10 Answers from a Content Marketing Expert: Interview with Danny Sullivan


Everyone who works in the sphere of content marketing is for sure aware of the most reputable and successful influencers that act within the sphere. Today, we want to present you a bunch of useful information from Danny Sullivan – the leader of our list of content marketing influencers.

Danny is one of the top content marketing experts that is successfully holding positions of Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media and a Founding Editor at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. Therefore, the majority of questions will cover content marketing and how it is done in these top online periodicals.

I was lucky enough to ask him a few quick questions of a great interest. Therefore, don’t wait this post to be as long and boring as the new Kristen Stewart’s’ movie – it is just a bunch of clear and concise information that you can absorb in less than 5 minutes.

So let’s’ go to the interview:



Do you conduct the analysis of your audience? Where does the majority of your readers come from?

We do surveys annually of our readers. We have a general split between those who do search marketing for agencies as well as those who do it in-house for their own companies.


There is no need to say that you are a great blogger, and each of your posts receive lots of likes and shares. Can you tell us your basic guidelines while working on the new post?

I don’t have any specific guidelines on writing posts. I generally either write news or opinion pieces. With news, I try to cover everything as well as I can with actionable advice. With opinion, I try to fully explain various sides in a debate and why I might lean toward a particular opinion.


What do you consider to be the secret of establishing a long and stable relationship with the readers?

For a good relationship with readers, it really depends on the publication and what those readers want. For us, I think it’s providing excellent, authoritative content they can depend on.


Your posts are always relevant and cover a wide range of topics. Where do you find ideas for new posts?

My post ideas come out of what’s happening currently in the space.


Do you have any secrets to successful keyword research? What are they?

I don’t have any particular secrets to offer here. There are a variety of tools, with those from Google continuing to be favorites for me.


How did you promote Marketing Land & Search Engine Land in the beginning? How  has your marketing strategy changed since then?

We promoted our sites through social and indirectly through SEO and have continued to do that since. Nothing has really changes in general; players like Facebook have become more important over time, as have particular tactics.


What services/companies/startups inspire you the most during the year? Maybe, there were some that provoked a feeling of disappointment?

Right now, the excellent resource that Wirecutter has become inspires me.


What are the top 7 mobile apps you personally use everyday or almost everyday?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail, Clash of Clans & Clash Royale. As well as Chrome and my Camera app.

Are there any other bloggers that you personally read? Who are they?

I read so much content through my feed that I don’t have particular bloggers that come to mind.


What do you consider to be the most serious challenges for the blogger or SEO specialist? What challenges have marked you in the beginning of your career and what are the ones you are currently facing?

I think the most serious challenge is being focused and providing excellent content.



  1. Hi Helen,

    This is an interesting interview for both the newbie and the expert who has been following Search Engine Land.

    I am an ardent follower of that website as well and it is good to know of what and how Danny Sullivan thinks.

    Thanks for sharing this piece. I have enjoyed every bit of the 10 question-interview!

    • Hello Carl,

      This interview was made short and concise to highlight the main points, and Danny did it more than just well.

      In case you are interested in more detailed information, you can contact Danny and ask him directly, or you can follow our blog (netpeak.net/blog), as we plan to post more detailed materials on the topic.

  2. Hey Helen,

    My best takeaway from this post is where Danny Sullivan mentioned that providing excellent, authoritative content that the audience can depend on is the secret of establishing a long and stable relationship with the readers. This should be a good lesson for content marketers!

    • Hey Seven,

      It’s really cool to see you have found useful information in the interview. I totally agree that the content’s authoritymeans a lot for the overall content strategy.

      Your readers have to receive a relevant and useful content in order to create a close relationship with them. Therefore, the cotent has to always be highly authoritative.

      • Sure Helen, you got my point! Content authority should be something the smart online content marketer must crave for!

        Danny’s mention of this is a reminder to most marketers that content excellence brings about respect them , as they would be seeing as experts!

        Thanks for sharing this post!

  3. Hi Helen,

    Danny Sullivan sure knows his onions! He has provided basic insights for content marketers who want to succeed online. His track record with Marketing Land & Search Engine Land should be appealing to just about any online marketer.
    Thanks for sharing this Interview with us!

  4. Hey Helen,

    It is good to good to read this type of article once in a while. It motivates the newbies and reminds the experts of things to do to stay on track.

