Content is a significant part of any business. Exceptional words help get your messages out into the world, and those words need to match the voice and tone you’ve created with your mission and vision. But you may not have the time or capacity to take on writing yourself. You know you need quality copy, but you’re unsure how to start.
A great option is ghostwriting. Working with a ghostwriter gives you access to professional writing, and you still get the credit for the finished product. Ghostwriters are experts at what they do, and you can find one who aligns with your goals and budget in no time.
So what is a ghostwriter, and how much does a ghostwriter cost? This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about ghostwriting.
What Is Ghostwriting?
Let’s start with a simple definition. Ghostwriting is when a freelance writer creates copy for a client that gets published under that client’s name.
Writers may run a whole ghostwriting business where they take on one or more projects at a time. The writer’s goal is to blend their writing skills with the client’s voice, creating content that reflects the business and engages a specific audience. Ghostwriting is commonly used for everything from novels to nonfiction books and blog posts to white papers.
The ghostwriting process can take on a few different formats depending on your needs. If you have a rough outline or draft showing the key points you want to hit, a writer can come in and clean up your content. They take your ideas and make them shine with stellar copy.
Even if you don’t have any words on paper yet, you can convey your goals to the ghostwriter and give them some creative freedom. Freelance ghostwriters even take on researching and interviewing when needed. And you can always review and edit the final product before it’s released.
Sometimes the ghostwriter is credited in the final work, and sometimes they’re not. When celebrities write memoirs, for example, you may see the author’s name on the book cover alongside “with [celebrity name].” This means the ghostwriter likely wrote the entire book under the guidance and control of the book's celebrity author.
The Benefits of Ghostwriting Services
You may have a big vision for your content, and, in a perfect world, you would create everything yourself. But sometimes it’s just not possible, whether you lack the writing skills to produce high-quality content or don’t have the time. Put your trust in an experienced ghostwriter who can provide what you need on your timeline.
Ghostwriting services can bring many advantages to your business, helping you grow and keep your audiences engaged. Below are some of the biggest benefits of working with a ghostwriter.
Provides Businesses Access to Professional Writers
Not all organizations can hire an on-staff writer to generate marketing and sales content. A full-time writer can be expensive, and you may not need someone to work that many hours.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have access to great writing. A skilled ghostwriter is a professional, so you can rest assured that what you’re paying for will be quality copy aligned with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices and your brand’s voice. They can help you put out content when you need it, and they can work independently without much guidance.
Generates More Brand Awareness in Your Industry
Today’s businesses are all but required to have a robust digital presence. That’s why 97% of businesses say content marketing is part of their overall marketing strategy. Content is a cost-efficient way to reach people across many digital channels, including social media, email, blogging, landing pages, and search.
Level up your digital footprint with access to excellent writing. Fostering a strong online presence with a ghostwriter helps you build brand awareness and stand out against your competitors.
Aids Your Content Creation Needs, Such as Blog Posts and eBooks
Posting once in a while on social media and creating a website are important steps, but they’re not enough to make great connections with your online audience. You need to harness all the digital channels available to you for a stronger content marketing plan.
Freelance ghostwriters can help you expand the types of content you release, including articles, blog posts, ebooks, white papers, social media posts, email newsletters, and more. Talented writers can ensure all these moving parts work together to help you create a consistent online voice.
Types of Ghostwriters
So, what does a ghostwriter do? There are a few types of ghostwriters who can meet a range of content creation needs. Most ghostwriters you work with will be freelancers who take on projects contractually. You’ll agree on a payment structure upfront, whether by the word, hour, or a flat project fee. You may hire them again for another project or decide to work with them on a consistent long-term basis.
As mentioned above, some ghostwriters focus solely on book-length projects, like novels or memoirs. These freelancers work closely with their clients and usually have many interviews to get through, so they know what the book should cover. They typically take on just one big project at a time.
Other writers take on ghostwriting projects for politicians, namely speech writing. Some potential clients may look for a ghostwriter for a wedding or event speech they don’t know how to write.
Internet content ghostwriting has become very common across the board. These writers know how to implement online writing best practices, like SEO and getting Google to rank the content well. They understand the lengths each type of content needs to be and where to post it, and they can typically turn around content quickly. These writers may be working for several different clients at the same time.
All of these types of ghostwriters are experts in what they do. When considering cost, remember that newer ghostwriters will probably offer more affordable services than someone who’s been doing it for decades. The cost will also depend on the project you need — sometimes, you can pay a ghostwriter under $100 for a blog post, but for a book project, like a memoir, a writer can cost up to $70,000.
Tips on Hiring a Ghostwriter
Working with a freelance writer is a good idea when you don’t have the resources to produce quality content yourself. But how do you do it? Follow the steps below to get started.
Take Your Time
It’s crucial you hire the right person. Otherwise, the content you’re paying for may not be up to your standards, and you’ll have to hire someone else to fix it later.
Finding the right writer may take some time. Never rush a ghostwriting gig contract because you want to get your content quickly. Create a list of goals and the ideal qualifications a successful ghostwriter will have. Be thoughtful when conducting interviews. Make sure you feel very comfortable with the writer you hire.
Ask for Samples
Experienced ghostwriters should have work samples to send you before you hire them. Ask for examples of writing similar to what you need, like blog posts or white papers related to your industry. Ask if they’ve had a similar ghostwriting job in the past.
Evaluate Writing Skills and Writing Style
Pay close attention to the quality of the writing. Are there a lot of errors or awkward phrases? Is it easy to read? Will your audience be able to understand it? You may also want to ask for different types of writing to evaluate their ability to write in diverse voices and writing styles, especially if you need different content for each channel.
Make Your Needs and Expectations Clear
When you think you’ve found your ghostwriter, set up the partnership for success from the beginning. Clearly outline expectations. Tell them exactly what you need and what you don’t need. Be firm about the deadlines you’re working with, and make sure there are no misconceptions about the payment structure.
Are You Looking for a Ghostwriter?
Now that we've answered your primary question — "What is ghostwriting?" — you may be wondering how to hire a ghostwriter. You want to start by assessing your needs and determining the type of writer you want to work with. Be clear about your goals and expectations, and evaluate your budget.
You also want to ensure the ghostwriter you choose can produce your desired outcome. Stay aligned on your vision throughout the ghostwriting process.
Ghostwriting allows you to improve your online presence and engage your audiences with compelling content. Your business will benefit from the expertise of a ghostwriter without having to take on a full-time employee.
For exceptional ghostwriting services, turn to Compose.ly Marketing. Our experienced writers can help you create well-written, engaging messages to attract leads and inspire your audiences. We work closely with you to develop general copywriting, blog articles, ebooks, white papers, press releases, and more. Working with Compose.ly means you’ll get personalized content aligned with your business’s unique voice.