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What is an online content developer and what do they do?

Where would the world be without content? Consider all of the things that you read on your favourite websites and where that meaningful content comes from. It is the humble online content developer that is responsible for everything from the insightful, data-rich articles that you use to inform business decisions right through to the style guides that help you decide on the best outfit for a bohemian wedding – and not forgetting the social posts that lead you there. As you can see, an online content developer wears many hats. So in this article, we answer exactly what is an online content developer what do they do?

What is an online content developer?

Online content developers are responsible for creating useful written content for businesses and brands across the globe. Their work usually aligns with the overall strategy for a brand, such as making a company an industry expert through useful blog posts, web pages, webinars, white pages or other forms of easily digestible information.

Content development can also be an overarching term that includes website development, search engine optimisation (SEO) practices and other technical aspects of the implementation of brand strategies.

The type of writing that they do will also vary day-to-day. Informal blog posts, for example, are completely different to a professional white paper, but it will be the responsibility of the content developer to create both.

What are the responsibilities of the online content developer?

Content developers are often encouraged to balance multiple responsibilities in their line of work. JobHero have taken the time to analyse dozens of job descriptions related to content development to create a general picture of the roles and responsibilities content developers have. The following outlines the most common duties that a content developer is expected to handle.

Working on marketing strategies

Someone writing out a UX flow on a whiteboardIt is no surprise that online content developers are one of the many cogs in the marketing machine, as their work is directly tied to the brand that they are writing for. The content that they deliver will reflect the image of the company – whether that is quirky, professional or friendly.

With their finger on the pulse of a captive audience, content developers offer key insights that can help align companies with their desired messaging.

They also have experience in understanding what types of content will resonate with specific audiences, allowing marketers to tailor their marketing plan accordingly. All of this goes a long way to establishing a strong brand and growing trust in their audience.

Creating valuable content for audiences and businesses

Content creation is the bread and butter for this type of role, but the type of content can come in a variety of flavours. From standard blog posts to lengthy white papers, online content developers are responsible for putting words onto the page that brings value to the brand. Whether that is through offering useful information to potential customers or engaging content to draw people in, content development is primarily focused on – you guessed it – developing content.

It is more than just mindlessly developing content, as it involves structuring content in a way that is reader-friendly and web-friendly. SEO is another aspect of writing that content developers must take on board with their work.

In essence, SEO content development is all about boosting the visibility of the content on search engines such as Google. This can improve traffic, brand integrity and will massively benefit any business looking to increase its visibility online.

Cross-department collaboration and analysis

As previously mentioned, online content developers are but a cog in a much larger framework that includes marketing, sales and other departments within a company.

It is important that the content being created is not only meaningful but relevant and aligned to the company brand. Moreover, specific strategies are normally designed to work in tandem, so the social media team and the online content developer will be working to complement one another’s work.

This idea goes a step further when we consider marketing, which often uses hard data and key performance indicators to drive strategy. Online content developers need to understand and analyse this data to tweak their content accordingly.

If viewers are only staying on the page for a moment, either the content is not useful or there is an issue with the design. Online content developers must consider this when writing future content to try to generate more views and ultimately drive more business.

What does it take to be an online content developer?

A man collaborating with two women on PCsOnline content developers generally blend a few skills into their craft, including solid writing abilities, excellent research skills and the ability to work as an individual as well as part of a larger outfit.

Being an online content developer requires a range of core skills that they will use every day in their role. Online job site Indeed researched job postings to assess what skills employers looked for when hiring online content developers. They found that the following skills were highly sought after:

  • Versatility and adaptability
  • Research and organisation skills
  • Originality
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) knowledge
  • Time management
  • Strong communication skills
  • Editing prowess
  • Knowledge of social media
  • Technical and digital skills

As well as these core skills, there are a number of additional skills that are beneficial – although not essential – for online content development.

In 2021, content goes far beyond the written word, so advanced knowledge of HTML and a basic understanding of CCS, a solid grasp of SEO and graphic design skills, such as proficiency with image and video editing software, can all help with the development and growth of an online content developer.

Online content developers do more than just write

Although at face value it may seem like an online content developer will be solely responsible for developing copy, the reality is more nuanced than that. It takes a lot of teamwork and a deeper understanding of how marketing works to excel at online content development. That is not to say that writing is not the primary role of the content developer – it definitely is. However, there are more aspects to the job than just that.

So, do you think you have what it takes to be an online content developer? If you’re not sure yet, maybe you’d like to read our blog post on how much a content marketer/developer makes first!

Header image: Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Embedded images: Campaign Creators on Unsplash, Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Bruce Orrock

Bruce is a qualified copywriter at Copify with a background in journalism and marketing. He has almost a decade of experience in newsrooms across the UK, as well as time served in the B2B marketing sector. Bruce enjoys writing about nature, ecology, marketing and journalism but is comfortable covering most topics. With a great love for the outdoors, you can normally find Bruce roaming the Scottish Highlands when he isn’t writing copy.

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