What Does a Content Specialist Do?

A. Leverkuhn

A content specialist works with a particular kind of content, whether it is text generated for web or print, curriculum, or any other kind of content. This is a broader job category with specific applications to a range of fields. The main work of a person in this position involves maintaining standards for content, or evaluating it in other ways. These professionals help ensure quality for written content, and also help to build outreach and communication tools for a range of businesses.

Content specialists are in charge of producing the content that goes into a publication.
Content specialists are in charge of producing the content that goes into a publication.

Some content specialists generate, edit, or maintain web content. Other duties involved in this kind of professional role include researching web visibility opportunities, whether those are linking, search engine optimization, or ad-based strategies. Factors in a web content specialist’s job might include technical editing, either for spelling, grammar, or clarity, as well as keyword or meta-tagging or anything else that helps to boost page views. They may also work in content generation systems, or with more sophisticated web technologies.

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies require content specialists to insert targeted keywords and phrases into their web copy in order for it to be picked up in a search engine.
Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies require content specialists to insert targeted keywords and phrases into their web copy in order for it to be picked up in a search engine.

There is also a common content specialist role in the field of education. According to the layout of a conventional educational job market, these specialists might be a specific category of instructional coordinators who evaluate curriculum. These professionals might have many job duties, including conferencing with educational committees, focus groups, or other groups, along with developing measurements for the effectiveness of educational content. This individual might also be involved in fund-raising efforts, outreach, or promotion of educational programs or institutions.

Some content specialists generate, edit or maintain web content.
Some content specialists generate, edit or maintain web content.

Other kinds of content specialists may generally work to keep the advertising or marketing content of a business at a particular standard. This often applies to an extensive e-commerce project, or a significant web presence for a large business. Content specialists often work with “customer facing content,” which is the data that customers see when they interact with print or web materials for a business. Here, the specialist will often be a part of the “face” of a business, responsible for maintaining the right professional tone and reaching out to customers with effective, meaningful, and engaging content. This might require close work with multiple business departments, or an assisting relationship with a top-level executive or a senior staffer.

Content specialists may help evaluate school curriculum.
Content specialists may help evaluate school curriculum.

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Discussion Comments

Buster29

I tried my hand at content writing a few years ago, and I have to admire anyone who can make a career out of it. Some days the workload was manageable, but other days it seemed like every client wanted an entirely new website up and running by the end of the day. I discovered I enjoyed the research aspect more than the actual content writing. I now work for a school textbook company, and I spend most of my time doing research and coaching content writers on how to write for various grade levels.

Reminiscence

Many people don't realize how much work goes into content writing. A client may want to create a series of textbooks, for instance. Not only does a content specialist have to do research on the topics of those textbooks, he or she also has to consider the grade level of the readers and the potential secondary uses of that material. The textbooks could become videos, for example, or be converted to interactive CD-ROMs. The content may have to change as new facts emerge or old ones are proven inaccurate. Content writing is always in a state of flux.

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