Have you ever heard of ghostwriting? It’s like being a literary ninja: you get to write content, like books, articles, speeches, and more, without public recognition. While your name stays behind the scenes, you get paid for the content you create.
You can be an aspiring writer who wants to make a living through your craft but without the necessity to go through the hassle of self-promotion or publishing. You might also have a passion for writing but want to stay behind the scenes, just getting paid for your job. If any of this sounds like you, then it’s worth finding out how to be a ghostwriter. You can choose to be a business book ghostwriter, or choose another niche, depending on your interests.
If you are asking yourself: ‘How do I become a ghostwriter?’, this is the place where you can find an answer. In this article, we provide a complete guide with the benefits of the industry, clients you can work for, actual steps on how to ghostwrite, and extra tips with useful materials to reach success in your career.
The main benefits of becoming a ghostwriter
Ghostwriting can be both an awesome opportunity and have some drawbacks. Not everyone finds such a career exciting, but it can become a high-paying, creative job with the right approach to becoming a ghost writer. Before we delve into how to be a ghostwriter, let’s see why some specialists choose this career path. People consider such a path for a variety of reasons:
For some people, it’s a way to get their ideas and stories out into the world without the burden of writing and publishing the work. You get to write for some exciting and successful people in the industry or just bring value to the business ─ it can be a solid and interesting way to express yourself.
Ghostwriting can be a lucrative career path for writers. You can earn a high income by providing valuable writing skills to clients needing your help. You may start with low-paying gigs to earn respect and gain first feedback when learning how to ghostwrite, but you can increase your rates as you gain experience. For example, you can become a biography writer and talk about the lives of famous people but not proficient writers.
Ghostwriting offers high flexibility, allowing you to work from home or anywhere in the world on your own time. It can be especially appealing for writers who value work-life balance or want to combine their life with traveling. All you need is your laptop by your side, and you are ready.
Unlike traditional publishing, as a ghostwriter, you don’t have to worry about the public reception of your work. You won’t have to handle negative feedback or criticism by giving your speech as a speech writer. Let your clients do so 🙂
Ghostwriting provides opportunities to write for various clients, including celebrities, executives, and thought leaders, allowing you to explore different writing styles and genres.
Cons of the ghostwriting career
You may run into drawbacks on your way to becoming a ghost writer ─ the industry has its cons you should consider.
If it is important to you, then the ghostwriter job is not probably for you. The deal is that you write under someone else’s name without getting credit. Building a personal brand may also get complicated, as you can’t create an association with yourself, and you need to adhere to the style of a person or brand that orders work from you.
It can be both good and bad. You constantly need to adjust to various tones of voice, which can greatly boost your creativity and give you valuable experience.
Building a ghost writer career, you may have challenges with sharing your work will hardly be an option, as many writers ask to sign an NDA before working with you.
Yet, ghostwriting can be a rewarding and lucrative career if you enjoy working behind the scenes, helping others share their stories and ideas with the world.
How do I become a ghostwriter: possible options
When you think of ghostwriting, you may get the wrong impression that you’ll write books or other lengthy publications. In fact, it is unnecessary ─ ghostwriting can be a chance to work with leaders in various industries and contribute to some artistic and interesting work. Before we discover how to ghost write for someone, let’s find out just a few types of clients you can work with:
Singers and music artists often hire ghostwriters to write lyrics or songs on their behalf. Ghostwriters have written many popular songs. You can also work with rappers or hip-hop artists and write their lyrics or help with songwriting.
Celebrities can hire you to write their memoirs, speeches, or other written content. They usually do not have time to produce content but need public exposure and can use ghostwriting services for various writing pieces.
You can focus on fiction ghostwriting and start working with writers who need assistance developing their stories, characters, or plots. You will be surprised how many ghost written books are out there ─ Harry Potter is among them.
Ghostwriters can also work with non-fiction writers to help them write books, articles, or other written content.
Entrepreneurs and businesspeople may need ghostwriters’ help to write blogs, articles, and other written content related to their business or industry. Some specialists become famous ghostwriters by making a valuable contribution to the marketing efforts of businesses.
