TCC Podcast #403: What's Possible for Content Creators with Amanda Natividad - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #403: What’s Possible for Content Creators with Amanda Natividad

What’s possible as a content creator? If you don’t want to be a  CMO or VP of marketing, how high can you rise? Amanda Natividad joined us for the 403rd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast and shared her thoughts about how writers can carve out a role as an individual contributor and what that looks like. She also talked about research, growing an online audience and how not to add to the social media noise. Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.


Stuff to check out:

Amanda’s Website
The Brian Kurtz episode Rob mentioned
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground


Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh:  Building an online platform on social media where you can share your thoughts has become an important part of a lot of copywriter’s businesses. A platform like this can be a source of leads as well as a place to grow your influence and share your thoughts. Whether you do it on Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram or somewhere else, it’s more important than ever. And when you do it right, your platform can be a launch pad for all kinds of things—including a writing position where you get to not only do the work you love, but define the way you do it.

Hi, I’m Rob Marsh, one of the founders of The Copywriter Club. And for today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, Kira Hug and I talked with content creator and VP of Marketing at SparkToro, Amanda Natividad. Amanda landed her position by posting great content online and interacting with others on her chosen platform—Twitter. We talked about that as well as how content creators might create individual contributor roles for themselves, how to research using a tool like SparkToro, the platform Amanda would probably choose today if she were starting over and a lot more. This is a great interview with lots of insights. So stick around…

Before we jump in with Amanda…

We have a new gift for you as a listener to The Copywriter Club Podcast. We went through the past 400 episodes of this podcast looking for the ideas that our guests have shared over the past couple of years related to finding clients. We pulled out a bunch of our favorites and compiled them into a new pocket sized guide that will inspire you as you look for ways to attract the right clients to your business. It’s a bit like having a couple dozen of the best copywriters in your pocket advising you on how to find your next client. To get your copy, visit and download this new guide.

And with that, let’s go to our interview with Amanda Natividad.


Kira Hug: Well, let’s start with your story. I’d love to hear how you ended up as the VP of Marketing at SparkToro and how you got there.

Amanda Natividad: Yeah. This could be too long of a story. Let’s see. Go for the whole hour.

Rob Marsh: Let’s make sure we talk about the test kitchen, all of it.

Amanda Natividad: It all started when I was born. No, I’m kidding. No, let’s see. Here, I’ll try to do my best here. You would think at this point I would be good at this, but I’m not. So here we go. I’ll say I was a marketer like in the trenches for what, at least eight years or so before I ever started publishing online, like under my own name, here are my marketing thoughts. Here are my thoughts and work. And once I decided to do that, I was basically all in. Like I kind of just tend to be the kind of person where I’m either in or out. There’s no in between. Right. So when I decided to do it, I really went all in. I went all in on writing Twitter threads. Eventually started a personal site and a personal newsletter and then grew that and then slowly expanded onto LinkedIn and stuff. Along this journey, one of my marketing heroes, Rand Fishkin, followed me back, which of course meant that I was mortified instantly and was like, well, now I can’t tweet anymore. I think I closed the app for the day and was like, I think I’m done, guys. I got to be quiet now. 

No. What actually happened there was I obviously did become more self-conscious but in the best way possible because I really then was like, why would Rand Fishkin follow me back? He doesn’t need my marketing advice. He already knows how to do this. It really made me double down on conveying my perspective, my experiences because then I thought, well, he doesn’t. Rand Fishkin isn’t following me because he doesn’t know how to do marketing and thus wants to learn how to do it, right? He followed me because he wants to hear my perspective on marketing, my perspective on the world of work, my perspective on food, right? So in a weird way, it kind of allowed me to be more myself online. And then we ended up becoming friends, met up for lunch with his wife, Geraldine Deruiter, and we were all just fast friends. For me, it felt like meeting old friends for the first time in real life, right? Even though, I mean, I had never interacted with Geraldine online, very rarely interacted with Rand. And it was definitely one of those people who, when I followed his work, I never commented on it. For the longest time, I was like, oh, he doesn’t want to hear from me. I was just like, cool. What a cool guy. I would move on with my day. 

I ended up joining SparkToro. I actually originally joined with the title Marketing Architect. This was initially a very intentional choice because I’m an individual contributor, but at the same time operating at a level higher than coordinator, analyst, marketer, or even director, right? And kind of wanted this unique title to reflect the uniqueness of my role as a high-level individual contributor, but also as somebody who, because we’re a startup of three people. Inevitably, part of my job involves customer support and involves being a product manager, right? All these things that are not really what marketing is. So we wanted it to be inclusive of like a marketing architect that we saw was somebody who would build the foundation of a marketing team. 

