Imagine being the business owner of a successful RV company that wants to get the word out about the new features the manufacturers have added to their new RV models that can boost interest in otherwise basic models. You know everything about the new features, but you do not know how to create a reader-friendly digital article that shares why the newer features are exciting and used by some of the leading RV magazines. What do you do?
Hire a ghostwriter. With recent shifts to perform jobs digitally, ghostwriters can work remote digital writing jobs anywhere. A ghostwriter will not only create terrific digital content, but their professional writing skills will land the new features into the RV industries’ magazines. As the business owner, you will never have to have written the article, the credit of the article will go to you, and your reputation is considered knowledgeable in the RV industry.
An Introduction to Digital Ghostwriting
A ghostwriter is a writer hired to produce content with the “byline” of the content going towards the person who hired them. Ghostwriters listen to what the client wants, do extensive research on the subject, and construct specialized content about the subject that is fascinating to readers.
With digital content marketing continuing to rise, business owners have digital content that they need someone to write because they may not have the time or expertise to write consistently. Writer’s Access gives an abbreviated list of types of digital content ghostwriters can write, such as blogs, social media posts, email marketing sequences, thought leadership pieces, and eBooks.
How can ghostwriters help businesses with these types of digital content?
Blogs – Business owners will hire ghostwriters to keep their blogs updated by having them write frequent and enticing articles to drive digital readers to the blog so that business owners can focus on other areas of their business.
Social Media Posting – Businesses may hire a ghostwriter for a certain length of time to keep social media posts current, engaging, and build brand recognition with an online target audience.
Email Marketing Sequences – Ghostwriters construct alluring emails to prospective customers about a company’s current promotions of products or services. The goal of the email is to get people redirected to the website or store to purchase.
Thought Leadership Pieces – Leading figures of an industry contract ghostwriters to write thought leadership pieces to make them seem insightful by having ghostwriters post articles on LinkedIn as if the client wrote the personal post or even for larger magazine companies.
EBooks – A business strategy some owners are doing to collect potential customers is by offering free eBooks to consumers via email addresses. Once the business owner has their email addresses, other ghostwriters can send frequent email marketing sequences. Business owners may not have the time or expertise to write a short eBook about their product or service and therefore contract a ghostwriter to do that for them. Business owners benefit because it does not cost money to make an eBook, ghostwriters can be expensive, but by keeping the eBook short, it is less expensive. The huge reward is having hundreds, thousands, or even millions of personal emails to send out business information in later emails.
Not only do companies seek digital ghostwriters but celebrities as well to help publish their books. A Forbes article explains there are “somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published each year in the US alone.” Many celebrities who cannot write are somehow writing autobiographies that land on the best-selling lists: the reason, ghostwriters.
A ghostwriter could work on the project by themselves or collaborate with the client hiring them for the work. The ghostwriter must adapt their writing style to match the credited author, so readers draw slight suspicion about whether the bylined author wrote the material or not. This is what gives the name “ghost” writer because you as the writer are paid to do the work and disappear like a ghost from the project once it is finalized. According to NPR, at least 60 percent of the nonfiction books published are written by ghostwriters. People may want to publish eBooks and print books, but most do not know how to write a book.
How does a writer become a ghostwriter?
Many freelance writers who have gained experience in writing hot consumer articles and have built a reputation with clients tend to switch entirely into ghostwriting or do both to maximize their income.
Many websites advertise that they can hire you as a ghostwriter but are not legitimate or underpay writers significantly. MasterClass, in a recent article, gives six tips to how to find ghostwriting work: choose the right location, build a network, ask for recommendations, perfect your craft, work on your interviewing skills, and develop your own personal style.
In a nutshell, to be a successful ghostwriter, you do not have to be in central writing locations like New York City or Los Angelos, but you should always be networking to gain contacts of people in these locations. Networking is beneficial in forwarding a ghostwriter’s career. If you make your goals as a writer known to your network (who may have an author or publisher connection), your name could be recommended to clients. If you are not socially inclined, hard work can still land you contacts by getting your writing out there under your name.
