I’ve been an advertising professional and a motivational speaker. I’ve been a potter and a wedding coordinator. I’ve been a CEO and a lawyer and a musician and graphic designer. It’s not because I’m a secret agent or anything (although that would be pretty rad). It’s because I’m a ghostwriter, and that means it’s my job to think like other people and write like they would.
Ghostwriting and copywriting can be similar, but they’re not always the same. As a copywriter, it’s my job to write in the voice of whatever business I’m contracted to. As a ghostwriter, I take on the personality and writing style of a specific person. People hire me to ghostwrite for a variety of reasons, but it’s usually because they either aren’t very good at writing or don’t have time for it.
I’ve written everything from personal letters to corporate speeches, but for Infomedia clients I usually write blog posts. Lots of our clients see the benefits of blogging for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and for brand building, but they don’t have time to consistently write new blog posts.
That’s where I come in. I like to interview my clients at least a couple of times to get a feel for not only what topics they want to cover, but also to get a handle on their personalities and their word choices. Usually it takes a couple of blogs with new clients to get a good feel for what seems most true to them, but we can generally reach a point that they feel the writing really represents them. With ghostwriting, the writer is invisible (hence the name).
When I ghostwrite for a client, I never put my name on my work (obviously). I usually don’t even put it on my resume, or talk about it to my friends, because most of my ghostwriting clients want the fact that I’m writing for them to stay confidential (in that way, I guess I’m a little bit like a secret agent — a very little bit). And that’s totally fine with me, because if I’m doing my job right, the work that I produce for each client is so specific to their needs, their personality and their voice that it’s a better representation of them than of me anyway.
Most of our clients at Infomedia only need copywriting, but for the few who need ghostwriting, I’m glad we provide it, both because I enjoy the writing challenge, and because it’s very rewarding to see a client that feels well represented by my work and sees added benefits from the blogs I’m writing. Besides, I wouldn’t make a very good secret agent anyway (I’ve never been a great code-breaker, and I don’t know any martial arts); but that doesn’t mean I can’t ghostwrite for one.