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How to Become a Ghostwriter for Beginners

Beginner’s Guide to Ghostwriting

You might be the kind of person who has a talent for setting other people’s thoughts and ideas into words. But did you know that you can make a great career out of this by being a ghostwriter? So what are ghost writers and what does being a ghostwriter entail? In this post, we take a look at what ghostwriting is and offer a guide on ghostwriting for beginners.

Definition of Ghostwriting

The definition of ghostwriter is a person who produces written works for another person. This work can be literary such as novels, journalistic or academic such as magazine articles, or even personal such as speeches. In most cases, the ghostwriter’s client gets official credit for the text produced.

An excellent example of ghostwriting is the production of autobiographies. It is not uncommon for artists, celebrities, and politicians to publish memoirs. The vast majority of these books, however, are produced with the help of ghostwriters. Of course, the life stories are those of the clients; but it is the ghostwriters who make it possible for these narratives to be expressed in a clear, coherent, and engaging way.

What a Ghostwriter Does

Producing written works for clients is at the center of ghostwriting. But there is so much more to this profession than merely generating texts. Truth be told, ghostwriting can be a demanding profession. It requires you to have writing skills, communication skills, and adequate knowledge on a wide range of topics and disciplines. With that being said, the work of a ghostwriter can be classified into three broad categories. 


A big chunk of the work that goes into ghostwriting is producing original content. Most of the time, clients approach writers with just a rough idea or outline of what they want to have written. It becomes the ghostwriter’s task, therefore, to flesh out this idea and expand the outline. The job is like giving the writer a set of instructions and allowing the writer to write the text according to these directions.


While writing is a big part of a ghostwriter’s job, another prominent aspect is editing. Most clients ask writers to produce new content. On the other hand, some clients already have drafts of their works and just want ghostwriters to improve them. In such a situation, the task of the ghostwriter is to polish the client’s draft by focusing on aspects of quality such as clarity, coherence, organization, accuracy, and soundness of discussions. 


Of course, researching is also part of a ghostwriter’s daily work. Good discussions are grounded on good information. A ghostwriter must have essential research skills such as knowing where to look for sources, knowing how to use libraries and databases, being able to evaluate the quality of references, and knowing how to apply different citation styles.


Finally, part of a ghostwriter’s responsibility is collaborating with clients, and this is where social and communication skills matter. Ghostwriting is a collaborative process between the writer and the client. This means that the writer must be able to bring up issues and concerns that may crop up during the writing process. The writer and the client should also be on the same page and share the same vision. The writer should therefore be proactive, perceptive, and responsive towards the client’s needs.

Starting a Ghostwriting Career

Building a career out of writing can be challenging. Writing is hard; getting others to entrust you with their ideas can be harder. But as with any profession, it is best to take it slowly but surely. The steps below will help you learn how to become a ghostwriter.

Start as a freelancer

Begin your ghostwriting career by working as a freelancer. As a freelancer, you get to determine the types of assignments you accept, your workload, and your working hours. In other words, freelancing gives you flexibility and control over your pace. 

Market your services

Writing is one part of the job; the other is marketing your services. Informing prospective clients that you are open for business takes luck, guts, and strategy. Do not be afraid to approach small businesses to pitch your services. Inform your family and friends. You can also market your services on job boards. For example, many ghostwriters are affiliated with writing firms. These firms serve as a hub for clients looking for ghostwriters, such as this page: This is exactly the kind of service that a ghostwriter needed.

Provide quality output and service

Client satisfaction is crucial to growing your clientele since happy clients are more likely to refer you to others. Conduct business in a professional manner. Make sure you meet deadlines. Communicate with your client and encourage collaboration. Also, remember that you are not writing for yourself but for others. Working as a ghostwriter means that you need to be flexible. You need to be able to adapt according to the needs, style, and preferences of your client.

Take on bigger challenges

Once you have grown your clientele, do not be afraid to grow your competencies as well. It can be genuinely scary to take on longer and more complex assignments, but you need these orders if you want to develop professionally. No writer ever improved without taking risks.

Ghostwriter Job Types

As a ghostwriter, you are sure to encounter many different types of jobs. And this is why you need to diversify your writing style and expand your range. Some of the more common types of ghostwriting jobs are discussed below:

  1. Literary. There is a huge market for literary ghostwriters. For example, many mass-produced novel franchises are actually written by ghostwriters rather than a single person. There are also many clients who seek writers who will help them with memoirs and autobiographies.
  2. Book proposals. Another type of ghostwriting job involves book proposals. Many first-time writers seek the assistance of ghostwriters since the latter have more experience when it comes to refining books and improving their readability.
  3. Social media content. Another type of ghostwriting job with growing demand is social media content. More companies, organizations, and personas are shifting to social media platforms, which means that the demand for high-quality and engaging texts will also rise.
  4. Informational and journalistic. Ghostwriters also often contribute to publications such as newsletters, magazines, and journals. These types of jobs often focus on specific subjections, and thus there is a need for some specialized knowledge to complete these assignments.

These are just some of the types of writing jobs that ghostwriters encounter on a daily basis. As a beginner, you do not need to know how to write all of these. In fact, most ghostwriters specialize in just one or a few types. A little diversity, however, will surely go a long way in terms of getting you more clients and increasing demand for your service.

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