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Freek Janssen

Published on

February 4, 2016



The real challenge of creating content takes place inside company walls. Internal support, resources and input are harder to get than it is to create content, or to get the actual views or engagement after publication.

If you are in a knowledge-heavy organization like consultancy, services or tech, thought leadership comes from people. The willingness of internal experts to work with you on content is key to the well-being of a blog, vlog, whitepaper or webinar.

However, business logic predicts that the best ideas will never see the living daylights.

The reason why is simple. Before a piece of content comes together, we need two ingredients:

  1. An idea
  2. The execution of the idea

However, people are busy. The more successful they are, the more time they spend on clients, business development, proposals or research, the less likely it is that they are able to free up time to come up with ideas, let alone write a blog post.

You may be able to get the busy people to attend a brainstorm and write down some great ideas, but when it comes down to actually developing the content, the best ideas often remain hidden because the owner simply can’t find the hours.

Is there a solution, a simple one? Yes and no: a workaround is to separate the generation of an idea from the execution. The expert comes up with the idea, the comms department or their agency write it down. Instead of demanding a half day of somebody’s time you call them for half an hour while they’re driving to a meeting.

‘What about the tone-of-voice?’, you might ask. That is exactly what proper ghostwriting is supposed to do: to write as if the person the content is bylined to actually put the words to paper.

There are several other good reasons for ghostwriting:

  1. Planning. A content marketing professional or agency can be given targets so they will make sure that content is produced before the deadline. Depending on experts to write the content themselves often means procrastination galore.
  2. Research. Proper research is the very basics of any piece of online content. Specialists in content know this, will find out what has been written about the topic before and (if they are good) link to those articles and maybe even flag the referral to the source.
  3. Consistency. Not only will a ghostwriter guard the tone of voice, but also writing guidelines and refer to previously published content.
  4. Quality. Writing is a profession that is executed best by professionals. Even if a blog post is drafted by the expert initially, it often takes more time to review the original than it would have to draft from scratch.
  5. SEO. Ghostwriters know their keywords and how to use them.
  6. Visuals. Some stories are better told in videos, infographics or longreads. Content specialists think about that before they start typing.

Finally, there is the ‘experience catalyzer’; nine out of ten times, when experts worked with you as a ghostwriter, they want more. Because you’ve written down their ideas in a way that they never could have done, or because they are positively surprised by the actual impact of publishing. If you get them once, they’ll come back.

Effectively you only need two hours to get experts’ commitment: one to brainstorm, half an hour to interview them and another thirty minutes to review and get approval. Two hours to find the hidden content gems, by making it as easy as possible for experts to work with you.

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