If you’re looking to work with a writer who has a great sense of humor – and loves to write about a variety of topics – look no further than Victoria Brock, one of the talented writers on the nDash platform. Keep on reading to learn about why she decided to become a freelance writer – and her thoughts on the Oxford comma.
nDash: If you could only write about one topic for the rest of your freelancing life, what would it be? And why?
Victoria Brock: How?
How could you ask a writer this?
I could cheat and drop a general topic. Or I could pick something so niche that I could fit it on an atom.
Reputation management. That sounds fuzzy but bear with me. The art of putting the unspoken and the fluid into actionable words.
So that might include how to design and engineer your website for great UX. It might cover how to be sassy on social media. Or managing remote team conflicts efficiently.
Anything business related that will make you look awesome.
(So… a cheat answer. Absolutely.)
Q: What’s the most rewarding part about being a freelance writer? The most challenging?
Victoria Brock: The entrepreneurial feeling. Every day is down to you. You could stay in your dressing gown all day and eat everything in your cupboards over kitten videos – or you could trail-blaze and know your success is totally down to you.
Challenges are all predictable. I have one ‘challenging’ story that can’t be beaten for ridiculousness. A good while into negotiations for a potential client went south when I quoted a price.
The befuddled chap said, “But you’re a freelancer – you work for free!”
I almost bit through my own face in an effort not to start laughing. There was no malice in the man. Just blissful ignorance.
(We didn’t work together.)
Q: What do your most successful clients all have in common?
A: They know it all without being “know it alls.” They manage without micromanaging.
Essentially, they let me do what they hired me to do, correct me if I take a wrong turn, and are delights to work with. They know their industry far better than I do and understand that a good job will benefit us both. There’s an unfortunate plague of mistrust between clients and writers that hurts everyone.
Q: What made you decide to become a freelance writer?
A: I studied English at University and became a journalist immediately after. I’m qualified and published in several newspapers.
Journalism is awesome. But it’s dry.
I like to write with a little flair. A little sass. There is no space for personalization in reporting, and my imagination was getting a little itchy.
So I decided to write for businesses. The demand will never dry up, and I get to do what I love and learn on the fly.
There’s no such thing as a writer who knows everything. Business trends and marketing techniques will never stagnate. I’m in a business that will never end or get boring.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see brands making with their content?
A: It depends on the industry. Service providers decide not to have blogs. Old companies never update their outdated SEO(ish) ridden webpages, fat with keywords in capitals. Sole traders use their personal Facebook profiles for their businesses, baby pictures and all.
The biggest mistake is refusing to change and update yourself. You may well have written your website fifteen years ago and rocked it, but things are different now. It’s difficult to distance yourself from your product, so use a copywriter to your advantage.
A second pair of eyes can only help.
Q: What marketing trends should brands be keeping an eye on in 2017?
A: The invasion of the living room.
Let me explain.
Essentially, brands now exist in people’s homes. Livestreaming, interactivity, quick-fire content, and mobile mean that while you still need strong base content – websites, blogs, eNewsletters, and so on – having short-form, shareable, personable content on the fly is gaining speed too.
- Favorite marketing buzzword? Ideation. It’s pointless, pretentious, and pompous. Ideation – you guessed it – is the art of coming up with new ideas. I’m sure we had a phrase for that already. It’s “having new ideas.”
- Watched any terrible movies lately? I saw the trailer for the new Fifty Shades film and felt that was more than enough of a time waster.
- The world record you are most likely to break is ____? The longest You’ve Been Framed/Just For Laughs binge-watch.
- Are you cool with the Oxford comma? If you’re my client and we get on, and you are prompt with your payments, I can love the Oxford comma. Or hate it. Anything for you.
- What is a reasonable punishment for people who double-space after a sentence? Having to do a burpee for every double space someone else had to edit.