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A Day in the life of a Webmaster

When I get into work a go through a process of checks in the morning.

  1. Check my email (for enquiries, sales orders, etc.). I keep my work email address separate from my personal address, otherwise I'd just be wading through joke emails and spam all day!
  2. Check the website (it's always good to have a look from time to time and make sure it's still there!). I also check the previous days statistics (no. of users, referrers, etc).
  3. Log on to whichever discussion forums I subscribe to (for Webmaster related stuff and I also moderate my own forum at www.weeboab.co.uk, and here obviously). I also check up on industry news and the competition.

When all my regular checks are done in the morning, the rest of my day consists of these bits and pieces depending on the time of the month and the state of development my site is in.

  1. Web Design - I use MS FrontPage to set up my sites. This may involve designing a new site or updating an existing site.
  2. Graphic Design - I use Macromedia Fireworks MX for my graphics work.
  3. Web Marketing - depending on the time of the month, the work that this requires differs. As I launch a site, I have to register it with many search engines and also try to get it listed in various directories. There's more to do, but I'm not going to reveal all my secrets!
  4. Continue checking up on my site, and my email.
  5. I spend as little time as possible in meetings, but they are sometimes necessary.
  6. Surfing the web (see below).

I spend a lot of my day surfing the web. Chances are most of it is unnecessary, but here's how I justify it to myself!

  • I need to keep up to date with current developments.
  • I need to check my sites.
  • I need to check up on the competition.
  • I need to network and make contacts.
  • I need to explore and generate ideas for my site.
  • I need to find bits and pieces for my site.
  • I need to register my sites in various places.

(feel free to use any of these excuses to get rid of your boss!)

OK, so why be a Webmaster?

Well, unless you happen to work for an IT company (where you know they'll be watching you), you can pretty much get away with spending all day surfing the web. Everyone else doesn't really know what your doing and you can easily make it look more complicated than it actually is, so they don't ask!

OK - you may spend a lot of time on the Internet, but it does hold a benefit! The information superhighway is a great learning tool, if you just know how to use it correctly. I would estimate that I have accumulated my knowledge to date from these sources:

  • University - I learned all the basic stuff I needed to get started in my career.
  • Work Experience (crap jobs) - I development a broad range of industry knowledge and experience that has benefited me a great deal. Also helped me develop my soft skills (communication, team work, etc).
  • Work Experience (web related jobs) - helped me to develop my hard skills (web design, web marketing, graphic design, etc).
  • Internet - I keep up to date with new developments in the areas that I work in.

Basically, you need to cover all the bases - get a broad range of experience (so you can spend hours writing articles ranting about different subjects that probably no-one will give a toss about!).

Also, the money's not too bad, the industry changes every day and you don't need a wealth of resources behind you to be good at it (one person can have a larger, better web presence than an multinational organisation).

And, best of all, you can set up your own site!

by Scott Boyd - Webmaster and Founder of http://www.jobseekersadvice.com

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