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Essential Tips for Choosing A Freelance Ghostwriter

Updated on January 2, 2012
(c)chefranden @
(c)chefranden @

Ghostwriters aren’t just used for creating bestselling books (although if you dig, you’ll find out that many celebrity titled books are in fact written by ghostwriters). A lot of businesses and professionals utilise ghostwriters from time to time for various reasons. A writer who writes on your behalf needs to speak for you and take on your voice so it’s essential that you find someone that can accomplish what you want. That’s why it’s important to choose the right writer.

You can hire a freelance ghostwriter to write for your business anonymously or to write for you where your name will be listed as the author. Of course in either case it’s important that you are happy with the written work that is done.

Reasons for hiring a ghostwriter

There are many reasons for hiring someone to do your writing for you. Maybe you don’t find it easy to put your thoughts into words on a page. Maybe you don’t have time to do the writing. Whatever the case is, choosing the right person for the job will free up your precious time and will result in written work that can help you accomplish your goals, whatever those may be.

A freelance ghostwriter can help you with a book, a business plan, a movie script, a love poem for your significant other, website content, sales letters, press releases, and more. There’s an entire population of qualified freelance writers advertising their services and if you choose the right individual, you will be delighted with the results.

Skilled copywriters can convince readers to oblige your requested call to action. Skilled writers can sell people without their realising that they’re being “sold”.

May I recommend the first book listed... lol

How do you find freelance writers and ghostwriters? Let’s count the ways:

  • Go to a job bidding site
    There are quite a few sites such as Elance, GetAFreelancer, and Guru that you can browse through. You can search through existing writers to find the right person and contact them or you can place a bid and let the talent come to you.

  • Place a classified advertisement
    You can place an ad locally or online to attract a freelance ghostwriter with the qualities and specialised knowledge you are looking for.

  • Go to a writing agency that specialises in the type of written word you’re looking for
    You can find these agencies for fiction and for non-fiction and let them know what kind of writer you want. They’ll match your needs with a writer specialised in your area.

How do you choose a ghostwriter?

Once you’ve found several choices, it can seem daunting to pick the right person. Choosing someone to trust with the outcome of your project, whether it’s an article, a blog, a book, an e-book, or a press release takes a leap of faith at times. It’s important to take time to choose the right writer so you’re not disappointed.

Here are some tips:

  • Read samples
    Ask potential writers to send samples of their work. Some will show you an online portfolio that demonstrates their abilities.

  • Google them
    An established writer will probably have plenty of online samples available for you to browse on your own. You might also find testimonials online about them (or complaints, if their reputation isn’t the greatest). My name googled currently generates around 360,000 hits - so it shows how long I've been in the business!

  • Start off with a small project
    Instead of hiring someone that you’ve never ever worked with before to complete a massive project for you, start off small so you can test the waters. This way, you can quickly ascertain whether or not this is the right person for your job.

Some companies and individuals who need the services of writers on a frequent basis hire several different writers to help them so that they can match a project to a person. Others make arrangements with a writing agency so that they can simply notify the agency of their needs and the agency can then skilfully match a project with an individual that has specific skills. If you find a great agency that has an organised business model and a full staff of skilled writers, you’ll probably find that you’re anxious to use ghostwriting services regularly because of how streamlined and positive the experience can be.

What if it goes wrong?

There are times when communication is difficult or there is an outcome that leaves you unsatisfied. Hopefully you’ve set expectations clearly up front and chosen the right writer. Perhaps you’ve set up milestones so that you can see results as the project is being completed. Most professionals will be willing to have set delivery dates and plan for discussions about needed revisions throughout the process. Be sure that you work with a writer that will include revisions in their writing service fee so that if the first draft doesn’t meet expectations, communication and a revision can be done.

Taking the time to find out if the ghostwriter you’re considering using has a high level of experience, has samples you enjoy reading, and is willing to make fair arrangements is important for a successful writing project. Taking the time to find a great writer from the start will save you time and frustration and result in a written outcome you will be proud to attach either your name or your company name to.

This hub brought to you...

by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency

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This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this licence, visit or send a letter to CreativeCommons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California94105, USA.


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