“How do you feel about ghost blogging?”
This question was posed to a panel of experts at this year’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland. As an anonymous writer of B2B blog posts, I attended the session as a fly on the wall. Surrounding me were corporate and agency marketers who struggle with whether or how to outsource content writing.
The five panelists, including representatives of The Daily Beast and LinkedIn, tackled ghost blogging from two angles.
First, from an ethical standpoint: Not one marketer on the panel objected to ghost blogging. If the information and ideas are the brand executive’s, they argued, ghost blogging isn’t problematic. The writer simply helps communicate the company insider’s perspective in the most fluid, engaging, effective way possible.
Second, from a practical standpoint: For time-starved professionals whose specialties lie outside the realms of language and composition, ghost blogging is essentialthat is, if brands are focused on content quality. On this point, the panel was in complete agreement.
Not Sure You Need Blog Writing Help? Consider Your Limitations.
Even if you’re a C-level executive, subject-matter expert, or marketing professional with decades of experience, you may lack the very things you need to blog well. These include time, writing chops, passion for the task, and a fresh perspective.
Here are five reasons I would hire a ghost blogger if I were in your shoes.
1. You’re Too Close to the Topic.
Every day, you dwell deep inside your own bubbleyour particular industry, brand, company position, and knowledge base. Your audiences aren’t there with you. They have their own personal and professional concerns, and they may not speak your language. You have to meet them where they are, translating your expert knowledge in a way that resonates.
Do you know how to build that bridge? A professional ghost blogger builds it routinely.
The curse of knowledge is the single best explanation of why good people write bad prose. It simply doesn’t occur to the writer that her readers don’t know what she knows . . . . And so the writer doesn’t bother to explain the jargon, or spell out the logic, or supply the necessary detail. Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
2. You’re Not a Writing Expert.
Good writing isn’t a mechanical output. Nor is it a random spark of genius. It’s both science and art, reflecting a sharp eye for grammar and a talent for assembling words and sentences in a crisp, fluid, compelling way.
As writing experts, ghost bloggers bring three things to the table: 1) a hard-wired desire to write; 2) sensitivity to readers’ concerns; and 3) years of experience fine-tuning their craft. This combination is uncommon. So are the results a ghost blogger can help you achieve.
3. You’re Too Damned Busy.
Your core business is your primary concern. Your daily responsibilities are all-consuming. So you shoehorn in a few minutes of blog writing time and sprint to the finish.
But here’s what you may be neglecting:
- Editing for embarrassing mistakes
- Strengthening your hook
- Cutting the fat
- Clarifying important points
- Reorganizing for better flow
- Looking for ways to go bolder and deliver more value
If you don’t have time to write and edit well, your blog posts will fall flat. And they won’t advance your business goals one iota. Better to hire a writer who’s dedicated to helping corporate blogs achieve peak performance.
Business owners and marketers are naturally a take-charge bunch. We hate asking for help. But at times, it makes sense to free up time that is better invested elsewhere. Stan Smith, Pushing Social
4. You View Writing as a Chore.
If you dread the writing process, you’re less likely to go the distance it takes to achieve something great. Ask yourself this: How far will you go beyond the first draft? How many editing passes are you willing to make? How well do you think will your post will be received,and how deeply do you care?
Your heart needs to be in the act of writing itself, not just the topic you’re covering. Otherwise, you should outsource to a professional writer who lives and breathes this stuff.
5. You Could Use a Fresh Point of View.
Seasoned content writers think strategically, all the time. No blog post is an island; it’s part of an ongoing conversation between you and your prospects and clients.
If you find the right ghost blogger—someone who’s committed to partnering with you long term—he/she can really shake things up by:
- Studying how your blog has evolved over time, how you’ve promoted your blog across social channels, and how audiences have responded.
- Following competitors’ blogs to identify untapped opportunities and help you draw clear distinctions.
- Taking the conversation in new directions to improve audience engagement and bottom-line results.
As a professional writer, marketer, strategist, and brand ambassador all in one, a ghost blogger can be a tremendous asset for your business. Ghost bloggers do all the heavy lifting, entirely behind the scenes. They don’t care about bylines; their satisfaction comes in helping brands and leading executives connect with more people, more powerfully and lead the conversation in their industries.
What Are You Waiting for?
What reservations do you have about outsourcing your blog? What types of outsourcing experiences have you had (good, bad, or ugly)? Let’s start a conversation below.
Since 2001, Becky Tumidolsky has written awareness-building content for B2B brands and their discerning audiences. Her work has appeared in leading publications such as Forbes, U.S.News & World Report, Bloomberg Markets, Newsweek, and Inc. as well as corporate blogs, websites, white papers, and other content assets.
Becky loves writing fluid, error-free prose. She’s even more passionate about building the foundation for her work—uncovering core brand distinctions, framing them thematically, and developing fresh, compelling narratives that advance corporate strategies.
Follow and connect: Twitter| Google+| LinkedIn| Facebook