Content Editor Job Description
Content editors create, proofread, and publish content that’s used on websites and offline materials. This job involves tasks such as generating ideas for different briefs, developing content guidelines, monitoring traffic figures and web statistics, and editing content to meet SEO best practices. This job is usually full-time and content editors typically work in offices, within the content or marketing department, although there is sometimes the option to work remotely with certain companies. Content editors need to have great communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as be skilled at using computers, have an eye for detail, and be passionate about writing.
Content Editor Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization a content editor works for will determine the exact duties and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, a content editor’s duties typically involve:
Write Content to Different Briefs
Content editors write content for a host of different formats, from blogs and web pages, to newsletters, brochures, and whitepapers. Depending on the industry the content editor works in, this may also involve writing technical documentation or adapting complex information to a more digestible format.
Manage Editorial Calendars
Content editors manage calendars and content schedules to ensure that a regular amount of content is being produced at the right times throughout the year. They also make sure that content is produced around key search terms for higher traffic and online visibility, either for the company or for clients.
Proofread and Edit Content
Content editors edit all content that’s produced within the team to highlight any inaccuracies in information or amend spelling and grammatical errors before the content is published. This may be through a program such as InCopy, when working with designers, or using Word or Content Management Systems like WordPress where the changes will just be made within the program.
Optimize Content Based on SEO Guidelines
Using software such as Google Analytics and keyword research tools, content editors find ways to edit content to include keywords and optimize copy to meet best SEO practices. This may occur as part of the conception stage or after the content has been produced, during the editing stage.
Generate New Ideas and Concepts
Content creation is a key part of a content editor’s duties, such as finding new ideas to market a new product or service, developing concepts for content production, or looking for ways to create content that’s relevant to the latest industry trends. Content editors may work independently to come up with these ideas or work as part of a team to brainstorm suggestions.
Content Editor Skills and Qualifications
Content editors have excellent interpersonal skills, adapt their writing style efficiently to suit different formats, and are comfortable working with computers in order to use different programs and software. Typically, employers will require a bachelor’s degree in English or a related subject, as well as a portfolio of writing samples and the following abilities:
- Communication Skills – Content editors work closely with other departments to produce content to brief and to develop online and offline content for use across different media platforms, such as reports, supporting documents, training materials, and website content. Strong interpersonal skills are necessary to gain the correct information and work well with other colleagues
- Attention to Detail – As a content editor, spotting inaccuracies and making amendments is a key part of the job, so applicants for this position need to be detail-oriented and be able to identify changes that are required
- Creativity – Content editors need to have a creative and innovative approach to their work to write engaging copy and to find new ways to develop content that helps the brand stand out from the competition
- Time Management – This job often involves working on multiple projects at one time, so content editors need to be able to prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and work to tight schedules
- Initiative – When issues arise, such as a glitch with a Content Management System or problems with a piece of work, content editors need to be able to demonstrate the initiative and problem-solving skills to find solutions and work with other team members to identify a way around the problem
Tools of the Trade
Content editors are proficient with computers and regularly use:
- Typing Software – (Microsoft Office and Word)
- Content Management Systems – (WordPress, DNN)
- SEO Keyword Research Tools – (Google Keyword Planner)
Content Editor Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a content editor is a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, journalism, or a similar field. Most companies will also expect to see a portfolio of writing samples to demonstrate prior experience and the skills required for this role. Applicants for this position need to be able to perform copy editing tasks confidently and use computer software, such as Microsoft Word as well as Content Management Systems like WordPress or DNN.
Content Editor Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for content editors is $46,000. Content editors in the 10th percentile earn around $33,000 a year, while the highest paid earn over $71,000 annually, according to PayScale. Bonuses and profit-sharing opportunities account for around $6,000 and $2,000, respectively.
Around 75 percent of companies provide some form of health benefits with this job, largely medical and dental coverage. Location is the biggest factor affecting the pay level for this role. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for media and communications is expected to increase by 6 percent through 2026.
We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about a career as a content editor:
Editorial and Content Jobs – Over 9,000 members are part of the Editorial and Content Jobs network on LinkedIn, a community where members can discuss the industry, latest trends, learn about new vacancies, and share knowledge.
Moz Blog – The Moz Blog is packed with the latest SEO knowledge, trends, and best practices and offers great advice and tips for beginners who are new to the world of SEO. It’s a great site to have on hand to learn about how to keep up with Google’s new developments.
The Web Content Style Guide – This book by Gerry McGovern aims to make clear the rules and standards required for effective web writing, from accessibility to information architecture. It’s a useful guide that offers nontechnical guidance that anyone in this industry can benefit from.
Letting Go of the Words – This book by Janice Redish directs the reader on how to create well-laid out and well-written content to work with new web designs. Now in its second edition, this book offers new information on content strategy, SEO, and social media.
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