How To Become A Ghostwriter In 2023: Write & Profit

Updated: July 24, 2023

Written by Eddy Ballesteros Personal Finance & AI Expert: Learn More

Do you find joy in writing but don't particularly crave the spotlight? 

Are you a freelance writer seeking new side hustles or an established author looking for a change of pace while getting paid handsomely?

Start ghostwriting, as this could be the career path and high-income skill you've been looking for.

More and more talented writers find rewarding ghostwriting gigs and carve out successful careers behind the scenes.

The Steps To Becoming A Ghostwriter:

  • Pick A Niche
  • Get Freelance Writing Gigs
  • Build Out Your Portfolio
  • Get Clients
  • Use Social Media
  • Collect Testimonials
  • Repeat

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Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room. Many freelance writers know that finding consistent, well-paying jobs can be challenging.

Freelance writing jobs can be a love-hate relationship for many beginners looking to make money online.

You may find yourself juggling several projects simultaneously to make ends meet. Or perhaps you're an author with a passion for writing, but the thought of public scrutiny or dealing with book promotions have you running for the hills.

What if there's a path that allows you to focus solely on the writing process, the craft you genuinely love?

Imagine having a stable writing job where you're making money online leveraging AI to do what you love without the pressure of maintaining a public persona.

It sounds like a dream. But you've likely faced the frustration of not knowing where to start. You may be overwhelmed by questions.

What qualifications do you need? How do you find ghostwriting gigs? How do you navigate the unique writing challenges in someone else's voice? It's enough to make anyone hesitant to dive in.

You're not alone, and you've come to the right place.

This comprehensive guide will teach you how to become a ghostwriter and care for future clients from day one.

Drawing from firsthand experience and expertise, we will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of ghostwriting.

We will tackle everything from honing your writing skills to building your portfolio and finding your first ghostwriting project.

In this article, we'll explore the steps and strategies you can use to excel as a ghostwriter and create a fulfilling, in-demand writing career.

Understanding Ghostwriting

Before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this type of business idea, let's first understand what this is.

What Is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the practice of writing content, such as books, articles, or speeches, for someone else who takes official credit for the work.

As a ghostwriter, you remain anonymous and may not receive any public recognition for your contributions.

Ghostwriting

Your main goal is to emulate your client's voice, tone, and style and provide a well-crafted piece that engages readers and conveys the intended message.

I even work with an experienced freelance writer who helps me with most of my blog writing process. Anyone can hire ghostwriters to finish their work.

The Benefits of a Ghostwriter

When you become a ghostwriter, you can enjoy several benefits in your writing career:

  • Professional growth: Hone your writing skills by working on diverse projects and adapting to different styles and voices.
  • Establishing a network: Build strong relationships with your ghostwriting clients, which can lead to more client writing gigs or referrals.
  • Financial stability: Depending on the project, ghostwriting can offer competitive compensation compared to other types of freelance writing. You will be able to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck.
  • Less Stress: You don't need to find your own voice as you will write with the client's voice. You will be able to write freely without worrying about expressing yourself.

Types of Ghostwriting Projects

ghostwriting projects

As a ghostwriter, you might come across various projects, including:

  • Books: Start writing books (fiction or non-fiction) for clients, ranging from memoirs to self-help books, novels, and more. Ensure that the ghostwriting books you create are engaging, well-researched, and maintain the author's unique voice.
  • Articles and blog posts: Produce content for clients' websites or magazines, focusing on relevant topics and maintaining their distinctive voice and style.
  • Speeches: Craft powerful speeches for events, conferences, or political campaigns, ensuring the speaker's personality and message shine through.
  • Social media content: Design captivating posts for clients' social media platforms, ensuring the content aligns with their brand and engages their target audience.
  • Lyrics: Create powerful musical lyrics that capture the audience and express the artist's most meaningful messages.
  • Copywriting: Generate persuasive copy for websites, product descriptions, brochures, and other marketing materials to boost sales.

Throughout these ghostwriting projects, focus on understanding your clients' desired tone, voice, message, and style.

This will help you deliver a final product that meets their expectations and resonates with the intended audience for more ghostwriting success.

If you need more ideas, you can also research many job boards where companies are hiring ghostwriters.

This will give you an idea of the type of marketing or content they seek and what kind of skills they require from a ghostwriter.

