Recently, I received an email from someone wanting some tips on how to approach blogging. In short, he wasn’t sure if he was up to the task, had the level of commitment, time and discipline required and suggested possibly outsourcing to a ghostwriter. “Content Writer” “Copywriter” call it what you will, this is an age-old debate with valid reasoning on both sides not to be taken lightly, and I’m finding the more awareness and understanding of social media increases, so do these these types of inquiries. So, it’s pretty safe to say it’s not going away any time soon and the debate will rage on between blogging purists, writers, SEO experts and opportunists alike.

Even though I sit firmly in the first category, I’m also a realist and I do try to reserve my personal opinion as there’s just no easy “one size fits all” answer, as is the case with all aspects of social media. However you regard it, many personal and business blogs do use ghostwriters without disclosure, some successfully and some not, so thinking it’s a sure fire formula to success and the benefits you want, would be mistake.

I think the wisest way to approach this is to consider the following points from both sides of the debate, before making a decision based on what suits you and your overall objectives.

Pros

  • Ghostwriters will save you time and energy researching up-to-date and relevant content ideas
  • If necessary, they can provide a fresh perspective on your tired topics
  • A skilled ghostwriter will write informative, entertaining and professional blog posts every time
  • You won’t have to worry about finding time to blog, spending that time to focus on your business
  • Most experienced ghostwriters know what sort of information you should be publishing online, and are also reasonably tech savvy
  • It’s a viable solution for those of you who just can’t or don’t like writing, but know it’s still necessary to maintain a blog as smart business practice
  • Frequent blog posts isfantasticSEO (Search Engine Optimisation) greatly increasing your traffic, profile and prospects
  • A ghostwriter can create an effective and organised long term blogging strategy

Cons

  • For many, this is a totally unethical practice going against the very thing blogging is about – authenticity and transparency – which is how social media differs from all other forms of marketing
  • It could take you awhile to find a ghostwriter who’s writing styleyou like, and then develop an understanding and trust with them
  • Perhaps a ghost blogger can’t aptly convey your ideas and opinions?
  • What if your ghostwriter moves on? Would you be able to continue, or find someone to replace them after they’ve developed your online reputation and a relationship with your audience?
  • Does the writer have adequate knowledge and/or experience of your industry, market, niche or brand?
  • How can you be sure the content is original and value for money?
  • Will the posts come across as too “generic” filled with all the right keywords etc but no real personality or insight into you and your business?

As I’m a Virtual Assistant and my primary role is to help businesses, I still believe there is a practical need for assistance in tasks such as brainstorming and formulating content or post ideas, keeping up with industry news and trends, monitoring competitors online, proofreading and even scheduling blog posts. These are all necessary and important aspects of blogging, yet do not compromise the ethics of it.

Ultimately anything published under your name or business you will and should be accountable for, so whichever way you go, be prepared to stand behind it and any possible consequences (good or bad).

Alex
Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clip Art Of.com

 

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