The demand for online content continues to grow. Econsultancy reports that increasing online content is a top priority for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies in 2016, with a specific rise in native content. This opens up opportunities for writers from all industries to find work – and for that writing to help build personal brands.
Not all of those opportunities will come with a byline, though. Ghostwriting, where your words are attributed to someone else, is also rising – and presents an interesting situation for people who are trying to grow their expert visibility.
When you’re trying to make a name for yourself, is it ever smart to ghostwrite?
The answer is: Sometimes.
Part of the reason to develop online content is so your name is out there, preferably with a bio or byline with your headshot. This is how you build credibility and visibility in your industry. So if you don’t have either of those things, what’s the point in writing online content at all?
On first glance, ghostwriting seems like a bad idea but there are actually some subtle perks to ghostwriting that you should consider before you turn down the work.
Will that person/company give you a referral if needed?
While it isn’t customary to ask the credited company to say that you wrote the material, that individual or business could vouch for you in other ways. If you need a referral for a future job or to land a new client, see if the person or company you wrote for will give you referral that touts your professionalism and communication skills. They can praise things like attention to detail, adherence to deadline and overall knowledge of the industry without actually saying you ghostwrote something.
Can the person/company advance your personal branding in other ways?
Is this a company or individual you’d like to work with again in the future? Perhaps you want to be offered something full-time. If so, ghostwriting could be a great way to get your foot in the door.
Is it worth the money?
When all things are considered, the financial terms may be the deciding factor. If you don’t feel like your career will be advanced much as a result of the ghostwriting gig, but the paycheck is lucrative, it may be worth it to you to do.
Think carefully before you accept or reject any ghostwriting projects. Some may be worth more to your personal brand than it appears on the surface.