How to Become a Ghostwriter [2020 Guide]

“Ghostwriting” is not paranormal entities sitting at your laptop, typing away.

Ghostwriting is the practice of a writer writing on someone else’s behalf and letting them take all the credit for it while the writer remains as invisible as a ghost.

Ghostwriting has long been in practice.

Since ancient times, the practice of writing someone else’s words for them has been
adopted by many as their source of bread and butter.

The demand for a ghostwriter has always been high in several fields— be it academic, political, corporate, or advertisement.

Ghostwriters, in recent times, mostly work as freelancers, but they can also be hired on a contractual basis or as full-time employees by companies whose writing requirements are high.


What Is A Ghostwriter?

become ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is a writer who writes for someone else.

In simpler words, a ghostwriter is someone who is paid to write for others.

It can be a speech, an article for a magazine, or a complete biography.

As a ghostwriter, your job is to adopt a writer or speaker’s idiolect and based on that; you would have to write on behalf of them.

A ghostwriter is a writer for hire.

A ghostwriter writer writes for his employer and hands over the credit of his writing to the employer without ever coming to the forefront.

Ghostwriters are usually people who have a flair for writing but do not have the time or the resources to make their writing public.

So instead, a ghostwriter helps others to write and, in turn, gets paid for it.


How Do Ghostwriters Work?

As a ghostwriter, you are required to write on topics as they are assigned to you.

Ghostwriters can be needed to handle projects as follows:

Writing For A Specific Employer

A private employer can hire a ghostwriter for his or her write-ups.

For example:

1. A ghostwriter can be utilized by an author who is too busy to finish writing his book.

The author explains to the ghostwriter the concept, provides the outline, and it falls upon the writer to finish writing the book.

2. A Ph.D. scholar can hire a ghostwriter to finish writing his or her dissertation.

A Ph.D. scholar can be engaged in other commitments like taking classes. In such a situation, it becomes quite inconvenient to finish writing one’s dissertation.

It has been widely said that writing is the hardest part of finishing a doctorate.

In such situations, it is very convenient for a scholar to hire a ghostwriter who can finish the write-up for his or her dissertation.

Writing For A Particular Group

Political parties often hire skilled writers to write their speeches for them so that they are impactful, factually correct, and are interesting.

Politicians also have writers on their team who are responsible for drafting press
releases.

A ghostwriter can be hired by such organizations, and it is upon him or her
to formulate new content that can be used by the spokesperson of the organization.

Freelancing

Ghostwriters these days prefer freelancing.

They accept assignments from clients, which highlight the client requirements in detail.

The writer then writes the necessary content and turns it in by the allotted deadline.

Freelancing is a good way to be a ghostwriter as it opens up the writer to expand his
horizons and write on a variety of topics that captures his interest.

Writers who ghostwrite as a secondary occupation prefer to freelance as it opens them up to other options.

Be it freelancing or full-time, a ghostwriter writes on an individual’s behalf.

A good ghostwriter also attempts to emulate the person’s style of speaking and writing and tries to bring it on paper to the best of his abilities.

Read here to know how to become a freelance writer.


How Much Do Ghostwriters Make?

Ghostwriting is rather flexible when it comes to rates.

A great part of the rates that are offered to ghostwriters depends on the skill of a writer.

Rates for writing is different for full-time writers and freelancers.

Full-time writers hired by a company or firm usually have a fixed salary structure though there are no guidelines for ghostwriter salary that is set in stone.

Freelance ghostwriter rates are more flexible as they can be set by the writer himself.

The Writers Market, however, has set rates for ghostwriters based on extensive market research.

The standard rate per hour has been estimated at $70 for a ghostwriter.

The minimum fee for a project can be around $5000 while the maximum price can go up to as high as $100,000.

On a per-word basis, the rates can be a minimum of 50 cents per word, and a maximum of $3 a word.

The average cost per word remains at $1.65.

A basic idea about the market rates raises the question of can you make a living as a
ghostwriter?

As a beginner, it may be difficult to support a family, but it can be enough to make your ends meet.

With time, your skills improve, your speed increases, and you are less likely to get stuck on topics or projects.

This will enable you to handle projects with ease, write better.

With years of practice, you might be able to handle multiple projects at a time.

Experiences in the field will not only make your services more coveted, but your rates can be higher, and you can take on multiple projects.

If you are working for an organization as a ghostwriter, your salary is more likely to be decided on a per-hour basis rather than a per-word one.

An advantage of getting paid on an hourly basis over a word basis is that you can get paid regularly, irrespective of having to write or not.


Do Ghostwriters Get Credit?

Sadly, no, they do not.

As the name suggests, you remain a “ghost”.

The entire role of a ghostwriter revolves around the core concept that you remain invisible.

The words you write are for someone else, and they get the credit for whatever you write.

Nevertheless, you get your due credit in your way.

