How to self-study Digital Marketing for students and employees?

Self-study Digital Marketing – There are side stories to know before you begin – The article is for reference only – there is no evidence to support it.

  1. Do you like Digital Marketing?

In the course of working, teaching and guiding newcomers to Digital Marketing, I think you all have one thing in common, it is not sure whether you like it, and those who like it do not know where to start (and most of you don’t know what you like). This is a huge problem because it will be a waste of your time & money.

But here is the problem about Chicken & Eggs: Do not try to know how to like it? For that reason, I also highly welcome those who want to try out in Digital to contact me through Linkedin and Facebook.

So how to try? How to be the fastest? How long does it take to know if you are suitable? In this article I will share some information to help you (if you do not have the orientation – if you already have a guide, just follow the one who guides you) to answer the question “How to try it? How is it the fastest? Try it for as long? “Please see the Video below:

  1. What is Digital Marketing?

In my opinion, Digital Marketing is a combination of approaches to target customers, transmission of target messages using the Web (social, SEO, SEM …), mobile (sms, app…), email …,

You can also see: Concept of Digital Marketing.

In essence, Digital Marketing is still Marketing, just different from traditional marketing in how to use different tools, different forms of promotion to achieve the purpose of conveying the message, so you must always pay attention to development. The skills that belong to the nature of Marketing such as: Logical types of marketing research, planning, transmission messages … if you want to go as far as Digital Marketing, please do not leave the original.

  1. Why choose Digital Marketing?

This is a job that requires less movement (not to do an Account), a lot of contact with computers, most of Digital Marketer work in a comfortable environment (pleasant working time, wages are also good, best place to come up with new ideas …), you can work almost anytime, anywhere …. easy to do freelance job.

You can be yourself, you can talk to your boss the way you talk to your colleagues or friends, Digital Marketing is new so most of you will work with young and motivated people.

Dress comfortably, you can wear all kinds of clothes to cover yourself (unless you are a sale or account). You can wear sports shoes or neat clothes.

Listening to music with headphones during office hours is fine if listening to music does not distract you from work. Just make sure to report on time is okay.

Try searching for Digital Marketing on Google Trends, you will see that the general demand for Digital Marketing has been increasing very strongly in recent years.

  1. Are you a graduate student?

The first problem you often encounter is “what do you do after graduating?”. This is a question that some new graduates just ask themselves (when I graduated, I also asked myself). Why ask this question when sitting 3 to 5 years in school to study the major that you have registered? Because most of you do not imagine what you are going to do, because after studying, you find that you are not suitable for the field of study, because you find it difficult to find a job, because the field of study is not clear a specific skill special ….

If you do not know what you like to do, it is imperative that you should try everything you can try, and with Digital Marketing, it will not be difficult to get some experience, which may not be suitable for you but also give you an experience for your future.

  1. Are you doing traditional marketing?

What signs should you prepare for learning Digital Marketing? The most obvious sign is that your company has, is or is about to have a website or customer data related to digital (such as email, phone number …). How to step into Digital Marketing such as: Strong financial resources, wide relationships, trusted by the boss (or self-employed) …

You should know that you are at the same starting point but the students do not have the financial, facilities, tools / finance to try what they do like you, so you will be much better faster.

  1. Experience, Opportunity, Challenge

The essence of experience is to prove that you are able to handle past situations (so you can handle future situations), which is why you’ll have the opportunity to find a job or gain more knowledge when you choose Digital Marketing.

Why do you say you will have a higher job opportunity when doing Digital Marketing? Because the characteristics of Digital Marketing are related to computers, just having a computer can help you to nearly experience the things you love.

But you also note that due to the ability to experience so easily, it will lead to too many different experiences, different starting ways and this can lead you to ramble for unknown purpose, to avoid this you should contact more with people in the industry (seminars, events, outings …).

How to self-study Digital Marketing?

There are two basic methods: self-study and learning at centers. Below I will analyze in more detail so you can see which method to choose, but first, let’s go through the tools of Digital Marketing.

