Ghostwriting 101: How to Get Paid Big Bucks As a Ghostwriter

Ghostwriting 101: The Must-Read Ghostwriter Primer for 2019

You want to make money as a writer, right?

You’ve told everyone on Facebook (including your weird aunt) that you’re available to write. You’ve been writing guest post after guest post to showcase your talent and get your name out there. Maybe you’ve even landed a few online writing jobs already. (Good for you!)

But then a potential client emails you with the question, “Do you offer ghostwriting services?”

And you’re stumped.

Maybe you’ve heard of ghostwriting. Maybe you have some idea what a ghostwriter is. Or maybe you wonder if it involves ouija boards in some way.

You don’t want to look like an idiot by emailing back to say, “Err… what do you mean?”

That sounds like a good way to send your potential client running for the hills.

But don’t worry — I’m about to tell you everything you need to know about ghostwriting, starting with…

What IS Ghostwriting?

You might already have some hazy ideas about ghostwriting. When I first heard of ghostwriting, I thought it was just used for celebrity memoirs.

It turns out memoirs are just the tip of the iceberg. Ghostwriting is everywhere — from independent authors using Amazon’s Kindle book publishing to popular bloggers using WordPress.

So what is it?

When you ghostwrite, you let someone else put their name on your work. That is, you don’t get any credit — at all.

Typically, the person who commissions the work will own the copyright, which also means they can modify or republish the work in any way they see fit.

So why would someone hire a professional ghostwriter? Are they too lazy to write their own book or come up with original work or ideas?

Not necessarily. People hire ghostwriters for many different reasons, but the most common ones are:

  • Their business has grown so much that they no longer have time to write (all) their own material.
  • They have a wealth of expertise or an exciting story to tell, but they don’t enjoy writing or they’re not very good at it.

It’s nothing new, either: ghostwriting has been around, in one form or another, for centuries.

To give you a better idea what being a ghostwriter may involve, my own ghostwriting has included:

  • Taking a rough draft, editing it heavily, and expanding on it where necessary.
  • Taking a blogger’s rough notes and transcribing them.
  • Putting together short, functional blog posts (e.g., announcing a new writing podcast).
  • Taking an assigned topic and very brief outline, then writing a post in the client’s voice and writing style.
  • Writing a post based on a title and nothing more.
  • Coming up with ideas, getting them approved, then ghostwriting the posts (though this is rare!).

As you can see, ghostwriting has a spectrum from something akin to an editing relationship to writing a piece from scratch.

And it’s growing in popularity.

The demand for high-quality ghostwriters is so high it’s now taught in schools — California State University, Long Beach offers a Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program led by Claudia Suzanne.

Of course, I’ve only ghostwritten for blogs.

Authors like Roz Morris and others have written whole books (nonfiction books, New York Times’ bestsellers, etc.) as ghostwriters, which is a far more involved process that includes extensive interviews with the client.

But Why Would You Let Someone Else Take Credit for YOUR Writing?

Assuming you want to build up your own brand as a professional writer, why would you want to be a ghostwriter?

After all, you won’t get any of the credit. Your name won’t appear anywhere on the piece, and you probably can’t tell anyone you wrote it.

So why do so many writers ghostwrite, and why do so many love it?

Well, because there are major benefits:

Benefit #1: Being a Ghostwriter Pays Exceptionally Well


One huge reason to get into the ghostwriting business is money. Ghostwriting tends to pay better than regular freelancing.

After all, having your name attached to your words is valuable for you as a writer. When you have a byline, you can use that piece of work to showcase your talent, build your reputation, and potentially attract new clients.

So it’s appropriate (and standard practice) to increase your hourly rate to compensate for the loss of these advantages.

There’s no exact rule of thumb for how much extra you should charge for ghostwriting over regular freelancing. Personally, I tend to increase my fee by about 15%–20%.

On top of that, once you’ve established a ghostwriting relationship with someone, it often results in ongoing work for you. Most people want their writing to be consistent, so it makes sense to stick with the same writer.