The Steps To Becoming A Ghostwriter

From freelancing to blogging and becoming a professional writer, becoming a successful ghostwriter can be achieved with dedication and effort.

Here's the exact step-by-step process.

The Steps:

  • Pick A Niche
  • Get Freelance Writing Gigs
  • Build Out Your Portfolio
  • Get Clients
  • Use Social Media
  • Collect Testimonials
  • Repeat

1. Pick A Writing Niche

Choosing a writing niche that suits your skills and interests is essential to become a successful ghostwriter.

Focus on honing your craft in a specific genre, such as fiction, non-fiction, or technical writing. You can also look into writing social media content for others.

By narrowing down your area of expertise, your writing will improve, and you'll build credibility within that particular domain.

2. Start With Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is an excellent way to gain experience and practice writing skills.

Taking on diverse writing projects will help you become familiar with different writing styles and formats, develop a strong writing portfolio, and establish connections in the industry.

Several platforms, including Upwork and Fiverr, provide access to potential clients and writing opportunities.

Fiverr Ghostwriting examples gig

Or you can utilize social media and other referrals to get your first ghostwriting gigs online.

This can help you practice interviewing skills and feel more confident once you get your first client.

3. Build Your Ghostwriting Portfolio

Building your ghostwriting portfolio is crucial to showcase your experience and talent to potential clients.

You can setup a WordPress website using thrive themes and build out your own portfolio, or you can use an existing platform to showcase your ghostwriting work.

While your freelancer projects should remain separate, you may include anonymized ghostwriting samples (with client permission) to demonstrate your versatility and proficiency.

To protect the confidentiality, replace identifying information with placeholders or redact all sensitive content.

Just remember to have your own website to showcase that you are a good writer and have worked with past clients.

Learn Storytelling

As a ghostwriter, you'll often be responsible for bringing someone else's story to life. This requires crafting engaging narratives that stay true to your client's voice and intentions.

You can use an AI story writer to help you craft perfect stories and match what your clients are looking for.

You can also take online courses in creative writing, storytelling, and other related fields to improve your writing skills and produce compelling content that resonates with readers.

Work on enhancing your storytelling skills by reading widely and analyzing successful authors' techniques to captivate their readers.

The more you immerse yourself in the art of storytelling, the more effective your ghostwritten pieces will become.

Use AI Copywriting Tools

Utilizing AI copywriting tools can be advantageous when navigating your career as a ghostwriter.

These tools can help generate ideas, write content, and even suggest editing. I always use AI writing tools for any ghostwriting gig I take on, making content writing much easier.

By incorporating AI copywriting, such as Jasper AI and Copy AI, you can improve your productivity, efficiency, and overall quality of writing projects.

I also wrote awesome use cases of ChatGPT, including copywriting skills and how to leverage it to write better.

Following these steps, you're well on your way to becoming a proficient ghostwriter who can effectively work across various writing areas, engage and captivate your audience, and succeed in an increasingly competitive industry.

How To Find Ghostwriting Jobs

Now you know how experienced ghostwriters got to where they are, so it's time to get clients and apply for a publishing marketplace.

Freelance Platforms

You can begin your search for ghostwriting jobs on popular freelance platforms such as UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.

Set up a professional profile showcasing your ghostwriting and subject matter expertise. Bid on relevant projects and make sure to tailor your proposal to the client's needs.

As you gain experience, build your credibility as a reliable and skilled freelance writer.

Ghostwriting Agencies

Another option is to seek out specialized ghostwriting agencies.

Joining such an agency can provide you with opportunities for lucrative and consistent assignments, as they have a dedicated roster of clients seeking ghostwriters.

However, remember that these agencies often require proof of prior ghostwriting experience or an impressive writing portfolio.

Networking and Referrals

One of the most effective ways to find ghostwriting jobs is through networking and referrals. Start by building your network within the writing community.

Use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your niche, attend writing conferences and industry events, and join writing groups.

I know a lot of freelance writers use Twitter to make money and grow their audience online. You can also use Twitter to find ghostwriting gigs by joining conversations about writing and pitching your services.

You can leverage a tweet generator to help you automate and publish tweets.

Consider offering your services as a guest blogger or freelancer editor in your field of expertise.

This will help showcase your skills and build your reputation as a subject matter expert. Don't hesitate to ask for referrals from satisfied clients, colleagues, or connections in your network.

