You’ve probably heard of ghost writers - those who write autobiographies for celebrities - and you might well wonder whether this service is available for all types of content writing.
The answer is yes! In fact, many web pages and blogs are penned by ghost writers. So what is ghost blogging and how does it work? Let's find out.
Table of contents
- What is ghost blogging?
i. Is ghost blogging ethical?
- What is ghost writing?
i. What's in a name? A brief history of ghost writing
- Why use ghost blogging?
- Who uses ghost bloggers?
- How to hire bloggers
- Say goodbye to ghost blogging guilt
What is ghost blogging?
There’s nothing spooky about ghost bloggers! Ghost blogging is a form of ghost writing. It's when a writer creates content, such as blog posts, articles and other written materials, for another person or organisation without receiving a by-line (or named credit) for their work. Instead, the content is usually published under the name of the person or organisation that hired the ghost blogger, giving the impression that the author wrote the content themselves.
Ghost blogging helps the individual or organisation establish a strong online presence and reputation by producing high-quality content that resonates with their target audience. Ghost bloggers are commonly hired by businesses, public figures, politicians and other individuals who want to maintain a consistent voice and image on their blog or website but do not have the time, skills or resources to write the content themselves.
Is ghost blogging ethical?
Yes! The practice of ghost blogging is standard procedure in many companies. As such, it's completely ethical so long as the ghost blogger is being paid for their services and understands in advance that they will cede over copyright and authorship to the business upon payment. This is usually stated in the contract or terms and conditions.
What is ghost writing?
Just like ghost logging, a ghost writer is a professional writer who is hired to write on behalf of someone else, without receiving credit for their work.
General ghost writers can operate in any field such as fiction writing, corporate speech writing, social media marketing and drama writing, unlike bloggers which are strictly online article writers.
They are often used when the client does not have the time, skills, or inclination to write the content themselves or when they want to maintain their anonymity or privacy. The writer works closely with the client to understand their ideas, voice and intended message and then uses their writing skills to create content that meets the client's needs.
What's in a name? A brief history of ghost writing
Ghost writing has been a common practice for years, particularly in mass-market fiction and non-fiction books. It's especially the case when certain books become popular and turn into long-running series:
- R. L. Stine was the author of the Goosebumps series of children's novels but it's generally assumed that a number of ghost writers also worked on the later titles, when the series became more prolific, to allow for continuity.
- Prince Harry recently used the renowned ghost writer J. R. Moehringer to write his autobiography Spare.
It’s not just books where ghost writers are drafted in, either:
- Elton John has a well-known association with the ghost writer Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for Candle In The Wind and Tiny Dancer.
- Former American President Barack Obama partnered with Jonathan Favreau, who was employed as his Director of Speech Writing.
Why use ghost blogging?
There are a number of benefits to using ghost bloggers, including:
- Helps increase online visibility: Online presence is an important part of any business’ marketing strategy, and drawing people in with inviting content is a great way to build a customer base. A well-written blog that follows an SEO strategy helps your website rank higher in search engine results, educate readers and attract potential new customers.
- Saves time: We live in a busy world, where we’re juggling our obligations every minute of the day. Generating a quality blog takes time, which you may prefer to hand over to someone else.
- Removes barriers to communication: Even the most successful business owner may feel less than confident about their writing ability. Hiring a ghost blogger, who will have impeccable written English, avoids the risk of readers seeing poor-quality text on your website.
- Demonstrates expertise: Ghost bloggers can either research specialist subject areas themselves or take your expert knowledge and produce insightful articles that demonstrate your credibility and leadership in the field.
Maintains consistency: Maintaining a consistent blogging schedule is important for building and engaging with an audience. Ghost bloggers can help ensure that content is produced and published on a regular basis, with the same consistent brand voice, even if you don't have the time or resources to do so yourself.
Protects anonymity: In some cases, individuals may prefer to maintain anonymity or distance themselves from the content they publish online. Ghost blogging allows them to do this by having someone else write and publish content on their behalf.
