By Julie Wehmeyer
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn
The best boss I ever had used to say, “I hire the right people, and then let them do their job.” A truer statement could not be said, especially when it comes to hiring a ghostwriter to write for your blog. Hiring a ghostwriter to maintain your blog can bring significant returns on your investment.
So what exactly is a ghostwriter, and what do they do? A ghostwriter is someone who accepts financial compensation for writing “copy”, i.e., a blog, article, book, manual for you and provides you credit for the piece for yourself. In other words, they will trade cash for credit, and you are legally allowed to take ownership of the work at any time during the ghostwriting process. Anything they do for you will have your byline on it, just as if you wrote the article, blog, or book yourself. After you pay the ghostwriter, the work belongs solely to you.
Why would you hire a ghostwriter for your blog? Below are eight compelling reasons to do so.
1. Optimizing Search Rankings
A ghostwriter who is hired to maintain your blog ensures posts are uploaded consistently with appropriately placed keywords which can boost your search engine optimization (SEO) as well as increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS). This in turn can bring new clients to you as well as solidify your relationship with current customers.
2. Enhance Your Credibility
Everyone knows that to be successful in business today, you must have a web presence. Having a blog is a vital part of this process. Being able to provide up-to-date, compelling, and valuable information regarding your business and industry is invaluable way to present yourself as an industry leader and enhancing your credibility. Ultimately, having your blog become a “go-to” resource for customers and clients will help grow your base by converting new customers to your product or idea.
3. Relationship Building
Blogging is a great way to connect and communicate with your current customers and to develop solid relationships with new customers. This can be done easily by asking questions and allowing customers and clients to respond via a comments section at the end of your blog. By reviewing and responding to readers’ comments, a ghostwriter can help you create a rapport with your audience, build trust, and gain valuable insight into what your customers are looking for.
4. Money Can Buy Expertise
Not everyone has the aptitude to write, and writing is not an easy endeavor. It can be challenging to continually come up with fresh content and ideas. A ghostwriter can help you do this. When you hire a ghostwriter, you are paying for experience, and talent.
5. Enhancing Brand Recognition
A gifted ghostwriter will help you build and maintain your brand recognition through helping your business develop a style and voice. A good solid blog gives you instant credibility and allows you to showcase a personal and professional side of your business that prospective and current customers might not experience through traditional marketing techniques. Blogging allows your personality to shine through! A professional ghostwriter will be able to tune into your personality to ensure this is what happens.
6. Sharing and Networking
People love to share blogs they like. You see this happening on Facebook, Linked-In, and Twitter all the time. Every time someone forwards your blog post, that is free marketing for you. This further validates you as a credible business. When your blog is written by a professional writer, it is more likely to be shared.
7. Fresh Content and Avoiding Burnout
If you’ve been writing your own blog for any length of time, you’ve probably run up against writer’s block and/or burnout. No matter how passionate you are about what you do, finding fresh ideas for your blog inevitably becomes a tiresome process. It is easy to let your blog slide, which then leaves you looking unprofessional. Hiring a professional ghostwriter can save the day.
8. Saves You Time
Having a ghostwriter saves you time! A ghostwriter knows how to engage site visitors, is able to keep an online conversation moving forward, and most of all, they understand the commitment necessary to maintain a compelling blog. In our busy world, it is difficult enough to find the time to develop and grow your business. A ghostwriter will free up some of your time, and make you look like a star.
Ghostwriters specializing in blogging can be found by searching the web, or feel free to check out our services at Awenbooks.net.
Congratulations! You finished your book. That is a huge accomplishment and something to be proud of. It can be tempting to tell yourself that you’re done now, but there is still a lot that needs to be done before your book is ready for publication. The next step in your journey is to find an editor.
But my friends and family read the book, and they said it’s great! Do I really need an editor?
YES! Feedback from friends and family is great. It’s even better if you have someone who has a background in English to look over your draft. That doesn’t mean you can get away without hiring an editor, however. Your friends and family have your best interest at heart, but they are also biased. They care about you, and they won’t be reading the story with a critical eye the same way that a professional editor will.
