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What Is Ghost-writing? Answers to All Your Questions

If you have never heard of this and wondering what is Ghostwriting? then you will surely think of a Ghost or a spirit writing a letter to their close ones. Well, this naturally comes to our mind whenever we hear this first time. 


The image sheds light on the question-what is ghostwriting

What is Ghostwriting?


Ghostwriting content written by a professional who is hired by the other person or a company to write a speech, Blog, Articles, Book, a memoir (Preserving memories and experience in written form), Autobiography, or any Digital content that the person himself cannot write due to various reasons. Ghostwriting is writing content on behalf of someone else professionally.


So now you can relate the question of what is ghostwriting with the answer, Ghostwriter is the original writer who is kept hidden and cannot be seen (Just like a Ghost who is not visible) In simple terms it is a work for which credit is given to someone else and the professional who is the original writer is paid for his writing service.


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Below are 15 questions and answers which will help you understand Ghostwriting is a better way: –


1. What is Ghostwriting going to do for the owner and when it is used?


Ghostwriting is going to make your work, simple easy, and present in a professional manner. A service that you can hire, in simple words Ghostwriter is someone you will need to hire due to the following reasons: –


  • Lack of Interest: – 

When you do not have an interest in writing content but you want to share your thoughts with the public then you will hire a Ghostwriter.


  • Lack of knowledge: –

When you do not have expert knowledge about the matter and you do not wish to study it due to its complexity. When the content needs to be to the point, you cannot afford to write and study the topic right from the scratch, so you need a Ghostwriter.


  • Lack of Time: –

When you may be very busy and do not have time due to other work commitments but you wish to implement and execute your idea, you hire Ghostwriter.


  • For SEO optimization purposes: – 

You may have time in hand, your article is creative but still, your content is not performing like you always expected, you are not able to monetize your content, here the Ghostwriter will understand your need and ensure that your article is well optimized for any search engine.


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2. What is Ghostwriting used for?


  • Website Content: Ghostwriting is used for content marketing and any type of website writing.


  • Blogs: – It is important to keep your website updated and in an active mode. Blog and article must be written consistently, ghostwriting are very important for blogging purposes. Having a Ghostwriter who creates your blog post allows you to focus on your website requirements.


  • Social media post: Social media posts are used when a company wants to market its brand using a social platform to target the audience. E.ga cosmetic brand targets women through social media and it will have all the content designed and written for young- middle-aged women. Ghostwriters are skilled to do this type of social media post handling. Now you see what is Ghostwriting creating for you, a professional platform to reach out to the audience at large


  • Marketing email: When a company wants to target customers through email, the language and the tone used to touch the emotions of the customer play an important role. When a customer buys a product from that moment to the time it is delivered all the communication emails that are sent to customers need a professional approach to keep the customer informed, All this work is greatly handled by Ghostwriters. What is Ghostwriting attracts here is new customers and clients.


  • Movie script: A movie script is also written by a ghostwriter which is many a time kept confidential.


  • Children /Young Adults Fiction book: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys were ghostwritten, which many are not aware of. Ghostwriters are Hired by publishers for many reasons, most importantly to bring an increase in books sold out each year under a famous author.


  • Memoirs – Interviewing and recording experience, the memories of the client
  • Autobiography – Celebrities, Sportsperson, Business tycoon
  • hire a Ghostwriter to share their life story with the public
  • Product description
  • Press release


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3. What is Ghostwriting considered -Legal or Illegal?


Ghostwriting has always been a topic of discussion, where it is also linked with plagiarism by a few. . But that is not true. For example Ghostwriting is considered legal for a politician for writing a speech. There are some areas where the person cannot write for himself here a freelance Ghostwriter comes into the picture. Book writing, social media where SEO knowledge is required, movie script writing all are considered legal.


4. Is Ghostwriting earring a bad reputation In Education (Academics) Industry?


There are reports of students who have used Ghostwriting service in an unethical manner


It is reported that 14 % undergraduates and an approx. 6% of Postgraduate students have hired Ghostwriters to complete their college assignments and thesis


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5. What is Ghostwriting Music Industry about?


Ghostwriting in the Music industry is not new, it is the rappers who hire Ghostwriters to write their song because writing song lyrics need a multi-talented mind. It is also observed when a recording company wants to promote a new singer then they will hire a Ghostwriter to write lyrics for the singer to launch him. Though in the album they may not get the credit.


6. What is Ghostwritinggoing to pay me?


  • In India, a Ghostwriter writing a book can earn up to 10 lakhs.
  • Freelancer (Ghostwriter ) In an Entertainment and Media company can earn up to 6lacs having 0-4 experience
  • Academic content writer (Ghostwriter ) can earn up to 2.5 lacs having 0-2 years of experience
  • The average salary of a Ghostwriter is 6,50000 pa.
  • Freelancers can earn 0.20 to 0.50 paisa per word (PPW) starting.
  • For fiction books, Ghostwriters are available at Rs 700 Approx /Page on an online platform. Isn’t that lucrative?


