As the founder of a content generation firm, I hear this question all the time. And as a small business owner myself, I completely understand why it’s asked. When you build a business from scratch you eat, breathe, sleep every bit of your company. You soak up your industry and you thrive on the latest developments. When you are a bootstrap like we are, it’s even worse.
So How Does a Ghostblogger Get to know Your Company?
Ghostwriting or ghostblogging is similar to acting. Have you ever watched those behind the scenes extras on DVDs or taken an acting class? If so you know all about how an actor asks questions and pays close attention to detail. That’s what ghostbloggers do. Except in their case, the movie is your company and the part they are playing lasts much longer than a few weeks.
The first step in any ghostblogging venture is to familiarize the writer with your company. This is typically done with a voice document or short questionnaire, where the writer asks specific questions about your company. We tend to ask questions that pertain to your views about your company and your business goals.
“What are 3 adjectives you would love to hear a client use to describe your company?”
“What are 3 adjectives you would hate to hear a client use to describe your company?”
“How would you describe what your company does to a child?”
“If you had an unlimited budget, what would your company do next?”
When we do this it allows us to get a better idea of where you are and where you are going. Most of our clients have an existing website for us to peruse, but if they don’t we ask more specific questions about their offerings/products.
The crucial next step to forming conceptually unique content is for the writer to know your industry. This is what separates run of the mill content writers from true professionals. When a ghostblogger invests time into your industry, they can then easily add to the discussion.
As you can imagine this, is an ongoing process. That’s why the most successful company-ghostblogger relationships are long term and based on constant communication and frank discussion.
With any small business, the crux of your success begins with you. You are the visionary, the person driving the train. That’s why understanding your particular views are essential to ghostwriting.
Thanks to the internet, there are a lot of options when it comes to sharing your particular views. We set up Skype chats or have long email discussions. Another option we use is to have clients record an mp3. They can do this via Skype or another service online.
This is especially helpful for those first 10-15 pieces you have sitting in your head but just don’t have the time to write yourself. Or, maybe you want to revamp your website content but want to walk the writer through the content of each page one at time. Recording an audio can be a great use of time. We encourage clients just to turn it on and let loose, the writer will organize it for you.
Feedback is essential in any content writing or ghostblogging relationship. Be cautious of any writer that balks to specific critiques. The more you pore over the early pieces, the more you can trust your content writer down the road.
At the end of the day any type of writing service is about both skill and efficiency. You have enough on your plate without worrying about the latest developments in content generation. You also are paying for the piece of mind that your ghostwriter is speaking accurately for you, your company and your industry – thereby freeing you up to grow your business exactly the way you want.
Are you a content writer? What sort of questions do you ask your clients? Are you shopping for a ghostblogger? What’s holding you back?
This post was written by Amie, the founder of ContentEqualsMoney.com. If you would like to contact her directly about content writing for your small business, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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