A strong personal recommendation can go a long way in securing interviews and securing ghostwriting jobs.

Lastly, remember that finding ghostwriting jobs requires persistence and patience.

Continue refining your skills, build your portfolio, and maintain a strong professional network to increase your chances of success in the competitive world of ghostwriting.

Working with Clients

You finally know how to find clients, and it's finally time to work with them and make money writing.

The next few steps will explain how you work with your clients and even use AI to make money with your ghostwriting.

Capturing the Client's Writing Style

To become a successful ghostwriter, you must be skilled at capturing your client's writing style.

Start by reading and analyzing their past works or internal communications, such as emails and reports.

You can also include their work and writing style in AI prompts and mimic their content. Most clients will have content and other examples of the type of writing they want you to use.

This will provide insights into their preferred tone, language, and vocabulary. Practice writing in different styles and voices.

Research Your Client's Niche

A crucial part of ghostwriting is immersing yourself in your client's niche. This involves thoroughly researching the industry, target audience, and competitors.

Familiarize yourself with key terms, trends, and issues.

The better your understanding of the subject matter, the more confident and credible your writing will be.

To conduct research, you can:

  • Read industry publications and blogs

  • Follow relevant social media accounts, hashtags, and forums

  • Attend webinars and conferences in the niche

Meet Deadlines

As a ghostwriter, respecting deadlines is critical for maintaining long-lasting client relationships.

Ensure you deliver high-quality work on schedule to help build your reputation and earn repeat business.

To effectively manage your time, break large projects into smaller tasks and set daily or weekly goals.

This is where you can start using AI tools to help you with your deadlines. AI can help you plan out tasks for an entire project and automate some of the administrative and research activities.

Additionally, consistently update your clients on your progress to keep them informed and demonstrate accountability.

Building a successful ghostwriting business takes time, dedication, and excellent storytelling skills.

Invest in creating a strong portfolio, sharpen your research capabilities, and stay true to client guidelines to carve out a rewarding career in this dynamic field.

Marketing Yourself as a Ghostwriter

Now it's time to put yourself out there as a ghostwriter.

Build A Blogging Business

One effective way to market yourself as a ghostwriter is to create a blog to showcase your writing skills and expertise.

Having a well-written and informative blog will help position you as a credible authority in the world of ghostwriting and provide potential clients with a place to see your writing style and versatility.

Regularly update your blog by publishing engaging content relevant to your target audience, such as tips on book writing, success stories from past projects, and insights on the publishing process.

Make sure you include your ghostwriting services in your blog so potential clients know how to contact you for collaborations.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Social media can be a powerful tool for getting the word out about your ghostwriting services.

Update your profiles on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to reflect your ghostwriting expertise.

Join writing and publishing groups or forums that potential clients may frequent, such as those frequented by doctors, attorneys, or other professionals needing your services.

You can use AI marketing tools to help you automate the content publishing process and reach a wider audience. AI-based tools use natural language technology to automatically generate relevant, engaging content for your target market.

Ensure you actively engage with your audience by sharing valuable content, answering queries, and networking with industry professionals.

This will help build a strong online presence and create a loyal following that can lead to potential clients and referrals.

So it's important to create social media posts and share your own work on these platforms or digestible content that your potential audience might view.

Build A Sales Funnel Process

A well-structured sales funnel can be a game-changer for marketing yourself as a ghostwriter.

Begin by attracting prospects with high-quality content that showcases your writing experience and relevant knowledge in your area of expertise.

Offer a lead magnet, such as a free eBook, writing course, or exclusive articles, to entice potential clients to join your email list.

Once they're on your list, continue to nurture them with valuable content and timely offers related to your ghostwriting services.

Make sure to follow up promptly and efficiently with any inquiries, as this will signal your professionalism and commitment to outstanding client support.

By consistently providing value and showcasing your expertise, you'll eventually convert your prospects into paying clients who trust your services and may refer you for future projects.

By following these strategies to market yourself as a ghostwriter, you can effectively showcase your expertise, build your online presence, and grow your client base over time.

Stay persistent and dedicated to offering top-notch writing services to leave a lasting impression in the competitive ghostwriting industry.

How Hard Is It to Become a Ghostwriter?

Becoming a ghostwriter requires hard work and dedication, but you can build a successful career with the right approach and determination.

is it hard to become a ghostwriter?

