Linda Leon BMP

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Ghost Blogging - A Secretive World

Inside The Secretive World Of Ghost Blogging

12 JUNE 2018

I remember when blogging first began; it was like getting a glimpse into someone’s diary. People could be uncharacteristically open under the relative anonymity that the internet provided. They could rant about their boss, regale you with an embarrassing story from a night out, share the best recipe for banana bread or reveal which unexpected brand makes the perfect jeans.

Some were well written, others weren’t, but it didn’t matter much because they were personal, opinionated, raw and authentic. Now, with the takeover of social media, images and personas are manufactured and monetised, and bloggers are anything but anonymous. They have become our generation's celebrities, their sites run like online magazines.

As a writer, I've spent the last 10 years working my way up from beauty intern to editor. So when traditional print media began to peter out, I knew I had to adapt to survive. Inspired by bloggers like Grace F Victory who manage to walk the tightrope of authenticity while monetising their social channels, I decided I’d give blogging a go.

On my blog I share travel stories, disastrous dating encounters, beauty favourites and fitness tips, including expert quotes throughout so the reader gets a mix of the personal and the professional. Shortly after winning a best emerging blogger award last year, I landed a six-month stint at a women’s mag – I was thrilled, but found it near impossible to manage my blog at the same time.




Planet Alt-Sete-Nine...Science Fiction in Seattle by a Local Book Author

Book Review of Planet Alt-Sete-Nine by BJ Neblett

By Karen S. Cole of Ghost Writer, Inc.

Seattle Science Fiction
                              Science Fiction Museum at EMP

This locally set story of a Seattle-area video game developer and his lady love is completely riveting. She becomes so engaged in the game she believes it is real, and it's the task of Jake, her soulmate, to convince her otherwise. Planet Alt-Sete-Nine gives you myriad complex and exquisitely drawn-out game details as well as continuous, well-plotted descriptions of Seattle and the wonderful, ever-growing technological and natural scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Locations such as the Seattle Center and Amazon get somewhat involved in their mentions.

Hair-raising frontline, up-to-the-minute game developments as well as a beyond modern technology intertwine, making it impossible to tell the real from the unreal, the game from reality, as Haley (the heroine) thrusts herself increasingly deeply into the game scenery. She becomes the powerful, artistic game character she really wants to be, so intently focused on all her imaginary surroundings that she nearly loses her human, mortal soul in the process. And her commitment to the game begins to lose her the man she loves in staid old pedestrian Real Life. Sex and love as usual occurs but is gravely threatened by the Brave New World of Virtual Reality, fantastic and mind-withdrawing in its adult but typically juvenile appeal of monsters versus people.

Scientific facts about brain use and development, as well as studied, intuitive descriptions of monsters, men and virtual scenery, and finally rawly poignant character development fill this short book. There are loads of references to familiar popular video games, and all kinds of "insider" gaming info that a true video aficionado will recognize instantly. Surprise new romances dissolve and redevelop throughout the book, couples combining and recombining until an ending that may well leave you sighing wistfully about your own relationship with video gaming, and with others too. A must-read for video game addicts and their loved ones, of both sexes and all kinds!



