Ghostwriting Jobs

By Eric Hammer

Ghostwriting is becoming increasingly popular as a way to make some good money, either on the side or as a full time profession, however it's definitely not for everyone. As a ghostwriter, you'll be working in total anonymity, writing various books, articles and other materials without getting any official recognition for your work. Now you may be asking why anyone would want to do such a thing. There are several reasons. Here's what you need to know about ghostwriting:

First, it's much easier to land steady work in ghostwriting than it is to land work writing under your own name. Many, many websites hire ghostwriters to help them build their portfolio of writing so that the owners of those sites don't have to do it themselves. This is an extremely lucrative field if you can break into it and the work tends to be fairly steady, though your name generally doesn't appear anywhere as the author.

The other great thing about ghostwriting work is that it's often easier to get your work published if you're working with someone who is already famous. While it may not be as satisfying, especially since you often can't tell anyone that you were a ghostwriter (though in some cases, it is possible. For example, the popular Hardy Boys and Tom Swift series were both ghostwritten by a number of authors and this is well known). However, ultimately, your work will be out there, whereas publishing under your own name often means languishing in obscurity or working that much harder to find an agent and get your work published.

How Much Can You Make?

Ghostwiting is such a broad business that it's impossible to quantify a number for how much you could earn. There are ghostwriting jobs that pay just 50 cents for a 500 word essay on various topics and there are ghostwriting jobs where you could be paid tens of thousands of dollars to create an entire book on behalf of a client who wants to put their name on it.

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Keep in mind that in all cases, your name doesn't go onto anything you write when you are ghostwriting. This also means that once you finish your writing, you are generally paid a lump sum for your work and you are not paid residuals even if the work ultimately ends up earning millions of dollars (on the other hand, if the work never earns a penny, you still got paid up front for the work you did).

Qualifications / Requirements

If you plan to do ghostwriting for various websites, it's generally a good idea to have some kind of a contract to protect yourself from clients walking away with your work and not paying for it. You should also have a clear payment policy for your ghostwriting work, which you stick to religiously. Many ghostwriters for example require half payment up front and half payment on completion of the work.

You should also consider working under your own name once you have some writing experience. While you often cannot trade on the work you did as a ghostwriter to show off your talents, it is possible to use those talents to create a portfolio of work which can be published under your own name.

First Steps

The great thing about ghostwriting is also the worst thing about ghostwriting. Literally anyone can do it. Even people who don't know how to string English words together to form a sentence often try to do ghostwriting thinking that it's an easy way to make a living. Obviously, these people will never rise above the 50 cents for 500 words stage, if they even get that far. However, for those who know how to write and how to write well, there is always work available in ghostwriting. Your only real requirement would be to know how to write well.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about ghostwriting jobs:

Elance: Ghost Writing Jobs - Elance is one of the biggest markets on the Internet for ghostwriting work and is a good place to get started. Be prepared to take one of the very low paying jobs at first to prove yourself though, as the well paid projects are almost never offered to new writers.

Ehow: How to Find Ghostwriting Jobs - This is a good basic introduction to finding ghostwriting jobs. While it could be more comprehensive, it should get you started.

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