Web Editor/Producer C.J. Arabia created her own WordPress profession – and a customized description and title to go with it.
What is a WE/P?
I’ve built a lot of websites. But I’m not a developer, nor am I a designer… I’m a Web Editor/Producer, or as I like to call it, a WE/P.
The first thing I’m always asked by friends and acquaintances is: what exactly is a Web Editor/Producer? The short answer would be that I am an Internet Girl Friday. I have experience in everything website related along all stages of development—from concept, to launch, to creating content. That’s basically what a WE/P does…everything! But we don’t do it alone. The way I see it, a WE/P is in charge of making your web vision a reality.
If your website were a movie, this person would be your director. So they need to have experience in a lot of different areas, be able to multitask, and know how to manage people effectively. We do all of this to the best of our ability, while working within a budget and time constraints that are often quite unrealistic.
Things always go wrong. Things break, folks click things they shouldn’t, people misunderstand each other, payments are late because funding is late, and so on…and so on. Oh, and also, we need a million hits a month—immediately. All of these challenges make people like me giddy.
Why WordPress, you ask? Three simples reasons…
There is no other ready-made content management system out there. You might wave your hand in the back of the room and remind me that WordPress is drastically flawed, and start pointing out all your difficulties. “Why won’t my video embeds center, when I click center?”
I’ve worked on a dozen or so content management systems developed by developers at various companies ranging from gigantic International corporations, to very small businesses. They’re all flawed, and as bad as you might think WordPress is, the others are worse. Trust me on this.
It saves money. You want to build a site and content management from scratch? A GOOD one? Hope you have at least six figures to get that put together. Also, I promise it will be a huge pain in the butt. Life is too short. If you have no money, you can get a nice looking WordPress site up and running in a matter of minutes. Sites like ThemeForest.net and ElegantThemes.com make it possible to buy beautiful, easy to use site themes for as little as $5, and there are lots of free themes available online as well.
It saves time. Now that you have the domain and you’ve installed WordPress, you’re just a few days, weeks or months away from launching your new site. You’re not building from the ground up, you’re just doing a quick remodel.
So…what else do you need?
If you want to truly customize your WordPress site, you’re going to need to hire a developer. Don’t get suckered into hiring your friend’s kid. This is your business. Hire a qualified, responsible, adult who has been trained and doing this for a while.
The biggest part of a Web Producer’s job is communication. Getting ideas out of one guy’s head, and getting them into another guy’s head. Another gal who may be on the other side of the country, or planet. A guy who might not understand my California slang or get my bad jokes.
Things never go as planned. People interpret things differently, and misunderstandings are common. You think you’re being clear, and yet they don’t understand you. The plans change, you change your mind, you forget you asked for something…it’s endless, and can be a nightmare. Piss off the wrong developer and you can kiss your entire site buh-bye.
I don’t often get to work with designers. It’s just a luxury that can’t always be afforded, but the right designer can make a tremendous difference in the design of your site. You know immediately when a site has been designed by a proper designer, it’s just not a luxury that every client can afford.
If you’ve got the money, you’re going to want to hire a Social Media Manager. Sure an editor can create content, but you need someone who knows how to share that content with the world, in the right way, to get you the most attention possible.
I work with a social media person to make sure all the posts are being shared across all platforms. Facebook and Twitter? Those are just a few. You need to use Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Buzzfeed, Vine, Instagram, Tumblr and you need know which social networks are going to work best for the particular site you are working on. What works for an entertainment blog, for example, isn’t going to work for a guy selling auto parts.
Search Engine Optimization
You’re also going to want to consult with a knowledgeable SEO expert. WordPress has the best out-of-the box SEO options available. Chris who is the head of the SEO company that I use always reminds me that SEO is a combination of 100+ factors that constantly shift in the weight that Google places upon them. They see many new site owners chasing the latest SEO fad with no regard to the other 99.
With WordPress and a plugin or two, your SEO fundamentals are covered. Plugins like All In One SEO, No More 404’s and Simple 301 Redirect make for a much needed but often overlooked SEO foundation. I leave my SEO to experts like Chris. I have enough on my mind.
…And that’s what Web Editor/Producers handle.
WE/Ps make the magic happen. We know people. We’ve done this a bunch of times. We’ve seen all the mistakes before. We’ve dealt with them, and fixed them or found some kind of solution.
The biggest thing to remember in all of this, is that we aren’t performing brain surgery here. Lives aren’t hanging in the balance. Stay calm and the site build will go on.
C.J. Arabia started her career in television on shows like News Radio, Futurama, and the HBO Comedy Half Hours. She was working at NBC in the casting and development department when she made the career move from TV to online with NBC’s dotcomedy.com. From there she has gone on to work with Online companies like Mania TV, AOL’s Lemondrop.com, Smosh, Huffington Post, EQAL, The Pet Collective and others. She works with clients ranging from huge companies to individual blogs. She even had brief career as a celebrity “ghost blogger.” Follow C.J. on Twitter and friend her on Facebook. You can also contact C.J. via her website, cjarabia.com.
C.J.’s latest project, ThePetCollective.tv, just launched July 23 so go check out her handywork and enjoy the site!
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