Academic Ghostwriting and Fraud in South Korea

South Korean apps are outsourcing academic fraud to freelance ghostwriters


A few weeks ago, I downloaded a South Korean app called “Soomgo,” a shortened Korean word for “Soomeun Gosoo,” which means “hidden master.” Soomgo, and its rival Kmong, are Thumbtack for South Korea—a marketplace for matching users with local service providers, such as designers, movers, and English tutors, for short-term jobs.
Both gig economy platforms are very popular—Kmong has more than 25 million users as of April 2018, while Soomgo has clocked up more than 50 million as of March—and they’ve become a new avenue for outsourcing academic fraud, seamlessly connecting students with ghostwriters.
Within a few weeks of signing up as a tutor and English translator, dozens of requests piled up in my Soomgo inbox—and about 20 unexpected messages. They were ghostwriting requests for theses and dissertations. For example, one student offered me the equivalent of $2,000 to write her 80-page thesis on e-learning for Korean language education. Ghostwriting requests have made up more than one-third of the overall inquiries I’ve received.
Ghostwriting has become a lucrative market as more South Korean university graduates go on to graduate school to gain an edge, or buy themselves more time to look for a job in the country’s competitive job market. The number of South Korean graduate students has steadily increased from 296,576 to 326,315 from 2007 to 2017. The country’s youth jobless rate stood at a record 9.9 percent last year, according to government data.
While plagiarism and cheating are rocking higher education in many countries, often enabled by the internet, fraud in South Korea’s academia permeates all levels. Professors have been caught ghostwriting for their students. A lecturer accused a full-time professorof making him ghostwrite his papers. Politicians have been busted for hiring ghostwriters for their dissertations, while the South Korean education ministry recently said it found that some professors had listed their children as co-authors—perhaps to give them a head start up the ladder of academic qualifications.
It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who had received such dubious requests.
Park Hyo-jin, a freelance editor who is one of Soomgo’s more than 100,000 registered service providers, said he had received many ghostwriting inquiries since joining the platform in September last year. “I was taken back that I received more ghostwriting requests than writing class requests,” Park said, adding that he does not accept such requests. “There have been especially lots of requests lately because March to April, and September to October are thesis review season.”
On Kmong, the exchange is more subtle. Although you can find a ghostwriter who explicitly promotes his or her services for pretty much everything—from a movie review, a letter to a spouse, to an academic paper—many ghostwriters on Kmong offer a “consultation service.”
The apps add to a ghostwriting market that already includes numerous websites providing consulting services for academic papers, like Dream Sherpa, which likens itself to a sherpa “essential for climbers to conquer Everest.” The company provides a comprehensive eight-step service for an academic paper—from formulating a topic and methodology to preparing for thesis defense. While these companies emphasize the legality of their consultations, various local media have reported that some offer ghostwriting services under the table.
Two “consultants” from Kmong specializing in “researching and editing” both confirmed that they provide ghostwriting services when I privately messaged them, even though one of them explicitly states on his public profile that he doesn’t offer ghostwriting.
“I have 100% success rate. Twelve dissertations I’ve partially and fully written for the second semester of 2017 were all approved [by the school]. The undefeated track record is to be continued!” one ghostwriter exclaimed proudly in the introductory document he sent me via Kmong with a quotation. He charges $5,000 for a 50-page graduate thesis, and $12,000 for a 100-page doctorate dissertation. He said there’s an extra charge for writing a dissertation for the top three universities in South Korea—Korea, Yonsei, and Seoul National University—since these would require substantially more work.
Both apps offer almost full anonymity as all conversations take place within the apps’ chat rooms. The user has to pay the monthly subscription fee to call the service provider. The numbers are encrypted.
I reached out to several users who requested ghostwriting services from me for an interview but none responded. Soomgo’s head of marketing, Jay Lee, said dissertation writing and ghostwriting aren’t among their official service categories, and that an internal search found only two cases of ghostwriting requests. He noted it was a small fraction of overall requests but said the company would work to close loopholes and prevent misuse of the service.
Kmong did not respond to multiple emails asking if it was aware of the ghostwriting market on its app, and whether it was taking steps to curtail these requests.
Four out of ten South Korean graduates think ghostwriting is acceptable, according to a survey by local job portal Incruit in 2016. With these potential demands, it’s up to the university to weed out the bad seeds, but many are failing at gatekeeping, according to professor Park Ker-yong of Sangmyung University. “Most of the graduate schools in South Korea don’t require their applicants to take an admission test as many mid- to low-tier graduate schools are in haste to fill their vacancies—admitting students who cannot even write their own papers.”
Yi Yang-ju, a ministry of education official, declined to comment on how the government is tackling these problems. Apps like Soomgo and Kmong are definitely uncharted territory for regulators, who have been struggling to rein in ghostwriting for years.
“I think the economic activity taking place within Soomgo has the characteristics of an underground economy, making it easier for users to request ghostwriting services,” said Park, the freelancer.
Update: This story was updated on June 1 with comment from Soomgo.



You should hire a ghostwriter to write your content.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Ghostwriter to Write Your Content

SEJ Search Engine Journal

By Ron Lieback

Hire a Ghostwriter

Editor’s note: This is the first piece in a mini-series discussing the many benefits of hiring a ghostwriter.

1. Ghostwriters Save You Time
2. Ghostwriters Help Build Brand Awareness Quicker
3. Ghostwriters Are Professional Writers
4. Ghostwriters Know SEO
5. Ghostwritten Content Is Authentic Content

Any C-level execs who say writing is a simple task are full of themselves.

Some writers may create drafts quicker than others, but most of the time when this happens the writing quality suffers. And when quality suffers, so does the messaging.

What’s the point of creating content if people can’t relate, especially on an emotional level?

And, more importantly, what does sloppy writing say about a company, or that “quick writing” leader’s thought process?

Getting thoughts down clearly in writing is difficult. When leaders struggle with the written word, it’s then up to the marketing or sales departments to translate a company’s messages to the public.

And the messages should come directly from the upper tier members.

The voices that prospects want to hear from are at the top of the food chain – the founders, presidents, and C-level executives.

Some companies have a writer with two decades of experience on staff, but this usually isn’t the case.

