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The Pleasure and Pain of Being a Ghost(writer)

ghost-writer

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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?

why-ghostwrite

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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.

Writing Rights

ghostwriting-rights

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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:

  • Be the Media is phenomenal for  teaching you about writing — in today’s world particularly. From marketing to time management you will learn how to create your brand, establish a base and grow exponentially.
  • National Writers Union (NWU) is a must. Get help with legal matters and protections, ideas, gigs and so much more. Being a part of this union will be one of the best things you have ever done as a freelance writer or blogger.
  • Creative Commons cannot be passed up. This is an important partnership for freelancers of all kinds and you decide how much rights to your work you are willing to “share” for free and how they can be used. You are also able to find and use great things from other creatives.

So, that’s my Ghost Story and I’m stickin’ to it! BOO!

Casper-Friendly-Ghost-Halloween

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P.S. For those interested, I host Boot Camps for Bloggers and there is a workshop all about how to make money doing this.

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10 comments on “The Pleasure and Pain of Being a Ghost(writer)

  1. Cheri
    October 19, 2013

    Reblogged this on Cheri Speak Media.

    Like

  2. Mikels Skele
    October 19, 2013

    It all sounds marvy, but, to me, inscrutable. I have no inkling of how to even start.

    Like

    • Cheri
      October 19, 2013

      The “be the media” link in the post is a great start followed by the NWU and my boot camps of course :p

      Like

      • Mikels Skele
        October 19, 2013

        Looks like people making money telling you how to make money not doing what they’re doing.

        Like

      • Cheri
        October 19, 2013

        Not at all. I have been scammed. There are A LOT of scam ads out there. There are also a lot of jerk who hold no value for you the writer. Be the Media is one I have worked with and I know the creator of. As for my own Boot Camps, I teach people in one workshop how-to make money blogging and how to cut through the scams. The National Writers Union is a great tool for protecting you.

        Like

      • Mikels Skele
        October 19, 2013

        Hmm. Ok. As for your boot camps, I live in Illinois; bit of a commute. 😉

        Like

      • Cheri
        October 19, 2013

        I do them online as well 😉

        Like

  3. Mikels Skele
    October 19, 2013

    DUDE, $1500! for the Be The Media course. I see his book is available for $0.48 at Amazon. Say what you will, it looks like his sure-fire method of making money is to sell people his sure-fire method.

    Like

    • Cheri
      October 19, 2013

      That’s a full-on course silly that includes much. Get the book for $0.48 on Amazon, it alone is a great resource 🙂 , but I assure, Be the Media is legit, not a scam and they in fact practice what they preach.

      Like

  4. Pingback: My How Times Have Changed | Cheri Speak

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2013 by in Advice, Blogging, Books, business, Entertainment, How To, Publishing, rights, Writing.

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