Let me be really clear – there’s nothing wrong with deciding to hire a ghostwriter. You don’t do everything in your business, right? You are probably already outsourcing the tasks that you are either not good at, don’t like, or don’t have time for. Most people start out with outsourcing their bookkeeping, taxes, or sending out their newsletter.
A ghostwriter is just another person on your team who helps you get it all done!
Here are some great reasons to hire a ghostwriter:
- You don’t like writing or feel you’re not good at it. I’m a firm believer that everybody has a story to tell but I 100% get it that not everybody is in love with the written words.
- Tasks like your blog, book, newsletter, or articles keep getting added to your to do list and then stay there, day after day, week after week.
- There are other activities that only you can do. Instead of being a money-making activity, these writing activities are taking you away from other things that do make you money.
I want to say this clearly: it’s not a failure AT ALL to bring in a writer! You’re an expert at what you do and people pay you for your knowledge, skills, and passion. Writers are the same and we love to write!
Here’s what you need to do before hiring a ghostwriter:
1. Be realistic about your budget
You might be able to get a writer on the cheap but is the writing of any quality? This writing is representing your business – more than video, podcasts or interviews ever can. You don’t need to pay through the nose, but don’t expect a quality writer to be cheap either.
2. Look at their credentials
Your writer should be a native English speaker or have the writing skills of one. Ideally she should have a degree in writing (Creative Writing or Journalism) or English. If not, then years of experience will also do the trick!
3. Be clear about your expectations
Nobody is going to write EXACTLY like you do but a good ghostwriter should come close. However, understand that there will be a process while your writer gets to learn your voice so there might be more edits in the beginning. You’ve got to be okay with letting go and letting the writer do her job. That being said, if she isn’t matching your voice and style, you might need to look elsewhere.
Have you ever thought of joining a writing group?
Hang on – do you know what a writing group is? There are several different types:
- Writing groups – authors hanging out together and typing away
- Critique groups – examine each other’s writing for tone, style, clunky passages and moments of brilliance
- Commenting groups – for blogging, usually, where you read and comment on each other’s blogs
- Review groups – swap reviews on Amazon.com or other online reviewing sites
So, back to my original question: Have you ever thought of joining a writing group?
Here’s why you want to take a look at joining one or more groups:
Writing is a lonely business so it’s nice to get together with other people who are doing the same thing. It’s a lot like when I was in college and would head to a study room to work. I wasn’t studying the same subject in a group – like quizzing each other but rather working on my own stuff in a room of other people who were really focused. It always helped my concentration and focus.
These types of groups can quickly become a social event. Which is totally fine (and fun) UNLESS you’re really just there to work and everybody wants to chat. There’s also the challenge of hauling your materials to a location and hoping you have all your resources, research, and tools.
Writing groups usually accept any type of author. They might not be the best place to make connections for clients or referrals but you can also be inspired by sharing a table with a novelist, poet, or playwright! Remember that the purpose of the group is to write – not to network so be respectful of the rules of the group.
It’s always a great idea to have somebody read over your work! Critique groups might focus on the technical aspect of writing (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.) but they usually are more of big-picture view looking at flow, rhythm, tone, plot, etc.
When you’re picking a critique group, it’s easy to fall into a group of writers who aren’t experienced. While I believe that everyone has something to offer, if you’re years down your writing training road, you might not get a lot out of a group filled with college students. Try to find a group with a mix of wanna-bes, trying to break ins, established authors, and career writers. Also look for a mix of ages – you’ll get a better perspective on your work. Also be wary of groups who ONLY tell you everything is wonderful – that doesn’t help you grow as an author.
A headline is one of the most important pieces of writing – ever. And it’s also one of the most difficult to write!
A headline is designed to attract attention and create desire in a person to read the rest of the piece. Don’t fool yourself that headlines are only found on articles or sales pages. They’re not! For the purposes of this article, a ‘headline’ is anything that needs to attract a reader’s attention and get them to take a second action; usually to read the piece of writing.
Headlines can include:
- Article or blog post titles
- Book titles
- Email subject lines
- Headlines for sales copy
There are three main types of headlines:
These headlines focus on the pleasure words. They’re often benefit laden and overtly promise that the following copy will solve your pain.
These headlines don’t just unearth a reader’s pain, they POUNCE on it, sink in their claws and drag it kicking and screaming from under the bed. Negative Attraction headlines make you feel uncomfortable.
