How to Measure Success As a Ghostwriter
Hard to believe sometimes, but there’s more to success than the cash money. We writers have some serious egos and want to know that our creative efforts are well-liked. It’s also important to know what’s working and what’s not so you can continuously improve your quality (thus leading to more cash, more ego stroking, and the cycle goes on). Let’s look at a few ways you can use a ghost writing service, survey tools and even a little Internet stalking to find out if you’re the best ghostwriter on the block.
Be a Stalker…of Yourself
Online content writers can monitor success with some smart Googling. Identify a unique phrase from a piece you’ve written and enter it into Google. This step helps you find the main location of your work as well as other outlets that may have picked it up. For example, you’ll see if a press release got well-distributed.
Next, paste the URL of the main location of the work into a backlink checker to see how many other sites have linked to your work. Check out those sites and what they’re saying.
Finally, look for any supporting information at the main location of the work: comments, counts of Facebook likes and Twitter retweets or other quantifiable results. Keep a record of the number of comments and other data as well as the content of comments that might indicate how well your content was received.
Think Like a Stats Major
If you work with a ghost writing service, you should be able to view statistics of your work’s success. Look for trends like the number of clients following or liking you, the number of articles approved compared to those rejected, the frequency of rewrite requests and other available measures. Compile figures from all services you use into a spreadsheet to view trends over time and success with different types of topics or voices. Include your comment counts, backlink counts and social media data for a deeper look.
Join the Ranks
Analyzing trends in your statistics, backlinks, comments and social media sharing is a great way to compare yourself to yourself and know where to improve. However, this approach doesn’t tell you how you compare to other ghostwriters. You may not be able to contact your ghost writer service clients directly, but you can survey your external clients. Sign up for a free survey service, assemble just a few questions and email the survey. Here are some sample questions to get you started:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rank my work overall compared to other writers you have worked with?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how knowledgeable/accurate do you find my writing?
- Which of the following voices/styles do you feel I use best? (5-10 options)
- How would you characterize your customers’/readers’ response to my writing? Positive – Neutral – Negative
Most importantly, use everything you learn to become a better writer. Even the greats are always seeking new ways to be greater.
Tara M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.