5 qualities of a great ghostwriter

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By Alexandra Reid

While content marketing has been around for a long time, content marketing through digital channels is becoming increasingly important in many of today’s marketing programs as social media and blogging continue to rise as influential channels where corporate thought leadership can be developed and displayed.

However, many companies are struggling to properly manage these channels, which demand a considerable amount of resources, especially the human resources required to find, develop and propagate high-quality content and engage communities. We’ve all seen corporate blogs and social media accounts flop because they lacked professionalism, resources dried up or there wasn’t a sound strategy in place to encourage long-term commitment.

To ensure professional and long-term management of their channels, many companies are outsourcing some or all of their blogging and social media activities to agencies or independent ghostwriters. Ghostwriters can take on a wide range of functions, from editing to article writing and even social media communications. While each agreement will vary depending on a company’s requirements, great ghostwriters share a number of professional qualities. If you are considering hiring one or several to write or edit your content, choose those who have the following skills:

1. Research

Ghostwriters have to write on a variety of subjects and will not necessarily be experts in your field. But they should have the research skills to be able to learn the details of your industry, product(s) and marketplace quickly and thoroughly enough to be able to communicate those details to the average consumer all the way up to the C-suit professional, analyst and journalist. Expect that there will be a bit of a learning curve for the details at the outset of the program (ghostwriters are human, after all), but also expect your ghostwriter(s) to grasp the basics in short order and ask the right questions to ensure the right message is being communicated.

2. Adaptability

Great ghostwriters will be able to write in a variety of styles on a wide scope of subjects. Ask to see a portfolio of written materials and look for this experience. Great ghostwriters should be able to adapt their writing style to that of the individual for whom they are developing content.

3. Storytelling

Great blog and social media writers are great storytellers. It is for this reason that many great ghostwriters have a background in journalism. In fact, three of the regular writers of this blog, Francis, Leo and myself, come from journalism backgrounds. Not only do journalists know how to tell good stories, they know how to ask the right questions, and this is crucial if your ghostwriter is to cover your company and its members properly. Interviewing key company members is a great way for ghostwriters to develop quality content.

4. Timeliness

Content marketing is a fast-pased industry where high-quality news coverage is valued. Your ghostwriter should know how to turn newsworthy content around on the fly. Your ghostwriter should also be available so you can be certain your up-to-the-minute news will be covered quickly and professionally for distribution.

5. Detail-oriented

Your ghostwriter will not know your industry and expertise as well as you do. It is their job to learn these details so they can communicate them accurately. As I said, expect a learning curve at the outset of your program. Proofread your ghostwriter’s copy with a fine-toothed comb to be certain all the facts are correct. Where there is an error, inform your ghostwriter. If your ghostwriter is detail-oriented, these mistakes shouldn’t occur again in future copy.

If you are in need of blog ghostwriting services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would be delighted to discuss your requirements.

Image: write essentials

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