I liked reading Content Marketing Institute’s article about not getting “spooked” by the thought of using “ghost bloggers”, meaning outsourcing business blog content creation to professional content writers. (Sure, I have skin in that game, but I thought the author fairly represented both the question that might arise and the answer to it.)
The concern: “It won’t sound like us” (like myself or like my company or practice). Companies are making great efforts to express their personal brand, explains Content Marketing Institute’s Linda Dessau, and they want to make sure the copy is an authentic express of not just their ideas, but their tone of voice, vocabulary, and personality.
Dessau’s answer: “Ideally, the ghost blogging process includes a conversation between the author and the ghost blogger. By transcribing and/or recording this interview, the writer can retain not only all of the nuggets of wisdom, but the language and personality of the subject matter expert.”
Over the years of working with Say It For You clients, I’ve been able to formulate some answers of my own to the ghost blogging concern:
No question – company executives and business owners should be their own best bloggers. After all, they understand their companies or their practices and are passionate about them, two important requisites for great blogging for business. But, while that’s the theory, in practice that almost never happens. Why?
1. No time: They’re too busy. Just about everyone in the company already has a lot to do. Keeping up with writing blog posts is just too overwhelming.
2. No discipline (not for writing, anyway): Not everyone enjoys writing and not everyone, therefore, keeps blogging at the top of the priority list.
3. No skills: Although business owners and execs may be highly effective communicators in meetings, often they lack the writing and computer skills to create an ongoing, effective blog.
We ghost bloggers do something more, I believe, than just “filling in” these “no time, no discipline, no skill” gaps. In one of the earliest books I ever read about blogging, “What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting”, Mikal Belicove stresses that content writers help their clients “jump-start the process by articulating their thoughts and ideas.”
In other words, Belicove emphasizes, a professional ghost blogger adds a lot more to the mix than just labor. “He or she provides insight and clarity in taking ideas from a rough format and working them into a post that makes sense and has value.”
As one Say It For You client put it, “Say It For You helped me, a numbers guy, put into words what I knew in my heart but couldn’t verbalize.
Could it be that, when the process is working well, we ghost bloggers can sound more like the business owner than the business owner him or herself!