The Cold Void Of The Ghostwriter’s Life? (Explained)

Ghostwriting is a strange profession. It’s rare, it doesn’t have brand equity, and it’s not something that will help you build your brand. On the other hand, ghostwriters make decent money and have flexible schedules. 

In this article I’ll be discussing why ghostwriting can be such a good job for some people and why others should stay away from it like the plague.

Ghostwriters – An Ugly Secret – YouTube
Ghostwriting is a challenging yet rewarding career.
The life of a ghostwriter can be isolating.
Success as a ghostwriter requires resilience.
Building a support network is crucial for ghostwriters.
Understanding the ethical implications of ghostwriting is essential.

1. Ghostwriting Jobs Are Rare

So you’ve got a great idea for a novel. You’ve written some of it, but you need help developing the story and making sure that your characters are believable and relatable. 

Maybe you’re just starting as an author, or maybe you want to expand on a short story or poem that’s already been published somewhere else.

What do you do? Well, if ghostwriting is something you’re thinking about doing for others (and not yourself), there are some things worth considering before contacting any potential clients:

Ghostwriting jobs are rare! So many people want them but so few get them. Even when they get them, most don’t get paid well for their work either. 

This makes sense because writing is hard work and can take up a lot of time depending on how long the project is supposed to be finished (or if there’s just one book). 

If someone books me at least 6 months ahead of time then I’ll usually charge $50 per hour just so they know what they’re getting into before booking me in their calendar vs waiting until closer to the publication date which would double my rate since more people might ask around then too.”

The life of a ghostwriter can be challenging, but it’s a rewarding profession with numerous benefits. Check out our article on why ghostwriting is the best business to be in to discover 17 compelling reasons why many choose this path.

2. Ghostwriters Have No Brand Equity

As a ghostwriter, you’ll be one of the best in your field. You can write about any subject and do it faster than most people can think about it. But because you don’t have a name or face to attach to the work you’ve done, clients may not see you as an expert in your field. 

Your clients will want to know who they’re working with before they hire you is this someone who has my best interests at heart? Do I trust this person’s abilities? And if not, why am I paying them for their expertise?

  • Ghostwriters don’t get exposure or recognition for what they do

3. Ghostwriters Are Confined To Their Own Name

Ghostwriters are not known by their names. The only time they receive credit is through the writing they do, and even then it’s usually more of a footnote than anything else. They aren’t allowed to take responsibility for their work or use their voice in any way. 

As a result, they’re confined to being known only by the name of the person whose ideas they write down or rather, for whom others have written down those ideas. 

For example: If you were asked what George R.R. Martin wrote about his books, would you say “A Song of Ice and Fire,” “Game of Thrones,” or maybe even “Westeros”? Probably not you’d probably say something along the lines of “those books I read back in high school” instead!

This means that there’s no real sense of identity for ghostwriters themselves; their names become synonymous with other people’s creations rather than anything about themselves as individuals (and yes, this can often be frustrating). 

Ghostwriting can also feel like being trapped within someone else’s world without having much room left over for your ideas or creativity; 

After all, if someone else has already come up with everything there is to know about how things work within this world then wouldn’t it make sense that we should follow along?

4. Ghostwriters Don’t Get Speaking Engagements

Let’s talk about speaking engagements.

You’re a ghostwriter, and you’re not allowed to speak at conferences, events or seminars. You can’t appear in person at workshops, webinars or meetups. 

The only way for your knowledge to reach the world is through the mouth of another speaker someone who doesn’t want you there either.

It’s like living inside an episode of The Twilight Zone where everyone is trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of pretenses and half-truths. 

No one is being honest with each other because it would mean their livelihoods might disappear overnight if they did so! But even more importantly than that: who wants their voice heard by others when they know they weren’t the one doing all this hard work?

Ghostwriters are unsung heroes, and their contributions are often underappreciated. Learn about 9 reasons why ghostwriters are awesome and how they bring stories to life while staying behind the scenes.

5. Ghostwriters Make Less Money As A Ghostwriter Over Time

As you work as a ghostwriter, you will find that there is a lot of competition. The majority of the people who do this kind of work are very good at it and can write faster than you can. 

This means that if you want to make more money per word (or per hour) than your peers, then you need to bring value with each piece of writing you produce.

6. Ghostwriters Don’t Learn New Skills For Themselves

Your clients may demand that you learn new skills for them, but don’t expect the same from your personal development.

You may be able to pick up some practical knowledge from the work of other ghostwriters. However, do not try to sell or share your techniques with others.

In fact, as a ghostwriter, it’s best if you make no mistakes at all (not even small ones) since these can lead people to believe that you are not capable of being a truly excellent writer and editor. 

