A ghostwriter is a professional writer who writes in such a way that it seems as if you did the actual writing. Celebrities often use ghostwriters and so do many busy business people.
Hiring a ghost can be a perfect solution for the busy real estate agent who needs articles and blog posts for their websites.
Part of your marketing budget
Expect to pay to get a good, reliable ghostwriter. You can get writers for free or for very little, but the chances of getting quality at those prices are pretty small. And if you do luck out, the chances are the writer you’re underpaying or not paying at all today will soon find higher pay elsewhere.
Prices for writers are all over the map. My personal suggestion is that you think in terms of $40 to $80 or so for blog posts and simple articles.
Decide exactly what you want them to write
Since you’re hiring someone to write for you, you need to be able to tell them exactly what you want them to write. The clearer you are when you write your ad and talk to potential candidates, the better you’ll both be.
For example, let them know the approximate length, typical topics, and why you want them to write in the first place – what’s your goal.
Generally you’re trying to increase page views which means the writer should have some familiarity with search engine optimization. Blog posts tend to run 300-800 words, although there can be reasons to have longer posts.
Frequency can be anything from monthly to daily.
Where to find writers
Your local craigslist is a great source for finding writers who know your area. Post under Gigs/writing. Some Craigslists are charging for job posts – many are still free. Paid posts have some advantage of reducing competition.
Word of mouth is another wonderful way to find good writers. Ask agents in your office – you may find a jewel and it won’t matter than the ghost is writing for several – remember they are using your name as their byline.
What you need to know
You want a writer with some experience, preferably in writing about real estate. It’s even better if they know your area.
Your prospective writer should have their own website where you can see samples and some testimonials.
When you find a writer that you think you like ask for a couple of references and check them.
Ask your writer to sign a non-disclosure agreement. If you need one I have one on my website you’re welcome to adapt.
Do a simple letter of agreement that spells out what you’re asking them to write, how often, and how much you’re paying. Or you can ask the writer to generate such a letter. Email is fine.
Set a deadline for the first article or post and you’re on your way with your very own ghost.
Got questions about hiring a ghostwriter? Ask them in comments and we’ll get an answer for you.