Ghostwriters can work with beginners who may need help developing their writing skills or may not have the time or resources to write their content. If you’re looking for how to get into ghostwriting, this option may be a good start.
Topics you can work with as a ghostwriter
What does a ghost writer do? As ghostwriting implies writing for others, you can choose various topics to write about, depending on your interest. Here are a few examples:
You can write books of all genres, including fiction, non-fiction, self-help, memoirs, and more, joining the ranks of professional book writers.
Write articles for magazines, blogs, newspapers, and online publications on different topics, such as news, lifestyle, health, technology, and more.
Ghostwriters can write speeches for politicians, public speakers, and executives on topics ranging from business to politics to social issues.
Writing blogs for businesses and individuals can also be an option. You may be covering travel, food, fashion, and more topics.
You can even help businesses increase their online presence and engagement by creating written content for social media channels.
Ghostwriters can write song lyrics in various genres, including pop, hip-hop, and rock. As a bonus, you’ll get to work with celebrities or creative people.
Writing screenplays for movies, television shows, and web series is also an option when you become a ghostwriter ─ many organizations look for a screenwriter for hire.
How to ghost write for someone and start a career?
If you’re wondering how to start ghostwriting, check out these steps to set the basis for further efforts.
When becoming a ghostwriter, you need to have strong writing skills first. Consider taking writing courses or attending writing workshops to develop your craft. Joining a writing group or finding a writing mentor can also help you improve your writing skills. Practice writing daily to develop your voice and style, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different genres and writing styles ─ it’s a basis that helps you understand how to be a good book ghostwriter. Reading widely in your chosen niche can also help you to improve your writing skills and understand the conventions of the genre.
💡Extra tip: Think of joining writing groups or attending writing conferences. It will help you connect with other writers and receive feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask for constructive criticism; be willing to revise your work to improve.
Ghostwriting covers various topics and genres, so choosing a niche you are passionate about and have expertise in is important. Consider your areas of interest and expertise, and research the market demand for ghostwriters in those areas. It will help you to position yourself as an expert in your chosen niche. To become a ghostwriter, you may specialize in fiction, non-fiction, and technical writing. You can also write for specific industries like healthcare, technology, or finance.
Creating a portfolio is the next step you should take when you have the question, ‘how do i become a ghost writer?’ in your head. To showcase your writing skills, start building your portfolio by writing samples of your work in your chosen niche. You can write blog posts, articles, short stories, or even full-length books to showcase your writing skills ─ it is relatively easy to do so when learning a writing craft. Consider publishing your work on your blog or website to build your online presence.
💡Extra tip: Consider including a mix of long-form and short-form writing pieces and examples of writing projects you’ve completed for clients. Make sure your portfolio is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Finding clients can be challenging, especially when learning how to be a ghost writer. Yet, there are several ways to go about it. You can network with industry professionals by attending conferences and events, joining writing groups, or connecting with other writers on social media. You can also contact potential clients directly by sending pitches or proposals. Online marketplaces such as Upwork or Fiverr can also be a good source of ghostwriting work ─ we discuss platforms in more detail in the next section to help you understand how to get ghostwriting jobs.
Before starting any project in your ghost writing career, it’s important to negotiate your rates and contracts with the client. It may include agreeing on payment terms, deadlines, and the scope of work. Be clear about what you will deliver and what the client can expect.
💡Extra tip: Consider charging per project or word rather than per hour, as this can be more lucrative.
Once you have agreed on the terms of the project, it’s time to start writing. Work closely with the client to ensure you meet their needs and specifications. Be open to feedback and make revisions as needed to ensure the client is satisfied with the final product ─ it will lay an excellent foundation when becoming ghostwriter and help you get your first positive feedback.
As a ghostwriter, it’s essential to maintain client confidentiality. Ensure you sign a non-disclosure agreement and do not publicly share any details about the project. Protect your client’s intellectual property and respect their privacy.
