Did you ever consider writing an in-depth blog post or a book, but then you realized you didn’t have the time or desire to write it yourself?
If your answer is yes, you may want to hire a ghostwriter.
A ghostwriter can help you tell your story, improve your brand, or boost your online sales.
However, not all ghost writers are not created equal.
The ideal writer should have the proper industry knowledge and writing style, depending on the project you’re considering.
They should know how to tailor their style to yours no matter the format, whether it’s autobiographies, fiction books, blog posts, or Amazon product descriptions..
If you are considering hiring a ghostwriter, this blog post can help you get started.
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What Is a Ghostwriter?
A ghostwriter is a professional who writes something for another person. However, the credit for the work will go to the person who hired them.
They can either complete an entire project alone or work with others.
Ghostwriters are the quiet heroes behind thousands of viral blog posts, bestselling books, and celebrity autobiographies.
And similar to ghosts, they are invisible since they are rarely named the author of their work.
In most cases, ghostwriters cannot reveal which books or other writing projects they have written because they have signed confidentiality clauses.
However, sometimes, they are mentioned as “co-authors” or “collaborators” on a book’s acknowledgment page.
Where Can You Find a Professional Writer?
Here are a few tried-and-tested places where you can find a competent ghostwriter:
If you’re wondering where to find a ghost writer, LinkedIn is a good place to start.
You may think that LinkedIn is a social media network geared toward businesses and professionals alone.
But aside from that, it’s also a powerful search engine tool that can help you find professional services. That includes ghostwriting.
There’s a reason why Google accounts for around 92% of search queries worldwide: It uses smart algorithms to help you find whatever you’re looking for.
However, Google and other search engines have their limitations. For instance, when you search for “ghostwriter for hire,” you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of results.
To make your search quick and efficient, use relevant keywords and be more specific.
For example, you can type “ebook ghostwriter for hire” in the search box and use filters to sift through the search results.
Freelance Marketplaces Like Fiverr and Upwork
These popular freelancing sites can help you find a competent ghostwriter for your work.
You can search for a niche writer or post a project. Professional ghostwriters can then make their proposals in response to your post.
Upwork is notable for its specialized freelance ghostwriters who offer their services at an affordable price.
Agencies Providing Ghostwriting Services
Another way to find a ghostwriter is through agencies, although they don’t ensure you get the right match. After all, they only make money when they introduce you to a writer.
Simply put, it doesn’t matter whether you and your ghostwriter are a successful pairing.
Despite this flawed business model, don’t automatically rule out ghostwriting agencies. The key is to find an agency with a proven track record that shows they genuinely care for their reputation and quality of work.
Another way to hire ghostwriters is to ask your colleagues, friends, or relatives if they can recommend an experienced ghostwriter.
You can also ask your professional network or associations for recommendations. It’s nice to find a skilled ghostwriter who has already worked with someone in your network, so you know a bit about their writing ability and style.
How Do You Hire a Ghost Writer?
If you’re wondering how to get a ghost writer, check out my step-by-step guide below.
Define Your Goals.
What do you hope to achieve with your writing project? Who are your target readers or customers?
And arguably, the most crucial question is this: Are you SMART about your goals?
When establishing your goals, make sure they are SMART:
Additionally, you should establish your core reasons for the writing project. Are you looking to improve your brand, expand your outreach, or boost your credibility?
The answers to these questions will help refine your search for a ghostwriter.
Start Your Search for a Talented Ghostwriter.
You can use LinkedIn, Google, and other search engines to find professional writers.
You can also try Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork, where many ghost writers offer affordable services.
Reputable agencies that offer ghostwriting services are also a great place to start your search.
Look at the Writing Skills of a Ghostwriter.
All talented writers have one thing in common—they are great storytellers who convey complex ideas in clear and simple language.
Aside from being an excellent storyteller, an effective ghostwriter should also capture the author’s authentic voice and possess a high level of professionalism and problem-solving skills.
Assess a Ghostwriter’s Past Work.
Most ghostwriters are bound by a confidentiality clause that prevents them from revealing a project they have been part of. Nevertheless, you can still assess their writing skills (or lack thereof).
Professional ghostwriters generally have traditional publishing records and a portfolio of articles, stories, and blog posts. They may even have a book written under their name.
Pay for a Writing Sample Before Committing to a Long-Term Project.
Unlike traditional writers, ghostwriters are expected to be excellent “impersonators.” After all, they need to capture the author’s voice, mood, and personality.
While the writers’ past work will give you a glimpse of their writing flair, it doesn’t let you know whether they are good impersonators.