And then —and I’m saying this because you asked about how did you become VP of Marketing—after my first year, after doing this great work, I knew I wanted to stay and was getting more invitations to speak at conferences, was pitching myself more. And ultimately I felt like, and even being right on, having previously been on the side of being an event organizer, was being honest with myself and realizing, you know what? I actually worry that the term marketing architect isn’t helping me as much as we thought it would, right? Like just really being honest with ourselves. Like it sounds, I think the ethos of it is great. I stand by the ethos of it, but it’s not a real title or a real known title, right? You hear that and you’re like, oh, what’s that? That sounds like a thing you made up. And it was, right? But then we had to really think through, you know, is this making the point we think it is, right? Like, is this actually helping me? And then I ultimately was like, you know, event organizers, conference organizers, podcast hosts, right? Like, they don’t really care about our own, you know, internal buzzwords, right? Like, And ultimately, a lot of these conferences, they’re like, we just want to know who you are. Like, what is that, right? So then I was like, hey, can we just change my title to VP Marketing? And then Rand and Casey were like, yeah, you can do whatever you want.

Rob Marsh: They seem pretty easy going. I want to dive into this idea though, marketing architect. You wrote something a couple of months ago, I think to your own newsletter, where you talked about as marketers, our ability to create these individual contributor type roles, where we define how we contribute to a company and the kind of work that we want to do. Would you share that idea just a little bit or go a little bit deeper in that? Because I think there’s this massive opportunity for people who have been content writers or copywriters and they use the word “just” in front of their titles. I’m “just” a copywriter. I’m “just” a marketer, but what we do is so much bigger. And I think you laid it out really well as you start talking about that idea.

Amanda Natividad: Yeah. I appreciate that. I mean, it’s funny because the notion of a high-level individual contributor isn’t really new, right? I mean, we see a lot in more tech or product-oriented roles.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, IBM will have somebody who’s getting paid a lot of money to just sit in an office and think, right?

Amanda Natividad: Right. Oh, totally, right? And you have like software engineers or software architects, people who actually do the work, right? But they don’t have a team reporting to them. They don’t run a big department. But you don’t really see that in marketing teams, right? The traditional path is still like, well, one day I want to be a CMO and run the team and all this stuff. And, you know, for a long time, I thought I wanted that or let’s just say I did want that for a time. Right. And it was like, well, that’s the only way to go. You go up. You make more money, you manage people, that’s how it goes. And as I was starting to manage more teams, my boss and I, she eventually asked me, like, do you even like managing people? And I sat with that for a moment and was like, I don’t think I do. And she was like, I don’t think you do either. And it wasn’t a dig at me, right? It was just an honest, vulnerable conversation. And she was like, I have a feeling you just really like to do the work. And you like to do some things your own way. You like to geek out on things. And I’m like, it’s absolutely true.

Many days, I am happiest when I am just hunkered down in my office writing out a long blog post. That is genuinely fun to me. And it’s not for everyone, right? Some people like managing other people. And I think that’s a wonderful thing to do. I think people who want to be people managers should do that. And I think those of us who don’t really want to do that, shouldn’t be forced into it. I think there are a lot of ways that marketers can be and should be individual contributors and we should figure out or just put more structure behind how we enable that. Because to your point, Rob, there are people who are, in quotes, “just” copywriters, but they are expert level, so damn good at writing that they should do that. But I mean, that also means that there could be this opportunity for them where they focus on that, we really think that the rest of the team can really think about what they do with that copy where it’s not, you know, in quotes, just writing a landing page, but, you know, being intentional about how that kind of copy informs everything else.

Kira Hug: So I want to hear more about your role and what you’re doing at SparkToro, but I think we should probably talk about what it is, what the company does, and a little bit about the products so listeners have an idea of what we’re talking about.

Amanda Natividad: Yeah. So SparkToro is the maker of an audience research tool, right? Where we help marketers find their audience’s sources of influence. We help marketers figure out where their audience is already hanging out, where they’re not hanging out. We help marketers figure out what are the keywords that their audience is already searching for. And overall, we believe all these insights can help marketers make better decisions about where to spend their money, can help them write better content, the content that resonates with their audience, and even can help them with their advertising efforts. Because we can show you the podcasts and YouTube channels that your audience is paying attention to, right? And that could inform how you allocate your creator spend or your creator budget. But yeah, that’s pretty much what we do. 

I think one thing to call out early on is some people think we’re an influencer tool, like marketing, or they think we’re a social listening tool. We are not really either of those things, right? Like if you want to do proper social listening and get a sense of how people are talking about your brand, there are other tools for that, right? Because we don’t provide that sort of real-time like, here’s what people are saying on Twitter, right? We’re giving you the data that probably doesn’t change a lot day to day, right? It probably changes several times a year. or maybe it’s like once a month, right? But we’re showing you that kind of data that overall informs your strategy, not necessarily your day-to-day tactics.

Kira Hug: So what would be an example of a way maybe a copywriter listening could use this tool with their own work or with their client’s work?