You should also avoid learning anything from your clients—it’s unlikely they will have any useful insights for you anyway!

7. Ghostwriters Miss Out On Giving Back To The Community

You can also give back to the community in some way. This not only helps others, but it also helps you find your passion and purpose. What is your cause? How can you help those in need? The more personal the message, the better chance it will resonate with readers.

You can start small by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter on weekends or evenings after work hours. Keep giving until you grow into something bigger!

8. Ghostwriters Miss Out On Being Seen As A Thought Leader

It is sometimes difficult for ghostwriters to get their name out there as thought leaders or experts in the field. Many times, clients will take credit for the ideas that the ghostwriter has developed, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to build your reputation. 

Most writers have seen this happen at least once or twice before; maybe your project has been used as an example of some huge research study or market analysis but it wasn’t yours! 

This issue also occurs when clients create content based on ideas they’ve received from their hired writers. While they may be credited if they write something themselves, the authorship of content created by other people (i.e., YOU) is often not recognized by others in the industry.

In short: If you’re creating great content and doing exceptional work but aren’t getting credit for it because no one knows who wrote it… then what’s even the point?

Interested in becoming a ghostwriter? Delve into our guide on how to become a ghostwriter and make money writing for others to explore the journey, opportunities, and potential rewards in this unique writing profession.

9. Ghostwriters Miss Out On Promoting And Selling Their Own Products

It’s not just the lack of credit. Ghostwriters also don’t get to promote their work, which is a huge detriment to your reputation as a writer.

When you write in your name, people know who you are and can trust that you are an expert on the subject matter at hand. When they buy one of your books or products they know that they’re getting quality content from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

But when you use a ghostwriter, even though it was written by an actual expert in their field (you), it doesn’t have any real credibility because no one knows who wrote it! So even if the content is great, if no one knows it exists then no one will buy it either.

And if someone does buy something written by an unknown author but isn’t entirely satisfied with their purchase? They won’t come back for more because there will be nothing else for them about which to be loyal (and most likely won’t recommend said book/product).

Writing efficiently as a ghostwriter can lead to greater success in this field. Check out our valuable tips on how to write faster and publish more as a ghostwriter to enhance productivity and excel in this demanding yet rewarding profession.

10. If The Writer Is The Only Voice That Represents The Blog

Ghostwriters should be able to promote their products, services, brand, and content. If a ghostwriter is hired to write an article or blog post under someone else’s name and no mention of who wrote it is made.

All rights to such an article/blog must belong to that person who commissioned it or else things can get messy fast. 

This is especially true if you’re writing for companies with multiple authors on staff; chances are they won’t want you promoting yourself while working under another author’s name (unless they specifically ask you to).

For example: let’s say I’m writing this post freelance for a website called “A-Z About Ghostwriting” as part of an ongoing series called “10 Things You Should Know About Being A Ghostwriter”. 

In this case, I can include myself in a footnote at the end saying something like: “This article was written by me! But if you want information about hiring me for your next project just email”

Ghostwriting is a fine art, a delicate dance of capturing someone else’s voice and vision. Unravel the intricacies of ghostwriting: the art of doing other people’s words and how it demands a skilled and empathetic writer.


If you’re a writer, don’t be afraid to reach out to other writers. The more connections you make with other writers, the more likely you are to find work and clients who are looking for what you can offer. 

And if there’s any doubt about whether or not ghostwriting could be for you, just remember that all it takes is one good project before your career is launched into orbit!

Further Reading

JSTOR – The Ghostwriting Debate: Part 1 A scholarly article discussing the ongoing debate surrounding ghostwriting and its ethical implications.

Words Without Borders – Ghost Writers An insightful piece exploring the role of ghostwriters in the literary world and their impact on diverse cultures.

The New Yorker – Best Books of 2022 Check out the top literary works of 2022, including those with contributions from talented ghostwriters.


What is ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the practice of writing content on behalf of someone else who is typically credited as the author. The ghostwriter’s role is to capture the author’s voice and vision while remaining anonymous.

Why do authors use ghostwriters?

Authors may use ghostwriters for various reasons, such as lack of time, limited writing skills, or the desire to expand their output without compromising quality.

Is ghostwriting ethical?

The ethics of ghostwriting can be a topic of debate. While it allows authors to produce more content, some critics argue that it diminishes authenticity and transparency in the writing process.

How do ghostwriters get paid?

Ghostwriters are usually compensated with a flat fee or a percentage of the book’s royalties, depending on the terms agreed upon with the author.

Are ghostwriters common in the publishing industry?

Yes, ghostwriting is prevalent in the publishing industry, particularly for celebrity memoirs, autobiographies, and books by well-known figures who may not have the time or writing expertise to create a full manuscript.