10 Best Formats for your Company History Book

Given all that goes into starting and successfully running a business, chances are that your company has a story to tell.

Have you been tasked with sharing it? Maybe you have a milestone anniversary to celebrate, a legacy to preserve, or a great brand origin to share.

Whatever the reasons, if you’ve thought about chronicling your company history, you may have discovered there are several styles and formats to consider.

If you don’t know where to begin, here are 10 company history books to get your creative juices flowing.

10 Best Formats for your Company History Book

1. Beyond the Pale- The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ken Grossman’s memoir chronicles his personal experience as a homebrewer turned mega-successful craft brewer. In some 250 pages, Grossman shares not only his adventures and anecdotes but also the approach and mindset that built his brand. The book also contains a section of full-color photography depicting his journey, serving as a well-done combination of memoir and illustrative history.

2. Kaufman Fruit 100th Anniversary Book

In this 145-page history, the Kaufman family includes a wide variety of family and product photographs, more than 50 fruit recipes, and stories based on 30 interviews – a style to consider if your family business has interesting anecdotes to share.

3. Anadarko 20th Anniversary Book

This 165-page company history may look standard at first glance, but what stands out is the use of large, high-end photography, sometimes spanning a page or a full spread, as well as the incorporation of employees, past and present. If you have a strong culture and/or strong company imagery, this may be a style to consider for your book.

4. Behind the Cloud – The Salesforce.com Memoir

Written by the founder of Salesforce.com, this memoir reads like nothing else on our list. In fact, it’s more like a playbook on how the startup became one of the world’s fastest-growing software companies. If sharing industry or entrepreneurial knowledge is more your thing, this may be the history book style for your company.

5. The Cullen Way – J.P. Cullen 125th Anniversary Book

Family owned businesses and construction companies will want to consider this corporate history commissioned by three brothers in honor of their late father. In 155 pages, the book highlights the company’s construction project portfolio, a family tree, and a history that not only chronicles the business but also the family, dating back to the 1800s.

CAPTURE YOUR STORY, TODAY

Preserve your company history

6. Aerojet 100th Anniversary Book

If the length and level of detail of some anniversary books make you shy away from the idea, take a look at Aerojet’s concise compilation of history and photos in just 45 pages. Bulleted copy and a timeline make the book easy to comb through, and there is no shortage of imagery, from products to personal photographs, to advertisements and newspaper clippings over the years.

7. Korte Company 50th Anniversary Book

If your company history archives include plenty of tangible mementos, consider a scrapbook-style chronicle. For this 145-page book, everything from drawings and floorplans, to newspaper clippings, to hand-written notes were scanned in and used to illustrate a 50-year history.

8. Godiva 90th Anniversary Coffee Table Book

As you might expect, Godiva Chocolate’s anniversary book is a decadent journey through the company’s craftsmanship over the years. Unlike many of the others on our list, this one takes a coffee-table-book approach, full of attractive product photos and pitched as the perfect gift for chocolate lovers – an angle to consider if you have an aesthetically pleasing product or service (think architecture, food, fashion, travel).

9. Black Hills Corporation 125th Anniversary Book

This 200-page company history includes a nice balance of text and imagery, but unlike some of the other books featured here, its design relies heavily on the energy company’s corporate colors – a great example of what can be done through graphic design should your business be lacking on photography.

10. Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic

In this memoir penned by the founders of retail great Banana Republic, husband-and-wife team Mel and Patricia Ziegler write in alternating voices to tell their remarkable story. The nearly 100-page book is filled mostly with text supplemented by black-and-white photography and artist illustrations. Said by reviewers to read like fiction, this book may be a good example for companies with a charismatic voice and a surprising story to inspire entrepreneurial success.

5 Key Things to Know about Starting a New Company Blog

“Blogging isn’t about publishing as much as you can. It’s about publishing as smart as you can” — Jon Morrow

To a reader, a blog can be like an oasis. It is a drink of fresh water in the middle of a barren landscape. Blogs provide information, entertainment, solace, and encouragement. A good blog connects with readers. A great blog inspires them.

In the corporate world, blogs are a highly useful tool that engages consumers with companies and firmly establishes brands in people’s minds. A great company blog provides value while enabling corporations to connect with their customers on a deep level.

For companies that do not currently have a blog, the time has come to start one. The question is: How can a company start a new blog?

Stay tuned as we discuss the key elements needed for a new company blog to hit the ground running.

5 Key Things to Know about Starting a New Company Blog

1. Choosing Where to Host the Blog

Deciding where to host a blog is arguably the biggest factor to consider. According to digital marketing consultancy Hubspot, there are three main elements to consider when choosing a company blog host.

  • Fast loading times. Users ought to access content as fast as possible. Thus, a hosting service must have robust capabilities to ensure fast loading times. This feature is extremely important when blogs generate significant user traffic.
  • Reliable security measures. A blog host needs to have appropriate security measures to ensure the blog and users’ safety. Please note that safety refers to user safety, as well. The last thing a company needs is to have a data breach on its blog.
  • Uptime. A reliable blog host must ensure 99% uptime. This guarantee ensures that the company blog is available 24/7. Particularly, uptime is crucial when blogs cater to international audiences in different time zones.

Based on these criteria, companies looking to start a new blog have two options: launch their blog on a third-party blogging service or host it on their main site.

Both options have their merits, so it is worth exploring them in detail.

Choosing a third-party blogging service such as WordPress, Blogger, Medium, or Weebly provides a hassle-free option to publish content.

These sites offer a mix of free and paid subscription plans.

Small businesses or companies on a shoestring budget should consider using a free or basic subscription third-party blogging service.

These sites offer many of the capabilities needed to produce professional-looking blog posts.

Moreover, these blogging sites do not generally require coding or web development experience.

On the other hand, hosting a blog on a company site is preferable for large businesses and established corporations.

Often, large corporations have professionally crafted sites.

It is, therefore, possible to take an existing website and outfit it with blogging capabilities. Sites built on a WordPress platform typically come with blogging capabilities built in.

In some instances, companies may choose to revamp their website altogether. This renewal process can include the development of a new company blog.

Companies looking to implement a new blog may consider giving their websites a facelift while they are at it.

2. Understanding the Target Audience

Company blogs largely depend on the brand and its target customers. As such, understanding the company’s core customers facilitates identifying the blog’s target audience.

For instance, a company specializing in youthful brands would do well to focus its blog on topics relevant to a younger audience.

In contrast, a brand centered on an older demographic would benefit from presenting topics relevant to older individuals.

As digital marketing expert Neil Patel points out, “Your target audience is who you target with your marketing efforts.”

Indeed, a company blog is a marketing tool. When used effectively, it helps reach the intended audience. In turn, the target audience becomes the target customer.

In the end, the company wins by reaching the individuals that consume its products and services.

Patel recommends crafting a specific persona that adequately depicts the target audience. To achieve this, the following criteria ought to make up the persona:

  • Age
  • Educational background
  • Gender
  • Social status
  • Purchasing powers
  • Consumption habits
  • Location

For instance, a company targeting a younger demographic might craft a persona such as: men, aged 25 to 35 living in a busy metropolitan area, earning an average salary of $60,000 to $75,000, physically active, looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle and interested in consuming dietary supplements.

From this persona, it is possible to identify that a company blog plans to focus on fashion, health, supplements, and lifestyle. Consequently, blog posts should revolve around young men attempting to look their best through a healthy and active lifestyle.

Understanding the target audience is a critical step in ensuring a company blog’s success.

3. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Blogs are highly useful marketing tools. They allow existing customers to find valuable information on the topics related to the company and brand they consume.

However, blogs can also become effective tools in attracting new customers.

How so?

Using blogs allows newcomers to discover what the company and brand have to offer.

Consequently, new visitors can discover the unique value proposition the brand has to offer.

The challenge, though, is facilitating how newcomers come upon this value proposition.

An effective technique is using relevant keywords embedded in the blog’s text.

Relevant keywords refer to the words and terms users would utilize to search for information related to a specific topic.

For instance, an individual interested in learning more about life insurance would type “life insurance” into a search engine such as Google. Google then displays a list of the most relevant search results. These results largely depend on the text’s prevalence of the keyword(s).

Additionally, keywords may include the geographical location in which the business operates. A user searching for “life insurance” in “New York” would come across a number of companies offering this product. Therefore, insurance companies in New York would do well to include these relevant keywords in their blog posts.

The use of keywords in blog posts and other website content gets the term “search engine optimization” or SEO. SEO is a common tactic used to boost a site’s ranking in search results. As such, careful planning of blog content facilitates the implementation of SEO strategies.

There is one caveat: Content creators need to ensure blog posts are coherent and logical while optimizing content for SEO purposes. Overuse of keywords, or keyword stuffing, can make texts incoherent or useless to readers. Thus, ensuring worthwhile and relevant content while developing a solid SEO strategy goes a long way toward building a solid presence on the web.

SEO and content marketing specialist Duane Forrester had this to say about effective SEO practices: “On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.”

Forrester’s insight sheds light on how SEO is quickly becoming a common practice among online marketers. Therefore, companies must take advantage of this strategy. The best way to do so is through a valuable and insightful blog.

