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How to Hire an Online Editor

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 2:21 PM

What to look for in a potential online, blog, or Web content editor.

As more and more publishers take their content online, the need may arise within your publication for an online (Web content) or blog editor. Because the online editor is among the newest arrivals to the editorial arena, you may be uncertain what to look for in a potential candidate. Here are some criteria to consider when looking at potential online editor candidates:

--Blog experience. Seek individuals who have experience writing, posting, formatting, designing, and promoting blogs. It is useful to find someone who has experience with blog software and HTML.

--Search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge. Candidates with SEO experience will understand how to generate keyword-rich copy and meta tags that will be picked up by search engines and result in a high search ranking.

--Internet marketing experience. Online editors often assume marketing responsibilities, promoting Web content and products via SEO, social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and social bookmarking (Propeller, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, etc.).

--Proficiency in applicable software and programming. Depending on your publication's specific protocol, you may need someone versed in Microsoft Office, Quark, Adobe, Dreamweaver, content management systems (CMSs), Java, Flash, XML, etc.

--Last, but certainly not least: writing, editing, organization, and communication skills.

Despite this intensive list of criteria, you will find no dearth of qualified candidates for your online editor position. Most college marketing curricula now include SEO and e-marketing. Moreover, because social networking is so widespread, with Facebook claiming over 150 million global users, you will be hard-pressed to find a candidate who isn't versed in at least some of the aforementioned social marketing tools.

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