Case study

Content and social media manager — Mark Jarman

Mark gained valuable experience from freelancing, volunteering, internships and blogging before starting a career in web content management

How did you become a content and social media manager?

I worked in admin for a couple of years after graduating. I always loved writing and the web so I started a couple of personal blogs.

I then did two internships - one in a digital agency and one for a large food and restaurant website. I also signed up to write and edit as a freelancer for a couple of websites and volunteered for a charity, helping to edit their blog and web articles.

I used all this experience to land a full-time job at one of the companies I'd interned with. I learned a lot about content and taught myself how to use Google Analytics, the principles of SEO (search engine optimisation), and how to use free popular CMS' and website builders.

One of my blog posts also went viral, which always sounds good in interviews. After a year as a content editor I was promoted to content and social media manager.

What do you do as a content manager?

I still do a lot of writing and editing. We also have guest bloggers, reviewers and a team of in-house writers, so I ensure everything they submit is scheduled and follows our guidelines. I'll meet with the marketing department to make sure our content is complementing their campaigns; our data team to find out what site users are doing; and our tech team to fix bugs with our CMS and suggest improvements.

I also approve and schedule social media content from all contributors and suggest posts that tie in with new content.

What are the challenges?

Wrangling with our CMS.

Occasionally some of our writers go 'rogue' and it's never nice having to tell them you can't publish their hard work.

How relevant is your French degree to your job?

The subject didn't seem relevant at first - but doing a degree was useful as writing and editing skills come in handy.

However, we've just been bought by a French company so there may be a chance to start managing content on some of our French sites too.

What are your career ambitions?

I'd love to manage content across several sites. I'm still very interested in writing and really enjoy the promotional aspects of what I do, so I could see myself in a digital marketing job in the future.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

My personal site and blog were really how it started for me, so start practising now. Also don't underestimate any experience even if it seems unrelated - you need a lot of different skills to be a good content manager.

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