/  2024   /  Quick chat with Dan Kaufman

Quick chat with Dan Kaufman

You’ve made the move from journalism to content. What do you love about what you do?

Many people enter journalism wanting to write about glamourous topics – and I was one of them.

Yet after a career where I’ve written everything – from celebrity interviews and travel features to stories about office refurbishments and B2B logistics – I can honestly say if you love the craft of writing, it doesn’t matter what you write about.

These days I get just as excited when I help a client make their website copy more effective as I did when writing about travel and entertainment. After all, the craft of putting sentences together, of working out how to make content as effective as possible, is just as interesting regardless of the topic.

My first editor told me a good writer can make anything interesting: and I still believe that.

If you love the craft of writing, it doesn’t matter what you write about.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Being hired to write and edit for The Sydney Morning Herald was an obvious highlight. I still remember being in awe on my first day when I walked into their offices (only to get lost) all those decades ago.

Have you always worked for yourself? What do you enjoy about freelancing?

I began my career by freelancing, and never stopped doing it. Even when I worked full time, I would freelance on the side.

Now I run my own business, but whenever I have an idea for a story, I’ll still write and pitch it – and I still get a kick when it gets published.

The freedom of freelancing is obviously enjoyable, but I also enjoy the challenge. It’s tough, and demanding, and there have been times I’ve wanted to give up – but as the cliché goes, nothing easy is ever rewarding.

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire?

I’m biased, as I teach writing and editing skills: but it would be writing and editing. Sub-editing is a lost art, and one that’s crucial for every writer to know.

A tough skin might not be considered a skill, but it’s also crucial. If you can’t take feedback, and rejection, and become a better writer from it, this is not the profession for you.

Why do you think the Summit is important for freelancers?

Meeting new people, thinking about new perspectives and hearing different ideas is so important.

Quite frankly, I wish this Summit had been around when I was younger.

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your own?

I like to learn new things – and learning is a great way to futureproof your career.

My own career has had many changes (or, as people like to say, pivots). Each change required me to learn new skills and stretch myself, and there were several times when I even took on jobs that were considered less prestigious in order to learn something new.

Flexibility is crucial in this industry.

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?

I think the future is always exciting, full stop. Freelancing is whatever you want to make it. I’ve seen many people turn it into a grind and suck all the fun out of it – but if you don’t lose sight of your passion, and what you want to do, and if you have the stamina, it can open worlds for you.

What are you most looking forward to at the Summit? (a particular speaker / session, meeting colleagues, or welcome drinks)

You had me at welcome drinks.

Dan is Day 1 panelist for How to find corporate and B2B content work.

Find out more about Dan on his
profile page or via his website.

Post a Comment