Amanda Natividad: So I like to say that Sparktoro helps you do your homework, right? It helps you do the research. So if I were a copywriter listening to this, I would search the audience and I might search the audience based on the website. So let’s say you know your audience goes to a certain niche website like, well, I can’t think of one off the top. Oh, let’s say they go to… they’re plant you know, gardening enthusiasts, right? There are any number of those websites that you could analyze in Sparktoro, right? And maybe there’s a certain brand that’s sort of evocative of your brand, of your own brand, right? So let’s say that brand is called The Sill, right? That’s one of my favorite plant brands, so I thought of it. If you search for the audience that goes to the website,, then you can see like the keywords this audience is searching for, the other websites they frequent, the social accounts they follow, podcasts, YouTube channels, the other kinds of apps that they use, right? 

So I would look at all this and start to kind of form a sort of audience persona in my mind and start to think about like, oh, like this audience, you know, they’re listening to this show or these are some, you know, these are some social accounts they follow. This is interesting. And then I would start going to some of these channels or podcasts and listening to them, right? And then starting to pick up on some of the language that they’re using. I would try to figure out like, or I would use that to think about like, oh, here’s some topics they’re interested in. Like this is one of the top podcasts I listened to like three of these recent podcasts. Now I kind of know what’s top of mind for this audience. Now I know how to use their language and talk directly to them and figure out how to create the kind of content or the kind of copy that is kind of already in their head, right? 

I mean, that’s kind of copywriter 101, right? you want to use the language that they’re already using and you want to show like, I am on your level, whether it’s like, we are peers or whether it’s, I am the thought leader that you need to pay attention to, or I’m your little sister, right? Like, however your brand is. I think getting this really good data informed picture of where your audience is already hanging out will really help you, you know, write copy that resonates.

Rob Marsh: Seems like there’s a secondary use here too, because the way that marketing is changing and certainly the roles of copywriters and content writers, we need to be more than just writers oftentimes. And so having a tool like SparkToro, put you in a strategist seat as well, where now you can say, OK, we did this particular copy project. You know, maybe it’s a landing page for a product. Here are a bunch of ideas for you where you can now go and advertise or talk about, you know, this thing that we’re doing. So you start to actually help sell beyond the words. That’s not necessarily something every copywriter wants to do, but it’s the kind of thing that could really set somebody apart.

Amanda Natividad: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s stick with the example of the Sill, right? It’s a consumer focused plant brand. What I would do as a copywriter is I would do this Sparktoro search and then look at some hidden gem websites, right? So these hidden gem websites are websites that might not be mainstream, right? They might be not as well known, but they have a high affinity to traffic ratio among the visitors. So for instance, people who go to the website,, they also go to websites like,, right? 

And then I would go to some of these websites, I would go to these top three, and then look at their homepages, right? Like really study, how are they positioning themselves? Who are they speaking to? What is the solution that they’re selling, right? And then try to figure out like, is there a common thread here that my brand can pick up on? Or, you know, like figuring out sort of how do you yes and your competitors, right? Like how do you try to kind of… And I want to be careful not to say, not blend in with your competitors, right? But kind of figure out what is that right balance of that compliment that shows like, how can we show we’re kind of part of this, right? But also being unique enough to know like, here’s why you should follow my website and Epic Gardening, right? Like thinking about that.

Kira Hug: Yeah, it sounds like it gives you a great starting point if your client is struggling to find those customer insights. And it just reminds me of a conversation I had this week with a prospect. And this person had invested in so many different partners, building funnels, coming up with LinkedIn strategies. But he hadn’t actually invested in the initial research, customer research, to pull in messaging So who knows what all these different partners are saying? And it seems like this would be a great tool just to get started to have a place to go to say, here is what your prospects are talking about, what they care about, the other websites. So let’s start here. And then we can go deeper and pull in customer interviews, go even deeper into qualitative research. Is that how you view it as like, this is where you start anytime you’re working on a project?

Amanda Natividad: Yeah, absolutely. And I think to that point, sometimes we marketers are partially guessing, or not even just guessing, but we might be wrong in a sense about who our competitors are. Because when you really think about it, there are a lot of different definitions of competitors. There are people with whom you compete directly against on your product or your solution. But then there also might be people who you compete with for attention, right? Who might be, they might sell a different solution than what you sell, but they’re still your competitor in the sense that you’re still vying for the same attention ultimately. And those might be the people that you’d want to learn from even more because those might be the people who could be better indicative of potential co-marketers or partners, right? Or potential people that you’d want to sponsor if that makes sense for your business, right? 

So I think what’s good about SparkToro is that it helps you find these different kinds of competitors in a way that is actually backed with data, right? It’s not like you as a marketer knowing like, well, I’m a plant company. You know, I’m My competitor is And that’s true, right, in that they both sell plants directly to the consumer. But they might have very different audience profiles, right? Like somebody who buys from Easyplant. So Easyplant has a special like self-watering pot. Right? It’s really cool.

Rob Marsh: Kira actually needs this. She’s growing a forest in her house.

Kira Hug: I need to have some that just feed themselves. Yeah, that’d be great. 

