Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to Become a Ghost Writer

Being a ghost writer can be the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to work from wherever you want, doing something you love to do. And because you hand over the finished product to your customer, you're relieved of the marketing and publicity tasks associated with successfully publishing a book.

Top that off with the fact that ghost writers have the ability to learn about a wide variety of industries and that the pay can be pretty darned good, and you have the makings for a perfect encore career choice. So how do you become a ghost writer?

#1  Choose your niche and business model. Are you going to write on a variety of topics or will you specialize? For example, you can become a health writer. Additionally, will you ghost write any type of content i.e. articles, blog posts, books and reports, or will you specialize in one particular type of content? It’s important to decide this in advance because it will help you not only hone your skills but also market your services and assess your competition. You can always expand your services or reduce them as your business grows and changes.

#2  Become an expert. The only way to prove you’re worth your salt as a writer is to write. And the only way to become better as a writer is to write. If you’re going to focus on a specific industry or topic (and this is strongly advised because it enables you to focus your marketing efforts), then you’ll want to gain recognition in your niche. That means publishing articles, reports and maybe even a book on the topic.

Don’t worry though - publishing can be a very straightforward process. The internet has made the process of self-publishing easy and very accessible. 

#3 Create a portfolio. Using the content you’ve published and other samples of your work, you’ll want to create a portfolio of samples your potential clients can review. This can be a labour-intensive process; however, it’s worth the effort.

#4 Create a website. One of the benefits of working as a ghost writer is that you can work from anywhere and your clients can be half way around the world. That means, it pays to have a website which outlines what you do, how to contact you, what you charge and provides a glimpse into your portfolio.

#5  Begin marketing your business. Some ghost writers make a very good living through a bit of networking and word of mouth. And if you’re a skilled writer, you can fill a year with projects with very little marketing effort. However, it always takes a bit of marketing to get your business off the ground, and it pays to have some sort of marketing strategy to fill in the gaps. Clients come and go, and a solid marketing strategy will help you replace them without too much stress or effort.

Again, one of the best ways of marketing your ghost writing business is to write and publish. Article marketing, for example, enables you to drive traffic to your website. You may also want to attend industry events and introduce yourself to people you’d like to work with.

#6  Continually strive to improve your skills. That means not only staying on top of your chosen niche industry, but also improving your writing skills. Attend conferences and workshops, read publications on writing and consider working with a writing coach.

Being a ghost writer takes a combination of writing skills and business skills. You’re offering a service and, if you remember to balance that with being a good writer, you’re well on your way to a successful ghost writing career.

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