Eric van Hall • CopyRobin
16 August ‘22 • 8 min. reading time • Blogposts

What is ghostwriting? Hire a ghostwriter for your texts.

16-08-2022

If you’re writing blog articles, a book, a white paper or another text, you’ve probably come across the term ghostwriting. But what exactly is ghostwriting, and what does a ghostwriter do? And perhaps even more importantly: where can you find a good ghostwriter for your own texts? We explain everything you need to know about this form of copywriting.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter—also called a shadow author or even a phantom writer in Dutch—is a professional copywriter who writes texts for someone else on request. The writer empathises with the customer’s position and translates his or her message into a strong text for the target audience.

The ghostwriter usually remains anonymous.

The main difference with other copywriters, such as journalists or bloggers, is that in ghostwriting, the name of the writer remains unknown. The text is published under the customer’s name, making it seem like the words have come directly from the customer. As a consequence, to the outside world, he or she is the official writer. The ghostwriter usually remains anonymous.

Why hire a ghostwriter?

You have the ambition to write texts yourself, whether in the form of books, columns, blog articles, white papers or something else. And for whatever reason, you can’t get the (correct) words on paper yourself. In that case, you hire a ghostwriter!

No time

An important reason for hiring a ghostwriter is that you cannot find the time to write it yourself. You’ve had a plan to write a book or the idea of starting a blog for years, but you just don’t have the time to do it. It is getting increasingly itchy, and you really want to get started with it now. Hire a ghostwriter, share your input, and the writer will convert your plans into concrete texts.

You’ve had a plan to write a book or the idea of starting a blog for years.

A ghostwriter takes most of the work off your hands. Writing a text is, of course, more than just putting the words on paper. You should do research, collect information and conduct interviews. The ghostwriter also takes care of all these additional activities.

No writing talent

Of course, it’s also possible that you won’t be able to convert your thoughts into a running story. Or that you’re just not good at writing at all. In certain situations, it is a good idea to outsource it to a professional, too. You’re still key in creating the content. Your knowledge, expertise and experiences are leading, but they are written in such a way that it is an interesting and successful story for your target audience.

Reading tip: What is blogging? And does writing a blog make sense?

Cost reduction

Another reason to choose a ghostwriter is that it is sometimes cheaper than writing yourself. When your own hourly rate is higher than what a copywriter charges, outsourcing is also a smart choice from a financial point of view. You spend your time on your own work, while the writer produces your quality content.

The difference between a ghostwriter and a shadow author

You may have heard of the term “shadow author” and are now wondering what the difference is to a ghostwriter. The answer to that question is simple: nothing! “Schaduwauteur” is the Dutch name for ghostwriter, and the meaning is exactly the same. Although we often just use the English term in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders).

Who uses ghostwriting?

Hiring a ghostwriter may seem to be exclusive to famous people who want to write their autobiography or share specific knowledge in the form of a book. But that’s far from the truth. There is a big chance that during your daily internet tour, you read several texts that have been created by ghostwriters. For example, a company’s weekly blog or an influencer’s social media posts.

Ghostwriting is used by, among others:

  • entrepreneurs
  • CEOs
  • consultants
  • marketing managers
  • professional athletes
  • famous people

 

After all, not everyone is good at writing strong texts. It is a lot better for your authority as a company or famous person to outsource this to a professional.

How do you find a good ghostwriter?

You could look for a good ghostwriter in various ways, both via somebody else and directly.

Ask others

Ask if your friends or colleagues have ever used an anonymous copywriter. People might be experienced! There undoubtedly is someone you know who hires writers for their texts, especially if you are dealing with entrepreneurs, CEOs or marketing managers.

Ask which writer has written their blog, who drafted that strong white paper, or to whom they outsourced their social media. You might find the writer you’re looking for right away!

Search online

Google always helps, too, of course. Type “freelance ghostwriter” or just “freelance copywriter” and you’ll find hundreds of professional writers who meet your needs. Keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult to find a good writer who really fits your company. As a non-writer, it is not easy to estimate the qualities of the freelancer and thus select the best.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a good writer who really fits your company.

