One of my favorite fellow freelancers (say that three times fast!) is back on the blog today!
You might remember Holly from my interview with her on how she makes $200,000 a year as a freelance writer. Holly’s business is kicking some major butt, so I wanted to give y’all an update on how she earns the majority of her income with ghostwriting.
(And if you have no idea what ghostwriting is or what it entails, read on! I promise it’s got nothing to do with actual ghosts or haunted houses ;-))
Q: Welcome back to the blog, Holly! For those who don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Holly Johnson, and I’m a professional writer for a variety of popular publications. I blog at ClubThrifty.com and teach others how to build profitable online writing careers at EarnMoreWriting.com.
Q: So how exactly did you get started in ghostwriting?
I stumbled onto ghostwriting by accident. I was writing content for a wide range of clients when people started approaching me to see if I would write posts under their name. Yes, please! I was more than happy to do so since it helped me improve my writing skills while earning more money as a writer. Learning how to write in another person’s “voice” is challenging, but it has been helpful to my career.
Q: Sounds like a great combo! Learning and earning at the same time is always a win-win in my book. Can you tell us what exactly is ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting is a term used to describe what happens when someone hires a professional writer to create their content for them.
Q: And why would someone hire a ghostwriter?
Many working professionals hire ghostwriters because they are too busy to create their own content. Instead of spending hours trying to create the perfect post, they’ll send a list of bullet points to their ghostwriter and pay them to do the bulk of the work. This is a great deal for highly paid professionals who don’t like writing but still want to create content.
Q: Who, in particular, hires ghostwriters?
Professionals in all industries hire ghostwriters, from popular online media personalities to television stars to high-profile bloggers. If someone isn’t a professional writer by trade yet they are continually pushing out blog posts or content, there’s a good chance they work with a ghostwriter.
Q: Why would someone want to become a ghostwriter? Why wouldn’t you want to take credit for your work?
Great question! Ghostwriting is a great way to earn extra money if you already have a broad portfolio of work. In my case, I already write for numerous high-profile clients. It doesn’t hurt my career to do some ghostwriting on the side, nor does it take away from my portfolio in any way. On the flip side, ghostwriting may not be ideal for a new writer who is busy building their portfolio from scratch.
Q: Makes sense! Learning to write in someone else’s voice could definitely be challenging for a newbie writer. Does ghostwriting pay more than regular content writing?
Ghostwriting can absolutely pay more than traditional content creation, but it really depends on the client. A lot of busy professionals are more than happy to pay top dollar for high-quality content that requires little work on their part.
Q: What skills are needed to become a successful ghostwriter?
Working as a ghostwriter requires a higher level of skill than traditional writing, mostly because you may not have an editor to check your work. When you write a professional post a client is going to use, you have to make sure it’s absolutely perfect before you submit.
Q: How closely do ghostwriters work with their clients?
This really depends on the client. Some ghostwriting clients will send bullet points or a rough outline of the content they want created. Others will let you run wild and come up with anything you want that presents them in a good light. Generally speaking, I check in with my ghostwriting clients a few times per week.
Q: Is ghostwriting ethical?
Yes. Many professionals want to create content yet lack the writing skills to create high-quality works they are proud of. Others have solid writing skills but lack the time to invest into creating their own content. Either way, a ghostwriter can help that problem while helping the client reach their goals.
Q: Do I need a degree/certification/specific training to become a ghostwriter?
It helps to have a professional writing portfolio posted online. You don’t need any specific certification or training, although you do need excellent writing skills.
Q: How can I get started as a ghostwriter?
If you want to work as a ghostwriter, it helps to build an online writing portfolio for yourself first. Once you have proven your ability to succeed as a writer in the online world, it’s much easier to find clients who will hire you to help them do the same.
Q: Last but not least: What’s one of the most interesting ghostwriting projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve written all kinds of wacky content for clients, including some pretty outrageous blog posts that pushed the limits of what is appropriate to publish on the internet. I’ve also written speeches for some pretty prominent media personalities.
Ghostwriting seems like a fun and lucrative way to make more money in your freelance writing business! We love that Holly keeps finding new and interesting ways to expand her business, and we can’t wait to see what she does next 🙂
Are you a freelance writer looking to break into a new niche? Does ghostwriting seem like a good fit? If you’re interested in learning more from Holly, check out her Earn More Writing course. She has an entire section dedicated to ghostwriting. Why not learn from the best, right?!