Ghostwriting can be a great career if you are a talented writer who is full of ideas and are good at research and at capturing the style and tone of various publications and of clients whom you will be working with. But there are a few things you should be clear about before trying to get gigs as a ghostwriter.
What Exactly Does a Ghostwriter Do?
Ghostwriters are paid to write for someone else and let them put their name on it. You are their secret weapon behind the scenes. There is a high demand for ghostwriters to produce a wide range of content, such as blog posts, articles, non-fiction books, and even celebrity autobiographies.
Websites constantly need fresh and interesting content. Many people dream of having a bestselling book, but just don’t have the writing skills. You can satisfy all these needs and get paid doing something you love.
What Is Expected
The most obvious thing that's expected is a written work that is error-free and delivered on time. It also has to be an original work; that is, not plagiarized, or stolen from other writers on the internet or in books. If you are going to source information in your work, a link or mention of it is common courtesy.
For certain topics, such as health, using reliable, up-to-date sources of information is a must. How-to types of writing should be accurate and clear. Autobiographies should be truthful, with all data sourced from your client. This can be through documents, interviews and so on.
Keeping Clients Happy
Client who hire ghostwriters are usually very busy people who have clear goals in mind for the projects they are commissioning. They want good writing, but they are usually looking for other things as well.
You have to do thorough research, or know a good amount about the topic already. You need to be able to incorporate any facts, figure or statistics they might give you as part of the project. You also need to try to write in their style or tone of voice, rather than your own.
In addition, you have to respect confidentiality so the client can feel certain you are not going to be unethical in any way. Finally, you have to convey reliability, so you will deliver not just this project on time, but others in the future as well. Getting happy repeat clients is the best way to ensure that your ghostwriting career will thrive.
Being a Good Communicator
The longer the project, such as a book, the more you should keep the client in the loop regarding the progress of the work. If you are using a freelance marketplace like Upwork.com, be sure to set milestones for deliverables and for payments into your account.
Keep things professional, polite and friendly. Some clients will be a joy to work for. Others will be a pain in the neck. Do your best to make the relationship a success. Once the project is completed, you won’t have to work with the difficult clients ever again if you don’t wish to.
Being a ghostwriter means juggling the assignments you have with looking for new ones, marketing yourself, and administering your business. It can be tough, especially if you work from home or are doing this as a second job for spare cash. Organize all your work into folders on your computer:
* Jobs applied for
* Work in progress
* Your marketing materials
...and so on. As a ghostwriter, you need to make the most of your time in order to earn the best money, so start as you mean to go on and you should have a successful new career.