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I Ain't Afraid of No Ghostwriting (and you shouldn't be either)

Updated on June 28, 2015
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a newspaper editor, journalist and freelance ghostwriter and adjunct instructor.

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Sometimes being a "writer" isn't really about writing at all. I edited and assembled Bobbie Little's notes for her motivational weight loss guide.
Sometimes being a "writer" isn't really about writing at all. I edited and assembled Bobbie Little's notes for her motivational weight loss guide. | Source

Why Ghost Write?

The easiest answer to the question is...FOR MONEY!

That's right. Ghost writing lacks the glamor of being a recognized author, but quite honestly, the money is there. Not everyone enjoys writing. Not everyone is a decent writer. There is always someone who will pay to have things written for them. That's a fact that writers who are ghosting already know.

How to Catch a Ghost Writing Job

The good thing about ghost writing jobs is that they are not illusive. Until you gain some ghost writing experience, though, your pay may be low. Hang in there -- the pay increases will come with experience.

Try websites like Guru.com, Problogger,net, and Freelancewriting.com. These have job listings that freelancers can browse. Some pay as little as $1 for 200 words; but with some experience, you can earn up to $50 an hour.

The biggest challenge of ghost writing is adapting your own writing style to the person for whom you are ghosting. You must adapt their voice. Before applying or submitting a writing sample for consideration, read plenty of articles on the client's website if possible.

Also spend a little time developing your own website to advertise your ghost writing skills. Be sure to include your contact information (at least an email address) so potential clients can contact you. It's also a great idea to post a link to your website when you apply for ghost writing jobs.

When Ghost Writing Should Scare You

If you cannot part with your writing, ghost writing will be a scary endeavor for you. Since most ghost writing pieces are bought outright, once you sell it, the piece no longer belongs to you. That means you shouldn't provide a link to it on your own website. You can't use the link on a resume. You can't post it to your social media wall and say, "Look what I did." You have to just walk away.

For this reason, ghost writing will not build your portfolio. It will, however, build your bank account if you work at it. With a little practice and determination, you will begin to build steady clients...then nothing will scare you about ghost writing!

Do you do it?

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    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Nice hub with lots of good info. Voted up and interesting.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image
      Author

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thank you, LucyBell21! I appreciate you and wish you luck with your own writing!

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up, useful and interesting. This was an excellent article with helpful tips for those interested in pursuing ghost writing endeavors. I do think there are many good writers who may let their egos (mine included) get in the way of looking further into this. However, I've learned with age to never say never.

    • Guy Foxe profile image

      Guy Foxe 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

      I love ghostwriting. I actually find it a lot easier to write in someone else's voice than my own. It frees up my creativity.

      I would also add Elance to that list of sites. Maybe also Constant Content if you don't mind waiting a while for someone to pick-up your article.

      Thanks for the great post.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image
      Author

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks for stopping by my Hub, Pagesvoice and Guy Foxe. Like Guy, I find it easier to ghost write than pursue my own endeavors. But sometimes it's fun to do something that isn't easy and push to find my own writing voice.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Ronna, great piece and very well written. Thanks for the info, I ain't afraid of no ghost...writing is a terrific and informative hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image
      Author

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thank you, eHealer.I appreciate you taking time to read and comment!

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I'm resistant to ghost writing. It feels like someone is dumping the whole workload on you and then not giving you any credit for it. Plus, I have had people ask me to ghost write and then I never, ever hear back from them. A lot of ghost writing projects seem to just never get off the ground.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      insightful and thought provoking, voted up.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image
      Author

      Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

      That Grrl -- You're right. The lack of credit stings at first, but it's a great way to get experience at someone else's expense. The key is finding those people who really need a writer and are willing to pay. It's also important to charge enough for your time.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 18 months ago from the short journey

      Defining one's goals is clearly crucial when considering this type of work. A good springboard…thanks.

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