Yesterday, we discussed the challenges of finding the right kind of ghost blogger to handle your blogging duties on your behalf, whether hiring a sweat shop, solo practitioner, or a professional blogging agency.
Assuming you’ve settled on the kind of person you want to hire, here are five questions you can ask any potential ghost writer or ghost blogger to quickly discover which bucket they fit in:
What country are your writers located in? If it’s not a country where your language is native, then you may have issues. Big issues. At the very least, you’ll spend some time editing and proofing each post, until you’re comfortable with the quality of content they’re providing.
How do you protect me from your writers plagiarizing someone else’s content? The right answer has three parts: First, they should have an editor check the writer’s work using Google and Copyscape to ensure your content isn’t lifted. Second, their writers should sign a no-plagiarism indemnification when they get hired (this way, the writer has financial skin in the game if they steal content). Finally, the blogger should register content with Copyscape to protect you from other’s plagiarizing. Please remember the biggest risk in blogging isn’t someone stealing your content. It’s getting sued for infringing on someone else’s copyright.
How do you make sure my posts are authentic? The answer you’re looking for is, “we don’t put words in your mouth, we put your ideas in writing.” To be honest and genuine, there needs to be a process that ensures that your ideas and your style of articulating ideas comes out in the final product. It’s important that the ideas and concepts be uniquely yours — but it’s okay to have a professional dress them up and put them on paper. Of course, you will need to be involved and at least read your blog before it is posted.
What happens when my contact goes on vacation? Do things stop when your social media person is out of town? What happens if a writer’s child gets sick? Success in social media requires discipline and planning, but there are times when you have to get things done and a one person show simply can’t hit deadlines. If you work with a solo practitioner, make sure you have either a backup, or have a second freelancer you work with to cover the gap.
How do I be sure my posts meet my quality standards? Here’s how it works: you have to be sure that what goes online complies with your legal department’s rules, is accurate, and you like it. The only way to ensure that happens is to make sure the work isn’t done at the last second. You need time to read, review and approve your blog posts. If you have a tough legal department or an “extraordinarily responsible” marketing compliance person, it’s likely your blog writing service will have to charge extra to deal with the cost of proofreading.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for everyone — maybe you’re willing to work with a writer’s schedule — there are a few things that you cannot and should not waver on: plagiarism and quality. Make sure the blogger(s) you hire can guarantee they won’t steal content from someone else, and that you’re happy with the work they’re doing.