4. Producing Useful and Relevant Content

On the surface, producing content seems straightforward. Content creators sit down and write.

However, producing content is not quite so simple. Producing quality content requires a combination of skill and experience.

Unfortunately, for most companies, having qualified writers on their team may become quite a challenge.

On the whole, producing content is not merely about marketing copy. It is about producing content relevant to users’ needs.

For example, a food products company may start a cooking blog to showcase its products. Please note that rehashing recipes from old cookbooks will not deliver the value customers seek.

Therefore, producing quality content demands that companies and brands use their unique value proposition to display the value readers can discover. Also, content creators must ensure they avoid making an overt sales pitch. While there is nothing wrong with plugging products, making a sales pitch the sole purpose of a blog post may turn off readers altogether.

The key element to keep in mind is to provide actionable information readers can use to solve a pain point. After all, why would anyone take the time to read a blog post?

Of course, some blogs are popular due to their entertainment value. Nevertheless, business blogs generally strive to provide readers with valuable insights.

Consequently, helping readers solve pain points becomes a truly compelling reason to consume a company’s blog.

Marketing guru Seth Godin once remarked, “I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.” Indeed, understanding the reader greatly facilitates attracting more users and ultimately positioning a brand in readers’ minds.

5. Hiring a Professional Writer

There are times when companies lack qualified writers on their staff.

At times, companies task inexperienced staff members with producing content.

Other times, executives and entrepreneurs take on the challenge of producing blog posts. However, they soon find that inexperienced and busy executives cannot keep up with the demands of consistent blogging.

How can companies maintain a consistent blogging regimen?

Hiring a professional writer, often a ghostwriter, can help companies keep up with the rigors of regular blogging.

A professional writer has the experience, qualifications, and know-how needed to produce quality content. Additionally, professional writers generally have specialized backgrounds. Companies must, therefore, ensure their chosen writer has the appropriate background to deliver top-notch content.

What must companies consider when hiring a professional writer?

There are five key traits companies must consider when hiring a professional writer:

  • A professional and academic background that fits the content and target audience.
  • A “voice” that matches the blog’s theme and tone.
  • Writing experience in similar situations or topics.
  • Willingness to accept change and constructive criticism.
  • A professional attitude and disposition to sign the appropriate paperwork.

Please bear in mind that there are “inexpensive” writers out there. However, please note that a less expensive option does not always come with the guarantee and assurances companies need.

It is important for companies to check out a professional writer’s references and track record before committing to their services.

It is a good rule of thumb to review applications thoroughly. Then, interviewing prospective writers provides decision-makers with objective criteria they can use to make an informed decision. The five key traits listed above can help companies create an evaluation checklist.

Some companies opt to hire a writing agency. Writing agencies host several writers on staff.

This diversification of talent allows companies to expand their blog’s scope while ensuring they work with qualified writers. Consequently, hiring a writing agency can greatly enhance the blog’s overall marketing reach.

A common belief is that hiring a professional writer or writing agency is costly. However, this assumption quickly falls by the wayside when considering most companies’ marketing budgets.

Virtually any company can make room in their marketing budgets for consistent blogging.

Please remember that blogging regularly does not mean posting new content every minute. Companies may commit to blogging daily, weekly, or even monthly.

Ultimately, the frequency does not truly matter. What matters is ensuring that content consistently reaches readers.

The Last Word

Most folks believe that predominantly visual marketing tactics tend to overshadow blogging.

However, this assumption is flawed since visually based content serves one purpose while text-based content serves another.

There is an important place for text-based content regardless of a company’s turn of business.

Everything from auto mechanics to fashion brands can find value in utilizing blogs to deliver content. The challenge, though, is to focus content on the target audience. Otherwise, well-written content will not have the intended impact.

Great blogs deliver value by solving a pain point. Solving pain points depends on the target audience.

Naturally, content must effectively address readers’ needs to produce the desired outcomes.

Additionally, having a qualified writer, whether in-house or externally, ensures that blog posts accomplish their mission.

Ultimately, brands position themselves while enabling companies to continue growing as they reach their target customers.

5 Steps to Finding the Right Ghostwriting Agency for Your Technical Book

Do you think most politicians, business tycoons, celebrities, and experts write their own books? Think again. As you might have guessed, many bestselling books are written by ghostwriters working for ghostwriting agencies.

Ghostwriting agencies have gained massive popularity in recent years because, with them, you can get your content curated by an experienced team of professionals just the way you want it.

But what types of services can a ghostwriting agency offer you if your content is highly technical? And how do you choose the right ghostwriting agency?

Choosing the Right Ghostwriting Agency for Your Technical Book

Technical ghostwriting is a lucrative profession. The job of a ghostwriter is to take your technical content and turn it into something engaging, interesting, and informative for the target audience.

So, how do you choose a ghostwriting agency that is the right one for your book? The following steps will help you understand the entire process and make the right decision.

1. Clearly define your book.

The first thing you need to do is define the goal of your technical book and what you want it to cover. For this, you will have to explain your requirements to your chosen ghostwriting agency.

You can either provide them with written information or a verbal explanation.

Providing detailed information to ghostwriting agencies will help them clearly understand everything and write your book accordingly. As a result, you will avoid multiple rewrites and save time.

Make sure you provide the following information to your chosen ghostwriting agency.

The Title and Subtitle of Your Book

Clearly state your title and subtitle to avoid ambiguity. The ghostwriting agency may suggest changes based on their experience to improve the title. The ghostwriter can help you determine how clearly the title conveys what the book is about. Will it grab your reader’s attention? Will they be satisfied that the book delivers on the promise of the title?

The Message You Want to Relay to Readers

Explain the message you want to relay to your readers thoroughly. Tell the ghostwriter what information should be included in the content and what information should be excluded.

An effective way to confirm that your ghostwriter understands your message is to request an outline before they begin writing. It will save you time and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Remember that your ghostwriter may suggest some changes to the agreed-upon outline during the writing process. Accepting or declining changes would totally be up to you.

The Three W’s

The three W’s structure is the most effective way to define your content. It can be a valuable tool for helping to clearly define the scope of your book. The three W’s take you through three stages: What happened? What changed? What’s the latest situation? Use the three W’s when you discuss the outline of your book with a ghostwriting service.

2. Interview the agency.

Once you have shortlisted some ghostwriting agencies, and determined which ones might be a good fit, you need to prepare for interviews with each of the agencies you have selected.

You should assess them in the following categories to help you make the right decision.

Their Experience and Niche Knowledge

Few ghostwriting agencies are experienced in every niche. The knowledge and experience of their ghostwriters are what determines how good a fit they may be for your project.

Some ghostwriters have more experience writing memos and reports, while others prefer writing product descriptions, datasheets, and whitepapers. You will have to choose the one that can work comfortably in your niche.

A nonfiction ghostwriter may not need to perform much research if they are already an expert on the subject of your technical book.

Your Target Reader

You may have a good understanding of your target audience, and your ghostwriting agency should too. An excellent ghostwriting agency can help you create content that successfully engages your target reader, since the success of your book lies in your ability to connect with your target audience.

They will help research and identify your ideal customers by developing a market segmentation plan. Segmenting the broad market into smaller groups of like-minded individuals who share specific needs, behaviors, and characteristics will enable them to engage better with your target audience while writing the book. Next, they will ensure your writing goals are clear and concise.

3. Outline the project.

A good ghostwriter understands that outlines are a great way to start a book writing project.

An outline helps to present the ideas for any topic using a coherent structure.

It’s a good practice to request an outline from your writer to be sure that they understand the purpose of your technical book.

How will you tell if the outline is good enough?

The outline should clearly define what you want your readers to understand concerning your topic. It should establish the structure for the entire book.

Also, the outline should be divided into headings and subheadings to distinguish the book’s main points from the supporting points. The sections need to be ordered in a way that will make sense to you and your readers.

The best ghostwriter for your technical book should be ready to deliver an outline that will make you eager to see the rest of the content.

4. Discuss schedule.

Time and Payment

You should clearly discuss your book project’s budget and timeline with your ghostwriting agency. The discussion should cover the time needed to write the book, the volume of the content, the amount of research, and the payment schedule.

The time to complete your technical book can vary from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size and type of content.

It would be best to be prepared to give your ghostwriter ample time to finish your book.

Many ghostwriting agencies request an upfront fee and milestone payments.

Some writers choose to collect 30% of the project fee upfront, another 30% after submitting the first draft, and the remaining 40% at the end of the project. Milestone payments like this offer protection for both you and your ghostwriter and can ease the work process.

5. Sign an NDA.

NDA stands for a Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is your legal right to get an NDA signed when working with a ghostwriting agency.

It covers a wide range of legal aspects, royalties, and your rights to the book.

NDAs are usually unique and best kept simple. Key features that should be included are the time frame, the definition of confidentiality terms, information about the purpose of the NDA, and other essential legalities.

With an NDA in place, everyone’s interest is protected, and your ghostwriter will not be able to claim ownership of the book or share your book idea with anyone else.

Benefits of Hiring the Right Ghostwriting Agency

By now, you may be questioning why you should hire a ghostwriting agency when there are so many steps needed to choose the right one. Hiring a ghostwriting agency has several advantages, including avoiding the inconvenience of project delays, low-quality writing, inauthenticity, and plagiarism.

