The past few months have been an incredible learning experience. I’ve dived into freelance writing with both feet and immersed myself in a world unlike any I’ve ever known. The great news is that I’m not alone. There are an incredible amount of freelance writers making a living in the field. It means fierce competition, but it also means other writers can understand my struggle.
Ghostwriting has been unexpectedly difficult. It’s what I want to do and I’m skilled at ghostwriting, but to be honest, I’ve discovered that many individuals and companies don’t understand how to work with a ghostwriter. I’ll warn you right off the bat, it is a different experience but if you’re looking for writing for your company and you want to keep the byline, a ghostwriter is in your future.
Being on this end of the equation, I’ll offer some tips and tricks to ensure that your experience working with a ghostwriter is as exceptional as possible.
Tip 1: Be Specific
If you have a specific idea in your head of what you want and you know exactly how it should look and read, you need to provide all of that information to your ghostwriter. Your ghostwriter cannot read your mind and needs you to give the guidance, detail, and direction to make sure you’re happy.
Tip 2: Accept Differences
No two writers write exactly the same way. We all have different quirks, ways of thinking, and writing techniques that give our writing a unique voice. You hired the ghostwriter because you saw something in their work and writing that you liked. Don’t try to turn your ghostwriter into your double. If you wanted someone who wrote differently, you should have hired them.
Tip 3: Provide Immediate Feedback
After your ghostwriter submits their first draft to you, provide them feedback quickly and give it all at once. Your ghostwriter spent time to quickly and efficiently write an article for you, the least you can do is provide feedback in the same efficient matter. And when providing feedback, please provide it all at once. Read the entire piece of content and give feedback all at one time. This way, you and your ghostwriter have to deal with fewer revisions.
Tip 4: Be Consistent
Ninety percent of the time your ghostwriter is a freelancer. That means they are looking for regular work. When you signed the contract and hired your ghostwriter, if you told him or her that you would have weekly work, then you need to give them weekly work. Ghostwriters rely on their client contracts to eat and live.
Tip 5: Allow a Trial Period
No Ghostwriter can write exactly how you want or expect the first time around. The first piece of content is probably going to be a struggle. You might have three or more revisions and edits. That’s okay. If you hired a great ghostwriter, they’ll pick up your feedback and implement it within the second article. By article three or four, feedback should be minimal and you should be cruising along.
Tip 6: Communicate Openly and Honestly
You’re probably never going to see your ghostwriter in person, and most of your communication will be through email. On both sides, the best thing you can do is open the lines of communication. If you don’t like something the ghostwriter did, tell them and be willing to accept the same feedback. Yes, you’re the employer but your ghostwriter can go to different clients if they feel the situation is not one conducive to their business.
Tip 7: Provide a Style Guide
Even if your style guide isn’t detailed, your ghostwriter will appreciate the information. It’s important to remember that ghostwriters have multiple clients and each client expects and likes a slightly different format. Some clients don’t like concluding paragraphs after lists. Some clients desire linking that calls out the original website while other clients want more subtle back linking. Your ghostwriter will most likely just choose a direction and then wait for feedback unless you give them a style guide up front.
It’s possible to have a great ghostwriter and client relationship. The secret to a good experience is understanding that your ghostwriter wants to make you happy and write how you want, but they are limited by the information they are given. No writer is perfect, and no ghostwriter will get it 100 percent right straight off the back. If you allow them to learn and grow with you, after a few articles, you’ll be set.