Job Descriptions for Managers – 6 Online Publishing Jobs

How your print publishing team translates online

There’s no generic standard for an online publishing team, make no mistake about that. But when building the online counterpart to your print brand, there are job descriptions for managers that can certainly translate from print to online.

If you are a magazine executive, the basic organization structure hasn’t changed. There are six sets of strategic activities at any publishing company, both online and in print. It’s how they translate from print to online and vice versa that you should recognize.

These six sets are: publisher (or CEO), editorial, circulation, advertising, production and accounting.

Job Descriptions for Managers


Before: Magazine Publisher
Now: Online Publisher

  • Strategic Goals: happy employees, happy customers, happy shareholders
  • Strategic Activities: business development, marketing, advertising, product development, employee management
  • Key Metrics: employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, business unit profitability
  • Accountability: board of directors or CEO
  • Hiring Guidelines: generalist, leader, extrovert, exceptional communicator



Before: Magazine Editor
Now: Blog & Email Editor

  • Strategic Goals: happy readers/users/customers
  • Strategic Activities: content development, SEO, link building, web to email conversion, email marketing
  • Key Metrics: post and email deadlines, website pages, search engine arrivals and impressions, email circulation, revenue per thousand
  • Accountability: publisher
  • Hiring Guidelines: good researcher, writer, analyst


Before: Circulation Manager
Now: Audience Development

  • Strategic Goals: improve size and quality of website and email file
  • Strategic Activities: build and maintain database of buyers and prospects, analyze and promote multi-channel opportunities
  • Key Metrics: email circulation, unique visitor count, frequency of return
  • Accountability: publisher
  • Hiring Guidelines: good researcher, analyst, multi-tasker, creative, attention to detail


Before: Advertising Manager
Now: Business Development

  • Strategic Goals: grow economic enterprise
  • Strategic Activities: target market assessments, customer and competitor intelligence gathering, lead generation, follow-up sales, proposal writing
  • Key Metrics: partners, inbound links, website arrivals
  • Accountability: publisher
  • Hiring Guidelines: good communicator, good negotiator, competent researcher and analyst, well-connected


Before: Production Manager
Now: Webmaster

  • Strategic Goals: maintain, monitor, improve, update website(s)
  • Strategic Activities: content uploading, report admin, server and browser management, file security, site maintenance, traffic monitoring, training and support 
  • Key Metrics: site uptime, release deadlines, user support satisfaction scores
  • Accountability: publisher
  • Hiring Guidelines: technical, detail-oriented, comfortable with change


Before: Business Manager
Now: Business Manager

  • Strategic Goals: business analyst making sure everyone else has the numbers needed to do their jobs
  • Strategic Activities: accounting, finances, metric reporting, budgeting
  • Key Metrics: business unit profitability, reporting deadlines, employee satisfaction
  • Accountability: publisher
  • Hiring Guidelines: detail-oriented, analyst, multi-tasker, mathematically inclined

Again, organizational strategy isn’t an exact science. We created this generic online publishing team sample to show you where online and offline publishing companies overlap. In larger companies, you will most certainly have an expanded version of this model, while in smaller companies many of the roles could be compiled.

At the Mequoda Summit, we have comprehensive case studies on the publishing teams of five very different online publishers. Please join us to learn more about how to build your online publishing team.

    Job d.

    All-in-all a good post and I think more people will find it useful than not. Thank you for taking the time to write it.@bose


    I think this is a helpful article not only for publishers or employers but for those looking for a career in the online world. I am looking for a full time position with a publisher or e-commerce retailer.


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