No Delays

Delegating your writing task to a ghostwriter is a great way to meet your deadlines for completing a book and publishing it. With a lower chance of delays, you’ll get your final copy on schedule.

Some delays are emotional, and if you haven’t written a book before, you may find it challenging to get started.

You may keep procrastinating about writing your book when there are so many other things that need your attention – such as family, important business meetings, or medical appointments.

Ghostwriters can handle your technical book more objectively because they are simply doing their job, and they have done it many times before. They have the skills and experience to write your book within a specified scope.

High-Quality Writing

If you aren’t a professional writer, you may have difficulty creating high-quality content that will appeal to readers. Your book needs to be more than just your thoughts on paper; your ideas should flow naturally from one section to the next. This is what will make your book engaging and informative.

The educational level and experience of a ghostwriter are crucial for technical ghostwriting.

Ghostwriting agencies obtain and verify the background and academic level of their writers.

You can rely on the reputation of a ghostwriting agency when you consider hiring them. An easy way to review their reputation is to read feedback from clients, usually provided in the website's testimonial section.

A high-quality ghostwriting agency gets excellent reviews from its clients, ensuring your book will be written by top-notch ghostwriters.

Plagiarism-free Content

Plagiarism involves one writer taking another person’s content and presenting it as their own. It is unethical and unacceptable.

Professional ghostwriting agencies often run plagiarism checks on their content to ensure you are getting a 100% original book. Since it is their work to write content, professional ghostwriters uphold the highest standards against plagiarism and deliver unique content.

Authenticity

Inauthentic content contains non-factual information. Such content can cause you embarrassment, and your technical book will lose its credibility. It can hurt your reputation and negatively affect your future projects.

A high-quality ghostwriting agency should understand that you have a goal for your technical book, and you want your book to fulfill your purpose.

For example, you may wish to use your technical book to help advertise or sell certain products. The content of your book should engage with your audience and benefit your business.

As you are the author of your book, it should reflect your message to your audience.

A high-quality nonfiction ghostwriter can weave your company or brand values into the content. They can ensure your technical book aligns with your other content and successfully integrate your advertising strategy with your overall business and brand.

Conclusion

When looking for a ghostwriting agency to write your technical book, you should take the time to choose one that is best able to meet your needs. A ghostwriting agency with a good reputation is more likely to share your valuable knowledge through well-written content.

During your search for a ghostwriter, a good approach is to start by shortlisting five to six ghostwriting agencies. You don’t want to spend the time interviewing dozens of ghostwriting agencies if you can avoid it.

When you are discussing your project with a ghostwriting agency, you should assess the skill level of their ghostwriters. You can ask to see some of their previous work, which will help you analyze whether they match your writing style and voice.

Always be clear about what you expect from your ghostwriter and discuss all details of the process. Cooperation and communication between you and your ghostwriting agency are the keys to setting your ghostwriter up for success with your technical book.

Finally, try not to rush the process of selecting a ghostwriting agency. If you find one that you believe will be a good fit, it could be worth waiting for the writers of your choice if they are not immediately available.

Finding the right ghostwriting agency for your technical book doesn’t have to be challenging, and following a systematic approach can help smooth the process and get you the best results.

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Technical Writer for Your Project

If you’ve ever been tasked with writing technical documents for a diverse audience, you know that it’s not as simple as it sounds.

You are well versed in your area of expertise and could talk about it for days on end. But when it comes to explaining it to someone outside your field, you find that it’s much easier said than done.

That’s where hiring a technical writer pays off.

What does a technical writer do?

A technical writer creates documents such as user manuals, help files, instructional videos, white papers, press releases, newsletters, e-mail messages, and web pages. Hence, they may also be called instructional designers, instructional technologists, instructional specialists, instructional developers, instructional facilitators, or instructional consultants.

This professional writer usually works directly with a client to determine what information needs to be included in a document.

The writer then researches the subject matter and develops content based on the client's requirements.

Once the content is developed, it is presented to the client for review and approval.

Do I really need a technical writer?

There is an increasing demand for technical writers globally, and research shows that the demand for technical writers should grow by 7 percent between 2019 and 2029.

The need for technical writers is increasing because preparing a technical document can be quite tricky. Unfortunately, you may not have the resources to train your employees to perform this function. This means you will need to contract out the job to a qualified technical writer.

Here are some examples of situations where you might need a technical writer:

  • Your company sells products that require instruction.
  • Your company provides technical support for products that require instructions.
  • Your company produces instructional materials for use by other people.
  • Your company makes presentations to customers, suppliers, investors, or potential partners.
  • Your company wants to improve its image through advertising.
  • Your company wants to attract new customers.
  • Your company offers services to small businesses.
  • Your company is expanding into new markets.
  • Your company plans to sell more than one product.
  • Your company wants to expand its market share.
  • Your company sells software.
  • Your company uses technology to make sales calls.

What should I look for in a technical writer?

Undoubtedly, a good technical writer will create content that will boost your brand’s image and set you apart from your competition.

Because hiring a technical writer is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly, we’ve put together seven tips to guide you in choosing the best technical writer.

1. Expertise

Choosing a technical writer who has worked in or written about your niche means they can create content that will suit your business perfectly.

In addition, their portfolios and previous writing experience will reveal their writing style and voice, which will help you determine if they are the best fit for your business.

Your ideal technical writer should be interested in your field, familiar with your subject matter, and have experience with similar projects. In addition, you need someone who can create compelling content for your target audience and drive traffic to your business.

2. Excellent Grammar Skills

Do not underestimate grammar skills in your quest for an ideal technical writer. You need someone who can string words together in a clear, accurate, and reader-friendly way.

Grammar is crucial for readability, credibility, clarity, and communication. Unfortunately, readers will find it hard to trudge through a work that is peppered with typos and grammatical errors.

Writers with poor grammar skills are not taking their craft seriously and will string words together haphazardly. But a professional technical writer with excellent grammar skills must have taken the time to master good grammar, which shows a level of commitment to the writing craft. Besides, a document with no grammatical errors will be more enjoyable to read.

3. Creativity

A technical writer must be creative to develop evergreen, unique content for your business.

They should be open to new ways of doing things and create content that stands out from the competition.

Since creativity opens the mind and keeps it active, creative writers will easily use their imaginations to develop creative thoughts, broaden their thought processes, enhance their logical skills, and improve their problem-solving abilities.

By using their creative skills, your ideal writer should be able to craft a decipherable, compelling, and engaging set of instructions out of otherwise complex information.

4. Knowledge

This is probably the most important quality to look for in a professional technical writer. Your ideal writer should be well informed about subjects relating to your specific niche. In addition, they must have enough knowledge of the subject matter to provide accurate information.

Industry-specific knowledge eases the process of understanding and conveying your tech-related information to your audience. This knowledge makes a technical writer more valuable and makes the writer’s work easier.

Hence, a good technical writer should improve their knowledge and skills by studying continuously.

5. Willingness to Learn New Skills

The ideal technical writer must be well-versed in your niche or willing to learn all there is to know about it. Willingness to learn shows that a writer is hardworking and passionate about getting your work done.

Therefore, you should hire a technical writer who is ready to learn new skills and has the tendency to challenge themselves continuously. This will make it easier for them to convey your complex technical information more straightforwardly.

A writer who demonstrates a willingness to learn new skills can take on more responsibilities to prove their commitment to your work. Such people are usually more motivated and have the self-discipline needed to meet your set goals.

6. Adaptability

Not all technical writers have a voice or style that matches your company’s vision. But a good technical writer should be able to adapt quickly and acclimatize to your specific needs.

This soft skill is not just a desired quality but a necessity for technical writers. You want to hire a technical writer who is versatile enough to learn new documentation tools, the latest technologies, and new ways of presenting technical information to your target audience.

For the sole purpose of creating meaningful content for your particular audience, a professional technical writer will readily adapt to new technology, guidelines, language, or standards instead of sticking to old ones.

7. Proficiency with Writing Tools

Technical writing has evolved since the days of using pen and paper.

As a result, there is a wide range of assorted tools or software you can work with to develop great content, format your document, and communicate information more effectively in today's digital landscape.

Although technical writing requires expertise, a technical writer armed with the best technical writing tools will help immensely. In addition, these tools have features that help improve the documentation process by making it easier and faster.

Some of the tools to look out for are grammar checkers like Grammarly and plagiarism checkers like Copyscape.

Final Thoughts

Effective technical writing presents information without necessarily attracting attention to itself. Because it is meant to express, not impress the reader, you will need to hire a technical writer who knows their onions.

A good technical writer is an enabler of information whose primary focus is to move your readers to take the desired action. Therefore, having the key features to look out for at your fingertips will go a long way in choosing someone who will help demystify your technical documents for your target audience.

10 Great Books to Inspire You to Write Your Business Book

Articulating book ideas is not a straightforward proposition. There are times when books stall because it is not easy to transform an idea into a tangible manifestation.

Thus, finding inspiration in other sources can help frame one’s ideas into a clearer picture.

