How to create a great blog post with or without a ghostwriter
Keep reading if you are a superbusy executive!)
You will notice straight away that this is the first post I am publishing on LinkedIn. My excuse is no different than yours: time-crunched and overstretched.
What qualifies me to write on this topic then? The posts I create for my clients. I follow how they perform and analyse the stats on a regular basis. What you will find in this article is my personal experience of what has worked well so far.
If you are thinking of hiring a ghostwriter for the first time, the tips will help you understand how the whole process works. Due to the growing power of social media, a much wider range of extremely busy professionals wish to build their network and share their opinions, insights and ideas. Thus, I see ghostwriting as a solution to this valid business need and a great opportunity for co-producing quality content.
On the other hand, if you are getting ready to dive into blogging yourself, I sincerely hope you will benefit from the questions and tips I use to guide my clients through the process.
Tip #1: Jot down main points!
If you already know what you would like to blog about — does not matter how raw your idea is at this stage — I would suggest that you write it down! Even a few bullet points will be very helpful to get the ball rolling. You can subsequently refine the idea together with your ghostwriter.
If you are too busy to jot anything down, you can record it. Utilise your mobile phone! The effort you make at this stage is crucial and always pays off. The more information you give, the easier it is for the ghostwriter to understand your point of view and consequently get it across.
I did the same when I got the idea for this post. First, I made a rough draft of the points I wanted to convey, and shaped and refined them afterwards.
Tip #2: Give answers to What-Who-Why questions!
Try to be as coherent as possible! Here is what your ghostwriter will need to know and what you should think about while contemplating or drafting your piece:
- What do you want to say?
The most successful articles my clients have authored are those with a clear message. Do not try to cover too many points in one post! If the topic is wide, break it down into different pieces! (Again, take this post as an example: I am focusing on painting a big picture of the whole process of creating a first-class blog post so you know what it entails and how to start. Notice that I am not discussing any structure/grammar/headlines/key words; I am not talking about how to distribute it, nor how to repurpose it!)
- Who is your audience?
If you have already defined your audience, it will be much easier for you to craft a clear message specifically for them.
(My post is geared towards busy financial professionals and is based on my experience of walking them through their first post — definitely the hardest one to bring into existence!)
- Why is it important?
This is a very good question in general! The answer will not only help your ghostwriter see the less obvious connections between different points, but might even lead YOU to a new insight.
(In my case, I thought the article was worth writing to show my existing and potential clients, and all of you interested in blogging, how to make the whole process straightforward, enjoyable and less time consuming. Plus, while doing it, I got some ideas for the future posts!)
- What do you wish to achieve?
The clearer your intention, the more focus your post will have.
For instance: Do you wish to start a conversation with your audience? Would you perhaps like them to follow a link to your presentation on SlideShare? Is there going to be any other call to action? (Check my CTA at the bottom of the page!)
Tip #3: Supply research material!
Provide the right research material if necessary! Your ghostwriter is probably not an expert in your particular field and might need to acquire some additional knowledge necessary to accomplish the task successfully.
Tip #4: Help your audience connect with you!
Do not be afraid to show your personality, attitude and style! Each author has got his/her unique voice and the ghostwriter will try to capture it. The post will be that much more successful if it sounds like YOU — rather than a boring academic or PR piece. (Have you heard that joke about academic papers being read by only three people: the author, their advisor, and the committee chair?)
Tip #5: Do not forget to do the editing!
Take time to read the draft your ghostwriter sends you! Edit it and/or give feedback before approving it! (Is the content accurate? Does it communicate your authentic message? Does it express your own values, beliefs and opinions?)
Tip #6: Maximise your chances of “going viral”!
If you would like to increase the chances of your content “going viral” among your target audience, you need to make it highly relevant and useful to them. The most read, shared and commented on pieces my clients have authored are those that are informative and helpful — and, on top of that, entertaining. Personally, I believe that it is possible — with some effort — to make any subject interesting, no matter how dry it is!
Here is my magic formula: When writing, I always keep the readers in mind and ask myself: Why would THEY want to read this? That’s another extremely powerful question to help you form a conceptual framework that will get and keep them interested. (Are you educating your audience on a particular subject? Are you giving them some valuable info they can use straight away? Are you providing a unique view on a trending topic? Are you, perhaps, giving them a peek into your world?)
Tip #7: Focus on quality!
I would also suggest that you think in terms of quality rather than quantity, shorter pieces rather than longer. Conversational style tends to work better. (My guess is that the reason why the above joke is probably true is the incomprehensible jargon and length of academic papers. Do not fall into that trap!)
Tip #8: Just get started! It gets easier with each post!
This is my final tip to ease you into the fascinating world of blogging. The hardest is to begin. However, once you start publishing, you will get heaps of new ideas for your subsequent posts that will come from your readers’ comments and questions. What’s more, you will be able to generate them yourself effortlessly since you will acquire a new mindset. (That’s completely natural because what we focus on grows!) And, soon you might even realise you are enjoying it.
Whenever I look at the stats, I am amazed at how powerful blogging has become in such a short time! Some of my clients have been extremely successful at becoming trusted and influential voices in their field. Though, to achieve such a high level of recognition one needs to commit to blogging on a regular basis!
I hope that I have inspired you to start sharing your world, your beliefs, ideas and perspectives, your experiences and expectations with your target audience!
Feel free to send comments and questions directly to me at zana.demellweek@CMOfin.tech. If you would like to read my future posts on blogging, personal branding, content marketing, strategic and integrated marketing, please connect with me!