What springs to mind when you think about ghostwriting? Is it something ghoulish and eerie or perhaps the phrase conjures up images of autobiographies, book-signings or fictional novels?
Contrary to popular belief, ghostwriters aren’t just used by celebs and don’t just belong in the world of literature. These days, they’re being used by an increasing number of businesses who want to up their content game, but don’t have the time or resource to do it.
You see, ghostwriters can be used to produce all types of content, not just the next best-selling novel or celebrity tell-all title. For instance, I ghostwrite blogs and thought leadership articles on behalf of partners and directors for two of my clients every month and have done so for a while now.
There are lots of ways in which ghostwriting can work. In the case of the two clients I’ve just mentioned, I:
- Interview the author via email or telephone to obtain the details I need, and then go away and write the article or blog we’ve just discussed, or;
- Review and refine first rough drafts that are shared with me.
Sometimes, I’m not given any notes or background information at all, just a nugget of an idea or a title to explore, which I’ll write based on my own research, as well as my knowledge of the client’s key messages and positioning. Regardless of the approach, my key contact is always provided with a draft of their blog or article to sign off. Once the copy’s been approved, it can then go live, and we’re then on to the next post in the content plan.
So, that’s how ghostwriting can work from a practical perspective. If there’s a process in place, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t run like clockwork. Aside from the obvious benefit of providing businesses with a guaranteed way of regularly producing content with minimum hassle, ghostwriting:
Is the ultimate time-saver
Professional writers tend to be much quicker at producing articles (because that’s what they do day in, day out), particularly if they’ve worked in journalism, as they’ll have been trained to produce high quality copy as efficiently as possible.
Most businesses recognise the importance of upping their content creation in nurturing prospects and leads along the buyer journey, raising awareness of their products and/or services and boosting their online presence.
But, in reality, their staff, particularly more senior-level employees, are too tied up with their work to be able to take 30 minutes to an hour out of their hectic schedule to brainstorm an article idea, let alone then having to find another 1 to 2 hours to write it up, particularly if writing isn’t their strength. There’s also no way they’ll be able to find the time to repeat this activity every month, it’ll just keep slipping to the bottom of their to-do list.
I’m not just saying it because I’m a ghostwriter, it really does add value and I’ve seen it happen countless times with my clients.
Yes, ghostwriters are on hand to write your content, but they can also offer an objective viewpoint and act as a sounding board for your ideas too. Plus, because they have their finger on the pulse on when it comes to knowing what’s happening in the world of content. As a result, they can also advise you on the latest techniques, make sure your content doesn’t become too samey and that it’s SEO-optimised, as standard.
And if your ghostwriter’s familiar with your industry, they’ll have a handle on what is and isn’t being said. They’ll be able pitch your content angle, so that you can stand out by saying something totally different, not blend in because you’re saying what everybody else is saying (which is the last thing you want to do).
Delivers consistent results
We all have different writing styles. If you were to write a blog and I were to write a blog about the same subject, I bet you we’ll both approach it in different ways and end up with two very different pieces of content.
This is exactly what happens if you ask different employees to write your blogs or articles. Some will cap certain words, others will write in longer sentences, some in shorter sentences and with more jargony words, the variations of what’s possible is endless. This can be confusing for your readers, not to mention blur your brand identity.
Having a ghostwriter on board ensures your articles are written in Plain English, use the same tone of voice and language and contain no spelling or grammatical errors. It doesn’t mean that the copy all has to look and feel exactly the same, but it will make it feel consistent.
Authors will still be able to write in certain ways and inject their personality into their pieces, but when it comes to the overall look and feel of your content, it’ll be professional and written with your target audience in mind, right across the board.