The benefits of blogging for business are BIG.
(Say that 5x fast.)
When you blog, you will:
- Attract organic traffic to your website
- Help search engines index your pages for relevant industry keywords
- Build up trust with visitors, turning them into readers, then customers
- Educate visitors about your industry/business/products/services
- And more
According to a well-known HubSpot study, businesses who blog generate more indexed pages in Google than those who don’t blog. Plus, those extra indexed pages literally lead to more leads.
Blogging is a big deal. It can quickly lead to more exposure online to the exact right people (read: future customers).
The only issues that could possibly get in your way?
- Lack of time
- Lack of writing skills
- Lack of SEO blogging knowledge
No biggie. The solution is obvious:
You need a blog ghost writer.
This is a writer who can seamlessly step into your brand’s voice and style, write blogs that appeal to your target audience, and position you as an authority with high-quality, optimized, amazing written content.
Sounds great, right?
Not So Fast: There’s a Common Problem Inherent in Working with Blog Ghost Writers
If you get that outsourcing your blog writing is going to help you or your clients gain more traffic/leads/conversions/sales, that’s great.
However, there’s another problem that may pop up:
How do you work with a ghostwriter (or a team of ghostwriters) so you get to the scenario we described above?
More often than not, marketing agencies and small businesses turn to ghostwriters hoping to achieve that amazing ROI, but what they get is significantly less than they expected, like:
- Poor writing or obvious clues a non-native English speaker wrote the piece
- Bland, general blogs that don’t show off any industry expertise
- Writing riddled with silly errors and inconsistencies
- Writing that doesn’t match up with the desired brand style/tone
An example of bad content. Did a human even write this?
For a few of these examples, the problem is obviously with the quality of writer you’re hiring. (Cheap writer = cheap content. See above.)
As for the rest, what if I told you the problem might not be with the writer’s skill set? What if the problem (ghostwritten content that doesn’t live up to expectations) stems from the way you’re working with your ghost writer?
That’s because there is a right way to communicate and work with your writer so you get the best outcome possible: Amazing content that brings in ROI, so you more than recoup what you originally invested in its creation.
That’s what we’re discussing today: How to work with your blog ghost writer to get the best results possible. Results like:
- Content that hits the bullseye for your brand voice
- Writing that draws in the right readers
- Optimization that ensures search engines love your blogs
- High-quality content that converts
Ready to get into it?
Working with Blog Ghostwriters: 6 Keys to Remember to Get the Best Content Possible
1. Be Willing to Collaborate
Let’s get something straight.
In your industry, business, or profession, you’re the expert – not the writer.
Don’t get me wrong. Ghostwriters are exceptionally good at research, and they excel at taking on the tone and voice you want. Many also have years of experience behind them, including a background in your industry.
Despite all this, the writer still can’t ghostwrite for you without any guidance.
You can’t just hand them the wheel with no direction and expect magnificence.
You must – I repeat, must – be willing to collaborate with your ghostwriting partner. You are the one with ideas, knowledge, and experience to gift to the wider world.
Ghostwriters are just the vehicle, there to help you clearly communicate all of that in ways that are readable and interesting.
So, to start off, come to your ghost writers with ideas, direction, and purpose for what you want them to produce. Talk with them, collaborate, be willing to answer questions and provide guidance. The end result will be a much better product, and will lead to higher ROI.
2. Respect the Writer’s Process…
Although online writing has become more common as a profession, the job itself still doesn’t get much respect (unless you’re a Stephen King-type penning best-selling novels).
Proof: The median pay for online writing, content writing, and ghostwriting is still absurdly low. Well-paying jobs are the exception, not the norm.
According to data from PayScale, freelance writers earn an average of $24.70/hour.
But that’s just an average calculated from the self-reported pay from about 400 writers across the country.
A more accurate picture of an online writer’s pay looks like this:
It varies. Widely.
- You’ve got your content factory workers, who make bottom-of-the-rung pay (literal pennies per word written).
- Then you have the other end of the spectrum: The highly-paid experts who can make upwards of $50/hour.