Builds brand identity: Blogs are a great way for a company to interact with their audience. Brands use them to discuss opinions, give feedback and market products. Ghost bloggers can help individuals and organisations develop a consistent voice and tone that aligns with their brand and resonates with their target audience.
Who uses ghost bloggers?
Anyone can use a ghost blogger and people request the services of a ghost blogger for all sorts of reasons. Here are just some types of people and institutions who use ghost bloggers:
Business owners and entrepreneurs: Many business owners and entrepreneurs use ghost bloggers to create content for their company blog or website. This allows them to maintain a consistent online presence and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
Public figures and celebrities: Public figures, such as politicians, actors and musicians, may use ghost bloggers to create content for their personal websites or social media accounts. This can help them maintain a positive image and engage with their audience.
Nonprofit organisations: Charities and NPOs may use ghost bloggers to create content for their website or social media accounts to help raise awareness about their cause and engage with supporters.
Freelance writers: Even freelance writers sometimes hire ghost bloggers to create content for their clients. This can help them scale their services with them providing guidance and feedback to the writers they hire.
Marketing and PR agencies: Marketing and PR agencies may use ghost bloggers to create content for their clients as part of their content marketing or SEO strategies.
E-commerce businesses: E-commerce businesses may use ghost bloggers to create product descriptions, category descriptions and other content to help improve their website's SEO and engage with their audience.
Do any of those reasons resonate with you? Then hiring a ghost blogger might be the best solution to your blogging needs.
How to hire bloggers
The problem for prospective professional blog owners is that keeping a blog updated and relevant is hard work. It requires a time commitment, which many struggle to meet, and each blog needs to be unique and individual. Someone not used to blogging might struggle with this obligation, especially with a developing brand to take care of. This is where the ghost blogger can step in and help.
Here are some tips on how to start a blog with a ghost blogger:
Freelancer websites: Dedicated freelancer websites can be a good place to find ghost bloggers. You can search for writers who specialise in your industry or niche, review their writing samples, and read reviews from previous clients.
Job boards: Job boards often have listings for freelance writers and ghost bloggers. You can post a job listing and receive applications from writers who are interested in the job.
Social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can be a good place to find ghost bloggers. You can search for writers in your industry or post a job listing to your network.
Referrals: Ask for referrals from colleagues or other professionals in your industry. They may know of a skilled ghost blogger who can meet your needs.
Content marketing agencies: Content marketing agencies often have a team of skilled writers who can create content for your blog or website. They can provide ongoing content creation and management services that include ghost blogging.
When looking for a ghost blogger, it's important to review their writing samples, references and work history to ensure they have the skills and experience to meet your needs. It's also important to set clear expectations and terms for the project, including deadlines, payment terms and ownership of the content.
Read More: How to start a blog
Say goodbye to ghost blogging guilt
One reason some brands dither over hiring ghost bloggers is that they feel that they’re deceiving their readers in some way. However, whether a company employs its writing talent in-house, uses an agency or a ghost blogger/freelancer, most brands use the services of other professionals in some way. The brand is the concept and the professional services they employ are the ticket to help them manifest those ideals.
After all, your audience deserves the best possible content you can provide, keeping them entertained and engaged with your brand. A professional writer has the time and resources to make a significant difference to your online presence and your business. When you use a ghost blogger, you're getting the skills of a professional freelance writer who has worked for years to hone their craft, while also staying anonymous, so you can use their talent to bolster your brand identity.
What's more, ghost bloggers do the profession for a reason. They usually enjoy the variety of being asked to write about a range of topics which they may not come across in their everyday lives. Each job is an opportunity to sharpen their skill set and versatility. That means they tend not to mind that they’re not getting their name on a blog about blisters, or the best way to unblock a toilet! The important thing for a ghost blogger is doing a great job so that you’ll come back and hire them again.
✏️Ready to hire a blogger for your business? Contact us at Copify today to find out how our professional blogging services can benefit you.
Main image credit: Toa Heftiba
Image credits: Thomas Lefebvre, picography.co, Jose Vazquez