Ghostwriters can help you bring your ideas to life in vivid detail, but it can take some time to establish initial expectations and start getting great work out of them. Here are three steps for making the most out of your time with ghostwriters and settling into a productive and seamless workflow as quickly as possible.
1. Discover What You Like
At the beginning of any working relationship, both sides are feeling each other’s personalities and tendencies out. But the ghostwriter must try to understand not only the nature of the person they are dealing with but also the work itself. From the writer’s perspective, there are an infinite number of possibilities for what their client might want from them in terms of the type of content, the style of writing, or the tone of voice, just to name a few.
The best way to expedite the process of communicating to a writer what it is that you want from them is by first figuring that out for yourself. Gathering some examples of writing pieces that are similar to the type of pieces you had in mind will help immensely. After all, there’s no better way of getting everyone on the same page than by having them read the same page.
If you’re reading this, you’ve already begun the process of discovering what kind of writing you want from your ghostwriter. When you read something that you feel strikes the notes you’d want to hit for your pieces, save a link to the article or jot down a note for easy reference in the future.
This process of searching and collecting writing samples will help you better understand the vast variety of styles and tones out there. And this knowledge will come in handy when it comes time to communicate what you want from your ghostwriter. This also leads us directly into our next step for working with ghostwriters: give your ghostwriters all the details upfront.
2. Provide All the Details
You are hiring a writer (or team of writers) to take work off your hands, so don’t worry too much about curating or distilling the information into a detailed format. You could take the time to narrow down your favorite example pieces to 2 or 3, or you could just send your whole list. Collect all the details you can into a single place that’s easy for the writer to go through on their own.
Skilled writers are very good at sorting through information to find what they need, so you can’t ever really provide too many details. Just don’t expect them to dissect and analyze the entire 100-page document you send them unless they’re being compensated for their time doing so. This way, the ghostwriter will have access to all the information they need whenever they need it.
Reference materials will help writers lock in the right tone when it comes time for them to get started. This glut of information rule applies when requesting specific pieces as well. Dropping a few links to similar concepts to what you’re requesting goes a long way.
If you’ve done a good job with these first two steps, the last one will be a breeze.
3. Take a Step Back
After you’ve provided all the information the writer needs, it’s time for you to take a break from it all while your new contractor takes a crack at the work. Once the relationship has been established and the writer feels they have a good understanding of what you’re looking for, they’ll have a pretty easy time creating the kind of content you want.
If you’re happy with the first few pieces of content they produce after some back and forth to firmly establish your desired style, it’s time to start letting the work write itself. Don’t be afraid of giving writers some space to do their thing. Oftentimes, the only things a writer needs to put together a solid piece are the tone you’d like to strike, how long you want it to be, and a rough title idea for the content or a link to the specific topic or news story you want to cover.
The hardest part of working with a ghostwriter is establishing initial expectations. Once the ball gets rolling, the workflow becomes much easier—allowing both parties to reap the rewards of their hard work.
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