Ghost writing - how hard it to find that perfect ghost?

In doing obsessive time-logging in order to see everything I’m working on in a given week, one of the things my time logs has revealed to me is that I spend too much time WRITING. So… copy for IG posts, copy for FB posts, copy for new blog posts…

I’d consider seeking a ghost writer, but I have no idea where to start with this and honestly, it scares me a little bit. It’s one of those tasks that I feel could never be passed over to anyone but myself.

Has anyone here crossed over into the world of hiring a ghost writer? I’d love to hear about how the process went and I think maybe I need to hear that it is possible to find someone to mimic my writing.

Hey Megan!

Lots of thoughts on this. :slight_smile:

I’ve worked doing writing in a variety of capacities for a variety of industries and did for a food blogger, so have seen lots of sides of how this works.

So, actually, I think that for most food bloggers hiring an EDITOR or something like a COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER and not a writer would be much easier and more beneficial. Then you can sit down and quickly write out whatever you want and it will be in your voice, and the other person will edit for grammar and clarity, or with a comms person, do editing, scheduling, managing the whole shebang.

If you hired a hire a writer, you do then have to spend time creating a style guide and making sure they can match it. You will still have to do either extensive notes or editing, as the person writing won’t know about your recipe. You’ll likely have to shift the way/when you create your recipes, etc. to give the writer plenty of time to write. IDK, feels way more complicated to me for where most food bloggers are at with their businesses.

With and editor, you would write everything, and send it over. So it would be in your voice, and would be what you wanted to say. For most people the writing doesn’t take as much time as editing anyway. It seems like this structure would also cost less.

For something like a communications manager (or there are social media managers, etc.) they could take on editing, scheduling, brainstorming for the future with you. There are probably some VA’s who do this also.

When I started working with food bloggers, everyone seems to using the term “VA” almost exclusively, where outside this industry there seems to be a wider range of titles and what someone might be hired to do.

I think it really goes back to what do you want to do in your business, and how do you want to define it all? How important is it that everything is from you specifically? What are some of your ultimate goals? I wouldn’t stop writing just because it takes a lot of time. Writing is a fundamental part of being a blogger :slight_smile: And yes, it takes tons of time. But, if you don’t like it or feel that you want to focus your time in your business elsewhere, then it’s something to think about doing!

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Such a great reply, Bethany! You are SO right in saying that our writing is a fundamental part of what we do. For blog posts, I love the idea of writing a few paragraphs in my voice and allowing someone else to fill in the technical details. For Instagram or FB, though? I feel like someone could easily tap into my writing on social platforms. With that said… I have a VERY hard time letting anyone touch my IG account for some reason, so I might need therapy to get beyond that, ha!

You’ve given me a lot to think about! Thank you!

That’s a great idea to the basics down and hire someone to fill in the rest!

@megan

I’m hopping in a bit later but thought I would share my perspective because I have quite a bit of experience hiring writers for food bloggers.

I think the biggest indicator of whether you’re ready for a writer or not is how you feel about letting go of some control. I’ve found that food bloggers who tend to be a little more controlling and perfectionistic have a harder time with writers. It’s almost as if the writer can never meet their expectations. But if you’re open-minded and allow the writer to do their thing and just review and give feedback… it’s a HUGE time-saver. I think there’s a readiness that develops naturally over time. As food blogging businesses grow, it’s just not possible for the blogger to do everything forever and there seems to be a tipping point where the risk of letting go of some control is worth the time that’s saved writing (especially if writing isn’t in your Zone of Genius).

To help you figure out who can mimic your writing, here’s what I recommend: After you review the applications, I recommend selecting 8 to 10 candidates to submit a work sample (write a section of a blog post and do a bit of editing like updating a portion of an old blog post) to see who naturally matches your voice.

There are almost always three or four candidates who emerge as a pretty natural fit. If you review their work samples and you wouldn’t have to give much feedback, those are the candidates you should interview.

Professional writers are incredible at picking up things like your style, tone of voice and branding naturally. If they can execute a work sample that’s pretty close to what you want, it’s a good indicator that they would be easy to work with because you wouldn’t have to give a lot of feedback.

One of the things I’ve learned from interviewing about 25 writers in the last year or so is that from the writer’s perspective, each of their clients wants something different in terms of SEO so it’s better to focus on finding a high-quality, professional writer and not an SEO writer. As I’ve reflected on this distinction, I think what it comes down to is that people who are experts in SEO tend to be more analytical/technical and writers are more creative and can implement the SEO strategies that are important to you.

Last thing… I have a writer who helps me with my content. She does a combination of writing and editing. (I found her by following the work sample process I outlined above.) Whenever I have specific information that I need her to include, I record an audio note on Voxer to her. This works well for food bloggers with recipe notes, too. It’s way faster for them to talk into their phone for a few minutes with some of the tips and tricks that the writer needs to incorporate.

I hope this is helpful to you and other food bloggers.

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Wow, this is such helpful information! I love that you pointed out to find a high-quality professional writer as opposed to just an SEO writer. Thanks for writing this out, @emilyperron!

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Yes, Megan, You are right and it is very hard to find the right person for Ghost Writing and I would suggest to go with The Writing Crew team it is very professional for ghostwriting and has been experienced with this great team. But Overall thanks for sharing this great fact.

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