipro Consulting, and Director of Editorial for Wipro’s ABM Content Studio. Jonas lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two teenage children.

How to Streamline Your Writing Process to Save Time, Earn More, And Live the Life of Your Dreams

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET

Trying to find a writing workflow that works for you? In this panel, four experienced content writers will give their best tips and tricks that will help you better navigate common content writing pain points, enhance your productivity, and build and maintain a winning mindset—all so you can save time, earn more, and live the life of your dreams. Plus, you’ll be able to get tailored advice from the panelists during the Q&A portion of the session.

Cathie Ericson is a freelance content writer who specializes in long-form content – articles, white papers and other B2B content for brands large and small, with a few B2C projects thrown in for variety. She has written for a range of industries, with particular expertise and interest in personal finance, real estate, retail, restaurants and education.

Lauren Barack is an award-winning journalist who writes about the impact of science and technology on business, society and education. Winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism for the online series, “Middle Class Crunch,” Lauren’s work has also appeared in Inc., New Scientist, Salon, Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. She helped launch, staff and develop editorial for GearBrain, a news site focused on consumer technology, ran Mothers On The Verge, a parenting blog featured on HuffPost, and is a former segment producer and writer for Comedy Central, MTV and VH-1. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at CUNY The Graduate School, researching the effect of virtual reality on learning and memory.

Micah Gause is a pleasantly caffeinated copywriter and content marketing specialist with 4+ years of passion and experience helping mission-driven startups translate their offers and expertise into captivating, narrative-driven written assets.

Her writing experience covers a range of industries from beauty and lifestyle to real estate and tech. When she’s not writing, you can find Micah reading a book, poring over tv and film scripts, or snuggling with her cats.

Dawn Allcot is the owner and founder of Allcot Media, Inc., a boutique content marketing firm, as well as the owner of travel and entertainment website A food, and travel enthusiast, she also runs a wellness community on Facebook.

As a content marketing writer, Allcot primarily covers personal finance, technology, travel, and residential and commercial real estate. Her work has appeared on sites such as MSN, Forbes, Bankrate, and the award-winning Chase website. She regularly writes for GoBankingRates, Money Crashers and Crediful.

Allcot comes from a 20+ year editorial background as the editor of technology trade and niche consumer magazines, including Paintball Sports. (Yes, she plays!) She lives on Long Island with her husband, their two children, and a menagerie of cats and reptiles.

Finding Your Niche

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. ET

Finding your niche can help you write more efficiently and charge higher rates—but how do you find your niche? How many niches can you have? Our panelists will discuss how to find your niche and move forward with it.

Debbie Abrams Kaplan is a long time ASJA member who covers supply chain, health/medicine, and business (and often the combination) for industry and journalism clients. She got her start in supply chain after a chance encounter in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, and her developed her medical writing expertise as a medical malpractice claims investigator. Debbie writes for trade publications, startups and global brands like GE Healthcare, DHL and Mastercard. Debbie is also the ASJA advocacy communications chair, combatting anti-freelancer ABC-test legislation.

After working for a decade in corporate communications and nearly that long in financial services, Amy Ragland turned her part-time freelance side hustle into a full-time gig in 2017. She spent two years as a generalist before carving out a niche writing for financial firms. She hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Washburn University. Amy lives in Wichita, KS, with her husband and two teenage daughters. Find her on LinkedIn (amyragland) or Twitter (@raglandwrites).

Member Rates

Member Rates
Early Registration – Through May 15, 2023
$275 – Full Registration
$200- Track Registration
$125 – Single Day

Regular Registration – After May 15, 2023
$325 – Full Registration
$245- Track Registration
$175 – Single Day

Client Connections (members only)
$65: Bundled with full conference registration
$75: Bundled with single track registration
$85: Client Connections only

Non-Member Rates

Early Registration – Through May 15, 2023
$325 – Full Registration
$245 – Track Registration
$175 – Single Day

Regular Registration – After May 15, 2023
$375 – Full Registration
$285- Track Registration
$225 – Single Day

Check out the other tracks and snack chats!

Journalism Track

The journalism industry and profession have changed dramatically in recent years, especially for freelance writers. Our journalism track offers tips and techniques for continuing your career and building your business, and our speakers and session leaders will get you ready for what’s coming next.

Learn More

Books Track

Authors and authors-to-be are encouraged to attend our books track. From planning to writing to marketing and beyond, this track promises solid take-home advice and inspiration designed to get your book published and in front of readers, with advice from published authors and a pitch slam with editors and agents.

Learn More

Snack Chats

These host-led conversations are designed to be informal, informative, and fun! Topics include podcasting 101, starting a literary salon, getting into ghostwriting, secrets from ASJA award winners, how to “unretire,” and more. Each day of the conference will feature three snack chats open to all that day’s attendees. Snack chats are included in the price for full, track, and single-day registration.

Learn more

Full Conference Details

Learn from the best and most successful professional freelancer writers in the country

Our keynote speakers, expert-led sessions, and small-group discussions offer insight and connections in the worlds of freelance journalism, content marketing, and nonfiction books. Click below for full information.