Who Do You Call? Ghost Bloggers

Columnist Steve Warren explains how ghost bloggers work and what they can do for a corporate Web site.
Several months ago I published a piece on corporate blogging. Since the article first appeared, I have had many requests to become a ghost blogger.

What is a ghost blogger? It is a ghost writer for corporate blogging Web sites. But why is there a market for ghost bloggers?

Here is the trend. Blogs have been growing in number exponentially and connecting more and more people who, in turn, are creating a huge Internet social network. This network carries a surprising amount of influence and has been known to greatly impact the popularity of products, individuals, services, etc. At some point, marketing professionals realized they needed to tap into this growing phenomenon.

A typical scenario would then follow this pattern... A savvy marketing department sees the opportunity presented in blogging. They immediately create a Web site capable of hosting blogs, and begin blogging about their company. It is a huge hit for several months. Upper-level management, mid-management, and employees begin blogging like crazy. The writing is very passionate and the free publicity heats up sales.

But just like any new fad, interest wanes and less people blog until the blogging becomes almost nonexistent. Now marketing is left scratching their heads because they have a built an infrastructure and spent a good deal of money and now they are in desperate need of content. This is where I introduce to you the ghost blogger and the ghost blogger service -- passionate writing and informed content for hire.

The ghost blogger headhunter may get involved or a specific ghost blogger will get hired at this point. The writer's job will be to post eight to 12 blogs per week on the company's corporate Web site. These writers can get paid $1,000 to $5,000 a month, depending on the traffic they generate.

For example, if a blogger is paid a base of $2,400 per month, she could receive an additional amount of money based on the amount of traffic she brings to the site. If the average traffic is 100,000 page views, she could get a bonus if it goes up to 110,000, 120,000, 150,000 or 200,000 page views and so on. The more buzz produced, the more money earned.

Does it work? It certainly can!

The important fact to remember in this equation is that the person or persons who are chosen to blog for your company can make or break your Web site and marketing strategy. If the chosen person cannot write with passion about the issues integral to your company's success, your promotional efforts will fail miserably. (In fact, it is possible that a ghost blogger service will attempt to entice your company to hire their writers by promising to only match your company with a writer who shares your company's same interests and passions.)

However, if you find the right person, the money you spend will be well worth it. The writer(s) you hire should partake in weekly conference calls with your marketing department to make certain they are writing about the most important current events that deal with your company.

Blogging is a valuable tool, both for the marketing industry and for consumers who wish to be informed. We live in the information age and people fully expect to learn everything they want to know from someone willing to write about it on the Web. Take advantage of this. Blog, hire bloggers, and read blogs written on subjects that interest you.

And remember, the next time you read a blog on a corporate site, you just might just be reading a blog from Steven S. Warren, your friendly ghost blogger.

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