Pros of being a Ghostwriter
Flexible Hours: If you are a writer that enjoys writing content at midnight instead of bright and early, this job may be for you. It does not matter what time you feel the most productive in writing. What matters is that you manage your time to complete the project.
Remote Working: More jobs are teleworking, and ghostwriting is one of those jobs that does not require you to work from an office. A ghostwriter can easily do their job anywhere if they can send their work electronically to clients. That means ghostwriters can work from the comforts of their own home or on the other side of the world.
New Subjects: As a ghostwriter, you are asked to write on various topics of subjects in which you may not be familiar with. If you love to research topics and write about them, this could be an excellent job for you as a writer.
Upfront Payment: According to Author Bridge Media, 20 to 50% of the total cost is paid upfront to the writer. Some publishing agencies however may pay the whole deposit upfront to the writer. Pricing depends on the writer’s skill, the length of the project, and the timeline to finish the project. Ghostwriters can set their terms of the contract and how they wish to charge (by word, page, hour, etc.). Experienced ghostwriters with a well-received large portfolio can charge higher prices as opposed to someone who is not as well known or has not worked on many projects. Average ghostwriters charge $20,000 to $80,000 for a 200-to-300-page book. You as a writer gain additional income by writing royalties and bonuses in your contracts if a client makes it to the best-selling list or you have driven considerable amounts of people to their blogs.
Cons of being a Ghostwriter
No Credit: You may be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) if you wrote an eBook for a client. Meaning that under the penalty of the law, you are never to discuss or admit that you wrote that book. NPR heard from Joni Rodgers, a ghostwriter from Houston, who says, “being invisible is 1,000 times more exciting than being famous.” However, if you are someone who enjoys writing and getting recognition for the work that you have done, ghostwriting is not for you.
Job Stability: Ghostwriting can pay good to great money if you are an average to expert writer with revolving projects lined up. However, unlike a regular job, if you do not have projects to work on, you may be struggling for money until you have a project come your way.
Writing Deadlines: Ghostwriting can be freeing to choose where you write and at what time you write but the customer sets the deadlines of the project. Every project needs a deadline, but some customers need the work finished in an urgent manner to get the writing out immediately. Hindering your freedom of work/play since you will need to use more of your playtime to work long hours to get the project done. It can be unappealing for many, but if you as a writer are paid for the urgency of the work it can be worth sacrificing your time.
Ethics of Ghostwriting
In the United States, ghostwriting is a legal job that one can pursue. People who are not versed in business or writing, may see these clients who are taking the byline credit as dishonest. As digital content marketing increases with many people being online, more clients need ghostwriters to do the heavy work while they focus their attention elsewhere in their business.
An NDA is standard for ghostwriters, not just for books/eBooks but also for blog articles and social media posts. Byline authors do this because readers may not enjoy the fact that their favorite celebrity did not write something that they have read. By signing an NDA, readers are none the wiser and ghostwriters will get paid good money, because it is their job to tell that story in a way that is eloquent and as close to the byline author’s voice as possible without anyone noticing.
A type of ghostwriting that is seen as unethical is academic ghostwriting. A student will pay for a service to have a ghostwriter write a paper on a subject for their class. The reason why this is unethical (although not illegal for the ghostwriter) is because the student is plagiarizing the work of another person and passing it off as if they wrote the paper. Students can be expelled for violating academic integrity. One could argue that the previous examples are unethical, but universities have a code of conduct for students to follow why they are receiving a formal education.
Digital content on online platforms will only continue to be on the rise into the foreseeable future. Therefore, ghostwriting can be a beneficial job avenue for more experienced writers to consider pursuing. Entry level writers, however, may not have immediate success breaking into ghostwriting business. Ghostwriters are hired based on their writing experience, reputation of previous projects, and customer satisfaction. Once a writer focuses on perfecting these areas, they will have a more positive experience of finding clients and getting paid honest wages for their writing talent.