Amanda Natividad: Let’s talk about this because I feel like this is going to be really helpful. I feel like your audience will probably kind of geek out on this too, like the nuances. So EasyPlant, right, they have their own pot that is self-watering in that you fill the reservoir with water. And then from there, like the whatever internal system, it slowly waters the plant over the course of a month. So you fill the water or you fill the tank once a month, but then you leave it alone. You put it by the window, wherever it needs to be, right? is more traditional in the sense that it’s a potted plant. These are the same plants, right? The ZZ plants, pothos, philodendrons, whatever, right? And then, like they have these beautiful pots, beautiful plants. They’re just, they’re quote unquote, just potted plants, but also beautiful, right? So, but you can imagine that maybe EasyPlant’s audience is people who travel frequently, people who work in an office every day, right? Like maybe that’s a target audience. Whereas maybe thesill’s audience is stay-at-home workers. Maybe it’s people who don’t travel a lot. Maybe it’s people who live in rural areas who like gardening at home. Things like that which you can imagine, those are two very different types of audiences. In a sense, they might not really be competitors. depending on how you look at that, right? So you can also imagine there are very different opportunities for the kinds of copy you would write for both of those brands, even if they are in essence the same D2C plant brand.

Rob Marsh: So I don’t want to necessarily stop plant talk, but I do- 

Kira Hug: I’m going to buy that.  I’m like the easy plant talk.

Rob Marsh: I know. As soon as you started talking about plants, Amanda, I knew Kira was going to be all over this. But I do want to back up because, well, so there was some serendipity in you landing this job at SparkToro, but it came out of a very deliberate, at least I think, practice on Twitter. And you have, I think I was looking today, like 130,000 followers on Twitter. Like you have a huge audience there. You have your own newsletter. Can we talk a little bit about how you built that audience and exactly what you did to do that? And I guess maybe as a final question to however we talk about this, like, is it possible for people to do that today as opposed to, you know, a few years ago when you started doing it?

Amanda Natividad: Yeah. So let’s see. This kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier. Once I decided to write about my work or my experience, I went all in. I was working for an SEO agency called Growth Machine where I was running marketing for them, the agency, so I was responsible for bringing in pipeline and leads and all that stuff. As an agency, you have to think about what’s the unique differentiator because a lot of SEO agencies are pretty much the same, right? They’re all just different people working there, right? Then it became pretty clear that the unique differentiator was the people. It just kind of became a natural fit to kind of position myself as the face of the brand because it would also just make things a lot more sustainable for our budget. It wasn’t about paying for ads. It was about positioning a person as the front of the brand who would then bring in the leads. A big part of it too is that the founder, Nat Eliason, was the face of the brand because it was his agency. 

We also wanted to figure out how we sustain ourselves more than just, hey, Nat, can you tweet this for us? Marketing should be more sustainable than that. So as I took on this role, and this was probably, oh yeah, this is my first time marketing to other marketers, it became clear that the content was marketing. And I was like, well, I know how to do that. So I’m going to write about this. And I think it was just in my philosophical approach to content marketing was I learned SEO, or at least the basic principles of it, because I am not an SEO expert. I learned basic principles of SEO later in my career. 

My entry into content marketing was by way of journalism and just knowing how websites like how to make a website and how to write a blog post. Right. But it wasn’t really that I didn’t come at it from a keyword research standpoint. I came at it from a journalistic standpoint, which was how do you write original content? You come up with original information. You know, you have to interview thought leaders or subject matter experts. You interview these people and then write original content based on original knowledge. Right. Like that was kind of always my approach, which is not that doesn’t mean that that’s separate from keyword research, right? You can do both. It’s just that I didn’t come at it from the keyword first standpoint. In doing this, I think it was more intuitive for me to figure out my unique differentiator because that was always how I created content. I’m saying this because I think this was my competitive edge as a content marketer coming up in this space. And I just figured like, well, I’m going to write from experience because that’s what I know, right? Like I can’t do – because we see a lot of these right outside in looking case studies, right? Where people are like, I looked at Masterclass in Ahrefs. Here’s how they grew to a billion-dollar business or whatever it is. Like I’m having worked at other startups and bigger companies. I see a lot of these case studies and I’m like, that’s not how they did it at all. I think you can tell that story when you work your way backwards, but that’s not how they made those decisions. 

They didn’t do it that way. They didn’t start with SEO because they knew that would be the play. Maybe they started with subject matter experts because that was the product and then it just so happened to make sense as an SEO strategy. That always bothered me and I always felt like, no, you have to write from what you know. And what you know best is your own experience. So I wrote from that. And then I also, here’s where the marketing comes into play, you know, figured out how to position my content so that people would actually want to read it. Right. And then I would start, I focused on the sort of zero click content, right. Where I was optimizing native to the platform, focused on just building, growing my impressions, right. Like making sure that I and my content would get seen and it actually worked. Right. Like, like kind of early on, I started to go viral with some of these threads, you know, viral within the marketing community. Right. That was my target audience. 

