How to Become a Ghostwriter- A Step-by-Step Guide
Looking for a career as a ghostwriter or want to write for someone else? But don’t know from where to begin your journey or what exactly is ghostwriting, and how you can pursue ghostwriting as a career?
Well, the demand for ghostwriters is at its peak because everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone has that talent or skill to present their story to the world.
Thus, the lack of skills but the desire to tell a story has created plenty of opportunities for ghostwriters. Therefore, through this article, we will find out how to become a ghostwriter.
What is a Ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter is an author or a writer who writes for those who have stories to tell but lack the skill of writing or didn’t have confidence in their writing skills. A ghostwriter is a person who is also known as a freelance writer who uses his or her writing skills for someone else’s work.
Mostly ghostwriters write on the behalf of famous personalities like actors, business owners, etc. A ghostwriter writes without any credit. As a ghostwriter, a person always remains behind curtains but surely makes money.
Why is Ghostwriting Different?
Ghostwriting is a way different from other types of writing. Ghostwriting means writing for someone else. Unlike other writings, ghostwriting is all about someone else’s idea and story. Ghostwriting is a type of writing which can adapt others’ way of presenting the story.
Ghostwriting is not something that will give you fame as an author but it will surely amp up your skills as a writer. Ghostwriting pushes you to write outside your comfort zones. Since ghostwriting is so different, many people try to find out how to become a ghostwriter.
Career as Ghostwriter
In India, Ghostwriter has come to light due to the trend of freelancing writing. Most ghostwriters are considered or are more known as freelance writers. But yes, now being a ghostwriter has become a fruitful career.
Ghostwriters work for online content, blogs, speeches, nonfiction and fiction books, and proposals. Mainly the need for ghostwriters is more among famous public figures which include athletes, politicians, and musicians, etc. Anyone who lacks time and wants to publish their book hires ghostwriters, especially for writing biographies and memoirs of famous personalities.
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Salary of Ghostwriter
The salary which a ghostwriter can earn depends on the content he or she writes. Mainly ghostwriters are hired to write a book that ranges from INR 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs if you are providing high-quality content. Someone who writes decently can earn up to INR 2 lakhs to INR 4 lakhs.
Since the world of ghostwriters is anonymous, they write a book, and later they don’t even claim copyrights of the content they had written. Therefore instead of recognition, ghostwriters can fairly demand a good sum of money.
Benefits of being a Ghostwriter
There are many benefits to mention while discussing how to become a ghostwriter. Since ghostwriting is all about learning different genre writings, as a ghostwriter, a person opens up a door of more skills and creativity which later a ghostwriter can use for his or her book.
1. Gaining more Knowledge and Experience
As a ghostwriter, you will explore every possible way, which sets your writing skills to stand apart. If you are passionate about writing, then becoming a ghostwriter will be beneficial for you. As a ghostwriter, you work for different people, which helps you to gain a different perspective as a writer.
Listening to others’ stories will give a boost to your imagination and creativity. Being a ghostwriter, it becomes your responsibility to understand the client’s way of narrating a story so that your writing can match the client’s standards.
Becoming a ghostwriter is like diving into the ocean of the writing field, where you have to adapt according to the needs of clients. Ghostwriting is like adding others’ touch to your work.
2. Exposure to the Wide Audience
A ghostwriter is always a person who remains behind the curtains and no one knows which work belongs to the ghostwriter. But sometimes being a ghostwriter becomes a back door for opportunities for you.
Once your written book becomes a bestseller, then your demand between storytellers becomes high. You will be able to reach a wider audience and readers. Maybe your name will not be on the bestseller, but you will surely gain fame among the clients who have a story to tell.
3. No-fuss about the Promotion of the Book
Working as a ghostwriter, you only need to focus on your content. You don’t have to worry about the promotion of the book. You don’t need to make any social media posts and announcements regarding the book. Your client will look after his work’s engagement and promotion.
