Writing for the Web: Print Editors vs. Online Editors

Jennifer ApplinBy Jennifer Applin

Editors are editors, right? Well, yes; and no. Print editors are in the business of sharing information through a finished print form of media. Online editors may be in an entirely different business–and online content may simply be the means of accomplishing business objectives.

For example, an online editor’s main focus may be writing content that sells goods or services. Though they wear the hat of web content editor, this may be a secondary responsibility after their role as marketing manager. For them, web content is simply a means to an end, with different standards than print publications.

As a result, online editors may play by a different set of rules than print editors. In general, because writing for the web is still fairly new, online editors may be more accessible. You may not have to deal with querying. And it may be easier to figure out the appropriate editor to contact for work. (Sometimes this information is cloaked in secrecy with print publications!)

The exception is websites that correspond to print publications. June’s column gave the example of BigConsumerMagazine.com following the same protocol as Big Consume Magazine when it comes to sending queries versus letters of intent. The same can be said regarding editors for these sites.

Being aware of these differences and crafting your communications accordingly can play a significant role in forming lasting relationships with editors of online publications.

Business-Boosting Tip
Typically, writers are compensated for their work in the form of a check that is mailed to them. As with everything else that is making the shift to the web, more and more writers are being compensated electronically. This is especially true for online publications.

Therefore, if you aren’t already able to receive payments via the web, such as through a Paypal account, you may want to get this set up so you are prepared to receive payment the minute your client hits “send.”

Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. Aside from writing for many regional publications, she is regular contributor to eLearners.com and Projectworkingmom.com. She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones; and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.

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1 Response to “Writing for the Web: Print Editors vs. Online Editors”



  1. 1 What I learned this week « Writers Inspired Trackback on September 17, 2009 at 10:15 pm
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