ghost writing corporate blogs
February 9, 2006 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Ghost-writing multiple corporate blogs for a living. Is it feasible? Do companies all want exclusive rights to the content -- thereby removing the option of leveraging the same content on multiple blogs? (I'm aware there are clearinghouses that will market your blogging, but I'm not talking about that type of piecemeal work.) Any bloggers out there who are employed by multiple corporations?
posted by nancoix to Education (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think it would help to know what kind of blogs you are talking about. The biggest problem I see is that few people limit themselves to one news or information source. No self respecting company would want to look like they had the same content as another company or competitor.
posted by qwip at 5:04 PM on February 9, 2006


I don't see how blogging is any different than other types of freelance writing. Typically, you'll sign a contract, and the contract will specifiy your rights, which are typically either a) few or b) none. You write for the corporation; you are producing for them; they own what you produce. Some may let you republish under some circumstances. But keep in mind that you will be able to leverage your seeking and surfing -- articles and resources may apply to several of your blogs, and there's no reason you couldn't do some duplicate links and re-use resources -- although you'd have to put them in different contexts (using different words).

One other, very important factor to keep in mind is that there are possibilities galore for conflicts of interest. What if you need to link to or write something that reflects poorly on Employer A but well on Employer B?

Although I've never done this particular type of work, my experience in corporate PR and blogging and Web writing suggests that the best strategy is this: take 'em one at a time. Don't worry about multiple gigs until you get your first one and think you might want a second. If you prove your value in your first gig, then a second offer gives you some leverage -- to ask Employee A for more work and/or more money in exchange for forgoing the other offer, or to negotiate a little more favorable terms than are typical.

Sadly, in the end, despite all the talk about a free agent economy that's supposed to benefit both employers and employees, employers still rule. They've got the law heavily tilted in their favor, and employees rights are virtually nil. And if you're a writer? Understand that you are considered expendable.
posted by young_simba at 5:43 PM on February 9, 2006


There's definitely a market for this; I know a number of people who do this for at least part of their living. The key is understanding the medium well, being able to quantify the benefits of the blogging you're doing, and being able to communicate a business benefit to the people who'd be hiring you to do this.

Most companies will want fairly broad rights to exploit your writing, regardless of whether or not it's exclusive. Creative Commons licenses can come in handy for this. And reusing the content is probably totally fair game if you pick your client companies very carefully.
posted by anildash at 6:06 PM on February 18, 2006


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