As you complete projects and build your portfolio, continue to network and market yourself to attract more clients. Positive word-of-mouth can go a long way in building your reputation when you discover how to be a ghostwriter who delivers real value. Consider building a professional website, maintaining an active social media presence, and asking satisfied clients for testimonials that you can use to promote your services.
If you’re discovering how to get hired as a ghostwriter, start networking with potential clients by attending writing conferences, joining writing groups, and connecting with people in your chosen niche. You can also contact publishing houses, literary agents, and ghostwriting agencies to find potential clients.
Becoming a ghostwriter requires you to take many steps to succeed in your career that you need to take over time. Yet, it can bring you many benefits in terms of clients and payments ─ make sure you use all the steps to get the most out of your beginning a career.
How to get a job as a ghostwriter: popular platforms
Various platforms can be useful for finding clients as a ghostwriter. Here are the first platforms clients turn to when inquiring how to find ghost writers:
Upwork is a popular freelance platform that has users worldwide. To start your ghostwriting journey there, create a profile, bid on projects, and connect with potential clients.
Penfellow is a ghostwriting service that connects writers with clients looking for high-quality written content. As a ghostwriter, you can apply to become part of their team and work on various projects for clients in different industries.
Freelancer is another platform that allows writers to find projects from clients worldwide. You can bid on projects and connect with clients looking for high-quality writing.
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site that allows writers to showcase their work and connect with potential clients. You can join groups related to your niche or industry and share your writing with other professionals.
💡Extra tip: When looking for clients, it is important to research each platform and evaluate its reputation and user base. You may want to focus on platforms that cater to your niche or industry or offer higher rates for your writing skills and experience.
Helpful tools for beginners in ghostwriting
How do you become a ghostwriter? Besides the steps described above, you should start by exploring helpful resources. They can help you hone your skills, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and find new clients. Here are some of the most essential resources for ghostwriters:
Writing software can help you organize your thoughts and ideas, plan your writing projects, and track progress. Popular writing software includes Scrivener, Ulysses, and Microsoft Word.
Social media can be a powerful tool for finding new clients and promoting your writing services. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram allow you to connect with potential clients and showcase your writing portfolio.
Joining writing groups and forums can help you connect with other writers, share your work, and get feedback. Reddit, Goodreads, and WritersCafe.org offer forums and groups for writers in various genres and niches.
As a ghostwriter, you may need to conduct research for your writing projects. Research tools like Google Scholar, JSTOR, and ResearchGate can help you find reliable sources and gather information for your writing projects.
Tools like Trello, Asana, and RescueTime can help you stay organized and focused on your writing projects. These tools can help you set deadlines, track progress, and prioritize tasks.
Becoming a ghostwriter can be a rewarding career for those who have a passion for writing but may want to avoid being in the spotlight. The job requires a high level of discretion, the ability to write in someone else’s voice, and excellent communication skills to navigate complex client relationships.
Weigh the pros and cons before building a ghostwriting career and ensure you have the necessary skills and temperament to succeed in this role.
Alternatively, if you need a ghostwriter for your project but want to avoid taking on the task yourself, professional ghostwriting services are available. These services can help you find a qualified ghostwriter to bring your vision to life and help you achieve your goals ─ contact us if you are looking for one.
The amount of money that a ghostwriter can make varies widely depending on several factors, such as their experience, their niche, and the type of project they are working on. Generally, ghostwriters charge per project or word; their rates can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands per project. The average rate for a beginner ghostwriter is around $5,000 to $10,000 for a 100-300 page book. Experienced ghostwriters can earn upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 per book.
Some people may find ghostwriting challenging, requiring excellent writing skills, industry knowledge, and networking abilities. However, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to establish yourself as a successful ghostwriter.
To become a ghostwriter with no experience, start by developing your writing skills, reading widely, and studying the craft of writing. Build a portfolio of writing samples, network with others in the industry, and consider taking on smaller projects to gain experience and build your reputation.
Ghostwriting can be profitable, allowing you to charge a premium for your writing skills and expertise. However, the profitability depends on factors such as your experience, the type of content you write, and the clients you work with.