Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Content Developer

There are many of people who have positions as content developers, sometimes without even being aware of it. Content developer is a description which can be taken to cover a very wide range of writing work. This is a career which is almost entirely focused on communication through the written word and is something which has crossovers with many career paths - journalism, marketing and advertising and more.

Many of those employed as content developers do so as a part of their job duties where they are tasked to create content for company websites, newsletters and/or other publications. Depending on your educational and professional background, as well as your general temperament, this can be a very rewarding line of work. If you have an interest in writing as a career path, then being a content developer may be an ideal position for you.

A lot of people who do this sort of work are self employed and do their content development work on a freelance basis (in the interests of full disclosure, this author is one such content developer). Being self employed in this sort of work can be a very personally and financially rewarding thing. Being self employed as a content developer allows you to engage in a variety of different work, which helps you to hone your writing skills on many different projects. Having this kind of variety prevents the sort of burnout often seen in office work and this variation makes your professional life interesting - you can actually look forward to beginning work each day. Of course, there are some downsides, since you must essentially create your own job description and find and secure work, It takes discipline and a dedication to your craft in order to be successful - but for many, this is a viable profession.

When you are self employed as a content developer, your daily routine will vary so much that there is no real "typical work day" to speak of. Getting back to those who are engaged in content development for one particular company, a typical workday may be something like this. More than likely, you will be dealing with a regular production/publication schedule in this case, perhaps even daily (in the case of blogs and websites, which are becoming increasingly common as a vehicle for corporate communications).

You will come into the office and generally begin your day be catching up on email and then scanning the industry journals and newspapers for new developments which are relevant to the industry you are employed in – content developers may be employed in any industry. You will identify news and information which should be incorporated into your content and if you are working on a website or blog posts, then the next step will be to draft the day's update or post. This will then go through a process of rewriting, editing and proofreading; the work of proofreading and/or editing may be done by someone else, particularly if you are employed at a larger company. Following this, you will rework your draft into a final form and it will be proofread once more to catch typos and grammatical errors. Then your content will be ready to post on the web.

If you are working on a hard copy publication, the process will be similar. However, since there will generally be more lead time given to produce this sort of content, you will also spend a part of your day on research. A content developer needs not only writing skills, but also analytical skills and a strong set of communication skills in order to get the information needed to craft the content they are working on. A journalism background is very helpful in this career for this reason.

If you are interested in this sort of work, you may be curious as to what sort of compensation is offered. This depends greatly on your level of experience and the industry in which you are employed. Those who are self employed in this field essentially have the freedom to dictate their own salary, depending on their skills and their willingness to put in the necessary time to secure projects. For those employed by a company, salaries can range anywhere from $30,000 from entry level positions, typically working on web content all the way to nearly $100,000 in certain industries where extensive specialized knowledge is required, especially in the creation of medical and technological content.

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