CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 18, 2014
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How to Become a Web Editor

Do you have excellent research, writing and creative skills? Are you keen on using content management systems? If yes, then you could make a great web editor.


Web editors research, write, and edit texts, images, and other media published on employers’ websites or corporate blogs. To be successful as a web editor, you do not only need to be a good writer yourself but you should also have the ability to effectively communicate with a team of staff writers and other contributors to get the best out of them and in a set time frame. The job of the web editor requires someone who is well-educated, has creative skills and the ability to lead a team of co-workers.


What do Web Editors do?


The web is developing at an unimaginable pace and, understandably, the duties of web editors are evolving with it. Web editors could have different duties, depending on the organisation they work for and the state of the technological advancement at that place. However, all web editors are expected to perform these duties:

  • research, write, and present text in a format that is most appealing to the audience it is intended for
  • uploading materials to the website using the special content management system
  • keeping all the information up-to-date
  • eliminating all factual and grammar mistakes
  • monitoring any user activity on the company's website, such as comments 
  • replying to user comments and, if necessary, moderating the discussion
  • writing new content and editorial guidelines
  • making sure the website is integrated into various social media platforms and that the company's profile is always fresh and relevant
  • monitoring the website visit statistics and coming up with the ways of improving its performance


At small companies web editors could work on their own. This would not be possible for the bigger ones though - here the main web editor works with a team and is responsible for coordinating the team's actions.


Entry Requirements and Qualifications


Usually, you would need to have a background in either journalism or marketing and some IT skills in order to be considered for a web editing position. Potential employer would pay attention to whether you have a formal qualification, such as a college degree, before inviting you for an interview. In some cases, sufficient writing and editing experience could make for the degree requirement. This experience could be acquired through paid or volunteer work. Aspiring web editors could benefit from setting up their own website and writing for it professional and engaging content. This would be ideal for proving your employer that you could do the job even without a degree.


Web editors working for specialised websites usually need to have good knowledge in the field they are expected to cover. For example, a sports website would need an editor who knows a lot about different sports and could ensure that the texts are professional.
Because web editors also deal with content management systems and have to edit images, videos, and sound files alongside written material, it is necessary for them to learn how to use some special computer programmes.


Hours and Income


As a web editor, you would normally work between 35 and 40 hours, Monday to Friday. You could need to work overtime to meet deadlines and finish projects on time. The work is mainly office-based with some occasional trips to conduct research or meet clients.
The following are the estimated salary levels for web editors as per the data by the National Career Service:

Web Editor Salary

Minimum

Maximum

     

Entry Level

£18,000

£25,000 

Senior

£25,000

£38,000

 

Opportunities and Career Development


As a web editor, you could work for any organisation that has its own website. These could be anything from an information service provider to a large consumer product manufacturer that needs to communicate with its target audience.


Experienced web editors could move into editorial team management or general information resource management roles. There are different trainings, for example those organised by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) or the Society of Proofreaders (SfEP), that could help you to take your career in web editing to the next level.

For some more general reading about the career of a web editor and current job opportunities across the country, visit:

All in all, like other journalism roles, web editing is demanding and requires constant attention to detail within a fast-paced working environment. Are you a web editor or have experience in the field? Share your tips for people who want to start a career in web editing in the comment section below. 

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