  1.   The popular tools in Digital Marketing
  • Website / landing page / blog …
  • Content – may not be counted as a tool but is the most used part.
  • SEO (Search engine optimization – optimizing websites for search engines).
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing – Marketing on search engines, for example: advertising on Google Adwords).
  • Email Marketing (Marketing to users by email).
  • Online PR (Public relation on the internet).
  • Banner advertising online.
  • Social Media Marketing (Marketing and interacting with online users through social networks).
  • Mobile Marketing (Mobile application, SMS, Location based …).
  • Web analytics (or using Google Analytics).
  1. Study at Digital Marketing teaching centers

If you have 3-4 million and you don’t have a lot of time to study by yourself, studying at the centers is a pretty quick way for you to approach and understand how Digital Marketing or a tool of Digital Marketing operates. However, you should note that going to school only provides the most basic things – don’t expect anything in the classroom that will help you confidently do it, if you want to do it, you must learn or read more for yourself. Because the teacher will teach only key points in class.


  • Money can buy a course but not knowledge – don’t spend money on one course after another. Learn about 2 courses to know if you are suitable or not.
  • You go to school to pay to be asked, you should ask as much as possible because if you ask for advice after class, it will cost you a lot of money.
  • You should study specific courses for a tool of Digital Marketing. Do not attend the entire Digital Marketing course because studying too much until you are finished is unclear at all.
  • Always do homework very seriously, tinkering at home and then go to class to ask teachers for more.

Even if you study at the center, you must always study by yourself, when you go to school, you will often get many useful tips for your future life from different people.

  1. Self-study Digital Marketing

Self-study is not easy, I used to be like that and it took me 5 years to gain some experience and certain knowledge. But if you are passionate, self-study is a great way for you to slowly explore an interesting thing about Digital Marketing that only self-study gives you that feeling.

Steve Job’s spoke at Stanford’s graduation ceremony, which inspired me a lot, and I believe that you should find a job that you love to start or navigate.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

  1. How to self-study, where to start?

Everyone that I know has different approaches and learning, I recommend that you choose for yourself a Digital tool that you like to pursue.

If you still don’t know what you like in Digital Marketing – Start with making your own website with open source. After doing (understand) how the website (operate), it is considered that you are passionate enough and have enough capital to go ahead. However, if you do not have a website, just learn other things slowly, maybe you will have your own path.

Now (usually about 1-6 months from the time you learn about the website) it’s time to choose for yourself one of the tools of Digital Marketing to officially start, choose one that gives you the ability to practice (be made practical) as much as possible.

  1. Scores of difficulty for Digital tools

(Personally, please don’t ask me to prove it, this is an assessment of the difficulty of a tool and not the level of intelligence of the person who is making these tools):

  • Website (3) (10) – easy to make an open source website and understand how it works, difficult to do special features.
  • Content (6.5) – Want to learn content yourself, writing is not difficult but you need a bit of talent.
  • SEO (8.5) – It’s hard but after finishing you will be able to handle all the remaining tools very easily (except for content) because your ability to search for information is also very sublime after doing good SEO. In addition, SEO is also the subject of much hunting.
  • SEM (5) – It’s hard to get started, but getting through keyword research is easy to learn later.
  • Email Marketing (5) (8) – Quite simple to get started (5) but if you want to be a master (8), it is is very difficult and requires a lot of understanding in many related things.
  • PR Online (7): Same as content but must know how to expand relationships, exchange.
  • Banner Ads (3) (8): very easy if you want to buy, run, understand it. It is very difficult if you want to optimize it.
  • Social Media Marketing (4) (8): Easy to reach (4) but it is also difficult to succeed if you do not have a bit of communication skills.
  • Mobile Marketing (7): Need you to understand a lot about users’ behavior with mobile and things related to copy, users’ experience … it is very stressful.
  • Web Analytics (9): It is very difficult because if you do not understand other tools at this time, you will not know what to statistic, what to report, what is good, what is bad … very few Vietnamese documents, sometimes looking at the code but feeling discouraged, which is a very interesting part.

You should choose if:

  • You like (or want to try).
  • The ability you practice is very high and very much.
  • Match your existing financial resources

Get started with some of Digital’s tools

The theory of Digital is plentiful online, but the important point is to practice a lot, so in the process, do not be afraid to do free work for someone, do not think you are exploited … try to plow.

