Hiring a ghostwriter isn’t just for celebrities who don’t want to write their own autobiographies.
If you are too busy to keep up with the time demands of a content marketing campaign, working with a freelancer or content marketing firm is a great way to maintain a stream of consistent, valuable content, that all you have to do is post (and some services will do that for you, too).
All hiring a ghostwriter means is that someone else writes the content, but you publish it under your company’s banner.
Bylines and credit are up to you and your writer.
But finding the right service, at the right price, can be difficult, especially if you aren’t “content savvy.”
Here are some tips for finding, hiring, and getting the best work from ghostwriters.
Finding and Hiring
Content marketing is going to be a big part of your overall marketing plan.
It makes your website more valuable, is a great opportunity for inserting keywords, and increases the size of your website—all things that are great for SEO.
You can also cross-share blogs and articles through social media profiles, furthering your reach and even filling a gap when you can’t think of anything else to post.
What this means, however, is that you want to find a freelancer or firm that you are comfortable working with and that you can trust to come up with great content every single week (or even every single day).
There are lots of ways to find a writer that works for you.
If you are working with a digital marketing agency, (like this one) they might have a writer on staff who would be more than happy to produce content for you.
If they don’t, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a ghostwriter.
If you have to look elsewhere, micro-job sites are teeming with skilled writers who can write content on an on-going basis, for reasonable prices.
Most of these sites provide you with reviews and/or samples, which you can use to find someone who might fit your style.
If you absolutely need a native English speaker (or a native Spanish speaker, or German speaker), it’s best to contact that person before purchasing, to get a feel for their language skills.
As many skilled, talented writers as there are on these websites, there are plenty of people just acting like they are, trying to make a buck off of unsuspecting clients.
When hiring a writer, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for.
Paying a pittance usually means that even the most talented writers will only be able to put minimal time into your content.
If you want something detailed, thoughtfully researched, and excellently crafted, these writers will have higher hourly or by-the-word rates than those who are just churning out mediocre content.
How to Work with a Content Writer
As you and your writer become more and more comfortable and understanding of what the other needs in order to do a good job, you can probably get away with sending fewer and fewer details to that writer, without any change in the quality of work.
However, especially at the beginning, in order to ensure you get what you want, it’s important to provide as much specific information as possible.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not providing enough information or hoping their writer will just “figure it out.”
An outline can be a great way to ensure that any and all topics you want covered in a blog post or article are covered and how in depth those topics are examined.
While a general topic is a good jumping off point, especially when you and your writer have been working together for a long time, being specific about how you want the posts to read and look, and maybe even providing an example is a great way to be sure your point is getting across.
If you are working with a content writer to create content for your website, before you start your content marketing campaign in full force, examples can be especially helpful for getting your writer to understand what tone and style you want to achieve.
The more specific you can be, the better.
While this might sound like it will take just as much time as just writing the piece yourself, the truth is that specificity and clear communication with a skilled writer is likely to produce a great piece of content in the end.
Make sure to communicate with the writer or with the firm early enough that you can discuss the payment schedule and details of the content before the deadline is pressing.
Some people work great under pressure, but if you want carefully crafted, detailed content, this takes time, and is not something you can usually get from a professional, busy writer in just a day or two.
Most firms and individual freelancers will require a down payment to be made before work begins, with the rest of the payment due when the project is completed.
One of the biggest benefits of building a relationship with a writer that you trust is being able to call on that writer for anything.
While daily or weekly blogs are good, editing or even writing an ebook to use as a lead magnet, or to send out to your subscribers is also within the wheelhouse of most writers.
The key to getting the best possible work out of your writer is investing just a little bit of time and effort into your brief, so that they do not have to spend half of their billed time trying to figure out what exactly it is that you need.
In short, don’t assume that your writer knows everything about a topic or especially about your business, or that they can glean everything they need from your about page.
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