Do You Know the Benefits of Hiring a Ghostwriter for your Business?

No matter what field you’re in, the life of your small business depends on written content to maintain a strong online presence and build your brand.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?  Sure, you’d like to start a blog for your business, write an e-book, or maintain an active Facebook or Twitter feed, but you’re already wearing so many hats–now you have to be a writer, too?  No, you don’t.  Instead, consider hiring a ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter is an expert writer who can handle any written task such as articles, blog posts, press releases, essays and e-books according to your specifications and let you take credit for them.  Once the publishing industry’s best-kept secret, ghostwriters are now a trusted part of every industry from medicine to music, and have become very popular with small business owners in particular.

Let’s face it; some of the world’s smartest, charismatic and talented people are terrible writers.  Ghostwriters can help their clients look as competent and knowledgeable on the page (or screen) as they are in person.

Why do you need a ghostwriter?

Well, consider what your time is worth, and how it can best be put to use to help your business.  Do you think that being hunched over a keyboard writing a blog post is the best use of your time or your talent?  By leaving your writing needs in the hands of a capable ghostwriter, you can go back to doing what you love, and remind yourself of why you started your business in the first place.

Even if you did have the time to write (and brainstorm, and edit) it yourself, having well-written, informative and enjoyable content is not quite enough.  Experienced ghostwriters can also help you create targeted content that skillfully uses keywords that will help your website or blog rank high in search engine results while avoiding being marked as spam.  After all, what good is a blog if no one reads it?  The more people who seek out your website, blog, and social media and benefit from the valuable information you provide, the more money you will make.

It can be hard to let go of control of something as important as online marketing for your business, but your business needs YOU more than anything else.  Successful business owners know that part of their success comes from knowing how and when to delegate tasks.  Many will tell you to do what you’re best at, and hire skilled people to handle the rest.  Wouldn’t hiring a ghostwriter be a great place to start?

Have you hired a ghostwriter in the past? What have you learned from using a ghostwriter?

7 Tips for Completing an Article in 20 Minutes

Whether you are a Ghostwriter or a business owner who writes for their own blog or website, writing can be very time-consuming. We would all like to find ways to trim back on the amount of time it takes us to write.

If you’re a writer for business, you probably would like to see ways to become more efficient. One way to do so is to learn a few techniques for getting an article completed within a short time frame. This article will guide you to get an article written and completed in 20 minutes.

Many ghostwriters or freelance writers juggle clients all day, day-in and day-out. So it’s not always the most economical job for one to have. However, if you can master these seven techniques, you’ll be able to get an article written in a jiffy and even be able to take on more clients to maximize your profits.

It’s important to remember that even though you may be writing quickly, you can’t compromise the quality.

1. Start an “idea” list:

Being a writer, sometimes your inspiration and motivation can easily be jeopardized, since you’re relying on it every single day. So, when you’re bountiful of ideas, write them down and keep a list. Many times, writers of all types, be it bloggers, article writers, ghostwriters, etc. the idea of what to write is what takes the most time. If you keep an idea list, you’ve already won half the battle.

2. Let your ideas simmer a bit:

It is typical that when you NEED something, it’s the most difficult to find whereas, when you don’t need it anymore, then it happens to just pop up. The same thing applies to writing and gaining ideas. The more force you put into it, the longer it will take. Thus, when you get a new topic, let it fester for a while before brainstorming. This way, a couple of days later, when it’s time to get started, you’ll already have a few things in mind that will work.

3. Be Selective

Now, you’ve formulated all these list ideas and brainstorming ideas for your articles, you’ve got so many ideas, what in the world are you going to do with them all?! Well, you’re going to have to be very hard on yourself and simply scratch through the majority of them on your list. Ask yourself, “does this idea really work?” or look at which ideas are the best and discard the rest. You can however, save the ideas for an article for later, but it’s important to remember we’re not writing an epic trilogy book now, just a simple article within a 20-minute time frame.

4. Be the Bullet Master:

Using bullet points or numbered entries is fantastic! Not only will it cut down the time spent on writing an article (since you don’t have to formulate a complete sentence or think about transitions from paragraph to paragraph) but it is also helps the reader to easily navigate the article and break up content.

