Content Writing by Ghost Writers
There are many pros and cons to outsourcing content writing; on the plus side it can save time and money compared to hiring an in-house writer, but on the downside it can be daunting to work with writers who don’t have insider knowledge of your business, products or customers. It is therefore crucial that your brief provides all the information a ghost writer for content needs to produce high quality, relevant content which engages with your audience. Here are my suggestions for writing a successful ghost writing brief.
Give examples of your brand’s tone and style
As a successful brand you’ve no doubt worked hard to capture a style and tone which relates to your audience and it would be a shame to lose this when a new writer comes on board. List a few key pages from your website and encourage the writer to follow a similar style. It could be friendly or formal, humorous or serious; no matter what your brand’s voice is you need to stick to it, so be clear on what it is.
Be explicit about what you want
Sometimes we have a clear view in mind of the type of work we want from a ghost writer for content, and other times we’re open to ideas. Either way, be explicit when instructing your writer so that they can provide you with exactly what you need and include all relevant information. This includes content that you don’t want, for example on topics you’ve already covered or that which a competitor recently wrote about.
Describe your target audience
Your content won’t interest your target audience unless it speaks to them on their level. An article about nightlife in New York sounds simple enough, but a target audience of 18 to 25-year-olds will be looking for very different information than those over 60. It can be incredibly important to explain who your target audience is in these types of circumstances.
Be clear on keywords
Whilst it can be tempting to ask for copy which includes all of your keywords it can be detrimental for the writer who is expected to cram in phrases which may not suit the subject matter of the content as successfully as they should. As a general rule of thumb, choose a primary keyword and maybe one or two extras, both of which should be highly relevant to the first. This helps the writer to understand exactly what topic they should be writing about which leads to better quality content, both for SEO and the reader.
Include your USPs
When it comes to persuasive web pages or product descriptions, it is essential that you tell your copywriter why they should choose your products or services. What makes you different from your competitors? Are there any special services you provide? Only when your copywriter knows your unique selling points will they be able to create truly compelling content that leads to conversions.
Be open to suggestions
Whilst it’s important to provide a ghost writer for content with a clear brief there is such a thing as too much direction. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes on your brand and content can come up with innovative ideas which your audience will love. Don’t be afraid to let a ghost writer choose the angle of the article or to use their own information sources. They may come up with something you’d never have thought of and which your audience loves.
Ghost Writer Biography
Martin Harrison is co-founder of the website content provider Copify. You can follow him on or connect on .