LanceBase Interview with Deborah Ng | Published Author & Consultant


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Deborah Ng - Owner, Telecommunity
LanceBase Profile: @debng


Deborah Ng is a freelance writer, published author, and social media consultant specializing in online community development. When she's not writing, her "favorite things are nagging my family, vacuuming dog hair tumbleweeds from my tile floor, and climbing mountains of laundry; just kidding! I love none of those things!"

Deborah is always up for a good binge-watch, she's passionate about books, and her famous sangria brings all the boys to the yard. If you’re looking for her, try her back deck where she can be found enjoying a meal with her family, reading a good book, or just counting her lucky stars.

What inspired you to pursue a career in freelance writing?
I’ve always been passionate about writing and always wanted to be a writer. My background is in traditional publishing where I began my career as the receptionist for a magazine publisher, and left as an editor. (We won’t talk about my four unfortunate years in accounting.) A few years before I left the workforce for good, I sold my first piece to the first place I pitched and it gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in writing. I continued to freelance on a very part time basis, hoping to one day do it full time. In 2002, the decision was made easier as I was pregnant and we just bought a house in another state.

How long did it take for you to reach profitability? How did you live through those first few months/years?
Like all freelancers, I’ve had ups and downs and feast or famine periods, but I was writing on a regular basis within a few months of leaving my day job. In fact, I was doing so well with my writing that in 2005 I founded the Freelance Writing Jobs blog [FA]share-square-o[/FA], which brought in more money with advertising revenue than my writing did. I sold FWJ in 2010, after I received an offer I couldn’t refuse. Since then, I continued to freelance as both a writer and social media consultant – though I’m primarily a writer these days.

How do you define success?
Success means I can pay the bills and still put money in the bank.

How do you structure your days?
My family leaves the house relatively early for school and work. So as soon as they leave the house to start their days, I head in to my office to start mine. I usually close down between 3 and 4:00 p.m. but will work later if I need extra time to make my deadlines.

What tools/software do you find indispensable for accomplishing daily tasks?
I use both Slack and Skype to keep up good communication with my clients, and Google docs and Dropbox are essential for document and file sharing. I also use Grammarly to give my work a final proof and love when my clients have WordPress as their writing platform. Also, I use my Amazon Echo Dot all the time for scheduling, planning, or just seeking help from a dictionary or thesaurus.

Are you currently offering, or have you in the past offered your services on any of the Freelance Platforms/Marketplaces? (Fiverr, Upwork, Envato, etc.)
No, I tried that route but never found success. I’m not willing to lower my rates to the point where someone might accept my bid, and though I have 15 years of experience, I find that very few clients want to hire me without experience on the particular platform. The bidding process is very time consuming and time = money. I have better success and find my time is better spent with private clients.

How do you go about promoting your services? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
My blogs are the best marketing tools, and I also find I do well with Facebook groups. Right now the bulk of my work comes from word of mouth referrals from clients or other writers. Honestly, I’m not a very good self-promotor. I find it very difficult to talk myself up in that way.

Please tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I love authoring Dummies books. They may sound simple, but it’s very difficult, research-intensive work. I feel a great sense of accomplishment – and relief – after I complete a book.

Have you ever turned down a client?
Yes. I’ve turned down clients for offering a low pay rate or for asking me to write about topics that don’t sit right with me. Also, if I research a client and find that s/he doesn’t have a very good reputation, I’ll pass.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I’d start writing earlier.

What is your best advice for handling criticism?
Say “thank you” and cry when no one’s looking.

Which blogs/websites do you frequent?
Mostly I read online newspapers including The New York Times and local news sites. I also love Eater and Bookstr.

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
I’m a Laura Ingalls Wilder nerd. And I don’t mean the silly television show that had very to do with the real-life author. I am a voracious reader of anything that has to do with her, but many of the true details of her life haven’t been addressed – let’s just say that I have a few questions.

What is your favorite song?
I love music but can never choose a favorite song. I feel the same way about books and movies. It feels disloyal to choose one.

What does the future hold for Deborah Ng?
I don’t have heavy career aspirations. I will continue to support my family as a freelance writer for as long as freelance writing will have me.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Lots of good luck to everyone!

Connect with Deborah Ng:


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I have so many Dummies books. I found a paperback copy of Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies in Lone Tree, at the Meadows. I am going to pick it up when I come back from Denver.

Thank you for your support! If it's not the most current copy (we published the newest one in the Spring of 2017). I have some extra copies at home and I'm happy to send them out to people who can really use them. (Domestic only, because I'm a freelance writer, after all.)


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Hi @debng! I hope you are doing well. I was just curious how I could obtain a copy. I am based in Charlotte, NC. Have a great day.