5. Short and Sweet:

Articles that are 500 words are less are perfect for writing articles within the 20-minute time frame. What is most important here is to focus on the type of content. It needs to be content rich to make up for the shortness. Your article should be chalked full of valuable content.

6. Take a break:

More times than not, a nice break from work will benefit your motivation and inspiration. Writing can be a hard task some days, so it’s better not to force out words and rather, take a break, come back and let the words flow.

7. Use your good idea NOW:

It is very tempting to keep all your best ideas saved for using later, or for a “better” article. However, this is not the most productive or realistic. You need to save time now, not later on. Whatever is in front of you now, should be what you focus on to get it done quickly and to make the most of your time. So take the “good” ideas off the back-burner and use the immediately.

These seven steps will help you to create an article within a 20-minute time frame so that you have time to focus on more interesting things or maximize your article output. If you have ideas or know of ways to write articles more quickly, what are they? Please share!

The Ten Best Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site

The number one goal of website owners is a heavy traffic flow. Trying to accomplish that on your own can be difficult. You can spend the majority of your time trying to optimize your site for search engines or spending hard-earned money on marketing techniques, like pay-per-click. Luckily, there are easier ways to attract more visitors to your website in less time, and for free!

Some of the best ways to generate a higher, steadier flow of traffic to your site are as simple as leveraging another website’s traffic and resources. Here are ten of the best ways you can get other people to direct traffic to your site.

Become a Guest Blogger

A lot of popular bloggers will solicit submissions from guest writers to post to their site. Even some bloggers who don’t advertise a desire to have a guest blogger on their site may be open to the idea of accepting guest posts, so long as you give them reasons for using your post.

For example, you can offer to:

Trade article space with the blogger, letting them post to your site as well

Include their affiliate links in your article so that they will still be able to make money when a reader buys their product

Give them some free advertising by writing a glowing review of them in your newsletter or on your site

Recruit People to Your Affiliate Program

One of the best ways to sell more products through other peoples’ traffic is by asking them to take part in your affiliate program.

For example, if you are selling digital products, offering a 50% commission to your affiliates could be very enticing. Offer a higher rate for those who send a lot of site traffic your way. Consider offering additional perks too, like bonuses or discounts to their customers.

An easy way to set up your own affiliate program for digital merchandise is through Clickbank.com. It also works as a payment processor.

Swap Blog Links

Blogrolling is a fantastic way to trade blog links with your fellow bloggers who focus on your niche. This has the long-term benefit of being listed permanently on the front page of another person’s blog. Also, if the blog has a high Google Page Rank, you’ll benefit from the search engine optimization that comes with trading blog links with that blogger. Include keywords in your anchor text for your link, too.

Swap Newsletter Articles

If the idea of trading content seems great, think about the possibility of trading newsletters with other people who focus on the same topics as you. When you’re visiting other blogs, find out if they post their newsletter issues to their blogs. Then you’ll also have the added benefit of a backlink and continuous traffic.

Team Up to Promote

If you offer a similar product or service offered by another marketer, consider swapping product links with them on your download or thank you pages. You could also see if the marketer would be interested in using their affiliate link to direct traffic to your product sales page.

This is a great way to draw responsive traffic. When people have already made a purchase of one product, they could still be in the mood to buy more.

Trade Links on Your Confirmation Pages

Subscription confirmation pages are another great place to trade links. You may also consider trading endorsements in the welcome emails you send to new subscribers.

Consider Joint Mailings

If you sell physical merchandise, look for other marketers who sell related physical goods as well. Request that they include a flyer advertising your products with any shipment they send out, and offer to do the same for them.

You can find marketers that sell large quantities of products similar or related to your own on sites like EBay.

Offer to Interview Marketers

Some of the larger marketers in your niche may not agree to some of the other suggestions we’ve gone over, especially if you are still an unknown in the blogosphere and have a small amount of traffic.

They may be open to the idea of being interviewed, though, maybe via teleseminar. If they’re keen on the idea, they may help with advertising your interview, which means more free traffic for you!