In other words, you have consistent work at a higher rate than usual. That’s quite a plus, isn’t it?

Benefit #2: Ghostwriting Lets You Develop Closer Relationships with Big Names in Your Field


As a ghostwriter, you’ll normally work quite closely with your client. You may be privy to their rough notes or mind maps, or you might interview them on the phone or in person.

Chances are, you’re also focusing your ghostwriting on a particular area of expertise (especially if you’re writing for a blog).

This means you’ve got a brilliant opportunity to get to know and be affiliated with someone well-established in your field.

You’ll find that you get valuable insights into the “behind the scenes” of a top blog, or you get a clearer idea of how a big-name author works and thinks.

This may be eye-opening! It could give you some ideas for how best to move forward with your own business when you start your own blog.

And as you build up closer relationships, or even friendships, with your client, they might share your other work on social media, bringing you a lot of extra traffic. (Several of the people I ghostwrite for have supported me in that way.)

If you ever need a favor or need some advice, there’s a good chance they’ll be very happy to help.

So much of blogging success depends on getting a helping hand from other bloggers — particularly those with a large audience and a great reputation in their field.

Ghostwriting brings you into close contact with exactly those people.

The Counterpoint: Why You Might NOT Want to Be a Ghostwriter

There are a couple of big concerns that writers have about ghostwriting:

“But surely that’s not ethical?”

“But why should they benefit from my hard work?”

“But what about building my platform?”

These are real, valid concerns. And for you, they may be deal-breakers.

So let’s dig into them.

Objection #1: “When You’re a Ghostwriter, You’re Helping Someone Fool Their Readers — That’s Unethical”


When you’re a ghostwriter for someone, they pass your words off as their own.

Which begs the question…

Is ghostwriting ethical?

The authors who hire ghostwriters certainly think it is! But not all writers or readers agree. Many feel that some types of ghostwriting are more ethical than others.

For instance, think about these two scenarios, which are on opposite ends of the ghostwriting spectrum:

  1. A big-name blogger hires a ghostwriter to write an e-book on their behalf. The blogger talks to the ghostwriter for an hour and provides a detailed outline. Once the e-book is complete, the big-name blogger reads it, edits it, and puts his or her name on it.
  2. A big-name blogger hires a ghostwriter to write an e-book on their behalf. They give the ghostwriter free rein to come up with the topic and outline, and they don’t supply any help. When it’s done, the blogger puts his or her name on it without giving it a second look.

Personally, as a reader, I’d feel comfortable with situation #1. The thoughts in the e-book belong to the blogger, but the ghostwriter has helped shape them.

Situation #2, however, seems a lot thornier. As a reader, I’d feel cheated by that.

I’m buying the e-book because I want the blogger’s expertise — not that of a ghostwriter I don’t know.

If you’re thinking of ghostwriting, you have to make up your own mind about what is — and isn’t — ethical. Where would you personally draw the line as a ghostwriter, if at all?

For more thoughts on the rights and wrongs of ghostwriting, check out Patty Podnar’s post Is Ghostwriting Ethical?

Also, Amanda Montell’s Your Favorite Influencers Aren’t Writing Their Own Content—These Women Are is quite eye-opening about some of the less ethical practices in the ghostwriting world.

Objection #2: “It’s Too Painful Watching Someone Else Get Praised for YOUR Work”


It may sound silly, but not getting recognition for your writing can be quite painful — unbearable to some.

I have to admit that, as a writer, it can sometimes sting a little to see a blogger receive lots of lovely praise for a post that I wrote every word of. And I’m not alone; many writers find themselves missing the attention and craving the recognition.

It’s no fun watching someone bask in glory that should be yours.

But think of it this way: All that praise is a sign you did a great job. You can be proud of that, and you can feel confident you’ll get hired again!

Also, as ghostwriter Roz Morris points out in an interview with whitefox, it’s not just ghostwriters who go unnoticed by readers:

There are many unsung heroes in the creative industries, and ghostwriters are only one of them. Editors can also make a huge difference to [book writing] and are rarely credited.

