In an ideal world, we’d all have time to run our businesses and also have time to enjoy our families, friends, hobbies, health and relaxation. And on top of all that, we’d have time to blog. And our blogs would be packed with well-written, compelling content that attracts loyal readers and converts them into clients or customers.
But if you’re squeezed for time like most entrepreneurs, your blog might be suffering because of it.
Well, here’s the good news. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually get someone else to write your blog for you.
I know, I know… In some circles, this borders on blasphemy. At best, you’re lazy. At worst, you’re deceitful. But let’s get real. This isn’t a philosophical matter. Outsourcing some or part of your small business blog’s content is a matter of efficiency
Outsourcing simply means getting more done in less time. It means delegating the things that slow you down – the things that weigh you down – and focusing on that which you do best. If you want to maintain a blog for all the benefits it affords, but writing isn’t something that excites you, why allow it to drain your time and energy?
It’s true that blogging is a type of social media that serves to build relationships and community. This is why some people insist you – the small business owner – should be the one doing the blogging. If it’s not you people are connecting with, then who is it?
The trouble with that question is it assumes an outsourced blog is inherently inauthentic. – that you’ve handed it over, turned your back, and have nothing more to do with it.
But just because you’ve hired someone else to write your blog doesn’t mean the substance and essence of the blog can’t come from you. An outsourced blog should still be written with your knowledge, from your perspective, and in your authentic voice.
Keep in mind, however, that while outsourcing your blog may save you some time, it’s not completely effortless.
The trick is to get someone else to write your blog without your blog sounding like somebody else wrote it. You want to be able to confidently say, “Wow. This sounds just like me.” But this isn’t always easy.
Here are a few tricks I use with my clients:
Fill Out an Assessment Profile
If your ghost blogger doesn’t give you an assessment to fill out, create your own. The assessment should include your blog’s goals, audience profile, and information relevant to your overall marketing efforts.
It should also include writing samples to model and a word choice checklist. The writing samples you pass along should be examples of your casual writing, such as emails and social media updates, not formal reports or essays.
As for word choice, make a list of words you would and wouldn’t use. For example, in everyday conversation, I would never say “folks” in place of “people.” But I would say “awesome” instead of good. This exercise will take some brainstorming, and you’ll continue to tweak the list over time as you read language commonly used in other people’s blogs.
Avoid Starting From Scratch
If you want your outsourced blog to sound like something you’ve written, don’t just come up with a topic and expect your writer to channel your personality and whip up magic from scratch.
- Hammer out a super quick draft without concern for style, structure or grammar. Then pass it along to your ghost blogger to revise.
- Provide your writer with an outline, including the order in which you want to present the information and key sentences you’d like to include in each section.
- Quickly jot down some bullet points in your own words.
It might help if you consider your blog co-sourced, rather than outsourced. Taking an extra minute or two to share some of your own wording with your writer will go a long way toward making your blog sound more like you. A skilled writer will use the written fragments you’ve infused with your passion and personality as the foundation for crafting polished blog posts that are ready for the world to read.
If writing isn’t your thing, but talking about your ideas flows quickly and naturally, send your ghost blogger an audio recording. Use a voicemail system or create an audio file using a tool such as Audacity.
Expect your writer to do more than just transcribe your voice, though. The recording will serve as a starting point. Ask her to incorporate your own wording as much as possible and weave your voice into the final draft.
Form a Relationship With Your Writer
If your blog’s purpose is simply to drive traffic and quickly convert, whether or not the blog sounds like you probably doesn’t matter. But if your blog’s purpose is to build trust and relationships with readers so they will become long-term customers and clients, authenticity and consistency matters. You’ll want to avoid dirt cheap, unreliable writers and content mills.
Whether you choose to delegate your blog to an employee, intern or professional writer, you’d benefit from building a strong, ongoing relationship with your ghost blogger. Before you get started, take some time to chat over the phone and hold a friendly conversation about your expectations. Throughout your working relationship, stay in touch frequently and keep lines of communication open.