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How to become a Web Content Editor / Manager

web content editor / manager careers

What does a Web Content Editor / Manager do?

Web content editors/managers are responsible for researching, producing and proofing material (images and text) that appears on a website. Once published, they maintain the information to keep it up to date. They work closely with web developers, web designers and other professionals to coordinate the site content and ensure it reflects the needs of the organisation it represents.

One of the key requirements for editors/managers is to understand the site's target audience. This allows material to be written and presented in such a way as to appeal to that group and maximise the website's potential.

Websites may be published externally on the world wide web (internet), and internally on company intranets. The type of content can vary widely but some examples include: company newsletters; interactive multimedia, product advertising and retail catalogues; local, national and international news reports; college and university publicity; online public information and government services.

Although duties may be combined as one job, the tasks for each are slightly different, as outlined below:

Content editor:
  • liaise with clients about their requirements and advise on effective presentation
  • attend content planning and commissioning meetings with editorial team and managers
  • research information and write offline and online content
  • upload material onto the website by agreed deadlines
  • monitor and post replies to online message boards and deal with email enquiries
  • carry out scheduled updates of existing content
  • sub-edit, edit and proof materials produced by colleagues or external commissions
  • work with managers to develop new content, editorial policies, innovations and best practice
  • keep up-to-date with web-related developments, for example, accessibility issues
  • train new staff in content authoring and company policies.
Content manager:
  • take a lead role in maintenance and development of the site
  • liaise with editing, marketing and design teams to coordinate site content, style and appearance
  • support and manage the editorial team
  • use web content management systems to analyse site statistics (eg page visits, time spent on site, links followed)
  • set permissions for site users
  • evaluate results and compile reports for senior managers, clients and partnership organisations
  • promote and disseminate information about the website to target customers and partners
  • carry out quality assurance checks on web content
  • liaise with IT support staff to resolve technical problems
  • plan and implement strategic policies
  • deal with legal issues such as copyright and data protection.

What's the working environment like working as a Web Content Editor / Manager?

Web content editors/managers work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime may be necessary to meet particular deadlines.

Editorial work is office based at a computer workstation. There may be some out-of-office work, for instance going out to research information or interview people for features. Similarly, content managers are mainly office based with some travel to meet clients and give presentations.

What does it take to become a Web Content Editor / Manager?

As a content editor/manager, you need:

  • excellent research and writing skills
  • the ability to pick out key points from complex information and present them in a clear and concise manner
  • excellent grasp of English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • the ability to write for a target audience
  • creative skills to find engaging ways of presenting information and to generate new ideas
  • to pay attention to detail, for example when proofing
  • to be well organised and able to manage several tasks at the same time
  • an understanding of legal issues, such as copyright, privacy and accessibility laws
  • sound financial management, project management, negotiation and presentation skills
  • good teamworking skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • an understanding of online authoring issues such as brevity, house style, content organisation and structure.

Web Content Editor / Manager Career Opportunities

Prospects are excellent for experienced content editors, as more and more organisations seek an online presence. In addition, there are local and national government initiatives to make all public services accessible online. Job adverts for editors/managers regularly appear in the local and national press, as well as online.

Employers range from small businesses with one person dealing with all aspects of the job to large organisations with a team of content editors. As mentioned in the Entry section, editors and content managers with web design skills are in a very strong position, as many jobs combine the writing and design role.

Career progression routes depend upon the organisation's size and structure. Options include editorial team management, web project coordination, technical development and wider information planning and policy roles.

With further training, there may be the option to move into related areas, such as website development, training, marketing or public relations. There is also scope for freelance work.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Web Content Editor / Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

National Union of Journalists
Headland House
308-312 Gray's Inn Road
Tel: 020 7278 7916

Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
Riverbank House
1 Putney Bridge Approach
Tel: 020 7736 3278

World Wide Web Consortium (WC3)

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