Content creation is all the rage these days now that Google has updated their algorithm and companies are seeing outstanding results from providing useful content on the web. But if you have a large content program, you know that creating amazing content is only half the battle. You also need to edit, format, schedule, and send it to the appropriate blog, email list, podcast server, and social media channel. This part of the process can be more time-consuming and tedious than the content creation itself and can suck your love for content creation straight out of you for good. You don’t need to do all of this yourself, though. You can hire someone to handle it for you, either full-time or part-time depending on the amount of content you’re creating and distributing.
Who is this magical content miracle, you ask? It’s a Managing Editor, a little known but extremely powerful human who works behind the scenes to take your content strategy from great to amazing in a short amount of time. Here are 5 ways your Managing Editor can work for you:
Create and Manage Your Content Editorial Calendar
Your content program may include more than just blog posts, but you may only be focusing on a blog calendar instead of a comprehensive editorial calendar. The reason why editorial calendars are important is because you need to be able to take a top-level view of everything you’re pushing out to the web to ensure that your content strategy is aligned with your overall business goals. Also, you can’t forget to market your marketing, so scheduling tweets, LinkedIn updates, Facebook updates, etc. after you publish new content is an important strategy. Your Managing Editor can help you create, organize, and manage this schedule in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. Then, he or she can schedule these updates to go out on your social channels once your content has been published, or work directly with your Community Manager to get the posts published.
Maintain Your Website
If you blog with WordPress (or any other blogging platform) and don’t have a dedicated web developer on staff, you may have run into frustrations with plugins, formatting, SEO, and scheduling. Your Managing Editor should be extremely well-versed in the blogging platform of your choice so that he or she can maintain it independently for you. This includes core updates, plugin updates, entering SEO meta data for each post, formatting and tagging images and videos, categorizing and tagging posts, adding new author data, and updating static pages. It also includes troubleshooting or working as a project manager with a developer to ensure that all website functions are running properly.
Supervise Your Guest Blogging Program
Your Managing Editor must have a clear view of what your company’s goals are when it comes to content. He or she should have a solid handle on the ideal topics and voice that your company is going for so that he or she can evaluate guest blogger submissions and decide whether or not they’re a good fit. You must feel comfortable allowing them to take over the evaluation process and they must feel comfortable turning people down or asking for revisions if the post isn’t quite right. As a result, your editor must not only have solid written communication skills, but must also have a pleasant demeanor via email, especially if you receive a lot of unsolicited guest posts. Plus, he or she needs to have a strong sense of follow-through to ensure that all content is received on time.
Edit, Format, Schedule, Publish
Your Managing Editor is an editor, first and foremost. A background in communications, English, or marketing is ideal for your Managing Editor, although any grammar nerd with a strict attention to detail when it comes to formatting can handle this task. When it comes to editing, consistency is key. He or she should be able to take on the voice of your company in everything from tweets to email newsletter and website copy. Your Managing Editor should know your content so well that he or she can inject internal links to past blog posts, reference upcoming events or webinars, and, eventually, publish copy without your approval. He or she should also have a working knowledge of HTML to implement any special formatting or adjust issues within blog posts (especially guest posts) and know where to find royalty-free images and/or know how to give proper credit for image and video sources to keep you out of trouble.
Recommend New Tools and Tactics
Your Managing Editor should have an ear to the ground when it comes to new technology that can make your editorial process run smoother. Testing plugins, demoing new products, and reading the blog posts of your peers are important duties for a Managing Editor. An interest in learning new tools and skills may not be part of the official job description, but it is worth discussing during your interview process as the person who is best suited for this position is definitely an early-adopter.
The difference between a Managing Editor and any other kind of editor is that he or she has specific experience with web-based content as opposed to print-based content. A Managing Editor can navigate the delicate technological waters and offer editorial expertise for you and your team. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a CEO, having an editorial arm forces you to be diligent in maintaining a recognizable voice, stick to a consistent posting schedule, and ensure that all of your content channels are being well taken care of.
Do you have a Managing Editor on your team? If so, is it worth it? If not, why not?