Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ghost Blogging- A Trick or A Treat?

By JJ Murphy

I was recently asked if I would consider writing blogs for busy entrepreneurs and business owners.

To my understanding a blog is a first-person account of some important issue or aspect of a product or service. So how do you ghostwrite a journal entry? I certainly won’t pretend to be someone else, but is there an ethical way to help someone for whom writing is more painful than a root canal?

I began with the search engines. “Ghost Blogging” brought me to lots of sites where one or more apparitions are the main topic of discussion, especially with Halloween coming up. But there were a number of sites and forums for writers providing information that gave me insight into the real differences between ghost writing a blog and ghost writing a speech. The fact that a blog is ongoing makes a huge difference.

Now, where do I draw my personal boundaries when deciding to provide writing support for blogs?

I can only come up with two options.

The first is to get the entrepreneur or business owner to brainstorm out loud or freewrite on the topics that they are most passionate or excited about. I would have no problem cleaning up the writing, fixing grammar, polishing or shaping a very rough draft, as I would if the client had written a book or screenplay.

The second is to let your readers know you have chosen to hire a professional writer to help you express yourself more clearly than you could on your own. In this scenario, the writer keeps the actual byline, but the content reflects what is going on in the company and the industry. The blog would then take the form of a conversation or informal interview between the writer and the business owner.

Blogs are very public, so the desire to put your best foot forward is understandable. But the ideas and the very tone of the blog has to be yours, not mine. Even with someone to rewrite or polish your rough drafts, you still have to show up for each blog. Most experts advise posting a blog twice a week.

When it comes to blogs, trust and honesty are critical to building healthy business relationships.

Your readers are likely to forgive you for not being a strong writer if they know you are working with a professional to provide them with the best information.

But there are still more issues to resolve. I can write, but I have no background in online marketing. I am not prepared to autoblog, submit to search engines, indexes or blogs, provide keyword or search engine optimization services.

Is a well written blog, posted regularly twice a week enough without the online marketing services? I have to figure that out.

JJ Murphy is a nature writer, blogging hiker, curriculum creator, locavore and tree-hugger currently based in Harriman, NY. Visit http://www.writerbynature.com for more information on JJ's writing services and her favorite places for gear and supplies.


Bastet said...

I actually blogged about your blog today!

I forgot where I saw the ghost blogging pitch, so I didn't quite get it right. I thought it was in the freelance ads. Still, there's something wrong with it.

Are you having trouble with Technorati? I am.


Yvonne Perry said...

Please explain what you think is wrong and I'll try to help.