A professional editor will catch the fact that Suzy was wearing a green shirt at the beginning of Chapter Two, but that Mark described her shirt as red in Chapter Nine. A professional editor will notice that Jack’s reaction to dropping his ice cream in Chapter Seven doesn’t make sense based on the personality you developed for him earlier in the story. A good professional editor will be able to offer suggestions to help you fix plot holes or an odd character development. Professional editors spend their lives looking for details like this, where your friends and family have not.
Even having your old English professor, or your friend who studied English in college is not a substitute for a professional editor. This person will probably catch a lot of your mistakes, and their input will lead to your copy being much cleaner than it was before they looked it over, which is great. But it is not a substitute for a professional editor. There are a number of important things that a professional editor is trained to look for that someone with an English degree may or may not be aware of. Critical elements of a good story such as knowing when to show instead of tell, or what type of story arc is suitable for each genre, or industry specific formatting issues will be something that a professional editor is more aware of than someone who has not devoted their career to it.
Additionally, an editor will have spent many more hours editing than your friend with an English degree. Who would you trust more? A surgeon with 1000 hours of experience, or a surgeon with 50? A handyperson who has worked for 100 hours in the field, or one who just graduated from his or her trade school and has only worked as an apprentice for 30 hours? While the 10,000 hours to become an expert rule has been debunked, it is still likely that an individual who has logged more hours in a particular field will provide superior work.
What if I plan to submit to a traditional publisher? Won’t they provide me with an editor?
Yes, they will. This doesn’t mean you can get away with not hiring an editor of your own however. Publishing houses and agents receive so many manuscripts that they often just throw out anything that isn’t polished copy. If you want to increase your chances of having your manuscript accepted, you probably want to have a professional editor look it over. The only way around this is if you are 1) writing non-fiction and you have already been accepted by a publisher based on your query alone, or 2) an author who has already established a working relationship with a publisher and you are writing a book that is already under contract. (Sometimes this can happen for a new writer with a non-fiction book proposal, but you need to have a blog or published articles to prove your writing ability.)If you are a new, unknown writer trying to get your first book deal, then you need to make sure your manuscript is as close to perfect as possible.
It is exceptionally hard to get your book accepted with a traditional publisher. This is because the market is oversaturated and no one wants to take a gamble on a new book unless it is absolutely exceptional. Hiring a professional editor to look over your manuscript before sending it to agents and publishers will greatly increase your chances for success.
I plan to self-publish. Isn’t the whole point of self-publishing to open the way for anyone and everyone to get published?
Yes, yes, and yes! Technically you can self-publish without hiring an editor. However you run the risk of publishing something that looks unpolished and unprofessional. This hurts your chances of getting people to buy your book. It also means that future books that you publish will not be taken seriously. If you are planning to self-publish, you should at least budget for an editor and a professional cover design. This greatly improves your chances for sales and repeat buyers if you decide to publish anything else.
So, I guess I need to hire an editor…
Yes, you do. Stay tuned for articles on what to look for in an editor, and what types of editors there are and why it makes a difference.
Unsure of whether you want to self-publish or hire a traditional publisher? Start with Should I Self-Publish or Take a Traditional Route? Part One!
What will this cost? This is important to understand so that you can get the most value out of your investment, and so you can be sure it is an investment worth making for your business.
There are some resources out there to give you a general idea of what the market rate for a writer is. The Editorial Freelancer’s Association has a chart detailing the market rates for editors and writers, as well as the amount of work that you can reasonably expect to have completed per hour for individual jobs, and I would highly recommend a visit there to familiarize yourself with what to expect. They are also a potential resource for finding a writer.
When you post the details of your project somewhere, and you start to receive bids, you will see that the bids you receive vary drastically and they are not all in line with the recommendation for market rates on the EFA website. That’s because the rates are meant to be more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. They give you an idea of what to budget, and also provide a means of evaluating the quality of bids you are receiving. It is definitely important to be aware of the market rate for writing and editing services before attempting to hire a writer.
