Ghostwriting is a great way to make money if you have a way with words. But what is ghostwriting and how does it work? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know and more.
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What is Ghostwriting?
To put it simply, ghostwriting is creating written content on behalf of someone else. Most of the time, ghostwriters don’t get credited for their work, as they sell their copyrights.
Normally, ghostwriters are given a draft to develop. It’s also common for them to meet and interact actively with their clients to gain more information.
Ghostwriting is beneficial for both parties involved, as it’s a great way to make money for the writer and has many pros for the person hiring them.
Why do People Hire Ghostwriters?
Many people may have interesting stories to share through text, but they don’t have the time or the skill to write it.
Ghostwriters don’t only write books – a ghostwriter can do any kind of written content. Politicians and celebrities might hire ghostwriters to create public speeches or statements, while bloggers might need the extra hand in keeping up with high speeds of publishing content.
What is more, many people might come up with great ideas for stories. However, they don’t have the skills or talent to write the story well.
All in all, ghostwriting is a very versatile practice that is way more common than you would think. As long as there’s a clear agreement between both parties regarding the copyrights, ghostwriting is considered ethical and legal.
What are the Benefits of Ghostwriting?
Let’s say that you’re a writer. Is ghostwriting really worth doing? Well, it’s basically a trade. You might not get the credit, but it doesn’t mean that you are left empty-handed.
One of the most popular reasons why writers resort to ghostwriting is money. Yes, it pays really well.
Ali Luke, a blogger, and a ghostwriter says that she tends to raise her writing fee up to 20% for ghostwriting service. For bigger projects like books or memoirs, you can also get a small amount of royalty from the sales.
The fee may vary depending on the agreement. However, in general, clients are willing to pay higher because they’re basically ‘claiming’ your work to be theirs. In other words, there’s a fee for removing your name from the finished work.
Apart from money, the more sensible reason is networking opportunities. Ghostwriting can open many doors for someone who is at the beginning of their career.
Last but not least, ghostwriting encourages you to be a versatile writer, especially if you’re actively seeking different projects (blogs, books, social media platforms, and so on). In addition, it will improve your ability to write in different styles and tones.
What are the Disadvantages of Ghostwriting?
The biggest disadvantage has been stated: you do not get official credit for your work.
This might be not ideal for many people. If your written work gets an award – the person who paid you claims it, not you. There are many other examples of you how your name just doesn’t exist when it comes to your ghostwriting work.
Other than that, the obstacles are quite typical of freelance work. You might get clients who are a nightmare to work with. They demand every second of your attention and say no to any objection. To prevent this from happening, you have to establish a clear agreement before starting to do the project.
Big projects like knowledge books or biographies might also require you to do thorough research. You’ll be dealing with dates, numbers, and other facts. If you messed up this aspect, your client’s reputation might be at stake.
It’s true that there might be editors helping you out later. However, there’s no guarantee that they will double-check the facts so diligently. After all, their main role is to edit the sentence structure and punctuation.
Take your time to gather the necessary information and write them down nicely. Also, confirm every bit of it by consulting with your client.
Considering that it is not your project, you are not the one who sets the deadline – your client is. You have no option other than to work accordingly. Although sometimes the deadlines are a bit tight, try to be punctual and don’t make excuses if you miss some. Instead, communicate the matter with your client and find common grounds.
How to Become a Ghostwriter?
Becoming a ghostwriter it’s not as simple as it sounds, especially for those who have no prior writing experiences. Why?
Simply because no one wants to hire a novice. It may sound harsh but that’s the truth. Put yourself on the client’s shoes. Why would you want to hire a newcomer if plenty of experienced writers are available?
Pick a niche for your blog and write consistently about it. You can also expand the topic occasionally – expanding your knowledge as well. By doing this ‘writing routine’, you’ll get used to expressing ideas through words, as well as creating coherent content.
While you’re at it, optimize your blog’s SEO and build your audience. As cliche as it sounds, nothing speaks louder than data. In this case, having a blog with high traffic indicates that your writing resonates with people and draws attention.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing a blog, that’s fine. You can build your portfolio by being a freelance writer.
Considering that content marketing is a hot field today, you may also find full-time employment as an in-house writer in a company. This way, not only will you be able to hone your writing skills, but you will also get a corporate experience, which might prove to be very useful.
Regardless of the methods, at the end of the day, you should be able to present something tangible proving that you are indeed a great writer.
At this point, you should have enough work to showcase – which also means that you’ve been tested to survive tight deadlines and demanding content research. Plus, try collecting favorable testimonials. That will surely help to boost your profile.
Once you think you tick the said boxes, it’s time to market yourself. Again, you can go to freelancer websites to find clients. Even better, try contacting book publishers and ask whether they can help you find ghostwriting jobs.
The initial job-seeking process may take a while. But, once you land your first job, booking more jobs is easier, mostly because of connections and reputation.
Ghostwriting is not uncommon among writers. You’d be surprised that it’s even loved by many. How so? Isn’t it unfair to take credit away from the real writer?
Well, every ghostwriter is aware of that. The fact that they are willing to play along means that they couldn’t care less about the post-published fate of their work. They might be doing it for the higher fee or insider connections.
That being said, being a ghostwriter is not for everyone. If you think you’ll get to attached to your work, probably this job is not for you.
Even if you’re fine with the rule, it doesn’t mean that you can get a client right away. Present yourself with a nice portfolio and start looking for ghostwriting jobs.
For those who have not had enough experiences, build your portfolio and make sure that the result is tangible.