When a client signs on to work with us they’re looking for solutions to help them create a solid presence in the digital marketing realm. Many of our clients have extremely talented teams that work tirelessly on numerous tasks to make the business not only tick, but thrive. Some teams are large, some teams are small, but when they’ve to come us they’re ready for a working relationship in which we become a direct extension of their marketing team. We act as an arm of their business, and we’re proud to do so. Why set this stage? Because we’re entering the interesting and somewhat controversial world of ghost blogging for clients. [Insert spooky ghost voice] Ooooooooooh!
We’re all familiar with ghost writers. Writers who work with an individual that have a story to tell but they’re simply not writers themselves. They need guidance to help them craft their story into a publish-worthy article or book that will engage their target audience. The same concept rings true for ghost blogging for clients. In fact, if it’s executed properly, blogging for clients can absolutely be done ethically, and with sincere authenticity.
Here are 5 not-so-scary truths about ghost blogging for clients along with some helpful tips to help guide you through the darkness of it all:
Truth #1: You Need to Ask the Right Questions BEFORE Taking on a Client
Prior to taking on a client for content generation and strategy, make sure you conduct an in-depth analysis of their business, goals, and expectations.
We don’t think anyone should ghost blog on a subject that they can’t gain a genuine working knowledge of. Most business blogs are informational in nature — with the end goal being to provide readers with information about the business and its industry, services, products, events, etc. However, writing for a local pet store is much more straightforward than writing about engineering or medical malpractice. So before you say yes to working with a client, do your research and be realistic about what you can offer. Our team has a pre-determined list of industries that we know aren’t a good fit for our content services. If they’re not, we’re also armed with a list of referral partners who can help them with their content needs. When it comes to ghosted content, it’s best to be honest with your client (and yourselves) about what you can provide that offers integrity and value.
Truth #2: Getting to Know Your Client is an Absolute MUST
Once a client has signed on, it’s time to dive in and really get to know them. Our team always asks new clients for any branding and marketing materials they may already have in their possession. Materials such as a brand and style guide, marketing calendar, mission statement, and any other background information they can provide us with to give us a full understanding of their business as a whole. We then enlist the help of our own set of tools, like our client persona document, which helps us develop and determine their brand voice, target audience, and overall goals for their content. Once you and the client are on the same page regarding brand voice and content direction, you can create marketing pillars (that directly pertain to the business and their core demographic), and specific overarching categories to make sure the content maintains a focused and interesting balance. After the initial stages of getting to know your client, it’s time to generate a blogging calendar that should be shared with your client (on a regular basis) to make certain you’re on the same page for all future content efforts.
Truth #3: You NEED to Stay Connected with Your Client
Staying connected with your client is a must! Your content team/writers must act (and write) as though they’re on the client’s internal marketing team. Depending on the frequency of the content you’ll be helping them to generate, set up weekly or bi-weekly check-ins about proposed content to make sure it’s relevant. Check in with them on a quarterly basis to see if their marketing calendar is still current. Ask for any updates and make changes accordingly. Build a decent amount of time for research into the client retainer so your content team can really get to know the client and their audience. We like to check in on our clients’ social media channels and industry related news to see if there’s anything that could inspire valuable future content. Your client is depending on your creativity for great content.
Tip: Determine the communication methods with your client from the beginning. Would they prefer an MS Word doc or link to a Google doc emailed to them, or are they savvy enough to simply be alerted to view the blog draft directly within their website platform before publishing?
Truth #4: You Need to Get Creative, There’s More to it Than Just Ghost Blogging
As a side note, no one can tell their stories better than your client can. If they have someone on staff who can generate their business’s blog content, but need some direction, be a resource by offering a blog strategy. This encourages them to write their own blogs, but with some direction (from your team) on how to create balanced and valuable content to make them stand out in their industry. With strategy you can also also step in as the editor to take their written story to a publish-ready level, complete with optimization and imagery.
Truth #5: The Only Scary Thing About Blogging is…
Not doing it at ALL! As digital marketers, we know this. So if a client is lacking in the blog and content department, don’t let them linger in the darkness. Help them out by offering some solid writing services that will help bring their business into the light!
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “How to Engage Your Target Audience Online.” Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!