Working with a Ghostwriter Checklist

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If you’re thinking of or currently working with a ghostwriter, here are some things to consider and discuss with your writer for best results. Communication is a two-way street and the better you can communicate with your writer (and vice-versa), the better the results.

Part 1: Meeting Your Expectations

* Confidentiality: All assignments must be held in the strictest confidence and your writer cannot share or otherwise use any information you learn through working on your projects. You may want the writer to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

* How quick is the turnaround time? Whenever you assign a new project to your ghostwriter, make sure to let them know when you expect the completed project back for your review. Delays are inevitable sometimes, however, discussing deadlines can make sure communication lines are open and can guarantee fewer delays in your project completion.

* File Format: Let your ghostwriter know if your require specific file formats (For example .doc or text, any font type or style)

* U.S. or British English: Yep, if you’re not aware, there is a difference in spelling between U.S. English and British (plus Canadian, Australian, etc.) English. Be sure to let your writer know which spelling you need.

* Clarify Payment Expectations: Familiarize yourself with how your ghostwriter wants to receive payment. Sometimes partial payment is necessary before your ghostwriter starts working on your project. Once the project is completed, the balance is due and once paid for you can start using the completed work.

Part 2: Clarifying The Writing Process

* Writing Voice & Style: If you have a specific voice you’d like your writer to duplicate, be sure to provide plenty of samples to give your writer a good overview of what you’re looking for.

* Which angle do you want to highlight? Again, communication is the key here. Make sure to speak to your ghostwriter about your specific opinion about the article so she can complete the project using your point of view.

* How do your want the article formatted? Are you using the completed article online or offline? There is a specific requirement when using articles online. Make sure to let your ghostwriter know if she is not aware that online articles have less paragraphs and sentences because eyes get tired quickly when reading articles online. Online articles usually have paragraphs with only 3-5 sentences. Using bullet points to convey your thoughts is a good idea as it keeps sentences simple and less confusing.

* Let them know what you want covered: If you want an article written about a specific topic that you are knowledgeable about, do not assume that your ghostwriter knows which points you want discussed in that article. Provide a list of points that you want included in the content. It doesn’t take a lot of time to put that list together and you will end up with a finished product that is more acceptable.

* Does your ghostwriter understand plagiarism? If you are working with a professional ghostwriter, you do not need to talk to them about plagiarism. However, if you are working with a newbie, make sure to mention to them that copying other writers‘ work is not acceptable. This includes copy and pasting sentences and rewriting them to make a new article. Researching and reading articles are fine but make sure that the final work is 100% original. Make sure to mention too that using special article rewriting software doesn’t count as writing an original article.

* Use of Hyperlinks: Often content is designed to promote a product/ business/ website, etc. That often means that links to outside websites is often a distraction to the content your ghostwriter creates. You need to tell your writer if you want them or don’t want them to link to outside resources.

* Evergreen Content: In most cases, the writing assignments you will give your writers are meant to be evergreen content. Most professional writers will expect this, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them of this. However, if you want your piece to be timely and reference specific seasonal events, you need to specify that as well.

* Edit Process: Find out how many, if any, edits are included with the work. Some writers pay not include edits in the price, so know exactly what you’re getting into before you begin.
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