4. Saving your Emotions for Your Work
Being a ghostwriter, you work for other clients, or you can say that you create content as per the requirements of the customer. Since the story, the topic, etc are provided by the client which makes your work more flexible and easier; you don’t have to drain yourself by pouring your emotions into that work which saves your emotions for your work, where you usually have to bear your inner soul.
As a ghostwriter, you become specific about your priority and whose work you have to put first and foremost. Since you are getting paid as a ghostwriter, you will put your client’s work on top and will manage time for your writings.
Once in a while, your little distance from your work helps you to think with clarity. On the other hand, when you come into your ghostwriter mode, you find new and more creative ideas for your work.
Now after learning what a ghostwriter and career are, the salary and benefits of a ghostwriter, let’s find out how to become a ghostwriter.
How to Become a Ghostwriter?
Well, starting a new journey in any field is never easy. From where one should begin his work becomes a challenge, especially in this highly competitive world. Becoming a ghostwriter is also a challenge where you push your limits and try to write out of your style and way.
But becoming a ghostwriter can be a great choice for your writing career. It will not only make you money but also enhance your writing skills. If you want to know how to become a ghostwriter, then you should remember that you should be aware of the qualities which will help you to start your journey as a ghostwriter. So let’s have a look at those qualities or the skills of a ghostwriter.
1. Master Your Craft
Writing is the field that asks for hard work, no shortcuts, only hard work. This hard work will pave your path towards your successful career in ghostwriting. With hard work, you can master your craft by practicing writing and reading.
Reading is a gateway that opens your door to the world of imagination, so as a writer, reading habits should be included in your daily routine. On the other hand, write daily. For writing, you can start with blogging, and then you can go for self-publishing your book. If you are good at speaking, then you can also start your podcasts.
The main point is that before writing under someone else’s name, write for yourself under your name. First, establish yourself as a writer and get reviewed by the readers, which will help you to become better. Then you can choose to ghostwrite.
2. Have a Strong Network
It’s important to have contacts and a network through which you can connect with the customers and the readers. Before hiding yourself behind the curtains after becoming a ghostwriter, it is important to let other people know that you are working as a ghostwriter.
For that, you can add about your ghostwriting services in your profile which will help the people who are seeking ghostwriting services to find you. You have to make yourself visible on social media as a strong network helps you to reach wider customers. You should know how to market your ghostwriting business.
3. Level Up Your Interview Skills
Becoming a ghostwriter is not about having the skill of writing, but you should also know how to communicate. As a ghostwriter, you need to talk for hours with the credited author, which is like taking an interview where you listen to their stories and plan the book story step by step.
As a ghostwriter, you need to be a good listener too so that you do not skip any details. Interviewing your clients helps you to understand their narrative style and the messages they want to convey through their book. This communication needs to be maintained throughout the whole process of writing.
Many times, you will find yourself communicating again and again with the credited author to make sure you are following the author’s instructions. So yes, if you are interested in learning how to become a ghostwriter, you should know how to communicate or interview your clients to meet their expectations.
4. A Big No to Your Ego
When you work as a ghostwriter, you need to keep in your mind that you are working in that field, where you will get acknowledgments and appreciation for your work, but you will not get recognized.
Sometimes doing something for someone and not getting acknowledged hurts our ego, and if you are a ghostwriter, you can’t bring your ego into your work because you may not get recognition, but you are getting paid. You are working for someone, and you need to adjust your writing style according to your clients without thinking about how much better you are than your client.
In this field of ghostwriting, your name will never appear on the covers of a book, so make yourself comfortable with the fact that your written book can become a national or international bestseller, but your name will not be there in the print. So, if you are ready to write for someone else without letting your ego get hurt, then you have already learned how to become a ghostwriter.
5. Maintain Self Discipline
When you work for someone, you get a deadline to complete that work. One should have the ability to work to deadlines while managing other projects too. Usually, ghostwriters get a minimum of 6 months to complete a book. Well, self-discipline is one of the qualities which a person maintains as a writer.
