We are the blog copywriter for several large clients. Mostly we’re ghost bloggers. I could tell you who we work for, but I’d have to kill you, as they say. No really, the terms of our Non- Disclosure Agreements are that strict.
Confidentiality is one of the drawbacks of what we do because I can’t list all the great clients we work for. However, discretion is one of the key factors that corporate clients look for. After all, we’re writing on very technical subjects on behalf of some very senior people, where demonstrating high-level expertise and accurately replicating a very idiosyncratic tone of voice is crucial.
The ghost bloggers in the machine
Our clients don’t want their clients to know that actually they’re outsourcing their blogging to a copywriter. Why? Because their readers have invested in the personal brand of the writer. Destroy that illusion and you destroy the connection.
When is Gordon Ramsay not Gordon Ramsay?
We don’t work with Gordon Ramsay, but I’ve met one of his ghost bloggers. One of them. It’s an illusion we all buy into – that successful people are still writing their own content. Even though key personnel are generally too busy to write regular blog posts (let alone get involved in social media marketing) readers still expect it to come from the author they’re following.
It doesn’t even bear much examination – to imagine someone like Gordon Ramsay, or Duncan Bannatyne, or Jamie Oliver, or Richard Branson (none of whom we work with) taking time out of running their multi-million pound empires to write a personal blog every day, or a newspaper column, or a book every six months, just doesn’t stack up. They may do some of those things occasionally but generally the time-money equation doesn’t stack up.
When you’re earning hundreds of pounds an hour why would you spend an hour, two hours writing when you can get a blog copywriter to do it just as well, if not better, for £40 a hour?
And yet, we ignore that fact and maintain the illusion that they have written it themselves because we don’t want to read Arthur Thomkinson’s Great British Pub Food (Ramsay), or Diane Smith’s 30-minute meals (Jamie), or Alan Stewart’s Wake Up and Change Your Life (Bannatyne).
A ghost blogger isn’t just for celebrities
The same is true for businessmen and women from all sorts of organisations. They don’t have the time. You don’t have time. But how can you trust someone else to do it for you? Surely your tone of voice is unique? Surely no one else can represent your expertise? Surely no one else will be good enough?
We work at the top end of blog copywriting so we make sure that our work is indiscernible from the work of even the most expert team member or senior executive. It needs to be because often their readers are their peers, competitors, and a part of their real world network. In short, they could spot the difference and they want the knowledge and expertise of a particular individual not Derryck Strachan (unless you’re reading this blog of course).
Horses for courses
Frequently our work is better than the real author. Again, it’s an issue of time and focus. We’re dedicated to finding new subjects to write about, ensuring posts are targeted to the right audience and the right keywords.
Our clients generally don’t make a living by writing. They make money by running businesses selling a diverse range of products and services. It may sound obvious but a professional writing service should be better at writing than you are. It sounds obvious but we make our living writing, so we have to be good at it.