To help a business leader find inspiration, books by other influential business professionals can provide a useful frame of reference. Here are ten books to inspire professionals to write their business books.

10 Great Books to Inspire You to Write Your Business Book

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

This classic biography features tech pioneer Steve Jobs’ rise from a garage to the heights of the business world.

Serving as both a personal story and business masterclass, the book revolves around interviews and accounts by Jobs himself as well as others that knew him.

This book provides inspiration on how one’s personal story can intertwine with business endeavors.

It is a must-read for anyone looking to find the best way to combine their personal and professional journeys.

2. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

Richard Branson’s autobiography details his rise to prominence. In particular, Branson highlights how he defied conventional wisdom to put his mark on this business world.

This voluminous account reveals insight into why his business ventures have been successful.

Moreover, readers can distill crucial lessons into why some of his other ventures failed.

Professionals can find inspiration in this volume as it is part autobiography, part business guide.

As such, business leaders looking to share their recipe for success can find a good blueprint in this book.

3. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…, and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Good to Great has become a staple of business literature.

In this book, Collins distills years of research and anecdotal evidence into lessons businesses and professionals can implement to lead their businesses from bad, to average, to great.

Most importantly, the book features personal insights into how leadership is a crucial element in any successful business.

Good to Great provides a model for any professional looking to establish themselves as a subject matter expert.

Professionals who have research and abundant experience can take this book’s approach to present their data.

Moreover, this volume uses a straightforward tone, thus making a highly complex topic digestible for readers of any background.

4. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

The Millionaire Next Door is a treatise into how America’s wealthy have made their fortune.

After decades of research into behavioral economics, the authors compiled their findings—along with personal observations and data driven analyses—into a roadmap for wealth accumulation and preservation.

This book is a great source of inspiration for anyone looking to take their experience, coupled with data and analytics, and transform both elements into a coherent contribution.

Additionally, subject matter experts can find a useful example to follow in this classic of personal finance.

5. Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, with Bob Andelman

Built from Scratch chronicles the story of Home Depot founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank.

This fascinating book tells how Marcus and Blank grew their business from nothing and transformed it into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

Taking readers through the authors’ dismissal from their jobs up to their crowning achievements, Built from Scratch is a great source of inspiration for anyone looking to write a company history book.

Professionals, founders, and business owners looking to chronicle their company’s story must read Built from Scratch.

6. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen

Idea Man is a compelling memoir by Paul Allen. As the co-founder of Microsoft, he was the less public figure behind the corporate giant.

In this book, he recounts his experiences while delivering useful insights into his business dealings.

Throughout the book, Allen goes into detail about his thought process and how he approached his life following his retirement from Microsoft.

In this memoir, business leaders can find a guide on how to frame their personal contributions to their specific domain.

This book can serve as a model by which professionals from all walks of life can systematize the lessons they want to preserve for generations to come.

7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is a classic of the business world.

In this book, Hill chronicles his experiences with wealthy individuals.

In particular, he distills these experiences into lessons and principles anyone can follow on their way to building wealth.

Think and Grow Rich helped catapult Hill into subject matter expert territory.

Business professionals looking to translate their experiences and expertise into a methodical guide can find inspiration in this timeless work.

The lessons and principles contained in this tome remain relevant nearly one hundred years later. Thus, business professionals from all walks of life can find the inspiration they need in this book to translate their acumen into a subject matter expert masterpiece.

8. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business Bu Barbara Corcoran with Bruce Littlefield

Shark Tales is a memoir/autobiography about real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran.

This book offers various facets of her personal and business life.

It is a company history book, memoir, and autobiography all polled into one.

In this story, readers can discover the secrets and insights that led to Corcoran’s highly successful business empire despite her humble beginning.

Shark Tales inspires readers to write about their transformational journeys.

Moreover, this book delivers a clear roadmap for entrepreneurs seeking to shed light on their personal brand of success.

9. The Martha Rule by Martha Stewart

Celebrity juggernaut Martha Stewart distills her expertise into ten clear-cut rules business professionals can follow to navigate the corporate landscape successfully.

Stewart flexes her subject matter expert muscle to deliver a masterclass on running a successful business in this book.

Business professionals looking to share their expertise as subject matter experts can find inspiration in this highly informative volume. In particular, focusing on how Stewart frames her rules can help aspiring authors present their knowledge in an easily digestible format.

10. Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie

In Start Something that Matters, readers discover a feel-good story about giving back.

The story centers on Blake Mycoskie’s soul-searching journey following multiple failed startups. He founded TOMS based on the idea of giving back to poor children around the world.

This book is a fascinating combination of personal and company history. Additionally, the author reveals his recipe for success following failure.

This book inspires readers, especially after succeeding in the face of failure. In particular, entrepreneurs can find a wonderful source of inspiration to combine personal causes that matter with successful business or charitable ventures.

Making Sense of It All

Ultimately, a business book is about reflecting one’s own journey through the business world.

The books described in this article serve as examples of how other successful individuals have leveraged their subject matter expertise to create masterclasses.

Nevertheless, there may be times when inspiration may not necessarily translate into immediate writing success. As such, hiring a ghostwriter or ghostwriting agency can help make a book idea come to fruition.

Most importantly, the aim is to ensure that great book ideas become a reality.

Who Uses Ghostwriters?

Despite the notable names on their covers, it is widely understood and accepted that the memoirs and autobiographies of celebrities and public figures who are not known for their erudition are—in actuality and a majority of the time—the works of hired, uncredited writers.

But were you aware that ghostwriting comes in many forms other than just books? And did you know that ghostwriters aren’t only hired by celebrities and the like?

As a matter of fact, it is arguable that a majority of the ghostwriting out there in the world fits into alternative categories.  And most ghostwriters are hired by people who are not household names.

Ghostwriting is far more ubiquitous than one might think. It is found in nearly every corner of daily life and the services of ghostwriters are implemented by a wide array of industries and individuals.

The output of ghostwriters is found almost everywhere. To gain an understanding of the variety of businesses and industries that utilize ghostwriting, it’s best to investigate its various manifestations in everyday life.

10 Surprising Examples of Ghostwriting in Everyday Life

The following examples of commonplace ghostwriting demonstrate its prevalence outside of traditional publishing.

Scripts, Screenplays, and Videos

During a memorable moment on his 2007 comedy album Werewolves and Lollipops, comedian Patton Oswalt reveals that one of his side-gigs—in addition to his career as a stand-up comic and voice actor—is ghostwriting screenplays for Hollywood.

In his act, Oswalt hilariously defines this form of ghostwriting—known as “punch-up” in the movie industry—as being asked to “think up funny, off-screen jokes that people that aren’t on screen can yell over the unfunny, uninteresting action to make it a comedy.”

Sometimes the ghostwriters that Hollywood brings on to punch up a script are pretty big names in entertainment themselves.

And sometimes the particular movies they are assigned to make for rather inexplicable pairings.

Here are some examples:

  • M. Night Shyamalan, a writer and director known for creeping tension and twist endings—the likes of which can be seen in many of his own movies like The Sixth Sense and The Village—was a ghostwriter for the 1999 teen date movie She’s All That.
  • Quentin Tarantino, a director whose own films rarely venture far from the deep-black end of the comedy spectrum, co-wrote the screenplay for the silly and lighthearted Saturday Night Live production of It’s Pat: The Movie. Tarantino did not accept credit for the work, lending his help as merely a gesture of friendship with Julia Sweeney, who starred in the film in the titular role.
  • Charlie Kaufman—best known for complex and cerebral works like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Synecdoche New York, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—was brought on as a writing consultant for Kung-Fu Panda 2.
  • Carrie Fisher, the actress most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, was a ghostwriter for 1992’s Lethal Weapon 3.

Many varieties of ghostwritten scripts are also acted out off the silver screen, such as those for television programs, commercials, and even the kind that are read aloud by cold-calling telemarketers and customer service reps.

The modern computing age has provided a new arena for ghostwriting as well.

Just about any up-to-date personal computer or laptop is capable of producing professional grade video graphics and sound. With internet video hosting as widespread and efficient as it has become in recent years, the climate for independently created content has never been more in favor of the little guy.

Individuals and businesses of any size alike now have the ability to create and distribute an infinite supply of promotional videos for advertising, instruction, or entertainment.

This entirely new genre of content has opened up a script quality void that ghostwriters are filling for many of the more successful producers.

How-To Manuals and Technical Documents

Almost all products on the market today—from devices to medicines to packaged food items—come with some form of instructions for use. These instructions may be required by law in some cases or they may only be in place to enhance the user experience.

Regardless of any requirements dictating their existence, instruction or operation manuals are extremely helpful to the end user. And ghostwriters are often brought in to write them.

Ghostwriters unaffiliated with the products at hand approach the writing of their user guides from an objective viewpoint.

They take directions from engineers and designers and translate them for the customer with more clarity than the manufacturer would most likely ever be able to produce internally.

Social Media

Ghostwriters are hired to manage the social media accounts of both public figures and brands.

While some celebrities have so many followers and so much engagement that handling even one of their social media accounts would constitute a full-time job, for the most part, social media ghostwriters simultaneously manage multiple accounts for multiple clients.

