Busy CEOs and executives who are probably poor writers to begin with hire writers to write in their name. The biggest negative, for me, was the voice and tone the writing took. In the SEO world, I think the same concerns hold true. It may communicate the same concepts, but the message, branding, and style can get lost.
That may mean less impact from a social media perspective, fewer links, less enjoyment and engagement from readers, and these things, directly and indirectly, can negatively affect your SEO. Busy people are always looking for writers. Think easy money. You can get a free education as a ghostwriter if you research and write about a new field.
I got an accelerated MBA in new media marketing during my time as a ghostwriter. Another benefit, stated by writer David Jacoby :. I belong to a group called the Gotham Ghostwriters. Join the group and in a given week you might receive a lead on writing for a Senator, a humanitarian activist, or president of a formidable university. These jobs would look great on your resume.
For instance, there is a fierce level of pride in being a ghostwriter. Yet this pride seems to be rooted in a desire to convince people what they do is not shady. Those in the SEO community can probably relate. But there is one fundamental difference in the ghostwriting community: there are no foils like in the SEO community think black hatters.
Could there be a wee bit of self deception going on in the ghostwriting community? Of course. The dominating argument for ghostwriting is that it is a common practice. No questions asked. Just do the job. Get paid. And get out. Smart ghostwriters learn how to bank off the growing success of their clients by incorporating royalties and success measurements into their contracts.
The more money you make, the more justified your occupation. The only problem with this is that expediency is a poor indicator of right and wrong. Would that tarnish her reputation? Same thing when Guy Kawasaki admitted he used ghostwriters for his Twitter account. We all shrugged and kept pushing forward. Business as usual. When someone sits down to read a book or a blog post, there is an unspoken contract that says the name on the content is the person who wrote it. So if a real person is claiming to be the author behind a book or blog but hires someone else to write the content, he or she is violating that contract.
He or she is breaking that trust. And losing credibility. As a reader, I lose respect for someone who used a ghostwriter. To not give credit is to pretend you did it, which shows a lack of character in my eyes. Think about it: in the online economy, trust is huge.
Ghostwriting violates that trust. You are telling somebody you are responsible for the words and thoughts when, in fact, you paid for it. But does this make it ethical? I asked AJ Kohn his take on this question, and this is what he had to say :. Ghostwriting is an established practice in the publishing and speech-writing world.
For SEO, it gets more complicated. So I think it works within the online and SEO arena. But only to a certain extent. Where I think it falls apart online is when there is little or no collaboration. At this point I want to talk to the people on both sides of the ghostwriting relationship: the client and the writer.
For the writers: The first thing every writer should ask is this: What do you want to accomplish as a writer? Is building a personal and visible platform important to you? Will it help you in the long run? If you have to ghostwrite to make ends meet, fine. But beat a hasty path out of the business as soon as possible. As a visible, credible writer, you should build your online profile in subject matters you care about.
When you do, your passion will come across something difficult to translate through a disinterested ghostwriter. For the clients: Resist hiring a ghostwriter. Instead, learn how to write or hire people who can write for you — in their names. This is an opportunity to nurture a rising star. To move away from a consolidation of power and cult of personality and expand your reach within your own ranks. This is why big media try to hire notable writers.
They know the company will rise with the tide of their stable of writers. They can benefit from rising writers. In other words, there is no reason to consolidate power behind you. And if you have to hire someone to help you write, give them credit as a co-author. So you can certainly employ ghostwriters for SEO purposes but … it has to be done in the right way. You can feel passion through writing, and only a few gifted ghostwriters can accomplish that for another person.
Learn About Our Site Auditor. Analyze over 20 different technical SEO issues and create to-do lists for your team while sending error reports to your client. And there are other ways to make money, Anthony. You just got to get in the ring and start slugging it out. We all start at the bottom. My stance on ghostwriting has come to be more about the necessity of the learning process.
A big and probably the biggest reason why I have not gone down the ghostwriting path for my company blog is that I find myself learning more from writing a post myself than from most other practices in our space. I have the utmost respect for quality writers, especially since each article is a big undertaking for me, and I still think that they are the most under-appreciated resources that a company can have.
The best ones deserve credit and acclaim for their talents as writing is really an art form. That can also be true even when writers have their names on it, too. Writing for me is how I think. This is why I encourage everyone to write. Because of this, no writer is going to spend a lot of passion on it. And you probably got paid fifteen dollars to write it. Sixteen if you were lucky. Been there, done that. Thank you for writing such a thorough article on the topic.
Ghostwriting has been on my mind a lot lately. Not because I plan to use one for vsellis. Granted, they could always have people write under their own names which is what I generally recommend but some of them want to build their own authority and are rightfully authorities on their topic and hence want things written in their names. Personally, I think writers need to wisen up. Get in for a short while. Get out before it sucks your writer soul dry. To make sure that both parties get the most out of it, I:.
Ask the client what angle he wants the content to go in this step usually becomes redundant after a few posts since by then I know how my client thinks. Personally, I only take one ghost writing client at a time. My terms and condition and and explanation of how I do things is often enough to tell me whether the client and I are a good match. It tells me how aware, involved and accommodating a client is.
