There’s a lot to consider before hiring a ghostwriter. The most important thing is understanding what ghostwriters do.
A ghostwriter is a third-party professional writer who creates content for your business. The content they create is published in your business’s name and owned by you. There can be regulations on the content’s use, which will be made clear in your contract.
The next most important thing to know is if a ghostwriter is necessary for your business.
Why You SHOULD NOT Hire a Ghostwriter
You want someone else to manage your blog and you don’t want to play any part in it. Remember, ghostwriters are third-party contract workers. They need guidance and input to tailor your blog to your business.
You don’t have a clear strategy and/or goals for your blog. Ghostwriters get you results. But they can’t do this if they don’t know what results you want. It’s your job to create a solid blogging strategy and establish goals. Your ghostwriter's job is to carry them out.
You aren’t comfortable with outsourcing your blog. If you’re not comfortable with a someone else writing your blog, then you aren’t going to be happy with the results. Period.
You don’t need a ghostwriter to take over your blog; you have other options. Is there someone else in your company who can write quality articles? Is there another blog that could write a guest post for you? If you answered yes to either question, there may be better alternatives to a ghostwriter.
Why You SHOULD Hire a Ghostwriter
You don’t have the time to write articles. Don’t let a lack of time keep you from raking in the benefits of blogging. Treat it like you would any other responsibility you need to outsource or give to a new hire. Blogging is worth the effort.
You don’t understand SEO. Ghostwriters keep up with SEO trends and help you maximize the returns from it.
You’re not a good writer but you’re knowledgeable. If you can’t write but have good information, it’s easy to use yourself as an information source. Record your thoughts, let your ghostwriter interview you, or create outlines for for your ghostwriter. Do whatever it takes to get your valuable thoughts in a blog.
You need timely articles for your blog. As long as you give ghostwriters a reasonable deadline, they are going to meet it. You can even use them to create backup articles in case you fall behind on your publishing schedule.
You need a new perspective. You pour your heart and soul into each article. You write piece after piece, but your audience isn’t being receptive. Ghostwriters can give you a new perspective you might not have considered.
You want to save money. Spending money will save you money. This might sound counterintuitive, but you’ve experienced this before, right?
You hired for a new position to take some responsibilities off your plate. This freed up your time to focus on the tasks you're best at. You invested in a new software or technology to automate processes. This helped you avoid menial tasks. Hiring a ghostwriter is the same concept.
The time ghostwriters spend on articles is time you can spend doing something else. But that’s not all. Ghostwriters’ SEO knowledge will help your team find leads to convert into customers. And their ability to write FOR your audience, not AT them, helps develop meaningful relationships with your customers.
What to Know before Hiring a Ghostwriter
You’re on board for hiring a ghostwriter, but don’t get too gung-ho. You can’t hire just anybody. It has to be someone who will be a good fit for your business, offers the services you need, and is within your budget.
Ask for writing samples of live articles along with the results. This gives you an idea of the work quality to expect from them. It's also a good time to see if their writing style will be a good match for your business.
Look for grammatical errors. If they happen too frequently, consider hiring a proofreader or a different writer. Some ghostwriters already have proofreaders.
Pay attention to industry jargon, tone, formatting, and imagery. If they can’t justify their decisions, they don’t have the ability to write for specific audiences.
Don’t assume. Some ghostwriters will provide you with the article in a document. Others will find images, upload the article to your blog, and schedule it for publishing. You need to make your expectations of them very clear.
Ask about the copyright agreement. Some grant you full rights, others will only allow articles to be used for their intended use. This means if the article was written for your blog, you can only use it for the blog.
Ask if your ghostwriter outsources to other ghostwriters. Sometimes established ghostwriters will accept every single project that comes their way. If they don't have time, they outsource some projects. This helps maintain their reputation. If you want this specific ghostwriter your contract must explicitly state that.
Budget for your ghostwriter. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” This is as true with a ghostwriter as with anything else in life. There are exceptions, but better ghostwriters charge more for their services.
You can sometimes tell a ghostwriter's experience based on how they charge you. Start-ups often charge by the word. Established ghostwriters often charge by the project.
This Lacy Boggs article makes good comparisons on price expectations.
What tips do you have for businesses looking for ghostwriters? Let us know in the comments below!