  1. How to make a website using open source

Many of my friends and team members who have been successful in the field of Digital have their own approaches but know how to make websites with open source or some other type of website.

Knowing how to build a website does not mean you have to know programming or designing, you can start by making a blog (you should use WordPress blog) then slowly learn how your website / blog operates, code relationship and mechanics, database, interface … and slowly you will make a website for yourself using open source (WordPress is ideally, Joomla is also easy to learn).

Do not overlook the website because nearly all Digital Marketing activities run around the website, so if you do not know how to make a website with open source, you should understand how a website operates and its components, just by that way you can succeed in Digital marketing.

Please note that learning how the website operates, the relationship between the source code, database, interface, hosting and any parts related to programming should be set aside.

This is the way I used to go and passed: when I was in school, I had no internet, I had to go to the fifth floor of the school just to catch wifi from the next house, no Vietnamese documents, or I did not know that I could make a website operate well without programming, or website will help in my life later. That’s what you guys are better than me, so why can’t you do it?

If you cannot pass the step of creating this website, do not be discouraged because you are simply different from others and many others, read on below you may see your own path.

You will not be a programmer or you have to make an entire website when you do Digital Marketing but you need and always work with Programmers, designers and other web related parts to describe them on the goal of marketing. The basics of how a website operates, the limitations of HTML, CSS or a programming language will help you describe and “rely on” more effectively.

  1. Start with SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

After I finished a website for my brother but when I searched on Google and I could not see my website, from there I started to learn about SEO.

Initially I searched around to see why the website appears when I search something on Google and why a website does not appear when users search, how to tell Google an existing website on the internet, then I went on to learn about which SEO parts consist of the most, which are the small parts, how these parts interact with each other, and how to optimize these sections for SEO.

In the process of making myself ready to try anything I read without being afraid of right or wrong, then read more to slowly understand whether it is right or wrong. At that time, everything I did and optimized was using the Joomla open source website and its plugins.

Start learning SEO by learning how to build a website with WordPress (not difficult), then read this book: SEO Starter by Google, and maybe look for SEOBOOK to read or read one that is right for you, read books with SEO is quite important because SEO has many details so you need to synthesize and learn in a clear direction.

Some of my favorite keywords or search terms during this period:

  • Website is not showing up on Google search
  • How to let Google know my website
  • What is Google
  • How Google works
  • What’s title, description, keywords
  • How to submit your website to Google
  • How to choose the right keywords

Information sources:

  • Moz.com
  • Backlinko.com
  • SEO Book (ebook)
  • Art of SEO – Don’t read this book (not suitable for beginners)
  1. Getting started with SEM (Search Engine Marketing):

I define SEM here simply as advertising on Google (later good then you learn more, you will understand more broadly).

When I started studying SEM, I was fortunate to be trained from a company, which helped me understand the basics and how to operate, besides that I have been doing SEO for quite a long time so keyword research as well as writing are not difficult at all. It is just vague about how to optimize ads and what enhancements to learn, but also the difficulty of not having a lot of money to run when starting to learn.

In essence, SEM by its simple definition is just an ad management software which is created by Google, and the software always has the principles of use, instructions for use, terms of use which are written very detailed with official video tutorial from Google, so if you have money to run SEM then:

Find out how to choose the right keywords for your advertising goals.

Learn about the object-oriented limitations of Google Adwords.

Find out quality score and definition of click and impression

Run as many Campaigns as possible (at your own or others’ expense).

Start by reading this: Google Adwords Help, then try to manipulate the relationship and offer to try SEM for someone with a small amount (low bid) to better understand the theory … after run ads for a while you should take this test: Google Adwords Certificate exam is free but if you pass all 3 Google exams, then you will no longer need to worry about food, clothing, jobs … anymore (at this time).

The most important part of this SEM is that you run many Campaigns and run a lot of money, which will draw a lot of experience.

