Editor: Jess Lulka Company: TechTarget Number of years in editing: Eight years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor.
I'm a Boston-based editor who mostly specializes in B2B technology content. I knew I wanted to be an editor during college, and after getting my BA in English, I pursued multiple internships at a local publisher, as well as on-campus and area newspapers, to get my start professionally.
What is your area of focus, and why did you select this niche?
My area of focus is B2B technology and engineering content. I got into this area by happenstance; my first full-time job out of college was at a design engineering magazine. I was eager enough for a full-time editing job that I figured I'd learn whatever they wanted me to edit!
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
I'm an in-house editor, so I do work the more traditional 9-5 schedule. But my day is fairly unstructured, as I run my own site. I try to manage my time between editing, reviewing edits, and any administrative tasks. My day generally starts with making a list of priorities, then I figure out what tasks would be easiest to tackle, which tasks must absolutely get done and what content I'll take time to edit that day. Because I have a lot of self-imposed deadlines, keeping track of them in my planner is absolutely essential to make sure everything gets done.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
There's a lot to pick from, but I love taking an article and getting the chance to polish it up so readers can find exactly what they're looking for when they read anything on the site that I run. Knowing that I had a hand in making knowledge more accessible is always a pleasure. Plus, because I cover technology, there's always something new to learn and research.
What is your biggest challenge, and how do you work through this?
I'd say it's learning new technology. It's not impossible, but it boils down to a lot of researching, asking questions, and double-checking with the authors because they're the subject experts in certain cases. Overall, I want to make sure the copy that I edit is technically accurate—it's something our readers will immediately notice.
What are you currently working on?
The majority of my current work is on web articles for the site that I run at TechTarget. It's all about technology that can help companies virtualize their server infrastructure. We cover vendors in the space, technology trends, and basics of virtualization.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
You would be surprised at how many different types of publications there are out there; if people can talk about the subject, there's likely some publication about it. Plus, what it means to be an editor is changing—it's not necessarily sitting at a desk marking up copy with a red pen anymore. There's lots of opportunity for editors that are starting out to dive into all types of publications and editing, which can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Before you start, be sure to think about what type of editing you'd like to do and if you want to edit a specific type of content, but still keep an open mind because there are lots of places to end up as an editor!