Why Every Business With (Or Without) a Content Strategy Needs a Managing Editor

When done right, content can:

✅ Generate brand awareness.

✅ Build credibility and trust.

✅ Educate your audience.

But getting content right can be more challenging than you might expect

For one, it’s a whole process. It can take months to launch a blog. And that’s just the start. Content requires consistency in both creating and updating. It’s easily a full-time job… or six.

That’s where a managing editor like me can help your business. But what is a managing editor exactly? Let’s dive in.

What is a managing editor?

When you think of a managing editor, you might think of some big-wig at a magazine who’s calling the shots — you know, a “Devil Wears Prada” sort of situation.

But managing editors exist outside the traditional journalism world.

A managing editor works with brands and businesses to build and execute their content strategies. A managing editor can be a full-time hire or an independent contractor — like me and my team at JL&Co.

A managing editor can work independently to help build out your content strategy, or they can provide support to your existing teams, like a content marketing manager or communications manager.

What does a managing editor do?

Plain and simple: A managing editor oversees the content strategy and distribution of a brand, business or blog.

Because I work with a variety of clients to strategize, create, publish and share content, my duties vary.

Here’s a peek at what I do:

👉 Collaborate with a company’s management, sales, marketing and even HR teams to develop a content strategy that supports the company’s goals.

👉 Build and manage an editorial calendar.

👉 Generate story ideas.

👉 Field pitches from freelancers.

👉 Assign stories to my talented team of writers or write content myself.

👉 Oversee production schedules to ensure we meet deadlines.

👉 Edit content and ensure its properly formatted with headings.

👉 Brainstorm multiple attention-grabbing headlines.

👉 Build SEO posts or optimizes existing content. This includes researching keywords, writing meta descriptions and writing optimized headings.

👉 Refresh previously published content.

👉 Get content live.

👉 Promote content via social channels, email newsletters and more.

And honestly? There’s a lot that goes on in-between!

Why brands and businesses should hire a managing editor

As established, creating quality content can take a lot of time, so hiring a managing editor will give you hours back in the day. (And, of course, time = money.)

A managing editor also comes armed with expertise. This is their job, so, in my case, I know a whole lot about writing for SEO, how to target a specific audience, writing copy that converts, finding talented writers… the list goes on. 

I live and breathe this stuff. I even publish a newsletter all about content management.

Plus, if you opt to bring on an independent managing editor — versus hiring an in-house, full-time managing editor — you’ll save money.

Who can benefit from a managing editor?

Honestly, any business or brand with a content strategy — or lack thereof — can benefit from working with a managing editor.

A managing editor can help you leverage content to inform and engage your audience. It can even help you acquire new customers or foster more meaningful relationships with your current customers.

The types of businesses I’ve worked with run the gamut:

💻 A public relations management platform.

✏️ A blog for writers.

🎓 An internship program for college students.

🎤 A service that turns podcasts into articles.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is this: Any business or brand can benefit from working with a managing editor.

Behind the scenes: an example of working with a managing editor

I’ve worked with Muck Rack, the public relations management platform I nodded to earlier, since 2013.

It started with a guest post for the blog, which, at the time, lived on Tumblr (throwback!) and didn’t have a regular publishing cadence. That one post turned into more blog posts — then a call with the CEO. He asked if I could help Muck Rack produce content more regularly.

Nearly a decade later, I’m still at it. I pitch, assign, edit and submit content regularly for Muck Rack. 

As a result, Muck Rack has been able to:

👉 Consistently post three to four blog posts each week for the past several years.

👉 Help the sales team bring in new business with the help of case studies. My team has produced more than 100 to date

👉 Introduce new and important series, including team member profiles (for HR hiring initiatives) and customer profiles (as more sales materials).

It’s worth noting a managing editor can also seamlessly work hand-in-hand with internal content experts.

Since I’ve started working with Muck Rack, their team has grown, and they’ve brought on a senior content marketing manager. I work closely with her, but since my team and I maintain the blog, she has more time to focus on other priorities. 

Let’s work together!

If you’re a business owner or marketing lead who could use a hand with content, let’s chat! I’d love to hear about your goals and help you develop — or strengthen — your content strategy.

Learn more about what I offer, and don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to connect.

Want to learn more about what it takes to create good content? You can keep tabs on me by signing up for my content newsletter. Every two weeks, I’ll give you the lowdown on what I’ve been up to and share some of my favorite articles, resources and gigs in the content world.


Jessica_Lawlor_Blog Bio@2x

Meet Jessica

I live by the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and help others do the same to reach their biggest, brightest goals. Read my story here.

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Weekly(ish) Content News

If you live for an editorial calendar, love writing clean copy and want to keep a pulse on the world of content marketing, sign up for this weekly(ish) newsletter.

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