Don’t forget to mention your website during the interview, ensuring additional traffic long after the interview has been recorded.

Co-Author Articles

Another option to consider is writing an article with another marketer. You can write an article together about tips that focus on your niche. You’ll both benefit from the additional traffic when they post it to their blog and mention it to followers.

Make Rebrandable Reports

With tools like ViralPDF.com, you can get traffic sent to you when you create rebrandable reports. This means allowing others to change the affiliate links in a report you create. Then, anyone distributing that report will have the chance to make money on the backend.

By implementing some, or all, of these simple techniques, you’ll see a greater boost in your Internet traffic and in less time. This will save you plenty of time and money, just by using the traffic generated by another person’s website.

Mind Clearing Techniques That Improve Efficiency

Focus on Exactly What Needs Your Attention

 

Being overwhelmed and having a mental overload is plain crappy. This overload of thoughts produces symptoms that enable you to enjoy your work and sometimes, can even be a lack of motivation to get all the things you need done completed.

 

Learning how to clear your mind is a technique that will increase your focus on precisely what needs your attention at the moment, not only in your work, but also in your life. Simple questions like, “what do I need to get done today?” to the more broad question of  “what is my true calling?” can all be pondered on better when you have a clear mind.

 

It’s typical for people, on a daily basis, to have an endless to-do list, a lot of business on their plate and be left with the feeling of being overloaded.

 

How do you clear your mind so that your brain isn’t cluttered? Here are 5 steps to get you started on clearing your mind so you can focus on the things that need attention the most.

 

1. What do you want to accomplish?

The first step in completing any task or goal is to define exactly what it is you need to get out of it, whether it’s your freelance business, daily tasks, or a grocery store visit. You need to sit down and ask yourself “what do I need or want to accomplish?” and write the details down.

 

It doesn’t matter what the motivation behind it is, whether it’s to feel accomplished, earn money, or if it’s your life goal. Basically, you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing to ever get to where you want to go. By explaining to yourself why or where you want to be, will give you the clarity you need to get there.

 

2. Make a list

The second step, after deciding what your goal is, is to write a list of ways to accomplish this goal. One helpful tip is to use the 80-20 Rule: You basically write down 20% of your tasks that will help you to achieve 80% of your goals. This method has been proven to be very effective.

 

Try and maintain this list to be as specific as you can possibly make it. The clearer you are, the more your mind will feel at ease. Overall, this is a way to get the thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, so your mind doesn’t have to keep wondering about it.

 

Here are a few brief examples:

 

  • Don’t: get more clients, make more income

 

Do: gain two new clients per month, increase my freelance income by $1,000

 

  • Don’t: get better at designing

 

Do: learn a specific design technique to better my designs

 

  • Don’t: increase my website’s traffic

 

Do: Perform tasks 1 and 2, every other day, every week for x amount of hours

 

3. Write down a list of things that you’ve been doing that are unnecessary

Step three can be daunting since most of us think that the things we do are all necessary. However, if you can sit down and really put some thought into your daily routine, and find areas that are necessary, it can help you tremendously. Tasks that can be labeled as unnecessary are those that seem to be important but actually hold little to no importance when trying to get the things done that you need to do.

 

It’s important, when developing this list, to be completely brutally honest with yourself. If you’re not honest, these simple things can hold you back greatly. A major aspect to clearing your mind is to be effective, not only productive. If you have trouble making this list, take the 80-20 Rule to help you, write down 80% of tasks that are not necessary and that only help with 20% of your desired accomplishments.

 

The main goal of this step is to see where you can give yourself more leeway to do other goal-oriented tasks all the while, clearing up more of your mind. Sometimes these tasks are quite small and go unnoticed until you write them down.

 

4. Perform the essentials

Now is the time to really put the 80-20 Rule into your plan. Taking your list from step 2, complete each of those tasks and stop! These are the tasks that will help you accomplish your clearly stated goal from step 1. This is also where you STOP doing the things you listed from Step 3.

