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What is Ghostwriting (and How to Master It)

ghostwriting might be the perfect fit for you!


Many writers have tried their hand at ghostwriting, which, depending on the client, can be a lucrative job. This might not tickle your fancy if you’re aiming for name recognition and exposure, but if your primary motivation is to be compensated for doing what you love–writing–then ghostwriting might be the perfect fit for you!

So what is ghostwriting? Essentially, it’s when a writer composes text for a client, and said client is credited as the author. In other words, it’s an uncredited “work for hire” job. A ghostwriter gets hired to produce a piece of writing, gets paid for it, but doesn’t get a byline. Many busy CEOs and managers don’t have time to write all of their memos, press releases, statements, and opinion pieces all by themselves. So, they delegate some of this workload to ghostwriters.

Why Become a Ghostwriter?

The question new freelancers have is this: why let anyone take credit for your work? After all, any writer; even if not after fame, would like to build his name and brand. Ghostwriting has to be growing in popularity for a reason, right? Well, there are two! The first one, as previously mentioned, is income. Believe it or not, but ghostwriters are really well-paid. Prominent clients often provide writers with better pay than regular freelancing clients do.

However, it’s not all about the monetary incentive. Reason number two is that ghostwriting might offer you some secret sauce! It will often help you network with big names in the industry, allowing you to become connected with well-established authors, websites, or news outlets. Working closely with big names will provide you with some insight, and, at the end of the day, networking is always a great idea.

What Do You Need to Become a Ghostwriter?

  • Build Expertise
    Again, ghostwriters are hired for the quality of their work. Hence, you need to be an experienced professional writer with A+ writing skills. As with many things, the more experience, the better. If you’ve worked as an editor, that can enhance your profile too.
  • Freelancing
    Under the expertise umbrella, there’s freelance writing. Freelancing doesn’t just help you gain experience, but also teaches you how to work for and deal with clients. Remember, there’s a fine line between writing what you like and what the client asks for.
  • A Portfolio
    Clients often want samples of your work to be able to determine whether you’re the most suitable candidate for the job or not. For that to happen, in a professional manner, you need a portfolio. A portfolio showcases the quality and variety of your work, as well as the caliber of your clientele. It’s a great way to give your potential clients a picture of your abilities and professionalism.
  • Communication Skills
    Dealing with clients, in general, can be frustrating, especially when it comes to creative content. You have a vision and they have one of their own, you have a style and they might have a different tone. Reaching common ground, on the other hand, takes a diplomatic negotiator with some good communication skills. If that’s you, then don’t worry, you’ll seal the deal with ease.

What’s next?

Once you’ve mastered creating quality content, have gained enough experience, and put together a professional portfolio, it’s time to hunt for clients. Feel free to make an announcement on your social media accounts, search for hiring opportunities, or reach out to clients directly. Put both yourself and your work out there, and remember, you don’t necessarily have to land clients right away. And if you don’t, be sure that it doesn’t have to do anything with your level of competency. Bear in mind that it’s a process, a process that takes time.

Now that being said, would you consider ghostwriting? Of course, all writers would love to have their work associated with their names, but at the same time, ghostwriting offers some interesting perks. Also, who said you can’t kick off your writing career as you ghostwrite simultaneously? That way, you could secure an income and also further your writing career. It’s definitely worth the shot!

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter’s rate can vary according to his/her experience, the fame of the client/author, the completion time of the project, and the topic and length of the book. A beginner can charge around USD 5,000, while an experienced ghostwriter can charge up to USD 50,000 if the client is famous.

Is ghost writing legal?

Ghostwriting is not illegal. However, it’s unethical in some cases, such as hiring a ghostwriter to write an academic thesis or dissertation.

What is the point of a ghostwriter?

If an author is unable to produce literary work for whatever reason or lacks time to produce it, he/she may consider hiring a ghostwriter to do it for them.

Do ghostwriters get credit?

Ghostwriters are hired to produce literary work on behalf of the author without being given credits.