Ever wondered how to hire a ghostwriter for your photography blog? We can help you with that!
Ghostwriters are the “man behind the curtain”, the furious fingers typing the works of your favorite authors, and the secret wordsmiths that mix a thousand words to paint a picture.
You are the visual artist, the capturer of memories, the student of light and angles—,an artist in the foreground and a scientist behind the scenes.
“Taking photos is your passion, and (for many of you) writing is your chore; that is why you need us. We are ghostwriters, and our job is to make your ideas come to life.” — Chantel Bailey
Why Would You Need To Hire a Ghostwriter?
In this digital age, content marketing is one of the most important business decisions you can make for your company. Good content drives healthy SEO (ie. how people find your website in online searches), draws attention to your website, and reinforces your reputation as an expert in your industry. If blog writing is not already a cornerstone of your business strategy, we highly recommend hiring a ghostwriter. It’s just a good business move.
3 Reasons You Should Think About Hiring A Ghostwriter
1. You just can’t seem to make time to write so hire someone to write for you.
Let’s face it, you know that writing for your photography blog is essential to bring in traffic and help bring in more leads, but every time you sit down to do it, you do (literally) anything else instead. So you end up with a hard drive of galleries collecting dust while tumbleweeds roll across your blog page, and the last time you were published was three James Bond’s ago.
It’s time to face the music; you simply won’t do it unless you delegate it. Working with a ghostwriter lets you ditch the guilt about putting your blogs on the back burner, and helps you get the traffic you need for leads and new clients.
2. You're a better photographer than you are a writer, so hiring someone to create your content just makes sense.
Don’t sweat this one—it’s actually really common for creative types to be highly skilled in some creative areas and not skilled at all in others! The number one benefit of hiring a ghostwriter for your photography blog is that it frees you up to spend your time creating what you love and excel at. You are exceptional at what you do, and employing a content writer who is outstanding at what they do will only push your business forward. The phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” has chops. When you delegate your blog writing to a content creator, you are giving yourself the gift of time; time that you can spend growing as a photographer.
3. You have great ideas, but don't know how to tie them together—this is where ghostwriters shine.
A ghostwriter’s job is to bring structure to your ideas and create an engaging storyline for your readers.
When you’re the photographer, you’re so close to the action that it can be hard to get a fresh perspective and speak about your experience using language that resonates with your audience. Your ghostwriter didn’t live your experiences. They’re not inside your brain, so they naturally take on an outsider’s perspective and find ways to make your story clear and appealing to your audience.
A ghostwriter’s job is to write a photography blog that best relays the story you want to tell or organizes the information you want to give to your readers.
Finding The Right Ghostwriter
Hiring a ghostwriter is not like hiring a dry cleaner—it’s not transactional, it’s relational—and not all ghostwriters are created equal. Our number one piece of advice when you hire a ghostwriter is to focus first on finding the right person. You have to be able to work closely with them, so vibing with them is essential.
Ask yourself, “Could I handle being stuck on an airplane with this person?” If you immediately feel motion sickness, take that as a sign that you need to keep looking. Interview your ghostwriter, not just about their work abilities, but about their likes and dislikes, what they love to do in their downtime. Finding a content creator that you share common interests with will give you a much better chance of having a great working relationship!
Hire Ghostwriters For Their Voice
This concept, when wanting to work with a ghostwriter, may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. Have you ever been asked to shoot something that just wasn’t inspiring to you, but you agreed to it anyway because there just wasn’t a good reason to say no?
I’m willing to wager that you did a fine job, but your work, frankly, could have been shot by anyone. Conversely, have you ever been asked to shoot a dream session, and took photos that you consider to be some of your best? Just as you produce your best work when you’re shooting what you love, so will your blog writer.. This doesn’t mean they have to be an expert on every topic you ask them to write; it means that you should appreciate your writer for their natural personality and find ways to maximize what makes them unique as a freelance writer. In other words, your blog writer should be a kindred spirit.
From the first contact, ask your writer what they most like to write, and ask them for examples. A content creator’s job is to emulate your voice, but they should also have personal work to show you that also gives you an idea of their voice. The two should be close enough that they can write like you but also add in the flare of their own personality.
PRO TIP: In your email exchanges, write in your voice. If you are looking for a goofy, lighthearted ghostwriter, but email them as though you’re a stiff, down-to-business professional, you’re sending the wrong message. Even if the blogwriter is naturally goofy, they will likely respond similarly (after all, imitation is what ghostwriters do best), and you will probably miss your opportunity to work with an excellent candidate.
Understanding A Ghostwriter’s Pricing
As a photographer, you discuss details of your job with your client; your shot list, the number of images you’ll deliver, how many hours you’ll spend at the shoot, etc. Similarly, it’s crucial that you discuss expectations when hiring a small business copywriter to write your photography blogs.
Hourly/Per Word or Project-Base Rates of Ghostwriters
Most ghostwriters work at an hourly/per-word or project-based rate.
There are benefits to both, but I strongly recommend hiring a ghostwriter that is project-based; you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for the budget you’ve set aside, and there’s no room for unexpected charges.
