One of the questions I get asked most is how to become a ghostwriter. And while there is no one set path, I have some advice for those looking to get started.
When it comes to ghostwriting, all you really need is the ability to write. There are tons of different kinds of ghostwriting, from novels to nonfiction books to blogposts. The key is to pick something that you have experience with.
My first job out of school was working as a ghostwriter for a small (and honestly, corrupt) vanity press. I’m sharing more about that experience in this YouTube video:
But your experience doesn’t have to be that way.
And now, with more remote work options than ever, you can easily find a writing gig online, so there’s no need to work directly with a publishing company. Today I’m sharing 7 places you can find the ghostwriting gig of your dreams.
Or, you know, a ghostwriting gig.
Because let’s be real: Your dream is probably to write the things you want to write, and not to write for someone else.
But if you wanna pay the bills with your mad writer skills, then I’ve listed several ways you can become a ghostwriter..Wanna pay the bills with your writing skills? Here's how to become a ghostwriter! Click To Tweet
How to Become a Ghostwriter
001: Freelancing sites (BEWARE!)
As a writer, you fall into one of two camps. Either you’re pro Upwork and Fiverr, or you’re against them.
And I have to say, there are a lot of writers who have a lot of success with sites like these. Some of the potential gigs may be low paying, but if you need to build up a portfolio, it’s a great place to get started.
However, it’s worth noting that some of the jobs are really low. Like, people wanting you to write a whole book for under $50 low.
Even if you don’t take these gigs, know that you may end up wading through a lot of them.
That being said, I feel I need to confess I’ve never used these sites, so my personal jury is still out. I think it may be worth a shot, especially if you’re looking to get some experience with ghostwriting.
Craigslist: It’s not just for creepers!
You know that little section of Craigslist that says “gigs?” Well, under “writing,” you can find a ton of opportunities for blog ghostwriting. Yeah, they aren’t going let you make a whole salary, but you will be able to make some cash.
So, if you need some extra money or you want to put your blogging skills to work in order to build that blog ghostwriting portfolio, check it out.
I also think it’s important to note that some of these people are definitely scammers. So, do some research. check out the site that you would be writing for, and see if it’s even worth your time.
You get to determine how much you want to make, so know that you don’t have to take any super low-paying gigs. But also, just know that a lot of these gigs only pay $10-$20 per post.
So, this is probably a last resort.
And absolutely do not take the gig from some old dude who wants you to write his memoirs. There’s someone in the Oklahoma City area who posts that once or twice a year. He’s so sure his life story is going to be a best seller, and he’ll be able to pay you as soon as the book is out.
You’re smarter than that, friendo, and you know that the memoir of an average joe is never gonna sell that well.
If you’re looking for some legit work, this is the place to go. Whether you want some work ghostwriting fiction, nonfiction, or blog posts, Mediabistro is where the pros look for jobs.
Before you click on over there, know that you are going to have a portfolio already built up in order to work for them. And you’re going to need to have some references. So, while this isn’t the place for the person just starting their career, it’s a great place for people who already have a solid foundation.
And they don’t just have writing jobs. There are tons of posts looking for remote editors or book formatters on occasion, so you can definitely find a gig that will put that English degree to work.
004: Networking with local businesses
If you’re interested in ghostwriting blogs and ebooks, you need to start networking with businesses. Every business needs marketing materials and online content.
And sure, this is going to require a bit of extra legwork on your part, but it’s the sort of thing that can be a very sustaining and longterm gig.
Most businesses need blog posts for their website. Most businesses need copy for their newsletters. Most businesses need content for marketing materials. And most businesses need someone to create pamphlets, PDFs, and ebooks to explain what it is they do and how they can help their ideal customer.
So if you’re good with networking and know how to explain processes in language that would entice a customer, you could potentially find yourself working for a local business that has the budget to contract a writer, but not the budget to keep one on staff full-time.
This is a great way to build a portfolio or to keep a consistent side hustle.
I recommend hitting up local businesses that you’re familiar with. That way, you know what it is they do, and how they could make it easier for their customers. This means you know exactly what to pitch to this business, and you can hit the ground running.
005: Freedom with Writing
Freedom with Writing is a website that posts writing jobs and contests. And if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll get those sent directly to your inbox.
I’ll be honest, here. The majority of the posts here reference contests and calls for pitches, but there is occasionally a post about ghostwriting gigs.
I would definitely recommend this site regardless, though, simply because it helps you keep your fingers on the pulse of the publishing industry, and even if you’re looking for a ghostwriting job, you may just be able to find some magazines to pitch to as well.
If you’re interested in ghostwriting for blogs and ebooks, then you gotta hit up Problogger.
The website itself is full of great and helpful information, but the job board is where it’s at. If you’re looking for gigs, look no further.
And the cool thing is that they post jobs for tons of different blogs. So, whether you’re looking to write about pets or video games or hairstyles or how to blog, you’re going to find several potential gigs.
So, y’all know about pseudonyms, right? Why not make one up and write novellas under a very popular niche on Amazon?
I’m not saying I do this, but I’m also not saying I don’t. YOU’LL LITERALLY NEVER KNOW BECAUSE THAT’S HOW GHOSTWRITING WORKS.
If you’re a fiction writer, then this is a great way to make a little money and practice meeting deadlines and formatting stories. Do a little research on what’s popular on Amazon, and then start publishing.
And while I’ve suggested you go with novellas, you can do full-on novels if you’re a fast enough writer. The possibilities are pretty endless, and you can write whatever you want. The key is to find a popular niche and publish consistently so you can rank in the Amazon algorithm.Where did you find your ghostwriting gig? Click To Tweet
How Did You Become a Ghostwriter?
If you’ve got a sweet ghostwriting gig, tell us how you found it. Any sites I missed? How do you suggest others break into the business?