Skip to content

For more extensive questions and answers, please see the knowledge-base.


What Is Thought Leadership

Learn more about how thought leadership article writing can benefit your brand or business here.


How Is Thought Leadership Different Than Content Marketing (and PR)?

Read full FAQ


Experience and Writing


Can you understand and communicate what is unique about our SaaS platform?

Probably!

The majority of my writing is for clients in the technology sector, and I have also managed Marketing Communications (MarCom) in-house at two SaaS platforms. 

Although I’m not a “techie” by profession, I am a certified geek, Linux enthusiast, and interested in everything to do with technology.

I also recently set up a podcast explaining basically technology services for small business owners.

I can usually draw upon either direct familiarity with a vertical, or previous experience, to understand — and to communicate — what’s unique about your technology product or service.

As a thought leadership client, I see my job as helping you sound authoritative, persuasive, eloquent, authentic, and to help build your personal brand and increase your company’s brand recognition.

I try my best to deliver collateral that helps in all those respects.


How much do you charge for X?

I calculate rates that meet, or exceed, my minimum viable hourly fee. I am transparent about this to dispel the idea that wildly differing rates for different deliverables (say, articles and white papers) are pulled out of the air. They are not — and based on the same underlying pricing model.

With that explained in order to provide a quote, I require some basic details about your company and project.

Such as:

  • What’s the subject?
  • What do you need written?
  • How much research is required?
  • How much editing do you typically require? Is this light editing you can handle internally or will you need me to make a long series of small changes (both preferences are fine, but naturally change how I have to price a quote).
  • Will I need to conduct interviews myself or liaise with a Subject Matter Expert (SME)? Will travel be required to meet these individuals or can the project be executed remotely?

You can provide answers to these questions by completing this quote request form

Additionally, I can share very rough estimates as to my current pricing structure with you by email.


What's your background?

I’ve been a full-time self-employed writer for almost two years at the time of writing.

For a full professional biography, and resume, click here.

My client-base consists primarily of technology startups and companies, with some public affairs work and ghostwriting on behalf of private individuals thrown in to the mix too!

My “in-house” professional experience consists of two tenures as the Marketing Communications (MarCom) manager at SaaS startups: one in the industrial IoT space and the other a political technology platform. Along the way, I made a brief detour by joining the tech team of a PR firm. 

Prior to that, I founded, edited, and sold a university news website that grew to be Ireland’s second most popular student news website by traffic estimates and which was awarded a place in the inaugural intake of University College Cork’s flagship graduate business accelerator, the IGNITE program.

For three years, I was also a corresponding writer for Irish-America’s largest media organization, IrishCentral, authoring a popular column on the website and contributing authorship to The Irish Voice — Irish-America’s best-known print publication, primarily distributed in the tri-State area.

I hold an undergraduate degree in Law (University College Cork) and a Master’s in Political Journalism (City University London). And I, of course, have a resume which I can share with you privately.

I’m also a longtime Linux fan and currently pursuing an AWS certification mostly for fun. Aside from writing and tech, I am a huge ethnic cooking and travel fan.

A list of some skills I can bring to the table is at this link. Besides writing, it includes basic image editing and graphics design work, CMS work (“technically fluent”, I should be able to do everything from upload content to your WordPress instance or even equip myself to push updated static content to a Git repository.)

If you have any other questions, please reach out!


Admin and Workflow


What do you write?

Long-form thought leadership writing:

  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • E-books
  • White papers
  • Speeches

Things I do not write:

  • Social media
  • Email newsletter copy
  • Landing page copy

Other projects I do not undertake:

  • Academic ghostwriting
  • Translation work
  • Anything else that entails plagiarism

What is required in a good brief?

A good writing brief should contain enough information to be useful, without being overwhelming.

You can use the ‘send a brief’ form in order to send a template that I have amalgamated from the briefs I have received. It is also available for download and as a fillable PDF.

However, in general, a brief should contain at least:

  • Target word count
  • Target publication (has an off-site placement been secured? Do they have a style guide?)
  • High level messaging
  • Take home messaging
  • SEO keywords for inclusion

It’s also helpful to know, in many instances:

  • Recommended research resources
  • Examples of writing that has impressed you
  • Examples of your previous authorship if you would like to adopt a similar tone

Can you use Google Docs?

Yes, I prefer to work in Google Docs wherever possible. However, I also prefer to adhere to a specific workflow for version control which I have developed.

