Ghostwriting, Autobiography, Writing

How To Become a Ghost Writer in the UK? – Let’s Crack the Code!

How To Become a Ghost Writer in the UK

Ghostwriter. Ghostwriting.

You noticed it online, and now you are thinking about being a ghostwriter, but you’re not sure what it is, how to do it, how much money you can make, or if it’s a legitimate means to do a living writing.

Professional writers may have some ghostwriting clientele. Mostly, they are either small-business owners wishing to launch a blog on their website or industry influencers. The ghostwriting service rates you find online are highly varied. Being a ghostwriter usually entitles you to make this type of writing much more than your bylined content.

However, freelancer platforms exploit the benefit of the varied rates and classify ghostwriters as low-paid writers.

But that is not the case for certain ghostwriters.

Therefore, you need several characteristics to be a successful ghostwriter and one who makes a respectable living as a ghostwriter.

Before delving into how to become a ghostwriter, let’s define and describe what one is.

Becoming a ghostwriter is something you, as a writer, might be interested in. But a ghostwriter does what? And what kind of ghostwriting jobs are there?

What is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a person who writes articles, speeches, novels, blog entries, email newsletters, online copy, etc. and does not get credit for that work. Someone in that company who hired you or your client gets the credit.

According to the definition of a ghostwriter, you are not given credit for any of your work. This means that with consent from your ghostwriting client, you cannot publicly distribute your client’s writing.

You may wonder – How can I build my business without proof?

Understand first, though, that your identity will never appear on any content you produce for a ghostwriting client. You may charge far more for your ghostwriting services than you can for your regular by-lined (credited to you) rate. Some writers charge 100% more.

Anyone can hire a ghostwriter. You can employ a ghostwriter if the budget allows and if you need one.

One such name for you may be a ghost blogger. The purpose of ghost blogging is the same as that of ghostwriters: you write for someone else, and they give you credit for it. Anyone from authors to startup owners to solopreneurs and teachers, the need for ghostwriters is there.

Many bloggers contract with ghost bloggers to write ghostwriting content for them on their blogs.

Why Become a Ghostwriter + How Much Do Ghostwriters Make?

Why become a ghostwriter if you can’t display your ghostwritten work on your writer’s website or portfolio?

The main reason is that ghostwriting gigs pay more lucrative than other writing jobs – blogs, for example. Take this route, and you can expand your freelance writing career or take it to the next level.

Another reason you might wish to work as a ghostwriter is that after you’ve completed the work (and the client approves), that’s it. Social media promotion of your client’s product is not required.

The fact that there will be less research overall is another major incentive to start ghostwriting. Your client has to provide you with the research materials. You thereby spare yourself the time to conduct all that research!

And last, there are several ways that ghostwriting might benefit you and your freelance writing career. How to better communicate with your clients and helping people open up to you are two things you get to learn on this journey. Your writing improves with time as well since you have to master writing in the voices of others.

Now, the question is, how can one make money as a ghostwriter?

How to Start a Ghostwriting Career?

As you will discover in a moment, the steps are more complex than becoming a freelance writer.

  1. Start as a Freelance Writer

Indeed, it makes sense to start as a freelance writer and become a successful ghostwriter. This is how you can break into ghostwriting for influencers. Being a freelance writer builds your credibility quickly. You don’t have to market much on offering ghostwriter services. Prospects find the value of your writing very quickly.

Being established also helps with networking.

Finding that perfect ghostwriting gig is easier when attracting your ideal customer.

To start showcasing your worth as a highly-paid writer, make sure your writer’s website is set up. This is the first step (if you’ve decided to work as a ghostwriter or freelance writer and know the specialized subjects for which you want to charge).

  1. Work as a Freelance Editor First

If you don’t want to market yourself as a freelance writer, why not become a freelance editor? Many freelance editors edit books, and it’s a great lead-in to your ghostwriting services.

The client occasionally may include your name as the editor or as one of the authors in “with” notation.

Anyhow, as you are editing their projects, it’s not a big leap to inform your clients that you are more than willing to ghostwrite a book for them if they want to generate more books in the year or don’t have the time.

  1. Get Comfortable with Writing Big Projects

A ghostwriter who ghostwrites books is the most profitable one. Doctors, financial counselors, and attorneys engage ghostwriters for their books or memoirs. As a successful ghostwriter, Kelly James-Enger claims to write memoirs, business books, and health books for a good living.

For ghostwriting alone, that comes to almost $3k a month. You can make a killing by combining this with your existing clientele for freelance writing!

