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Web Development Careers: Content Developer

written by: Lisa Lambson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/20/2010

If you love to write and work with the web, a job as a content developer may be for you. It gives you a lot of flexibility since you can work for companies onsite or freelance from home. Here are some tips to help get you started.

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    What Is A Career As A Web Content Developer?

    Web content development is a specialized type of web development that focuses on the content of a website. Different types of content may be required depending on the website. Some websites just need writing, while others may require or desire graphics, audios and videos also. Most content developers are very skilled in search engine optimization because clients are looking for quality, original content to put on their websites that will make them stand out above the rest of the websites out there. The web content developer has a time consuming part of the development process for a web site. They must first determine what type of content is required based on their own knowledge and experience and on what the client or employer wants. Then all of this information must be structured together in an organized manner to make the website easy to understand, easy to navigate and to ensure that the message is clearly coming through to the people that are visiting the site. Finally, the content must be acquired from somewhere, whether that means that the web content developer will create it or outsource it to others to create and then place the various types of content in the appropriate areas of the website.

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    Many people begin their career as a web content developer as a part of their existing job. Very often a company will have an employee begin to create content for their website, newsletters or advertising materials. In some cases, this can quickly evolve into a full time web content development job depending on the size and needs of the company.

    For others that are more interested in self employment, web content development can be the perfect choice. This can offer you flexibility to work when and where you want to. You can choose to only take projects that are in certain fields or industries based on your interests, knowledge and experience. It also provides a great deal of variety as different clients will have different needs.

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    Getting Started

    Beginning a career as a web content developer, there a few things to keep in mind to get started on the right foot:

    • Set Goals. Have a plan of action to help you organize and be constantly moving forward towards your goals, especially if you plan on starting your new career while you are still working at your old one.
    • Use any technology you can to your advantage. Your computer will become your new best friend for generating ideas, keeping up with trends, doing research and creating the content that you need. The more technology can assist you, the less time consuming your job will be.
    • Build up a portfolio of sample work to show to potential clients. This can certainly include anything that you may have done for past employers, with the proper permission for use, or any other content development work you may have done. If this is totally a new career for you, you can build your portfolio by providing content for your own sites, sites of your friends or family members or volunteer to provide content for your church or any other organizations that you belong to with the understanding that you will be using is as a part of your portfolio.
    • Finally, network, network, network. Tell everyone that you know that you are beginning a new career in web content development and ask them to think of you if they or someone they know may be in need of some help. Tell your friends, your family, previous work contacts and any organizations that you are involved with.