Being hired as a ghostwriter, flattering? Affirmative. Rewarding? Maybe not. Ghostwriters are writers for hire who are paid to produce the copy but take no credit. The paying author assumes all credit for it. The ghostwriter takes the money as a “work for hire’ job and then without a trace, leaves.
This might seem strange at first, but it is a common practice and there are some fairly good reasons to hire a ghostwriter. This transaction of copy for money but no credit occurs across industries. For example, if someone wants to create new copy for a website, they may well hire a writer to create it. Similarly, someone may wish to write a book, likewise, they might hire someone to write it for them – this is most often seen in biographies.
Hiring a ghostwriter has become a popular option for people who have a valuable idea to share but don’t have the time or the energy to spare. Whilst some people may have reservations about hiring an outside person to write content that represents them and their business, there are several benefits of doing so. The primary reason for hiring a ghostwriter is because it is a good source of well-written copy. Besides this fairly obvious reason; they save you time, and they write with SEO in mind.
Evidently, the need to employ writers to produce quality content which in turn leads to an array of business successes – such as: building brand awareness, staying competitive, demonstrating expertise and to driving traffic to your site; has retained its place in the literary world.
Having considered the reasons as to why one may find the need to hire a ghostwriter, the question of how do you hire the best ghostwriter for you and what should you consider when doing so, emerges.
First, you must be crystal clear on what you want to create. The more you know what you want, the easier it will be to find a writer who can help you. As with most occupations, ghostwriting consists of many professionals in different fields. Be sure to decide upon your content form and purpose before identifying your perfect writer. Are you hiring a ghostwriter to produce copy for your clients, guest blogging, to write a book, or perhaps something else?
These can range from but are not limited to:
- Website copy
- Press releases
- Books, biographies and novels
- Blog posts
- Email marketing
- White Papers
Further considerations of style, length, audience and purpose of the writing, should be made to be sure you identify the best fitting ghostwriter, to produce the results you want. Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to create, you start looking.
Where to find a great ghostwriter
Like most of the big questions in life, a generally reliable place to start looking for a reputable ghostwriter is on search engines, like Google. Of course, the anonymity of the profession makes it difficult to search for and locate a specific writer. Legal contracts further prohibit accessing previous works of a ghostwriter, making it difficult to assess individuals. However, Google still pulls a few places out of the bag, and opens the door to the literary underworld.
Turn to professional ghostwriting services to find skilled writers who are selling their services.
There’re a few quality service providers available:
Here, you can expect to find a broad range of writers with narrow and defined skills. You will be put into contact with the writer who best fits your needs. Sourcing your writer from a professional ghostwriting service online will save you time. You will not have to worry about whether or not an esteemed writer will be available for you. Nor will you spend hours browsing the web in other locations for your writer. Everything you need is in one place.
Ghostwriting is an anonymous field. It can be difficult to evaluate an individual ghostwriter as they cannot tell you who they have written for. On the other hand, If you are considering using a ghostwriting service, you can assess the reviews of the service company. A reputable company will be transparent with its customer reviews and allow you to make a more informed decision before you commit to their service.
Alternatively, you can advertise online for the ghostwriter you are looking for. This gives you the opportunity to make a direct call to the writer you need. Whether its copy for your website or content marketing material for your company, tell the writers out there what you are looking for. Google Ads is a great place to start. It’s an online advertising platform that allows you to reach exactly your target market – in this case, great writers. What’s more, is that you control the recruitment process. For example, you have the option to immediately disqualify an application for not answering your ad in full. If they cannot follow a simple process – it is unlikely you’ll want them representing your brand or business.
How to hire a ghostwriter
Once you have determined where you will source your writer from, you should carefully consider the hiring process. After all, this person will appear to the world as the voice of yourself and your company.
Be clear about what you want and define your project goals. This initial discussion should be clear and transparent to avoid any misunderstandings which may cause problems in the future. A big part of hiring a ghostwriter is making sure their writing style is reflective of your own tone of voice and transpires accordingly in your content.
As with all hiring processes, you will want to make sure this writer has valuable experience in writing for your industry. If applicable, a candidates portfolio of writing can offer you a better insight into their style, form and skill. You can expect your final copy to resemble these examples. Reviewing a few recent writing samples is the most effective way to get a feel for what the ghostwriter can do for you. If you are happy with what you see, proceed on to discussing the further experience of more relevance to your industry.
Perhaps SEO knowledge is of critical importance to your company. Most ghostwriters know and understand the importance of writing with SEO in mind. A good ghostwriter will be trained in SEO. They will have acquired skills to write engaging and quality content and will also know how to make sure this content is found online in top results. Ensure to have the candidate demonstrate (at least verbally) their knowledge of it and discuss times they have implemented it well.
Remember, the underlying notion of a ghostwriter is to build your brand and tell your story. They should neither disclose information they learn about your inner business, nor allow the public to know that they ghostwrite. Early in the recruitment process, you should make clear that they should be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Following this, it is imperative to disclose your timeline and process. This is necessary for both parties. First the ghostwriter should have a good understanding of your time constraints and second, you should have a sound understanding of their workload – especially if your ghostwriter is working on multiple projects for clients. Before you hire a ghostwriter, ensure that their work schedule is compatible with your own project.
Much of the hiring process can be done either over the telephone or online. Collaboration is key and a huge part of collaboration is communication. At one point – presumably, once you are confident that you have found the ghostwriter you need- meet face to face (in person or virtually). As the project progresses, you will be discussing edits, trading ideas, and so forth. Should a problem arrive, more often than not, a quick talk should clear it up. It also gives the writer a chance to get a more intimate feel for your style and perceptive to create copy that best reflects you. Some good collaboration and communication tools:
- Google Drive
Remember, the ghostwriter is on your team. During the recruitment process, keep an eye out for someone you want in your alliance. Teamwork requires collaboration, communication and direction. With these three elements in place, both your ghostwriter and yourself should be on route to content magic.
Once you’ve spent valuable time training your ghostwriter, there’s no reason to do it again. There will come another time when you will undoubtedly require the work of a ghostwriter. Don’t start the hiring process all over again. Retaining the ghostwriter that worked for you is crucial. Too many writers creating different voices for your company will create convoluted and distorted perceptions of your company.
There are a few ways to keep your ghostwriter in the team, without hiring for permanent writing positions. First, compensation. Set a rate, and immediately set raises. A bonus here and there for excellent results doesn’t hurt. Valuing your ghostwriter is key to keeping them. Second, engage with your ghostwriter on a professional and personal level. Keep them in the loop on company updates and share with them interesting and influential material to help them grow. A better-informed ghostwriter will materialise into well-informed writing for your business. It will establish grounds for loyalty, and should help to keep them available to you for future projects.