Thus, you should pay for a writing sample before committing to an entire project.
A paid writing sample also sheds light on how a writer communicates and collaborates with you.
Discuss Your Project.
Once you’ve found your writer, the next step is to discuss your project, expectations, deadlines, and other aspects. Here are the details you need to discuss:
- How hands-on they are with the project
- The amount of collaboration between you and your ghostwriter
- Your level of openness to ideas and feedback from your writer
- When and how frequently the two of you will meet (virtual meeting or in person)
- Certain restrictions (Are you willing to let the ghost contribute some of their ideas, or do you expect them to stick to the content you provide them?)
When discussing the writing project, be as specific and clear as possible to avoid or at least minimize problems in the future.
Most ghostwriting services involve frequent cooperation and communication between ghostwriters and authors. However, it still depends on what role you want to play.
For instance, you may want your writer to send the first draft of a chapter and make suggestions and comments using a tracking tool.
How To Find a Ghostwriter for a Book
Ghostwriters specializing in books follow a unique collaborative process to ensure everything flows smoothly.
For instance, they typically schedule regular meetings or calls to ask you a list of questions.
This author questionnaire typically includes your target reader, goals, critical deadlines, brand, and the reputation you want to highlight.
Meanwhile, during the creation process, seasoned book ghostwriters ask the authors to provide key themes (in bullet points) for each chapter.
They also ask authors to provide transcripts of all the recordings for each chapter so the copy will reflect their voice and tone.
This way, the book will capture the author’s voice, personality, and core message.
Another thing to keep in mind—a book is a long-term writing project, so established book ghostwriters may take up to one year to start your copy.
How To Hire a Ghost Writer From an Agency
To reiterate, ghostwriting agencies only make money when they introduce a writer to their clients. Thus, whether the ghost is a good match for you doesn’t matter to them.
While finding the right ghostwriter through agencies might be tricky, you shouldn’t rule them out automatically.
Aside from looking at the agency’s reputation, customer reviews, and portfolio, make sure that you also ask these questions:
- Do they provide a money-back guarantee?
- What process do they use to pair ghostwriters with authors? (FYI, excellent agencies have a process that ensures a great match.)
- Do they have a sample contract that clients can read?
Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring a Ghostwriter
Below are the most common mistakes people commit when hiring a ghostwriter.
They Rush the Hiring Process.
Finding and hiring a competent ghostwriter isn’t something you should do in a rush. I’ve seen many people miss out on working with a good ghost writer because they simply hired the immediately available one.
Talented ghostwriters are often busy for a reason. Consequently, they are rarely available on the spot and often demand a longer notice period.
If you put quality above anything else, you must understand that talented ghostwriters book their projects in advance.
In fact, established book ghostwriters can have a client waitlist of up to 6-12 months.
They Choose the Cheapest Ghostwriter.
Working with a talented ghostwriter with an excellent portfolio typically entails a six-figure professional fee if it involves long-term projects like a book.
While I am not saying that professional fee is not important when choosing a ghost, it should never be the main factor in your decision-making.
Remember, your name will appear on your book (or whatever medium you’re using), which is basically your calling card to the world.
So, why would you cut corners on something so important?
They Choose a Freelance Writer—Not a Ghostwriter.
Ghostwriting is a specialized skill that requires not just a talent for storytelling but also a knack for impersonating someone else’s voice, mood, and personality.
Ideally, you should work with a ghostwriter who has already written something for another person.
They Don’t Check a Ghostwriter’s Previous Work.
More often than not, talented ghostwriters have published work.
Thus, if someone can’t show you their writing portfolio, chances are they have no or minimal experience. Or worse, they don’t have a flair for writing.
They Don’t Conduct a Background Check.
Remember to conduct a more extensive background to ensure that you work with a competent ghostwriter.
Choose someone with good ratings from previous employers or clients before discussing your project, the entire fee, deadlines, and other aspects.
They Fail to Discuss Request Changes.
As an author, you should be able to request changes at specific points in the writing process. Unfortunately, many people fail to discuss when and how often they can make these requests.
Typically, ghostwriters have a set amount of revision requests and stay within this limit. Take the time to cover this with your chosen writer to avoid confusion and misunderstandings in the future.
They Don’t Discuss Key Deadlines Immediately.
Before your ghostwriter starts the actual research and writing, you must discuss important deadlines.
Remember, goals without a concrete time frame are hard to achieve.
They Fail To Conduct an Interview.
In the ideal scenario, it’s nice that you meet with your ghostwriter in person. But if this is not possible, at least try to schedule a video meeting.