Social media ghostwriting is primarily the same for both personalities and brands. The ghostwriter receives updates from their client, repackages it appropriately, and then communicates it to the audience.

Social media ghostwriting differs from other forms of ghostwriting in that there is an element of immediacy to it, and much more audience engagement across platforms.

Followers are able to instantly engage with and respond to content.  A ghostwriter for social media accounts must be able to react and respond to breaking events and trending topics and dialogue with their readers when appropriate.

Advertorials

Ghostwriters are often behind the conceptualization of advertorials—hybrids of advertisements and editorials—that can appear in various forms of media.

They are found in print in newspapers and magazines. They exist in audio-only format on the radio or attached to podcasts. They appear as video on television, streaming services, or online.

The key distinction that distinguishes advertorials from their component parts is how they are subtly disguised as newsworthy discussions that accomplish the goal of brand recognition and information dissemination.

While plenty of people are already averse to completely standard advertising, ads that purport to be something else entirely can come across as even more disingenuous. A talented ghostwriter, however, can produce advertorial content that maintains the reader or viewer’s interest while avoiding insincerity and underhandedness.

Sales Emails, Business Blogs, and Newsletters

A staple of modern business in the digital era is the standard sales email.

The goal behind every business email is not necessarily to get the reader to buy the product or service advertised within it.

The goal is instead, more simply, to get the reader to act—to click a link where more info is offered, to register for a list, to visit a website.

Skilled, advertising ghostwriters are capable of crafting copy that elicits these desired responses from the reader.

Company newsletters differ from sales emails in that they do not highlight a specific product or service but instead keep the reader up-to-date on the latest company developments and keep the company at the front of the reader’s mind.

Business blogs run parallel to newsletters in that their purpose is not to specifically sell customers on any particular item other than the idea of the company as a larger community that includes the reader within it.

The goal behind a company blog is to discuss greater lifestyle topics that would interest their customers—a kayak manufacturer publishing an article about the best North American rivers, for example.

By incorporating blogs and newsletters in their outreach, ghostwriters working on behalf of a company can capture the attention of their customers and further endear them to the brand.

Press Releases

At one time, press releases were one of the few ways an organization could make an announcement or get the word out regarding a particular event.

Despite the fact that there are now many additional avenues for public relations, press releases are still an effective means of sowing interest around a development that a business or individual would like to make the public aware of.

Press releases by nature are also picked up by different news organizations and publicized. Some of the publicity that comes from their issuance happens organically.

Also, press releases are effectively entered into a larger historical record. When published by newspapers, they are archived both in print and online indefinitely.

Some ghostwriters specialize in press releases and are adept at wording them for search engine optimization and to ensure the widest possible print circulation.

Medical Publishing

While doctors and medical research scientists are undoubtedly high-level intellects with advanced degrees, they aren’t necessarily great writers. In many cases the nature of their positions means that they also lack the time required to properly report on their findings.

A large portion of the output in the field of medical publishing is actually the work of ghostwriters.

The doctors and scientists behind the wealth of ongoing medical research rely on specialized ghostwriters who transcribe and translate their work for a more general audience upon completion.

The Music Industry

In the 1960’s and 70’s, Los Angeles based record companies like Capitol, RCA, and Columbia were the very heart of practically all popular music at the time.

To this day, many of the recordings that came out of that time and place remain cherished classics and the artists named on all those album covers are considered icons of that particular music scene.

However, few of those artists actually wrote any of their songs. And almost none of them had anything to do with the production of their albums apart from the vocal tracks.

The real work was left to professional studio musicians who could perfectly execute the performances—sometimes in a single take—saving the record companies a great deal of time and money.

The pool of musicians working in Los Angeles at the time were exceedingly adept and creative and came to be known amongst industry insiders as The Wrecking Crew.

Their very existence remained a closely guarded secret for decades and the listening public remained in the dark. That is, until the various identities that made up the crew were eventually revealed and celebrated for their rare talents.

While the state of the modern music business has been extremely turbulent since the turn of the century and the dawn of the streaming age, the presence of ghostwriters and other creatives—both credited and uncredited—seems to have remained unchanged.

From the public spats between alternative rockers Courtney Love and Billy Corgan to the various admissions, denials, and breathless clarifications regarding ghostwriting from some of the biggest music stars of today like Drake, Jay Z, Kanye West, Post Malone, and many more, it seems that ghostwriting has definitely established a solid footing among recording artists.

Online Bios and Resumes

Hiring ghostwriters isn’t an act reserved for large companies with deep pockets. Individuals regularly hire ghostwriters for boutique assignments in “one time use” capacities as well.

Often these ghostwriters are hired to elevate the client’s personal brand as opposed to a corporate one.

Resume writing services offer complete makeover packages for resumes, cover letters, and profiles on career sites like LinkedIn.

Ghostwriters of this variety promise results like keyword optimization that will get your resume through forbidding applicant tracking systems, formatting that stands out, and they even back up their claims with interview guarantees.

Speeches, Toasts, and Roasts

It is widely understood that, for the most part, presidents and other heads of state do not write their own speeches, but rely on professional speech writers to skillfully gather their sentiments in a phrasing that is complimentary to their natural speaking style.

Lower level politicians and corporate leaders take advantage of speech writers as well.

Even actors and musicians—in anticipation of awards ceremonies like the Oscars or the Grammys—will hire ghostwriters to help them word acceptance speeches should they be recognized at the event.

Corporate chiefs also commission ghostwriters to help them with their presentations at large, formal company meetings and product launches.

Even events like the roasts held by The New York Friars Club—legendary for the extreme nature of the free-wheeling insults lobbed back and forth by their participants—are in fact carefully planned exercises in ghostwriting.

The basic setup of a standard roast is that there is one individual honored at the event, but only after he or she has been made to listen to a litany of comedic yet brutal personal insults. The “roasters” who deliver these remarks gleefully attack each other as part of the ceremony as well. Finally, the honoree is granted time at the podium for a revenge speech.

Despite the vitriol exhibited on stage, behind the scenes, preparation for the event is actually a completely collaborative process where off-limit topics are agreed upon in advance and the featured comedians help to write the very insults that will be directed at themselves during the show.

Ghostwriters are even available for very small jobs like wedding toasts and other family events.

Considering how easy it is to preserve such events for posterity with the convenience of modern videography, it makes a lot of sense to thoughtfully plan out the remarks that you might make at them.

So, if you have an upcoming event at which you’ll be speaking or presenting written materials, perhaps some help from a ghostwriter is in order. 

Starting a Company Blog from Scratch: 7 Ways to Generate Content Ideas Through Topic Research

“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.” — Arjun Basu

In today’s business world, content is king. One way for organizations to succeed is by delivering consistent value—and there is nothing more valuable than relevant and useful content. As such, organizations of all kinds endeavor to consistently provide high quality content.

One of the most effective ways to reach an audience is through a blog.

While blogs may seem somewhat old-school, they continue to be an effective way to engage with prospective clients and customers.

However, starting a company blog from scratch can be a daunting task when there is little clarity about what topics to cover.

In this case, topic research can be a useful tool to help organizations generate content ideas. In essence, topic research boils down to analyzing trends in data relevant to an organization’s specific field of expertise.

In this article, we focus on 7 ways organizations can generate ideas to engage their audience and build more brand visibility.

7 Ways to Generate Content Ideas Through Topic Research

1. The Target Audience

A simple, yet effective way of determining what readers want is to ask them directly.

This approach is straightforward and allows a company blog to address topics specifically relevant to its target audience.

Organizations can talk to their audiences in various ways:

  • Surveys. Surveys are still the most effective means to get accurate information about an audience. A carefully crafted survey can provide valuable insight into users’ interests. Moreover, customized surveys can identify specific topics users want to learn about or products they would like to see.
  • Social media. Nowadays, social media is a highly useful means of talking with users. In particular, users’ comments on social media posts often reveal their thoughts and opinions on relevant blog topics. Since social media is prevalent in most users’ lives, monitoring social media can be a treasure trove of new content ideas.
  • Interviews. Conducting one-on-one interviews can provide wonderful insight into what content users want to read. More often than not, users will be quite honest and upfront about what content they are interested in reading.
  • Focus groups. Using focus groups gives organizations insight into what like-minded individuals want to get out of the content they consume.
  • Newsletters. In general, newsletters are a one-way communication between an organization and its users. However, newsletters can also become a means of getting feedback. Some organizations leave the door open for users and subscribers to contact them to offer comments and ask questions. From this feedback, organizations can determine what type of content, frequency, and format their users prefer.

2. Analytics

Analytics provide highly useful information about the visitors to websites, and the data can be quite robust. For instance, analytics provide information on age, gender, location, and even search history.

Thus, analytics from previous blog posts can also serve as a way of measuring trends. For example, tracking which posts got the most and least visits is a simple but effective way of gauging customer interest.

Additionally, analytics stemming from purchases, downloads, and time spent on a site and links can all offer valuable insight into the behaviors, preferences, and patterns of visitors.

Using these analytics as a base for topic research can yield interesting ideas. For example, company blog topics centered on best-selling products are great for generating new ideas.

Often, user comments on a company blog can shed light on topics followers want to learn about. New ideas can emerge from these comments.

