I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost(writer)

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At the risk of providing a Santa Claus/Tooth Fairy moment, we have some news that may shock you. Most of the blogs you read aren’t written by the people whose names appear in the blogs title. Ditto for the majority of celebrity tweets, corporate Facebook page updates and clever Tumblr blog entries allegedly produced by a style icon. The fact is, this here Internet thingamajig is filled with ghostwriting. Ghostwriters are now turned to for everything from blog posts and social media content to digital press releases and beyond from companies of all types and sizes. So if you’ve been thinking it’s time you stopped trying to write everything yourself, let go of your fears and learn to embrace the ghostwriter — well, we couldn’t agree more.

Ghostwriters, first and foremost, help us save time. Complex content marketing strategies require a lot of writing. To really change your company’s digital presence, you need lots of tweets, lots of blog posts and a never-ending output of written material. And creating this mountain of words takes gobs of time — time most business owners do not have. By turning over content creation to someone who does it for a living, you literally save yourself hours of banging your head against the keyboard. Also, great ghostwriters are terrific researchers and they spend hours getting to know your brand’s language. This means every post will sound like it came from your brilliant brain. Another bonus to working with a ghostwriter is that you no longer have to scramble for original ideas. Professional writers get paid to think on their feet and come up with dynamic tales your followers will want to read. Letting a ghostwriter worry about the blog post for the week (or what on Earth to tweet about) leaves you more time to run your business.

Besides, haven’t you heard? The old shame of hiring a ghostwriter is a thing of the past. Top executives, movie stars and local companies alike know the value of hiring a talented ghostwriter to handle all of their content needs. And it’s easy to see why. Dynamic digital content is a must in this day and age; if you can’t create it, why not rely on somebody who can?

Blog Like The Big Brands: Star Wars

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, branded blog writing was a boring affair. Companies were afraid to wink at their own image or be humorous for fear of turning consumers off. Yet being only sales-driven in blogging for business didn’t work, either. Clearly a new way of blogging had to be discovered. Where blogging is concerned we have to listen to the wise words of Yoda who said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” In other words, today’s branded blogging can be both loyal to a company’s image while being fun and self-effacing. Look no further than the official Star Wars blog for further proof.

Last fall, Lucasfilm made headlines when it was purchased by Disney for $4 billion, meaning that Mickey and the gang would soon be joined by Luke, Princess Lei and C-3PO. Judging by Lucasfilm’s digital presence, it was money well spent. Lucas and his team have kept up with every online branding and marketing trend, including blog creation. The Official Star Wars blog catches a reader’s eye initially with its great design. Modern, image-heavy, well-organized and covered in the franchise’s iconic logos and characters, there is no question as a blog reader that you have entered the Star Wars Universe. The blog keeps things informal and friendly, however, when it comes to the actual copy. From posts by fans and kitschy Star Wars-themed craft projects to wedding photos (yes, really!) and collectible news, the blog covers the vast Star Wars territory but does so with a sense of humor and whimsy. There’s no Dark Side here, just strong branding and a whole lot of fun.

Fun! Now there’s a unique idea — and a great takeaway to use in our own blogging practices. Not every one of your business blog posts has to be all serious all the time. Having a little fun, whether it be with videos, funny photos or lighter topics, not only makes your readers feel comfortable but also breaks up the monotony of industry-only related posts.

So, readers, how can your blog have a little more fun? Tell us in the comments section below. And may the blogging force be with you!

The Benefits of Blogging from the Inside

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As ghostwriting and blog marketing experts, we know how a corporate blog can introduce people to your brand, increase traffic to your website and help grow your following on social media sites. Blogging for business is a digital marketing trick used by everybody from the bakery down the street to the mega-technology companies in Silicon Valley. But what about internal blogs? Is there a benefit to writing a blog just for your employees’ eyes? PC World’s Brad Chacos says yes.

Internal blogs are quickly becoming a secure and relatively-painless-to-set-up way for business owners and their employees to communicate. Published in his blog yesterday, Chacos writes, “Given their nature, internal blogs aren’t a great tool for managing the finer details of a project. Yet an internal blog, safe and sound on your company Intranet or behind password protection on a third-party service, lets employees bounce ideas around and disseminate their experiences rapidly and informally.” Brainstorming sessions about new products, blogging image ideas for logos or branding and using a blog to bounce off ideas for HR procedures are just a few ways we think internal blogging could help out around the office.

But why stop there? Chacos says internal blogs are great for broadcasting employees’ knowledge and expertise as well as creating a searchable, permanent archive of expertise.

“All the knowledge published on an internal blog stays there, and long after former employees have left the building,” he adds. “And (it helps with) creating accountability: Once you’ve blogged about something, it can’t be denied later. Goodbye, email trails.”

But can internal blogs work alongside external blogs? You betcha! How about using the employee blog as a portal to drop off ideas for the company blog? What’s just for employees-eyes-only can be a test blog of sorts for the kind of articles you want to publish for your customers. Internal blogs are also a telling test-ground to find out which of your coworkers have a knack for writing and could be potential contributors for your business’ blog.

Successful blogging, external or internal, takes dedication, new content and creativity. Trying out blogging on an internal basis could really help you see whether your company is cut out for it or not. In the end, your blog is a calling card for your business, so it’s important to make sure you have guidelines about posting and protocol totally clear before your blog goes live.

“Most importantly, an internal blog should be not only an open forum, but also an effective resource — and a reflection of your company,” Chacos adds.

Don’t be Afraid of Ghostwriters

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The word “ghostwriter” often gets a bad rap. Recently, the world of hip hop has been shaken by accusations that a performer who goes by the name of Jay Electronica has been ghostwriting for veteran rapper Nas and has even provided the star with lyrics to some of his biggest hits. This being hip hop, neither star wants to look bad, so both have shot down the rumors. But we say if you’ve got ghostwriters, don’t be ashamed — especially when it comes to blogging.

Corporate blog creation can be a daunting process. Many business owners don’t know where to start and how to come up with topics. This is where a great ghostwriter can come in handy. Clearly everybody from Gwyneth Paltrow and Nancy Drew to Rachael Ray and James Bond and beyond have famously benefitted from ghostwriting. The stigma attached is that readers are being misled. With books or biographies, this might be the case. But with blogging, ghostwriting is fair game. The fact of the matter is that most companies don’t have the time to turn out quality daily blogs. Good ghostwriters can lead a blog into successful territory by creating fresh content and crafting a daily voice for your brand.

Let’s also not forget the ‘writer’ part of the word ghostwriter. Tragically and obviously, many non-writers have landed in high-profile blogging and content creation positions in recent months and to disastrous results. (Don’t make us talk about Mitt Romney’s spelling crimes again.)Using real writers helps your blog sound like someone cared when they put it together. Because when it comes to writing, things like grammar and spelling as well as creativity and research truly matter.

While untangling a hip hop ghostwriting scandal is way outside of our wheelhouse, we do know that ghostwriting is one way to ensure great content. If your blog needs some ghostwriting help, why not give us a call? Don’t worry. We won’t tell anyone.