With one client of mine, I had the voice problem you mentioned. We found a solution by getting her to write the intro. It was enough for me to catch her voice and take it forward. In my experience, for a ghost writing arrangement to work keeping aside other considerations , the client needs to actually be an authority on the subject, be willing to get involved and invest some of his time.
Great comment, Samar. Sounds like you worked out the kinks. I should have consulted you before I jumped in. Perhaps I might have found it more pleasurable. Do you plan to do this type a work for the long haul? Do you like working for yourself? Which it is initially. As a result my ghost writing clients have been few and far between. My future plans are to continue working in the same vein and to find a balance between the two. Less client work and more personal projects though.
I signed on the dotted line. I love working for myself. Uh, no. A business should not invest in the lesser of any two opportunities, all else equal. Much of what Google thinks is true was actually made true by Google… because search is new, disruptive, and changes the way systems and people behave. And if the only way to feed your kids as a writer between successful novels is to be a ghost writer, blame Google, not the businesses that hire ghost writers.
Those businesses hired SEOs, designers, PR firms, advertising agencies, and street sign waivers in the past, and will hire whatever works in the future. What kind of commercial writing does Google want? I demonstrated businesses can invest in writers and have a return. They call them bankable talent. People who draw audiences. And why does getting an offer to ghostwrite equal the most effective way to achieve a goal? Now Google demands commercial writing. The Guilds are legal entities created to manage the complexities of IP for creators, in industries where creative works generate value separate from the value they could have created alone.
Those organizations are quite complex and expensive to maintain, and again, the membership funds it. Promoting a new talent is expensive and may not even depend on the talent very much… without a system to manage the investment agents, contracts, agency laws, guilds, etc the indentured servitude laws prevent a business from capitalizing on the earned asset value of a human.
For a business to rank in Google the goal it is forced to hire a writer or as you suggest, learn to write. You may choose to write in a sincere way, with an authoritative tone, based on knowledge you gained from research, in my field… and yet be little more than a troll seeking discussion and debate to possibly improve your craft and knowledge.
Perhaps not actually involved in my field publishing, hiring writers for strategic web content at all. It will be well received, and if you can negotiate a byline for yourself, you can launch an SEO career. Before Google, my plumber or my florist would have hired an advertising firm or asked someone at the local newspaper to write and create an ad or hired a signmaker to paint an attractive sign.
Before or after Google. That was my point, Arienne. It would be a benefit to the company. Addressing the florist advertising, I suggest that the playing field was much flatter… the yellow page ad cost a lot more for larger ads and there was only so much room for copy.
Similarly, the print quality put a ceiling on impact from image quality. It could have been so much better. A: because the writer will raise price along with recognized value, as the market aided by Google recognizes it. In this scenario set up by Google the rewards flow from one set of performance measures, while the business value needs to be measured on a different set of metrics. So murky it works GREAT for Google and often writers, and that adds to the pain of the businesses who already have enough trouble trying to make sense of attribution.
I, too, struggle with a twinge of jealousy that others are getting credit, but money is money. I need that more than credit most of the time! I found that I can still have my own identity with my own credit by writing for other blogs that I own.
Of course, that takes time, too, and might be the reason I work in excess of hours per week! Scott, you scare me when you say things like that. So when Presidents start cheating on their wives, it is then okay for us to do the same? Or allows them to establish a system of moral principles.
And if money is money, why not be a prostitute? Now, now. I know and respect Mr. He knows his stuff and has a way of thinking about SEO his area of expertise that I learn from often, just as I learn often from your area of expertise direct sales copywriting. Thanks I think. What we have here is a marketing cross-over blog, that allows guest posts and sometimes publishes someone who honestly can afford to spend a lot of time managing the conversation because it leads to learnings…and topical writers gain from learnings.
John, you were the one who accused me of being a troll … and then said I was a poser. Those sound like fighting words to me. Unless you had some meaning I missed. Which happened not to be true. I wrote this article because I had something to say. I have strong convictions, but I also have blind spots. I want to sharpen my thinking. And I find that happens in discussion and debate. Did that offend you? Perhaps we could start again? Not at all… I have a sincere investment in the quality of the web and web ecosystem.
There is a marketplace here and Google holds the reigns.. You are right: a writer needs to justify his pay everyone needs to justify their pay. Nevertheless I 'travel in my mind'. Just now I read various books on all kinds of topics. My cultural outlook is basically English. But I am not keen on being 'a NZr' or any other nation.
I was born here -- son what? Who cares? I take no interest in sport these days I have the radio off all the time except when I go to sleep. Such is my strange life! I live with my son and he is doing better than he was. I am getting older of course. C'est la vie. But yes, it is good I have the vaccine. The only way to avoid death from Sars-Cov-2 or improve chances of recovery or avoidance is to get the vaccine and keep distance, masking etc. I also get the flu vaccines.
In many countries these are free so it is silly not to take them. In some cases getting a disease gives a stronger immunity if one survives but in most cases a vaccine gives longer immunity. It is not clear yet if the vaccine will need repeats each year. Not enough time has elapsed. The number of deaths or those infected in the US is a function to large extent of how many are vaccinated and to whether people social distance etc.
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