3. Industry Topics

In general, there are topics that are relevant to every industry. These topics revolve around questions, problems, or information users most want to see, and reflect what users are searching online.

For instance, a health and wellness blog could focus on nutrition and exercise.

However, nutrition and exercise are significantly broad topics. As a result, the list of potential topics can become quite extensive.

Thus, content creators should narrow their focus to what is truly relevant to their website. In this regard, a health and wellness blog may choose to focus solely on vegan nutrition.

This decision must stem from a keen understanding of its core audience. Brands, organizations, and content creators can gain this understanding from the analytics they can gather through the various tools at their disposal.

Additionally, content creators must be careful to stay on topic. In other words, attempting to expand into other topics unrelated to their core message may cause followers to become confused.

Maintaining a focused view should be the main priority.

4. Keyword Research

When users search for information on a topic, some keywords or phrases are typically used more frequently.

Keywords play a crucial role in assessing user interaction with content. Thus, keyword research is a vital tool for anyone looking to start or expand a company blog.

Keyword research consists of uncovering the specific keywords most commonly used when users search a given topic.

There are research tools available that track keywords based on different metrics. These metrics measure analytics such as the most common keywords in the last hour, day, week, month, or year.

Additionally, content creators can search for certain keywords to gauge their popularity. Search engines such as Google offer free analytics on keyword usage.

Nevertheless, more robust and content-specific analytics typically come with premium subscription services.

5. Competitor Research

This technique involves some benchmarking. Generally speaking, benchmarking consists of studying what other successful content creators have done.

The result of this practice is to distill ideas that can then become part of one’s content.

Content creators can begin by searching for new ideas on their competitors’ websites. Also, content creators can look at other company blogs on similar topics.

The aim is not to copy someone else’s posts.

Instead, the objective is to identify what content is bringing in traffic to competitors’ websites.

From there, content creators can create their own original posts on the same or related topics.

Furthermore, competitor research enables content creators to see what type of language, formats, and layouts are “in” at the moment.

This research can be used to create new content that incorporates what appears to be getting the best results.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When conducting research using search engines, frequently asked questions (FAQs) usually appear in the search results.

FAQs often contain popular keywords used in search queries.

These FAQs can easily become a source of inspiration for fresh content ideas.

For example, a FAQ like “What is the best insurance company?” can yield many content ideas.

Additionally, competitor analysis can examine FAQs to ascertain what information users are seeking.

Company websites often have sections dedicated to answering FAQs. A review of these FAQs could lead to new content ideas for a company blog.

7. Hiring a Ghostwriter or Ghostwriting Agency

A company blog requires a regular stream of content to remain fresh. Sporadic content creation is a sure-fire way of losing user interest.

A good rule of thumb is to post new material in accordance with a regular schedule. For instance, daily content requires content creators to post content consistently, sometimes multiple times a day.

However, some organizations may not have the staff to post with such great frequently.

In such cases, employing the services of a professional ghostwriter or ghostwriting agency can be a good strategy.

Experienced ghostwriters can aid in producing brand-new content at specific intervals. They can be tasked with delivering the new content as often as a company needs.

Some professional ghostwriters are also adept at generating new content ideas. These professionals have experience in keyword research and competitor analysis or can draw from their professional experience to propose topics.

Consequently, employing a professional ghostwriter to generate new content ideas can be a useful approach.

In general, experienced ghostwriters propose a list of topics for the organization to consider. Then, the organization can choose which content ideas best fit their objectives. This decision can rely on analytics, practical experience, or even anecdotal information.

Once the organization chooses a batch of topics, the ghostwriters can work on producing the content.

Please note that ghostwriters with experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can greatly enhance the material’s searchability. SEO strategies focus on embedding relevant keywords into the content so that users can find it more easily.

Conclusion

Starting or expanding a new company blog does not have to be a monumental task. The strategies outlined in this article show that uncovering new content ideas is a matter of focused work utilizing the right tools. These tools can provide organizations with the insight needed to generate fresh content ideas.

Nevertheless, generating content ideas is only one part of the equation. The other part requires that posts have the appropriate content, specifically aimed at attracting the right users.

Hiring a professional ghostwriter or ghostwriting agency can make a meaningful difference.

Ultimately, an organization can take the research tools contained in this article and pair them with competent ghostwriters to create a wonderful company blog. The outcome will enhance the company’s ability to generate brand visibility and achieve its objectives.

15 Reasons You Should Write a Company History Book

Amazon, Facebook, McDonald’s, and Starbucks — all well-loved and groundbreaking brands that have one thing in common: They all published a company history book. Corporate greats such as these used books to tell tales of their venture’s humble beginnings and eventual rise to greatness.

But why write a company history book? Why go through the additional expense and effort of sifting through your business history to share with the public?

As you might have guessed, there’s much to gain. In this article, we share with you 15 compelling reasons why you should consider coming up with your own company history book.

Before we get started, let’s review why your company’s history is valuable.

Why Is a Company’s History Valuable?

Trust is an essential component in any business relationship. When customers are looking to place their trust in a company, they ultimately choose one that demonstrates commitment and honesty.

Your company's history is your most valuable asset in earning this trust.

Changes in leadership, and iterations to your products, services, operations, and marketing strategies speak of reliability that can help cement your brand, not just in people’s minds but hearts as well.

Telling your story is also an opportunity to share your brand’s values. You can share how you stayed true to your values in the beginning and during hard times. It can be a powerful testimony of your commitment and resilience.

After all, a company that has remained faithful to its values through the years is attractive in today’s authenticity-driven world and invites more business.

Lastly, your company history is a great way to build lasting value for your company. Instead of having a one-and-done transactional relationship with your clients, sharing where you came from and what it took to get there helps your stakeholders remember you, even after their business with you is concluded.

Combined with great products or services, your company history is a powerful way to leave your audience with a lasting impression of your company, values, and reliability.

We’ve established why company history is essential, but why should you use a company history to share it? Take a look at these 15 reasons for writing a company history book.

15 Reasons Why You Should Consider Writing a Company History Book

When people look at your company, does it inspire loyalty and trust? Does your brand seem relatable, credible, and relevant to the public?

It can be tough to become associated with these qualities, but a company history book can be an excellent way to accomplish this.

If your company has some history to it, here’s why you should consider getting it all down on paper and sharing it with the public.

#1. To Understand the Values of Your Company

Who would you rather do business with — a company whose values you understand or one you know little about? If you chose the former, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 report published by 5W, 71 percent of customers prefer purchasing from brands whose values resonate with theirs. That number is even higher for millennials, at 83 percent.

Core values are a great way to show customers what you stand for. Company history books help educate them and make it easier to associate themselves with your cause, earning greater loyalty!

People who know exactly why they do business with you can help spread the word about your business. They’ll readily share why they’ve chosen to transact with you out of all the competition.

#2. To Establish an Original Vision for the Future

Having a written history of your company makes it easier to foresee and chart its future.

When history shows where you came from, the path forward becomes clearer. A clear vision can anchor executives and employees into helping you achieve your vision.

#3. To Identify Areas of Improvement in the Workplace

Knowing your company’s weaknesses will help it grow.

A company history book can help you identify past stumbling blocks and address them more effectively.

Whether your challenges lie in branding, improving customer experience, better market research, or getting better results from your teams, company history books can help pinpoint your weaknesses and identify areas for growth.

#4. To Provide a Roadmap for Your Organization’s Success

What successes has your company achieved? What were the major challenges and milestones that led to it? How did you overcome them? All this and more can be documented in your company history book.

Chapters about your organization’s road to success can be opportunities for employees and executives to reflect on its achievements.

Through reflection, they can identify behaviors and values that led the company to achieve its goals and set it up for even greater victories.

#5. To Commemorate Major Company Events

Do you have a major event coming up? Perhaps it’s your company’s 50th year in business. Maybe you’re about to close your 1,000th deal, or perhaps you’re about to hire your 100th employee.

Whatever the occasion, releasing a company history book can give your celebration a sense of occasion and history in a way that branded souvenirs and other corporate giveaways can’t.

It’s also a distinctive way for a company to stand out among competitors. After all, what could be more unique and personal than your own history?

#6. To Track Progress in Your Business

As a company, you have many ways to track your progress, from annual reports, financials, weekly progress reports, and a wide range of metrics. When you have all these in your arsenal, why would you want to add a company history book to the mix?

Figures, charts, and metrics are only one side of the equation. Despite our dependency on numbers, we can’t ignore the importance of knowing the story behind them.

Numbers might be impressive and can keep us in check in terms of budgets and targets, but history inspires people.

It fuels passion and motivation. It gives them a reason to latch onto those numbers and shoot for them.

The next time you want to get a better sense of where you are today and what you need to do next, don’t just look at the numbers. Consider the history of your company and the people, changes, and milestones that got you to where you are today. Company history books give us a unique perspective that numbers simply can’t provide.

#7. To Build Credibility

Credibility is key to any business. A study shows that 93% of customers check reviews before they purchase goods or services from an online provider, and this number is only expected to grow.

In an era where most things are done online, business can get impersonal. Brands can be harder to trust.

A company history book can be a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche, show that you value customer relationships, and demonstrate that you’ve been in business for a long time.

