BECOME A SUCCESSFUL GHOSTWRITER IN TEN EASY STEPS: AN INSIDER REVIEW
If you read our last article about the top ghostwriting platforms you can earn in thousands of dollars, here is a new piece to guide you into a successful vocation as a ghostwriter.
Let’s tackle this. Writing for people and living without the credit shouldn’t be a problem since it gets you paid.
The idea of sitting behind your laptop at the comfort of your home, and dishing out creative services in the form of manuscripts, blog articles, e-books, and social-media contents is fascinating.
Besides, you know your onions when it comes to doing adequate research and delivering error and plagiarism-free content, so becoming a ghostwriter should be an easy dive.
What could possibly go wrong?
A LOT, actually.
The benefits of ghostwriting are quite appealing, yes, but the profession itself requires some level of mental and physical preparation – that is if you intend to be successful at it.
Successful ghostwriters write from the bedrock of passion, preparation, and admiration for what they do.
Take the Jason Bourne books, for instance. The series would have died with Robert Ludlum in 2001, but Eric Van Lustbader, an ardent reader and admirer of Ludlum’s work, stepped in and made a significant number of people believe that Robert was either writing from his grave or that his publisher had a few of his unpublished works.
Of course, we can’t rule out the motivation of profit for ghostwriters too. Otherwise, why would R. Kelly pen down “You are not Alone” for Michael Jackson in 1994?
Anonymity is the number one disadvantage that comes with the job, but some ghostwriters are so good that rumors and limelight will find them.
Now, the question is, do you see the world through other people’s eyes? Can you capture their stories using their words?
There are many things to take into account as you launch into the vocation of ghostwriting, or if you already are, here are a few tips to enhance your productivity.
TEN EASY STEPS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL GHOSTWRITER
STEP ONE: What Are Your Specialty?
Everyone has an area of strength, no matter how seemingly weak they may appear.
The likes of Walt Disney, Anita Roddick, Bruce Springsteen, and Tony Robbins may not be noble laureate in literature, but have you heard these guys tell a story?
They are so good at storytelling that they could engage you for over an hour with something you’ve already heard a dozen times from somewhere else.
That’s their selling point. So, identify yours before starting your vocation as a ghostwriter. It could involve writing fiction or documentaries or even romance.
And when you find it, use it!
Be careful, though. You may be tempted along the way to do everything at the same time for the money, thereby getting lost in piles of projects within a limited timeline.
To succeed on the job, be professional. Stick mostly to your niche.
STEP TWO: Know Your Role
Understanding your role is the second key to become a successful ghostwriter.
The point of being up for hire is that you render services without being credited for them. If your client demands that you use Shakespearean English for a project that you think will be better in plain American English, set aside your ideas.
Your ego should never come to the table as far as ghostwriting is concerned. Structure and organize the material in such a way that it captures the writer’s voice.
If you come to terms with this role, it makes it easy to work on various gigs with your eyes on the quality content you deliver, and on the profit that you make over time.
STEP THREE: Work on an Impressive Pitch Package
The next step is to approach ghostwriting with the mindset of an entrepreneur. This involves creating a pitch package that represents who you are and what you do.
If you’re going into ghostwriting full-time, don’t sell yourself short by taking every job.
You have to sit down and put proper thought into your package – your brand name, a summary of what you can do for your clients, attributes that distinguish you from other writers, and the link to your websites or ghostwriting platform.
Another crucial detail is your customized pitch letter, which you would have to often address to clients.
Make it obvious that you’ve done your homework on them as regards their personality, career, or business.
STEP FOUR: Don’t Start Without Personal Literary Works
In the ghostwriting business, the first thing clients want to see is proof.
Can they entrust you with their project and expect you to deliver an error-free, prompt, and plagiarism-free content?
What proof do you have to assure them that you are whom you say you are?
In fact, don’t become a ghostwriter unless you have written stories, articles – anything – which ought to have prepared you for knitting meaningful words together.
Ghostwriting can be quite demanding, and this is with respect to your expertise as a writer.
Prior literary works are foundational steps into writing interesting and impressive works for clients. So, do that first, or forget about becoming successful as a ghostwriter.
A good advantage of having prior written works is that you can share them with potential clients who require writing samples before engaging your services.
STEP FIVE: Time Management
The quickest way to win the heart of your clients is by delivering timely services. So, the importance of being organized in the way you deliver projects assigned to you cannot be overemphasized.
Getting the work done at the allocated time would not only get you paid accordingly; it would leave a good impression on your client.
Time is money. So, work strictly with time and deadlines. It would help if you also managed how you carry out your research, proofreading, editing, and writing.
This involves allocating a space of time for each writing or editing development to ensure steady work and development of great content.
Being able to meet up with deadlines make clients happy and can eventually earn you a tip.
STEP SIX: Be Open To Criticism
Okay, you may not like to be often corrected, but as a ghostwriter, you MUST be able to take criticisms.
Start by always telling yourself this: “The client is always right!”
Of course, it is hard to satisfy clients at times, but you must be patient to listen to what should be included and excluded in your writing.
Human wants are insatiable, and your clients are definitely humans.
If you insist that your work is the best out there and that it doesn’t need correction, you may never succeed as a ghostwriter.
STEP SEVEN: Adhere to Maintaining Confidentiality
You should know this already, but there is no harm overemphasizing it.
Ghostwriting involves keeping secrets – and that includes a lot of them.
Under no circumstance are ghostwriters expected to let out the secret about what they have written and whom they have written it for.
If you cannot keep secrets, then ghostwriting isn’t the business for you. You may try out marketing or agriculture.
As a ghostwriter, leaking secrets of what you have written and whom you have written for presents you as unprofessional, and this can keep clients away from you.
If you still don’t get it, you may need to go back to step two and be reminded of your role as a ghostwriter.
STEP EIGHT: Understand the Importance of Delegation
Delegating some tasks to your colleagues in the writing business will ease off the stress of beating deadlines and delivering qualitative services – but endeavor to keep this bit of news from your clients.
Think like an entrepreneur. Select the right members that will suit your team.
You could be caught up with personal projects in the middle of great content that is nearing its deadline. Delegating relieves you of such an awkward situation.
If it means sharing the tasks between ten good writers to get the job done, do it to save your professional image.
STEP NINE: Be Detail-Oriented
Face it. Clients will always expect you to research a topic or story idea, and it always doesn’t stop there. You will need to get creative with whatever you find and develop content that is 100% original.
Paying attention to every little detail that will fit your client’s requirements will always get you out of any mess with them.
To begin, consume large pieces of information about different subjects. This can be achieved by consulting every known source that provides information – the internet, books, newspapers, magazines, and so on.
The rest is left to your vivid imagination as a writer.
To provide a write-up according to your client’s requirements, stay abreast of the latest happenings about almost every industry.
Following requirements guide your thoughts and writing, making it possible to provide exactly what your client wants.
STEP TEN: Know When to Run
It might be the last on the list, but it is one of the most important factors to consider if you want to succeed as a ghostwriter!
Learn to be smart in spotting red-flags. Doing this is very vital because, in your excitement about a new project, you could overlook the real threats that could tarnish your profile.
So, keep your emotional-intelligence turned on to observe unprofessional habits.
Work with your instinct, especially analyzing if a client would be too-demanding or dishonest.
Don’t accept any more projects if you’re not going to meet up, and keep away from clients who demand that you work for them without coming to terms with how and when to pay you.
Overall, continually improving your writing is unavoidable once you become a ghostwriter. So, before investing your time in the writing business, develop the zeal to learn new things, and improve how you write.
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