Are you listening?
Since it’s Halloween time, I thought I would confess that I am a ghost. Or, at least a “ghostwriter“. For some, just like the creepy candy holiday, the idea of ghostwriting can be scary or even offensive. For me, it is a means to an end.
Ghostwriting can be lucrative, but with every up, there is a down and in the case of writing without credit, the lack of a “byline” can rub the wrong way and seeing someone else’s name on your piece can be a bit ego shattering to say the least.
So, Why Do I Do It?
It pays the bills. It also provides me a lot of practice writing and researching things I might not otherwise research or write about.
In addition, seeing my work on some great reputable sites is a stamp of approval towards my skills as a writer [even though I don’t actually get the credit]. I can Google a line from any piece and easily find it [and I do]. I always want to drop a comment or somehow otherwise attach my name, but I don’t because that’s part of the
game rules of ghostwriting; never give the “writer” away, i.e. the person whose name is on it, not me, the real writer.
I often wonder if these people who pass my work off as their own actually write at all? It pains me when something I have written ends up on traffic blogs that simply buy content and sell advertising however, I always hope — when that happens, that whatever lands there is helpful or inspiring or even educating to whoever happens upon it.
When I ghostwrite — I sell all rights to whatever I have written. The new owner of my words can do whatever they want with them and say it was written by themselves or someone else altogether.
In order to actually make money as a ghostwriter you have to be relatively prolific. Quantity is as important as quality if your goal is to bank some Bens. I tend to ghostwrite to fill in financial gaps, so it is a fluid experience for me and nice to have available.
Getting in the door with the right people/companies — those who are legit and pay decently versus scam you, is challenging. Trial and error is often the road many take and after much time it is easy to still get tripped along the way. Knowing your own rights as a writer going into any negotiation — whether it’s for a ghostwriting gig or something else, is important. I can suggest a few entities worth investing in and/or aligning with:
So, that’s my Ghost Story and I’m stickin’ to it! BOO!
P.S. For those interested, I host Boot Camps for Bloggers and there is a workshop all about how to make money doing this.