When Casper (or another equally friendly ghost) creates your content, but you get to put your name on it.
WHAT IS GHOSTWRITING?
Ghostwriting, in the content marketing world, is when a brand hires a writer to write their content for them, but the brand puts their name on it instead of the ghostwriter's name. For example, what you're reading right now could say By Susie Smith, but it wasn't actually written by Susie Smith. Instead, it was written by a ghostwriter who was paid for her service, is completely fine with not having her real name on it, and enjoys helping businesses produce higher quality content without a massive time commitment on their part.
Despite its supernatural name, the only spooky thing about ghostwriting is how quickly it can help you step up your content game:
- Publish researched, error-free, high-quality content, like blog posts, white papers, and ebooks
- Save time and energy on content creation, so you can focus on other business goals
- Establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, improve website SEO, drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and all those other great content marketing goals
- Drastically increase your content output
Wait, is ghostwriting legal?
Yes, ghostwriting is legal. It also isn't something to be ashamed of. Ghostwriters typically enjoy writing (and always enjoy getting paid for it), so they are comfortable with your name on the final product.
It's also important to keep in mind that just because you didn't write every word of the content yourself, doesn't mean you didn't know, understand, or think of the ideas for the content.
When you hire a production company to help you create video campaigns, do you feel bad if you don't do all the highly specialized skills like editing and audio adjustments yourself? No, those skills take years of education and experience to learn, and that specialization is what professionals provide. It's the same with ghostwriting. You can still provide input, ideas, requests, and suggestions for your ghostwriter, but they'll handle the actual writing, structuring, and deciding whether there should or shouldn't be a comma.
When to use (and sometimes not use) a ghostwriter
Your marketing team is busy. Your CEO, executives, and other brand thought leaders are also really busy. That's what ghostwriters are for. Ghostwriters can write:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Pillar pages
- Case studies
- And more.
Use a ghostwriter when you have a content idea but want a professional to structure your thoughts, or when you have other tasks that you'd rather focus on. Ghostwriters are also often wizards at researching and SEO. (You could even say that they haunt the search engine results page.)
However, there are some occasions where you might want to avoid using a ghostwriter:
- If you're really uncomfortable with the idea. That's OK. It's not for everyone. You can always still hire a content writer and publish their byline on the piece, if that makes you more comfortable.
- If you don't want to invest time in finding the right ghostwriter for you and your brand. For a ghostwriter relationship to work, you'll want to take the time to review samples of their work, understand their writing process and voice, and make sure you have made the terms of the arrangement clear.
- Term papers. (Unfortunately, this does need to be said)
How to hire a ghostwriter
Go to your nearest haunted house, knock on the front door—no, sorry, wrong ghosts. Hiring a ghostwriter is actually very simple and similar to hiring a traditional content writer:
- Define your content needs: What do you want the ghostwriter to write? A blog, ebook, all your content, or a series of love poems about your brand?
- Search for ghostwriters that suit your needs. This may be on a job listing site, through your network, or via a ghostwriting service. A ghostwriting service is a ghost hunter that rounds up talented ghostwriters for you. They do the finding and vetting for you, so you can get straight to the content.
- Look through candidates' writing samples, portfolios, references, and resumes. If you're doing your own hiring, you can interview the candidates as well to learn more about their experience, expertise, and process. Look for a writer that's capable of the desired tone, personality, and expertise that you want your writing to have.
- Hire a ghostwriter that fits your needs, after first making it very clear in the contract that this is a ghostwriting position where their name will not appear on the published work, nor can they take credit for it. If you use a service like Verblio, all of our writers have already agreed to that condition.
- Provide your ghostwriter with a content brief or idea. From there, they can handle the research, SEO (if requested), and content creation.
Ghostbusting is so passé. Be a ghosthirer instead and take your content to the next level.
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