- In the middle are the majority.
Perhaps this pay situation stems from the fact that writing looks deceptively unlike work.
That’s a sad misconception, because, as any writer will tell you:
Writing is hard.
You probably have a good grasp on that fact – after all, you attempted to sit down and write your own blogs, but couldn’t figure out how to do it profitably.
You need a ghostwriter for a reason, so respect their work, their process, and their time. You’ll end up with a loyal partner who will be glad to continue a long-term working relationship with you.
3. …But Don’t Give Your Ghost Writer Too Much Free Rein
Give creative work like writing too much free time, and it will run amok.
For most, open-ended assignments are a recipe for disaster. Writers can edit something forever and get stuck in a loop without clear deadlines.
For instance, did you know the more familiar you are with a written work – like your own writing – the more likely you’ll miss obvious errors and mistakes? (A study from the Journal of Research & Reading proved it.)
Boundaries, on the other hand, help encourage the kind of honed creativity that results in stellar content. Set them for your writer for better results, like so:
- When working with a blog ghostwriter, always set deadlines. Don’t just say you need the piece “A.S.A.P.” – specify a day on the calendar when you would like it ready.
- If you can, it’s helpful to identify a window of time for when the writer can hand in the completed piece.
- This is because each writer has their own individual process and works at their own individual pace. They likely have multiple projects on their plate at once, so a deadline window helps them figure out what to prioritize and lessens the pressure, so they can do better work.
- It’s additionally wise to check in on your writer periodically, especially if the deadline is weeks or months away.
- A pro will happily provide progress reports and updates – just don’t bombard your writer daily with messages asking if the piece is finished yet if the deadline is still in the future. That’s a recipe for a harried writer who won’t produce their best work.
4. Include Extras in the Contract (Like Revisions and Keyword Research)
Many people who hire ghostwriters for the first time are unaware of the little details that come with the territory.
Think edits/revisions, research time, and deadlines/turnaround time.
For example, you may need to send a piece back to a writer to make specific changes. Are these revisions included in the agreed-upon rate?
The writer may also need to spend a significant amount of time researching your topic and gathering sources. This is time for which they will want to be compensated, because it’s often an essential part of the process.
Making sure these extras are covered, either in the agreed-upon pay rate or in the contract, is essential to avoid hiccups down the road.
For example, at Express Writers, our policy is to include two free revisions with each project. This is clearly stipulated so there are no questions later.
5. Chat One-on-One with your Blog Ghost Writer About the Project
A huge part of collaboration is communication, but what if you’re struggling to get your ghostwriter to understand what you want?
Furthermore, what if you have an easier time explaining concepts in speech rather than writing (which may be one of the reasons you need a ghostwriter in the first place)?
In these scenarios, talking with your writer one-on-one can be an immense help. Whether you meet with them in-person, chat on the phone, or connect virtually via Skype or some other tool, sometimes a quick talk can immediately clear things up.
This is also a great time to bounce ideas back and forth, answer questions, and help the writer get an even more intimate feel for your style, perspective, and unique voice.
Recommended collaboration/communication tools:
6. Don’t Get Too Nit-Picky
Of course, you want your content to look and sound a certain way – that’s why you hired a ghostwriter.
However, there are reasonable expectations and unreasonable ones.
For example, don’t send a piece back to your ghostwriter for a revision if they misspelled a word or forgot to add a link. That wastes everybody’s time.
Instead, include these small changes you made in your feedback to the writer. A good one will note what they missed and double-check that everything is in order before they submit next time.
In the end, the big picture of the content is more important than the niggling details. If the writer nails your style and voice, hits all the points you want covered, and produces an engaging read that addresses your target readers, a few tiny errors that are quickly fixed are no big deal.
You + Your Blog Ghost Writer = Content Magic
If you dream of content magic but don’t have the time or the skills to make it happen, a ghost writer could be your ticket to greatness.
You just have to know how to work with your writer to get the best results.
Take some time to understand the writing process, give your writer plenty of direction, and communicate.
After all, your ghostwriter is on your team. Are you on theirs?