Beware of any bids that are drastically higher or lower than the going rate. You may get lucky and find a good writer who is just starting out and bidding much lower than the going rate to gain experience. But be aware that this is a gamble that you are taking. Some people are okay with that, others are not. High bids can also be problematic. Sometimes they are the result of a writer who has no clue what to charge due to inexperience, so they just throw any old number out there. Other times, high bids can be a scam. If you find a writer that you really like who bids high, find out what it is that they have that gives them the right to charge so much. Maybe they have produced quantifiable and stellar results for multiple organizations in the past and are thus worth it. Maybe they will be open to negotiate as well if you are up to date on the market rate for their services.
It’s also important to know how different writers charge and the strengths and weaknesses of each of these approaches. The rates will most likely be charged by the word, the hour, the article, or as a retainer.
By the word: This is a method taken by some writers, however it is a more popular approach for editors. Be careful, you could sign a deal to pay by the word and get a writer who tries to fluff a piece unnecessarily to make more money. Having a minimum and maximum word count is acceptable either way, but you also want the words to be pointed and powerful rather than arbitrary.
By the hour: A newer writer may choose this route, as they are still learning the ropes and they don’t have a clear idea on how long they may spend on a particular piece. This is also a good choice for writing that may require a lot of research, since it may take longer than a piece where the research is already there and it just needs to be organized. It is also good for a project that doesn’t have clear parameters, since it is impossible to really know how long a project will take if you aren’t exactly sure what you need as a client. This method is less likely to be padded, but it isn’t as predictable. Some writers object strongly to this method as they feel it isn’t professional, but it really should boil down to what works best for your company and the writer.
By piece: This is the most common method for paying for articles, and it is more likely to be consistent and predictable. The writer will probably want to set a word count range for the article, with different prices for articles of varying lengths. The amount of research required will also affect this rate.
By retainer: This is best for long term projects. If you find a writer you like and you have a blog that needs constant maintenance, hiring on retainer is the probably going to be the best bet for you and your company.
It is not unreasonable to set up some type of trial, whether it is a trial article to see if the writer is right for you, or a trial run that lasts 30 to 90 days to see if your long term goals can be met. However, compensation for the trial can and should be offered unless the work is so awful that it can’t be used. Definitely work out the terms of this before moving forward.
Finally, make sure you clarify the number of drafts that the writer expects to provide you with, especially if the bid is by the piece or on retainer. Find out how flexible the writer is. If the contract specifies two drafts, will they be okay with it if you occasionally need a third one? Will they want to charge more? If so, what is the charge for an additional draft? This will be different for every writer and could have an effect on who you ultimately decide to hire for the job.
Hopefully this article has managed to provide you with some tools and tips to help you choose a content writer for your company. Finding the right person for the job can make or break a business, regardless of what the job is, and this holds true for content writers as well. If you have any further questions, or would like to speak with us at Awen Books and More about our content writing or any other services, please send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you.
Once you have a solid idea of what your writing needs are, you can begin to search for a writer. There are a number of avenues you can take to find a writer to suit your needs, from content mills, to freelancers, to professional organizations that specialize in content writing.
I would advise against using a content mill. These are sites that offer “bargain blogs” generated by a crew of vetted writers. While it is possible to receive quality content from these types of sites, there is no guarantee that it will be consistent. This is because often, you are not going to be able to work with the same writer every time, and there will thus be no consistency with the work you receive. Additionally, these sites often do not pay much, and good writers will be looking for better work all the time. You could begin to develop a relationship with a writer you like a lot and then lose them to a better paying gig.
If you decide to hire a freelancer, there are a myriad of options to choose from. It’s impossible to evaluate all of the sources for finding content writers, and new ones are added everyday. Some of the many options, and options that I have personal experience with, are companies like Upwork, Thumbtack, or LinkedIn Profinder. All three of these options allow you to post a job describing what you need and then freelancers will bid on the job. They each have their own individual strengths and weaknesses, which I will cover in more detail in a separate article.
Some sites have stricter guidelines on who they hire as a writer than others. Some have limits on how many people can quote on a job, while others will give you an unlimited number of prospects, and others still will assign a writer to you based on the job. This is where knowing exactly what you want out of your writer comes in, as it will help you to decide what resource you want to use to find your writer.