Writing books is a separate skill from writing articles or blog posts. It can be only one book project of only 10,000 words. And it can be a struggle to write it.

That is probably why a freelance writing course is a course and not an eBook. For some writers, shorter books are more enjoyable than whole books.

  1. Write a Book or Two

Many ghostwriters are also authors. Many of them realize that working as a ghostwriter complements their business. You may, therefore, be a ghostwriter if you are a freelance writer who has also authored a book!

Again, this increases your practice of writing a book and the steps involved in book writing.

Though some ghostwriter clients look for blog writing or shorter content, it could not be as lucrative as ghostwriting books.

  1. Learn How to Write for Someone Else

For many writers, this is one of the most challenging skills. As a blogger or freelance writer, developing your voice is essential for the success of your business. If the big chunk of your service is ghostwriting, then you have to write fluidly and like a chameleon.

Ghostwriting requires the ability to adjust to many writing styles.

Usually, clients send links to their ghostwriters of the type of writing they want for their blogs if they decide to hire them.

You may receive a guideline from some people or companies that provides you with further details regarding the client’s voice.

It is your job as the ghostwriter to become acquainted with the project and the person. As much as you can, read their content, join their email list, read their books, and follow them on social media.

You might want to provide the client with a small sample of your ghostwriting to see if they approve.

It would be a shame to accept the gig and write the first chapter in their voice only to have them say it is not their voice.

Taking on the voice of another is a significant task. If you don’t handle it right, you risk presenting your client—in the case of an autobiography —as someone other than who they are.

Think of Donald Trump. To ghostwrite ‘The Art of the Deal,’ he employed Tony Schwartz. In writing the book for Trump, Schrawtz did a fantastic job giving the impression and making Trump look like a skilled negotiator. However, by looking at how President Trump handles negotiations, you can see that what Schwartz said in that book doesn’t capture the real attributes of his client.

It is evident from the Tweets and media stories about Schwartz’s ousting of Trump that this ghostwriting project was not authentic to the client’s voice.

Just something to think about!

How Do You Find Ghostwriting Gigs?

Suppose you are currently involved with the writing and publishing community. In that case, you may begin by informing your contacts in the publishing industry about your interest in working as a ghostwriter and providing them with information about your availability. Similarly, if you are an active writer within a very specific field of professional expertise, one of the first things you should do is spread the word among your professional network.

There is also the possibility of engaging in online marketplaces like Guru and Reedsy, which gives you another option. Additionally, self-publishing service firms and literary consultancies commonly employ and use ghostwriters through their services.

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the qualification criteria for a ghostwriting career in the UK?

Though there are no official requirements to work as a ghostwriter in the UK, excellent writing skills are essential. An English, journalism, or equivalent degree would be helpful. Your portfolio must include your practical experience, from writing for blogs and magazines to creating original material. Developing your research abilities and knowing the publishing industry will make you a more effective and respectable ghostwriter.

2. How can I get my first ghostwriting clients in the UK?

Finding your first ghostwriting clients requires networking and selling your services. Start by contacting your professional network and informing them about your new venture. Use online channels like LinkedIn, freelance websites, and writing forums to interact with possible clients. Creating a personal website with your portfolio and testimonials might also help you acquire clients. Consider offering introductory prices or doing pro gratis work to improve your reputation and earn recommendations.

3. What skills are required for a successful ghostwriting career?

To accurately replicate the client’s voice and ideas, ghostwriters must have good research skills and writing and narrative ability. Adaptability is essential for matching varied writing styles and tones. Good communication skills are required to grasp client requirements and deliver updates. Ghostwriters must also manage their time and meet deadlines because they frequently work on many projects. Finally, prudence and professionalism are essential because ghostwriters must maintain client confidentiality.

4. How can I keep the author's voice while ghostwriting?

Maintaining the author’s voice requires extensive research and close collaboration. Begin by interviewing the author better to grasp their writing style, tone, and personality. Read their prior works, if available, and any additional items they have authored. Draft examples and solicit feedback to ensure they are consistent with their voice. Continuous contact throughout the project helps refine the narrative and convey the author’s intended message correctly. Recording and transcribing conversations might help you capture the details of their voice.

5. How can I develop a solid ghostwriting portfolio in the UK?

Putting up a solid portfolio means demonstrating your writing ability and diversity. For the first experience, start by providing your services to friends, relatives, or small enterprises. To show flexibility, produce various writing samples in all genres and styles. Write guest pieces on blogs or contribute to online magazines. As ghostwriting jobs are finished, ask for permission to include snippets in your portfolio while keeping client confidentially intact. Networking and looking for endorsements might help you project even more authority.

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