Ash Ambirge knows how to hold an audience’s attention. As the founder of The Middle Finger Project, she delivers harsh business truths peppered with lively anecdotes about her copywriting experience while dropping curse words like your no-nonsense best friend. You don’t get bored with titles like “How to Stop Hating Your Email (Without Slicing Your Own Wrists)” or “A Story for the Downtrodden, Destitute, Distressed & Despaired.”
Her authentic voice appeals to an audience of people looking to build their businesses with fresh, provocative content. While many marketers turn to ghostwriters to pen their blog posts and articles, Ash infuses every post with her own raw, unfiltered brilliance.
She understands that personal insights and a healthy dose of personality are crucial ingredients in great content, and many editors agree. In a survey of 153 publication editors, Influence & Co. found that 54 percent prefer content from industry experts to journalists or reporters. But they want unique insider advice that feels like the expert wrote it, and you just can’t get that from ghostwriting.
The Recipe for Binge-Worthy Content
Ghostwriters can help polish your content, and it never hurts to have another set of eyes review your writing. But if you’re trying to connect with your audience and grow your business, you need to do the talking. There are certain essential qualities of catchy content that you only get from a hands-on approach:
- Engaging details: The thought running through your mind before closing a major deal, the “aha” moment you had on a company retreat — these details set your content apart in the eyes of editors and readers, and only you can perfectly capture them. In fact, 56 percent of the editors Influence & Co. surveyed cited personal examples and anecdotes as essential qualities they look for in submissions. Even publications such as TechCrunch and The Change Blog prefer new, original, personal articles.
- Authenticity: Brands want to position their employees as real people with strong opinions and interesting experiences to share. Even if you hire a stellar ghostwriter, having someone try to personify you isn’t the same as speaking authentically to your audience. Talk to readers like they’re your friends, and give them a reason to invest emotionally in what you’re saying.
- Real-world examples and shout-outs: You didn’t get to where you are today without a few helping hands and speed bumps along the way. Sharing these experiences presents a natural opportunity to highlight the people who inspire you, acknowledge those who have helped you, or teach your audience a valuable lesson. It’s also a great chance to get front-and-center with potential partners you’d like to work with.
Outsourcing your expertise means you’re relying on someone else’s personality and know-how to engage your audience. Don’t deprive them of your personal insights; capture these teachable moments, and share them with readers who stand to benefit from your experiences.
Extract the Juicy Details Readers and Editors Crave
One of the biggest obstacles to content creation is time, which is the reason many turn to ghostwriting. But if you get into the habit of recording and reflecting on your experiences, it’ll be easier to generate fresh ideas and create magnetic content.
There are many ways to build knowledge extraction into your routine:
- Create a Google Doc for brain-dumping. Try saving every article, video, and interesting topic you come across. You can revisit these ideas when you need inspiration or have time to expand on them.
- Record voice memos. The best ideas come at the most inconvenient times, such as when you’re driving home from work or are in the middle of an intense run. Use a voice memo app to record your thoughts so you can come back to them when you’re not preoccupied.
- Keep a journal. Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and George Lucas have all used journals to record ideas, task lists, and notes from conversations and interactions throughout their days. This can help you remember important details and serve as a reservoir for great content ideas.
- Recycle past content. The resources you use for one article can be used again for other personal branding or content marketing initiatives. Keep your notes and links in a knowledge bank so you can draw from them later on.
Your audience wants to hear your message, and raw, personal details are the glue that make your words stick. By sharing these experiences, readers feel like they’re in the trenches with you. You become a relatable mentor who has overcome the same obstacles they face.
While it isn’t easy to keep up with the commitment of writing your own articles, staying involved in the creative process makes a big impact on the final product. Take the time to build knowledge extraction into your routine, and you’ll see your time spent on content creation decrease, your authentic engagement increase, and your ROI soar.
Don’t risk boring your audience with lifeless ghostwritten content. Be confident in your story, and stay active in the creative process so you can connect with readers and keep them hanging on your every word.