There is a controversy out there, and this time, it affects me. Usually, the controversies that affect me run along the lines of the ‘healthy benefits of chocolate consumption’ or ‘whether JK Rowling should continue the Harry Potter series.’
In case you were wondering, my stances on those controversies are as follows:
There’s just got to be some kind of benefit.
As sad as it makes me, no.
As you can see, I tend to avoid paying attention to terribly controversial subjects; this one, however, is something I just can’t ignore. I’m a ghost-blogger, and there are people out there who place this profession down at the bottom of the moral list, right next to the pimps and Ponzi schemers.
Trust me, I totally understand where they’re coming from. The whole appeal of a blog is that honest, personal feeling of connection that people get both from the reading and the writing of it. If you can’t trust that what you’re reading is authentic, then sure, that’s going to be a little disillusioning. If you can’t trust that the words in front of your eyes are written with purpose and intent to enrich, then how is it any different from the product created by marketing sharks?
Many of the ghost-blogging opponents out there have a very cut-and-dry way of looking at this issue. “Ghost-blogging is lying and is therefore bad. End of story, no discussion. It’s like killing kittens and then eating them.”
Okay, so I made up that quote, but hey, at least I’m being honest about it.
When is anything cut-and-dry? When someone doesn’t acknowledge the other side of the story, that’s when. The truth is that there are plenty of ghost-bloggers out there who say, “Oh, okay, you sell cake? Cool. I don’t really care if you’ve got very strong personal beliefs involved with how and why you make your cake…I’d just really like you to pay me to write about cake. So, why don’t you just give me a few things to say about your cake, and I’ll write it.”
That, friends, is most definitely fraud. Simply hiring someone to write some crap so you don’t have to, or taking on a job without any research into the client’s thoughts, history, voice, personality, or goals is definitely dishonest.
However, taking on a job with the intent to produce a well-crafted, properly-researched, and true-to-client piece of writing is not dishonest. When a company hires a writer because it wants to create a constant, personal connection with their clients, (but doesn’t possess either the time or the ability to properly express their intentions and thoughts,) that’s just good business.
A good ghost-blogger will take the time to get to know his or her client, discover their goals and intentions, and work in constant contact with them to craft a blog that is absolutely representative of their company. A good ghost-blogger doesn’t develop a voice for the company; he or she discovers the voice that is already there and makes it accessible to the public.
So yeah, there are some pretty lame-o people out there who use their dishonest practices to make this profession look like word prostitution. This isn’t really anything surprising. There are always two or three people out there making everyone else look bad. It’s just like being in 2nd grade, and that little jerk Curtis steals one of the class fish. Now no one can go out for recess till Bryan the Betta is returned. Too bad we can’t find a way to punish the fish-thief without depriving the rest of the class of their tether-ball privileges.
What it comes down to is this: I create well-researched, personalized, authentic pieces of writing. I know that, and anybody who hires me knows that. That’s what’s important.