If you’re a versatile writer with a strong work ethic, you might want to consider ghostwriting as a potential career option – as long as you’re happy working behind the scenes.
What is a ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters offer professional writing services for people who, despite having a fascinating story to tell, need help getting it on paper. For example, a lot of ghostwriters specialise in writing memoirs and autobiographies for those without the time or skill to do it themselves. However, ghostwriters can also work on speeches, newsletters, blog posts or any other form of writing. In all cases, the agreement is that the client receives the credit, while the ghostwriter remains anonymous.
If this sounds appealing to you, read on to find out if you have what it takes.
The art of ghostwriting
Writing in this complex and challenging profession requires a deep understanding of your client’s vision for their project. You must be able to capture their voice and personality to craft a powerful story that resonates with readers. To be a ghostwriter is to remain invisible, working behind the scenes without ever drawing attention to yourself.
Benefits of ghostwriting
Despite the lack of fame and accolades, there are certain advantages to ghostwriting, including the potential to earn more money. In fact, the lack of public recognition often means you can charge higher fees than credited writers. In addition, it may not be as time-consuming since extensive research shouldn’t be necessary. Instead, you are free to focus on presenting your client’s story as an engaging and enjoyable read.
Tips for starting your ghostwriting career
The most logical way to embark on your ghostwriting journey is to start as a freelance writer. Your prospective clients will want to know that you can write in their voice, so you’ll need to build a portfolio of diverse writing styles and genres. If you’re interested in writing memoirs or autobiographies, you may also need to have published a book of your own to prove your talent for writing long-form content.
When you’ve gained enough experience and have a well-rounded portfolio, you can start advertising your services as a ghostwriter.
On securing your first commission, it’s important to establish clear expectations and payment terms upfront. It’s possible that you’ll work for a flat fee rather than an hourly rate, so be sure to estimate how much time the project will take.
During the writing process itself, you’ll need to gather a lot of information and organise it into a well-structured story. So it’s essential that you record all your information sessions and ask relevant questions to gain a full understanding of your client’s needs.
Is ghostwriting ethical?
At this point, you may be wondering how ethical it is for someone to take credit for work they didn’t produce themselves. But remember that you’re not creating the story. All you’re doing is helping your client tell their own story as effectively as possible. With the exception of academic papers and theses, ghostwriting is a legitimate service that is both legal and ethical, as long as both parties adhere to the terms of the contract.
The final word
While ghostwriting may not be for everyone, it can be an excellent way to earn a good living. Although you won’t see your name in the bestsellers list, you may find that the financial rewards and the opportunity to bring unique stories to life provide satisfaction enough.