 

It may be hard to completely quit the things you listed from step 3, but you have to try, and even if you stop doing one-to-two things at a time, it will help. Face it, we’re all human and life is a total learning experience. The best way to do anything, I have learned, is step-by-step. Start with the smaller things and work your way up, I know it will help you and it will give you encouragement to keep going.

 

5. Now your mind is clearer, better enjoy it!

If you’re using step 4 (which is implementing steps 1-3) you’re on your way to doing less in a day but seeing the same or more results, which therefore, will help you to clear your mind and be able to focus on the things that really need attention.

 

You are now being not only productive but effective.

 

Since you’ve made these lists, defined your goals and are doing away with the unnecessary, you’ll have more time to focus on what needs to be focused on and you’ll be able to enjoy it. When your mind is clear and you’re able to provide attention, other areas of interest will start to be important such as:

 

  • Finding ways to do more of the work you love
  • Improve and expand your business
  • More time for your ideas that have been put on the back burner
  • Learning how to live out the lifestyle you really want
  • And other things you feel are important

 

Clearing the Mind in 5 Steps

 

Much of this technique will be better maximized through trial and error. You must consistently stick with it. To wrap it up, here’s how to clear your mind:

 

1. Define precisely what you want to accomplish

2. Write down the tasks that will help you to succeed your goal

3. Write down everything you’re doing that is unnecessary

4. Begin by performing only the essentials

5. Enjoy a free and clear mind!

 

Have you ever been one to have trouble in clearing your own mind? Do you have any techniques, helpful tips or tools that help to do so? Please share!

Four Paths That Lead to Your Writing Voice

In order to have a successful ghostwriting or freelance writing career, blog, or book, your writer’s voice is crucial to cultivate. Without a truly unique writers voice, you will end up producing plain, lifeless and boring articles which no one will want to read. Who in their right mind would want that?

Whoever your reader’s are, you need to give them strong personality, uniqueness and tastefulness so they can relate, but also enjoy what they’re reading. Typically, if they enjoy your writing, they’ll come back for more. And that is certainly what we’re trying to achieve.

So what exactly is this “writing voice” I’m talking about and how do you get it? Let’s discuss.

When I think of “voice,” several things come to mind such as people you know with awkward, strange, deep or high-pitched voices. This is similar to what I’m referring to. Since no one is actually able to hear a blog, those voice traits need to come through to the reader’s eyes, so they can perceive your personality.

Personally, being from Texas I certainly have a southern draw. In order to convey that in my writing, it would throw all sorts of red flags in my spell check and it would probably make it go haywire. Additionally, most people may not understand it either. So, you still have to be careful when putting your voice out there and use some caution.

Now, let’s talk about how you can give a voice to your writing. Here are four paths to finding it!

Find the Flow: Something that helps in order to find your flow, is giving yourself about three minutes and simply write down as much as you can in that allotted time. For some reason, the time crunch in combination with focusing on quantity produces really exceptional and personality-filled works. So, get out those handy-dandy kitchen timers and get busy writing for the time allotted! Do not focus on censoring your thoughts or editing. Just let the pen and paper take you away.

Write in the same manner as you speak: Think about how you normally speak, to yourself and to others around you. Now, read something you’ve written, out loud, and ask yourself, “does this sound like me?” You may find that a lot of the time, you can answer “no” to this question. One thing you might try is recording what you’re saying. Then, transcribe your thoughts and ideas into writing and see where it takes you. Some of your quirky or insightful thoughts might not normally come out in your writing, but now you’ll be able to catch them and get ’em into your prose.

Disregard Conventions: No matter what you have learned in the past, especially from school or from someone else’s preference, forget about it. Focus on what you want to say, how you want to say it and add what you think conveys your personality. Later on, it might not be a bad idea to reflect back on the things you have learned, however, if you want to capture your voice you must unlearn traditional methods and relearn about “you.” The only area you should really focus on is that your message is being carried out concisely and clearly.

You talk about what you know, right? Get busy writing about it! A really great way to find your voice is to write about things you like or are knowledgeable about. You’ll feel more freely to move about within your word structures because your knowledge will back you up. Whether it’s a movie review, a rant, a life story or an article, your writing voice will become apparent.

