What is a Ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter is someone who writes materials on behalf of another person who is the named author.
Many business owners, Marketing Managers and CMOs will hire a ghostwriter to write materials like blogs, eBooks, white papers, articles and more either on behalf of the business in general or its specific internal experts.
Business owners are often too busy to create their own content. Similarly, marketing teams, even at large corporations, don’t typically keep enough writers on staff to meet all their content needs. For these reasons and more, you may turn to a ghostwriter.
Why use a ghostwriter?
Content demand is at an all-time high. Americans are learning and searching digital materials for all they want and need to know both personally and professionally before they make any real purchasing decisions. If you aren’t creating new content to support your business on a regular basis, you’re missing a critical marketing opportunity.
That’s why companies spend 46% of their marketing budget on content creation. And they’ve found it pays off. Fully 48% of B2B C-suite executives report that thought leadership content directly led them to giving a company their business.
As a business owner, operator or subject matter expert (SME), you have clients to meet and products or services to sell. You have sales to track and strategy to develop. You know writing content is an important part of your marketing strategy, but it’s difficult to find the time to do it, and to do it well alone.
There are a number of great reasons to pass on content writing to a professional ghostwriter. A ghostwriter will help you:
- Save time. Your marketing team is often pulled in a number of different directions daily. They’re writing RFPs; they’re working with the sales team; they’re creating internal communications critical to business functions. Similarly, your internal SMEs don’t have the time required nor do they have the skills to craft well-written content based on their expertise. No one else can do your job quite like you can. Let your ghostwriter worry about writing your business’ content.
- Communicate clearly. Technical experts are often so knowledgeable on a specific topic that they’re unable to translate that knowledge into lay person speak. Or, they may have difficulty expressing themselves clearly when it comes to a topic they are an expert in. A good ghostwriter is a master at distilling complex, technical details into simpler language meant for your audience.
- Reach your target audience. As the expert, it may be hard for you to figure out the right information to share. But a ghostwriter who understands your specialty knows what questions to ask to showcase your knowledge to the world. More and more ghostwriters now specialize in a specific industry or industries. Hiring a specialized ghostwriter will help you better target your ideal customers and prospects.
- Reduce cost + Increase flexibility. Keeping a writer on staff is expensive. Like any other employee, you’ll need to onboard them, pay them a salary, benefits, vacation time, payroll taxes, ongoing training and most importantly, have enough work to keep them busy all the time. Hiring a ghostwriter gives you flexibility. Use your ghostwriter as much as you need, and as often as you need. When you don’t need them, you don’t use them.
- Unify your brand. A single ghostwriter can take interviews or documents from a number of different experts and sources and necessary research on a specific topic and bring them together in a single voice. This is important as readers can easily break through the noise online today. Consumers are looking for authentic brands with a unified voice.
- Multiply your message. A ghostwriter will typically have the capacity you need to meet your content goals, whether that’s daily, weekly or monthly. They’ll be able to help you create a content calendar to plan your writing over the month and or annually as well as distribution, scale your social media visibility and drive traffic via search engine optimization (SEO) to your website.
- Create quality content. A ghostwriter is a skilled craftsperson. When you hire one, you get well-written content – not just a few sentences and paragraphs thrown together. A ghostwriter’s job is to preserve your language and style so that your voice comes across clearly in the content you author.
What is the difference between a ghostwriter and a freelancer?
A variety of professionals offer article writing services, but choosing the right one can be tricky.
You’ve likely heard the term “freelancer” as well. So, what’s the difference between a ghostwriter and a freelancer?
A freelancer is hired to write any type of content on any topic. The freelancer is a writer for all types of work, one who can write about architecture one day and insurance the next. The freelancer has a variety of clients and does not specialize in writing about any specific topic.
Like a freelancer, a ghostwriter writes content for a business. Unlike the freelancer, however, the ghostwriter often specializes in a specific type of writing or subject matter expertise. Additionally, the ghostwriter acts as a chameleon, able to form their writing to embody the voice of the author. Ghostwriters are often freelancers first, as ghostwriting is a skilled craft and one that may take years to learn and hone.
How do you find a ghostwriter?
While there are a number of freelancing platforms out there that can connect you to a ghostwriter, the quality of work is often unknown until you receive your first project submittal. By then, unfortunately, you’ve already invested time and money, and you’ve got a deadline to meet, whether the writer did a great job or not.
Instead, most VPs of Marketing and Content Managers I know look for ghostwriters with a specific industry expertise or a number of years of experience. These professionals often find ghostwriters by word of mouth referral. (As an aside, as many as 85% of jobs are filled via networking, which likely comes as no surprise to you.)
If you don’t have contacts that work with ghostwriters already, the best thing to do is to identify sites in which you like the content. Then, reach out to that company’s marketing team and ask for a referral. LinkedIn is another great place to find a ghostwriter. Search by keyword “ghostwriter,” “freelancer,” “content marketer,” “content writer” or by industry.
A ghostwriter is your personal content creator
Think of a ghostwriter as embodying your voice, only they can articulate your ideas on paper in less time and with greater accuracy to reach your target market. With a ghostwriter, you get your voice and your ideas… but professionally polished.
The next time you’re staring at a blank computer screen trying to get your ideas out to the world via your company’s blog, white paper, eBook or even a social media post, you’ll know it’s time to go back to your real work and hire a ghostwriter to do the job instead.