Domini Stuart is a Sydney-based freelance journalist who covers a range of topics including business and health for a number of national and international publications. She also writes corporate content for organisations of all sizes.

We recently asked her some questions about her approach to content creation.

What is it you enjoy about creating content?

Two things. The first is producing something people want to read and will enjoy, even if I’m conveying difficult or complex information.

The second is satisfying my insatiable curiosity. Every piece I write teaches me something new. Some people dismiss certain topics as dull, but I’ve found that, whether I’m talking to people or doing desk research, there’s always something interesting to uncover if you ask the right questions or look in the right places.

What’s your approach in bringing a client’s story to life through brand journalism?

I always look for the story behind the facts – something readers can relate to. 

People love to read about other people’s experiences, so interviews and case studies can be very effective ways of getting many stories across. For example, as part of an interview, I recently asked someone why they chose a particular IT provider. There had been over a dozen companies on the long list, and the shortlist of four could all have done a good job. The final decision was influenced by case studies that gave a human context to technical achievements. 

Where interviews aren’t appropriate, I never lose sight of the old advertising mantra ‘what’s in it for me?’. It’s not enough to list your credentials – people want to feel confident you can solve their specific problem or satisfy a particular need.

Whatever the approach, it needs to feel honest as well as customer-focused. Today’s consumers are sophisticated, cynical and quick to spot the obvious puffed-up ‘sell’. 

Tell us about your journey to become a content creator.

I started my career as an advertising copywriter in London, specialising in what was then hard copy direct mail. After I came to Australia, I continued in advertising, moving into journalism when I happened to meet an editor who offered me a regular column in a national business magazine. It was a gamble on her part and one of the luckiest breaks I’ve ever had. From there, I went on to become a full-time freelance journalist working for publications such as Company Director, CEO Magazine, listed@ASX and NAB’s Health, Agribusiness and Business View online magazines as well as creating web content for everyone from dentists and health care providers to IT companies and international insurance agencies.

How do you determine the tone, voice and style is right for a particular piece of content?

First, I think about the audience I’m aiming to engage – what they would like to know and how I can hook their interest. Then I imagine I’m talking to one of those people face to face, and my writing reflects the tone of voice of that conversation. That means straightforward, direct, to the point and respectful of their knowledge and experience. 

I believe that everyone, however senior or successful, is most likely to respond to an intelligent and informative piece that’s also an easy and enjoyable read. Someone like a company director or CEO has so much brain-draining reading to get through as part of the job they really don’t need any more. Readable articles also create opportunities to tap into a wider network as they’re more likely to be shared.

What’s the most useful thing a marketer can provide in the brief that allows you to understand their brand?

I like more rather than less information – it’s much easier to write convincingly if you’re editing back rather than trying to expand on too few solid facts. It also helps if marketers feel genuinely passionate about the product or service so I can convey that to their audience.

What’s the piece of content you are most proud of?

I’m committed to doing my best for every client, so I never submit anything I wouldn’t be happy to put my name to.

 

You can find Domini and her creative portfolio on the Fabulate platform, by clicking and viewing her profile here.