The Ghost-written Blog

One of the biggest controversies about blogging is whether it’s important for your organization’s thought leaders to do their own blogging, or whether it’s smarter to have a professional blogger. There’s no controversy about the value of blogging. A new collection of statistics from Hubspot shows us the same kinds of numbers we usually see: 71% of online readers read blogs, companies with blogs get 55% more traffic than those without, small businesses with a blogs get 126% more lead growth than those that don’t… These are the numbers research reports show us, and the kind we see when we check our own data as well. But who should do your blogging? Here’s a compromise solution: the ghost-written blog.

Who should write your blog?

Roundpeg’s annual survey showed that half the business owners they heard from are writing their own blogs. It wasn’t working out well, and we’re not surprised. Three quarters of respondents said that they write less than once a week. That’s not a blog.

In his book Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation Through Thought Leadership Marketing, John W. Hayes tells the cautionary tale of a company that gets so focused on editing and micromanaging that they fail to get their content published.This is what we see, too.

We love having our clients suggest topics, send us scoops, or even write up blog posts. We enjoy optimizing their work for search and getting that pop of insider knowledge. Quite a few of our clients write well, and it’s a pleasure to collaborate with them.

The percentage of our clients who actually write posts regularly: zero.

This time issue is enough of a reason not to plan to do your own blogging. If you’re a physician, a busy healthcare marketer, or a small business owner, you already have a job. It’s also worth noting that SEO copywriting is not exactly the same as other kinds of writing. Those client posts we enjoy reading don’t show up in the most popular posts, they don’t go viral, and they don’t get links from major news sources. Not because they aren’t well written, but because they are written for a different audience with a different skill set.

Your blog should be written by a professional blogger.

The benefits of the byline

Writing your own blog can give you the benefits of thought leadership and prestige. But you don’t actually have to write your own blog to get these benefits. When you tell your blogger the important things you know, you’ve done your part.

Getting those things into words on your website is the blogger’s part.

We rarely use our own names on blog posts. We use our clients’ names if they want us to. Occasionally we feel that this is the best strategy, and we propose it. But most often we turn up as “Team Company Name” or with no name at all.

Most of the time, your readers don’t really care who wrote the blog post. A great post on spine health from your spine health clinic provides value unconnected with the name of the writer. Your patients or clients will talk about “your blog” and will be unconcerned about the byline.

But adding your byline should never be a problem for your professional blogger. You pay for the content, it belongs to you, and you can put your name on it without thinking twice. If you’re a client of ours, just say that you want your posts under your name, and it’s done.

The details

We’re a boutique agency, family owned and operated, and our clients can feel comfortable with us. Maybe you’re not in that situation. Or you’re just not that relaxed.  Here are some steps to make your ghost-written blog more comfortable for you:

  • Put it in the contract. Make sure that your contract specifically states that your name goes in the byline. Say clearly that you’re hiring ghost writing services and that your bespoke content will never appear with any other author’s name.
  • Prepare a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. This type of agreement has been in the news lately associated with porn performers and government scandal, but it’s actually a very common type of contract. It just makes it clear that your secrets are yours alone, and your web firm can’t share them with anyone else.
  • Budget some time to get your collaboration perfect. You may want a breezy style, deep research and flawless citations, or a green light on Yoast every time. I may want increasing traffic, great rankings, and a high readability score. Oh, of course you can have that green light. Make sure to give feedback, and try to consider your blogger’s points as well. If you’ve hired Haden Interactive, you probably want excellent SEO results. You might not get that with your first thoughts about how your content should look.
  • That said, don’t expect your blogger to read your mind. If you’ve hired someone to curate news and write up industry trends, you can’t expect them to guess that you want a voice like Nikki de Jager for your posts unless you tell them.

If you’re looking for a blogger, we hope you’ll consider working with Haden Interactive. Please fill out our simple form. We’ll be in touch!

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