• Stephen Hanlon

A Day in the Life of a Digital Editor

Without a doubt, one of the most popular careers you’ll see advertised on any job website such as Indeed or Glassdoor is that of the Digital Editor. But what exactly is it that Digital Editors do and what background do you need to become one?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to either question. In terms of background needed to become a Digital Editor, I can only tell you of my own. Before joining Franchise Direct as a Digital Editor, I was the Head of Marketing & Digital Communications at An Óige – Irish Youth Hostel Association. Prior to that I had worked in several different positions which included Head of Social Media for a PR agency in my home county of Wicklow, Communications Assistant at Basketball Ireland, and I also interned for around six months at the Sunday Independent newspaper. So, I guess you could say that a background in public relations, marketing or journalism is a good start.

Digital Editor is one of the most common jobs you'll find on any careers website

What a Digital Editor does is a little more complicated as quite often what is advertised turns out to be completely different to what you will be doing. The best way I can answer what exactly the position entails is with a breakdown of what my typical day as a Digital Editor at Franchise Direct looks like.

8:30am: I arrive at my desk with a large coffee in hand. Caffeine is one of the most important weapons a Digital Editor has in their arsenal because without it, you will be useless. You need to be awake and alert for a long day ahead.

The only thing that will get you through the day is a pot (or two) of coffee

After a few sips of coffee, I exchange small talk with my colleagues for a few minutes while I wait for my computer to turn on. Once it is good to go, the first thing I do is check my emails. Now, don’t be shocked to learn that I often come in to over 70 emails in my inbox. Sounds like a lot, right? Well most of them do be Google Alerts, newsletter blasts I’ve subscribed to, or reminders about client accounts either needing to be renewed or about to hit their monthly lead cap – neither of which are my problem until the sales team do their thing. Once I’ve filtered out all the unimportant emails, that is when I’m left with the handful which truly matter. These are usually from the clients who are looking for changes made to their profiles. I quickly respond to these telling them that the changes will be made within the next few hours and that I’ll let them know when they have been done. That should keep me busy for an hour or so later.

9:00am: Now it is time to process leads that have come in over the past 24 hours. This involves verifying the location and contact information of questionable leads who have requested information about investing in our client’s franchise opportunities. A questionable lead is one in which an email domain may be missing a letter, or the address looks like it contains a curse word. You’d be surprised to find out just how many people have the surnames Prick and Anus. One these have been verified then I check that the country the lead came from matches the list of countries that the client wants their leads to come from and if it is all good then I verify the lead and move onto the next one.

This can take from as little as 15 minutes or anywhere up to an hour and a half depending on the number of leads that have come through that need to be verified. Monday is usually the busiest day as the leads from over the weekend also need to be processed. On top of that, I have leads from six different websites to process. On average it will take around 45 minutes to complete the process.

Digital Editors aren't IT, but that doesn't mean they aren't nerdy!

10:00am: Once I’ve finished processing leads, I check my inbox once again. Usually there is nothing but the very odd time there will be another email from a client looking for changes to their profile. I simply add this to the list. It is usually around 10:00am that I begin to update client profiles with the changes they have sent in. This can include rewriting large sections of text, updating logos, banners and/or images, as well as converting currency for the financial information they provide.

The most time-consuming aspect of this process is when a client has attached a video because it needs to be analysed to make sure it is appropriate before it can be uploaded to their account.

Depending on the number of changes requested by clients, the entire process can take up to an hour.

11:00am: Social media plays a massive part any digital position these days and it is one of the most important tools a Digital Editor has in order to promote clients online. Once the changes have been made to the client’s profiles, I schedule promotional statuses to go out across social media to showcase the clients which myself and the sales team feel either need a push or will benefit from exposure on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Social media will play a big part in the role

12:00pm: Around midday is when a lot of new clients send in information for profiles they want created. This involves working closely with the sales manager they have sent the information to in order to fully understand what it is they want the profile to look like in order to create a preview to show them as soon as possible.

1:00pm: Lunch time. After a busy morning, a chicken fillet roll is needed to get me through the busy afternoon which will surely lay ahead.

The almighty chicken fillet roll is the perfect reward for making it halfway through the day without killing anybody!

2:00pm: After lunch, I begin to create a preview profile for the new clients who have sent us in their information. This is usually a pretty straightforward process as they’ve filled in a form and provided all the details needed to build it for them. It is normal for up to three new profile previews to be created daily.

3:00pm: Once the profile previews have been sent off to the prospective new clients, I work on the weekly newsletters which need to be created. Looking after six separate websites means I need to create six separate newsletters and schedule them to go out at different times during the week. While the creation process isn’t hard, it is a timely one as each needs to be populated with three different clients, all of which includes their logo, a descriptive paragraph about their franchise opportunity, and a link to their profile on the website.

4:00pm: It is usually around this time that I have time to work on special projects which I’ve either pitched to the CEO and/or management team, or ones that have been assigned to me. This can include writing blog posts for the websites, reviewing SEO, or trying to achieve backlinks to improve the website domain authority. This is how I will spend the final hour and a half of my day unless something more pressing or urgent comes up.

It may not be glamorous, but it pays well

And there you have it. That is exactly what a day in the life of a Digital Editor looks like. It may not be a glamorous career that a Hollywood movie will be made about like you get with public relations or journalism, but it pays well and can be quite rewarding of you let it be.

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