Web Editor Job Description
Web editors prepare content for blogs and other web pages, working closely with writers and site managers to craft readable and engaging content to drive site traffic and attract new readers. This role requires an excellent grasp of grammar and punctuation along with a good sense of web writing principles and content standards. Web editors also need to know how to use content management systems and incorporate images into blog posts and sites.
While some web editors work on a freelance basis, others are full-time employees of the sites they edit for. In either case, web editors may determine editorial calendars and content needs, solicit pieces from writers, and schedule content and social media posts.
Web Editor Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties of a web editor can largely depend on their employer and the content they edit, but many of these core duties are the same everywhere:
Prepare Pieces for Publication
One of the primary duties of a web editor is preparing pieces for publication on the web. The web editor may check the piece’s grammar, punctuation, and style, and recommend changes to improve clarity or flow. Most of this work is completed using a content management system (CMS), which may also incorporate systems that show the piece’s readability. The web editor may also manage each piece’s search engine optimization (SEO) by adding keywords and meta descriptions.
Insert Images and Links
Web editors also make writing more interactive and engaging by incorporating images, videos, and links to other sites within the piece. This may require the web editor to use image editing software to resize or crop images. For links to other websites, the web editor ensures that they are set to open in a new tab so that readers stay on the page. Additionally, the web editor checks to make sure that links and media are properly formatted and functional.
The web editor schedules posts according to the site’s publication schedule. For example, a site may run three articles a day at set times, and the web editor ensures that these posts go live at the appointed time. In addition, the web editor may also schedule social media posts with links to the articles to draw more readers to the site when pieces go live.
Manage the Editorial Calendar
Many web editors oversee the editorial calendar for their site. This can involve looking at the long- and short-term needs for site content. For example, the web editor for a website running themed posts during a certain week may determine the number of pieces they need around that theme and determine how they will fit into the existing posting schedule for regular posts or columns.
Solicit Pieces from Writers
Frequently, web editors also solicit posts from writers they know or have worked with before. The web editor may determine that the site needs a certain post on a certain date and approach a writer about crafting content for that particular niche. This aspect of the job requires the editor to maintain a network of reliable, high-quality writers to ensure that they can meet the site’s content needs.
Web Editor Skills and Qualifications
Web editors solicit, edit, and post content to websites and blogs. Most web editors have at least a bachelor’s degree and the following skills:
- Editing – web editors should be familiar with the principles of grammar and usage and should know how to edit and proofread content for the web. They should also be familiar with their site’s style guide
- Web content management – this role requires a high level of familiarity with web editing strategies, including content management systems (CMS) and search engine optimization, along with the use of keywords and links
- Team leadership – web editors work with teams of writers, so they should be able to effectively coordinate team members and delegate tasks, including assigning stories and sending pieces back for rewrites
- Organization skills – because web editors manage posting schedules and determine editorial calendars, they should be highly organized and excel at time management and organization
- Communication skills – web editors need to effectively communicate with writers and site managers, so they should be skilled with both written and verbal communication
Tools of the Trade
Web editors typically work in office settings, so they should be familiar with standard office software and equipment in addition to the following:
- Content management systems (WordPress, Drupal)
- Image editing software (Adobe Photoshop)
- Social media scheduling tools (Buffer, HootSuite)
Web Editor Education and Training
Typically, web editors have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as English, journalism, or communications. In addition, web editors should have some experience with content management systems, an excellent grasp of grammar, and possibly some experience with writing for the web. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training in this role as web editors learn how to successfully build the site’s voice and work with developers to determine content needs and multimedia elements.
Web Editor Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that editors earn an average annual salary of $58,770. However, this estimate includes both web and print editors. According to PayScale, web editors earn an average salary of $46,147 per year based on 552 reported salaries, while Glassdoor found that average annual pay for web editors is $46,303 based on 121 reported salaries.
The BLS estimates that employment for editors will remain relatively unchanged through 2026, although web editors with some experience writing website code may have better employment prospects.
There are many web resources available if you’re interested in working as a web editor. Here are a few that are particularly useful:
“7 On-Page SEO Tips for Non-Technical Content Creators” – read this blog post to learn helpful tips for increasing page views and lowering your site’s bounce rate through SEO strategies
Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow – this book provides an overview of connected content strategies for web editors, writers, and site managers
“CMS Best Practices: The WYSIWYG Editor Myth” – this blog post addresses content management systems and “what you see is what you get” editorial software, highlighting their benefits and shortfalls
The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right – read this book to learn basic and advanced content strategy methods, from planning editorial calendars to scheduling posts to maximize readership
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