After struggling to do it all yourself, you’ve finally decided that if you’re going to have enough time to create new products, as well as look after the customers you already have, then you’ll have to concentrate on your core business.
Much as you’d like to do it all yourself, you’ve realized that if you’re going to get the rest you need, spend time with your family, and get some exercise, then you’ll have to find some more time in your day.
And that’s as good a reason as any for hiring a ghostwriter – someone who can handle your blog posts, write your ebooks and your sales’ letters, and even help your email campaign.
You know that this is the right thing to do.
Who do you hire?
You’re in a bit of a pickle.
You don’t know who to hire.
And to top it off, there’s a little voice in the back of your head that keeps reminding you that there are pitfalls that come from hiring the wrong ghostwriter.
What specifically is that little voice telling you?
Pitfall No. 1
Low price means low quality
You’ve heard about the websites where you can pick up an article for $40 or $50, and y0u’ve probably even read some of it.
You can spot it a mile away.
Typically, it’s written by people from The Philippines or Eastern Europe, or India, or some other place where the English that they’ve learned is anything but that which you know will show you in the best light.
And so you try to convince yourself that you can probably get away with that substandard content and, if necessary, “clean it up” yourself.
That, too, is a pitfall.
You’ve heard the saying that you get what you pay for.
And there’s a lot of truth to that.
Even companies that market their high-priced items in the form of an experience have to produce quality items.
You can’t charge $50K for a car and have the engine conk out half a mile from the dealership.
That’s an extreme example, but you get the idea.
Without mentioning any names, you know what quality to expect in cars of various prices.
The same thing is true of ghostwriters.
Look at this another way
To look at this another way, if the writers who are the cheapest could get paid more for what they do, then their rates would be higher.
The reason that their rates are low is because the quality is too low to warrant anything else.
Now they’ll market themselves in such a way as to make it sound like you’re getting a good deal, but you have to remember that they’re not doing this because they’re charitable.
Irrespective of what they say, the fact that they are so cheap should scare you off.
Pitfall No. 2
It’s not enough to speak English
English is the world’s language for business.
It’s estimated that something like 1.5 billion people in the world speak some English.
Of them, only 360 million speak it as a first language.
Thing is that these people are from about 30 countries.
You will have already spotted the fact that the combined populations of the US and UK exceed 360 million, and that that doesn’t include Australia and much of Africa.
What you may not have thought about, however, is that even in the United States, there are many people whose first language isn’t English.
Why does that matter?
Two countries separated by a common language
Winston Churchill famously said that the US and the UK were two countries separated by a common language.
Here’s an example.
If you ask a mechanic in the US how long you can expect your brakes to last, you’ll probably be told something like, “It depends on how you drive.”
And that sounds like a reasonable answer.
If you ask the same question to a mechanic in the UK, however, you’re likely to be asked instead, “How long is a piece of string?”
“How long is a piece of string?” is “code” for “It depends.”
But if you’d never heard that expression before, then you’d think that that person was looney or making fun of you.
This is just one illustration of the differences among the English-es in two countries.
Jmagine what it would be like if we looked at the other 28!
Not all native English speakers can write well
The second reason is that not even all those for whom English is their first language can write well.
You’ve probably noticed that yourself.
Excellence in writing comes from years of practice, just like anything else; but simply growing up speaking English doesn’t make you an excellent writer.
Consider these facts: 14% of the US population is illiterate, and 19% of high school graduates can’t read.
The best writers read . . . a lot.
If you don’t read, then it’s impossible to write, never mind write well.
Pitfall No. 3
Hiring a writer who doesn’t understand your niche
You know the old saying about being a jack-of-all-trades, but a master-of-none.
That’s true in the world of ghostwriters.
In order to write convincingly and fluently on a topic, you have to know it.
And ghostwriters who claim they can write about anything are revealing something about themselves.
They’re revealing that they are masters-of-none.
Nowadays, that’s not good enough.
When you hire a ghostwriter, you want someone who can say what you think as good or better than you can.
And someone who will do nothing more than look at a few websites, and then cobble together a bit of content from each of them, can’t do that for you.
You need someone who is an expert in your niche and an expert writer.
And the thing is that it’s possible to be one or the other.
You need to be aware of that.
Avoiding the pitfalls
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of hiring the wrong ghostwriter, then you have to take the time to find the right one: One that understands your niche and can communicate your ideas effectively.
Not just anyone can do this, no matter what they say.
No one is outstanding at everything.
Resist the temptation to hire someone who isn’t up to the job.
You’ll thank yourself later on for having the courage to listen to that little voice.