Welcome back to the Changing Careers Series! On each episode, I’m going to handle a different freelance career: A profession typically performed by people who have their own business, and work from home – or anywhere else. This week is all about ghostwriters. Let’s get started!
What does a ghostwriter do?
A ghostwriter is a – usually freelance – writer who creates different types of content for other people: posts for blogs, articles for digital press or websites, speeches for politicians or conference speakers, just to name a few.
They’re called ghostwriters because they’re not supposed to be seen: These texts’ official author isn’t the actual writer, but the person or company who commissions the ghostwriter to create the content.
Why would someone want to become a ghostwriter instead of publishing their own work?
One of the main disadvantages of being a ghostwriter is that nobody knows your work. At least not under your name. So, if you want to show your portfolio to a new potential customer, it’s going to be a bit harder than if you were writing your own book or if you had your own blog, for instance.
However, being a ghostwriter has many pros, especially for introverts or for people who don’t want to get known by large audiences:
Pros of being a ghostwriter
- You may love writing anonymously, and that is exactly what ghostwriting requires – If you don’t want to go public and keep your anonymity, this is for you!
- There’s also no need to create an audience for you. That’s something the person or company who assigned you with the writing job should take care of.
- As you don’t have to wait to create an audience or to sell anything, ghostwriting or freelance writing, in general, is probably one of the quickest ways of making money writing: You won’t have to create an online space to publish your content, such as a blog or a website.
- You’ll save marketing and sales efforts to sell your printed or online content. Once you’ve completed and delivered your project, you’ll be done! There’s no trying to convince others to read or buy anything.
- Also, you won’t need any specific business model other than searching for customers, as any other freelance writer would do.
- You won’t need to choose a niche to start writing. Nevertheless, specializing in a specific set of text fields is going to be beneficial both for your writing speed and to find new customers, as they will typically search for specialized writers, especially if they work in the technical or scientific field.
- Bloggers or website owners who need to attract readers have to create weekly original content. This is something you don’t have to do either, as you’ll typically have project-based writing jobs, that is, you’ll know what you have to write about, without having to come up with new ideas every week.
- Guaranteed income is also one of the most important assets for ghostwriters: When bloggers or podcasters create content online, they don’t necessarily earn money immediately. However, as a ghostwriter, you’ll earn money for every piece of text that you create.
How can I work as a ghostwriter if I have no experience?
As we saw before, showing off your work is going to be more difficult for ghostwriters than for freelance writers, but there are a couple of tricks to find customers even without experience. You have two main options:
- Writing guest posts. This means that you’d be publishing content on other people’s blogs. The downside for this option is that you’d be doing it for free. However, the good thing is that you wouldn’t have to own any website to publish your writing pieces.
- Starting your own blog. Although this might seem too much work just to find new customers, think of blogging this way:
- A blog can be a place for you to write about anything you want. You could write about any fields you specialize in, just random posts you can use as a portfolio for potential customers.
- Publishing weekly content on your blog is the best way to practice writing while you get actual customers. And who knows? You may get addicted to it 😉
Let me know your thoughts about freelancing as a ghostwriter. Do you have any questions you’d like me to address? Go for it and leave a comment below!
Other posts in this series: