A lot of aspiring ghostwriters often wonder how much they can make. The answer really depends on how motivated they are and what types of projects they are working on. If you are organized and have excellent research skills, you have the potential to make a significant amount of earnings.
What Is a Ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter is a person who writes a piece of work, non-fiction or fiction, but does not put their name on it. Rather, they allow another person to claim authorship. The client puts their name on the work and the ghostwriter transfers copyright to them – that is, full permission to use the work as if it were their own.
Ghostwriters commonly produce what is termed work for hire, including but not limited to:
- Blog posts
A ghostwriter works on a project with the person who hires them, with the understanding that the written outcome of the two working together will be a product the client will get full rights to. The ghostwriter will not try to sell it to another person or use it themselves. They will keep the work confidential and not share terms of the working relationship, or the materials and research that the client may have given them.
Thanks to the internet, content is king. Every business with a website needs fresh, up-to-date content on a regular basis. Some clients will pay by the word, while others will pay by the article. The longer the piece of content, the more you can expect to earn. However, this might also mean the project will take up a lot more time, especially if you have to research the topic for the client.
While it is true that there’s a lot of free information available on the internet, some of the topics can be highly specialized. But this can be a good thing. If you are an expert in a particular field, you can charge more than just a general ghostwriter.
A lot of clients want to market themselves and/or their products and services by publishing a book in their name so they can validate a certain degree of expertise. However, they may lack the skills or the time to write the entire book themselves. In this case, you might interview them, read over the papers they give you, and so on. You can then use this material to ghostwrite the book. The client will then usually sell the book or give it away for free in hopes that it will increase sales, followers, or clients, depending on their business model.
There are hundreds of celebrities and dignitaries that have published autobiographies, but this does not mean they wrote them themselves. They will usually hire a ghostwriter and give interviews that are to be assembled into a book. Once the final approval is given, then the work is published. This can be a high-earning project, but you some have stressed that working with the “in-crowd” can cause you to encounter very demanding clients who are not always easy to work for.
Being Clear About Your Scope
You will only ever be able to earn good money if you are clear about the scope of the project from the outset and stick to it. You need to know how long the written piece has to be, how much you will get paid, and when it is due. For longer projects, it is a good idea to get paid a retainer to secure your services, and then set milestones where you deliver certain parts of the project and get paid. Otherwise, cash flow can start to become a problem.
Beware of those who try to take advantage of your craft. This is when you have agreed to a project and start it, but then the client starts to make other requests and tries to add other elements over a period of time. Only agree if the additional elements make sense after you have renegotiated the contract.
Be professional by understanding the value of your time and your skills, and you should find it relatively easy to earn what you are worth.
Finally, aim for repeat customers. It is a lot easier to earn money if you don’t have to spend a lot of time applying for ghostwriting jobs.
Well, that’s all for this week! Make sure you subscribe to my mailing list if you haven’t already so that you stay current on all that is happening in The Writer’s Haven! Write you soon <3