For details about that, please read this post.


Do you have a contract or will we need to supply one?

I have an abbreviated and full template contract.

A modified version of these can be used — or the latest versions of the documents in full. Concluding a very basic agreement by email is fine with me too. And in many instances I inspect and sign a contract from the client’s side.

The points to highlight:

  • I typically set a limited amount of revisions in order to ensure that the scope of the project remains relatively stable. However, I am of course happy to requote an hourly in order to see the project through to completion.
  • For shorter projects such as articles and blogs, I typically also set a maximum number of allowable days per revision request (e.g. 14). This is, again, to prevent a situation in which a prospects asks for a revision six months after delivery when I am a fully busy with other work.
  • Net 30 is fine for payments. On larger projects (white papers, e-books) I may request an upfront component.

How can we pay you?

I use TransferWise to manage a network of virtual accounts to correspond with currencies that I commonly receive: the US dollar, the Pound Sterling, and Euro.

Full account details are here.

I can also receive payments by digital wallets: Paypal, Payoneer, and Skrill.

Cash, cheque, and any other non-digital method you can think of are not supported.


Will we own the work that we commission?

Yes.

My standard terms and conditions make clear that intellectual property (IP) rights in the work that I undertake vest to the client upon termination of the contract by full payment.

Ghostwriting is a contracted writing service. What you do with the work afterwards, or who you attribute it to, is entirely your decision.


Will you use our work in your portfolio?

By default, I do reserve the right to share your work with prospective customers if there is a match between what I have written for you and the type of writing they are looking to see demonstrated.

If you are not happy with this arrangement, I have a clear opt-out mechanism.

More Details


Can you upload your projects to our CMS?

I’m very familiar with WordPress (this exemplary website is built on it!), and I also have some experience using Drupal and Joomla.

In fact, as mentioned above, if you want me to publish my writing as static HTML files directly to your Git repository, even that can be arranged.

Because adding writing into a CMS tends to involve a little more work, however, I do factor that into the rates that I quote.

The typical “process” for working with a new client involves:

  • You providing me with onboarding material — links to public-facing resources and/or private resources as well as a style guide or any other set of guidelines you want me to adhere to. I am happy to sign whatever NDA/contract you need to feel comfortable with doing the latter and all material I receive is stored on secure cloud-hosted systems.
  • Us holding a face-to-face meeting — if it is geographically viable for us to do so.
  • You sending me a brief — the best briefs, which result in the best content, with the least number of subsequent revisions, and the highest frequency of met (or exceeded!) expectations are the ones that have a very clear idea of what content is required and what purpose it is serving. If you need me to use certain keywords for SEO or to avoid mentioning a competitor or using controlled industry terminology, please let me know about that too. Within reason, there’s no need to skimp!
  • Me sending you back the deliverable. During the automated email sequence in my onboarding process, I’ll let you know all the ways in which I can send you work — including hooking you or a colleague(s) up to a Document Management System (DMS). Asana / email works too — or whatever system you are most comfortable with.
  • You asking for revisions. I have a set of standard terms and conditions (T&Cs) which can govern our Service Level Agreement (SLA) in the absence of a superseding document. This allows for two rounds of minor revisions, which I define as changes to less than 30% of the total draft word count. In the presence of a superseding agreement, I will of course honor the commitment.
  • You doing whatever you want with the content. I used to provide public relations (PR) to my clients as a service but these days focus strictly on the writing. Upon submission of the final draft, the Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the work vest to you, although I reserve the right to use the piece in my portfolio (I have an opt-out mechanism if you’re not comfortable with this). Unfortunately, I won’t pitch your piece for you or advise on outlets which might be interested in it. You’re free to do whatever you want with the writing.

What are all the links in the menu for?

I’ve organized this website to provide access to a portfolio of some of the work I have ghostwritten for clients. That can be found here, although it requires a password to access.

As the text at the top of that page notes, this is a partial selection of my work and typically lags the current projects I am working on by up to a year — because it takes time for me to update the age.

Therefore, if there’s something you’re not seeing, please drop me an email and I can try dig a sample out. 

Before I got into communications and ghostwriting, I wrote some freelance journalism. I also occasionally contribute pieces to various publications.

For memory’s sake, there’a also an archive of that here.

I hope to write more under my own byline in the future, and, in time, this should also hopefully provide a feel and flavor of the kind of work I enjoy to produce.

