What is it like to work with a ghostwriter? Many people, when they find out what I do, are fascinated. “How does that work?” is a question I get a lot.
To explain, let me give you a quick example: a couple of years ago, a solopreneur hired me to write eight blog posts on three topics. It turns out that three of those posts ended up being rewrites of posts he’d bought from a white label agency.
The white label posts were adequate. They covered the topics and had the appropriate SEO. Yet my client didn’t like them.
They were bland. They had no personality, no warmth. Once I rewrote them, though, he loved them! He felt they reflected his style and his brand’s voice.
With that in mind, let’s look at four reasons you should hire a ghostwriter as well as two misconceptions.
To make sure we end on a positive note, we’ll start with the misconceptions.
1. Ghostwriters are not transcriptionists.
I had a client ask me at one point if he could just record his thoughts “and you can transcribe them?”
I answered, “I am not a transcriptionist. I can refer you to some great transcriptionists in my network, but that is not what I do.”
Transcription can play a part in the ghostwriting process, but it’s not ghostwriting. Depending on what a transcription will be used for, a transcriptionist may clean up dialogue, eliminating “uhs” and “wells,” smoothing out awkward sentence construction and so on, but her goal is to type exactly what a person—or people—speak out loud. As we’ll see below, ghostwriting involves much, much more.
2. If I hire a ghostwriter, I don’t have to spend any time on the writing process. I just hand over my notes/recordings and she takes it from there.
This is another misconception I’ve run into. While you are investing money to save you time and effort if you hire a ghostwriter, it’s more akin to hiring a realtor than it is to picking up takeout.
If you want to buy a house, a good realtor will make sure to understand the nuances of your wish list. She’ll find houses that meet those in your price range. Once you find one you like, she’ll facilitate things like the inspection, communications with the sellers, and coordinating with the title company.
But YOU still have to take the time to view the houses she suggests. You still have to make decisions from choosing which house you want to how you deal with hiccups along the way. And only you can sign all the documents.
Ghostwriting, especially when it comes to writing books, is a lot like that. Your ghostwriter organizes your material, makes suggestions, and best of all, does the writing. At the end of the day, though, YOU are the author. You must:
- Review what is written
- Give feedback
- Get your ghostwriter additional material when necessary
- Decide whether to follow her suggestions
Four Benefits of Hiring a Ghostwriter
So what is ghostwriting? Why should someone hire a ghostwriter? What should they look for?
1. Writing in YOUR Voice
As a former language translator, I pride myself on capturing people’s voices. Still, that’s not a trait unique to me as a ghostwriter. Any professional ghostwriter should strive for this, whether they’re writing your book, blog post, web content, or podcast script.
What if they’re writing for a business, not a person?
It applies just the same. We ghostwriters will write to reflect the “personality” of your business. This is important for people whose goal for their writing is not just driving up their online traffic, but who want to 1) create interest in their products/services and 2) give prospective clients the chance to know and trust them before they ever reach out.
If you’re still asking yourself “should I hire a ghostwriter?” here are a few more reasons.
2. Writing with YOUR Goals in Mind
A professional ghostwriter doesn’t just organize (see next point) and write your thoughts. She’ll first take the time to understand what you want your writing to do:
- For you
- For your audience
- For your relationship with your audience.
Doing this will ensure that you get the RIGHT written product not just A written product. (This is especially important for books; for more on that, see my blog series on goalsetting for books.)
3. Organizing Your Content for Optimal Success
In line with your goals, your ghostwriter will help you organize your writing from the get-go.
While revision and editing are always necessary (no first draft is ever perfect), a good ghostwriter will make sure your writing has a strong underlying structure from the start. You won’t have to worry about an editor cutting or rearranging large sections or suggesting any other organizational changes.
Your written product will be organized to ensure that reading it is easy ad logical. That positions it—and you—for optimal success as an author or business owner.
4. Writing Your Content for You
Isn’t this the point of a ghostwriter? Absolutely!
Your head may be crammed full of ideas, but you just can’t find the time or energy to get it all down. That’s where your ghostwriter does the heavy lifting for you. They’ll free up hours and hours of your time.
You may think, How will she know what to write? Glad you asked!
Ghostwriters approach this part in a couple of different ways. My method is to first sit with the client, establish their goals, and create an outline for the book or web content. For things like blog posts and podcast scripts, we develop a list of topics.
Then, I’ll interview you for content. I do this not only to understand what you want written, but to get to know you or your brand. That way, I can capture your voice. For a longer project, like a book, I’ll schedule a meeting every 1-3 weeks to get content for each chapter. For regular content projects, like a blog or podcast, I’ll sit with you once every month or two to stay current on hot topics in your industry and in your business particularly.
Next, I write your content. For books and one-time projects, you’ll review it and give me feedback for revision. For shorter projects, you may check the content more regularly at first and less often as we go along.
So, as I mentioned in the section on misconceptions, you’ll still spend time on the writing process, but the bulk of the work—writing—is taken off your shoulders!
Hiring a ghostwriter is an investment, but it comes with big dividends. You get to be an author or have written content, but with the right ghostwriter, you’ll find:
- You spend a minimal amount of time on writing, but you still own your intellectual property.
- Your ideas will be crafted into stellar written content.
- If you’re writing a book, your dream of becoming an author is in reach.
- You won’t sacrifice your voice for convenience.
Have more questions? I’d love to answer them for you! Contact me today for a free consultation.