When hiring a ghostblogger, most people are (in my experience) only concerned about two things: Whether you can write a quality piece about the given topic, and whether they’ll be able to afford it. Unfortunately it’s a little more complex than that…
And if you don’t get it right, you may be buying factually and grammatically correct content which is utterly useless.
Allow me to explain:
When looking at the writer’s ability to write on a given topic or subject, it’s not always just about being factually correct. There are also (apparently irrelevant) matters of audience, context, and the end goal.
1. Your ghostblogger and your audience:
Who and what is your typical prospect? Or should I say, what type of prospect would you like to attract with the blog content you put out? Are they young or old, or of all ages? What do they have in common – both in terms of interests, problems and possibly characteristics? For instance – if you are selling weight loss products, you would probably be targeting women over the age of 30 (statistically, more than half of them are unhappy with their weight).
In this case, many of your typical prospects will have a busy lifestyle (as a mother of young kids, or a career woman), which comes with its own set of challenges. If your ghost blogger is someone in his or her early twenties without any kids of their own, chances are that he or she may not be able to relate to your audience and their problems – which you want to help solve.
On the one hand, you can use Alexa.com to determine the demographics of the people visiting your blog (they have a free trial). On the other hand, you should decide which prospects you want to attract, and create your blog content for them. For instance – if you want to attract paying customers, stop talking about free options. You don’t want to do all that work to attract freebie seekers.
2. Your ghostblogger and context:
Your context is the intersection where your audience’s problems meet the solution(s) you offer. It’s the environment in which you connect to resonate with their problems, and to offer your solution(s). Are your presenting the information in such a way that it will resonate with them? Will they understand it? Are you putting out a purely academic piece of writing, or is it written by someone who understands the context of both your solution/product(s) and their needs, desires and challenges?
For instance – staying with the weight loss example – your average prospect wants to feel better about herself. She wants to feel attractive again. Yes, there are those who are suffering from being morbidly obese, and need to lose weight for health reasons – but (depending on the demographics of your blog’s visitors) most of your prospects may not respond well to scare threats of things that could go wrong in the distant future.
On the other hand, if most of your blog visitors are older people, that might be exactly what you need to focus on.
In short: Does your content address the expectations, and deliver information within the frame of reference of your audience?
3. Does your ghostblogger understand the end goal?
If your ghost blogger doesn’t understand what the end goal of the given piece of content is, you may have a problem. Fair enough, if you are just pumping out information for an Adsense website, you can get away with a lot. However, of you want to sell any product or service, or get people to sign up to your newsletter or autoresponder sequence, you will need to consider how the page content can/should align with that goal.
In most cases, unless you’re writing about something specific which you want to promote, your end goal will be to improve your standing of credibility and authority with the reader. You want to build trust – because the number of successful conversions, or contact initiations coming from your blog is directly linked to the amount of trust you have earned from your visitors.
If your ghost blogger understands your audience, and he or she understands the end goal of your blog (or that specific post or page), he or she should be able to produce writing which portrays the desired context. If not, the resulting content might not do you much good.