It is therefore sometimes a labour-intensive process to achieve a good collaboration with a copywriter. In addition, the best writers are often fully booked far in advance, which means that a structural collaboration isn’t the likely outcome.

But if you enter into a longer collaboration with a freelance writer, it ensures that he or she gets to know your company well. The freelancer will find the right tone of voice faster and you will have to brief less extensively.

Hire a text agency

There are many copy agencies that work with experienced writers. They can undoubtedly help you with your project. Traditional text agencies are great, but they are also often expensive. Are you looking for the best of both worlds? Think about CopyRobin as the “text agency of the future”.

We draw from a pool of more than 408 professional copywriters, who provide you with strong texts at an affordable price. This almost always includes a writer who has expertise in your field of work and who finds the right tone of voice to properly convey your message to your target audience. And what if we don’t have your ultimate match in our file yet? Then we will look further for you!

Get the best result

Once you have found a writer who will take over your writing activities, it is important that you brief him or her well. Good input is crucial to achieve a strong end result. Or, as our favourite motto goes: trash in = trash out.

Trash in = trash out.

When it comes to writing a book, the ghostwriter will likely interview you multiple times to hear your story. Tell it as extensively as possible, ensuring you convey it with a lot of context and details. Don’t be afraid to come across as confused—an experienced writer knows how to filter the important information from your story and turn it into a strong text.

If you work with a ghostwriter for blogs, white papers or other business texts, for example, the success of the collaboration stands or falls with the briefing. A good briefing meets several requirements:

  • You provide sufficient background information about the organisation.
  • You specifically describe what type of text it should be.
  • You clearly state the scope of the assignment.
  • You explain what the purpose of the text is.
  • You provide as much useful information about the content as possible.
  • You are clear about the target audience.
  • You describe the desired tone of voice.
  • You state the focus keywords.
  • You indicate how you will use the text.
  • You communicate a clear deadline.
  • You share the relevant contact details.

 

At CopyRobin, we work with a structured briefing process that meets all of these conditions. By doing so, you always achieve the best result, together with the writer.

Reading tip: Briefing a copywriter? Create the best brief for a copywriter.

What does a ghostwriter cost?

What does it actually cost to hire a ghostwriter? Of course, it sounds like a great solution to finally get those texts on paper. But how much do you spend on this, and what is the rate of an average ghostwriter? It's hard to say anything in general about that because ghostwriting rates vary widely and depend on all sorts of things.

For starters, the rate depends on the experience of the writer. A novice copywriter usually charges a lower rate than a seasoned one. As an indication, you can assume an hourly rate of between 50 and 100 euros. Of course, writers do not have the same work speed, so be sure to ask how long he or she thinks you need.

As an indication, you can assume an hourly rate of between 50 and 100 euros.

In addition, the specialism determines the hourly rate. Writers that are specialised in topics such as IT, fintech, and legal often cost more than all-round writers.

At CopyRobin, we work with credits that you can purchase in packages (cancellable on a monthly basis). This allows you to benefit from attractive rates and great flexibility. So you are not bound by anything.

Ghostwriting and copyright

Starting with a ghostwriter sometimes raises questions about the copyright of the texts. After all, it’s your input that matters, but you’re using someone else’s words.

Make clear agreements about copyright and preferably write these down.

It is common for the ghostwriter to transfer the copyright to you as a customer. You are then free to do whatever you want with the text, such as publishing it with your own name. It is important that you arrange this properly with the writer. Make clear agreements about copyright and preferably write these down before the collaboration starts.

How CopyRobin helps you find the best ghostwriter

Are you looking for an experienced ghostwriter for your blog, white paper or other business text quickly? That’s super easy! We work with more than 408 professional copywriters, each with their own experience and expertise. If you place an assignment with us, we strive to match you with a suitable writer.

Are you self-employed, an SME entrepreneur or a marketer at a large company or agency? We always have a solution for your content needs. The following applies to each subscription:

  • Free trial assignment (except for ad-hoc activities).
  • Can be cancelled monthly.
  • Multiple users.
  • Credits valid for 12 months.
  • Unlimited correction rounds.
  • An experienced editor who checks every text.

 

Are you curious about what CopyRobin’s writers can do for your ghostwriting job? Then place your free trial order right away, and we’ll get to work for you!

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