What is a Content Editor?

Looking to become a Content Editor? Or maybe you’re on the search for a someone to run the content on your website. I wanted to create an article detailing what I do as a Digital Content Editor, what others can do to get into the field and where to look for when hiring one to manage your company’s content. Do let me know if you find it valuable and please leave any feedback in the comments section.

Jump to:

  1. What is a Content Editor?
  2. Is there a difference between Content Editor and Digital Content Editor?
  3. What makes a good content editor?
  4. I don’t have a degree related to writing, can I still become a Content Editor?
  5. How do you get into content editing?
  6. Where can I find content editing jobs?

What is a content editor?

A content editor is responsible for writing, editing, proofreading and planning content in a digital or print setting. In the case of an online business, content would likely comprise of blog posts, marketing copy, newsletter writing and social media updates. Offline content includes articles, brochures, speeches and proposals.

The role of content editor was around before the explosion of digital media. You might have come across the job title in newspaper and magazine bylines, such as a ‘beauty content editor’ who would look after all beauty-related content. Now, with news and media being overwhelmingly digital, ‘Content Editor’ mostly refers to jobs in the digital sphere, someone in charge of website content. It’s generally interchangeable with ‘web editor’ and ‘digital editor’. Where publishers have both a print and digital arm, ‘web’ or ‘digital’ may precede the job title to distinguish between on and offline editors.

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What is a digital content editor?

Content editors, whether online or offline, require several proficiencies: excellent content writing and editing skills, attention to detail, and the ability to generate fresh ideas. A digital content editor needs to harness some additional web-based content-creation skills too. They need to follow the rules and requirements of web content. A digital editor needs to know how to create SEO (search engine optimized) articles, blog posts and web-pages. They need to be hands-on using a computer management system (CMS) to publish their own and others’ content. A content editor may also be required to produce a content strategy.

Similar roles exist for writers on a digital-marketing team. While you may not consider yourself a marketer, content-marketing is without a doubt a type of content editing. Ecommerce platforms are always on the look out for copywriters.

What makes a good content editor?

When deciding to hire a content editor, here are the skills you should look out for:

  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Strong SEO knowledge. How do they make the most of SEO tools?
  • Previous work experience. Look for someone with a good web content track record. Consider both personal and professional projects spanning across different types of content
  • A team player. A content editor may be required to work alongside the marketing and graphic design departments
  • Knowledge of writing copy for social media. While you may hire someone to do this separately, it’s always beneficial your content writer is aware of social media writing as well
  • A degree in Journalism, English, Marketing or Communications

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Yes. While it’s beneficial to have a degree in a writing or advertising-related field, it isn’t essential. You can start writing about any topic you have specialist knowledge in. Look for job titles that require your niche. You will see science publishers looking for a ‘Science Editor’ or ‘Health Writer’ in where in a bachelor of science is a requirement.

How do you get into content editing?

Start writing and producing high-quality online content. Pick a topic that you’re interested in and start blogging about it. It has never been more simple. All editors start as writers, so you need to start writing and self-publishing your own great content. This is where you can build your portfolio and focus on your writing skills. I started Lauren Mae Travel to document my travels in Asia and it has become a good vehicle to present original content.

Lauren Mae Travel, Digital Content Editor examples of work

It’s also advantageous to have pieces published on other websites. For me, writing for a local entertainment website while at university really boosted my experience. As your portfolio grows, it gets easier to secure other bits and pieces if you’re considering freelance content editing, like me.

Brush up on SEO practices. It’s hard to implement changes when you don’t have an active website or receive a large amount of traffic but it isn’t impossible. Since creating Lauren Mae Digital, I’ve installed various SEO plugins, connected it with growth platforms and have been carrying out keyword research. Now, it’s time to get to work on the blog content.

Lauren Mae, Digital Content Editor

In studying SEO, you learn how to write for web. Before you write a piece of content, you should know what search terms you want it to rank for, your target audience, the structure of the piece, where it will most be viewed and how long it will be. Having ‘SEO knowledge’, is being able to write content that will have the optimal impact when it is published to the web. Always make a search engine optimization plan before you write a piece.

Once you have examples of your work and a strong understanding of web writing, you’re ready to start looking for Content Editor roles.

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Where can I find Content Editor jobs?

I would like to give some personal recommendations here where I’ve had success. Please bear in mind, I’m based in the UK, so these may not be available in your country.

LinkedIn. I like applying for jobs on LinkedIn because the ‘roles to suit your profile’ feature is very accurate. I also like that you can see how many other applicants there have been, which can help you decide how you fancy the competition.

University job boards and graduate job websites. Job postings that are exclusive to your university are often good starting points. Websites for graduates help narrow down the pool of applicants.

Niche and start-up job websites. Skip to the 7th page of Google and start your search from there. When I graduated in 2016, I dug around and came across Talent Pool, which has grown considerably since then but still reliably puts me in for relevant jobs.

Company websites. Make a list of the companies you would love to work for and keep routinely checking on their careers pages. Some of these get picked up by the big job search engines but others don’t. I’m a big fan of this method.

Looking for content or copywriting services?

Lauren Mae has five years’ experience in producing digital content and, as a freelancer, is currently accepting new clients. Please get in touch here or visit her about page or portfolio section to find out more.

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