Despite the somewhat confusing links (hey, I’m a writer, not a UX specialist!) that’s essentially all there is to see here.

(This website is built upon a WordPress Multisite install. In cases where the link is to a different subsite, I added a  target=”_blank” tag to force the link to open in a new tab. If it looks like the menu is changing slightly, that’s why!)


Can you join our Asana/Slack/Bitbucket?

I can join any platform that is an integral part of your team’s workflow (just be aware that I am usually part of several digital ‘teams’ at any given time so cannot typically respond to messages instantaneously).

I also self-host my own document sharing system if that is a better option for you and can bundle your deliverables, contract, any NDAs signed, etc in one place.

Ubuntu is my day-to-day OS, so I particularly enjoy sharing deliverables over Gdrive (note: dsrghostwriting.com is a G Suite  account), but I can also send drafts/tracked changes in Microsoft Office formats if that is your preference. If formatting control is very important to you, I can work in those deliverables using Microsoft Word on my Windows virtual machine.

I add all new accounts to an onboarding email workflow.

Full details of all administrative particulars, and paperwork which you or your accounting department may require are provided during the automated sequence.


What is ghostwriting?

Broadly defined, ghostwritten material is text I write that is attributed to you (or your client, if you are an agency.)

Projects can range in length from 1,000 word thought leadership pieces to 400 page books.

Speechwriting is, of course, writing for spoken delivery; and speechwriters are often ghostwriters!

Because the ghostwriting I do for clients often straddles formats (and a well-planned thought leadership campaign often combines op-ed contributions with keynote at key industry events), I find it useful to highlight my ability to offer both services when speaking with prospective clients.


Is all your work available here?

Unfortunately, I can’t share a lot of the work that I have done.

Typically, this is because it is subject to a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or another binding contract that I have concluded with the client.

Discretion and trust are vital foundations of the ghostwriter-author relationship. That is why as a ghostwriting client, after delivering great work in your name, your privacy is my top concern. (This is why even this portfolio website, which contains samples of work I can share, is behind a login).


Do you write in American or British English? What about style guides?

I’m originally from Ireland, where a badly mutated form of British English is the vernacular.

However, the majority of my clients either use American English or have standardized their style guides on it.

Speaking of style guides, I can write copy that adheres to either the latest version of the Associated Press (AP) style guide or the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). Just let me know which you need the copy to adhere to during the onboarding process.


I see you have a podcast. What's it about?

How kind of you to notice!

The DSR Ghostwriting Podcast is in its infancy, but I hope to cover a broad array of technical subjects related to setting up, and running, a successful small business.

Almost no writers (at least those that I know of) have access to a professional IT team to deploy and troubleshoot the systems they may use to recruit, and provide professional service to, their clients.

I draw upon my personal interest — and prior experience — setting up and maintaining a variety of systems of this nature and try to explain things in terms that fellow amateurs (that is, non-IT pros) can understand.

My focus is on explaining the basics about setting up robust, scalable systems that really work without having to draft in outside help to get there. 

Some of the topics I have covered so far include: taking backups, CRM options, KPI dashboards, email, and web hosting.


Can you provide a ballpark quote?

I can’t provide a definitive quote without knowing some details about your company, your industry, and what you are hoping to achieve from the writing you want me to deliver – which is why I haven’t included a rates chart on this website.

Nevertheless, I can provide some ballpark figures to save time:


Blogs:

  • Start at $350 (/1,000 words) for companies/ direct clients and
  • $280 (/1,000 word) for agencies and clients able to provide bulk, ongoing work.*

Articles (for off-site placement):

  • Start at $400 (/1,000 wordsfor companies/direct clients and
  • $320 (/1,000 words) for agencies and clients able to provide bulk, ongoing work.*

*Minimum volume for discounted pricing for companies = 1 article per month; six month minimum, by contract.


Use this quote form to request a full quote.

I work with clients both on an ad-hoc / per project basis and also offer structured retainer packages. I typically price per hour but we can also work out a per-project fee — or a per-word rate or a day rate.


What is your process

A common process is:

  • send you all the administrative details. You send me an NDA and anything else required. We have a kick-off call and go over objectives.
  • A well-structured brief is important for delivering a polished writing product that exceeds your expectations. I have a template or you can send me yours.
  • I include one to two rounds of revisions with all my quoted prices, depending on the project. I’m happy to do more. on an hourly/flat rate.

Full details:



DSR Ghostwriting > FAQs