So, if you can’t stand watching someone else take the praise, that’s okay. Many writers feel that way. But maybe we should also keep things in perspective.

Objection #3: “Ghostwriting Keeps You from Building Your Platform”


Even if you’re okay with someone else getting the praise, you may still oppose the idea of letting them take credit.

Some writers feel that, to become a successful freelance writer, you need to take credit for every powerful word you write and create an impressive body of work with your name on it. They believe that ghostwriting is essentially a waste of time.

After all, when you’ve got a bio (or at least your name) on every blog post you write, each of those posts helps raise your profile. You’ll be bringing in new readers and potentially new clients through your work — without any additional marketing.

This is essentially the argument that Demian Farnworth puts forward in The Brutally Honest Truth About Ghostwriting:

The first thing every writer should ask is this: What do you want to accomplish as a writer? Is building a personal and visible platform important to you? Will it help you in the long run? If you have to ghostwrite to make ends meet, fine. But beat a hasty path out of the business as soon as possible. It’s your turn to run the show.

I certainly think it’s worth putting some serious thought into how best to make ghostwriting work for you. It might be that you want to solely focus on your own platform (heck, you might even hire ghostwriters of your own, some day down the line!).

But there’s no shame in taking ghostwriting jobs to generate a steady income while you build your platform. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can do both at the same time.

Ghostwriting takes some focus away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.

By the way: We’ve created a handy visual summarizing this post that you can share and embed on your own site. Check out the image below (click to see a larger view):

Ghostwriting 101: The Must-Read Ghostwriter Primer for 2019

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How to Become a Ghostwriter

If you’ve been nodding your head while reading this post, you’re probably wondering…

“Okay, but how do I become a ghostwriter?”

Answer:

The same way you become a freelance writer.

Here are the keys:

#1. Build Your Content Creation Skills


If you want to be a ghostwriter, you have to learn how to create quality content. What’s this mean? It means:

  • Mastering content frameworks
  • Learning how to write solid headlines
  • Knowing how to support your points with examples
  • Keeping your readers emotionally engaged

…and more.

Nothing will impact your ability to earn real, tangible income as a ghostwriter more than your ability to create amazing content.

So, if you don’t know how, learn.

Further Reading: Check out our resource How to Write a Blog Post – The Ultimate Guide. Once you’ve mastered the basics, read Evergreen Content 2.0: Timeless Posts People Will Actually Remember.

#2. Learn the Ins and Outs of SEO


If you can create content that will rank on Google, clients will pay you.

Happily.

Heck, they’ll throw money at you.

So how can you help your content rank on Google? By learning all you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and applying what you learn to the content you create.

Further Reading: Don’t know SEO? Brian Dean has a great guide that will help you learn the basics of SEO fast.

#3. Build an Awesome Portfolio of Sample Content


Ideally, you’ll have three levels of portfolios:

  1. A portfolio that shows you know how to write,
  2. a portfolio that shows you’re a subject matter expert of a given topic,
  3. and a portfolio that shows documented success for clients.

But when you’re just starting out, you need to focus on the first level:

A writing portfolio that proves you know how to create a decent piece of content.

If you don’t already have your own blog or website, create an account on a free blogging platform like Medium.

Two or three writing samples are enough, and you can get started right away.

#4. Find Your First Paying Client


In the early days, finding those first few clients will be difficult.

Even with solid content creation and writing skills, SEO know-how, and a great portfolio proving you know how to write, finding paying clients without word of mouth and referrals won’t be easy.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Keep checking job agency postings.
  2. Pitch to software company blogs like HubSpot, Sumo, and Ahrefs.
  3. Do as much self-promotion as you can, including mentioning your ghostwriting service in the byline of your blog or Medium posts.

It’ll be a slow process at first, but once you get those first few clients you’ll be set. Do a great job, make your clients happy, and referrals will happen.

Further Reading: Bookmark this giant list of content marketing agencies. It’ll come in handy.