Questions To Ask Ghostwriters
Again, you don’t want to rush your hiring process to ensure that you end up with a good match for your project. You want to discuss everything thoroughly before you decide.
Here are some critical questions you have to ask before you hire a ghostwriter.
- Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
- How do you charge, and how much?
- When will payment be due?
- What does the fee include?
- Do you have a sample contract your prospective clients can read through?
- What happens if I cancel the contract?
- Do you have any process for learning the author’s voice?
- What style guides and writing styles do you follow?
- What word programs do you use?
- Do you excel in specific niches or genres?
- Do you have a policy about serial work?
- Can you provide me with your writing portfolio and sources where I can see your work?
- What other services do you provide? (e.g., editing, proofreading, publishing, etc.)
Budget is an important consideration. However, asking ghostwriters about their professional fees during the initial interview is tricky because the costs depend on several factors.
When calculating how much to charge, ghostwriters consider these things:
- How much research is involved
- How many days or hours the project likely requires
- The deliveries the clients expect
- Additional service aside from ghostwriting (e.g., researching, editing, proofreading, etc.)
How Much Does a Professional Ghost Writing Service Cost?
Their professional fee varies significantly depending on their experience, skills, industry, and the required amount of work.
For example, a book ghostwriter will naturally charge more than someone who only needs to write a short blog.
While choosing someone who charges the cheapest may be tempting, I wouldn’t recommend it.
With ghostwriting services, you get what you pay for. In other words, if you want excellent content, it’s best to steer clear of low-cost writing services.
To give you an idea of how much competent ghostwriters charge, imagine that you need a typical full-length book. This usually involves 250-350 pages with 200-300 words per page.
Suppose you’re dealing with excellent ghostwriters who have spent years building their portfolios and reputation. In that case, they will likely charge you between $15,000 and $75,000.
On the other hand, the best ghostwriters who have written books under their name and ghostwritten a few bestsellers typically charge between $100,000 and $250,000, or sometimes even more.
As mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for when it comes to ghostwriting.
Consequently, most experts advise against working with someone who charges way below the average ($14,000 or less).
As a general rule, if you can’t afford a skilled ghostwriter who generally charges more than $15,000 per book project, you might as well keep saving until you can afford their service.
If you’re really on a tight budget, you can hire a ghostwriter who agrees to a reduced rate in exchange for royalties. Some ghosts are also willing to charge less in exchange for a “with” credit on the book cover.
Despite being named as co-authors, the clients still retain the copyright unless otherwise stated in the contract.
Take note that many writers rarely accept a project for a reduced fee unless there is a high chance that your book will turn into a bestseller.
Generally, a professional ghostwriter prefers a guaranteed income rather than a speculative one. That’s why they usually avoid clients who demand a reduced rate in exchange for sharing potential profits from the book.
What Are the Benefits of Working With a Skilled Ghostwriter?
Talented ghostwriters don’t just help you share your stories; they can also add credibility to your brand or business. This is especially true if you hire ghosts who are excellent storytellers and industry experts.
These are the other benefits of having a professional ghostwriting service:
You Have More Time To Focus on Important Things.
Let’s be honest. Not everyone has the time to create compelling memoirs, business guides, in-depth articles, or pillar blog posts.
That’s where ghostwriters come in.
Professional ghostwriters have spent years perfecting their craft, helping you tell your story and capture your voice and personality at the same time.
By working with talented ghosts, you can free up a lot of time to focus on more important projects and goals, like growing your business and learning new skills.
You Are Sure of High-Quality Work.
Because they spent years perfecting their craft, professional ghostwriters don’t come cheap. Think of them as a worthwhile investment because their content can produce a high rate of return.
When hiring a ghostwriter, always prioritize quality.
Remember, the book, blog, article, or any other content they create will carry your name. We’re talking about your credibility and reputation here.
Professional Ghostwriters Are Versatile Writers.
Professional ghostwriters can help you turn your industry knowledge or personal story into a captivating narrative that your target readers can relate to.
This applies to various formats, such as a full-length novel, a how-to business guide ebook, or an in-depth blog post.
As versatile writers, they know how to adjust their language based on your target readers or customers, your industry, and most importantly, your voice and personality.
Even though professional ghostwriters typically charge six figures for a book project, they are a worthwhile investment.
They can help you establish yourself as an industry expert and tell your story exactly how you want it.
If you need excellent storytellers and ghostwriters, visit OJ Digital Solutions. We have meticulously hand-picked a team of talented writers to help you create unique content.
Our ghostwriters are veteran professionals with years of experience working with publishers, agents, authors, business owners, marketing teams, etc. Thus, they can guide you through the entire writing process.