Earning through the internet has been a fancy for many. Many people try to become a social media influencer, some try to become a blogger. However, most realize that this dream is harder than it sounds.
It’s just because most people try to copy others and enter into a field that is already over saturated. If you want to earn fast, then you need to dive into a niche that’s relatively narrow and under-saturated.
But the hard thing behind this advice is that most people don’t quite talk about under-saturated niches; and why should they? The thing is not trending. It does not provide any enthusiasm among the writers.
And that’s where most are wrong.
The thing is, this stuff that I am going to share below, is going to bring you money and that too, fast. It is not any get-rich quick scheme because you need to work your ass off if you want to see any money. This stuff is ghost writing.
It is an under-talked shady-like business which most people are not aware of. And, since there are not much posts advocating about this, most people are not even interested about this, even though, it pays far better than any freelance writer.
But first, let’s address a question that may have been nagging you if you have no idea about ghost writing.
What is Ghost Writing?
It’s pretty simple. Ghost writing is pretty much the job of a freelance writer who writes in another person’s name. Since, the freelance writer does not receive any credit for his/her job, he/she actually earns much more than a freelance writer.
Now, the business of ghost writing has several depths and manners. It even has several types. But here, I will be talking about writing articles for others’ in their name.
There is nothing new about this business. It has been going on since time eternity. But, the frequency with which it goes on, is actually much less than any other freelance writing gig. Ghost writing is a true six-figure gig opportunity. You walk in the shadows writing articles for prominent magazines and websites, without getting any credit like that of a freelance writer but you earn a lot more than them.
Now this has several pros and cons.
An average freelance writer’s job is highly scaleable. This is because when a freelance writer posts on a high-authority site like Forbes or Business Insider, there will be several top-notch magazines and websites who will clamour around him in order to hire him for their services.
But, in case of ghost writing, you don’t get known much. So, in order to scale this business, you should not ever remove your identity as a freelance writer. On the contrary you should try and get some inspiration from freelance writers and advertise like they do.
It’s just that when you work as a freelance writer, you build your brand and this brand can be further utilized to get the chance of becoming a ghost writer (more on this in the next section). Always remember, all ghost writers are freelance writers but the vice-versa isn’t true.
How Should A Person Start His Ghost Writing Business
This section has two parts- one is absolutely similar to that of a freelance writing gig while the other is similar to that of a business consultant.
#1. Building Your Brand
If you want people to hire you to write for them, you need to first look at you retrospectively.
Why should anyone hire you?
This question has only one answer. It is because of your brand. Your branding will make or break your business. If you have your name on several publications, people will want to hire you to write for them in their name. And this is where it is pretty similar to that of a freelance writer.
Write guest posts, take part in podcasts, get a good social media following and all the related stuff that gets your image popped up when people search for your name.
Another great way to brand yourself is to be active at HARO, which is acronym for Help A Reporter Out. It is a platform where journalists and potential sources for them connect. In simpler terms, your main aim should be to increase your online visibility.
Although a crucial part, this step alone, will land you very few ghostwriting gigs. So, you need to leverage this part to get to the next part, which is-
#2. OutReach Like A Business Consultant
You need to build your contacts. The thing is there are several people in the internet who write for big publications. And, you are no snow white among them that you will be hired by people who need ghost writers.
People have an abundance of choice. So, you need to connect with people on social media. You need to keep up with the latest social media trends and you need to again build your brand on social media by getting a big following. Twitter and LinkedIn is pretty much the social media for professionals. However, Twitter is where bloggers, writers and marketers hang out the most. So, I would say, you need to capitalize and build your following on Twitter first.
Then you need to connect with the people whom you want to hire you. Comment on their posts, say hi etc. Just be social. Guest post on their website if needed and then you move in for the catch.
Check out this post on 5 ways to market yourself online for a different take at this.
You tell them you are a ghost writer and would want to ghostwrite for them.
Considerations a Ghost Writer Should Have While Setting Up His Business
Can you write in your social media or other profiles’ bio that you are a ghost writer?
This is because, most people would be afraid to contact you for writing gigs in the first place. If you advertise that you are a ghost writer, who knows if you will tell other potential clients that you wrote for some other client in the first place.
And that’s not all. Some people dislike the business of ghost writing. Better not earn peoples’ dislike in this profession because here contacting and leveraging contacts is a very crucial step.
There are also several legal ramifications that a ghost writer should always keep in mind, the most important of which is-
You can never tell where you worked as a ghost writer.
People hire you because you will maintain secrecy. People hire you because you will write in their name. It all becomes quite useless if you spill the beans, regarding places where you wrote.
The best practice is to advertise that you are a freelance writer openly but to contact the targeted clients regarding your proposal to be a ghost writer for them. However, there are some clients who will be okay if you disclose that you work as a ghost writer for them. Although a rare species, but if they are okay with it, then you can advertise your work there.
How To Land Your First Ghost Writing Gig
This is the real stuff. Hopefully by now, you have built a decent personal branding. But, they say, landing the first client is always difficult. And, surely it is. So this will guide you step by step, how you can do it.
It is pretty simple actually. Send over an entirely finished article to a potential client, to whom you have already kept a good connection with over social media.Tell them that they need not give you credit for it and can use it just the way they want.
Here’s a pitch you can use –
I was wondering that you write such good articles in [the niche], but [topic name] is pretty much uncovered.
I have created an article on [topic name] and attached it. Feel free to use it. And you absolutely need not give me any credit for it whatsoever!
Looking forward to hear from you.
Hope you like it,
8/10 chances are that they will accept the article and publish it provided it is of good quality. Before you write the article, get a good idea of the audience the website has. Then, craft a post that suits them like a hand in a glove.
After the post gets published, it is your job to share it like crazy. Also, link to the article from other sites and your guest posts. Make sure it gets the love that it deserves! After that, tell the site-owner or founder that you would love to keep on writing on the [uncovered niche] and can easily cover it up in a manner that will be loved by its audience. Mention that you are willing to ghost write for them
This is going in for the kill.
Most chances are that they will accept your proposal. Of course you may be rejected but that is why you need to choose your clients wisely and make sure that they are able to pay beforehand. A small time site probably isn’t a good fit for a ghost writer. A top-notch site also isn’t because most likely they have hundreds of writers and ghost writers on the team. So, you have to aim for something in the middle.
Getting Paid a.k.a Your Earnings
How much can you expect to get paid via ghostwriting?
Well, it can be anything. For example, I worked as a ghost writer for a site that advertised that they needed freelance writers. I got around thrice the pay a freelance writer gets.
I also wrote a book in the name of another person. But there, I received 50% of the royalties that the other person did. The thing is keep your head high and aim high. Don’t settle for less than double than that of a freelance writer’s pay and you are set!
Wrapping it Up
Ghost writing is a very unique business. You can earn lots if you plan, strategize and execute.
The entire article can be condensed into the following simple steps:
- Build a brand – Use social media to enhance your public image. Get more followers and make your targeted audience take you more seriously. Get yourself known.
- Outreach – Find brands or blog owners who have a “write for us” or hiring page and reach out to them. Use indirect outreach and get cozy with them before hard-selling.
You can even get yourself registered on websites like Upwork etc, but I don’t quite recommend that as that doesn’t let you scale your gig, nor does it help in giving yourself the freedom in selecting your customers.
Now it’s your turn. Are you going to focus on ghostwriting as an exclusive business? Do you have any other strategy or technique other than the ones mentioned above when ghostwriting? What is your preferred way to find clients whom you wish to ghostwrite for? Share it in the comments!