nDash writer Deborah Huso is an internationally published, award-winning journalist and book author with more than two decades of experience in media. She is also founding partner of WWM, an elite content marketing and strategic communications firm. Her work has appeared in U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, BBC, and HousingWire. Read on for her thoughts on freelancing, travel, perfectionism, and experience:
What excites you about freelancing?
Being a freelance writer was my goal from an early age–age 6, to be precise. I’ve been writing as an independent contractor for more than 20 years now. I love the opportunity it provides to work in a wide array of markets with different clients every day. There’s rarely a dull moment, as the work is always shifting. That being said, I have some clients I’ve retained for more than 15 years.
What subject areas are you passionate about?
I’m probably most passionate about travel, as I’m definitely a globetrotter, having traversed every continent except Antarctica (but it’s on the list!). And while I do travel writing occasionally, most of my paid work is in construction, real estate, finance, and food and agriculture. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of a builder, I honestly haven’t strayed very far from my roots when it comes to writing.
What’s your best piece of advice for new freelancers?
Don’t let desperation incline you to take low to no pay for your work. Not only will you be placing yourself in a financial rut where you’re routinely earning pennies for your work, but you’ll also be hurting your fellow freelancers who are trying to make a living wage. When companies think writers are a dime a dozen, it hurts us all. Solid companies who value skill and experience will pay you what you are worth…and they’ll keep coming back for more.
What sets you apart from other writers?
Perfectionism and expertise in often little-understood market sectors (like ag, finance, construction, and even freight rail). I always turn in well-researched, clean copy on time every time. That’s what brings clients back. Once you’ve worked with a writer who cares deeply about excellence, it’s hard not hire him or her again and again.
What’s your favorite weekend activity in your area?
Hiking. I live adjacent to two national parks and numerous national forests, so exploring mountain trails is my go-to for disconnecting from work and the responsibilities of everyday life.
How did you get into freelance writing?
I wanted to write from a very young age and started working in newspapers almost right out of grad school. I soaked up as much experience as I could, then moving into corporate communications for a Fortune 500 company, and finally working as a copywriter for an ad agency. After seeing multiple sides of the world of communications, I decided to take a leap of faith and go out on my own. That was almost 20 years ago, and I’m still here!
What makes a great client?
Organization, communication, and professionalism–pretty much the same things that make a good writer. I always make room in my schedule for clients who consistently provide clear creative briefs, are professional in their dealings, and stay on top of needed feedback and deadlines.
Ready to hire a writer with deep subject-matter expertise? Head to Deborah’s profile now to reach out.