Things I Wish Ghostwriters Knew

It’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of freelancing. The flexibility, the freedom to work from home, and set your schedule all sound so appealing! 

But as much as I love being a ghostwriter, it’s not always easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn new skills and adapt to be successful in this business. Here are some tips for anyone who wants to start their own ghostwriting career:

3 Tips to Find a Ghost Writer – Lisa Nichols – YouTube
1. Gain valuable insights and advice from an experienced ghostwriter’s reflections and lessons learned.
2. Learn essential tips for aspiring ghostwriters, helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities in the field.
3. Understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality in ghostwriting through non-disclosure agreements.
4. Explore various types of content that ghostwriters can create, from books to social media posts.
5. Discover the reasons why people use ghostwriters and the benefits they bring to the writing process.

If You Know The Right Information In Advance, You’ll Be Able To Write Better Content And Make More Money

The more you know, the better your content will be. You’ll be able to write more interesting and engaging content that doesn’t include the same old information that everyone else is using. 

This will help you stand out from the crowd and attract new clients who want original and creative work.

You can also charge more money for your services because you’re offering something unique. 

More importantly, if you’re working with clients on a project basis, they’ll feel confident knowing that they’re getting quality work from someone who knows what they’re doing and they’ll pay accordingly!

Plus: all of this results in less stress (on both sides) when it comes time for revisions or edits because there aren’t any surprises lurking within those pages anymore!

Avoid common pitfalls and improve your video script writing with our valuable insights on video script writing dos, don’ts, and good practices. Follow expert tips and guidelines to ensure your scripts are on point and resonate with your target audience effectively.

Don’t Ask For Free Samples

As a ghostwriter, I don’t like to turn down work. I also don’t like to be asked for free samples. If you’re new, or if the client is a friend of yours and it’s not going to cost them anything extra, that’s fine.

But if your request for free samples costs me money and/or time (and it will), then it isn’t fair and it makes me nervous about working with you in the future.

Do ask for samples

Now that you know what to look for in a client, let’s talk about how to find them. You can certainly trust the word of mouth or your social media network. 

However, if you want to make sure that you’re only working with authors who are of the highest caliber, see what they have published and start there.

A good way to begin is by asking yourself these questions: Are they active on social media? Do they have their own website or blog? What do their posts look like? How long are their articles/blog posts/Facebook posts/tweets? 

Do they include images (or videos)? If so, does it seem like those images (or videos) are relevant and add value to their work?

These questions all point toward one thing: communication style. 

By looking at samples from different types of communication platforms (blogs, Facebook posts) you can get an idea of how someone communicates online — which will tell you a lot about how they communicate with clients!

Research Your Clients Before Contacting Them

As a ghostwriter, you’ll be dealing with a lot of different people. Some will be amazing and some will be…well…not the best. 

It’s important to know what kind of client you’re dealing with before you contact them, because if it turns out that they are difficult to work with or not that interested in your services then it could save both parties time and energy by knowing this upfront.

When I first started ghostwriting for clients, I didn’t do enough research into who was hiring me. 

This meant that when I did get someone who wasn’t great at communicating (or worse yet just didn’t care about anything) it was an uphill battle trying to figure out how best to communicate our needs back and forth.

How to Write a Winning Video Script: Crafting a compelling video script is essential for success. Check out our guide on How to Write a Winning Video Script to captivate your audience and drive engagement.

Don’t Apply Through A Generic Form Email

Don’t send a generic email.

It may be tempting to apply for freelance writing jobs through an online form, but these generic applications are more often than not ignored by ghostwriting firms. The best way to get noticed is to write an individualized cover letter that will stand out from the pack.

Don’t Be Too Formal Or Informal

The key here is balance: you want your cover letter to convey that you are professional and capable of handling confidential information while also showing off your personality and being empathetic towards clients’ needs and concerns. 

It’s best not to go too far in either direction (for example, if you’re applying for a job as a writer who specializes in business reports, it’s probably not the right time to tell them about your dream of becoming an aspiring novelist).

Verify That The Client Posting The Job Is Legit

We have all been there. You are looking for a ghostwriting job and you find one that appears to be legit. However, there is no way to know for sure if it’s real or not unless you ask the client directly.

Here’s what I recommend doing:

Check the client’s website and social media presence. If they don’t have one, then it’s probably not legitimate and you should stay away from working with them!

