How to Hire a Ghostwriter for Long-Term Projects

ghostwriter longterm

The term “ghostwriter” is likely one with which you are familiar. However, just to ensure we’re on the same page, allow me to clarify. A ghostwriter is a person who writes content for the purpose of selling it to a client. They are not credited as the author, and often the client is labeled the writer on the published piece. As a client, you know this is a worthwhile service either because you don’t personally have the ability to write or have the necessary time available to devote to the creative process. As such, ghostwriting is the way in which a lot of content is created over a wide variety of genres and for a myriad of purposes from marketing to entertainment and everything in between.

Now that the term is defined, let’s move on the point of this piece, hiring a ghostwriter for your long-term project. Admittedly, creating a long-term relationship like this with such a professional can be a bit complicated. Let’s face it; aren’t all long-term relationships “complicated”? However, to make the process a bit easier and well, less “complicated”, read below:

Communicate The Nature of Your Project’s Scope, From the Outset

George Bernard Shaw, who was a Nobel Prize Literature winner among other notable accomplishments, was believed to have said the following about the nature of communication:

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your newly attained ghostwriter knows your intention for a long-term project. At the very beginning of the communication process with your chosen ghostwriter, tell them you are considering a long-term working relationship, for the scope of your project. If you want some tips on how to hire a ghostwriter in the first place, visit here.  Once you move forward with your project, continue to keep the lines of communication open about all aspects of the project. Tell your writer your schedule, your goals, etc. Don’t drown them in information, but be clear and upfront as this will only make things easier going forward.

Get on The Same Page

Also, make sure you and your writer are on the same page. It might be a good idea to issue the first few pieces, and then tell your writer how they can alter the content to better meet your voice, needs, purpose, ideas, vision, etc. Be clear. Don’t worry about hurting your writer’s feelings. They would rather you tell them how to tweak something outright than be left trying to hit a constantly moving target that they can’t seem to dial in on. Trust me, this is frustrating! Of course, don’t be harsh or take personal shots at the writer’s style or abilities, simply tell them what needs to be changed if anything.  You might also think about including example pieces so the writer can get an idea of what you want, and its sometimes easier to show someone what you want then explain it.

Be Flexible

Once you find the right ghostwriter for your project, you need to be flexible as it relates to their availability. I can attest to the fact that ghostwriting as a profession has a feast or famine property. Sometimes, I have more work than I can possibly handle and find myself pulling late night writing sessions just to get it done, while other weeks or months I wonder if all my steady clients suddenly decided to move to Fuji on a whim and haven’t bothered to tell me goodbye. Therefore, if through your communication you find out your chosen writer is currently covered up, consider waiting for them to be freed up if possible. Often, you will have to wait no longer than a week’s time, but your willingness to fit into their schedule will be remembered by your writer, and you can expect them to reciprocate if you ever find yourself in a bind and need some content turned around quickly.

Don’t Take Them For Granted

Just because you have developed a good working relationship with your writer and you both know the scope of your project, don’t take their willingness to compose your content for granted. What this practically means is don’t lower the pay rate on them. It’s also a good idea to occasionally offer them a bonus as well. Just a thank you to show them they are appreciated. This will ensure your writer doesn’t become tempted to look for more lucrative projects. Also, if you begin the project with a writer, don’t ditch them in the middle of the project, unless you have no alternative.  In general, treat them as you would want them to treat you. It’s called the golden rule for a reason.

Know You Aren’t Their Only Client, And They Have a Life

It’s easy to assume you are the only client in your writer’s life, but that isn’t usually or even often the case. After all, we simply can’t put all our eggs in one client’s basket as projects end and clients move on to other platforms or agencies, and if writers didn’t consistently have at least a few different clients, not one, supplying their jobs, they would soon find themselves in a mess. In addition, know your writer has a life. She or he has a family, other responsibilities and sometimes even has medical or personal emergencies. They are human, in other words. So, be patient. When you message them, give them grace and time to respond. Your patient, gracious nature dealing with your writer will not be forgotten by your writer, and they will outperform your expectations when treated well. Of this, you can be sure.

The above tips are just a few ways to create a good relationship with a ghostwriter for a long-term project. Here’s hoping you find your perfect ghostly match for your next extensive project!

Brandie P’s career as a freelance writer spans several years and encompasses an abundance of niche specialties. Before beginning her writing career, she was an office manager and worked in the medical field. Her experience in these two fields have come in handy when writing topics pertaining to these fields.


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