If I had my way, the only people who wouldn't hire a ghostwriter for their blogs would be, well, ghostwriters and other professional writers.
Now, before you laugh at me, ghostwriting has a long history. And although the practice has traditionally been reserved for celebrities, politicians, and clergymen, hiring ghostwriters is becoming more and more popular among smaller businesses today.
For nearly every other business out there, though, hiring a ghostwriter to take over their blog content would prove to be a positive move. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a ghostwriter, and then I'll show you how to tell whether or not you need a ghostwriter for your blog.
Blogs are No Longer Optional
Chances are, not long after you started your business you learned that you needed a blog. Once upon a time, blogs were more like journals. And sure, some of them may have helped to provide some additional insight into something…but for the most part they were little more than an optional place to unload thoughts.
Times have changed. Blogs have become an essential part of a business's marketing strategy. They help establish authority, provide a central focus to your online presence, boost a website's search engine optimization (SEO), and drive traffic to your website. Having a good blog with a strong content strategy can mean the difference between customers finding you and you having to go out to find customers.
Would it really be a good idea to ignore such an important piece of your business? To me, that feels a bit like trying to run a business while ignoring your budget. Most businesses will have their finances at least reviewed by a professional, and blogging really should be handled the same way.
Blogging is Not Your Job
Unless, of course, it is your job.
But most bloggers out there maintain their blog as part of their online presence for their job or their business.
People tend to forget this, but blogging is hard work.
Sure, some of us make it look easy, just like any chef can make his or her recipes look easy. But sitting down to write a blog is a lot more in depth than it sounds. Besides writing the actual content, most blog posts require research into the content, keyword research, SEO, graphics and / or photography (which must be either created or researched and bought), planning, scheduling (which entails researching the audience). And that's just for one blog post.
If you're running a business, chances are you've got your hands full with all the responsibilities that go into running that business. I haven't met an event planner, direct sales consultant, or life coach yet who has ever said “I have so much time on my hands, I think I'll just start a blog!”
It doesn't happen that way. Most of the time, what happens is that, like you, they've been told they need a blog, and then they panic while trying to figure out just how to fit it into their schedule.
And because of this a lot of small businesses start a blog, but don't really know everything they need to know about how to maintain that blog. And let's face it, the only thing worse than not having a blog at all (which is always an option) is to have a blog and abandon it because you couldn't keep up with it (which happens a lot) or to have a bad blog.
What are some of the other benefits for hiring a ghostwriter?
To Hire a Ghostwriter Would Save You Money
Most small business owners I come across fear the cost of a ghostwriter. After all, in most cases, the ghostwriter gets paid before the project even has a chance to start bringing in revenue — meaning that hiring a ghostwriter requires an upfront investment. And that can be a scary thought, particularly if you're still trying to get your business (and your blog) up and running. And, just like so many other things, why pay someone if you can do it yourself?
I mean, if you know how to give your car an oil change, would you still take it into a shop every time you needed one? Maybe not — maybe every once in a while you would take the day to crawl under your car and change out the oil yourself. Maybe you would even do just as good a job as the the guy who normally changes it for you. But how much extra time do you have to spend to get it done right? Can you do it as fast? And is your work guaranteed?
Blogging is much the same way. Sure, you can sit down, research, and write out your blog post. Chances are it will take you longer and, unless you happen to write for a living, the quality might not be as topnotch as you're hoping. And in this age of screen readers and search engine bots, if you want to build the type of audience that turns your blog into a source of revenue, you need the quality to be there.
You need a professional writer.
Now I ask you, which would save you money in the long run? To hire a staff writer, for whom you'd need to worry about paid time off, insurance, payroll expenditures, as well as wages? Or to hire a ghostwriter, for whom the only expense is their charge for writing the blog post itself.
Quick Turn Around
A ghostwriter's only job is to write good content for his or her clients. That means the minute you hire a ghostwriter, they are researching everything about you, your blog, your niche, and blog topics to write about. Unlike you, they aren't trying to fit writing into their business — writing is their business. And their business succeeds when your business succeeds. That means high quality, professionally written blog posts done fast.
How to Tell if you Really Need a Ghostwriter
Of course, just because a ghostwriter can help you, that doesn't mean you need a ghostwriter. Plenty of small business owners are able to maintain both their blog and their business (at least at the beginning), so there's no reason to assume you can't do the same. But, if you're not sure, here are some signs that you might need a ghostwriter:
- Your blogging todo list is getting longer and longer. As I said earlier, blogging takes more than simply sitting down and churning out words. Time and research goes into each post. So if you start to see that your list of topic ideas and “to-write” lists are growing faster than you have time to address the topics, it might be time to hire a ghostwriter.
- You're a better talker than you are a writer. This happens to be the case for a lot of people. Get them into an elevator with you and they can explain everything in two minutes flat. Ask them to put those words into writing, though? And they really struggle. If you find you're one of these people, you may need a ghostwriter.
- You want to share your distinct point of view about your industry. Chances are, there are already several blogs up about your industry. Some of them you might agree with, and others not so much. But if you want to stand out amongst these other experts, that means more than simply writing, sharing, and retweeting. That is going to mean putting your best writing forward, with the best content, the best SEO strategy, and the best marketing strategy. And for that, you'll probably need to hire a ghostwriter.
- You've worked and networked in your industry for so long, you don't know what people don't know. I see this happen all the time — heck, I'm guilty of this sometimes. I have been ghostwriting for so long, and hanging out with other ghostwriters, editors, and authors for so long, I forget that many people don't know what ghostwriting is. And I stumble over myself trying to explain it to them because it baffles me that they wouldn't understand it. And I've seen other professionals do the same thing: direct sales consultants unable to explain what they do; wedding planners unable to describe the most basic aspects of their business. It's not a flaw, but it does make it harder to break your industry down to the most basic level and explain it to someone who may not have ever heard of it before.
- You can't seem to carve out big enough chunks of time to handle the blogging itself. Trying to write a blog post using bits of time here or there is almost impossible. Ideas get lost, direction and flow suffer, the content suffers. While you might be able to whip out 800-1200 words in a couple hours, if you can't find those hours or if you can't pull away from the rest of your responsibilities for those couple hours, you may need a ghostwriter.
So, Should you Hire a Ghostwriter?
Only you can answer that. But before you go running off to go looking for one, you might want to find out more about hiring one. Find out the most important questions to ask before hiring a ghostwriter.
Hiring a Ghostwriter FAQ
How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?
Although the price varies depending on the scope of the project, you can expect a ghostwriter to charge anywhere from $90 – $350 per blog post between 400 and 1000 words.
Can I hire a ghostwriter?
If you have writing you need done by a writer trained in adopting your voice, you can hire a ghostwriter. Ghostwriters often handle any public-facing writing such as blog posts, copywriting, email content, and (most commonly) books.
Do I need a ghostwriter?
If you need to publish good content with your tone and voice but lack the time or technical skills to do it efficiently, then you probably need a ghostwriter.
What does a ghostwriter do?
A ghostwriter adopts an author's voice and personality to write content that the author will then publish. The distinguishing characteristic of a ghostwriter (vs a staff writer or a content writer) is that all copyrights — and therefore decisions about the content's use and repurposing — are bought along with the content, giving the author full control of the content once it's written.