And I ended up growing my audience from like, I think I started at like 700 followers and then got to maybe 3,000 followers in a couple of months, which then quickly went to 10,000 followers. And then I think it grew to over 100,000 in about a year and a half. And I think it was even that from 700 to about 5000 followers. I didn’t even have a personal site or newsletter or anything. It was just Twitter.

So I think the key thing there is to focus on one discovery platform first. Like I think I think people kind of get hung up on like I had to start my blog. I have to get my own not rented channel. I need to set this up. Okay, how do I start a personal site? How do I start a blog?” And then you kind of get bogged down, right? And like, oh my God, I have so much to do. It’s never going to get done. Instead, what I recommend to people is focus on your discovery platform first, right? And I’m saying discovery platform. because I want that to be inclusive of social media, but also kind of see how you can kind of think beyond traditional social media. Because I kind of think that discovery platforms now are things like Substack, Beehive, ConvertKit, right? These newsletter platforms where you own it, but you don’t own it, right? Like you own your email list, but theoretically, they can take you down like, you know, they can. But that being said, if they did, they don’t delete your email list. You can still export it. Right. So it’s like it’s mostly owned. Right. But focus on these channels where you can get discovered, where there’s some kind of organic growth element to it. And then from there, like, like master that, get good at that and then expand to the next thing. 

So in my case, I focused on Twitter, focused exclusively on that for probably six to nine months, eventually started my newsletter. And then maybe it was even after a year. of that, that I then moved over to LinkedIn. And so by the time I got to LinkedIn, I had this repository of content that I could repurpose, expound on. I could kind of play the greatest hits, so to speak. And also at that point, I had developed some, you know, some social capital, right, on Twitter. Like I kind of had that following there. So then when I went to LinkedIn, there were already some people who knew about me. And so that became easier to grow. So maybe I’ve been talking for a long time. I’ll pause there. 

Kira Hug: So many follow-up questions. I know it’s different for every person, every business. But for you, if you were starting today, what would your discovery platform be? Would it be X? Would it be something else? What would that look like?

Amanda Natividad: It would not be X today. Because Twitter’s user base has been shrinking. There are fewer and fewer impressions there. There are also fewer people talking about their niche interests on Twitter. I think there are certainly obviously some communities that are still alive and thriving there. I think it seems like finance and real estate Twitter are still pretty active, but marketing Twitter is a lot quieter. than it was two years ago, right? So depending on your audience, right? So I would start with, I would start with Spectro and I would look at, okay, where is my audience hanging out already? Right? Look, if they happen to be on Twitter, then yeah. Or Twitter X, right? If they happen to be there and you know that they’re there, then start there. 

Personally, as a marketer, a B2B marketer, I would start on LinkedIn today. because I know that my audience is on LinkedIn. There are still more and more people to be discovered on LinkedIn. I still feel like when I log on and scroll my feed, I’m still seeing the same people. There aren’t a ton of fresh voices. I encourage more people to be the fresh voice that emerges on LinkedIn. I think there might also be something to be said for threads. It’s not a platform that I have mastered. I think it’s an interesting place to start, or it could be, because at the rate that Threads is growing, I think reasonably it’ll overtake Twitter/X pretty soon, maybe in the next year or so. So I would think about that as well.

Rob Marsh: As you were building your audience on Twitter, there are a lot of people out there that sell, you know, here are all the hooks or here’s the course on how to do it. Did you have templates that you were going to, or were you just sharing your thoughts just as they came? How did you, you know, build each of the things that you were communicating out there so that it did get interest?

Amanda Natividad: Yeah. So I’ll be very honest here. I did take some of those like grow your audience courses, like whatever was free, because I was like, I don’t want to pay for this. And I looked at the basic principles, right? So I didn’t have templates per se on like hooks or ways of writing, but I had like, I took, I took like maybe two courses, two or no, two or three like free courses. which were kind of some mix of like self-paced video modules and like reading through like kind of playbooks. And what I was looking for was what are the common threads here, right? Like how can I learn this from first principles and then do my own thing, right? So a lot of it was the basic principles are one, figure out how to boost your impressions, aka figure out how to get seen. when you don’t have any followers, and then two, make it really easy for people to follow you. Meaning, be very clear about who you are, what you write about, and why people should trust you. Focus on that and deliver on that and stick with it repeatedly over time. Those are basically the two principles. Figure out how to get seen and then make it easy for people to follow you. And so when you think about how do you boost your impressions, how do you get seen? A lot of it is by commenting on existing accounts. Now, you don’t have to comment on the giant accounts. It’s just it’s really just comment on other accounts. And for me, as a as a longtime Twitter lurker, that was very eye-opening to me. I was like, what? Comment on strangers’ posts? You can do that? I was never the kind of person who would comment on someone’s post if we weren’t already friends in real life. Because there was a part of me that was like, you’re not allowed to do this. I just didn’t think I could. 

