We all know how important content is today — it’s a way of promoting yourself and your company by providing relevant and interesting information to your target audience. Small businesses can especially benefit from content because it can help you develop your brand and make it preferable in the competitive market.
One of the first rules of promoting through content is that you have to be consistent. If you decide to write blogs that are a great source of information about the company, its products/services, general trends in your business field, know-hows, tips and tricks, etc., you have to produce them on a regular basis.
Not only will publishing blog posts regularly bring readers to your site, but it will also help you establish yourself as an expert in the field and someone competent enough to get the job done. Small businesses, start-ups and even freelancers always need to work on growing and strengthening their brands in order to be noticed.
Then again, regular blog posts are not worth much if they’re badly written. Blogs need to be engaging, interesting and well written overall.
What if writing is not your strongest skill or you just don’t have time to deal with it?
Writing blog posts, for example, once a week, sounds like an easy enough job, but it really isn’t. Generating relevant ideas for topics, conducting research, writing, proofreading and rewriting can take a lot of time that small business owners just can’t afford. Both you and your employees will be much more satisfied if you focus your efforts on running the company.
Sometimes, insufficient time isn’t even a problem. Being a business owner doesn’t require good writing skills. You may be an expert in your own field, but no one expects you to be able to write well about it.
If you really want to publish articles on your website, under your own name, but you know you’re not competent enough to do it, there is a simple solution — hire a ghostwriter.
What You Need to Know About Hiring a Ghostwriter
What are Ghostwriters?
Ghostwriters are people you hire to write text they won’t be credited for since the text will be published under the name of the person who hired them, in this case you. They work is present, but they are not credited making their contribution invisible, and that’s why they’re called ghostwriters.
Ghostwriters are hired to do the writing for everything — from blog posts and white papers to movie scripts, public speeches and even books. They basically trade their credit rights for profit and that’s usually good for both sides. You get high-quality text and the ghostwriter gets paid, but there is so much more to this relationship than just a basic trade of words for money.
Why Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
I have already mentioned the main reasons for hiring a ghostwriter — not enough time to write your own stuff or no writing skills even though you have a lot of ideas and topics you want to cover. Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the pros of hiring someone to write instead of you.
- Ghostwriters won’t take credit for the text they write for you, so you can start building your personal brand and your company’s brand by publishing quality text.
- The ghostwriter will not only deliver the text to you on time, but he/she will also do it professionally. Like in any area of business, ghostwriters are trying to sell their services, or in this case their words, and make a profit, and they will do their best to meet their clients’ expectations.
- No matter what field your company operates in, ghostwriters are masters of adjusting and they will do extensive research before even starting to write. Of course, if necessary, they will ask you for some insight or about certain terms used in the field.
- Ghostwriters will hear you out and adopt your ideas about the text you hired them to write. They will send you a draft for the blog post (or any other text) and after reviewing it, you can ask the writer to change certain things. At the beginning, you will probably go through several drafts until you get the results you want. This will change over time if you continue working with the same writer, as they will get to know you and your requirements better.
- Ghostwriters will never be critical of the subjects you want to cover!
Are There Any Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Ghostwriter?
Of course, with something like publishing text someone else wrote under your own name, there are some issues, mostly about the ethics of the whole thing. You will meet a lot of people who will consider the whole thing unethical, but usually not from the writer’s point of view.
As we said, ghostwriters are professionals selling their services for money, just like car mechanics, graphic designers and many others. They offer their services knowing they won’t be credited for the published text. You’re not doing anything they didn’t allow you to do. If you want to, you can mention them in the credits if they ask. It’s up to you. But this might no longer be considered ghostwriting.
On the other hand, you, as the person who hired a ghostwriter, have some things to think about before actually hiring one.
- Even though ghostwriters are professionals who write for a living, they will never be able to express your original thoughts and express your voice through the texts they write for you.
- As I said, ghostwriters do a lot of research in order to write relevant blogs. That is also the research you are not conducting. When reading through different articles, writers collect information important for the blog post or other article they are writing. If you, as an expert in the field, were reading through the same articles, the information you would gather would most certainly help you improve your skills and learn something you wouldn’t otherwise come across.
- If you do choose to hire a ghostwriter, be sure not to run around telling everyone about it. A lot of people closely connect ghostwriting to plagiarism and find publishing someone else’s words as your own unethical. That is definitely not the impression you want to make when trying to be seen as an expert. Despite ghostwriting being a common thing in today’s world, it’s still not accepted as normal by everyone, so be careful.