    Danny Sullivan has shown real professionalism in his answers. They are straight forward and actionable.

    I see him as someone who deploys real simplicity in achieving Internet marketing goals.

    • Hello Celine,

      Thank you for the feedback – the fact that you found the post interesting is extremely inspiring. Danny really did a good summary of the most essentail infromation.

      The answers he gave were really useful, and the overall observation of the main points connected with content marketing made the interview concise and at the same time relevant.

  5. Hey Helen,

    I am impressed with the response of Danny Sullivan on the last question posed to him. “I think the most serious challenge is being focused and providing excellent content.”

    Indeed, staying focused and providing excellent content remains the major challenges faced by most bloggers and SEO specialists. If they could get around from this then success from the best practices deployed would be very easy!

    • Hello James,

      Thanks for the comment. In general, the current post is addressed to the readers that are interested in client marketing and want to know what an opinion leader thinks about the development of a good content strategy.

      It is possible to highlight the key points given in the text without getting overloaded with unnecessary information. Moreover, the asnwers given are supported by the great experience Danny has.

  6. Hi Helen,

    As an expert, Danny Sullivan has smartly answered the questions you have posed. He has left no one in doubt about his ability and experience in the content marketing World.

    Since he is associated with high profile websites like Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, it becomes necessary to listen to what he has to say.

    I will conclude that this interview is set to benefit both newbies and expert webmasters!

    • Hello Sarah,

      I am pleased to see you liked the post. Danny Sullivan is one of the top experts within the sphere of content marketing, so this interview will for sure be useful for specialists wihtin the sphere of content marketing.

      Moreover, it provides useful knowledge to all internet marketing specialists, because content is king, and so everyone needs to improve a content marketing strategy and pay attention to the custoner engagement.

  7. Hi Helen,

    Although most of the questions are direct and easy, Danny Sullivan’s responses to each and everyone of them are admirable.

    He has left no one in doubt of the fact that he is someone with the expertise and knowledge around content creation and promotion.

    One thing I understand about the Danny is that irrespective of the content niche he is dealing with, the needs of the target audience is met!

    • Hello Paul,

      Thanks for such a feedback. The interview was mostly about direct and short questions to make it easier for the specialists of all levels to undertsand the key points that are essential for marketers that work with content.

      For sure, such an expert has a lot of experience to share, and the main point was about meeting the requirements of the audience and providing a top quality content.

  8. It is obvious that Danny Sullivan has reminded us of the simplicity involved in doing content marketing. I would have thought that he uses very complex tools or apps everyday but what he listed are everyday tools that we use.

    The difference between people like him and the average content marketers is the ability to keep exploring for ideas and values that would fit into the needs of the audience.

    Thanks for sharing this piece Helen!

    • Hello Winford,

      That is true: the basics of content marketing seem to be pretty simple, but to reach the top level of content, it is necessary to work hard, to take into account all elements of the content, its relevance and reputation.

      The interview makes it clear that to be able to use these simple points properly, a serious experience is often required. So you can use the following post to grow your skills and take your content marketing strategy to the new level!

      • Hey Helen,

        There is simplicity in complexity, right! Danny Sullivan’s take is simple even though hard work is required!

        I like your opinion here:

        That is true: the basics of content marketing seem to be pretty simple, but to reach the top level of content, it is necessary to work hard, to take into account all elements of the content, its relevance and reputation.

        Its food for thought!

  9. Hi Helen,

    I love the last part the most.

    Yes, staying focus is one of the most challenging tasks in internet marketing.

    Is hard to stay on track with so many activities to circle on any given day and with lots of distractions coming in at an alarming rate.

    Though, I’m trying to get better at that recently. Applying some measures and sticking to only a task at a time.

    Thanks, Helen, nice share
    Shamsudeen Adeshokan recently posted…Why Blogs Fail: 8 Reasons Your Blog Is Going to Fail and How to Fix Them.My Profile

  10. Hi Helen,

    Thank you for sharing this article. I agree with the others that he gives good advice about “staying focused and provide excellent content.”

    It is very easy to stray from the simple common sense things. If you are consistent with a proven technique it is bound to work.

    I also like that he talks about providing his audience with “actionable advice.” What good is providing information that people aren’t able to follow through on. Again seems common sense but very important.

    Thanks again for sharing…

    Take care,