Recently I started a new full-time job that includes a web editor title. I got to see first hand how similar and yet how different web editor jobs can be, even in the same industry.
The overall goals for the web editor are always the same: Help increase traffic to your site, showcase quality content, and make the experience an excellent one for website visitors. In both my previous and current roles my web editor title was shared with another editorial title, which goes to show how flexible the role can be. One reason for this may be that some employers who haven’t employed a web editor before aren’t sure there’s enough work for a full-time position. I have found that there’s never enough time to do everything I want to do, but I still enjoy the variation of my dual roles as managing editor and web editor.
If you’re looking for web editor jobs, you’ll find a standard set of responsibilities in the job descriptions. They include planning an editorial schedule for a website and collaborating with other editors, designers, web developers, and marketing and sales staff. The web editor creates content – either by writing or acquiring it – and publishes it to the website’s content management system. Web editors also manage a websites’s blogs, polls, news, events calendar, social media, multimedia, e-newsletters, and any special projects like surveys or microsites. A web editor needs to keep on top of best practices for websites in terms of SEO and user experience, and needs to become an excellent content marketer. It’s increasingly helpful to have a handle on the basics of HTML, too. Here’s Princeton Review’s take on the web editor job description. And here’s a web editor job description from the UK-based creative professional company Creativepool.
A few things changed for me when I started my new job. I began using a different content management system, for example, which in principle is the same but in practice required some relearning. And I began editing and producing the videos that I shoot when doing interviews. I also use design software to lay out articles myself. But in general the basics have stayed the same as far as web editor duties.
In the end, although the web editor’s job responsibilities have become fairly standard and the position is becoming more familiar to employers, eventually it will be a given that “web” is part of an editor’s title, and all of the web editor responsibilities will be lumped in with any editor job description.
(Side note: There’s been discussion on the Web Editors LinkedIn group about salaries being lower for web editors. Take the Web Editors group poll on salary, if you’re a web editor.)