Harry Houdini used one. So did Johnnie Cochran. Sarah Palin hired her own, as did Naomi Campbell, Aretha Franklin, and (rumor has it) Alexandre Dumas. George Takei and Kerry Washington each have their own who specialize in social media.
Ghostwriters are the secret forces hired to write some of the most recognized literary works in the world, but they also mastermind magazine articles, web content, blogs, and so much more.
If you’ve ever wondered “what could a ghostwriter do for me?”, you’re about to discover that the answer is rather complex—and full of potential.
Ghostwriting at a Glance
Simply put, a ghostwriter is someone who creates content that will be published under someone else’s name. Some ghostwriters get a secondary byline or “title credit,” but most are sworn to secrecy and sign non-disclosure agreements banning them from ever claiming the final work.
Though the exact details vary from project to project, ghostwriters are most often the unseen, unrecognized talent that helps everyone from musicians to industry influencers to politicians build an audience and a reputation.
Ghostwriting as You Probably Know It
Ghostwriters are probably best known for being the talent behind celebrity tomes. When an A-lister wants to share their story, they bring on a professional writer who can turn a life’s work into a work of art. But that’s just the beginning of what a ghostwriter can do.
Politicians almost exclusively rely on ghostwriters to create stump speeches and translate policy—a writer may not come up with the answer to healthcare, but they can put legalese into layman’s terms, so their boss’s next press conference actually makes sense. Political ghostwriters may see to constituent correspondence too, writing response to letters regarding everything from immigration to traffic complaints to requests for arts funding.
The Business Case for Hiring Ghostwriters
Businesses often use ghostwriters, but rather than creating novels and political speeches, they’re focused on creating a wide variety of professional content.
When you’re already running yourself ragged trying to manage a growing company, the last thing you have time to do is sit down and write your weekly newsletter. Dashing off some bullet points and handing them off to a ghostwriter means you can offer your audience cohesive, on-brand content without stretching yourself ridiculously thin.
For entrepreneurs looking to establish a secure foothold in their industry, a guest post on a high-traffic site can work wonders, but only if that post is well-written and compelling. In this case, hiring an industry expert ghostwriter can do the trick.
Then there are on-site blog posts—the ones brands put on their own websites to help increase traffic, generate leads, and establish a rapport with consumers.
You’d be surprised how many big-name influencers, life coaches, CEOs, marketing directors, athletes, lifestyle gurus, Kardashians, and other notables employ a professional writer to turn their blogs into something special. Sometimes there’s an entire team of ghostwriters involved; one writer may specialize in the “color” posts while another will give authority to more technical content.
Social media is ripe for ghostwriting, too. While Kim Kardashian certainly posts her own selfies, she also has a social media team creating sponsored posts under her name, and she’s far from the only celebrity to do so. Many high-profile people understand the necessity of an ongoing, engaging online presence but few have the time to post regularly. A social media ghostwriter adopts their client’s personality and creates tweets, status updates, and promotional posts to help further the client’s reputation and career.
Even famous authors bring on help from time to time. Some have more ideas than they can feasibly execute, so they create detailed outlines and then allow ghostwriters to write the actual books. V. C. Andrews, an author known for her edgy work in the young adult category, passed away from breast cancer in the ’80s, but thanks to her family and a ghostwriter named Andrew Neiderman, Andrews’ legacy continues with new fiction books published for decades after her death.
How Ghostwriting Benefits Your Brand
First and foremost, ghostwriters save you time. Even if you’re a skilled scribe with tons of content under your belt, creating new pieces requires setting aside a chunk of your schedule, often repeatedly.
Do you have the resources to take your eyes of other projects and concentrate solely on content? Hire a ghostwriter and your book or blog will show up ready for your stamp of approval, and the timeline will likely be far more faster than if you had written the content yourself.
Secondly, ghostwriters know how words work. No sending off your book to a publishing company and then doing exhaustive rewrites because there’s a total lack of cohesion or numerous typos in every line. A pro writer or author can create a narrative and make your story flow from beginning to end.
Finally, partnering with a ghostwriter means double the ideas. You have someone to brainstorm with, someone who’ll tell you whether something’s working or not, and a voice of reason when you’re straying too far from the subject matter or not digging deep enough. If your ghostwriter is an expert in content marketing, you’ve also got someone who knows what will connect with online audiences and how you can make your writing SEO friendly.
The Transformative Power of Ghostwriting
One benefit of ghostwriting is so monstrously compelling it deserves its own callout. That benefit? An authoritative, trustworthy voice.
You may be downright deft with an Elmo Band-Aid, but if you break your arm, you’re going to see an actual doctor. If your car goes kaput, you take it to a mechanic, and if you need to get from Sacramento to Syracuse safely, you hire a trained pilot, not your cousin Ralph who once flew a drone.
The same principle applies to ghostwriting. Your message is only as strong as the words with which it’s conveyed; poor writing can easily obscure your story, while great writing can turn a fledgling idea into copy that converts.
If you’re a business that recently launched or is just entering a new niche, you might hire a ghostwriter to give your content clout. For instance, if you’re a DIY store that just expanded your catalog with a ton of security products, a ghostwriter who specializes in smart-home tech could create content that sounds authoritative and offers value an in-house writer couldn’t touch.
For businesses eager to compete, meaty content can lead to a huge boost in visibility. Authority, along with relevance and trust, is one of the three pillars of SEO, meaning it plays a major role in how search engines like Google will rank your site.
Check out this post for some ideas on how you can find a writer that has that niche expertise you need to build authority in your content.
Hire a Ghostwriter and Give Your Ideas a Chance to Shine
Across the board, ghostwriters deliver content that’s authoritative and trustworthy. When something is written well, it’s easy to believe—how quickly do you dismiss a blog with a typo in the title or nonsensical sentence in the first paragraph?
Ghostwriters are experts, so they also write more efficiently, more effectively, and they’re known for producing work that’s humorous, impactful, memorable, educational—whatever your heart desires.
If you’ve ever wanted to give your brand a leg up in terms of marketing or need help speeding up your writing projects, it’s time to consider having your content written by a ghostwriter.
Crowd Content’s platform gives you access to professional freelance writers who specialize in everything from Facebook posts to e-books to blogs. To connect with a ghostwriter, sign up today.