Sometimes it’s hard to communicate clearly on a topic you’re close to, which is why you need a ghost article writer to structure your expertise into a cohesive, compelling message. Read this article to learn:
🧁What is ghost content writing?
🧁What is a ghostwritten article?
🧁How do you ghost write an article?
🧁Ghost writing examples
🧁How are ghostwriters acknowledged?
What is ghost content writing?
Ghost content writing is a service that smart organisations use to generate thought leadership content. It doesn’t require you to take senior leaders or subject matter experts out of the business to draft content – only share 30(ish) minutes of their time to brief a professional ghostwriter, who creates the content on their behalf.
Think about using ghost content writing to create:
What is a ghostwritten article?
I collaborate with senior leaders and subject matter experts who are bursting with ideas and opinions but lack the time or skill to write it down in an article. Ghostwriting articles is a way to share these valuable insights, while removing the writing burden from the individual.
A ghost article writer will interview the individual, extract their thoughts, and put ‘pen to paper’ on their behalf. Even though the ghost article writer has created the content, it is by-lined to the senior leader/subject matter expert when published.
Typically, a ghostwritten article is 1,000 – 1,500 words. Any longer and you should consider whether an article is the right format, or if those insights are better shared through a report or white paper.
How do you ghost write an article?
Every article ghost writer will have evolved their own process. The following is mine:
Step 1: get the topic (or at least a rough idea of what the individual wants to talk about) and perform a 30(ish) min interview.
It’s rare that I have a client with a fully formed idea of what they want their article to discuss – it tends to evolve following the briefing and subsequent research.
To get the insights I need, I will perform a 30(ish) minute interview with you. I send on the questions ahead of time in case you want/need to think about what you’d like to cover. However, I find that most people are comfortable to just talk, and I’ll simply prompt them if they don’t naturally cover off the details I need.
During this time together, I will also note specific words, phrases and anecdotes you use. When it comes to writing the copy, I will use these to ensure it sounds authentic, so your audience doesn’t realise you used a professional ghostwriter.
Step 2: structure my notes to find the key discussion threads and figure out what the overall theme for the article could be.
I end every briefing with about 30-pages of notes, which are full of golden nuggets of information. My job is to go through and start to categorise different discussion topics and see if there is a common theme.
For example, if a client talked about organisational silos, technology debt and culture, I could hang the article on an overall theme of business agility.
This also makes it easy to discard information that doesn’t support the narrative – but I always save it in case it’s useful on a subsequent article.
Step 3: perform extensive research to back up any ideas/opinions/claims. Additionally, research keywords if this hasn’t been supplied by the client.
While everyone has ideas and opinions, to give them credibility they need to be backed by research. Therefore, once I have the discussion topics and theme, I begin the process of deep research. Typically, I spend about half a day trawling through surveys, reports, and analyst commentary to find lovely data that strengthens my client’s credibility.
In addition, if the client hasn’t provided SEO analysis, I will perform my own keyword research. This also proves useful to see what the media and competitors are saying on the topic when people are searching, because I can see how to position the article, so it stands out.
Step 4: create a skeleton for the article to highlight the key messages and then record an accompanying video to talk the client through the narrative.
This is the most key step in my process because it’s where I ensure there’s alignment between what’s in my head and my client’s.
When I send the skeleton over for review, you’ll receive a document that has an overview on page 1, and then goes into more detail with my full notes and supporting research. I do this because some people simply want to know the highlights, while others need to see more detail.
In addition, I record an accompanying Loom video to talk you through the skeleton, explaining what the narrative is, emphasising key messaging, and highlighting why certain things may be presented in a certain way to reflect the brand guidelines.
Step 5: once the skeleton is approved, write up version 1, with references/links to the supporting research/analyst commentary, and send for review.
This is the part of the process I really love because I get to put my head down and write. Because I’ve done so much work upfront, getting the rough draft down is relatively easy. It then gets more challenging as I go back through to edit, refine, and optimise the copy until I have a first draft that’s ready for review.
Step 6: incorporate any feedback/amends.
Finally, I will wait to receive any feedback and make the necessary amends before sending a second version through for review.
Ghost writing examples
The awkward thing about being a ghost article writer is that your work is usually covered by client non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). This means I’m not allowed to share the work I do, and in many cases, to not even say who I work with.
However, in the past I have had a few brave clients who were willing to talk about collaborating with me. Therefore, you can see some ghost writing examples in my case studies…
Alternatively, I do have some ghost writing examples that clients have allowed me to share privately. Say hello! and I’ll forward them on.
How are ghostwriters acknowledged?
As a ghostwriter, you are not acknowledged. Your job is simply to articulate someone else’s thoughts, ideas and opinions.
To not be acknowledged for your work might sound a little strange, but one of the greatest pleasures I get is seeing a client proudly post ‘their’ article on LinkedIn and engage in the resulting conversations.
Professional ghostwriting services
Ghost article writers for hire
If you’re looking to hire a ghost article writer, why not get in touch? I’d love to hear about your project, and even if I can’t help, I can introduce you to a fellow fabulous freelancer who can!