An established writer writes daily in his or her own comfortable time, but when it comes to writing for the customer, a ghostwriter has to complete that work by the given deadline without any excuses.
As a ghostwriter, your self-discipline shows your professionalism. Many ghostwriting projects take a year to complete and ultimately lose their charm. So if you can stop procrastination and can do your work seriously without losing the quality of your content, then you know how to become a ghostwriter.\
6. Don’t Neglect Your Writing Style
Being a ghostwriter doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your style of writing. Before a ghostwriter, you are a writer who started writing in your writing style.
Since when you want someone to hire you, you first show your best-written samples. That’s where your writing style plays a very important role to get you the project. Writing for someone can earn you a great sum of money but writing for yourself in your way brings you peace which doesn’t let that writer in you vanish.
As a ghostwriter, you have to incorporate others’ styles in that project which should not make you forget your unique way of writing. Sometimes clients choose your way of writing over theirs. So it is important to keep your writing style alive to become a ghostwriter.
7. Be Clear About Your Projects
When you start your journey as a ghostwriter, make sure to have clarity about your projects and the documents related to them. Since many ghostwriter projects take years to complete, before signing any contract, always check the paperwork of your project through the lawyer. By taking this precaution, you keep yourself and your clients safe.
8. Keep a Record of Your Payments
As a ghostwriter, you earn a good amount, especially for your long-term projects. But long projects take time to complete and sometimes these long projects also get discontinued by the credited author in the middle by breaking the contract. So ghostwriters need to take their deposit from time to time and keep a record of it. So that in future, you don’t get deprived of your hard work money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which platforms provide the work to ghostwriters?
Ans. Many platforms provide work to ghostwriters like online platforms Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Linkedin. These platforms have high competition, but they provide you with international projects based on your experience. As a beginner, you may find it hard to make your place on these projects, but with time and hard work, you will be a successful ghostwriter.
Q2. Which type of projects do ghostwriters get hired for?
Ans. Ghostwriters are available for every type of writing project. Many of the writers don’t use the word ghostwriter, but many of them do write the projects for someone else under the label of the editor, copywriter, and freelance writer. Most commonly, the term professional writer is used by many who do ghostwrite. Well, every ghostwriter has great command of some genre. Most ghostwriters get hired for writing nonfiction like biographies and autobiographies.
Not only nonfiction, but ghostwriters also write novels, plays, and plays for the theater. Small write-ups like blogs, speeches, and articles are also written by ghostwriters. Many ghostwriters also write content that is related to business like web pages, brochures, etc. Even academic papers are also written by them.
Q3. Is ghostwriting legal or ethical?
Ans. Yes, ghostwriting is legal as per the law. Ghostwriting is an emerging career that is widely accepted by everyone. As a ghostwriter, you write content on one condition that you have to write anonymously, where you will not get any credit, but you are getting paid for that service which makes this field legal and ethical.
Like every business and every work, ghostwriting has its terms and conditions. Well, not everyone thinks that ghostwriting is ethical because it is like taking the credit for someone else’s work but in reality, ghostwriting is a collaborative work of the credited author and the ghostwriter where the consent of both the parties is given which doesn’t make ghostwriting completely ethical.
Q4. How to become a ghostwriter, if you are a beginner?
Ans. If you are someone who is a beginner in this field, then you must start by making your portfolio which should include your skills and experience. Then build your network so that you can connect to the people who want to hire ghostwriters.
Make a strong social presence and first establish yourself as a writer by publishing your work so that you can provide samples to your clients. You can make your profile on online platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and freelancer. Another most important thing is that you should sharpen your skills and should maintain self-discipline which is an important quality of a ghostwriter.
Here we come to an end to the steps of how to become a ghostwriter. Ghostwriting is a flourishing career that gives you a great experience as well as great earnings. We hope that this article will guide you on how to become a ghostwriter.