This is where having a detailed understanding of what you need your content writer to do for your company comes into play. If you have a list of guidelines then the myriad of options will not be so confusing.
Another good way to find a content writer is using a good old-fashioned search engine. Many freelance writers have their own personal webpage that they use to advertise their services and to serve as a portfolio showcasing the work that they have done.
This is also a good way to find a company that provides content writing as a service as well. Just be wary of companies, and make sure you find out their policies thoroughly before signing on. Ideally, you want to work with no more than one or two writers who have the time to really learn about your company or blog topic in a way that will allow your content to shine.
The other day, I read that the average person comes across 5,000 pieces of content a day. Finding the right content writer will help your content cut through the clutter and attract the right attention.
Knowing where to look for a content writer is only the start of your journey. Read on to learn what to look for in a content writer.
We also offer content writing services at Awen Books and More, not just for authors! While we specialize in assisting authors, we have people on our team that are qualified to help you build your client base through blogging and content creation. Take advantage of our creative writing team to get unique content for your business or company website.
Increased use of the internet and social media have created a lot of changes in the small business marketing world today. Previously, generating business consisted of occasional advertisements in a local newspaper, posting business cards everywhere, and word of mouth. Today, it’s all about blogging, and maintaining a social media presence in front of your present and potential customers in order to grow and maintain interest in your company and your products. What does that mean for the small business owner? Writing. Lots and lots of writing. Not every entrepreneur has the time or the ability to write weekly or biweekly articles and blogs. If you’re someone who has noticed that your business could use a boost from some well placed and well written content on the internet, but you don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, maybe it’s time to hire a content writer.
Once you’ve decided to hire a content writer, however, you may find yourself faced with a lot of questions. What’s next? How do you find a content writer? What traits should you look for? What is this going to cost you? In this article, I hope to answer these questions to make the process of hiring a content writer for your small business easier. A well planned approach is more likely to lead to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with your future content writer, as well as an investment you will be happy to have made.
Before starting your search for a content writer, you should evaluate
your needs and figure out what you actually need from a writer to help you with your business. Some businesses have a long list of topics already planned for a blog, a solid social media marketing plan already in place, and a long list of devoted followers; but no time to actually write and publish the articles. Others will have no content planned, no marketing plan, and a smattering of followers. Most businesses in need of content writers will find themselves somewhere in between.
Evaluate the needs of your company as honestly as possible, taking your budget and your goals into consideration. Be as specific as possible, both for yourself and the freelancers you will eventually interview. It isn’t any fun for anyone involved to get halfway through the interview process only to find out your needs and the freelancer’s skill set don’t match up.
Some things to determine are:
- How many original articles you would like to have written and published each month?
Maybe you just want to write one, longer article that you send out in a monthly newsletter. The skillset required for that is likely going to be different than what you would look for if you are looking for someone to write two to three short blog posts a week.
- Do you want your content writer to have experience with social media marketing? How much experience do they need?
If you don’t know the answer to the first question in this list, then you probably want to hire a writer who also has knowledge of marketing. If you already have a marketing plan in place, and just need content, then this isn’t as important.
- Do you want your content writer to be familiar with SEO (search engine optimization)? How much experience do they need?
SEO experience, or knowledge of other methods to help your company website move up in search engine rankings is probably something you want to make sure your writer has, especially if you are not already showing up where you want to be on search engines.
- Are you looking to develop a long term relationship with a writer, or do you just want someone to write a batch of blog articles that you can reserve to post when you’re running dry yourself?
Some writers may not have the availability to commit to a long term project, while others may prefer it. Knowing the answer to this question may also help you determine payment methods, described below.
- Do you have the resources assembled, or will your writer need to be able to do their own independent research?
If the writer needs to do independent research, you need to find someone who has experience with this and the budget to pay the higher fee for it.
Having a clear idea of what you need in a writer will assist you in finding the right person and help to ensure you are satisfied with the overall experience. Once you have determined these things, you can read on to learn How to Find a Content Writer.