Do You Need a Writer, Ghostwriter or Copywriter?

ghostwriting Sep 23, 2022
Do You Need a Writer, Ghostwriter, or Copywriter?: Someone typing on a laptop keyboard.

by Cris Yeager


As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably been in this situation before. You either need to complete a writing project or you know you want to write something but don’t have the time to do it yourself, so you need to hire someone else to do it instead. But as your options, there are three types of writers you can choose from: a writer, a ghostwriter or a copywriter.

Each type of freelance writer has many similarities—but they also have some key differences that can determine whether the project succeeds or fails. Copywriters and ghostwriters might not share all of the same strengths or weaknesses as someone who simply gets paid to write. Let’s take a look at what the differences between them are and how they can help you out with your business needs!

Differences explained
How is it different to work with an agency as opposed to freelancers? That answer is more straightforward than you might expect. A ghostwriter creates uncredited content. A copywriter creates content and is credited. A writer writes down words to describe what is going on around them. Which one is the best fit for your business? Which type of writer you need depends on what kind of help you're looking for. Let's review all of them so that you can make a well-informed decision and get what you want out of the experience.

  • Writer
    • It is a creative profession where individuals create written content. Writers can produce short stories or poetry for magazines. While writing gigs generally don't provide benefits, they help build a portfolio so a job as a ghostwriter or copywriter can be obtained.
  • Ghostwriter
    • Typically, a ghostwriter is employed by someone with a story to tell who does not want to, knows how to, or cannot tell the story on their own. This can be a particularly common instance when someone is attempting to pen an autobiography. An individual will hire a ghostwriter for assistance with their writing duties because he or she does not have the time for such endeavors or lacks the necessary skill for writing for long stretches. A good ghostwriter will have detailed knowledge of that person's life to speak convincingly on his or her behalf.
  • Copywriter
    • It's the job of a copywriter to create advertisements or website content that sells products or services. The advertiser, whether it's an entrepreneur or an organization, must write down their goals and the things they hope to achieve through the ads. A copywriter then writes advertising copy that includes the methods of securing those goals. The advertisements can be displayed on television, radio, magazine, newspapers, and other media.

Which one is needed?
The best thing you can do is hire a copywriter to write all of your website content. These specialists are qualified to produce the highest-quality content on demand—no matter the industry—so you can count on them to develop effective messaging that connects with your target audience. They also make sure your site pages are written well, by adding the most relevant keywords they can find. But if you need someone who specializes in the subject matter, then an industry writer might be the better choice. However, we'll save that discussion for a different time. Let's take a look at what hiring a different type of professional may look like:

  • Hire a writer
    • When you hire a writer to create your content, make sure they're right for you. Here's what you should look for: Can you afford it? Do you like their style of writing? If you need help deciding how to strategize your B2B content marketing strategy, a guide to planning your B2B content marketing may be helpful.
  • Hire a ghostwriter
    • This person writes on behalf of the client—receives no credit. In literature, it's not uncommon for an author to hire a writer to help complete their manuscript. Sometimes people in film production may bring in a ghostwriter if they need the dialog in the script rewritten but don't have time to sit down and do it themselves. The mistaken term for copywriters is ghostwriter.
  • Hire a copywriter
    • The job of a copywriter includes creating sales and marketing content. This includes things like writing ad copy, producing sales pages, or creating detailed descriptions of a company's products. Freelance copywriters are freelancers that typically work on a project-by-project basis for different clients. Some may work from home and others may need to travel to meet with clients. 

How to find each one
Hiring a copywriter, ghostwriter, or writer differs from hiring an employee to work for your company, whether as an intern, temporary employee or as an ongoing employee. You can pay hourly or on commission for any of these writing services (depending on the preferences of the writer chosen), but everything he produces will either be owned by you or the writer noted but merely contributing. 

There are many freelance writing services available; the type of writer you need for your project is often unclear. A person who offers all three skills may be helpful if you're looking for a particular service but cannot find it among these three roles (e.g., an editor who writes well): it is advisable to hire a freelancer who has worked in multiple roles throughout their career. In most cases, a ghostwriter can do it all! 

Explore service platforms and social media. The two best bets in finding quality writers.

Are they expensive?
There's no standard rate for hiring one of these people. These people usually work on a per-project or hourly basis. It's important to think about the writer's time commitment before hiring them, especially if you're hoping to hire someone with experience in your niche. In the case of ghostwriters, who are pricey but worth it, and copywriters, things can get more complicated if they're busy with other clients.

Wrapping up
If your budget is tight, you have to be smart about how you spend your money. The first step to attracting writers to these roles is to understand what they do. When you hire a writer to complete specific pieces of work for you (or your business), make sure you understand what you need. Know the deadlines (it is important to establish them before you begin) and how much work will be required.