Did you hear the term ghost-writer, and you’re curious to find out how a ghost-writer differs from a content writer? Do you consider it a career path for you? This article can help you build a career in ghost-writing and boost your productivity once you start working with clients.
But first, let’s figure out what a ghost-writer is.
A ghost-writer is a professional writer whose name doesn’t appear on the book or piece of content they develop. They cannot claim that they authored the content. Most of the books or articles you’ve read are probably the creation of a ghost-writer, but you’ll never find the name.
The market provides ghost-writers with many opportunities, from business writing (blogs and articles) to non-fiction books (lifestyle books, memoirs), novels, speeches, and talks. When choosing this career, you work as a freelancer on a project basis. Depending on your skills and preferences, you can choose how you want to work. You can write everything, expand some of the sections the clients created or work together with them and develop the work together.
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What tools do you need as a ghost-writer?
Grammarly is a staple for writers of all kind, and if you plan to start a career in ghost-writing, you shouldn’t neglect using it. It’s not the perfect tool, but it does a great job, especially if you get the premium version. You can use it as your primary spell checker, even if it can do more than correcting your spelling. With tons of content to produce daily, you’re prone to make vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation errors, and Grammarly can be a life saver in this situation.
This is another document editor, but it’s developed to provide a modern take because it uses a cloud-based collaborative system and allows you to collaborate and share the text with your client in real-time. It’s useful for projects that require you to work together with the author to develop a piece of content. The real-time exchange of data is quite helpful when you have a joint project.
As a ghost-writer you’ll quickly become a huge fan of this tool because it helps you find words you cannot come up with on your own. It’s a familiar scenario for writers of all kind to have an idea but cannot figure out how to express the concept in a single word. Also, when the client requires you to write about a specific subject, you may have to replace a repetitive word, but you cannot think of anything that would fit the context. Word Hippo will find you the best word replacement, and you won’t have to lose time tearing your hair out.
You need a tool to combine and convert documents. Your clients will send documents with instructions or paragraphs you need to continue, and you need a tool to convert them to the type of files you’re using. You can use PDF Chef to merge pdf, convert files, or split documents. This tool is user-friendly and uncomplicated, so you can easily figure out how you can split the documents to leave the instructions aside and use only the introduction to the paragraph you need to compose. The great part about it is that the tool is entirely web-based, and you can access it wherever you are, no matter what device you use.
Evernote is a digital version of paper notes all writers use. Using this tool, you save your table from the hundreds of tiny holes the pins would cause and prevent losing a piece of information that may prove crucial for your project. You can sync the app on all your devices so you can access it from everywhere. And where do you count that it also includes a voice recording feature so you can save your ideas while on the run or when you cannot use your hands to write them down?
Advice for starting your ghost-writing career
If you’re ready to start this journey, you should know a couple of things that can help you build a career.
As a beginner ghost-writer, you won’t be able to get big projects and work with famous writers because you lack experience. You won’t earn big money right from the start, and you’ll have to prove your ability to write. Luckily, you have access to the internet that allows you to practice your skills. Start with small pieces of content like short stories or blog articles. It’ll take a couple of well-done jobs before you can start charge more. After 10 jobs you can increase your fees by 25%.
Choose a genre
When you write a specific genre, you find it easier to compose content. However, it won’t work if you write content marketing articles that require constantly researching for the latest information. But it can help you if you decide to write novels or other fictional works. Pick a genre you know something about.
Develop a portfolio
As you complete jobs, add them to your portfolio to present them to prospective clients. You can create a portfolio on the platform where you list your services or use your website or social media profiles to create it. The portfolio can give potential clients enough reasons to have confidence in your work and trust you with their projects.
Don’t work without money upfront
It doesn’t matter if you write books or marketing content; you shouldn’t start working on the project without evidence that the employer is serious about the payment. On some platforms, the jobs have fixed prices or are paid by the hour. The platform guarantees them, and you can start working the moment you’re hired. But when the platform you use doesn’t guarantee your payment, ask for an advance and don’t deliver the final product until the employer pays you.
Being a ghost-writer can be a fantastic career if you know how to take advantage of the market’s opportunities and use the proper tools. However, you should know that writing in a different voice for each project can be difficult, and you should expect to face some challenges.