7520 NW 5th St Ste 103
Plantation, FL 33317
My Journey in Editing, Epidemiology (what?) and Online Marketing
I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have a wife who loves me, a young son who never fails to make me smile, and a dog who keeps things interesting. I love my job and the challenge of keeping up with the ever-evolving online marketing field.
But I have to say, I really didn’t see it coming.
Well, I was hoping for the wife, son, and dog thing. But I didn’t expect to be an online marketer (and love it).
I entered college as a criminology major, then changed to business and ended up with an English degree. (I also vaguely recall studying marine science at some point.) And I later earned a Masters of Public Health degree in epidemiology. Yes, for a while, I thought I’d be Danny Hobrock, Disease Hunter Extraordinaire.
Believe it or not, the epidemiology training helps me a lot as an online marketer and content manager. Epidemiology coaches you to evaluate for correlation, teaches you how to identify causation, and trains you to think both qualitatively and quantitatively. I use those things every day. And I guess the English degree comes in handy too.
But all of that is just part of my story.
My Story from Neighborhood (Kid) Reporter to Content Manager
The first writing project I ever took on was Kids Times. My friends and I used some computer paper – you know, the kind with the faded green stripes and perforated edges – and started writing stories and covering ‘events’ around the neighborhood.
I was about 8 or 9, and I don’t remember why we started it, nor do I remember what we wrote about. (Well, I now remember a pirate story I wrote and that, years later, my brother/best man read aloud in front of 75 people at my wedding.)
We sold copies for around a quarter and a few people bought a copy or two.
After we forgot about that endeavor (likely a few weeks into it), I didn’t write much at all. Aside from when I had to for school, I don’t think I wrote much again until college.
My Many College Majors
I started college at the University of Miami. And like I said, I began as a criminology major and then switched to business. Then I switched to marine science and got to ride a bus to Key Biscayne once a week to study fish. Then I switched back to business.
At some point, I had to take English composition as a prerequisite. I never particularly enjoyed English class in high school, but I guess something clicked this time. I enjoyed the novels and short stories we read and I liked the idea of exploring characters’ worlds and figuring out why they made the choices they made.
So I changed my major to English, transferred to Florida International University (FIU), and began searching for opportunities to write and earn some extra money while I was in school.
This is when I started developing as a writer and learning about online marketing. I took on a few different online writing projects after graduating. Then in the summer of 2012, I landed at We Do Web Content as an editor.
I enjoy research and editing and knew that I did before I ever started with We Do Web Content. I spent a few years after I graduated blogging about college football. While it was just a hobby I did on the side, research and editing were vital.
Hell hath no fury like a college football fan scorned. They’ll let you hear it if you write something negative about their team, so you better be able to back up what you wrote.
Did you use bogus references? Did you mix up dates? Did you use the wrong statistics? If you did, you’d hear about it. And word spreads fast if you make a habit of it.
So I fact checked and fact checked. Getting it right possessed me.
I tried to carry that attitude over to We Do Web Content. And even though my current role doesn’t require as much editing as I once did, I still try to nurture this culture of thoroughness and getting it right.
“Why are you studying epidemiology?”
I got this a lot. About the same time I started at We Do Web Content, I started the Masters of Public Health program at FIU studying epidemiology. I thought I was going to make a career change. I even completed an internship at a local health department’s tuberculosis program.
But the more I worked in online marketing, the more I liked it. Before I even graduated, I decided to stay in online marketing. Still, I was finding that a lot of the principles of epidemiology translated to evaluating online marketing efforts. So I completed the program.
And I’m glad I did.
My epidemiology training helps me better understand cause and effect and online analytics, which helps me make better decisions as a content marketer. Our field is becoming more and more data-driven every day, and a background in epidemiology is certainly an advantage.
What I Do Around Here
I’m now the senior editor and content manager at We Do Web Content.
That means I do lots of topic and keyword research. I use tools like SEMrush, Buzz Sumo, and Google to help me. I also explore existing pages on clients’ sites to identify duplicate and thin content so that we can make it more robust.
I manage the content creation process. I send the writing and editing teams their assignments every week and make sure we deliver content on time.
I implement the content strategies that Yvette develops for our clients. I work closely with her and other members of the team to brainstorm and share ideas, share feedback, and provide updates on progress.
I talk to our clients to get their feedback and input on the content and strategy we develop for them.
I’m always evaluating and looking for ways to improve how we do things. Whether it’s developing training materials, taking another look at our internal processes, or implementing feedback from others, I think there are always ways to get better.
Finally, I’m a big believer in continuing education. I think it’s important in any field, but especially in one like ours that rapidly evolves. I participate in online courses, read the latest from industry leaders, and encourage others to do the same. This lets us keep up with the latest trends, ideas, and evolution in online marketing so we can stay competitive and help our clients do the same.
When I’m not doing all of that, I like to spend time with my family, follow South Florida’s sports teams, and go for a run when I have the time.