Hiring a ghostwriter for your business is the easiest way to gain more time in your busy schedule so you can focus on your clients, attracting new clients, or creating that signature program you have been longing to complete for years. However, finding the right ghostwriter for your needs can be a time-consuming journey, one that requires you to ask many questions and be clear on what tasks you need to be completed.
Here are 5 key questions you should ask when hiring a ghostwriter:
What is the ghostwriter’s native language?
This question is not meant to discriminate in the least. It is simply meant to qualify your candidates. After all, if this ghostwriter is meant to portray your voice. Throughout the website copy or in your signature program. It makes sense the writer should have expertise in your native tongue, correct?
You are outsourcing the writing for a reason…to save you time. If you choose a writer who is fluent in another language, you run the risk of having to do a lot of editing so the copy sounds like you. Instead of someone who is still trying to master the nuances of the English language. There are certainly bilingual and multilingual writers who can write well in English. However, the question is worth asking so there are no surprises. That being said, we have worked with some really good writers whose English was not their first language. So, ask first and then test them out.
Does the ghostwriter have a speciality genre?
In general, writers can write on a variety of topics, from travelling with toddlers to deep-sea fishing. Ultimately, you want a ghostwriter who truly knows your business inside and out that can convey your own professional voice through every word of copy. Do you really want to train a travel writer about the ins and outs of a coaching business? Do you want to give a fashion writer the assignment of writing follow-up emails to your clients?
Chances are these speciality writers would not apply for this type of project anyway but it never hurts to ask. Otherwise, you may get charged for many hours of research when a writer who has a small business or coaching experience could write off the tops of their heads.
What is the ghostwriter’s turnaround time?
Keep in mind when hiring a ghostwriter that they will have multiple clients, much as you have multiple clients, so it is unfair and unreasonable to expect assignments to be completed within 24 hours. Another question to ask here is do they have a rush fee if you do need something turned around faster. This is another time when having a calendar of tasks will benefit you because you can then discuss your first deadline with the candidates and ask who is able to complete it by then.
When hiring a ghostwriter, what experience do they have?
Anyone can put a website online and claim to be a ghostwriter so you need to play detective here and decipher if this candidate truly has the experience or not. Any professional writer should be willing to supply references and samples of their work. At the very least, check out their blog and read a few posts. Are the thoughts clear? Are the grammar and syntax correct? You can even go so far as to copy and paste part of the blog post into Google or Copyscape to check for plagiarism (which, obviously, is a big no-no in the online and real-life world).
What are the ghostwriter’s fees?
This question can be tricky simply because ghostwriting fees vary tremendously! To prepare for this question, it benefits you to know what tasks you are looking to outsource right away. The fees to write individual blog posts will differ considerably compared with ghostwriting a speciality program. The same for ghostwriting an ebook versus rewriting your website copy.
Do your own research ahead of time and determine a budget for each of the tasks so you can approach this question from a project fee and see who is willing to work for that fee. A word of warning when hiring a ghostwriter, however, you get what you pay for. Do not simply go for the cheapest ghostwriter you can find. You will likely get lots of mistakes or need to hold their hand while they run everything by you for approval.