Won’t You Please Come Into My Blog

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to introduce what you have to offer to new customers of the right kind (the kind that have a need for and who will appreciate your services and products).  That’s exactly what having a corporate blog is designed to do.  Through the search engine optimization process, potential customers searching online for your type of product or service get to your blog. Then, when they read the very relevant information you’ve provided there, these buyers go to your website, and decide to do business with your company.  Your blog is one important way of inviting customers in to take a look.
Since marketing plays such an important role in my work as a ghost blogger, I’m always on the lookout for information on that subject.  A couple of weeks ago, I attended a mini-seminar about trade show marketing, given by marketing programs specialist Kathleen Haley. The presentation was called “Making Event Participation Work For Your Business.”  I was amazed how much of what Haley shared about effective use of a trade show booth can be directly applied to using a business blog effectively.  I’m going to talk about just one of those marketing ideas today, but I’ll come back to some other ideas I learned in future “Say It For You” blogs.
Don’t sit behind a table. The table becomes a barrier, Haley pointed out.  Make it easy and inviting for customers to come inside your booth, away from the flow of trade show traffic.  Inside, you can talk to them, find out their needs, and share ideas with them.
You want your blog to function like a great trade show booth.  Customers are looking for some information or perhaps for a provider of a service or product that relates to your business.  That’s why they’re at the “trade show” (meaning online on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN).  So, the customers arrive at your blog “booth”, where they read or see something that draws their interest and appears as if it might fit their needs. (That, of course, is where having lots of appealing, fresh content in your blog is so important). 
Right there is the crucial moment in the process – the customer needs to come inside the booth (meaning click on to your website). Once you have customers inside your website, you get the chance to find out more about them and help them find out more about you.  That just doesn’t happen outside the booth; it happens only when the client gets inside the website.  The key to inviting them in is your blog. In a very real sense, this analogy of the booth sums up my work as a ghost blogger.  I help you say to your customers, “Won’t you please come on in?”


From Meat to Mustard

A professional writer myself, I derive special pleasure out of a nicely turned phrase, a “word tidbit”, if you will.  And, while driving to an appointment with one of my clients the other day, I caught a really nice word tidbit on the radio.  The station was offering a New York Times news story about rising food prices. Now, inflation is a really serious subject, and I’m as concerned as the next person about spending more and more hard earned dollars at the grocery store. So, I didn’t like hearing news about food costing more and more. But I did like the way in which the reporter delivered that news.   Shoppers are going, he announced, “from meat to mustard”.  Wow! Four small words, and what a punch those words packed!  As much as I enjoy mustard on my meat, the image his words produced of my needing to eat mustard in place of meat really drove home the message about food prices.
The rest of the ride, I reflected how big a difference skillful use of language can make in every aspect of life.  In particular, since I was on my way to see a business owner, I thought about how, sometimes, in doing business, we get so tied up in manufacturing a good, marketable product, and in serving our customers’ needs, that we forget how much help the right words can be. In fact, when it comes to web-based communication, words, along with pictures, are a business’ only tools.
And that – that’s what a ghost blogger does for a living – works with words, turns phrases, tries to find words with the Wow Factor to “Say It For You”!  


Ghost Blogging Gets The Girl

As I explained in my last “Say It For You” blog, I’m part of a small, elite group of specialty writers for hire as part of a business’ marketing plan. The goal – “win the search” by moving the client’s business listing higher on Google (or Yahoo or MSN).

While reasons for using ghostwriters include lack of time and lack of discipline, many celebrities and public figures throughout history used ghost writers because, despite having subject knowledge and valuable opinions to tell the world, they themselves weren’t confident in their own writing abilities. We find a famous fictional example of this in Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac, in which Christian woos Roxanne with love letters ghostwritten by Cyrano.  It’s a classic ghostwriting scenario – Christian’s got the looks, the cash, and the lineage, to win the hand of Roxanne.  But Christian’s tongue-tied – he can’t write to save his soul!  His friend Cyrano, cursed with an outrageously long nose, but blessed with amazing talent as a wordsmith, composes the love letters, up to and including the marriage proposal clincher.

The end of the plot is bittersweet, with Christian riding off into the sunset with the beautiful Roxanne, leaving poor Cyrano, far abler with both  words and swords,  single and very much “Home Alone”.

Ghostwriting isn’t typically aimed at getting the girl, but modern ghost blogging can help “Say It For You”, win the search, and get the business!


Ghost Blogging in the Tradition of the Founding Fathers

As a ghost blogger, I’m part of a small, elite group of specialty writers for hire.  Web articles, or “blogs”, although fairly new to the business marketplace, play a key role in any savvy modern marketing plan.  The goal – “win the search” by moving your business listing higher on Google (or Yahoo or MSN).  That way, when potential customers are looking for your type of product or service – they see your blog, leading to your website.  They read the very relevant information you’ve provided (skillfully expressed on your behalf by our ghost blogger), and decide to stick around and do business with your company.
While ghost blogging is fairly new, ghostwriting itself has a long, proud history.  The reasons for using ghostwriters are essentially the same now as they were back then. Celebrities or public figures didn’t have the time, discipline, or writing skill to create a book, a speech, an autobiography, an article, or even an important letter, so they hired writers to do these things for them. Those are the exact reasons business owners hire others to ghostwrite blogs, newsletters, or newspaper columns – no time, not enough discipline or writing skills to do it themselves.
I was especially gratified to learn that my newest professional pursuit is in the tradition of no less a personage than the first president of the United States.  Yes, George Washington used several very famous ghostwriters, including Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, no less, to compose his political speeches and writings.  And, while I don’t count myself in the same league as these “Greats”, like them, I “Say It For You”!


How ‘Say It For You’ Blog Was Born

I’m Rhoda, and I’ve been a writer for thirty years.  If you visit my website at www.sayitforyou.net,, you’ll learn that for many years I wrote financial advice columns for Indianapolis Business Journal, Indianapolis StarColumbian magazine, and Radius Magazine.  Along the way, I composed travelogues and even some poetry for Mensa newsletters, and wrote motivational speeches to deliver at Toastmasters and at my investment seminars. Every word of these articles, poems, and speeches was written by me and appeared under my own byline.

Two years ago, with me now retired from my financial planning practice, my writing took a new and exciting turn.  I realized that, with the development of Internet commerce, marketing is more about driving business to websites than about people driving to stores.  Web logging, or “blogging” for short, was first used to share thoughts and carry on discussions.  Now blogs, I learned, have turned into a powerful marketing tool, part of Search Engine Optimization, drawing traffic to business websites.

And that’s where I saw a way to turn a problem into a professional opportunity.  All my business owner friends know that writing blogs in their area of expertise can help get their websites to pop up on Page 1 or page 2 on a Google search instead of on Page 19 or 20.  But how many small business owners have time to compose and post regular blogs?  Eureka!!  I had fixed on the perfect way to combine my love of writing with my considerable experience in marketing. (Psst!  Can you keep a secret?) I became a ghost blogger, and “Say It For You” was born.

What qualities make for a great ghost blogger?  Drill sergeant discipline, for one.  Web rankings are based on frequency of posting new content, so blogging must be kept up faithfully, using search terms in the blog that lead web users to you.  A ghost must use her “third ear”, hearing not only what you want to say, but picking up on your unique style of saying it.  That way, the ghost can speak your message, in your ”voice”, to your customers. A good ghost blogger should not, herself, be seen or heard!

In short, what do I do? Simply put, I Say It For You!