So what’s the simplest solution when you don’t have a skilled writer on staff?

Hire a ghostwriter.

Not just any Joe Schmo. You want a ghostwriter with experience.

The benefits of ghostwriting are many.

I’ve been ghostwriting for multiple company leaders for a decade now across various industries, and have written 500+ articles in publications including Forbes, Inc., and TechCrunch.

I’ve also trained this discipline to multiple members of my agency’s remote workforce, showing writers how to not only speak in the voice of a client, but help build upon that voice.

Some of my clients have attributed my work for sealing investment deals, earning new business, and even getting acquired. These executives – all under strict NDAs, which is a must for ghostwriting success – were able to personally point to their bylined articles that I ghostwrote, and immediately establish social proof.

Remember: we’re not focusing on the typical idea of a ghostwriter that is common within the book-publishing industry; we’re focusing on the ghostwriters for any type of business or personal brand-building content, including the holy trinity of content development:

Here are the top five benefits of using a ghostwriter:

1. Ghostwriters Save You Time.

Ghostwriting is a huge time saver for C-level execs, especially those in bigger companies where tasks are multiplied drastically.

By delegating writing tasks that are a must for amplifying brand awareness, these executives can have a clear focus on where their focus should be rather than staring at a blank white screen.

Plus, many of my ghostwriting clients absolutely cringe when they have to write an email, never mind a 1,000-word piece for Forbes or the Huffington Post.

And if that 100-word email takes 20 minutes, imagine a full-length article that needs multiple rounds of edits for clarity?

You can never get time back; ghostwriters help leaders and those on a personal brand-building mission to have additional time to focus on other needed tasks.

2. Ghostwriters Help Build Brand Awareness Quicker.

It’s simple. Rather than an executive allocating time to publish quality stories once a quarter – or month, if they’re lucky – hiring a reputable ghostwriter can speed up the process of getting your brand’s story out there.

Leaders have to manage company business; ghostwriters only have to write.

And due to the typical low priority of such writing tasks, they are usually the first task to get dropped from the workflow.

I’ve witnessed it over and over where CEOs would allocate the last hours of their schedule to work on third-party guest posting articles or personal blogs, and the littlest thing would take the writing tasks of their schedules.

It’s a psychological thing, also; when big writing hours are scheduled, many – even the best of writers – will do whatever is needed to not actually write.

3. Ghostwriters Are Professional Writers.

Writing is a profession, though many companies fail to hire professional copywriters or editors.

You can have the best service or product within your industry, but if you can’t communicate the “Why” of that service or product, you won’t scale as you wish.

Plus, a fake is noticed immediately.

Great examples are the multiple promotional emails that everyone receives daily.

These emails are loaded with cliches and exclamation points at the end of every sentence – because they can’t clearly make their point, so they need to excite you!!!

Imagine if those emails were ghostwritten by professional writers from the voice of a leader, say the CEO or founder of said company. The email’s message would carry much more energy, and click-throughs would likely be much higher.

Though everyone should educate themselves and write as much as possible to clearly communicate in things like internal emails and memos, let the true writing professionals do their jobs.

Most ghostwriters spend their entire working hours doing one thing and one thing only – writing.

Since it is their profession, the great ghostwriters can also enhance the voice of any company leader or person developing enhanced brand awareness.

If the ghostwriter was trained correctly (more on that in an upcoming column), it wouldn’t matter if leaders like Howard Schultz or Elon Musk actually did the writing – their messages are all that’s needed.

4. Ghostwriters Know SEO.

One way I’ve always differentiated my ghostwriting from the others is by discussing the importance of writing with SEO in mind.

This is mostly for on-site content creation, but it also goes for third-party guest blogging – regardless if the published work is on Forbes or Search Engine Journal, the more keywords you can rank for, the better you can fuel a searcher’s intent.

Ghostwriters of years’ past were only about amplification of voices in major publications. When I began, it was all magazine based, also.

Companies today understand that not only is a voice of a CEO going to spread the message better, but that message must be found online.

This is where ghostwriters trained in SEO are crucial for top results.

It isn’t just keywords and backlinks anymore. It’s much more, including quality content that is bylined by an authoritative voice and easily shareable.

The true ghostwriter will be trained in SEO, and know how to not only write engaging and quality content, but how to make sure this content is found online.

5. Ghostwritten Content is Authentic Content.

Most people think a ghostwriter diminishes authenticity. This can happen if someone (or a company) changes ghostwriters often; their voice diminishes quickly. If these people/companies have built a fanbase, that fanbase will immediately know something is not right – that’s inauthentic.

Reputable ghostwriters work closely with their clients, pinpointing the voice, and unifying it across all writings.

