Ask GWA: Hiring Ghostwriters

Questions Image Credit: AllThingsDI want to hire a ghostwriter for a long-term writing project for my small business. I am not really sure how to go about it and what to look for in a potential hire. Any advice?

-Jacob Miller, Hartford, Conn, USA

Ghostwriting is a unique way to get your voice out there to your customers without actually using your voice, per se. With that being said, it is important to make sure you make the right hire. Here are some tips we have learned over the years from our own ghostwriting projects.

1. Type of work: It is great that you know that this is going to be a long-term project, but you didn’t specify what type of ghostwriting you are looking to do. Most ghostwriters specialize in one or more types of writing. If you are looking for someone to write blog posts, e-newsletters or social media, you need to hire a ghostwriter who specializes in online content writing, with an emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO). The same is true if you want to hire ghostwriters to work on books, reports, technical manuals, white papers, articles, and other written content.

2. The length of time: Make sure you and your hired ghostwriter understand and agree upon the length of time it will take to complete a project. If it is a finite project, make sure to set a deadline, requirements and expectations in the contract.

3. Budget: Be upfront about what you can afford so you can find the best possible match in a ghostwriter that fits your budget.

4. Samples and References: Of course you should read samples of the potential hire’s work and get references. Because of the confidential nature of the ghostwriting business, you might have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before seeing the samples or talk to references.

5. Voice, Style and Tone: It is important to find a ghostwriter you have a good working relationship with, especially regarding the style and tone of the writing. When reviewing samples from potential hires, make sure their writing style and voice matches yours.

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