Have you ever NOT mentioned something to somebody because it’s “old hat” to you? Something that you’ve lived with, day in and day out, to the point that it’s become a part of you and you don’t notice it anymore.
Be careful of those moments!
My degree is in Creative Writing and I’ve spent YEARS studying the craft. I read magazines about writing. I go to writer’s conferences, critique groups, and online forums about writing. You’ve seen my shelf of books about writing! It’s safe to say that I have a whole slew of writing tricks up my sleeve. That level of living with the written day in and day out has led to a false perception of the world around me.
In the past few weeks, having calls with clients and answering questions online about what I do, I’ve come to realize something. There’s a WHOLE WORLD of writing resources available that people have no idea about!
A few weeks ago, I posted an article about the pros and cons of taking writing classes (or any business classes) and included a picture of my “writing resources” bookshelf. Wow! I never imagined so many people would want to know what writing resource books I recommend!
And yes, I have some that I highly recommend. So I’ve compiled a list of my “can’t live without” books for writing. To make your life easier, I’ve linked to their page on Amazon.com so you can just buy them with a click.
A dictionary (A GOOD dictionary)
Mine is a Webster’s and it was what I asked for from my grandmother when I graduated from high school. Now, before you point out that there’s an app for that (or a website or a widget or a thingymabob) there’s a REASON I still have an honest to goodness dictionary sitting on my shelf. When you look up a word for its correct spelling, definition or usage in a digital format you get exactly what you’re looking for and nothing else. When you look it up in a paper dictionary, you get to read all the other words that are on the page! And those other words always spark ideas.
I have two: the matching Webster’s to my dictionary and a really cool one by Roget’s called the Super Thesaurus. Of course you can look up synonyms and antonyms online, and even click to be taken to definition of any word you don’t recognize, there’s still something to be said for the ideas sparked by the orderly row of words on the page.
I’ve written several articles about writing the book you’ve been called to write, following your dreams, and not letting your stories die inside of you. Recently I had the opportunity to make someone else’s dream come true. I first met Karl in fall of 2013. I’d JUST realized that Assisted Self-Publishing was really what I wanted to do and Karl was sent to me by a friend because he had a book he wanted to publish.
For Karl, the fees for my work weren’t an issue. It was that he wanted the whole thing done in a week AND to make matters worse, the manuscript had been typed on a typewriter; I’d have to re-type the whole thing. I felt I couldn’t compress my timeline of 4-5 weeks for publishing.
Months passed. We’d run into each other at the grocery store or post office. I’d always ask how his project was going. He had a friend who was turning his typed manuscript into a .csv file. Why, I’ll never know; the publisher needs a .pdf that’s laid out to their specifications.
In May, just after I stopped working at the tax office full-time, Karl stopped by there, looking for me. I hopped in the truck to go see him and see how I could help him out. See, something had changed for Karl and it became critical he see his book published.
Karl is dying. In May, he said his doctor was giving him four to six months; heart problems and nothing can be done for him. He wanted to see his book published before he died. Hold it in his hand and know that it was real. Because of his medical bills, the money to pay my fees had been spent on his care.
This week, I’m attending Maribel Jimenez’s EXCELLENT event so I asked my dear friend and client, Camden Hoch, to share some yoga moves that are perfect for those of us who spend a ton of time at our desks. I don’t know about you, but after a day sitting at my computer, my shoulders are tight and my lower back aches.
Camden has fixes for both!
0:38 Meet Ms. Jackson the Wisdom Kitty
1:07 Why you should do this: The 7th Inning Stretch
1:43 Breath work
3:07 Maintain breath-work for oxygen circulation for mental clarity
3:32 Yoga poses to open shoulders and release tension: moving shoulders
4:52 Yoga poses to open chest to loosen upper back: breath work and stretches
6:29 Yoga poses to continue to release and relax back: Cow & Cat
7:51 Feel the energy circulation, vibrance, and radiance
8:07 Camden’s suggestions to open your hips as you work
8:49 Yoga pose to open hips: Chair pose
9:44 Yoga pose to continue to open hips: chair pose with twist
10:48 Bonus tip!
11:10 Sign off from Ms. Jackson
Camden Hoch is the Founder of Radiance Enterprises and creator of the Radiant Life and Biz Coaching Program. She is recognized as one of today’s leading experts in teaching methods to embrace life daily with attention and intention to balance. Her teaching style encourages connection through honest and rich relationships uplifting global value and connection. She has mentored and empowered hundreds of clients in choosing to power up their lives and businesses from the inside out!
Find her at CamdenHoch.com