5 Questions You Need to Answer Before Hiring a Ghostwriter
Writing is not always a natural skill for people in business. Like public speaking, you can put time and effort to improve your skills, but that takes time and energy away from other tasks.
Your prospective customers may expect that you publish content on a regular basis. You can either spend your valuable time writing to fill your sales pipeline or outsource content development to a ghostwriter, which could be less than your hourly rate. Meanwhile, you can spend time and work on other revenue generating activities.
In this blog, we’re going to define what a ghostwriter is, discuss the benefits, and present the 5 questions you need to answer before hiring a ghostwriter.
What is a Ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter creates a written piece under the name who hired them. No one knows that the “author” of a piece didn’t actually write it, except for the ghostwriter and themself. Ghostwriters cannot claim that work as their own – hence the “ghost” aspect.
Ghostwriting is an extremely common practice when influencers or executives want to write a book but do not have enough time or lack the skill set to write good copy. Ghostwriters work closely with the intended author to craft something that represents and captures the author’s voice.
Freelance Ghostwriters vs Ghostwriting Companies
There are two options to consider when hiring a ghostwriter: freelance ghostwriters and ghostwriting companies. Let’s take a look at the difference.
Freelance ghostwriters are typically free agents. They play the feast and famine game, so their flexibility in being able to commit to your project is largely dependent on which season they are operating in. High-demand freelance ghostwriters may have a long waitlist to start your project. They are usually cheaper, and you as the client only work with one person – the freelancer. It may be simpler; however, they may lack the business sophistication you may prefer.
Ghostwriting companies, in comparison, might be more expensive and not have the touch you’d like for your project. They may have more than one ghostwriter on your project to cover any gaps in leave, make sure the quality is at 110%, and fulfill your every need.
Like all things, there are pros and cons to hiring a ghostwriter. While I won’t divulge into why we think FocusCopy is the right balance between the two options (at least right now ?), let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a ghostwriter and 5 questions you should ask before your hire a ghostwriter.
Benefits of Hiring a Ghostwriter
Hiring a ghostwriter is a big decision. Let’s take a look at some benefits of hiring a ghostwriter…
First, it will actually get done! How long have you been saying… “I’m going to write that book!” Or to your marketing team, “I’ll have that blog to you by midnight”? I have heard so many CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners say a variation of those excuses. When you hire a ghostwriter, that blog, book, or other writing project will actually get done.
Then, it will get done faster. Ever wanted to write a book? How long have you wanted to write that book? For many, it takes years before they take any action to write that book. Hiring a ghostwriter is pulling the trigger to make it happen.
Additionally, you don’t need to learn the mechanics of blogging or writing a book. There are so many methods, strategies, and formulas associated with each medium. It will take time, ample amounts of research, and learning from mistakes to get it right. At that point, you’ve already spent 3-4x the time a ghostwriter would spend AND that’s before editing.
Finally, you’ll have more time to focus on other higher priority tasks. While you do have to invest some time with the ghostwriter so they can develop content that is aligned with your voice, you have so much more free time to work on revenue generating activities while it’s being written.
5 Questions You Need to Answer Before Hiring a Ghostwriter
Before you hire a ghostwriter and commit to weeks or months with that writer, you need to answer these 5 questions.
1. Why am I interested in hiring a ghostwriter?
First, you need to figure out why you are interested in hiring a ghostwriter. Is it because…?
- You want to finally publish that book that you’ve been wanting to write for over a year
- You want to stay in front of your audience by publishing timely content
Types of Ghostwriter Projects
The next step is assessing the project that you are looking to complete. It could be a one-off publication or an ongoing engagement. Keep in mind that some ghostwriters only work on book engagements. Other ghostwriters might only write blogs..
Here are some examples of what a ghostwriter can do:
- Write a book
- Create blogs
- Develop an ebook
- Guest post on another blog
2. Do I have a branded voice that I want to continue or am I recreating one?
Whether you are a new brand, a long-time authority holder, or a reinvented house-hold name, you must know the voice of your brand. Your brand voice is the basis of the writing and takes time to develop and change. Your customer is attached to the voice of your message because it elicits an emotional response.
“People like to do business with people they like, trust, and know.“
3. What kind of experience do I expect my ghostwriter to have?
Another reasonable question to ask is “what kind of experience do I expect of my ghostwriter?“. For example, you may be in a super-technical environment that requires a writer to be knowledgeable of the technicalities. There are writers that are well-versed in medical or legal terms.
On the other hand, you may want someone who is unfamiliar with your topic, giving a fresh perspective. In addition, they may be able to communicate your complex or technical information in a way that every reader can understand.
4. What will the ghostwriter be writing? How often?
It is also important to define the scope of what your ghostwriting project. You also need to set expectations on how often you would like to use a ghostwriter (weekly, monthly, one-time, etc.) and what type of content you want.
Here are some examples of content and their approximate word counts:
- Weekly blogs (1000-2500 words)
- One-off guest blog (1000-2500 words)
- Ebook (30-150 pages)
- Book (150-300 pages)
5. What is the ROI for hiring a ghostwriter?
Finally, you need to determine if you will see a return on investment. Ultimately, hiring a ghostwriter should improve your bottom line. Look at the following factors that impact bottom line:
- Your time savings
- What you’re doing with your free time (those revenue-generating activities we talked about previously)
- The leads from the blogs (look at our lead generation services)
- Consistent content for your customers
- Sales from the ebook or book
Where to Find Your Ghostwriter
Finally, it’s time to find your ghostwriter. You can find them through freelance sites like UpWork, search on LinkedIn, go to a marketing agency that offers ghostwriting, or finally go to firm that writes for a living – like FocusCopy.
I promised I wouldn’t talk about how we’re a perfect option for someone who wants a combo of ghostwriting companies and freelance ghostwriter (until later). And I’ve kept that promise!
Our in-house copywriters and ghostwriters keep in constant contact and make sure that our writing is consistent with our client’s needs. We’re professionalized freelance ghostwriters – giving you the relationship you need to express yourself with the sophistication of a ghostwriting company. You can learn more about our ghostwriting services here.
If you’ve answered all these questions and are ready to say “yes”, click here to connect with our team.