This is an authentic way of doing things.

The leader’s ideas are being transcribed, and the ghostwriter’s task is to communicate those ideas coherently and concisely.

Many CEOs lead awesome companies, such as Steve Jobs at Apple – but did Steve actually create every line of code or manufacturer the pieces for every iPhone or iMac? Nope, he left that to the professionals within those sectors.

This same principle should be used for anyone who lacks the skills of a professional writer.

When some people hear the term ghostwriter, they usually think first of novelists. Most don’t realize the benefits of hiring one for the other projects, such as third-party guest contributions, their brand’s blog, educational articles, newsletters, or LinkedIn posts.

Well before starting my agency, I was a ghostwriter for some great companies, and the synergy I helped create between them and those in their markets was more rewarding than the paycheck.

Some professionals simply can’t get their words down, but why should they worry? Their strengths, whether leading a company into emerging markets or product development, should guide their focus.

Leave the writing to the professionals.

Stay clicked to Search Engine Journal for my next column where I’ll discuss the top traits of well-disciplined ghostwriters, and how to train and work with ghostwriters to make your message clear.

More Content Marketing Resources:


Five Tips to Find and Hire a Good Ghost Writer

The 5 characteristics of successful ghostwriters

Published Friday, May. 4, 2018

Originally published by Augusta Free Press

successful ghostwriters

We don’t spend that much time thinking about ghostwriting. But, here’s the thing: that autobiography you’ve loved so much may have been written by a ghostwriter and not your favorite actor/entrepreneur/YouTube celebrity.
Ghostwriting can be incredibly rewarding and an excellent way to boost your careers. For others, however, this type of work might not be the right fit.
Here are a few traits that every successful ebook ghostwriter shares and that any aspiring ghostwriter should possess.

1. They’re Flexible    

Ghostwriting a book is quite different from writing your own work. Think about it – when you write your own piece, you’re essentially the one who’s in charge of everything. You spend as much time as you want to research your subject, you write whenever you’re prepared or in the mood, and you’re never pressured by anyone to respect deadlines (well, except for your publisher, of course.)
Things are different when you’re telling someone else’s story. Ghostwriting means you have to collaborate with your client. If you need more research on specific topics, you have to contact them and ask for the information. Whether your meetings are via phone, email, or direct interviews, you need to wait for them to become available. Sometimes, it will not happen as fast as you or the publisher wants to, which means you may miss a deadline or two. You become the middleman that needs to bring everything and everyone together. And, all that on top of writing.

2. They’re Incredibly Organized    

Depending on the type and length of the project, ghostwriters will need to create a strict schedule and work plan to make sure they don’t fall behind. As a ghostwriter, you are essentially offering your writing services to your client, which means that you are the one in charge of making everything happen. You will be the one doing the research and collecting the information from your client, and you will also be the one drafting the piece and communicating with the publisher.
Moreover, you never know what type of client you will have and how the necessary information will be passed on to you. Interviews that last too long or not enough, countless exchanged emails, scattered pieces of stories that make no sense, and timelines that overlap and get confusing can be challenging. And you have to make sure you gather everything you can, sort it out, make some sense out of it, and present it coherently.

3. They’re Creative    

This one goes without saying. Ghostwriting is more than just transcribing what your client dictates. Most of the times, all you will get from your client are bits of information that you have to put together to tell the best story you possibly can.
As a ghostwriter, you will be expected to gather whatever you can, come up with concepts, organize everything, research, write, and edit what will many times feel like a complete mess. It will feel like chaos, but it will be your own, personal, organized chaos.

4. They’re Confident

Confidence is a great thing to have, especially if you want to get into the ghostwriting business. If you trust your abilities, it will show, and you will have a bigger shot at convincing clients to hire you. Moreover, having confidence in yourself will make it easier to create a piece that stands out from someone else’s ideas and thoughts. It will also help with accepting the fact that any praise you may get for your work will not be directed at you but the client. That is an aspect many struggle with, so if you feel like you would be uncomfortable or even resentful in this situation, then ghostwriting might not be the best choice for you.

5. They Know What They’re Doing

Short pieces, such as articles or blog posts are usually not an issue. But when it comes to more significant projects, such as books, it’s better if the writer has some experience. Having already written books means you understand the industry, you know what the expectations are, and you know how to navigate the process smoothly. Experience is a huge advantage in this line of business.
Being a good ghostwriter means more than just being a good writer. Personality, background, and experience should all be factored in if you’re thinking of making the transition to ghostwriting. What’s certain is it’s not for everyone, but if what you’ve read so far makes you think you have what it takes to be successful, then go for it – it might be a pleasant surprise and a nice change of scenery.

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