How to be a Ghostwriter in 2022? A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

In this post we are going to know about How to Be a Ghostwriter.

The ghostwriting industry is booming.

Several pretty big celebrities have hired ghostwriters to write for them, making their income quite substantial.

Leslie Nielsen, Denzel Washington, Serena Williams and Terry Bradshaw are among the celebrities who have published best sellers with ghostwriters, one experienced freelance ghostwriter told NPR in 2014.

Ghostwriting - How to be a Ghostwriter

In any case, it isn’t only books. They also write articles for magazines, analysis reports, and scripts for videos.

A ghostwriter can be a fiction writer, a non-fiction writer, or a versatile wordsmith able to switch from one to another at will.

A ghostwriter may specialize in a specific industry, topic, or genre. Others specialize in many different subjects and take on projects in many different areas.

Ghostwriters get to choose the gigs and clients they work with, assuming they prove their value and are hired.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a best-selling author. Experience in professional writing is helpful, but you should aim to develop the skills that will enable you to turn in quality work.

Here are some things you need to know if you’re interested in becoming a ghostwriter.

Why get into Ghostwriting?

Skilled writers may find ghostwriting to be a lucrative option. Ghostwriters typically earn an hourly rate of $48.94, while the high end is closer to $72 per hour according to PayScale.

According to Career Trend, an experienced ghostwriter can earn on average $20,000 per project and a novice can earn $5,000.

As a general rule, it depends upon the project, the client, and the freelancer. In general, however, ghostwriting tends to pay significantly more than comparable bylined work.

It serves as compensation for not being able to add the piece to your portfolio. (Having a byline identifies you as the author.) Once you have submitted the article, it belongs to the client.

Some writers who are used to bylines may find this aspect challenging at first, however professional ghostwriters find it liberating.

Creating a piece from scratch and seeing it through to publication is satisfying, and you can then move on to the next thing on your plate.

Authors who ghostwrite do not have to deal with marketing, interviews, book tours, or any of the trappings of publishing. Their focus is strictly on the writing process.

It is possible to earn a living as a ghostwriter if you possess the right skills. Here are six skills required to become a successful ghostwriter.

How to Be a Ghostwriter in 2022

There are six steps in total, so buckle up and let’s go.

1. Versatility

In ghostwriting, the name of another person appears on your work. As a writer, it is your job to assume the style and knowledge of the individual you are writing for.

The writing must be written in their style and voice, and it must be done well enough to prevent the reader from being able to tell that it is not their writing.

When you have only ever written under your own name, it can be challenging, especially if you have developed a distinctive voice and style.

Ghostwriting requires you to learn and mimic the manner in which your client would express himself, both generally as well as in this particular format.

Practice adopting the writing style of other authors if you have never previously ghostwritten. 

Pick your favorite nonfiction author and compose a few paragraphs in their voice and on a topic you think they may cover. Consider ghostwriting an article for your favorite blog. Your literary chameleon abilities will develop with time.

2. Creativity

As a ghostwriter, you need to be both creative and inventive, even though you write on demand.

Clients seek ghostwriting services when they have an idea for a book or article, but do not possess the skills to develop it into something that will appeal to others.

Therefore, you, as a ghostwriter, are responsible for creating interpretations, arguments, chapter ideas, and so on.

If you are ghostwriting fiction, your client might give you character, plot, and setting ideas, but they might also give you just a premise.

You should be prepared to generate many ideas. Please do not become too attached to the project, as your client may decide to change their mind. In this case, you will need to start all over again.

3. Flexibility 

The client is the one who hires you as a ghostwriter. For many bylined authors, especially those who tend to enjoy a lot of artistic freedom, it’s a challenge to adopt that mindset.

Ghostwriters serve as vessels for clients’ ideas. There is no doubt that you must come up with a lot of ideas and create a lot of work, but the decision is ultimately up to your client.

It is your responsibility to make sure the flow, the order of chapters, or the whole argument makes sense.

Time management will also require some flexibility on your part. The client may not be available when you need to speak with them or ask for a resource. Their timeline will dictate when you get your material.

A workflow cannot become so stifled that your progress halts while you wait. In the meantime, you may have to work on other chapters or work on a different client’s project.

4. Organization

Some clients arrive with an in-depth project plan and research resources for each chapter. However, most won’t.

There will be clients who will provide you with broad ideas a desired word count for for a book or article, but leave the rest up to you.

Developing an approach, creating a structure, and writing content on your own is imperative to success. Many clients prefer to be completely hands-off, but they may offer suggestions or feedback. You have to complete the project.

A full-length book requires more organization than blogs, articles, and other short-form content. Whenever you take on a longer assignment, keep these things in mind:

  • Put it in a folder.
  • Create subfolders for each chapter or section.
  • Your first draft will be based on your research and notes in those folders.

5. Research

It is almost always necessary for ghostwriters to conduct background research. At least some of the background material for ghostwriting comes from the client.

 You will often be requested to provide statistics or references to current research on a particular topic, and you will need to locate those facts.

You should know where to find accurate and up-to-date information on the topics that people will pay you to write about.

For academic research, Google Scholar is an excellent starting point, and Statista is an excellent source for statistics.

Ability to delve deeply into the material and determine where it originated. Prepare yourself to trace a statistic back to its original source if you find one you wish to use. Data can appear from nowhere sometimes.

The old joke goes that 80% of all statistics are false.

If you trust your reputation with your clients, you would not want to compromise it by stating an unverified fact. (This statistic is also made up, but you will find it cited in several articles online.)

6. Confidence 

In order to develop a reputation, a freelance ghostwriter must also be willing to hustle a little. In order to offer your services, often to individuals who are highly successful in their fields, you must have sufficient faith in your capabilities.

Additionally, since many of your clients will not want you to disclose their names, you will need to gain their trust.

If you could shake Warren Buffett’s hand, introduce yourself as a ghostwriter, and offer to write his next book, would that be of interest to you? Then you possess the chutzpah necessary to become a ghostwriter.

Quick Links:

Conclusion: How to Be a Ghostwriter in 2022 ?

It isn’t for those who are frightened of heights. It’s okay to devote weeks or even months to a project that you’ll never be able to claim. In exchange, you receive a good salary and the chance to work with some interesting people.

Even if you aren’t an expert in your field, you should be able to write on a variety of topics, regardless of your expertise.

You must be disciplined, organized, and self-driven, while staying flexible and adaptable to the needs of your clients.

Despite the competitive nature of the job market, there’s plenty of work out there. The possibilities of ghostwriting have grown since 2014, when one estimate suggested that 60% of bestsellers were ghostwritten.

Interested in getting started? When you’re already freelancing, ask your clients for recommendations of ghostwriters.

To gain experience, try ghostwriting for your favorite blogger while you’re still learning. When it comes to book ghostwriting, you may want to consider self-publishing an eBook.

Sonia Allan

Sonia Allan has an excellent and surprisingly equal command over both editing and writing. She’s venerated for her flexibility, research skills, understanding of SEO, organizational skills, and communication. She keeps pace with the latest writing trends and she’s known for her patience exhibiting formidable editing skills. Debut writings may not be perfect. She is known for her intense proofreading and editing capacity that makes her the cornerstone of AffiliateBay.

Leave a Comment