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Wanted: Writers Who Can Work On the Web


Published December 9, 2008 at 1:56 p.m.

At the Vermont 3.0 Creative/Tech Career Jam back in October, I moderated a panel called "So, You Wanna Write for the Web?" Our panelists included Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen, EatingWell Media Group Digital Producer Penelope Wall and St. Mike's journalism prof Marybeth Redmond.

The questions we got from the audience were all over the map. One woman wanted to know how to copyright and protect her work on the web. Someone else wanted to know how to find online outlets that will pay for freelance writing.

One of the best questions (if memory serves) came from a woman who wanted to know what other kinds of full-time jobs are out there for writers — if there aren't any newspaper jobs, and there aren't any grant-writing jobs, and there aren't any PR jobs, what can you do? Where should you send your resume?

Here's a belated answer — apply here. I spotted this employment ad as I walked by the proofs for this week's paper; they're lying on the floor in our office. This is from an ad for a Web Content Adminstrator:

BioTek Instruments, Inc. is a world leader in thedesign and manufacture of high performance, microplate based, lifescience instrumentation and software used to accelerate drug discoveryand aid in the advancement of life science research. We are seeking anenthusiastic and dedicated individual to join our MarketingCommunications team as a Web Content Administrator.

The successful candidate will be responsible formaintaining dynamic content on BioTek's global websites and will workwith international staff to ensure up-to-date content in multiplelanguages. This person will be responsible for soliciting informationfrom various sources to ensure fresh and current content throughout thesite. Other duties include the coordination and development of monthlydistributor e-newsletters, database maintenance, and assisting the Webmarketing team with other projects as required.

Don't have the skills to be a Web Content Administrator? Read a book. Take a class. Subscribe to an e-newsletter. Teach yourself to use Constant Contact or SoundSlides. Volunteer to help a non-profit or a small business refine their online marketing strategy and learn as you go. It's much, much harder to learn how to write well than it is to adapt your skills to this new environment.

Of course, you also have to adapt to being in marketing rather than being a journalist, but hey, if that's what it takes to pay the bills...