We personally have enjoyed working with Melanie LoBue (check out the article she wrote for us, 5 Roadblocks to Consistent Content Creation, here), so we’re ecstatic to introduce you to her as well in our latest installment of the nDash.co Writer Spotlight Series! And hey, maybe you’ll even enjoy singing some Tina Turner karaoke with her in the near future.
Melanie LoBue: If you could only write about one topic for the rest of your freelancing life, what would it be? And why?
nDash: Technology — specifically tools, products, and ideas that aim to solve challenges by advancing areas of business growth, healthcare, and innovation.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part about being a freelance writer? The most challenging?
A: Good and clear communication is not easy to find, and I am most rewarded when I can help clarify a message, new product, or insight with clarity.
Most challenging? Well, this is Dolly. She tries to help but slows me down because she can’t type very well.
Q: What do your most successful clients all have in common?
A: My most successful clients are those committed to consistent publishing cadences and who remain open to exploring diverse topics and marketing strategies.
Q: What made you decide to become a freelance writer?
A: My first pro writing gig was at The Shelter Island Reporter in New York, where I wrote and edited feature stories about local government, school events, and tourist attractions. At age 17, I scored an interview with Lauren Bacall! I later wrote blog posts for a variety of small-to-mid-sized businesses (real estate, plumbing, HVAC, fitness) to supplement my income as a high school English and Drama teacher. And then, I started my own writing and project management business. I leveraged my portfolio to work full-time as a content manager and digital marketing consultant for global technology companies and startups.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see brands making with their content?
A: Many brands are understandably focused on finding a quick fix, but this typically results in the clutter with a catchy headline (if you’re lucky). Long-form, evergreen content that educates by really, really providing value to the reader defines quality content. The reader absolutely needs to step away, having learned something.
Q: What marketing trends should brands be keeping an eye on in 2017?
A: I’m an early adopter of the Oculus Rift and am fascinated with the opportunities virtual and augmented reality promises to deliver.
- Favorite marketing buzzword? Buzzwords are gross. My rule is not to write words you wouldn’t say to your bestie over a beer or cup of tea. My (least) favorite, I suppose, buzzphrase is “open the kimono.” I was recently in a meeting where someone said this not once but twice. Don’t say this. Ever.
- Watched any terrible movies lately? I have a “Willow Wednesday” planned with friends next week; does that count?
- The world record you are most likely to break is ____? Most Tina Turner songs are sung at karaoke dive bars.
- Are you cool with the Oxford comma? We’re friends, lovers, and soulmates.
- What is a reasonable punishment for people who double-space after a sentence? I choose the single space, but if you’re into double-spacing, I don’t judge #prochoice.