by Cris Yeager | DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST | GHOSTWRITING
There are many similarities between the three types of freelance writers - but there are also key differences that can make or break your writing project. Copywriters, ghostwriters and writers all specialize in different areas of writing, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses that can help you with your project. Read on to learn more about these three different types of writers, along with the ideal situations in which they should be hired to work on your writing project.
1) The differences explained
When you work with an agency or freelancer to create content for your business, how do you tell them apart? The answer is a bit more simple than you'd think. A ghostwriter creates content without credit. A copywriter creates content with credit. And a writer writes down sentences that describe what's going on around them. Which one is right for your business? It really depends on what kind of help you need most. Let's take a look at each type of writer so that you can decide which one will provide your company with the best possible results.
Writers are individuals who create written content. Writers can write short fiction or poetry for magazines or other outlets. They may also write nonfiction, including magazine articles about fashion, careers or hobbies. While writing gigs typically don’t provide benefits, they often help build your portfolio so you can get work as a ghostwriter or copywriter.
A ghostwriter is typically hired by someone who has a story to tell but doesn’t want to, doesn't know how to or can't tell it themselves. A common example of hiring a ghostwriter is for an autobiography. A person will hire a ghostwriter because they need someone to do all of their writing work for them. That person should also have intimate knowledge of that person’s life, so they can craft their words into something that sounds exactly like that person would have said.
A copywriter is someone who writes advertisements or website content that sells products or services. The advertiser—whether it’s an individual entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 company—writes down their goals and what they hope to accomplish with their ads. A copywriter then writes text that serves as an advertisement and includes methods of achieving those goals. The advertisements can appear on television, radio, magazines, newspapers or other forms of media.
2) When should you hire each one?
One of your best bets is to hire a copywriter to craft your website content. These writers specialize in producing high-quality content on demand—no matter what industry they’re writing for—so you can trust them to develop clear messaging that resonates with your audience. They’ll also ensure all of your site pages are written clearly, using relevant keywords where appropriate. That said, if you want someone who specializes in science or medicine (for example), then an industry writer may be more appropriate. However, that's an entirely different conversation! Let's take a look at what hiring each type of professional may look like:
Hiring a writer
If you’re hiring a writer to craft your content, make sure they’re right for you. Here are some key things to look for: Is it affordable? Is their writing voice compatible with your brand? Do they have experience working with similar businesses or clients? If you find that you need help deciding which elements of your content marketing strategy are most important, a guide to planning your B2B content marketing may help you strategize.
Hiring a copywriter
A copywriter is someone who produces written marketing content for businesses. This may include sales letters, crafting copy for landing pages or detailed product descriptions. A freelance copywriter works on a project-by-project basis for different clients. In some cases, they work from home while others travel to clients’ offices to collaborate with team members.
Hiring a ghostwriter
A ghostwriter is someone who writes something on behalf of someone else—takes no credit. In literature, it is not uncommon for an author to hire a professional writer to complete certain sections of their book. In film production, when someone needs dialog written for them but doesn't have time to sit down and do it themselves they will often bring in a ghostwriter. The most commonly mistaken title for copywriters is a ghostwriter.
3) How much do they cost?
If you’re hoping to hire one of these folks, you can expect prices to vary. A freelance writer is usually employed on an hourly or per-project basis; rates can range from $15/hour up to $250+/hour for an experienced professional. If you’re hoping to hire someone with experience in your niche (and most writers specialize), factor in their time commitment—and be sure that they have enough free time before hiring them. You might find yourself paying premium rates for very little writing accomplished if they’re busy with other clients. When it comes to ghostwriters and copywriters, things get more complicated.
4) How can you find them?
The main difference between hiring a copywriter, ghost writer or regular writer is who owns what you create. If you hire an employee to work for your company—be it as just an intern or as an ongoing employee—then that person’s writing belongs to your company. Your employee can use his own voice (in addition to approved style guides), but everything he produces will be owned by your organization. With either of these types of writers (or ghostwriters), you pay them either hourly or on commission; neither works for free. There are many services available to hire freelance writers; however, there is often some confusion as to what type of writer you need for your project. If you’re looking for one particular service but can’t find it among any of these three roles (e.g., an editor who writes well), it might be helpful to find someone with all three skills under one roof: consider hiring a freelancer who has taken on multiple roles in their career.
The Facebook group ‘Ghostwriting for Profit’ was asked:
They had a lot to say! These are their responses:
Which do you need? Writer, Ghostwriter or Copywriter?
In an ideal world, you’d have all three—who wouldn’t want access to great ideas from a writer, professional polish from a ghostwriter and consistency from a copywriter? But when money is tight you need to be smart about your investment. Before you start recruiting for these roles it pays to understand what they do. When hiring a writer to do specific pieces of work for you (or your business), make sure you’re clear about what you need. Understand deadlines (it’s important to establish these early on) and how much work will be involved. If you’re not sure how much work is involved, ask them for an estimate.
About the Ghostwriting for Profit group on Facebook:
Sharing tips, tricks and resources focused on ghostwriting as a profession.
Experienced and aspiring writers are welcome to join, as well as those seeking writers to hire!
Share your bio, books links, projects you're working on, questions, ideas for collaborations - anything ghostwriting related. We have lots of folks here searching for writers, so be sure to work on your pitch - and (first tip) have a portfolio with work examples handy for those seeking to hire you!
Join Ghostwriting for Profit today!