How To Hire a Ghostwriter: A 10-Step Guide
Are you thinking about hiring a ghostwriter for your blog? Hiring a writer to create blog content for your brand can free your time and energy for more important pursuits. There are many benefits of working with ghostwriters that lots of companies don’t know about, and the process of finding one may be easier than you think. If you need help learning how to hire a ghostwriter, you’re in the right place.
First Off, What Is a Blog Ghostwriter?
Traditionally, blog ghostwriters publish posts on behalf of an individual or business, emulating the desired voice. Ghostwriters speak as direct ambassadors of the blog’s named author and do not receive a byline, distinguishing this type of creator from other freelance writers. The term “ghostwriter” may seem intimidating, but it is simply a type of writer who doesn’t require you to post their name on the work they create.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring Ghostwriters for Your Blog?
If you’re not already supporting your brand or business with a blog, what are you waiting for? With a clear, goal-driven content marketing plan, you can establish a reputation as a thought leader within your niche. Hiring a ghostwriter for your blog can help you educate your audience about your offerings, create a body of work for your brand, build trust with potential clients and even increase your website traffic and search engine rankings. High-quality blog content can also attract potential partners who can support and help grow your business.
Ghostwriting is an established form of content creation used by small and large businesses all over the world. When you work with ghostwriters, you can take advantage of benefits such as:
- An authentic brand voice that accurately reflects your tone, style and message
- The ability to hit the ground running with regularly published, high-quality content that supports both your marketing goals and your readers’ needs
- SEO expertise, including agility incorporating keywords seamlessly into content
- Professional experience writing blogs, allowing you to free your focus for your core business operations
The 10-Step Guide To Finding and Hiring a Ghostwriter for Your Blog
If you’ve been thinking about hiring this type of professional writer for content creation, try these strategies on how to find ghostwriters for blogs. Here are 10 tips that will help you hire ghostwriters and develop a strong partnership with the most promising candidates.
1. Create a Detailed, Accurate Job Description
If you want to find excellent writers, you need to reach out. When learning how to hire a ghostwriter for your blog, the job description should be explicit about your content creation needs. Make sure you indicate:
- The industry or niche for your brand or business
- The type of posts you plan to publish
- The length, frequency and format of posts
- The requirements for keywords, images and meta data
- The desired experience for your writer
Spelling out these details in the job description will ensure your ghostwriter has appropriate expectations so he or she can rise to the occasion. You’ll also save yourself from screening candidates who don’t fit your needs.
This can be a lot of work to do on your own. You may want to work with content writing services that know how to find ghostwriters who have your preferred qualifications. In addition to publishing blog posts, versatile ghostwriters can produce white papers, web content, ebooks, speeches, video scripts and countless other content assets for your brand.
2. Understand Essential Qualities of Ghostwriters for Hire
Ghostwriters for blogs tend to have more experience than other types of blog writers since they need to be able to flawlessly mimic the voices of various clients. Seek a ghostwriter that has an extensive, versatile portfolio, which indicates the ability to adapt to your brand’s unique tone.
While writing experience in a related niche is helpful, it’s important to find ghostwriters who are fast learners and enthusiastic researchers. If your content creation goals include boosting your site’s SEO performance, look for professionals who have a keen understanding of the ins and outs of search engine optimization.
Industry leaders rely on these types of writers to create high-quality content on a rigorous publishing schedule. A well-rounded resume should include experience writing on behalf of start-up entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs, nonprofit directors and other diverse professionals. Many freelance content creators prefer ghostwriting because of competitive pay and the ability to network with these types of individuals. Some may also want to protect a personal brand by taking paying work only anonymously.
When evaluating ghostwriter portfolios, review their work for a coherent structure and compelling narrative. You should have a clear sense of the brand voice and understand the purpose of the content for each sample. Even subjects like plumbing and network security can become fascinating in the hands of a seasoned writer.
3. Consider Interviewing Ghostwriters
After reviewing content and narrowing your search to a few candidates, consider scheduling a virtual interview with each of your finalists. You’ll get an idea of how well they understand your brand and click with your personality. After all, you’ll be spending time working with this person, so you should feel comfortable with his or her communication style.
Interviews also allow you to assess each writer’s active listening, an essential skill that helps ghostwriters accurately reflect their clients’ voices. They also reveal whether the writer prepared for the meeting by reading your website, blog and other available resources.
If you’re working with a reliable content writing service, it may be nice to talk to the client managers you’ll be working with. As you improve your relationship with them, the easier it will be to express your needs and work out kinks. They’ll also be able to instruct their ghostwriters to write your content in a way that’s more specific to the style you’re looking for.
4. Prepare To Collaborate on Content Creation
Learning how to find ghostwriters is only one part of the process. While hiring a ghostwriter will take plenty of work off your plate, you’ll still need to have a hand in the content marketing process (or identify a team member who can take the lead). Even the best ghostwriters for blogs need guidance to ensure they can reflect your brand in the best possible light. Contributing your vision to each and every content asset will allow your distinct voice to shine through even when you aren’t actually sitting down to the keyboard yourself. You or your trusted representative should act as the subject matter expert who will inform the content development process.
An internal team member should also manage the schedule for content publication unless you plan to outsource that process as well. Either way, providing realistic but firm deadlines for your projects will help keep your ghostwriters on track and ensure you meet marketing milestones. Incorporate time for content revisions as established in your contract with the ghostwriters you work with. When you work with content writing services, they should have an internal quality assurance process to meet your stated publication needs.