Ghostwriting 101: A Quick Recap

We’ve covered a lot, so let’s review:

What Is Ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting is when a writer (“ghostwriter”) is hired to create a piece of content for a company or individual, who will then publish the work as their own.
Do Ghostwriters Get Credit for Their Work?
Ghostwriters are paid to let someone else put their name on their work — they do not receive any credit, and they usually cannot tell anyone they wrote it.
Why Do People Hire Ghostwriters?
There are numerous reasons why someone would want to hire a ghostwriter, but two big reasons are time restraints and a lack of desire (or ability).

Regardless of their reason, parties who choose to hire ghostwriters do so because it’s advantageous. (They’re getting something out of it, in other words!)

What Are the Benefits of Being a Ghostwriter?

There are two huge benefits to ghostwriting:

  1. Exceptional pay, and
  2. business relationships.

Because they miss out on auxiliary perks like bylines and having their name attached to the content, ghostwriters are usually well compensated.

Also, ghostwriting brings ghostwriters into close contact with bloggers, authors, and influencers with large audiences. These connections can sometimes be worth more than the commission itself.

How Much Do Ghostwriters Make?
It varies from writer to writer, but an increased fee of 15% or more from their standard freelancer rate is reasonable when ghostwriting.
What Are the Typical Objections to Ghostwriting?
Those who throw shade at ghostwriting typically do so for one of three reasons:

  1. Ethical concerns,
  2. not wanting to see someone else get credit for their work, and
  3. the worry ghostwriting will keep the writer from building up his or her own platform.

We’ve covered each of these objections in detail. Whether any of them are deal-breakers is up to you.

How to Become a Ghostwriter
The process is very similar to the one for becoming a regular freelance writer:

  1. Build Your Content Creation Skills
  2. Learn the Ins and Outs of SEO
  3. Build an Awesome Portfolio of Sample Content
  4. Find Your First Paying Client

In short:

  1. Learn how to create awesome content,
  2. learn the ins and outs of SEO so the content you produce can rank on Google,
  3. create a portfolio of 2 or 3 posts that prove you’re a good writer, and
  4. pound the pavement so you can secure those first few paying clients.

This post is part of Smart Blogger's

Freelance Writing Hub

From elevating your writing skills to getting paid to write, learn everything you need to know about freelancing.

Will You Give Ghostwriting a Try?

Ultimately, ghostwriting can be a little divisive.

Some writers feel — passionately — that readers deserve to know exactly who wrote the words they’re reading. Others feel building your platform is too important to let someone else take credit.

But ghostwriting is a good way to make money as a writer — whether you’re working full-time on various ghostwriting projects, or part-time with the occasional ghostwriting client.

And it doesn’t mean your platform is off the table. You can be a ghostwriter and have a writing career under your own name. Many writers, including me, simply use ghostwriting as a way to supplement or support their writing passions.

Personally, I think it’s worth it.

Only you can decide whether it’s right for you.

Ali Luke

Ali Luke

Ali Luke pops up on blogs all over the web, but her home base is Aliventures, where you’ll find her weekly posts about the art, craft and business of writing.

74 thoughts on “Ghostwriting 101: How to Get Paid Big Bucks As a Ghostwriter”

  1. Ghostwriting is a great way to write content as a masked writer and test the waters to see what works and what doesn’t. Good thing about ghostwriting is having the grand ability to build secret relationships and fine tune your writing along the way. It also shows you up close and personal Robin Leach style what particular style of your ghostwriting gets more shares on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and discussed in YouTube videos. If blogging and ghostwriting is the only way to maintain job security in todays world of uncertain, then I want to work at writing 7 days a week. 🙂

      1. Carolyn, there’s no single standard — like any kind of freelancing, different writers will have different rates based on their experience, how much they need the work, etc. You can have an hourly rate and translate that into a per word rate if you know approximately how many words you can write per hour. 🙂 If it’s any help, I bill $60 – $75/hour, usually on the higher end of that for ghostwriting and the lower end for freelancing. (I’ll also adjust based on whether it’s ongoing work or not, how much I’ll enjoy the gig, etc… I don’t think pricing is a very exact science!)

