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Ghostwriters: The Secret to Maximizing Your In-House Writing Team

9 minute read

September 26, 2018

Cover image for article on hiring ghostwriters
Meghan McKenzie

Director of Enterprise Sales

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You’ve got a lot of content that needs to be created, but even coffee only goes so far toward getting your in-house writing team to produce more. Ghostwriters seem like a good solution, but you’ve got concerns about upsetting the status quo.

  • Will they “get” your company’s brand voice?
  • Can you rely on them and still make your crucial deadlines?
  • Will they understand your customers and the best ways to motivate them?

These are all valid concerns and important considerations for a content manager to mull over before hiring a ghostwriter. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity, after all, even in the name of content. There’s good news, though: more than one in ten working adults identify themselves as a freelancer or a member of the so-called gig economy, so there’s rich variety of ghostwriters to choose from.

At the end of the day, your asks and results need to stay the same, and adding new team members can send ripples through your carefully plotted content path. So what’s the best way to introduce a ghostwriter to your in-house team to maximize results and minimize issues?

One Big Happy Content Family

Beyond the immediate relief of tension in your content calendar, ghostwriters can increase the effectiveness of your existing teams, offer unique points of view and help your company look its best, no matter what industry you’re in. But…they can only do that if they’re chosen and introduced the right way.

There aren’t many hard and fast rules to bringing a ghostwriter into your content creation team, but there are a few guidelines to help you make the transition smoothly:

  • Ask your current team what they consider to be the most important points of creating content for you and potential pitfalls your ghostwriter should be aware of.
  • Assure your current writing team that you’re offering them additional support, not attempting to replace them.
  • Set clear reporting lines so that your ghostwriters know who to approach with questions on projects.
  • Set a budget up front, complete with volume expectations and deadlines to avoid miscommunication when it comes to the structure of ghostwriting work.

If you can address all of these points and collect them in a quick-start guide for new writers, you’ll find new recruits will be up and running very quickly.

Addressing Some Common Questions

While hiring ghostwriters can quickly improve an in-house team’s capacity and expertise, many content managers can get hung up on a few questions about working with ghostwriters.

Here’s a quick collection of the most common ones I’ve seen.

But I Have a Writer Already…

Many business owners echo that sentiment — they’re under the impression that they either need to choose between hiring professional writers to work in the office or great ghostwriters to work as needed.

Often, the ideal answer actually comes from a harmonious blend of the two, not from treating your content as an “Option A vs. Option B” writing scenario. Ghostwriters are excellent as standalone freelancers, but they also routinely work together with existing brand and company writing teams to follow the voice and tone of a business.

For example, when it comes to eCommerce, there’s a virtually endless appetite for content — even the best in-house writing teams often can’t keep up. Many companies maintain relationships with multiple ghostwriters who have learned their brand voice and style guide, so they can quickly send overflow work to these writers and receive copy they can publish immediately.

Imagine doubling your writing staff overnight or assembling an entire team from scratch in a matter of hours. If you’ve been wondering how the big guys get high quality content and blog posts churned out so quickly, ghostwriters are the secret.

But I Already Do My Own Writing…

No one is more passionate or informed about your business than you are, of course, so it can be difficult for many content managers to trust writers to convey that passion you do in your writing. But as businesses grow, most content teams have to expand and find writers who can also convey that passion.

And while capacity often requires businesses to bring on writers, in some cases the need for exceptional writing ability necessitates it. Even the most passionate manager doesn’t always translate their passion for their business well to the page. A love of sunsets, for example, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good at painting them, nor does a deep appreciation for classical music give you innate skill with a cello.

In these situations, the best way to convey your brand enthusiasm to your audience is often calling in a professional writer to do the proverbial heavy lifting.

Finding the right ghostwriter means that you can find someone who shares your enthusiasm and has the technical ability to take your content to the next level. Having team members like that can really help your business scale effectively.

Will a Ghostwriter Understand My Business?

The best freelance writers available for hire may work with dozens of clients every week, often spanning several industries, length requirements and tones. They are flexible and quick on the uptake, able to scan style guides, your past content or even your rival’s content for context clues and ideas about your ideal customer base.

In short — they can get up to speed really quickly.

While good ghostwriters are extremely adaptable, you can also find writers with tangible expertise in your industry. At Crowd Content, we work with over 5,000 writers, so clients can always find an industry expert to write for them if needed.

Between strong adaptability and industry knowledge, you can start working with a ghostwriter that gets your business very quickly.

Plus, you can also specify certain keywords to be used in your content, templates or layouts that you prefer for your web pages, and even hyperlinked in-text sources for Google-approved credibility on your subject matter once you publish.

Strong communication, especially when starting work with a new writer, can also help them understand your business quickly. Be sure to add notes, ask questions and even ask for writing adjustments in the rare case a revision is needed.

It’s in a ghostwriter’s best interests to impress you, as repeat clientele offer a consistent source of income. This is also an incentive for them to work closely with your in-house team, achieving a seamless brand voice for your customers in the process.

What if I Need More Than Blogs?

Ghostwriting used to be strongly associated with the process of writing a book, moving into blogs and landing pages as the internet grew. Today, a ghostwriter can handle almost any type of written content.

While this can help your team’s capacity, it can also help its capability.

For example, if you use an in-house team for product descriptions but suddenly find yourself in need of a new product press release, a ghostwriter can bridge the gap.

Their expertise and recent experience writing press releases for other clients will ensure that their approach is fresh, accurate and designed to grab attention. If, on the other hand, you rely on your product description writers, the results might be less targeted and less successful.

What Do Ghostwriters Cost?

Don’t let cost deter you from hiring a ghostwriter: it’s become such a common process that there’s professional writers for hire on nearly any budget. On platforms like Crowd Content, clients are able to set writing quality star levels to determine their end cost: one star offers very basic content to complete web pages, while four stars offers premium, highly-experienced writers. Prices range from 2.2 cents per word to 12 cents per word.

Plus, there are a number of cost savings to consider. Ghostwriters don’t need to be on-boarded through human resources, they don’t need benefits or paid vacation days and, as a total resource, you can find and work with a ghostwriter at virtually any hour, any day and on nearly any deadline.

In addition to their inherent affordability, it’s worth noting that their work — inbound-centric content creation — costs up to 62 percent less than outbound lead generation, per DemandMetric in a 2017 Content Marketing Institute report.

Can I Afford a Ghostwriter?

The question should really be can you afford not to hire a ghostwriter? Leaning too heavily on your in-house staff can be risky in terms of volume, and it can also put undue stress on your employees as well.

A creative team should know they have backup on large or unexpected projects, and ideally be given the discretion to vet and choose ghostwriters they can work with. This will not only ensure they feel appreciated and supported, it will also free up your in-house team to take on larger and more complex tasks parallel to the growth of your business.

Don’t Wait For a Content Crisis

Assembling a content team before an immediate need gives you the time and space to find writers that truly align with your needs. You can put up a few small projects as try out pieces to narrow down candidates, or solicit guidance from platform professionals to laser-focus on the “write stuff” for your needs.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ghostwriters aren’t fantastic for that unexpected crunch time — you know, when that big project is looming — but planning ahead takes a lot of stress out of the equation.

There’s no time like the present — get started today and discover the perfect writer for your brand. You’ll be glad you did the next time you’re facing down a deadline and your in-house team is running on coffee fumes.

Meghan McKenzie

Meghan heads up Enterprise Sales with Crowd Content and comes with 10 years of sales and marketing experience. She loves selling awesome writing services that are proven to work, because she'd rather express herself through eating cheese and drinking wine and leave the writing to the pros.

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