Entrepreneur magazine estimates that a brand owner, publisher or CEO who hires a ghostwriter for blogs should plan to dedicate about 10 hours of time for every 1,000 hours of work billed by your writer. Plan to provide a steady stream of content ideas, briefs and feedback throughout the writing partnership, though your writer will naturally become more adept with your style and voice over time.
While regular check-ins help keep your content calendar on track, avoid micromanaging your ghostwriter. Once you’ve communicated the project information (in a comprehensive brief, of course), step back to let the professional work his or her writing magic.
5. Develop a Thorough Content Brief
When you have narrowed down your list of ghostwriters for blogs, consider providing each of your candidates with a test assignment before committing to a long-term partnership. A successful ghostwriter starts with a brief that completely explains the desired content asset. The brief should include information about:
- The length of the article, title and topic
- Formatting, including use of headings, links, bulleted lists and SEO elements
- The required style guide, such as the Associated Press or Chicago Manual of Style, as well as your brand’s own style preferences
- Audience and tone, including examples of content you like and dislike
- The submission and revision process
Open-ended assignments work only after you’ve established a strong rapport with your blog ghostwriter. In the early stages of the partnership, less detail might result in content that misses the mark. For longer blog posts, e-books and whitepapers, consider including a content outline with your brief.
If you’ve already taken a stab at writing your own content, you can provide rough drafts that your ghostwriter can adapt and finesse. Unedited notes, transcriptions and videos can also inform the content development process.
6. Create a Contract
Once your writer agrees to your content brief, create a contract that reflects these terms along with the agreed-upon price and payment terms. Even an informal partnership can benefit from a formal contract, which can prevent future conflicts if disagreements arise.
When creating a freelance contract for your blog ghostwriter, make sure you address ownership of the finished content assets. Because content creators hold the default copyright to their original works, the contract language must indicate that he or she is exchanging these ownership rights for the agreed-upon payment. Commonly, these contracts define deliverables as works for hire that will completely belong to the person who commissions their creation.
If you will need to share confidential information about your brand when partnering with your freelance writer, consider having him or her sign a nondisclosure agreement. This legal document prevents the writer from disclosing trade secrets or other internal details received in the course of the project.
7. Review Your First Submission
Whether you start your ghostwriter with a test assignment or a paid one-time project, evaluate the work for how well it matches your tone and content goals. Pay particular attention to:
- Words and phrases that accurately reflect your brand and those that miss the mark
- Actionable content that provides real value to your target audience
- Areas where you can ask the writer to punch up the copy with personal anecdotes, data points or case studies
- Whether the overall tone paints your brand in the best possible light
- The presence of reliable sources cited within the copy
You may have to send back the first attempt with feedback that clarifies your content needs. Even the greatest writers can benefit from a bit of extra polish, especially when they are new to the brand and subject matter. Because your blogs are unique to your brand alone, many ghostwriters for blogs will need your feedback to align their writing with your brand.
8. Know the Signs of Success
If you have a solid content marketing strategy in place, you know that your blog content should directly support your marketing goals. After you hire a ghostwriter for your blog, set benchmarks for success so you can objectively evaluate the partnership. Not sure what to look for? Overall signs that your publications hit the spot include:
- Increased conversions
- Higher rankings on Google and other search engines
- More organic traffic in your most important reader segments
- A more cohesive, vibrant voice for your company or brand
Giving your ghostwriter a clear vision of these business goals will help guide great content. He or she can tailor each blog post to directly support your marketing plan objectives. Experienced ghostwriters for blogs will often have recommendations to make your content even more effective.
9. Remember the Red Flags
Even when during the hiring process a ghostwriter passes your screening process with flying colors, you may find that the relationship fails to get off the ground. It’s OK to go in a different direction, such as switching from independent freelancers to content writing services, if you notice any of these common red flags that may be a bad omen for your partnership:
- Your ghostwriter misses the mark on important content or seems to misunderstand or fail to grasp important aspects of your brand.
- He or she just can’t quite get the tone right, even when content is technically perfect.
- You feel like you aren’t connecting with your ghostwriter and the process of working with him or her is challenging.
- Your ghostwriter is not saving you time and may actually be costing you time (and money, if you have to hire someone else for rewrites).
- You spend a lot of time correcting grammar, style and formatting errors.
On the other hand, minor bumps in the road aren’t always a cause for major concern, especially if you are generally pleased with the blog posts you receive. Provide constructive feedback and allow some time for your writing partnership to blossom. End the relationship sooner rather than later if your ghostwriter exhibits a lack of professionalism, poor command of language or failure to meet deadlines.
10. Consider Content Writing Services
While you can find independent ghostwriters for hire on various job boards, content writing services connect you directly with qualified candidates. Because these services have a handpicked team of professional writers at the ready, they can help you find a ghostwriter who fits the bill without all the guesswork. Self-service content writing companies provide a searchable database of writers, while full-service companies manage the process on your behalf.
Hire a Ghostwriter for Your Blog Today
Now that you know the process, start saving time and money on your content marketing plan. Learn how to hire ghostwriters who can master the tone of your brand and start creating content that you can post regularly.
Not sure where to start? BKA Content provides completely managed blog writing services from experienced ghostwriters. We focus completely on creating outstanding content for our clients, which includes curating a selection of trusted ghostwriters for blogs who can vividly and accurately serve as the voice of your brand. Browse our site to learn more about how we can connect you with a professional blog writer who understands your vision and voice.