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Confessions of a Ghost Blogger


Over the years I’ve written on a variety of topics.  Having a background that includes work with education, educational finance, associations, tech, and government as well as personal interests in ministry, drama, travel, history, politics, and sports helps.  I still consider myself to be a teacher at heart and when you’re a teacher, you’re really a student. True students express a curiosity about the world around them, both in those things that they have some familiarity with and those subjects with which they are completely unfamiliar.

I had a friend who once said to me, “Jay, you can sit down and talk with anyone about anything.” What can I say? It’s a gift.  But it’s more than that… it’s about being curious.  It’s about asking good questions.  Two principles come to mind when I think about asking good questions.

  1. You’re never more interesting to others than when you’re asking questions.
  2. When the other person is talking, you’re winning. In other words, you’re learning.  You already know what you’d be talking about.  Let the other person have the floor.

I’m also the type who likes to sit on the front row at seminars, classes, events, or conferences.  It helps me to be more engaged, more focused.

So, here are a few keys to being an effective ghost blogger:

  1. Be engaged.  Be curious.  Ask good questions.
  2. Understand the voice you’re representing.  Read what else they have written.  What’s important to them?  Are they personable?  Is it all about the business?  Do they tell stories?  Do they use humor? etc.
  3. Do your research.  Understand the industry or arena.  What publications or resources can you tap into that provide relevant materials on topics of interest or starting points for blog posts?  What events are you attending where there may be presentations by experts?  Who are you interacting with in person or via social media who may be knowledgeable on the trends in this field?
  4. Understand the purposes behind the blog.   Are you trying to inform?  Are you trying to sell a product or a service?  Who is the audience?  Is it employees, clients, members, or potential customers?
  5. Understand that you don’t have to answer every question in an initial blog post.  You may want to answer questions as they arise in response to the blog.  You may want to spread out a topic over a few different postings.  You may simply want to whet the appetite of the readers so that the consultant or salesperson can pick up the dialogue.
  6. Be engaged.  Be curious.  Ask good questions.
  7. Blogs can be fluid and responsive.  They can include short entries, but even the longer ones should still be short enough to hold the reader’s attention.
  8. How and when will you use links, photos, and/or videos?  All of these can be important components to creating and maintaining interest in the topics you are presenting.
  9. Ask the organization how the blog posts will be promoted.  Knowing where your audience is most likely to hear about the blog could impact how you write.

Wait, before I forget, did I say, “Be engaged.  Be curious.  Ask good questions.“?

Oh, and enjoy the ride, Ghost Blogger!

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Categories: Uncategorized

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