- Understanding differences between a writer and an editor
- What type of jobs are available for each position
- Tips on how to land your ideal job, including any relevant training and how to build your portfolio
Do you love to read? Are you creative with written words? Have you always dreamed of getting paid to do something you’re passionate about? If so, a career as an editor or writer might be right for you.
Writers and editors used to work primarily on books and physical publications, such as magazines and newspapers. As most brands switched their marketing efforts online, however, content creation has become an integral part of marketing. HubSpot reports at least 78% of companies with a digital presence have a team of content strategists.
This team is composed of writers and editors producing content in the form of blog posts, case studies, newsletters, and anything a person can read online. You can join publishing houses, newspapers, and this emerging online economy as a freelance, full-time, or part-time writer or editor.
An editor checks documents for errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Their goal is to make sure a document is focused, with text and thought flowing smoothly. An editor’s job is to focus on syntax and messaging to create a better reading experience and maximum impact for the reader.
Many employers expect editors to have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree and work experience in journalism, communications, or public relations. A degree in any field is a good start for a career as an editor, especially for people who want to focus on editing in their area of expertise. If you have a medical degree, for example, you can try academic editing, where you will be responsible for reviewing and editing medical journals or newsletters.
Many colleges and universities offer courses and programs in editing and publishing that you might want to check out. You can also gain experience through internships and by editing a school newspaper.
Here are some additional resources for becoming an editor:
Editors work in various industries like online marketing, publications, and health care. They also work in different capacities. Below are the types of editors or positions for which you can apply:
A writer is anyone who engages in the process of writing — with the hope of getting their work published. Journalists, ghostwriters, bloggers, and authors are all writers. Most writers have a degree in creative writing, journalism, or communications. Since there’s a wide array of industries and different needs for writers, anyone can gain writing experience regardless of their education.
Listed below are examples of writing jobs for which you can apply.
If you don’t have the time or money to get a degree, look for online writing or editing courses. If you’re planning to attend school or are in the process of getting a degree, take courses or programs that can help you achieve your goal of becoming an editor or writer. Still, remember that getting a job is more about your experience and portfolio than your degree.
Regarding relevant training, you may also want to increase your proficiency with computers, electronic publishing, social media, and multimedia production. If you’re looking to work with online brands and bloggers, you may also need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) and content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.
Here are a few things you can do to gain experience and testimonials:
Help family and friends with any writing needs or editing work.
Get your resume and cover letter ready and start applying to jobs. If you’re just starting, you may have to start with entry-level writing or editing positions. You might think you didn’t go to college for four years to get an entry-level position, but consider the benefits: samples for your portfolio and hands-on experience you can’t get any other way.
As an editor, you might have tried your hand at everything, such as copy editing online documents or combing through manuscripts. As a writer, you might have written about topics you knew the most about in the beginning. Eventually, it’s best to pick a niche — a focus or specialization, that is.
You may choose to focus on an industry like marketing or a type of content, such as blog posts or books. Having a specialization can help you hone and develop your editing and writing skills and can be especially beneficial if you’re planning to go the freelancing route.
Start making connections as early as you can, especially if you’re planning to work as a freelance editor or freelance writer. Take advantage of social media and engage with other writers and editors on Twitter or LinkedIn. Do this even if you’re still trying to figure out what kind of editor or writer you want to be or if you’re still in the process of taking courses.
Remember that your purpose for engaging is not just to get a job or meet potential clients. It’s also to establish connections to exchange information and maybe get some advice from colleagues who have knowledge to impart from years of experience.
With Joblist, you can see all available editing and writing opportunities in one place. We combine postings from the leading job boards to help you find the perfect role. Use our search tool to see personalized results, set up daily alerts, and be the first to apply to new job postings!