To begin with, you should read often and widely or even take jobs as a freelance editor.

As a ghostwriter, you must adapt to various writing styles and tones; reading different genres and materials can help you gain versatility in your writing skills.

Next, focus on creating a strong portfolio. A well-curated portfolio that showcases your writing experience is crucial in landing potential clients.

You can do this by freelancing or working on personal writing projects. Remember, having diverse writing samples will help you stand out in the competitive ghostwriting market.

In addition to your writing skills, networking is vital in your journey to becoming a ghostwriter.

Connect with people in the publishing industry and build relationships that can lead to work referrals. You can also explore online platforms and forums dedicated to writers and ghostwriters to expand your professional circle.

While becoming a ghostwriter can be challenging, it's important to realize that it's a process that demands consistent effort and improvement.

Keep honing your skills, updating your portfolio, and building relationships with industry professionals, and you will gradually see success in the field.

Remember, persistence and resilience are key when pursuing a career in ghostwriting.

How much money does a ghostwriter make?

As a ghostwriter, your earning potential can vary greatly depending on your experience, reputation, and type of project.

For beginners, you can expect to earn between $2,000 and $9,000 per book. As you gain more experience and develop a solid writing portfolio, your earnings can rise to around $30,000 to $60,000 per book.

If you've authored bestsellers or have agent representation, you may even be looking at six-figure fees for your services.

Ghostwriting salary

Regarding nonfiction books or memoirs, your earnings as a ghostwriter can range from $10,000 to $50,000+.

The actual amount you charge will depend on factors like word count, your writing abilities, the client's goals, and their budget.

For example, you could charge 5,000+ for a youtube script or sales copy, which would be within the average range for an experienced ghostwriter.

There are many creators who would love this and easily allow you to make money on YouTube as a writer.

Besides books, ghostwriting opportunities also exist through blog posts or articles. In this area, you can expect to earn between $150 and $500+ per blog post, with the rates varying based on similar factors as book projects.

I provide many blogging tips, and we usually tell our students to charge 250+ for any ghostwriting job.

It's worth noting that the Editorial Freelancer's Association estimates ghostwriting rates to be between $50 and $60 per hour or about 25-50 cents per word.

However, most ghostwriters set their rates based on their experience, the client's budget, and the type of work they're undertaking.

Adjusting your rates according to these factors will help you balance staying competitive and getting paid fairly for your work.

Key takeaway: 

Companies will always want to hire writers and pay them a fair rate for their work.

When setting your rates, consider your experience, the type of work you're doing, and the client's budget.

Remember that being a professional ghostwriter is an incredibly valuable skill.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to become a ghostwriter and secure writing jobs, you can build a successful freelance writing career or side hustle.

Ghostwriting work will make you a lot of money online without using your own name or forcing you to grow your online community.

As a great writer in disguise, you will be an asset to many others who need help with their content.

So go and get your first ghostwriting client and use AI text generation to help you keep that client on a retainer. Good luck.

FAQ


Is Ghostwriting Legal?

Ghostwriting isn't just legal. It's an integral part of the publishing world.

Many authors, inundated by their own writing responsibilities, willingly allow others to pen words under their names.

It's a collaborative process where other writers ask for help, ensuring their stories are told effectively and with flair.

Is ghostwriting a career?

Absolutely, ghostwriting is a real gig that can fill your pockets nicely. It's a high-income skill that's got most writers intrigued.

You'll find various writing jobs in this field, from copywriting to video scripts.

So, if you've got a knack for stringing words together, ghostwriting can be your ticket to doing what you love and making some serious cash along the way.

Is it a good idea to be a ghostwriter?

It can be a seriously smart move. It's a way for many writers to earn decent cash and still get to work on their own portfolio websites.

You'll offer ghostwriting services across various topics, so things never get dull. No special degrees are needed, just your writing chops.

It's competitive, sure, but once you're in, opportunities can pile up. So, if you're cool with your name not being on the cover and can handle a few tough deadlines, ghostwriting could be a solid choice.


About the Author

Eddy Ballesteros

AI & Marketing Nerd

Eddy is an AI, SEO, and personal finance blogger who uses and tests products to help others improve their lives through AI and financial literacy. With years of experience in online business, he deeply understands the latest AI and SEO trends. Eddy is also well-knowledged in personal finance and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers.