How to Work with a Ghostwriter: It’s Not as Scary as it Sounds

Edit Post ‹ Stephanie Kirby — WordPress

Do you feel weird about having someone write for you? Would you be surprised to hear that a large amount of the things that you read online aren’t written by the person that is listed as the author? That’s right. How do I know that? Because ghostwriting is one of the main things that I do for my clients.

I’ve written for psychologists, business coaches, financial planners, real estate agents, people of all different races, women, and men. You get the point.

So, while you may feel kind of weird about having someone else write for you, it could be the thing that would free up some of the time that you need to do other things.

Signs you need a ghostwriter

  • You have no real marketing plan and aren’t putting out any content.
  • You’re overwhelmed with your to-do list and need to find a way to have someone take something off your list.
  • Writing blog posts, social media posts, and other content really isn’t your specialty. Maybe you’re getting it done, but you know it’s not really at the quality that it needs to be.
  • You need more time in your day.

1. Know what you’re looking for

Before you start hunting down a ghostwriter to work with, you need to know what you want them to do. You may be thinking, “Obviously I want someone to write for me if I’m hiring a ghostwriter.” but it’s not that easy. If all you want is someone to write for you, then you need to know a little bit about what you want written. Where do you want it published? What’s the purpose of the content? Are you using it with a warm audience or trying to get new leads? What action do you want readers to take after reading it?

All of these things matter. And, if you don’t know what you want, you’re going to have a hard time finding a ghostwriter that does.

Now, if you need help with content strategy, you can find some freelancers that can help you with that too. But, that’s not every single one and you need to know the difference.

Know if you want a ghostwriter that can do SEO keyword research and come up with a content strategy or simply one that can take your notes and put it into finished content for you.

2. Find someone that you connect with

The trick is finding someone that you click with. If someone is going to write in your voice, or even just create content for your brand, they have to be able to sound like you.

I get that it’s super hard to let someone take over this role as a small business owner.

You’re the person that has poured your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into growing your business. It’s your voice that your audience is used to hearing. And, the last thing that you want is to lose that voice and possibly your clients.

That’s why you need to find a content writer that gets it. They need to understand your brand, your voice, your message, and the heart and mission behind what you do.

If you talk to a writer that says they can take on your project without even asking questions or wanting to be able to see what you’re currently doing, run far away as fast as you can. That writer isn’t going to write for you. They are going to produce generic content that could apply to anyone’s website, social media page, or blog.

And, that’s not what good content marketing is about. It needs to be personalized to your audience and in your voice.

3. Talk to them or send them video

The best way for someone to understand what your voice is, is for you to talk to them. This helps them to hear the different words that you use or the way you speak about your message and values. You want your writing to sound like you’re talking directly to the reader when you write a blog post, and you don’t want to sound like everyone else.

Find a freelancer that isn’t afraid to jump on a phone call with you. And, don’t be surprised if you get ghosted by a few freelancers when you ask for a phone call. Many freelance writers are introverts and hate the thought of having a phone call with you.

Now, if you don’t have time for a phone call, or you’re someone that doesn’t like jumping on a call, then there are other options. You could send them video or audio files. I have several clients that will send me audio files with their thoughts and notes on articles they want written, and I love it. Hearing their voice allows me to get a good feel for the emotion that they want to communicate in their message and not just the message itself.

4. Give them a trial piece

Find a small project that you and the ghostwriter can work on together first. You don’t want to delve right into a big project if you don’t know that they’re the right writer for you.

Instead, have them write a short blog post or several social media posts. Find something small you can give them that allows you to see the following:

  • How the two of you interact together
  • If they really get your voice and message
  • How reliable they are and if they finish by the deadline

Doing a trial piece allows you to work out some of the kinks. It’s a great way to get started, but remember that writers are making their living by writing. Don’t ask them to do a free trial for you. Pay them what the small piece is worth. That’s just not right.

A caution about niches

Are you tired of the word “niche” yet? I am! It’s everywhere. Everything is about “finding your niche”.

And, I get it. I really do. The online world is massive and it’s important to identify what your little part of that great big world is going to be. But, I think sometimes we can focus too much on niches that we lose sight of other things.

Should you find a freelance writer that’s experienced in your exact industry? Possibly. Is any writer in your niche going to be a good fit? Far from it.

You can’t just find a freelancer that specializes in the industry that you work in and think they’re going to be the right one for you. There are a lot of writers out there that are incredibly knowledgeable in the niche they chose to focus on. They understand the buzz words for your industry.  And, they may even know exactly what you do.

But you may run into a problem.

There are some writers that have a difficult time tailoring their messages. They’ve written tons of articles or blog posts on the same topic. They use the same statistics, the same quotes, and sometimes even the same sources. While they may provide you with a high-quality piece of content, it might be missing that bit of originality that’s so important in today’s world that’s inundated with content.

Remember, that just because a writer writes in your niche, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to write in a way that speaks to your audience.

Where to find ghostwriters

If you’re ready to find a ghostwriter that can lighten your load, here are a few ways you can find them:

  • Ask your network if they have any recommendations.
  • Look online for freelancer websites.
  • Create a post on Upwork. A word of caution here though. Most of the time, you’re going to get what you pay for. Yes, you can find super cheap ghostwriters, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of time editing and fixing your content, choose carefully.
  • Check LinkedIn profiles

You may find someone that’s amazing right from the start, but it’s also normal for there to be an adjustment phase. There may be a few more edits on the first few projects as the two of you are learning to work together. But if it’s not improving, then it’s time to move on and find another one. The right fit is out there and waiting for you!

If you’re looking for a ghostwriter, feel free to shoot me a message or schedule a call to see if I’d be a good fit for your project.