The keywords I search when starting:

  • Google Adwords account structure
  • Google Adwords targeting option
  • Google Adwords ads format
  • Google Adwords limitation
  • Google Adwords quality score
  • Google Adwords best practice / tips & trick

Reference sources, ask:

  • Google Adwords help
  • Google Adwords community (answers and answers very quickly)
  • Youtube
  1. Start with Social Media Marketing

You should first learn how to perform on Social Media channels by using these channels daily to understand its features and limitations.

After you understand how Social Media channels work, try to get other people to pay more attention to you, entice them to interact with you more, which is often the goal of Social Media Marketing: Interact with people more.

Try to create yourself a fanpage (or please make someone) in your favorite field and find ways to increase likes and interactions for that fanpage, you will draw many things and do not be afraid to talk about success/failure when you do this fanpage (including the “black-hat” method – know to avoid). Note that in Vietnam very few businesses use Twitter.

  1. Start learning Email Marketing

Due to having a time working as a Project on accounts and users at Project Lana. In this Project, I have to handle all problems that users have when registering, logging in, activating … so they have to handle the problems about sending mail, how the mail system works, how spam filters work, how to block mail, the frequency of sending and what information is sent back after sending mail …

In addition, when I work at VietnamWorks, I am in charge of the entire Email system here, so in addition to things about the system, I started to dig deeper into personalization, about systems (tools) to send mail and notes when switching mail systems.

When making emails, you should also learn more about user psychology to “entice” users to give their email to you. When you understand user psychology, you should also know a little about the web and the limits so that you can get users’ email easier.


  • Do not buy floating email data
  • Email Marketing is not just about sending mail but also includes cooperation programs with partners.
  • The process of implementing Email marketing requires an understanding of how the website operates, how the internet system operates.
  • Sending tools are not as important as sending
  • Some keywords to get started:
  • Email marketing audit
  • Personalize email marketing
  • How Email Provider filter email
  • How ISP filter email
  • How to increase email sign-up

Some sources:

  1. Getting Started With Web Analytics

Web Analytics in Vietnam nowadays has a relatively lackluster role, but I think it will be a part of many people to develop in a few years.

I have started with Analytics web since 2009 to look at the indicators of SEO, gradually I have learned to use Web Analytics to mark links in an advertising campaign to measure the effectiveness of that campaign more accurately. (It takes about a year to understand this link – URL Tagging), then working more with SEO also leads me to work more with Analytics and gradually understand the advanced parts of it.

Then there was a time I worked on Web product at Project Lana that required me to learn more and more in detail about user behavior, now I start to learn more about real-time analytics tools and how to use event tracking, custom dimensions …

Web Analytics will come to you as you learn other Digital Marketing tools.


Web Analytics in Vietnam mainly uses Google Analytics and you should only learn when you need to know the effectiveness of another tool in Marketing.

For those of you going to work, learn the definitions of sessions, user, bounce rate, page view … the definitions will help you not be confused when reading reports.

Some reference sources:

  • Cutroni blog (One of the super starters on Analytics that are working for Google)
  • http://www.kaushik.net/ (This superman also works for Google)
  • MOZ.com
  1. Content

Let’s see the sharing of Ms. Thuy Trinh – Content Manager – Project Lana

Marketing experts think that “Content is the King”, but for me, “Content is the Queen” will be enough for “newbie” to imagine about it. Because content in any way is like a “queen”:

  • Words that need to be refined, precise, but must be really close to enter the hearts of people of all classes “subjects” (readers)
  • Content must be powerful, must be “power” but soft as a queen’s words to impact the listener / reader

A queen is always beautiful. Your content also needs to be beautiful. Beautiful and practical.

For those who are new to content marketing, the first thing is to thoroughly research the insight of readers and customers. Know what they want to hear, read and like in the moment you make content so that you can determine how your message should convey. Making content is doing the job of conveying the message. Just simple as that. If you are making content and creating creative then congratulations, you will definitely keep the hearts of customers. Marketing 3.0 is conquering customers’ hearts and the only one who can conquer hearts even though it will be the most “content queen”.

A little more practical, please write and convey the following message to your 3 best friends: I want to become a copywriter.

How do you all those friends want to become a copywriter like you then you have successfully the first step “practice”.

Do you want to start working on Digital Marketing today?


How to self-study Digital Marketing for students and employees?

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