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Pros & Cons of Ghostwritten Content

Do you write your own social media content or ask someone to create it for you?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Which is best? I can’t answer that for you, but I can help you decide which choice ie best.

Start by asking yourself if you or someone in your employ is even capable of writing the content required. Be honest. Not everyone is destined to be a great writer and while someone may have great skills as a technical writer, that’s much different than writing for social media.

I have ghostwritten articles for several companies.

My first was a short story about the history of St. Patrick’s Day, with a reference to playing golf. Since I am neither Irish nor a golfer, it was ironic that I was paid to write an article about two subjects that didn’t matter much to me. The client liked what I wrote, accepted the article and hired me for two additional articles soon afterwards. About a week after I submitted it, I found several social media sites that were using the golf piece. Obviously, her clients were not promised exclusivity on whatever she sold to them.

The table below lists the primary criteria that you must consider before deciding on creating your own content or hiring someone else to do it for you. Keep in mind that I am assuming that the ghostwriter would be competent, as there are a number of good writers out there and there are at least as many out there that are not good writers.

Despite the benefits from using an outside service, I still recommend writing your own content if at all possible.

Your personality and passion will come through, a major benefit when using social media or blogging. Additionally, you will be more informed on the topic than most freelancers so you can include specifics that a ghostwriter might not know. Finally, unlike the companies that ended up using my golf piece, you will have exclusive use of the content.

While it can be difficult to learn how to write good content, it can be learned.

The biggest concern that I see from people writing their own content is making sure to set aside time to write quality content. You should never do it in a hurry or force yourself to write it. Ideas may come to you at unexpected times and not at all when you need them to, so give yourself enough time to do a good job. Otherwise, people will tune you out and your efforts will be wasted.

If you decide to use a service, here are several services that I have had experience with in the past.

1. DoNanza

I find this an easily-navigable website and they allow writers to create a very complete profile, making it easy for clients to check out their past work and pick a writer that best suits their needs.

Anyone can sign up to be a freelancer for this site.

2. Ebyline

This site is more difficult to register for as a freelancer. You either need to go through a rigorous review process (I know two people who couldn’t make the cut) or get pre-approved by one of their clients, which is what happened to me. 

Once you’re in their system, you can be hired by any of the companies that use Ebyline. I’ve seen what companies pay (over and above what the writer gets paid) for articles written by freelancers and I found it to be very reasonable.

In addition to ghostwriting, writers can sell their works to newspapers, magazines and the like and receive credit for their work.

3. GhostBloggers

Strictly for ghostwriting, I’ve sold two articles here. It’s an excellent way to find freelance writers for blogs and social media sites. Similar to DoNanza, anyone can sign up to be a freelancer, so be sure to check out their profile to see samples of their work.

The cost to use the service is based on its length, with a 30% fee tacked on to what the writer gets that goes to the service.

4. Likeable Dentists

This service provides content to its customers, while still allowing them to personalize it with additional content. They work exclusively with Henry Schein Dental, the largest dental retailer in the U.S. and can either take full control over a dentist’s social media efforts or provide as much or as little of the content as a dentist wants, allowing them to add personal messages, specific content, etc.

There are reasons to go either way.

I hope this list helps you understand your options. Let me know in the comments below if I can help you answer any questions.

Joe Yeager is a marketing analyst and social media administrator for a leading B2B manufacturer in the professional dental market. He is also a freelance writer and adjunct faculty member. Please follow him at @JosephMYeager.