But I started to learn, like, no, you can, but like, be nice, right? Or like, be kind, like, amplify things. Ask questions that are additive to the conversation. Make comments that are additive to the conversation. Think about what you can add, not take away. They don’t come at it as like, yeah, but I think you’re wrong. That’s taking away something. It’s taking away energy. It’s taking away good vibes. Think about what you can add. Like, oh, that’s a great point. Also, I saw another great example of this. Here’s what it is. Let me share it with you. Those are value adds. Those are reasons that people would want to follow you. So do that. 

And then meanwhile, make it easy for people to follow you. Optimize your profile so that people actually want to follow you. Everyone’s different. You can be pseudonymous if you want to. For me, I just chose, I’m going to use a clear photo of myself, use my name because that’s who I am and I stand by this. On my Twitter bio, I write about this. And basically here’s a social proof that backs it up. I write about marketing and tech, used to work at Fitbit, NatureBox, Growth Machine. That’s generally what my profile says. And then I actually wrote about marketing. Probably 90% of my content was focused on marketing. The other things I would think through were, well, sort of using my own bias. The way I follow people on Twitter is And this gets me in trouble because sometimes people are like, why won’t you follow me back? It’s I use inform I use Twitter for information, right? Like I follow people because I want to see their tweets because they have information or knowledge that I want to learn from or information that I think is funny or interesting. 

There are a lot of people who might be, you know, very casual Twitter users and look, you do you. This is not an indictment of individuals, but if you’re tweeting like 12 times a day, I don’t want that in my feed personally. Hey, if you want to do that, cool. Do you? I don’t want to see that. Right. And because I don’t want to see that, I don’t want to put that in the world. So I only really tweet once or twice a day if that. Couple times a week at this point because I don’t want to just put noise out into the world, right? So that’s how I think about that and that’s kind of how I follow people back. If someone’s tweet – I have unfollowed people who I like because they tweet like 30, 40 times a day and I’m like, it’s just too much and I start to miss things in my feed because it’s overpowered by somebody else. I don’t want to mute them. I don’t want to miss 100% of their tweets. I just want to see like 10% of it. So I unfollow but don’t mute in hopes that it pops up in my “for you” feed. This sounds so wonky and geeky, but it gets me into trouble because people are like, what did I do to you? Why did you unfollow me? Did I hurt you?

Rob Marsh: That was going to be my next question. How did we hurt you that we don’t have you following us?

Amanda Natividad: I’m sorry. What I want to say is, it’s not you, it’s me, but no, it’s a little bit you because you tweet too much for my personal preference. I’m sorry, but you are a wonderful person, but I can’t do this.

Rob Marsh: If only I could muster the energy to tweet that many times to, yeah, to earn an unfollow. Yeah.

Kira Hug: So what is the ecosystem today and how, you know, because you mentioned, okay, today I do tweet like once or twice a day and then you have your sub stack, which I just subscribed to recently, like today. And it said I’ll get a monthly, I think it said a monthly email. Yeah. And then how does that fit into what you’re doing with SparkToro? Like, how do you kind of view the whole ecosystem of you today? Yeah.

Amanda Natividad: Oh, that’s interesting. I mean, what it boils down to for me is I say something when I believe I have something to say. Right. I really, really don’t like filling a content quota. That being said, for my day job at SparkToro, I kind of do need to fill a content quota, right? I do put some parameters around it. We have an audience research newsletter that goes out every other Thursday. That’s what it is. That’s the cadence that I chose because I felt like, look, twice a month, okay. I can figure out important things to say twice a month. I don’t think that’s going to be overwhelming to people or to myself. And I need to be figuring, it’s my job, right? Like I need to create value at least twice a month, right? 

So that becomes a forcing function for Sparktoro and the other things feed into it, right? So then ideally beyond that, then I’ll have a couple of blog posts a month, ideally. Ideally, Rand will have a couple of blog posts a month. And we also will try to have our Sparktoro office hours once a month or so. So this, to me, kind of naturally feeds the newsletter. And that’s kind of the main ecosystem for Sparktoro. For myself, myself is like, that is just when I feel like it, right? Like my personal newsletter is, you know what I want to do, I do want to figure out how I can make this more sustainable or just more frequent. while also making sure that it’s adding value to people. So I try to figure out a nice balance there. I try to make sure that I am sharing interesting, novel, original insights at some kind of repeatable click. I don’t want to just fill a quota. If I have a post that I’ve written on the Spectoro blog, then usually I feel like I did something worth sharing. So I’ll try to repurpose that for my newsletter pull out a couple of principles from there and expound on that for the newsletter and really just try to make sure I’m being, that I’m making the most out of the existing content that I’m creating while also being careful not to just add noise to the internet.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s really, really good advice. Adding noise. I mean, that’s one of those major marketing problems that we’re all sort of dealing with. What do you see as the other issues that we need to be working to make better in the marketing world as you look across the entire spectrum? A lot of people making a lot of mistakes, a lot of people doing things that are harming the industry, but where do you think that we could be doing better and how do we do it?

