How to become a ghostwriter

Updated February 21, 2017

Becoming a ghostwriter is a surprisingly easy way to earn money writing while maintaining a flexible schedule. Both individuals and corporations hire ghostwriters on a regular basis. With dedication and strong writing skills, you may even be able to quit your day job.

Gain professional experience as a writer working under deadlines. Even if you're a good writer, you need to make sure that you work well under deadlines in order to be a ghostwriter. You can find short-term writing jobs at job posting sites like Genuine Jobs (see Resources below).

Create a website that sells your ghostwriting skills. Make your website professional, including your rates for various writing projects, a portfolio and a way to contact you. Though you may not get much traffic going directly to your website, you can send potential clients there.

Sign up as a freelance writer on contract work sites like Elance (see Resources below). Many people seeking a ghostwriter post their projects on such sites for members to bid on. Though it might take some time to develop a client base, if you are persistent and professional, you can get ghostwriting jobs.

Peruse classified ads for ghostwriter requests, especially on sites like CraigsList (see Resources below). Because you can telecommute to most ghostwriting jobs, seek ads across the nation rather than just locally.

Advertise your ghostwriting services. Post information about your services in writing forums, on sites like Craigslist and in your local newspapers.

Maintain a professional attitude. A ghostwriter must be professional in all respects, from the way you present yourself online to the way you interact with clients to the quality of your writing. The more professional you are, the more likely you are to get repeat clients and referrals.

Meet your deadlines--always. After writing skills, your ability to meet deadlines is key to success as a ghostwriter. If a client requests a deadline that you know you can't meet, it's better to talk to the client about an alternate deadline than to miss the one they propose-or to submit low-quality writing to them.


Specializing in a specific type of ghostwriting can help you target clients. For example, you might become an expert in historical writing, science writing or autobiography. Be willing and able to change your writing style to match the client's needs. Being a ghostwriter is not like writing your own material because you must use someone else's style and overall approach when requested. If writing for a website, use keywords to drive traffic to the site. Use a tool like the Keyword Selector Tool to research the best keywords.


Beware of students trying to hire a ghostwriter to complete their term papers. You must get your clients' approval before posting any writing you've done for them on your website. It's best to include writing samples that weren't actually submitted to clients because few clients want the work you did for them posted.

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