Ghost-writers have long been used for autobiographical books and other offline publications, but it’s only recently, that they’re being used more in an online capacity. With many smart business owners already outsourcing elements of their business to Virtual Assistants, social media managers etc, is it time to start considering outsourcing your blog writing too?
What a ghost-writer is and what it covers
A ghost-writer is a person who is paid to write your content for you. You usually pay them on a ‘per-project’ basis, with many offering package deals for monthly clients. In return for your payment, you’ll get great content, that’s well written and ready to use. If they’re writing blog posts for you, they’re usually ready to use, SEO friendly and written in your name. There are some blogging ghost-writers who’ll even upload and schedule the posts for you – complete with attributed images too.
Ghost-writers are often the unsung heroes of the online world. They’re paid to produce content that, once payment has passed hands, is no longer theirs. They’re writing content FOR you and in your name – so the copyright for that content becomes yours, to use as you see fit. Some ghost-writers will stipulate in their contract that the content can only be used for the original purpose it was designed for – so if it’s written as a blog post, it can only be used as such – but others will happily sign over total copyright, so you can repurpose it, if you wish. If in doubt, make sure you clarify this, prior to taking on a ghost-writer.
Will you benefit from having your blogs ghost-written?
Many small business owners are used to the pressures of juggling their time and focus. They want to use the many available marketing tools at their disposal, but may not have the skills, experience or time to practically make this happen.
Blogging is another such marketing tool. Business owners may have valuable ideas on what to blog about and what their audience would like to hear and learn about, but they lack time, energy or the skills needed, to turn those ideas into written content for their blog. By handing their blog over to a professional writer, they’re giving themselves the choice to claim back their time and space, so they can focus on their key strengths and passions.
You outsource other areas of your business – why not outsource blogging?
Hiring a ghost-writer is sometimes seen as a controversial move. There are people out there who think it is dishonest in some way and even others that tout it (incorrectly) as plagiarising, because your using someone else’s words as your own – but that isn’t what ghost-writing is. When you hire a ghost-writer, you’re paying them for a service, much as you would a Virtual Assistant or a copywriter.
You only have to look in your local bookshop, to see how popular ghost-writing truly is. After all, you didn’t think those celebrities REALLY wrote their own autobiographies, did you?
Writing your own blogs could be undermining your business
However, if you’re still writing your own blog posts, it’s important to realise that you could actually be damaging the quality and credibility of your business, if your own writing skills aren’t up to the job. It’s also worth remembering the purpose of having a blog in the first place – to serve as a marketing tool for your business. A blog is designed to provide valuable, interesting content for your audience, to build your credibility and expertise, and to bring traffic to your website.
The bottom line is this – you’re a business owner, not a blogger. When it comes to the other marketing tools in your business, you’re happy to pass them over as you know they’re not in your field of expertise, so why should your blog writing be any different?
You can still have an input in your blogs
Hiring a ghost-writer doesn’t mean you can’t get involved at all. As ghost-writer, and business mentor, Sarah PJ White, explains. “My private blogging clients know they can get as involved in the process as they’d like. There are some that prefer to give me a list of titles or topic suggestions, along with bullet points of what they’d like covered, for the month ahead. I’ve even had audio files and the entire contents of online courses shared with me, so I can tailor the blog content to suit their needs. Others, are happy to leave it totally in my hands. They know I understand their niche and their target audience, so are safe knowing I’ll pick blog subjects that are relevant for them.”
A good ghost-writer will take any opportunity to learn more about your style and voice, so will never complain about you having an input, wanting to check blogs before they go live, and sending over additional content that may help them with their tasks.
Your audience deserve good quality, professionally written content
Professional content written specifically for your niche audience. Content needs to be interesting, engaging and well written
Regular content, bringing traffic to your site. When it comes to creating a blog, most business owners struggle to come up with ideas on a consistent, regular basis. Once they have ideas, they need to find the time to research, write, edit and upload that content – and this all takes time.
Time is money – are you wasting yours?
You deserve to have the time to focus on what you do best, but it’s not just about your time and focus – it’s about the financial implications too. It makes no financial sense to be filling your day with tasks that aren’t worthy of your hourly or daily rate. It does make perfect sense however, to outsource those lower-value tasks, so you can use that time more effectively on clients that are happy to pay your standard rate.
The question then, really isn’t about whether or not to outsource your blog writing, but whether you can afford NOT to hire a ghost-writer for your blogging needs, in the first place?