Ghostwriter Challenge: Not Promoting the Competition

When crafting great articles for a client, it’s important to know not only about the client company, but also about the client’s competition. Since the competition is normally extremely relevant to the client, it’s easy to include information about the competitor in a ghostwritten guest post. The client, however would almost never link to competitors in something they themselves had created. We must also avoid doing so.

Say, for example, Southwest Airlines was a client. An interesting article might include details on finding the best fares for travel to Phoenix as a gateway to visiting the Grand Canyon. In your personal experience, you may have used to make your travel arrangements. But Southwest Airlines isn’t an Orbitz partner, so directing readers to Orbitz would do the client a disservice by promoting a competitor.

Although guest posts are not intended to be promotional for clients, they should preserve at least a neutral footing. We certainly don’t want to direct link juice to the clients’ competition. A thorough treatment of the above topic may indeed reference the variety of choices a consumer may have when looking for flights. But don’t compose these references in the form of web links in the text of the article. Better yet, think of another article topic that naturally avoids the need to bring up a competitor.

For clients retailing fungible products, this can be an especially big problem. If your company sells Wooster brand paintbrushes, you’re unlikely to write an article discussing how to get the best deal on home improvement supplies by shopping around online. Such value considerations are only one potential angle you’d take if you were the retailer, and only if you knew that your price points were hard to beat. Focusing on painting techniques, brush maintenance / longevity and how different bristle materials deliver a variety of finish textures can help you eschew any potentially distracting discussion of value.

Prior to writing, imagine yourself as a company representative. You want to be helpful to potential customers, and you hope that your helpfulness makes your company the obvious choice once consumers decide to buy. You aren’t directly trying to sell anything. Would you spend half of your article talking about or linking to the competition? Of course not.

With a little research and the right mindset, it’s easy to produce a thoughtful, informative piece that could plausibly have been written by the client. That, after all, is what ghostwriting is all about!

Yes That Kevin Hunt Writing / Marketing / Creative Connect with Kevin on Google+

Posted in Writing Better Content

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