7. What is Ghostwriting market share?


Ghostwriting is about 60 %of the total content writing Industry, 40 % are Notedwriters(Recognized writers ). Now you know there is a good market for Ghostwriters Globally.


8. What is Ghostwriting scope during Covid?


I was reading an article from The Guardian which says the Ghostwriters have seen a 400% increase in inquiries coming from young adults, these young adults who have lost their parent’s or closed ones want to preserve memories in form of a memoir.


This is happening as now people are coming forward to share their real-life experiences of how they survived the Corona Virus. Apart from the regular business that Ghostwriters get, Pandemic has increased their business through the sale of Coronavirus cure /precaution books, memoirs, etc.


9. What is Ghostwriting scope post-Covid?


Globally one can expect a boom in business even after when the world gets back to normal i.e. post-Pandemic. As now you see when people become rich, affluent, successful and famous suddenly we see an urge in them to write an autobiography or a very motivational speech to address the crowd or their fans.


Celebrities, sportsmen, Politicians all need Ghostwriters to capture their emotions, tone and put them in the right words. This is never going to come to a halt, most of the celebrities and famous personalities are ready to pay a good amount to Ghostwriters for their services by sharing their life stories with the public.


10. What points are necessary to become a good Ghostwriter?


  • A good listening skill: As a ghostwriter, you must listen to your client carefully and patiently and understand what he expects you to write for him. Here you need to use your expertise and style, you have to step in your client’s shoes to understand his words and smartly deliver in a content form.

In a scenario, where your client does not know what to share with you, you can leverage your good rapport to get the facts and their experiences out from them and draft in a very detailed manner, so in the end, your client is easy about his details going public. It is good listening skills that will help you understand the minute details and comfortably present them to your client.


  • Patience: It is necessary to have patient once you are in this field. You may have very little work i.e. very fewer clients or too much work to handle, but this should not be an excuse to lose control over things and your clients, your temperament is very important. The client may ask you to make changes at the time of submission, may cancel the appointment, or may even keep you waiting, but all need to be tackled smartly with patience.


  • Creative and Authentic content: If you are writing on facts and figures or anything except fiction ensure your content is authentic. There should be no plagiarism in your content, this is a very crucial and sensitive area. Plagiarized content earns a bad name. Always be creative and clean while ghostwriting, it pays off well in long run.


  • Having a portfolio: – It is necessary as per the market requirement to have your work ready to present it to your potential client


  • You should have multiple contents written to show your client, this builds your image and increases your chances of getting selected. Writing a book is one of the best pieces of content that you can showcase. There are many free blogging sites where you can start blogging and sharing your article like Quora, Medium, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress, Ghost, blogger. By using this as a platform you can create a good portfolio for yourself and increase your visibility among employers.


  • Self-improvement and Acceptance: You must keep improving your writing style and tone every time you write, Many a time you will face lots of criticism, But do not get bogged down by such criticism. Criticism is part and parcel of Ghostwriters’ job role, just like success and failure are two sides of a coin. Criticism may come from outside or even from your client. Improve your work by understanding the depth of your client’s requirements. Once you get comfortable with that you will grow.


  • Be Responsible: A ghostwriter needs to take the responsibility for this work like completing work before the deadline, responding to their client’s emails, messages, calls on time. Being honest and not hiding anything from their employers, following ethics- not charging unreasonable prices.


11. What are the pros and cons of Ghostwriting?


Pros: –


  • The client gets an expert and professional writer for his content, which also saves his time and effort. Excellent writing style, tone, expert knowledge, in-depth researched data are all delivered in the content and presented to the public as per market standard.


  • The purpose of hiring ghostwriters is advantageous because they have knowledge and expertise in writing any subject expected out of them. This is not possible for people like celebrities’ politicians, Authors, etc. to write for themselves


  • It creates an amazing job opportunity to freelance at the initial stage of the career, an opportunity to work with the best people, after this the ghostwriter with his creative writing skills will continue to climb the success ladder.


Cons: –


  • The Ghostwriter does not get credit for his work; he will always remain invisible to the public. He will always be considered as a consultant or advisor but will not get full credit openly.


  • For the client, they will not be seen as an expert in this field for the reason that they had hired a Ghostwriter, though it is common to hire one, it harms the potential of the Author. Even though the ghostwriter is kept confidential, but if somehow it gets revealed it can have a bad impact on the overall project.


  • Ghostwriter gets a fixed amount of money for his work, even if the Books sells millions of copies worldwide.


12. How does the collaboration between Ghostwriter and his client start?


The process of hiring a ghostwriter is very important for the client and the writer as well. Here we will see the step-wise process:-


  • Meeting: Fixing up a meeting and coming directly face to face is the best way you can connect. Though in pandemic connecting through Zoom meeting, Microsoft meeting is the solution.


  • Agreement: Once the ghostwriter and the Author meet then they signup a contract to protect their right and state what is expected out of each other, once they agree with each other’s terms and conditions then it becomes a legal full-fledged contract.


