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Ghosting Ongoing Business Communications - A Great Market For The Right Writer
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"Ghostwriting" conjures up invisible authors crafting celebrity memoirs. For that matter, many business executives have had help sharing their wisdom on how to run a company. Ghostwriting requires long-term involvement in a specific body of knowledge -- and a lot of work.
On a much smaller scale, plenty of everyday business content -- marketing materials, sales letters, websites, user guides, and internal communication -- is created as work for hire, by freelance writers. Most of this work is done in self-contained projects that are completed in days, weeks, or sometimes months.
But there is a freelance business writing opportunity that really calls for someone like a ghostwriter. Regular communication with employees and customers is a powerful business tool, yet relatively few companies sustain that level of communication. Most people see maintaining a flow of useful, engaging, and relevant communications for months or even years as an enormous task.
If you have the right skills and abilities, you can save the day by "ghosting" that continuing communication, and your client will be immensely relieved to have you take on that task.
Do you have what it takes? For a start:
Reliable production of content on schedule is the single defining characteristic of this kind of work. If you cannot sit down, say, every Friday to turn out 500 or 750 words on a business topic, without fail, don't get into this market.
Clear, compact writing is essential. When your audience is hearing from the company every month, or every week, they won't make time for extended explanations, or breathtaking metaphors. You have to be able to chop large topics into bite-sized nuggets, while maintaining an engaging style.
If you have these qualities, this is an appealing market:
It can generate a consistent income stream. Typically, you work on a retainer (e.g., a set monthly sum), for which you produce a specified body of content. A few of these gigs can nicely smooth out the ups and downs of freelance income. (And the predictability of your invoices is actually a plus for the client as well.)
Repeated contact with your client establishes a relationship, moving you out of the project-based gun-for-hire mode into the "trusted partner" category.
And it's rewarding work. This ongoing communication can produce major benefits for the client.
First, make sure you can do this kind of work. When you were in school, how did you react when your teacher assigned a 1,000-word term paper? If you groaned, this might not be for you. If you didn't blink, if you find turning your notes into 1,000 words or more takes an hour or two of your morning, you might want to give it a shot.
Next, rehearse. Pick a word count (say, 500 words), a topic, and a schedule (every Wednesday morning). Then produce your word count, on topic, on time, for a month. If you find you can't consistently deliver your word count on schedule, this business isn't for you.
But if you do have the discipline and the writing skill to serve this niche, a wide range of markets opens to you:
Smaller businesses offer great opportunities. Many are desperate to maintain contact with their customers, but don't have the resources to put out a newsletter, or to regularly add content to their websites. And there are an almost infinite number of smaller businesses that need this kind of help.
Large organizations will have staff on hand to handle broad employee communications, but many departments serve specific functions that would be more productive if they kept in touch with their staff. Work at the department level.
Large companies also offer "horizontal" opportunities. For instance, quality assurance staff are only effective when they influence people outside the quality assurance department. Small communications, delivered often, can deliver maximum impact at reasonable (and predictable) cost.
Lots of freelance business writers write well. If you can handle the demand for quantity in addition to quality, ghostwriting ongoing communications is a lucrative, steady, and satisfying way to sell your writing skills.
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