The better you write, the more impactful your content is, the more reputation you gain as a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriters of good caliber are always in demand.

Good articles that get more reach increases your grade as a ghostwriter.

You might not be assigned credit for your work, but you gain in areas like increased referrals, higher rates, and creative independence.

If you work as a ghostwriter for a company or an organization, you might get credit for your work within your workplace.

If you are enlisted under a company that provides ghostwriting services, your success can lead you to get advantages like increased rates, flexible work hours, longer deadlines and the company is likely to send more work your way, or even
handle high- profile clients.


Ghost Writer Careers

Many people around the world have chosen to ghostwrite as a career.

Some of the major reasons for choosing to ghostwrite as a career are as follows:

1. High Pay

People who choose to ghostwrite as a career have had practice in ghostwriting.

They are able not only to write seamlessly; they can adopt a person’s style of talking and write by stepping into the speaker’s shoes.

In the ghostwriting industry, the higher your skills, the higher is the pay.

A career in ghostwriting assures high paying jobs.

2. Constant Work

Another major reason why people choose ghostwriting as a career is that there is usually no lack of work.

No matter the time or the state of the economy, the need to produce written content is always there.

This demand assures steady work, which is a kind of job security many companies fail to offer.

3. Room for Improvement

Writing is one such skill that is ever-evolving.

There is no one level of perfection in writing.

A writer who has a thirst to better his or her writing skills can get the opportunity in abundance.

Writing on a variety of topics and in different styles provides ample room for a writer to hone his or her skills as a writer.

4. Versatility

People who look to have a creative tenor in their jobs can also choose to ghostwrite as a career.

As a ghostwriter, you are likely to write on a variety of topics and issues.

There is room to explore, learn, and grow and writing on a variety of topics makes ghostwriter job exciting and challenging.


Ghostwriting Tips

If you are a ghostwriter or are desirous of becoming one, here are a few tips that you should keep in mind if you want to become the best and the most sought after in your field:

1. Skill Matters

Ghostwriting is a field where skill matters more than anything else.

Writers who can write as close to the style of the author or the diction of the speaker as possible, the more is the chance of the writer being considered a good performer in the genre.

If you are someone who does not have a knack for writing at all, ghostwriting is not a career option for you to pursue.

If you are a beginner in the habit of writing regularly, you might consider starting as a ghostwriter, but you would have to try and develop your skills further, which brings us to the next point on our list.

2. Hard Work

Like any other field of work, ghostwriting is no exception when it comes to hard work.

A ghostwriter must work very hard as his primary aim is to write in a way that is satisfactory to the client.

Unsatisfactory work can lead to a bad reputation, and you might lose and miss out on clients.

Hard work is also to be put into self-amelioration.

A ghostwriter must always strive to get better at his job.

For him, every assignment should be a training exercise for him to get even better than he or she already is.

You must try mastering different styles of writing, increasing your vocabulary and must keep yourself updated on a variety of topics.

Read up on news and other trending articles off the internet to keep you in the know about different issues that are going on in the world around us.

3. Never Miss Deadlines

This is another crucial step to follow if you are still beginning in the career of a ghostwriter.

Try and meet deadlines as religiously as possible.

A writer who submits work on time is considered dedicated, and this increases his reputation among recruiters and prospective clients.

In case of emergencies, try and inform your clients as early as possible of any unavoidable delays.

If you have already established yourself as a ghostwriter, it is a healthy practice to keep meeting deadlines.

If you are someone who is handling more than one project at a time, make sure that you employ time-management skills wisely and space out your workload in a way that you can meet every deadline on time.

Treat each assignment as a high priority one and always attempt to keep time on hand so that you have time for a revision and proofread.

4. Accuracy

Accuracy is a key point to keep in mind when you assume the role of a professional ghostwriter.

Accuracy is crucial as a ghostwriter as you are likely to be accountable for any errors.

Accuracy must be maintained— both linguistic and factual.

Your language must be precise, correct, and in keeping with the tone of the
content.

Facts, if they are to be provided by you, must be thoroughly checked and verified
from multiple sources, if possible, before incorporating them in the write-up.

Before you turn in your work, you must always perform a detailed proofread and check for spelling and grammar.

A career as a ghostwriter can be a promising one if you are dedicated as a writer and versatile as a writer.

Corporate firms, political organizations, government offices, and even academic sectors are constantly on the lookout for quality ghostwriters who can shoulder the writing responsibilities for them.


Ready To Be A Ghostwriter

In my opinion Ghostwriting is a very lucrative option to make an online income by writing.

And this is suitable for making a huge income as people pay a hefty amount to write for them without giving you any credit.

The only drawback I see is that you will not be able to make your own personal brand.

Apart from that, there is a huge money opportunity that you can get irrespective of the market performance.

If you want to be a ghostwriter, what questions do you have about ghostwriting?

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