  • Outline of the content: By taking an interview and by making a note of the idea that the author has in mind the ghostwriter outlines the subject.


  • Working on the content: After understanding what the author wants ghostwriter elaborates by using his creativity. The outline is thoroughly studied and expanded and presented in a detailed document.


  • Writing the content: Once his client likes his content, creativity, and idea then he gives a go-ahead to the writer and he executes by actually writing it in the desired format


  • Final editing and publishing: This is the last stage of final approval from his client to know if any alternation or editing is required after this it is given for printing and publishing if it is a book and for publishing for other web contents.


13. How can Ghostwriter find new clients?


In today’s world, it is important to be the best, getting famous is all that people dream of. So, letting our work speak is what we need to focus on.


  • Referrals: Getting referred by your client is something that will be very helpful for you throughout your career, client doesn’t have to directly be the person you have ghostwritten for even publisher, editor reference is very helpful


  • Getting registered on freelance Job portals: You can register on-site like:
  • Freelancer.com,
  • worknhire.com,
  • fiverr.com,
  • Elance.com,
  • Upwork.com and get noticed as an available freelancer.


  • Portfolio: As stated above a portfolio is very important for a Ghostwriter. He can showcase his different writing styles- Blogs, Press releases, conversational blogs, articles, books, informative articles to his potential client.


  • Ghostwriters can share their content via LinkedIn, Social media handles, WhatsApp links, etc to attract clients.


  • Mirror effect: Once you have a potential client then while having a conversation with the client via phone, email or message try to mirror your client by using the same tone and style. For e.g, if your client ends the conversation with the word “Thanks” try not to write “Yours Faithfully”. By using the same word as “Thanks” you build an image and a good rapport with your client which shows you communicate just like they do, and this is where you can win the race.


14. What are Ghostwriting Essential Documents?


An agreement contract is the most essential document. It is a Contract between the Writer and the Author to write on his behalf, especially in the case of Books. It is an agreement that the original writer will not get credit for the same.


The Contract price with Ghostwriters is negotiated on an individual basis, meaning it depends on the total experience and expertise the Ghostwriter may have. It protects the rights of the original writer to receive full payments and protects the right of the Author to get full credit for the content.


15. What are the highlights of Ghostwriting Contract?


Preparing a Ghostwriting contract is very important, all important points must be covered in the agreement between the Ghostwriter and his client. Below are the Important point that a valid contract must have: –


  1. Disclosing the Parties: The very first step is to list the parties who enter the contract. The name of the client has to be specified as “the client”, and the “name of the writer” as the ghostwriter.
  2. About the role: The contract should specify the exact role of the ghostwriter e.g. what he is expected to write Book, memoir, articles, etc. The number of pages, the tentative title of the book, that the content is subject to change by either party on mutual agreement. The client will provide all the relevant information on a time-to-time basis, the client will meet or connect with the ghostwriter and give him feedback from time to time.
  3. Deadline: Specify deadline [Date/Month/Year] for completing the project, deadline to submit the final project for review and editing. The final date of approval from the client e.g., 10 -15 days. This avoids delays and miscommunication during the project.
  4. Compensation and credit benefits if any:- While negotiating ghostwriting fees it is important that a few factors are taken into consideration like the length of the project, type of content, how fast the client needs it to be completed (priority ), amount to be paid, method of payment, Percentage of advance payment.
  5.  Confidentiality: It is important to keep the name of the original writer -Ghostwriter as confidential as the entire purpose of hiring a writer is because the Client is not able to do the writing by himself. The ghostwriter here agrees to keep the project confidential from the third party.
  1. Clause to terminate the contract: This clause empowers both the party to terminate the contract lawfully at any time where there is a situation like it is inconvenient to work together due to lack of time or when there is a difference of opinion between the two parties.
  2. Signature: Once the ghostwriter and the client complete drafting the contract they must sign the contract and mention the date of entering the contract.


A career in Ghostwriting is very creative, If you want extra income you can work as a freelance ghostwriter parallelly with your current job role. Most of the ghostwriters are the ones who are passionate about writing and later on they end up taking it as a full-time job.


Now that you know what is Ghostwriting and what is Ghostwriting going to do for you in your career please share this knowledge with others also.


PGDM- Marketing and Finance from Mumbai having experience in Supply chain - Export Pricing with knowledge of 2 major products- Ocean & Air pricing ,with Level 1 SAP knowledge in Logistics department in EPC Company, I am doing Internship from IIM SKILLS in Content writing , I like Blogging and writing articles through which I sharing my knowledge with others.
  • Ghostwriting is the process of making copies under a pseudonym. For example, you may be hired as a freelancer to write blog posts that will be published in the name of your marketing director. Basically, a Ghostwriting is when someone has a caption for an article you write.

  • When someone contributes to the creation of content without receiving credit for it, this is known as ghostwriting. They don’t get a byline or author credit; in fact, the author of the content is frequently someone else’s name.

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