Amanda Natividad: I was starting to think about this this week. How can we do better? What can we do more of or less of? I was at a conference this week. I was at MozCon. It was a great conference. I met some very nice people. There were some great talks. But I can’t help but feel like I wonder about the SEO industry. I say that as a semi-outsider. I’m not really an SEO. I know some things. Definitely not a technical SEO. But the things that I wonder and worry about are there are a lot of the same names, the big names in SEO for like, how long now? Eight, 10 years maybe. And they’re great. They are, right? It’s not a knock on them, but it’s, I’m not sure that there are a lot of emerging voices in SEO. And this is just, I’m using SEO as one example because broadly that makes me wonder, Who are the other emerging voices in the other subsets of marketing? I don’t know how many there are. I’m kind of posing this as an existential question. Honestly, I hope anybody listening is like, oh my gosh, you could not be more wrong. I know of so many emerging voices. Good. 

I really hope there are people listening who think that because as I’m saying this, I’m obviously revealing my own bubbles, right? Like we all have our own bias. We all live in our bubbles. I just worry that I’m not seeing enough emerging voices. And I also need to say, when I say emerging voices, I’m not saying, who are the cool Twitter accounts now? It’s not that. It’s so much more than that. Emerging voices are, who are the people who are learning the first principles, getting this great solid foundation of things? Who are the people that are challenging the status quo, who are asking the questions, who are asking the industry to do better? I worry about that. I worry that there are potentially more people in the sort of up and coming social account kind of space where, hey, that’s cool for you. Like, yeah, get your clout. You know, there’s a big part of you that’s like, I can’t hate on that. If you’re getting good success, good for you. And I don’t want to call anyone out and I won’t, but I worry that there’s just a lot of like emerging or growing social media accounts that aren’t actually doing a lot of good for the industry. They’re not doing anything bad. It’s not that. I don’t know that they’re creating net positive things and opportunities for the marketing industry as a whole. I kind of think it’s like a new flavor of a harmless grifter. Sorry, this is so existential.

Kira Hug: Yeah. I was just thinking as you were saying that, I was wondering if it has anything to do with AI in that space. And I’m not an SEO expert at all, but if that’s making it harder for new voices to show up and dedicate that time to do stepping into that space because they may not see the pathway that maybe some of these past experts saw 10 years ago. Yeah.

Amanda Natividad: I don’t know, because there’s the creator, the optimistic creator in me wants to say, no, that’s a good thing, right? Because that means crappy content is going to stay crappy content. And the current state of generative AI is not better than the individual person, right? Individual people are human beings with lived experiences. Let’s all lean into that. That’s what the optimistic creator in me says. the pessimist consumer in me worries, are we all getting dumber? Right? Because I see, we, me too, right? Like we see so many of these social accounts, right? Who are like, these are the top 10 AI tools. So good. They should be illegal. And then you look at it and it has like 10,000 likes. And you’re like, why? Why do people think this is good? Like that concerns me.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, I think there’s there’s something going on to where there are new voices or new people, but they’re saying the exact same things that were said five years ago or 10 years ago. And so In fact, even in the copywriting world, we’ve seen people say, you can’t say that because I said that in my course two years ago. And they’re like, wait a second, this is something that has been in the copywriting world since the 60s. They’re just saying the same things over and over as opposed to what you’re talking about, new approaches, new angles. We were in a training with our friend Brian Kurtz, and he said something that really resonated with me. He said, we don’t need more thought leaders. We need results leaders. And I think anytime you’re talking about results, you may be talking about those foundational principles, but because it’s a new project, it’s a new assignment, it’s new results, it’s a new way to talk about some of this stuff. So again, that’s not really a question, but I a hundred percent agree with what you’re saying, Amanda.

Amanda Natividad: Yeah, I’m writing that down. We don’t need more thought leaders. We need more results leaders.

Kira Hug: Yeah, I like that. So I do have a question. You know, we’re talking a lot about fresh ideas. Let’s not get dumber. Let’s get smarter. New voices. Yet I also hear you saying, I don’t necessarily want to share content unless I have something to say. I don’t want to force and just put up content. And so I feel like there is this tension for our audience of copywriters where they do want to be results leaders and thought leaders and share content and be a fresh voice and share their perspective. Yet I think they’re so self-aware and even sometimes self-conscious that they don’t want to just put out trash. So they don’t do anything. So I guess, like, do you have advice for those people who could be a fresh voice but are getting in their own way because they’re worried about being part of the problem, even though those people probably aren’t part of the problem?