You may think that finding your writing voice may be difficult; however, if you’ll just write like you talk and remember these four paths, you’ll be on your way in no time. Just remember to be yourself and don’t write like someone else. Be unique and add your wonderful personality.

In your experience, do you have any tips that helped you find your own writing voice?

10 Effective Tips for Proofreading

As a Ghostwriter and Article Expert, I’m always looking for efficient, quick and creative tips for proofreading. Unfortunately, for proofreaders and ghostwriters alike, there just is not an exact or perfect science to the madness. It is an art in itself.

Through practice and repetition is how a proofreader can become a great proofreader. Many times in our writings it’s very easy to get confused on certain aspects. It’s typical to mean one thing but say or write another. It’s hard to keep it all perfect, but with a bit of guidance, you can certainly get there.

Furthermore, being able to write and edit with efficiency and correct structure is a virtue that all writers should continually work on and perfect. If you want to become a better and more proficient proofreader, read through these tips and practice, practice, practice!

1. Concentration

Concentration is critical, especially when you’re reading through an article, paper, or email to perfect it down to the smallest of details. If you are doing the proofreading for someone else or for yourself, you need to work in an environment that allows you to concentrate; otherwise you’ll end up with an erroneous paper.

2. Take a break

Taking some time out to stop, rest your eyes and then come back to the work you are working on might be beneficial. Resting allows you to pick up on things you may have missed the first or second time. Let’s face it; sometimes you just need a break.

3. Focus on one thing at a time

To avoid becoming overwhelmed or missing out on key errors, it’s important to break up the paper you’re working on into sections and only focus on certain problems one at a time. You may find it beneficial to break up the paper in chunks and focus on problems with sentence structure, then move on to choice of words, spelling and end it with punctuation. You may also want to look out for the following, of course, one at a time:

–        Homonyms: Homonyms are the words that share the same pronunciation or spelling. Words such as “except” and “accept” and “compliment” and “complement.”

–        Apostrophes and Contractions: These include words such as “there”, “their” and “they’re,” or “two”, “to” and “too.” A key to apostrophes is remembering that they are never used to formulate plurals. Just possessives.

4.      Facts, Names and Numbers = Check: Not only should you focus on spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors but you should also make sure you have your facts correct. Double checking numbers, statistics, and formal, full names are all very important. If you are wrong, made a mistake, or typed in an extra zero where you shouldn’t, this could hurt your credibility in the future.

5.      Printed Copy: Having a copy of whatever you’re working on in a printed format, can seriously impact your ability to pick up on erroneous material. Being able to go over it line-by-line and being able to write on the paper, can help tremendously. Nice little changes like proofreading on a screen to paper can help you catch mistakes that you may have missed previously.

6.      Proofread Verbally: Not only do print copies come in handy, but also reading your material out loud can be beneficial. Some problems that you don’t pick up on visually may be picked up on verbally.

7.      Dictionary: If you’re not quite sure about specific wording or if it’s correct, a dictionary still comes in handy, even in this highly technical era. Equally as important, if you’re looking to expand your vocabulary, a Thesaurus is a great idea.

8.      Start from the end: Another strategy that may help you pick up on errors that you’ve missed previously is starting from the end of your article, newsletter, or book and working backwards. It’s another way to proofread and focus more on words rather than full sentence structures.

9.      Ask for a second opinion: Asking someone else to proofread the writing that you’re working on can be very helpful. Another person can give a fresh outlook and pick up on things that you may have missed. This person can be a proofreader, but they don’t have to be. Anyone who knows how to read will be able to find errors, if there are any.

10.   Make a Proofreading list: Much like this list I’ve written for your benefit, you can use your own skills and habits and develop your own list that you can check off as you proofread. This is to make sure you don’t miss any specific areas. You can also take note of things that you regularly miss so that you catch it next time.

Whether you’re a Ghostwriter or not, now you’ve got a handy proofreading list to help improve your habits. Hopefully, you’ll find at least one of these suggestions helpful in your proofing efforts. What is something you do when conducting your proofreading efforts? Do share and we’ll add them to this list.