Earn a Living as a Ghostwriter
Website developers may not have the time, expertise, or the writing skill to keep up with their website’s content demands. Enter—the ghostwriter.
My good friend who works as an editor for a major publishing house once revealed to me that up to 70% of books written each year are authored by ghostwriters. Sometimes the ghostwriter is credited as a contributor or researcher by the official author, but most of the time their identities are never disclosed.
Many book series are written by a string of ghostwriters, such as Nancy Drew Mysteries , under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene . Each contributor of the book series captured the same writing style, formula, and kept the main characters’ personalities intact.
Many famous people have hired ghostwriters to create an autobiography or a collection of their memoirs. Ghosting for celebrities has been in practice since, well… since celebrities. Writers have typed, organized, and consolidated hours of recorded memories from the famous— while remaining anonymous.
Political figures have used writers over the years to edit their biographies, write speeches, email responses and maintain public blogs. Even famous newscasters on major television use ghost bloggers for their correspondence.
The Hidden Author
Not all ghosting opportunities are for writing books. Online content that is clear and concise has become invaluable to businesses in an effort to make their products and services well known. High quality articles provide an eternal stream of new customers in their quest for information. Some of the hottest assignments are:
1. Writing text for websites
2. Contributing to blogs
3. Expert articles for online magazines
4. Editing and cleaning up rough drafts
5. Researching reports or research studies
You may write under a business name, or a standing author name (that may not exist), that has gained some notoriety in a certain realm. If you’re commissioned for a book in a string, you will write under the name designated for that series.
Choosing to Collaborate
Any assignment you accept from a client will involve some form of collaboration. If working one-on-one, it is important to feel you can work with the client. If your employer has little background in writing, he/she may have unrealistic expectations of the final project. For example, if they want several exclusive articles in a few days, you need to clarify the quality, length, and so on. Don’t take an assignment from anyone you don’t want to work with. It is not worth the possible dent in your reputation, or your valuable time. Listen to your inner voice.
Listen to Your Client’s Voice
Your client has a vision of what he/she wants from the finished work. It is paramount you comprehend what your client wants from the project. The better you communicate, the less rewrites you’ll do, and the lower stress you’ll experience. Ensure you are both in agreement on the audience, length, and overall feel of the project. If your employer has written articles in the past, read them and try to match their style and tone.
Learn How to Use Keywords
Website developers use your high quality content to gain traffic to their webpages. Search engine optimization (SEO) is using keywords in an article to rank high on the main search engines. The keywords are simply an estimation of what people will search for to find your article. For example, if you search the keywords, “How to cook,” you get about 807,000,000 articles in the results. The competition is way too high to get your article on the first page. However, “How to cook on a grill,” results about 1,801 articles. This gives you a much better chance of ranking high on the very first page.
Apply for Great Ghostwriting Jobs
Check out the endless resources on the web for great writing opportunities, or start your own webpage offering your services. There is plenty of work for everyone.