Amanda Natividad: Yeah, yeah, I think about this a lot because I think about this in the form of when I see the social media posts that complain, right, about like, oh my God, these people are doing the same thing. All right, I spent 100 hours looking at landing pages. Here are the four things you need to know. And you feel like, oh God, I hate that. I don’t want that in the world. I say, yes, I don’t either. But the bros that do this, like it or not, we can learn something from them because the things that they are keying in on are they are figuring out how to position their copy so that people look at it, so that people consume it and read it and follow them. And they are shameless enough to just keep doing it. And I think the people who are getting in their own way, and this was me for a very long time, the people who are getting in their own way are the only people who are like, oh, I shouldn’t do that. So I guess this is kind of my way of saying like, you know what, these bros don’t care. They will shamelessly keep doing it. How about you take an ounce of that energy for yourself? right? Like lean into that little bit of like, I don’t care, I’m going to do it. And I’m not saying like be dishonest, right? No, no, no. It’s just lean into the shamelessness a little bit, right? Because nobody is overthinking it more than you are. And we can learn from a little bit of that energy. So I say this, I will talk about this, about the bros, right? In like podcasts like this and like these conversations where we could have like the full context together. but I’ll never tweet about it. Like, you’ll never see me tweet, like, I’m so sick of these bros, because I don’t want to put that energy out in the world. I’m happy to talk about it in a nuanced way, but I say, like, no, we can actually learn from that. Like, we should actually, more of us, the people like us who have the imposter syndrome, who have a little bit of shame, no, we can learn from that a little bit, because if we don’t do it, it’s never going to get done. So, yeah.

Rob Marsh: True. I want to ask you about how you get stuff done because, I mean, you’ve got two little kids. You’re vice president at SparkToro. You’re doing your own content and distribution and creation. You have a course on content marketing that is out there in the world. Like, you’ve got so much stuff going on. What does your week look like so that you can actually make it all happen?

Amanda Natividad: I mean, I… I will have to say very first and foremost, I have the luxury of creating my own schedule. I create my schedule at this point around my child care schedule and resources. I don’t have daily child care for my baby. Basically, Mondays and Fridays, I’m with the baby. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, that’s when I have some help. The days that I have help, I go hard with work, right? And I think I am all for everybody figuring out what their work-life balance or integration looks like. For me, that balance is there isn’t a lot of it and that works for me. So Mondays, I’m like kind of doing emails, slowly ramping up, doing some things here and there while the baby naps, but I am on childcare all day. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I go pretty hard, maybe 10, 12 hours a day on work work, like Sparktora work, my coursework, newsletter work. Friday, I wind down again. And then the weekends are the weekends. I also have weekends, like I might reply to emails, but it’s whatever I can do in the Gmail inbox on my app is what I do. If it requires me having to go into MailChimp and schedule something for Sparktoro or go into Sparktoro and pull a report for someone, it won’t get done on the weekend. It just won’t. At this point, I mean, Rand and Casey, they know that I don’t work on the weekends, but I come back to it when I can. Maybe the short answer version of that is like, If you can create your schedule, do it, and figure out how to control your energy.

Kira Hug: Yeah. I love that flow of easing in, going hard, and then kind of wrapping up for the week. So I could ask you so many questions, but I want to keep an eye on the time, and I know we need to wrap soon. So maybe in just a sentence, you could share your answer to this question. What do you struggle with? You’re kind of a superstar and amazing and all these things we’ve been discussing. But like what is something that you still struggle with in your own career?

Amanda Natividad: I still struggle with making sure that I’m spending my time on the most high impact opportunities. Sometimes I’m really good at identifying it. Sometimes I lose sight of it and I get bogged down in something silly like a webinar registration page and I lose six hours to that. But I will say it’s a constant exercise in myself to make sure and figure out how to refocus on the most high-impact things.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, I struggle with that too. I mean, I’m 30 years into my career and I still struggle with that almost daily. If you could give some advice to younger Amanda to help her make progress faster or to do something differently, maybe subtract a regret, what would that be?

Amanda Natividad: Ooh. I will say I wish that I learned SEO more thoroughly and that I learned it sooner. I think it’s really important to know the rules before you break them. And this can apply to any other job or discipline. I think it’s good, it’s really important to be creative and be an original thinker, but you sometimes you’re limited by that if you don’t have a good true foundational understanding of something.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s true. Well, I want to thank you for joining us on the podcast. It’s taken us a little while to make this happen. went and had a baby and, you know, all kinds of things since I first reached out. But I admire a lot that you do and appreciate you coming to share so much about what you do and your business and even SparkToro. Hopefully there’ll be a few people checking it out after they hear what you had to share. So thank you.

Amanda Natividad: Thank you. Thank you, Rob and Kira. Really appreciate you having me.

Rob Marsh:

Thanks again to Amanda for joining us for this in-depth discussion about content marketing, customer research and so much more. You can connect with Amanda on Linkedin or subscribe to her occasional newsletter on her website at There’s a lot of other fun stuff about Amanda at her website. And finally, if you join SparkToro’s email list, you’ll hear from Amanda (as well as Rand Fishkin) every few days.

That’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast.

Leave a Comment


Discover your copywriter strengths then use them to land more baller
clients and strategically position yourself at the tippy top of the industry.

take the quiz