The Low-Down on the “How to” for Web Editors

At some point, every editor faces publishing the definitive “how to” article. Here’s one about web editors.

Andrew Hanelly, Director of Digital Strategy at TMG, offers “11 things to consider if you’d like to come out on top” in his recent blog entry, “So, You Want to be a Web Editor? Know These 11 Things.”

Each job comes with its own characteristics, its own unique set of responsibilities and requirements. In addition, each organization has its own character and sets its own tone, has an editorial voice. Hanelly sets out a number of “things” that provide some interesting artistic license and editorial vision. Can his vision carry over to all web editors as a generalized function?

What do you think? Does this sound like the job you signed up for? How would you modify the list?

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6 thoughts on “The Low-Down on the “How to” for Web Editors

  1. Actually, I think his column is more for web WRITERS than editors. Editors do a lot more than just write – we manage, we structure, we assign, we solicit, we facilitate and so much more. Stay tuned for my post on Wednesday, March 7 for more about what a web EDITOR is.

  2. My first thought is that the article you link to is not about what I consider web editing. It looks like content marketing to me, which I think is a whole different thing. And it leads me to thinking that it may be worthwhile defining our terms, or discussing the definitions of terms since I suspect we won’t all agree! What is a web editor? What does a web editor job description look like? What does a web editor’s day at work look and feel like?

    How do we distinguish the jobs and roles of content strategists, content marketers, web writers, and so on? What about titles such as content development specialist?

    I’d love to see these questions explored in depth on this blog. And I think you’ve already made a great start in the posts about each contributor’s path to web editing, and in raising these questions in your post.

    So, to get back to Alan’s closing questions, I think there is a lot of overlap in the jobs I listed above, and in skills needed for them such as those outlined in the linked article. But to me the focus for web editors is to shape content to fit the audience and the medium as well as the editorial management aspects that Cathy mentions.

    I think of web editing work encompassing two broad categories: A lot of the intellectual work is in the editorial judgment required–making decisions about what topics, style, workflow, voice, frequency, length, etc. will work best for a given situation or organization. And then there is the detailed “grind” aspect of applying those things consistently.

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