If you’re thinking about the role blog ghostwriting can play in your business, it’s most likely because you realize the value of business blogging but don’t have the time or resources to do it in house. While it may seem scary to stake your company reputation on a stranger’s writing, knowing how to optimize your relationship with a ghostwriter beforehand can calm the nerves and help you ensure that your ghostwriter acts as an extension of your company.
Whether you’re working with a freelance writer or an outsourced marketing company, the process that needs to happen should be fairly similar. Here are a few steps you can take to make it work:
1. Find the right writer.
The writer should be able to provide samples of their past work—or even better—work that lets you know they have experience writing for your specific industry. Writing for a manufacturing audience comprised of engineers is not the same as writing for an audience of gym goers looking for tips on fitness and nutrition; therefore, selecting a writer or agency with field experience is going to add that little extra something to content production.
2. Introduce them to your company voice.
After you’ve picked your writer, help them get to know your company’s writing style and tone. Show them samples of past content—good and bad. This will help your writer know what’s acceptable and what to steer clear of.
3. Collaborate on an editorial calendar.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you’ve been thinking about hiring a ghostwriter, you probably already have some blog article ideas in mind. Share those ideas with your writer and plan ahead by creating a keyword optimized blog editorial calendar. Assigning a keyword to each blog topic will increase your chances of people finding your blog on the internet. Determine how often you would like to blog (we recommend a minimum of once per week) and outline exactly which blog will go out each week. See a snippet of HubSpot’s example below.
4. Schedule SME interviews.
Have the writer interview a subject matter expert at your company for each blog topic. Depending on the size of the company, that can be one person who knows it all or different people from different departments. Work ahead by interviewing for a batch of blog topics at a time.
5. Refine the first drafts.
The ghostwriter will submit a draft of the blogs after soaking in all of the information provided, and you may realize that a couple changes are needed. Maybe the tone is slightly off or the writer took an unexpected turn on the prediscussed topic. Take this opportunity to point out the misalignment and provide detailed edits. Just like a new recruit, the writer will have to get used to how things are done at your company and any advice from the first batch of blogs should be applied to the next (and so on).
Remember that working with a blog ghostwriter is a partnership. The goal is to eventually have a writer whose work you can trust to the point where major edits are not required. It may take some time but it will be worth it to get your blog to make real contributions to your business.
If you want to learn more about how outsourcing can help achieve the business results your'e looking for, check out our guide: The Essential Outsourced Marketing Handbook: Growing Your Business with an Agency Partner.