Publishing thought-provoking material—whether it’s in book, article or in blog form—can help you gain an edge over other experts in your field. Take writing a book for example: Because you’ll be the person who “wrote the book on it,” you’ll automatically have more credibility and will become the go-to source for information on your particular subject.

However, if you’re not careful, starting a blog or authoring a book can turn into a full-time job; and if you already have a career in your area of expertise, you likely have little time to take on a second job.

But there’s another way to create clear, captivating copy: You can hire a ghostwriter.

Many people—speakers, leaders, business owners and those with burning stories to tell—hire ghostwriters to adapt to time constraints and facilitate the writing process.

 

Here’s how to hire a ghostwriter:

1) Do your homework. Research your options and find a writer who fits your needs. Simply start with a Google search or browse through sites such as LinkedIn and Thumbtack. For an even more refined search, try searching through a writers’ database.

2) Request writing samples from potential ghostwriters so you can read the work they’ve done previously. Be aware that in some cases, ghostwriters have had to sign non-disclosure agreements, which means they may not be able to name previous clients, but they may be able to tell you if they’ve done work for a certain type of individual or industry. Ask to read any blogs, articles or books that they have written under their own name. Also, keep in mind that ghostwriters frequently change their writing style to suit the needs of different clients.

3) Find someone who “clicks” with you. You are going to be spending a great deal of time with your ghostwriter and opening up to them on a very intimate level. Talking to them may even bring up the same feelings as would talking to a therapist, so it’s important to have a healthy and amicable relationship with your ghostwriter.

4) Figure out the details. Different writers use different methods of obtaining information. For example, some writers might rely on interviews, others on your notes, and others on outside research; still others might utilize a combination of sources. Use your first meeting to determine the writer’s individual process. Find out how much time and outside effort they will expect of you. How long will the entire process take? And you certainly don’t want to forget to ask about their pricing scale— can you afford their services?

Enlisting a ghostwriter can make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to producing a book or maintaining your blog content. To ensure the entire process goes smoothly, it’s important to do some legwork upfront. Making an informed decision about the person who will put your ideas into writing will make the process that much more enjoyable and stress-free.

 

About the author

Rachel Rachel Brownlow is founder and CEO of Your Written Word LLC, a ghostwriting company that helps successful and aspiring business leaders take their ideas from conception to publication. She has written, edited, proofread, consulted and/or created publishing proposals for more than a dozen nonfiction books. She also contributes to a variety of magazines and publications, including the Austin Business Journal, Austin Monthly, NSIDE Magazine and Georgetown View Magazine. You can find more of her work at rachelbrownlow.com/portfolio.