Set expectations with your ghostwriter by first understanding their rates. Here are a few clarifying questions you can ask your ghostwriter to include in their quote:
- What is your turnaround time?
- How many words are in one blog?
- How many rounds of edits are included?
PRO TIP: You are a business owner and so are they. Just as you expect to be valued for your talent, it’s important to value theirs as well. If you have budget constraints, be upfront about them and ask the blog writer what they can provide to you for the budget you have.
How Much Do Ghostwriting Services Cost?
Now that you understand how your ghostwriter charges for their work, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty numbers.
When you want to hire a writer who works on a per-project basis, the average cost for a blog post of 500 words (by a new to intermediate ghostwriter) is $50-$70, and 1000 word blogs or more can start from $100. Keep in mind that, the higher your budget is, the more you can invest in a highly-experienced ghostwriter to develop quality work for your photography blogs.
Also keep in mind that, if you want search engine algorithms to pick up your blogs and put them in front of your ideal clients, your blog writer needs to know the ins and outs of SEO for blogging too. There’s no point in hiring a blog writer if they don’t know the steps they need to take to get your blogs noticed by Google and other search engines. You also have the option of learning how to do SEO for blogs yourself and tweaking your blogs once the blog writer has created them, but to be honest, it’s just easier if you find someone who knows what they’re doing.
Of course, if you really want to find a cheaper ghostwriter—you totally can— but it can be harder to bring your expectations to life and you’ll probably need to do a substantial amount of editing yourself. You know what they say, you get what you pay for.
Working With A Content Creator On Your Photography Blogs
Once you’ve found a content creator you like who’s affordable and has a similar voice, it’s time to focus on growing together and maintaining a positive working relatonship with them.
Be Honest and Set Expectations With Your Ghostwriter
If you want changes to your blog, don’t be afraid of hurting your ghostwriter’s feelings. Instead, be frank about the changes you want. A content writer’s biggest responsibility is to tell your story with an honest, articulate, and captivating voice, and only you can help them do that. Time spent tiptoeing around your edits or biting your tongue about your expectations is time wasted. It’s nothing personal, and your ghostwriter knows that.
Let your writer know the changes you want, but never lecture; your ghostwriter is not your employee, they are your partner, treat them as such.
PRO TIP: Conflict isn’t inherently a bad thing—it can often be beneficial by creating opportunities to set expectations and strengthen your working relationship with your writer. If you are having an issue with parts of your writer’s work, speak about it positively by starting your conversation with something like, “I’m so happy this came up…”
Help Your Ghostwriter Help You
You want to hire a ghostwriter so that you can spend your time elsewhere, so do everything you can to give your ghostwriter all the information they need upfront so that you minimize the need for wasted time in the editing process.
A writer can cut out most of the back and forth with clients if you provide them with all the info they need from you before they even write a word. To efficiently collect this information, most blog writers will have a template that they send to clients when they’re hired. If your ghostwriter does not have a similar process already in place, lead the way and use the info below as a guideline. It will save everyone time and energy in the long run!
Blog Guidelines to Help Your Ghostwriter (Photoblog Example):
- EVENT: State the type of event and its date. List the names of the people involved and any other details that you feel are relevant (venue, caterer, etc.).
- DETAILS: What was memorable about this event? Tell your writer about your experience with the subjects in the photos. Describe significant moments, stories, or qualities of the event.
- First dance song, how the couple met, unexpected rain at the reception, etc.
- LANGUAGE: Make a list of a few words you would use to describe the event and the subjects in the photos.
- “Fun, quirky, unique, lighthearted” vs. “elegant, exquisite, dignified, classic,” etc.
- LINKS: Attach a link to the photo gallery, event video, press release, etc.
- CALL TO ACTION: What action do you want your reader to take?
- “Enter to win a free mini session!” “Attend my workshop!” “ Get in touch.”
- NOTES: Add any additional notes or comments here.
Fill out as much, or as little of the template as you feel is necessary to make the blog feel personal. Start with these questions and alter the template to best suit your individual needs.
Use this form to brain dump everything you remember about the event and don’t worry about structuring your memories or using good grammar—that’s not your job. This template should only take you a few minutes to fill out and your ghostwriter should be able to fill in the blanks and create a storyline based on the information you provide; so, the more details you give them, the better.
PRO TIP: When you get the first draft from your writer, add any additional details, make edits to the document, and add general comments. Try to get it all out in the first round of edits. After one round of content edits and another round of grammar and punctuation edits, the blog should be ready for publication. If it isn’t, revisit your process and talk about how you can work together more efficiently in the future.
Regular content marketing is one of the single most important things you can do for your business, and it is an absolute must in photography.
When you’re ready to hire a ghostwriter to help you elevate your content by delivering your message in a clear, easy-to-follow, thoughtful way, communication is key to ensure it does your beautiful work justice.
NOTE: As a ghostwriter myself, I can tell you that the relationship between a ghostwriter and their client is truly special. Believe it or not, some of my favorite clients have even become my closest friends (looking at you, Mastin Labs!). So whether you’re a busy photographer with barely enough time to brush your teeth in the morning or a photographer that simply holds a general disdain for blog writing, I encourage you to look into hiring a ghostwriter for your business.