Monday, September 22, 2014

"So, what do you do?"

Whenever someone asks me what I do, I have a moment of indecision. It used to be so easy. I could answer in four words ("I teach fifth grade") and that was that. Everyone understood and could choose to ask follow-up questions or not. It was pretty easy when Trevor was young, too. "I'm a stay-at-home mom." Easy. Now, I'm never quite sure how to answer. My jobs aren't summed up as readily as they once were.

I've blogged about my jobs before, but each has changed since the last time I wrote. So I thought it was time to once again answer the question, "So, what do you do?"

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Since December 2012, I've been the Editorial Assistant at Fun Family Crafts. When I started, my job was basically to write or find and submit twenty kids' craft tutorials a week. Over time, my job has shifted a bit. Now, my primary responsibility is to go through all the submissions we get, check that they are indeed tutorials and appropriate for kids, then rewrite each submission as necessary, add the image, tag it with search terms, and schedule it. I need to make sure we're showcasing a wide variety of crafts and craft materials, that we're reflecting any seasonal interest (holidays, things like graduation or back-to-school, etc.), and that the site is balanced with crafts for all different ages of kids, from toddler to teenager. I work between 10-15 hours a month, from home, while Trevor is at school.



Since August 2013, I've been working as a Product Description Writer for Scrapbook.com. I started by rewriting existing incomplete or generic product descriptions to make them more useful to customers and to improve their searchability. After several months of that, I was moved to a new project writing descriptions for each of the categories made by a particular brand. For example, I wrote this three-sentence description for Fiskars tools. Both projects were interesting and challenging.

Now, I'm working on writing product descriptions for items that are new to the store. In some cases, the manufacturer has provided a description. These vary from excellent (in which case I need to change words here and there for SEO reasons) to terrible (which require a full rewrite). Other manufacturers don't provide descriptions, in which case I need to do research to find out key details like dimensions, materials, how many items there are in the package, etc. I'm always trying to answer the questions a consumer might have. The job is fairly easy when I'm familiar with the products and extremely challenging when I'm not. On any given day, I usually write between 25-100 descriptions, depending on how much information the manufacturer has provided, whether I've used the product or something like it before, and how many very similar products there are in the store. Every single description has to be unique in order to be searchable, so 100 shades of the same ink need 100 unique descriptions. That can be really tough, but it's a fun challenge. I work about 20 hours a month, from home, while Trevor is at school.

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The next time someone asks, "So, what do you do?" I should probably just give them the URL for this blog post. It would be a whole lot easier. Not to mention, blogging is essentially my third job!

6 comments:

  1. Well, at least your answer is not boring! LOL!

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  2. LOL!!! So true!!!!! I hate when we the family and I are out at different craft/art shows ... and the family goes to brag about me by saying, "Oh, she's a scrapbooker" ... lol :)

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  3. Just in case no one has said it yet, or lately, I think you do a FANTASTIC job at EVERYTHING you do!! :) I often have read the product (or lack of) descriptions on items on sb.com as well as other sites, and sometimes it blows my mind that a manufacturer sends out product like that and expects it to sell! You have a huge task on just that alone! Keep up all the great work!! :)

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  4. I love that this is your job these days!!! Fun to read about it :)

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