Of course, you’ll have to make sure that the publication you release highlights these qualities. Many companies hoping to build their reputations hire a ghostwriter or a company historian to chronicle their history.

#8. To Inspire Other Brands

How would you like to set benchmarks in the industry the way Starbucks, Amazon, Facebook, and McDonald’s have? While it sounds like a monumental goal, a company history book with inspiring stories and achievements is a step in the right direction.

Your company’s history can include inspiring stories about unique and successful marketing tactics you’ve employed, a different approach to customer service, innovative ways you responded to people’s pain points, and more.

When written and executed the right way, a company history book can showcase your greatest accomplishments.

It can serve as a precedent for others in your industry or even for businesses in general.

#9. To Build a Brand People Love

Think of three brands you like and support.

It could be because they make great products, you respond to their brand values, or you like how they market themselves.

Most likely, it’s a combination of all three.

Well-loved brands are experts at bringing these three aspects together and turning them into brand love.

Ultimately, a company history book can engender love and loyalty for your brand.

Since a company history book will undoubtedly talk about your company’s product, values, beliefs, and strategies, it’s an excellent way to build a following and rally support.

#10. To Engage Customers and Improve Sales

If a company history book can help inspire other businesses, why not your own customers? Tell the story of how you came up with your bestselling product, why you chose to market it a certain way, or why you designed it that way.

You can also share stories of inspiring leaders who left an indelible mark on the company and changed it for the better. Share business struggles and how you overcame them.

After several years of operation, your business will undoubtedly have a wealth of insights and interesting stories to tell.

This behind-the-scenes look can help create more engaged customers and ultimately improve sales. With a company history book, you’ll improve your chances of closing a sale even before they reach your website or visit your store.

#11. To Throw Light on Defeats and Hardships Faced

You can’t make history without having your share of failures. To read about companies that have been around for decades and even centuries is to read stories of meltdowns and problems that almost led them to close down. Some companies actually shut down, only to re-open stronger than ever.

In 1997, Apple was losing millions of dollars each quarter and was close to bankruptcy. If competitor Microsoft hadn’t swooped in with $150 million, we might not be enjoying today's i-products.

Another example is Marvel Comics. Plagued by corporate intrigue, questionable investments, and financial woes, it ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1996.

Slowly, the company re-emerged and became a multi-billion-dollar earner as it shifted its focus to the big screen.

Companies that faced and conquered problems seem more authentic and relatable. Instead of hiding hardships, use your company history book to highlight how you faced the impossible and went on to succeed anyway.

#12. To Acknowledge People Who Have Made a Difference in the Company

What would Tesla be without Elon Musk or Berkshire Hathaway without Warren Buffett? A company history book is a great way to pay tribute to your own Elons and Warrens.

Though it can seem like an overblown way to say thank you, it’s not without benefit to your own company.

You can’t shine a light on the people who have made a tremendous difference to your business without ultimately telling the world how great the company they work for has become.

#13. To Gain and Retain Customer Trust

A company history book can help you gain and retain customer trust.

Shady, fly-by-night businesses won’t go through the trouble of publishing their own volumes. It’s a unique opportunity that only well-established, credible, and time-tested companies have.

#14. To Remember Important Life Lessons Learned From the Past

A great way to avoid repeating mistakes from the past is to remember them. Company history books are great opportunities to take stock of what went down and what to avoid in the future.

Whether you’re contemplating changes in daily operations, organizational structure, or marketing decisions, you can take a few pages from your history book to validate if it is indeed the right move.

#15. To Celebrate Your Journey

You wouldn’t be thinking of coming up with your own company history book if your company didn’t succeed. Most likely, it was a journey full of problems, issues, and even downfalls, yet you emerged from it victorious.

That is a journey worth celebrating, and there is no better way to do it than with a company history book.

Time to Get Started!

There you go — 15 reasons you should have a company history book. As you can see, it’s more than just another coffee-table book. It documents your journey, evolution, and success as a business. It also has loads of benefits for customers, management, employees, investors, and the company itself.

Since it’s an important account of your organization’s history, you should hire someone with the right skill set to write it for you. Your writer-historian should be able to do research, interview key executives and leaders, and present the information well.

At the end of the day, people should be able to easily see what made and continues to make your brand great.

One-of-a-Kind Gifts for Your Parents This Year

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to think about that annually dreaded concept – getting a gift for Mom and Dad.

It’s not that you don’t want to get them a gift. Quite the opposite! You want to give them something amazing. You want to give a gift they’ll use and talk about for years. And this year, it seems more important than ever.

But buying for Mom and Dad is hard. Really hard.

They’ve given you so much, yet they ask for so little. And what they do want, they already have.

So, how do you find fun, interesting, and unique gift ideas for the people who gave you. . . everything?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are 15 one-of-a-kind gift ideas to help you show your parents just how much you love them.

1. “Back in the Day” Canvas Print

The older we get, the more we like to reminisce.

And this is the perfect gift for reminiscing!

The “Back in the Day Personalized History Canvas Print” lets you pick a significant day, like the day they met, their wedding day, or the day they bought their home, and create a cool newspaper-like wall hanging.

The print will include whatever personal information you want as well as fun facts and significant events from that day in history.

It’s a cool conversation piece that your parents will love.

2. Twelve Whole Months of Fun

What are your parents’ interests? Whether they enjoy doing puzzles, tasting chocolates, wine, or even whisky, you can find a “Product of the Month” club that’s perfect for them.  

Before you shake your head and conjure up the famous “Jelly of the Month Club” that poor Clark Griswald received, give it a chance.

The key is to pick something that your parents truly love and will want to explore. Would they like to try new types of cheese? Would they get a kick out of a new mystery novel? Seriously, you can even get a “Cryptid Crate” that sends a box of stuff each month on a different mythical beast like Nessie, Sasquatch, or the Chupacabra.

No matter their passion, there’s a subscription out there.

3. Directions to Their Family Members

A Personalized Family Member Locator Signpost is a fun conversation piece.

Just add significant places, like the towns where each or relative lives, and the sign points to their directions and gives the mileage. It will add a little flavor to their outside décor and keep the neighbors talking.

Added bonus: Whenever someone moves, you have a new gift idea because you’ll need to replace a board!

4. Their Personal Life Story

Your parents likely have very interesting life stories. And now they can tell them, with this one-of-a-kind gift: a book detailing your loved one’s personal history.

A truly unique gift idea, this is a keepsake book that future generations will treasure, created by our own TWFH team.

We capture a record of your loved one’s special memories through personal interviews, so their stories are never lost.

Our writers will interview your loved one about their stories, memories, and accomplishments, and we will turn our interview notes into a beautiful, professionally published book.

This wonderful package includes:

  • One-hour family consult. Before we interview your loved one, we will schedule a one-hour consultation with you and/or your family to learn more about your loved one and to discuss your goals for this book. During this consult, we will also work with you to develop a set of interview questions.
  • Interviews with your loved one. Our professional writers will conduct an interview for up to four hours (by phone or Skype) with your loved one. Digital interview files are included in your gift.
  • Transcription. Our professional writers will transcribe their interview notes.
  • Custom Printed Book. Professionally printed, 100% CUSTOM hardcover book. Up to 100 pages and including up to 10 photos (optional; provided by you or your loved one in digital format)

5. Snapshots of Your Life

Your parents would love to see more pictures of their grandkids, or your dog, or even you. But they don’t do social media and you just can’t get there to see them often enough.

This is a great solution! It’s a digital picture frame that you can access remotely through cloud technology and download new pictures for them periodically.

When you snap great shots, you can upload them into your parent’s new picture frame to keep the pictures fresh and fun for them all year round.

6. A Personalized Calendar

A personalized calendar with photos of the whole family is simple but useful and fun.

Get creative with it and choose pictures that will make them smile throughout the year. Use holidays and special events like grandkids' birthdays to theme each month, and don’t forget to include your favorite pets!

7. A Masterclass

You’re never too old to learn something new!

Give your parents something they can do together like painting or cooking, or give them each one they’ll love on their own.

With Masterclass online courses they can even take classes that are taught by subject experts they know and love.

Let them learn how to cook from Gordon Ramsay, that really angry guy from T.V.

Or, even better, have Steve Martin show Dad how to really tell jokes!

8.Their New Favorite Blanket

Who doesn’t love a super soft and warm blanket?

Your parents might even have one, but how old is it?

Splurge and get something nicer than they’d ever buy for themselves like this Wicked Cozy Blanket from L.L. Bean.

Just don’t tell them what you paid, or they’ll never use it!

9. “Thinking of You” Lamps

If you don’t see your parents as often as you’d like, get them a dose of comfort with these Friendship Lamps.

Your parents get one lamp, and you keep the other. Whenever you think about them, miss them, or want to make them smile, just touch the lamp. When you touch your lamp, their lamp will light up letting them know that they’re on your mind.

It’s sweet, fun, and unique!

10. Homesick Candles

Does Mom pine for her childhood home in Boston? Or can dad not stop talking about the year he was stationed in Hawaii?

The area-specific Homesick Candles will take them back using the most powerful memory trigger – our sense of smell!

