Voxate Writing & Editing

South African Writer, Copywriter and Editor
Browsing Content Writing

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Ghost Writer

June28

What is a Ghost Writer?

A ghost writer is a professional writer that handles all of the research and writing of your text, but publishes it under your name; not assuming any of the credit for themselves. They should have a fair amount of experience with research and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure that their services add value to your business and product.

Pros

  1. Professional content – by paying an experienced, qualified writer to generate your content, you’re assured of well-researched and -written material. A good ghost writer may even do research into your target market and competitors, adding loads of value to the content that they produce for your company.
  2. Efficiency – when you have a world of to-do’s and a diary that looks like someone with a sense of humour doodled abstract art into it, you don’t have time to worry about posting well-thought-out blogs. Paying someone to do it means it will (should) happen as quickly and regularly as you need. Tim Ferris is my business go-to and owes a lot of his success to delegating to those who can do a better job in less time.
  3. Focus – by allowing a professional writer to handle the research and writing of the content of your website and blog, you get to focus on what you do best – your actual job. This makes your job less stressful while not compromising on getting the blog-slog done.
  4. SEO – a good ghost writer will know about SEO and how to get it to work for you. This takes research and a keen understanding of current trends in keyword analytics and indexing requirements. Leaving it to the professionals means getting it done right. Good SEO translates to more traffic and, ultimately, more exposure and / or sales.

Cons

  1. Preparation – you will need to spend some time giving your ghost writer a full brief to ensure that they really ‘get’ the brand and your objectives. Failing to do this will likely lead to content that isn’t quite on point.
  2. Preconceptions – there may be some preconceptions that getting a ghost writer to do the work is a kind of plagiarism or, at least, a shirking of your responsibility. It’s my advice to keep it on the low-down if it’s important to you that your market believes that the pieces are coming directly from you.
  3. Expense – hiring a good ghost writer will add to your expenses. Still, these have to be weighed against the value that they can add to your business.

In addition

  1. Style – something to consider is that every writer has his or her own style, and you’ll need to ensure that the one you hire has a style that is consistent with your brand and profile.
  2. Final say – it is crucial that your ghost writer knows and accepts that you, as the client, have the final say over what gets written and published. It is your reputation at stake.
  3. Source – some really busy ghost writers outsource their work to others. Be aware of this and have the conversation with your potential writers so that you’re absolutely comfortable with who will be writing what.
  4. Contract – have a clear, concise contract in place before starting any project. In here, it should stipulate that you have ownership of the material once it has been paid for.
  5. Use of the text – if your ghost writer wants to use the content that they’ve produced for you for references or their portfolio, it should first be discussed with and agreed upon by you.

 

SEO For Dummies (We’ve All Been Dummies At Some Point)

November27

Writing websites and blogs for a living, I meet with plenty of different people, selling different things to different target markets. Still, every one of them needed great Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO). It’s what gets your website noticed, drives traffic.

Wikipedia says:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.

In the “old days” (you know, three years ago, or so), we used to cram the site and its content with keywords and phrases. If it was the website of a guesthouse, we would make sure that there were (sometimes gratuitous) mentions of “guest house, tourism, accommodation, holiday accommodation, cape town accommodation, beach house, destination, travel, south african accommodation” and so on. This led to a repetitive style that was sometimes jarring and didn’t always flow well.

In recent years, though, the search engines (such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing) have demanded a far more reader-friendly approach to online content. In fact, it’s almost all about good quality, relevant, readable content these days. Instead of scanning the content for keywords and phrases, these search engines actually research websites for useful, informative content that is engaging and accurate.

This means that, as content writers, we have a massive responsibility to understand the target market of our clients, research the material well, and write really good content.

Here are some tips to ensure that your site achieves the best in terms of SEO:
content writing, search engine optimization

  • GOOD content is first and foremost – updated it frequently and focus on information that is 1) useful and 2) beneficial.
  • You still need intelligent, well planned keywords and phrases, but they should be used wisely and in a way that flows. This takes research, as you will need to understand what your target market is looking for, then use these words and phrases in the body of your website / blog as well as in your meta info.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of your title – don’t be cute or obtuse, write titles that contain your keywords and give readers a good idea of what they can expect. Include your title in your title tag and in your top level heading tag.
  • Steer clear of Flash or splash pages – these can sometimes block the search engine’s crawler. Rather, use images that have relevant descriptions, making use of your keywords.
  • Keep your coding clean – this makes it easier for the engines to crawl. So, keep your titles in the title / heading tags, the paragraphs in the paragraph tags, and so on.
  • Put your readers first– if you put your readers first, consider what they need and want to know, and are committed to providing them with this, the process will be organic. The search engines are far more likely to notice and rank your site. There are no shortcuts or cheats.
  •  


    wordpress hit counter