    1. The good thing about ghost writing is that it helps the person to maintain secret relations with the virtual environment and to build a wall from the othe public environment. I am really excited about this post as it gives a lot of information about ghost writing.

  2. I’m a small blogger and funny enough I have been considering hiring a ghost writer to write a page on a topic that I’m not as familiar with. I’ve also considered doing ghostwriting work. In a way I have helped in this area. I’ve written sales pages and marketing material for other brands. Great article 👍

  3. I made a living of ghostwriting and ghost-blogging for roughly a decade. It’s not a bad way of life once you get into it. I’m grateful that it happened – but eventually I got tired of trading time for money.

    1. I think a lot of writers (me included!) use it either as a stepping stone to something else or a way to generate a steady income while working on more entrepreneurial projects. Sounds like it worked for you at the time, and you moved on without regrets — that’s great. 🙂

      1. Hi Ali!
        I need to start a project and I need someone who would write content for (not blog posts but content according to the offer),how can I get in touch with you?
        Thank you!

  4. Jess Campbell

    Great info, Ali – thanks! I have been considering growing my freelance biz to include ghostwriting but am not exactly sure how to start (other than Roz’s course, as mentioned). How did you get started ghostwriting? Any tips or links to other articles would be lovely. Thanks again for this! 🙂

    1. Thanks Jess! I stumbled into it through freelancing and guest blogging connections — basically, the ghostwriting gigs I’ve had have been through people I’ve got to know in the blogging world, many of whom I met in person at conferences before getting to know them well enough to ghostwrite for them. Since you’re already freelancing, you might start by simply emailing current clients and letting them know you’re available to ghostwrite (notch your rates up for it a bit) — even if they don’t need/want a ghostwriter right now, they may know someone who does. Good luck! 🙂

  5. Hi Ali, great timing! I’m about to ghostwrite a memoir. The whole project is being held up by the client’s lawyer, who’s putting together a contract that I’m already so stressed out about as it seems that what we orally agreed upon is not what they’ve come up with! I’m headed to a meeting on Monday to sign the deal, but I’m worried about the outcome! Any advice on how to make sure the contract works for ME??? Thanks so much!

    1. Oh no, Patti, that sounds like a horrible situation to be in! I’ve been lucky that all my ghostwriting assignments have been very straightforward, and mostly quite short (blog posts). Are you a member of any writing/business organisations or unions that could advise? I belong to the Alliance of Independent Authors which is great for stuff like this.

      Sorry not to be more help — I really feel for you and hope you can get what you want out of the contract. If it’s any help, my usual rule of thumb in negotiations is to have an (unspoken!) line on what’s my “ditch the project” rate / conditions — e.g. “if they won’t pay as much as $X….” But I realise you’re probably in a position where you really don’t want to lose the work. 🙁

  6. I’ve been ghostwriting for a few years. Doing so earns me retirement income and hones my skills. I enjoy researching and writing about topics I know little to nothing about and seeing them published as blog posts. I often wish I could claim credit, if only to earn more writing work. Is there a way to do that?

    1. You could potentially ask the people you write for if you could include the pieces in a portfolio (either on your website or one you send out on request) — but they may not be willing! A lot of people are quite cagey about using ghostwriters and of course you’ll want to respect their wishes. Could you look for some regular freelancing positions too, or ask if your ghostwriting clients would be interested in having you write an occasional piece under your own name? Best of luck!

  7. If anyone sees this and is a ghostwriter, I am interested in speaking with you. My project resembles scenario #1 above…”The creator talks to the ghostwriter for an hour and provides a detailed outline.” I have the framework and 30+ previously created “posts” as a content platform to start. I am not a “big time blogger”. I was the President/Co-Owner of a company from 1997-2017 and currently run two businesses so time is why I am interested. Welcoming to any interested people who may be looking to ghostwrite.

    1. Hi Chris,

      I have been writing contents for others all the while through some writing resource platforms, although I am able to squeeze a few with y byline in my blogs. I am interested to explore the opportunity you cited in your entry.