Boston has notes of tea, cinnamon, and vanilla. Hawaii? Pineapple, seashore, and sugar.

Just hope that they’re not homesick for life on the pig farm!

11. An Ancestry/DNA Kit or Subscription

From Ancestry DNA to 23 and Me, there are a lot of options out there for DNA kits these days.

Chances are, your parents might think they’re pure stock German only to find out they’re part Irish or Samoan as well.

More often than not, there’s a surprise in the DNA chain somewhere. But even if there are no surprises, aging parents love to ponder where they come from and the roots of the family tree.

12. The Bucket List Scratch-Off Poster

Give Mom and Dad 100 interesting ideas to do to keep the adventure going.

From scuba diving to learning a new language, they simply pick a task, do it, and then scratch it off to keep score.

Warning – You may come to your parents’ house to find “Visit a dive bar” and “Skinny dipping” scratched off.

Just remember, it's all part of the fun.

The Bucket List Scratch Off Poster is sure to make for some interesting stories for the next family get together!

13. Monthly Flowers

Flowers brighten anyone’s day! Why not set up a flower subscription or just vow to send flowers every month?

If you can find certain flowers that hold special meaning for your parents, try to work them in to add a little more meaning.

Get creative and have fun with it!

14. Novelty Face Masks

OK, it’s not great that we still need them.

But why not have a little fun with it and give your parents a conversation piece (along with added safety).

Face masks can be colorful, decorative, or even funny.

It’s the best smile that you can’t actually see.

15. A Paint-by-Numbers Kit

Paint-by-numbers is easy and fun for anyone. Not just for kiddos anymore!

You can pick a famous painting like the “Mona Lisa” or Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” or even send in a photo and have it turned into a paint-by-numbers canvas. How cool is that?

Just imagine your dad painting his very first dog. It would definitely be a unique trip down memory lane!

Wrap Up

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Shopping for your parents can be challenging, but this is the year you’re going to knock it out of the park.

Put some thought into your gift for your parents and put a smile on their faces as we head into 2022. These ideas are sure to bring a little fun and comfort into their lives and may result in the gift they talk about for years to come!

Write Your Book Without Writing a Word! How to Hire a Ghostwriter to Get Your Book Written

There’s a fairly well known saying, attributed to the influential journalist, Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), that states, “Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”

Whether he meant the idea or story isn’t actually worth telling, or not everyone has the ability to tell the idea or story in a compelling way, or both, is hard to say.

Many people believe they have a book inside them just waiting to come out. You may be one of them.

If you have always dreamed of writing a book or seeing your ideas in print with your name on the cover, yet you aren’t a writer and don’t know the first thing about the process of writing a book, do you have options?

Can you still see your book completed and in print with your story written in a compelling, interesting way?

If you are reading this, you have a book in you and you just need to know how to move it from idea to the written page, all without having to learn the necessary writing skills and the months (even years) it could take to produce it.

Getting Your Book Written

The most obvious way to write your book is to pen it yourself.

Writing your book on your own is a great option if you are a hands-on person and you want full control of your book.

But it does require having the knowhow, time (a book can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to complete), and desire to write and complete your project.

You also have to enjoy writing.

The benefit of writing your book yourself is certainly the pride you gain from accomplishing the task.

It also helps build your skills as a writer and you get full control of the words and how the book turns out.

It is also the least expensive route.

The alternative is to hire someone else to write your book – a ghostwriter.

This is a professional writer (or group of writers) who will organize and outline, write, and edit your book from beginning to end.

Ghostwriting is a great option: you get your book written by a professional who knows the process and will work with you to make sure you get the book you’re envisioning.

You get your name on the book, and the ghostwriter takes no credit.

How to Hire a Ghostwriter

Once you’ve decided to go the ghostwriting route, the next step is finding the right ghostwriter.

Your choice will depend on several factors, including your budget, timeline, goals, and even your personality and preferred working style.

There are several ways to find the right ghostwriter:

1. Use a Freelance Bidding Website

There are many freelance bidding websites where you can hire anyone for just about anything.

Writers are a particularly popular commodity on sites like Upwork, Guru, and even Fiverr.

On Upwork alone there are an estimated 12 million registered freelancers (in various industries, not just writing) with only an estimated three million jobs posted annually.

Just type “ghostwriter” in the search bar and you’ll get tens of thousands of writers from all over the world, ready to bid on your project to write your book for you.

This option allows you to be as involved as you want: You can simply give your ghostwriter an idea and let them run with it, or you can provide detailed information and direction.

Using a bidding site is a cheaper option, with many writers available to ghostwrite books for as little as $100.

You can pay by the hour or by the project, and you can often put the project fee into escrow to ensure the project will get done or you won’t have to pay, with milestone check-ins along the way.

Remember, though, that most of the time you also get what you pay for.

Quality can be an issue when hiring freelance ghostwriters from such sites.

There is no guarantee that the writer can actually write, or that they can write your project in the way you envision it.

There might be more limited contact with the writer and you might be hiring someone who speaks and writes English as a second language.

If you choose this option, it’s important to perform a bit of due diligence to make sure that you don’t get an end product that’s unusable, or in need of extensive editing and rewriting.

Always check writer’s reviews from past clients and request a writer with experience fluent in your native language.

If you want to be more involved, make sure the writer is easy to meet or have contact with.

And get periodic updates using the milestone features on the site, scheduling to get sample chapters to review before going too far into the project.

2. Hiring a Turnkey Book Writing Service

A step up from a freelance bidding site, this option is ideal for people who know what they want in their book and who can explain their ideas clearly and easily.

From this option, you have two choices.

You can handle much of the work yourself by organizing your information and then dictating your book into an audio or video recorder.

Once done, you can hand your recording over to a service company; they’ll take your recordings, transcribe them into written form, and send you a book.

If you’d like more of a back-and-forth working relationship, you can hire a service company that offers a more personalized book writing experience.

You meet with one of the company’s ghostwriters and they familiarize themselves with your book idea and the style of book you want.

They then do in-depth, recorded interviews with you to not only get all the information you want in your book, but also to get a sense of your voice.

From there, they transcribe the information they collected on audio and edit the recordings, completing the transcription of your book into written form.

Companies like Scribe Writing or Radius Book Group are examples of this option.

And some of these types of companies not only provide the interview, transcribe, and provide you with a written book, but they will take your finished project all the way through to the layout and printing and offer a marketing plan as well.

Keep in mind, in this process, the service company is basically transcribing the words you speak with minimal or limited editing or revising.

3. Hiring a Professional Ghostwriter

The third option for writing your book is to hire a freelance ghostwriter.

A freelance ghostwriter is a single individual, dedicated to your book.

The right match with a good ghostwriter, can be a rewarding experience, and the arrangement carries a certain amount of romanticism.

Celebrities, political figures, athletes and VIPs from all walks of life are known to hire ghostwriters to write their memoirs or autobiographies.

Good freelancers can be hardworking and dedicated to your project.

Unfortunately, other freelancers can be fickle and peevish if things don’t go their own way, and you won’t necessarily know that until further down the road in your new relationship – sometimes after dozens of hours of interviews.

When choosing your freelancer, a good tip:  A freelancer’s ability to sell themselves to you has little to do with their ability to write your book.

So, don’t jump at the one that sounds the best simply because he or she gave you a good spiel.

Call their references.

Without proper due diligence, you can invest a lot of time and money before finding out the writer doesn’t fit your project or your own working style.

Another tip:  Be sure to ask how much time they can devote to your book, and if they have had success completely projects on deadline in the past.

Remember that when you hire an individual, you are at the whim of his or her timeline.

While some individual ghostwriters spend most of their time writing, others may consider it a part-time job, meaning your project will need to work around their life.

On the other hand, if your writer makes a living ghostwriting, you may have to wait for an opening in their schedule — and even then they may be juggling you and several other projects which can make for a long process.

4. Hiring a Ghostwriting Company

If you want a more hands-on experience with more options, hiring a ghostwriting company might be the best choice for you.

You will still have the opportunity to develop a one-on-one relationship with your writer (complete with frequent in-person interviews), but you’ll also have the safety net of company management if a problem ever arises.

Plus, with a senior editor available for all stages of your book, those closest to the book (you and your ghostwriter) will always receive objective editorial feedback.

When you are done, the firm will consult on all of your available publishing options – from traditional publishing to print-on-demand services – so you can choose the option that is best for your story.

A ghostwriting company allows for the ability to “go where the project takes you,” in a way that may be difficult with another writing model.

Want to scan hundreds of photos?

Need to track down hard-to-reach expert sources for interviews?

Maybe you want genealogy tracked back to 10 generations, or you are determined to find a needle-in-the-haystack research item only available on microfilm.

You might need a team to sort through hundreds of pages of old legal and medical documents, chronologically sort every piece of material, cross reference it against topic categories and cite it all.

Quality ghostwriting companies are used to receiving out-of-the box requests, and they have the manpower to make them happen, without distracting from your book’s progress.

Finally, because a writing team can share the workload, ghostwriting companies can often take on rush projects and maintain quality, in a way that is simply impossible for a one-man show.

If you’re looking for attentive, white-glove service, lots of interaction with your writers, and an end product limited only by your imagination, this last option may be the best for you.