- Last but not least, people will not really see you as an expert if someone else is writing your words for you. Of course, there are a lot of people who are, for example, great with numbers but terrible at writing. They need someone to transform their thoughts into meaningful paragraphs. On the other hand, if time is an issue for you, you should reconsider your priorities and see where starting a blog stands and how important it is for you.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know Before Hiring a Ghostwriter?
There are some things that are considered secrets of the trade among ghostwriters that you should be aware of. They should not be strictly considered as cons, but simply something to prepare you for the worst.
- Although ghostwriters will not be critical of the subject you are hiring them for, they should be able to express their feelings about it. A lot of ghostwriters will accept every topic you ask them to write about, but if a topic is controversial, they should feel comfortable to discuss some issues with you. Otherwise, you may get an article that is somewhat subjective and not what you imagined. If you create a professional relationship with certain ghostwriters, they will openly tell you if the topic is not something they are willing to write. This should be considered as a plus, because you want your article to be written professionally and without any judgment and subjectivity.
- It’s not a secret that even ghostwriters hire someone to do the ghostwriting for them. This especially applies to ghostwriters that are already somewhat famous and known in their circles. They get a lot of offers and a fair number of them will not decline those offers but rather outsource the projects to someone else, so you never really know who wrote your article. This can be regulated with a contract specifically stating that a certain person will write for you.
- Yes, a contract! You should always make a contract when hiring a ghostwriter, especially if you plan to hire one for the long-term or for a large-scale project. When entering into a contract, you should make sure you have the same rights as the writer.
- Be sure to make it clear to the ghostwriter that your suggestions about edits should be final. Some writers will try to make you adopt their point of view, and even though they are professional writers, they may not be professionals in your field. This is your text that will be published under your name, on your company’s website, so even though you’re not the one actually writing it, make it your own.
- Some ghostwriters may use text written for you as their reference. It’s normal that they would need some proof of their previous work, but they should discuss it with you before making it public. If you are not comfortable with them sharing the information that you are using ghostwriters, make it clear at the very beginning and put it in the contract. Another option ghostwriters have is sending some paragraphs to potential new clients. This might be acceptable for you if the writer signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with those potential clients.
Where Would I Find a Ghostwriter?
If, after reading this, you want to give ghostwriters a try, there are several options for you. There are platforms dedicated to this subject alone. Also, if you want to start small, so to speak, you can try hiring a freelancer through a platform like Upwork. This may be a cheaper solution, but be careful when picking your writer. You will probably want someone who has some experience. On the other hand, there are platforms that you can use to find professionals for different areas as well as ghostwriting.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?
The price for ghostwriting services depends on many things. The first and most important factor is the length of the text. The price won’t be the same for a blog post with 800 words as for a white paper, or a book! Writers may start as low as $10 per article (but beware, the quality can be really bad when the fee is low!) and can go over $1000.
Another impact on pricing can be explained with the basic supply and demand rule. The more work a ghostwriter is doing and the busier he/she is, the higher price they will give you.
Some ghostwriters will charge you by the project, whereas those you are hiring more long-term may ask to be paid monthly. These are things you should discuss with a ghostwriter and put in a contract.
Whatever the price a ghostwriter gives you, you can always try to negotiate and find ways to save some money while still getting a professional service.
Are There Other Solutions?
If you are not sure you want to use a ghostwriter, there are other options you could consider. When it comes to writing and publishing blog posts regularly, you could try doing it yourself. If that doesn’t turn out to be good, try assigning someone at your company who will do all the writing as an employee. On the other hand, if your budget allows it, you can hire an agency to do the work for you.
Ghostwriter Photo via Shutterstock
Hiring a ghostwriter can help in producing more content. But you also have to consider that you will somehow lose control of the quality because you hired someone else to do your writing.
Hi Aira, thanks for your interest for my post! Yes, I agree with you that one of the cons of hiring a ghostwriter can be the lack of both, control and quality. My advice to ones who opt for hiring ghostwriters is to try to be a good manager and think as if a ghostwriter is a team member that needs to be mentored and monitored. Like I wrote, hiring ghostwriters has its good and bad sides and your comment certainly makes a point!
You’re absolutely right, Ana. In my experience as a ghostwriter, when the communication with the client is good, the whole experience is better for everybody. If you want a ghostwriter that you can just “set and forget,” you are risking losing control, but when your writer becomes one of the team, you can be confident that what is written will match your intentions.
Great article, Ana, though I think it’s important to distinguish between experienced, professional ghostwriters and lower cost writers-for-hire who focus more on quantity than quality. Professional ghostwriters work hand-in-hand with clients to help them more clearly convey their own message in their own voice. Members of the Association of Ghostwriters, for example, have to apply and demonstrate a level of experience and professionalism before being admitted. That way, we can assure clients that the work to be produced will be of a high quality. The client doesn’t lose control of the project, because they have the final say regarding whether the content produced will ultimately be used, but I certainly agree that there may be a wide range of quality levels, often depending on how much the client is willing to spend. Thanks for writing about ghostwriting!
