People ask me all the time if there’s A WAY to work with a ghostwriter. Chemistry and work preferences vary so  I can only answer by describing the way I work with my clients.

Choose a writer who knows YOUR stuff

Before you hire someone to write for you, be sure they have domain expertise. My specialty is business writing and nonfiction because I have the background and education to do the job well.  If someone asked me to write for pharma or hi tech I’d have to take a pass — actually I’d have to question why they called me in the first place!

The right relationship starts with due diligence, including work samples and client referrals.

Getting started with a ghost writer

With a bit of ramp up a qualified writer can get to work writing newsletters, blog posts, articles, white papers, presentations, even memoirs in short order. The ramp up includes determining your key messages, perhaps some SEO targets and an editorial calendar. I talk about key messages and an editorial calendar in this video.

Getting YOUR voice out of a ghost writer

If you haven’t yet watched the video above, or stopped it before the end, queue it up to 2:30 where I talk about the advantage of using a sound file when working with a ghost writer.

I find that if clients begin a project by writing it themselves, or responding to my questions in writing, they focus on their spelling and grammar and perhaps their bad typing skills. This means I get less out of them and their project takes longer than if they simply respond to my questions in a natural, conversational way.   Any smart phone can serve as a recorder with a downloaded app. If you must buy a recorder, get a Sony with a USB for less than $75.

A voice recording enables me to write for clients in a way that replicates the way they think and express themselves. Of course  I clean up grammar, arrange  the piece sequentially, dig for case studies and add headlines, tags, illustrations, etc., but the end result is something that sounds familiar to the reader — only better than my client could have produced without my assistance.  My clients really do say, “It sounds like me, only better.”