How to Get Started as a Ghostwriter

27 Aug

Last week, I was celebrating landing a new ghostwriting project when a fellow writer-friend of mine asked me how to get started as a ghostwriter.

I thought back to years ago when I’d started ghostwriting – it took a lot of time and a lot of clients before I got my first ghostwriting gig. But looking back on it all now, I thought I’d share the tips I learned along the way to hopefully expedite anyone else wants to know how to get started as a ghostwriter.

1) Collect positive client testimonials.

Websites like ifreelance.com and Elance.com are great for getting work and then getting reviews. Reviews are really important for ghostwriting clients because they want to know how other people liked working with you. Reviews are especially important because you can’t really have a ghostwriting portfolio since ghostwriting is, by definition, secretive.

2) Build up your public portfolio.

Remember that you can’t include ghostwriting samples in your portfolio because doing so violates the confidentiality part of a ghostwriting agreement. Instead, build up your regular writing portfolio so that potential clients can see that you actually know how to write well.

3) Be willing to do a free sample.

Ghostwriting contracts typically pay a lot more than an average writing job, so if you want to get one, you should be willing to do a free writing sample for the prospective client. A few pages won’t take up too much of your time and will be worth it in the long run if they’re good enough to get you the gig.

4) Be patient.

Things like this do take time. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be an overnight success story. Don’t give up!

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