      1. I am a good writer. I have numerous articles published in my local newspaper. I have authored two books and am writing my third.
        I just read about ghost writing and would like to give it a try.

  8. Good insights Ali. I did some ghostwriting in the past. Loved it. I ghost wrote an Amazon best seller and also did a range of freelance writing work. OK ghostwriting work, since my name did not appear 😉 I have since moved toward promoting my eBooks and services, and more than that, guest posting and blog commenting and creating videos to help folks but GW is a fab, fun and fulfilling income stream to work.

    1. Thanks, Ryan! As you say, ghostwriting can be a great way to bring in steady income alongside other projects — and there’s definitely a balance to be struck. 🙂

  9. Hi Ali,

    It’s an amazing post on ghostwriting. Many of you may like ghostwriting because of its benefits, but I personally don’t like it much because it’s hard to find who’s the real writer of a piece of content if that’s written by a ghostwriter.

    In fact, I’d been in the field of ghostwriting before starting full-time blogging. I was enjoying the money that I was making by writing content for others in the names of my clients. But at one time, I checked that my writing was being sold one-time and I wasn’t making any recurring money from them.

    Now, I can continuously monetize my content that’s published on my own blog.

    Regards,
    SM

    1. Thanks, SM! Yes, ghostwriting can be quite divisive, and I can understand how you feel about wanting to know who’s the “real” writer. It’s great you’re successfully monetizing your own blog — good stuff! 🙂

  10. Hi Ali,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and insight on what is usually an elephant in the room. We know it’s a widespread practice, but very few admit to using ghostwriters. While I appreciate that people ghostwrite for a verity of reasonable reasons, I will find it very hard not to take credit for my work.

    Thanks for starting this overdue conversation.

    Best regards,

    Pedro

  11. Great post! Funnily enough I’d been looking into getting into Ghostwriting recently when I saw this pop up in my emails. Thanks!

  12. I have heard of ghostwriting but was not aware what exactly it means…but here I got lot of information on ghostwriting…in future if I have money I would love to hire someone for ghostwriting and use my name for publishing the article…I think to manage time in our life is very important…for that hiring writers will surely help in saving our time..!! as usual a very helpful post..!!

  13. Ghostwriting is an incredible approach to compose content as a conceal essayist and try things out to perceive what works and what doesn’t. Fortunate thing about ghostwriting is having the excellent capacity to assemble mystery connections and calibrate your written work en route. It additionally indicates you very close Robin Leach style what specific style of your ghostwriting gets more offers on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and talked about in YouTube recordings. On the off chance that blogging and ghostwriting is the best way to keep up employer stability in todays universe of questionable, at that point I need to work at composing 7 days seven days. 🙂

    1. Dina,

      You hit the nail right on the head. What works and what doesn’t. The good news is that whatever doesn’t work still brings traffic to your blog or website and may possibly yield some sales fruit in the moment of future. It’s still content but you’re striving to get it right along the way.

  14. How do I unsubscribe from getting emails that people are posting comments on here? I only wanted to sub in if someone responded to my comment. Now I’m getting an email all the time when someone comments. I’ve tried numerous times to unsubscribe but it does nothing. Please help!

  15. I love ghost-writing. I started writing as a ghost writer. It gave me the ample opportunity to learn from experts and sharpen my writing skills.

  16. Hello,
    I have started blogging myself. I am trying to find out the basic problems that my blog is having and looking for solutions. Also, I’m searching for some basic things like themes and other stuff.
    I have read your whole article, I am looking forward to getting a positive result after performing this myself.
    Can you suggest me any basic idea that I might need in the future as a new blogger?
    Thank you

    1. ProBlogger and Daily Blog Tips are both great blogs that cover all the basics … I started reading them around 2007 when I got into blogging, and both are still going strong (and of course much bigger now). Good luck with your blogging!

  17. I used to do ghostwriting few years back…I learnt a lot during those days….after reading this article I am thinking to start ghostwriting again…as usual one more great post..!!