Thank you Marcia for the kind words, means a lot!
There are several sources of ghostwriters. One Ghostwriting Gurus. Another is the Association of Ghostwriters. There is also a book I wrote: How to Find and Work with a Good Ghostwriter which is available on Amazon, Kindle, and Audible. As a ghostwriter, as well as the author of over 100 books under my own name, anything I do as a ghostwriter belongs to the client, and they have full control over the final product. I use their own voice in writing the blog, book, script, or whatever I am writing for them. So there is no loss of control. It’s a work for hire, and when I provide suggestions, it’s up to the client whether to take them or not, though most do.
Hi Gini, thank you for providing the additional sources for finding ghostwriters. I am sure that the readers will find the information useful.
Richard Lowe Jr
Thank you for the great article on ghostwriting. I enjoyed it.
Thank you so much!
Couldn’t agree more. Also as Marcia Layton Turner mentioned, it is really crucial to distinguish between experienced, professional ghostwriters and lower cost writers-for-hire who focus more on quantity than quality. You can balance between these if you hire someone qualitifed who lives in a place where average labor cost is lower like India. The sum and substance is finding the great ghostwriter and for this recommendation from someone, maybe a friend, who has been benefitted from a ghostwriter is mostly reliable and helpful. For example, for my blog, I was searching for a quality ghostwriter. I primarily thought of hiring freelance writer but they are expensive and low-cost writers often compromise with quality. So, I decided to go for an agency. Since Indian agencies provide quality services including writings, I wanted to contract with one there. After hours of online research, I found Staff India which provides quality writing services including many others. Here is one important thing: first start with small trial like get one or two content written and then go for bigger volume if satisfied. I was so impressed with Staff India’s service that I also get some other services for my site.
Again, thanks to the writer, really helpful article. I wish I knew these facts before.
Thank you Rick for the kind words. Your comment is a great follow up to my article, looking forward to reading some articles of yours as well!
You’ve got some great points here, Ana, but as a ghostwriter, I was puzzled by your claim that we ghostwriters “will never be able to express your original thoughts and express your voice through the texts they write for you.” I’d say that’s the essence of ghostwriting!
Also, while I do research for my clients, very often the ghostwriting I do involves interviews and conversations with them based on what’s in the news, what’s on their mind lately, and what type of blog pieces and articles have been working well for them. Stories and personality make content stand out in a sea of free content, and as a ghostwriter, I know how to weave that into a service piece.
Hey Nancy, thanks for showing interest for my article! Also, it is good to hear the opinion from a real ghost writer. Of course, it would be ideal if all ghost writers were dedicated to their work like you are!
Hey Nancy, than you for your interest in my article! It is good to hear an opinion from a real ghostwriter, especially to encourage others to be dedicated to their work like you are.
Lots of things for managers to think about when it comes to outsourcing. One of the things I think should be considered is a ghostwriter’s additional skills. I know of some who do ghostwriting and social media management; others who are great writers with a knack for graphic design, and ones like me, who focus more on representing clients while also being on hand to advise on inbound marketing strategies.
I reckon the days for the plain exchange of words for profits are gone. The way I see it is being a service provider, it’s about providing a range of services that will help grow businesses. Sort of a wing-man. Managers of offline businesses often need a bit of direction in the online marketing space. There’s no reason a ghostwriter skilled in other areas can’t provide additional value.
For your readers with a tight budget approaching UpWork (since it’s linked to in the post), I wouldn’t recommend just putting the job ad live. You can view the profiles to get a feel for any additional skills a ghostwriter would be able to bring to the table, and use the invites to target freelancers you feel you’d be interested in working with. It’ll save sifting through a bunch of applications from inexperienced self-proclaimed writers who stick to the words for profit thinking, rather than being of service.
Great article. As a professional ghostwriter, I found many of your points spot on. The advantage of hiring a ghostwriter, like me, is that you don’t have to do the writing yourself. But you have to be careful and make sure you are hiring a professional. It’s never wise to go for the low bid – go for the writer that’s a good fit.
Thank you very much for your kind words!
I really want to become a ghostwriter — any suggestions?
Ghostwriting is an excellent field of job. If you got a great writing skills, you can write for many brands available online.
I’m not polsitive where you’re getting your info, however good topic.
I must spend some time studying more or understanding more.
Thanks for wonderful info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.
Hurrah! In the end I got a website from where I can truly take useful information concerning my study and knowledge.