C-level blogging: 7 tips for successfully using a ghostwriter

March 20, 2017

By Nicole Sommerfeld, VP of strategy and programs at TDA Group

For executives at high-tech companies, blogging is a great idea — in theory. The time-consuming reality is usually another matter.

Still, a blog from the C-suite means you can personally reach a much-larger yet targeted audience than would otherwise be possible. You can contribute thought leadership, share your vision, or tout a new initiative in your own distinctive voice and with the credibility that your position conveys. You can do a lot of good for your company.

There's just one problem: you don't have enough time for a blog. Not even close.

But there is a solution. Many C-suite execs and IT leaders are turning to ghostwritten blogs to get their messages out, minus the time-consuming exercise of sitting at the keyboard and wordsmithing.

If that sounds like a winning idea, here are seven tips for ensuring your blog experience is fast, easy, and effective.

  1. Use an experienced, professional writer. You don't want to go through a dozen hit-or-miss drafts with someone who has never ghostwritten technical blog posts. A professional writer with previous ghostwriting expertise can help you clearly express your ideas while quickly adopting your tone and style.
  2. Assign a contact person at your organization. If you are working with an outside writer or marketing agency, assign an in-house staff member to serve as a contact and manage project details. Your internal team member can help set the schedule and coordinate draft reviews while ensuring the time you spend on the process is minimal.
  3. Provide background materials. Have your designated staffer send the writer or agency background materials — a brochure, article, slide presentation, link to a web page, or other assets — about the subject of your blog. Even if the writer has a working knowledge of technical subjects, providing background material helps ensure he or she is up to speed on the latest details about your precise topic. You might also include a previous sample of your writing style.
  4. Share your point of view. Take a half-hour or less at the beginning of the project to communicate what you want to get across in your blog. You could simply email your in-house staffer a short description of the audience you want to reach and three to five brief points you want to include. Or you could set up a half-hour call with the writer. A call will not only help you convey the right content, but also enable the ghostwriter to capture your voice in the blog, in a way that seems natural.
  5. Consider timing and channels. Communicate to the writer any product launches or events that could be used as springboards for the blog. Are there any actions you want readers to take, such as registering for an event or downloading a new product white paper? Also, which channels make sense for promoting the blog? The writer or agency can craft "teasers" to draw readers to your blog from websites, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
  6. Make a little time for reviews. Plan for two rounds of review. Most of the changes you make will typically be to the first draft, which should arrive in a Word document set to capture revisions you make or comments you insert. By the second round, the draft should be in good enough shape that you won't have to make more than a couple of minor changes.
  7. Relax. Nothing will be published without your approval, and you'll have ample opportunity to check it in advance. You can send the proposed draft to any reviewers at your company you like, such as internal product development, communications, or legal team members.

Now that you've got these steps down, repeat the process periodically to create a series of blogs. The ability to deliver clear, crisp communications in your distinctive voice makes blogging a powerful tool in today's cluttered marketing landscape. By using the services of a ghostwriter, you can produce blogs on a regular basis and build a following, without cutting into the time you need to do your job.

Nicole Sommerfeld is a VP of strategy and programs at TDA Group, an integrated B2B content marketing agency. You can reach her at Nicole@tdagroup.com or find her and TDA on Twitter at @NASommerfeld or @TDAGroupUSA.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


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