  18. Hi Ali,

    It’s an amazing post on ghostwriting. Many of you may like ghostwriting because of its benefits, but I personally don’t like it much because it’s hard to find who’s the real writer of a piece of content if that’s written by a ghostwriter.

    1. I think that’s a very valid concern, Matheus … and one that I know other readers have too. Ghostwriting is a very common practice, but of course some writers will choose not to participate in it (either as a ghostwriter or as someone hiring a ghostwriter) and I totally respect that decision.

  19. I heard about the ghostwriting exactly not know what it is but now i come to know, thank you for the information and sharing the Experiences, having problem in dealing with the trade of the business i-TPM is a Netsuite Software with Integrated Trade Promotion Management.

  20. Seriously I once had that mentality.

    How can someone enjoy what I have written? But I discovered that it’s really going to make your name go viral especially in guest posting.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  21. Hi Ali!
    A ton of helpful tips in this article, and a very rich and complete guide on this subject!
    Very helpful, and I can now say that I know plenty about this matter:)

  22. I’ve been intrigued by the concept of ghostwriting before, but I’ve never actually done a gig as a ghostwriter. Where and how would be the best way to start a ghostwriting career? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Mandeep,

      Writing alone, whether it’s article marketing, blogging, or ghostwriting…any kind of writing gets indexed by Bing, Google, and YaHoO! search engine spiders into the SERPs. They just call the content produced different names. But all in all, content is content either way you look at things.

  23. My writing skill is not good that’s why I hire ghost writers. When you doing ghost writing you have to be little selfless. You can’t earn fame but yeah you can earn good amount of money.

  24. I like to do both to keep myself sane. Bylined writing builds my platform and, most importantly, brings me new clients without having to do outreach (including ghostwriting).

    Ghostwriting, on the other hand…makes me more money 🙂

    I do confess that seeing someone else get praised for my work does indeed sting. But I also confess that the money works as a decent salve for that sting.

  25. I do agree that ghostwriting is an excellent idea to make some money online, and I’m familiar with sites like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer. All paying top dollar for unique content. Must admit that as a writer, I do feel a little uncomfortable for someone else to own my content. But, a great method none the less.

  26. I’ve been ghostwriting for a few years. Doing so earns me retirement income and hones my skills. I enjoy researching and writing about topics I know little to nothing about and seeing them published as blog posts. I often wish I could claim credit, if only to earn more writing work. Is there a way to do that?

    1. To be honest, I don’t think there is an easy way! You could ask your clients if they’d be happy for you to use the pieces in a portfolio — it never hurts to ask. If it’s something you wrote a while ago, they may be less sensitive about it than something you wrote very recently.

  27. Lovely post that does an excellent job of summing everything up. Thank you! I’m sharing it for all those people who’ve asked me these questions.

    I’ve been a ghostwriter for a long time now, and agree with you regarding scenario #1. I see myself as the expert on writing and communication (there’s often a lot of consulting/counseling involved in the job as well) while the authors I write for are better serving those aspects of their business where their expertise is most needed.

    It can hurt a little to not have anything published with your name on it, but many of my authors are willing to at least list me as their editor or provide some form of thank you in their text. Lately, I’ve been working on building time in my schedule for my own projects.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! It’s good to hear you’re getting some acknowledgement from your authors (it sounds like you do a ton of hard work for them). Best of luck with your own projects! 🙂

  28. My writing skill is not good that’s why I hire freelance writers. When you doing ghostwriting you have to be little selfless. You can’t earn fame but yeah you can earn good amount of money.

  29. The things which you have stated is so true to facts and important to determine and consider in my work do. Thanks for sharing the blog. I had a great read. I learned and grasped so much.

  30. I also need someone to write article for my new site about product and services review. I don’t want to become a ghostwriter but need one. You article will definitely help me in this.

  31. I was definitely one of the individuals who fell into the “ghostwriting is unethical” camp. After reading your situational explanations, though, and the positive benefits of ghostwriting for a burgeoning writer, I would say I feel very differently about it. This was a great post and is a great resource for novice writers/editors.

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