Ghostwriting isn’t ‘cheating’ — it’s a smart way to scale content
There’s a theory that William Shakespeare didn’t actually write all those plays and poems by himself — it was a group of authors working together.
While the theory is highly controversial, in the late fifteenth century it was common for plays to be authored by multiple writers, often uncredited.
Ghostwriting isn’t just a modern phenomenon. People have been doing it for centuries. And if the plays of William Shakespeare — the most celebrated playwright in the Western canon — really were written collaboratively, it would certainly go to show that not only can ghostwriting produce incredibly high-quality work but also that uniting the results under one name can make that work go a whole lot further.
Ghostwriting isn’t cheating — it’s collaborating. And businesses thrive when their teamwork and collaboration are strong. Ghostwriters are talented professionals who bring their skillset and their time to support your work. In the modern day, you can amplify your company’s voice, help your team work better, and scale your content faster by adding ghostwriting to your marketing toolbox.
How ghostwriting helps your business
Ghostwriting is a smart way to get your message out more effectively without overburdening your team. It allows you to take on projects you might not otherwise have the bandwidth for, and it gives the people on your team who have important expertise to share a way to get their ideas out there.
It allows an expert to do what they do best
Writing is a ghostwriter’s job. They are able to focus entirely on their writing and produce great content for your company. They will have the skills and the time to conduct research, optimize their writing to support your marketing goals, and create excellent, compelling content. You can find ghostwriters who have specific skills to bring to your team, such as SEO, technical writing, or thought leadership.
Unlike your team members who have a lot of other tasks on their plate, a ghostwriter is able to focus 100% of their energy on collecting information and writing a technically solid, compelling piece. By hiring a ghostwriter, you unite two important skillsets. You bring industry knowledge, brand authority, and marketing insight to the table, and a ghostwriter brings the writing chops to make the most of that expertise.
It saves you and your team time
A ghostwriter takes on some of the most time-consuming aspects of producing content, which allows you and your team to focus on more pressing marketing initiatives. To write an effective piece of content, you need to dedicate time to research, brainstorming, edits, copyedits, and revisions. Even the best writer ends up investing a lot of time prepping a piece or just staring blankly at the page, waiting for inspiration to strike.
Even if you are a skilled writer yourself, you may not have the spare time to dedicate to writing the volume of content your business needs. You are busy focusing your energy on doing the parts of your job only you can do. You will be more efficient if you focus on your primary work and the writer focuses on theirs.
Your entire marketing team also benefits from the strategic use of ghostwriters. Employees with fewer production tasks on their plates will have more mental space for innovation and creativity. By freeing up some of their time, you increase their opportunity to come up with great ideas and execute their current goals more effectively.
It makes your content more personal
Using a ghostwriter makes it possible for communications to come directly from members of your team, regardless of their writing capabilities or the demands on their schedule. This gives your communications a more personal face. These days, people want to hear from other people more than from companies. It’s especially noticeable on LinkedIn, where business pages receive less interaction than the pages of their employees, even if they are sharing the company’s message.
Marketing as a whole has moved toward sharing more personal voices. Perhaps it is a result of audiences getting used to having more direct access to people through social media platforms, but audiences really respond to connecting a face to a message. People want to see thought leadership from prominent leaders within a company and technical information coming directly from the team member who built the feature.
You and the other experts on your team hold a huge amount of knowledge — on your industry, your company, and your product — but your time is probably not best spent writing. Turning your insight into digestible, compelling writing also isn’t necessarily your area of expertise or anyone on your team’s. A ghostwriter, on the other hand, will know how to distill valuable information into great content.
Ghostwriters can set up interviews on a regular cadence and record your answers to questions, and shape that information into valuable content. Audiences are still receiving the message from a personal voice, but without it being a huge burden on the expert’s time.
It amplifies your message and marketing
It is a huge task to produce consistently high-quality content and publish it at a high enough frequency to be effective, no matter how fantastic your marketing team is. Ghostwriters help you produce more content without overburdening your team. Their writing will amplify your company’s message, build your domain authority, and establish your reputation as a source of valuable information.
Using a ghostwriter doesn’t mean you’ll lose the personal touch a dedicated marketing team brings. You can create tools for your writers, such as style guides and editorial guidelines, that help them understand the way your company expresses itself. You can also use AI writing aids like Writer to help all of your writing match in tone and voice. More frequent communications combined with quality writing and a consistent, personalized voice will strengthen your marketing efforts.
Common misconceptions about ghostwriting, debunked
There are a lot of misunderstandings about ghostwriting that may make business leaders and marketing teams hesitant to employ it, despite the benefits. It is helpful to understand the objections and be able to speak to them when you are thinking of using ghostwriters.
Ghostwriting is deceptive
A common gut reaction to the idea of using a ghostwriter is that having a name credited who isn’t the person who literally put the words down on paper is in some way a form of lying. In reality, a ghostwriter is just another part of a group of people who are collectively representing a company’s voice. Corporate writing is a group effort, just like creating a webpage, a product, or a marketing campaign would be.
Business is by nature collaborative. Even if your name is attached to an article you wrote from scratch, you’re using style guidelines someone wrote, gathering information from other people, and you likely got feedback from a few others along the way. The brand you are representing, the company mission, and the message you are trying to get across were all created by teams.
Company employees speak as a representative of the company, not themselves. Ghostwriters channel the voice of the company as well, but through the person representing the ideas because giving one face within the company helps customers relate more directly to that voice. It’s all an honest team effort.
Ghostwriting is plagiarism
Plagiarism, the concept of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own, doesn’t apply in business because plagiarism is a question of academic or journalistic ethics. This is not academia, art, or journalism; it is business.
In artistic writing, the words themselves are the craft. In academic and journalistic writing, the research is the craft. In corporate writing, the ideas and message relating to the business goal are what is important. You, your team, and your ghostwriter are all collaborating, which is not the same as taking someone else’s work for your own benefit.
Ghostwriting is cheating
Cheating implies unfairness, which doesn’t apply here. The ideas and message are coming from you and the company — the ghostwriter helps you shape the words you use to express them effectively and is paid to do so. The ghostwriter is not having something stolen; they are getting paid for their craft and actively contributing to a team.
Ghostwriting produces generic writing
Ghostwriting can be conflated with generic writing that doesn’t represent the person or your business well, but that is only if you don’t do it well. A good ghostwriter will be a good writer to start with. They will also be skilled enough to understand and communicate your intentions and adaptable enough to mimic your style and approach.
You do need to invest energy into supporting them and helping them succeed as well. Dedicate the time needed to provide them with information and guidelines for your business’s voice and tone, and that time will pay for itself in time saved. Use all the tools available to you, including company style guides, systems for reviewing and providing feedback, and modern AI writing tools.
Use ghostwriting to open up new opportunities
Ghostwriting will reduce stress for your team and allow you to produce more content, but its real power lies in how it can open up new opportunities that you just didn’t have the bandwidth to tackle before. With more writing support, you can take on more ambitious marketing projects. You can experiment with new ways of amplifying your business and connecting with your customers.
That might look like something as simple as establishing a regular publishing rhythm for your blog or newsletter. It could also mean developing a series of case studies for your website or establishing a reputation as a valuable source of thought leadership for your industry. With ghostwriting, you can make your company’s voice go much further just by broadening your idea of what teamwork can be.