Top 11 YouTube Story Formulas: Struggling to come up with engaging YouTube content? Discover the Top 11 YouTube Story Formulas that work wonders in captivating viewers and keeping them coming back for more.

Don’t Think Less Of Me Because I’m Not A Native English Speaker

I know, I know: you’re a native English speaker and I’m not. I’ve lived in the US for 20 years and studied English since kindergarten, but even after all this time, my brain still has trouble with certain parts of grammar. 

For example, when I need to use the subjunctive mood (a fancy way of saying “what if?”), it takes me three times longer than it should because my brain doesn’t automatically conjugate verbs properly.

I don’t want you to think less of me because of this we all have our strengths and weaknesses! It’s okay if you make more money than me; there’s no shame in being better at something than someone else is.

Fluent In Written English Doesn’t Mean Fluent In Spoken English

This may be a controversial statement, but it’s true: fluency in written English doesn’t mean fluency in spoken English. In fact, many ghostwriters don’t understand this and try to speak on behalf of their clients as though they were native speakers. 

This is why many ghostwritten books are riddled with syntax errors and awkward phrasing because the writer didn’t know how to translate their client’s ideas into an accurate representation of spoken language.

The difference between writing and speaking can largely be explained by the fact that there are more rules when writing than when speaking. 

For example, if you’re going to write a sentence like “The dog went home” or “My brother went home,” it doesn’t make sense to your reader because there’s only one possible way for those sentences to work grammatically of course those sentences can only make sense if you’re talking about one dog (and then maybe another).

Or one brother who goes home from somewhere else! But if we were talking about this same subject matter face-to-face over dinner with friends or family members, we could say things.

Like “My brother came home yesterday,” which sounds natural even though it also sounds like something you would expect someone who is not well-versed in English grammar would say!

Keep Track Of How Long You Spend On Your Work, So You Can Track Your Efficiency And Speed Over Time

I use a timer that beeps when time is up (one minute per beep), but it’s easy to keep track with a stopwatch too. You can also add an extra column alongside the other tasks in your spreadsheet or use an app like Harvest or Toggl if you prefer not to rely on pen and paper. 

No matter which method you choose, keep track of the total amount of time spent for each task, so that if there are any unexpected delays, it will be easier for both parties to look back at previous projects and see how much time was spent on similar tasks before moving forward.*

Know When To Turn Down A Project

If a project doesn’t feel right, say no. It’s that simple. If you don’t want to work with the client, or if the project itself isn’t something you’re interested in, just say so. 

There’s no harm in turning down a job each client is different and each writer has their comfort zone when it comes to projects and time commitments.

If you’re thinking about saying no but are concerned about offending the client or losing future business from them, consider this: if they’re going to be offended by your honesty, then they probably aren’t someone worth working with anyway! 

The best way I’ve found of turning down an offer politely is by explaining that I’m currently busy with another project (which may not be true), but would love more time later on for these kinds of projects once my current work schedule clears up. 

This gives me plausible deniability (in case my client asks how long it’ll take) while still showing some interest in their offer without committing myself entirely at this point.

Tips for Creating Viral YouTube Videos: Want your YouTube videos to go viral? Learn valuable insights from our post on Tips for Creating YouTube Videos that Will Go Viral and increase your chances of reaching millions of viewers.

Be Realistic About What You Can Do, And How Much Time It Will Take

Don’t take on too much, or too little.

I’ve worked with ghostwriters who were so excited to get a project that they agreed to write the whole thing in a week, and others who weren’t sure where to begin because they weren’t sure what was expected of them. 

If you’re new to this business, take your time and do some research before taking on any projects. There’s no need for haste when you’re just starting out!

Also, don’t take on more than you can handle both in quality and quantity. Ghostwriting is hard work; it’s mentally taxing and emotionally draining sometimes, too (not always). 

It’s also not always as easy as it looks from the outside: if your client asks for 10 things by Friday but only gives you 2 days’ notice about those requests (and then wants another 7 things by Monday).

Then something has gone wrong somewhere along the line here either with their expectations or with communication between them and their clients/authors/publishers etcetera…

Set Boundaries Around Your Time And Keep Them Inviolate.  Especially If You Work From Home With Small Children!

If you work from home with small children, it’s important to establish boundaries around your time and keep them inviolate. If you don’t, you’ll feel like the world is coming apart at the seams. 

Don’t overcommit yourself, and don’t accept any work that you can’t do promptly (or at least tell your clients before they’ve spent money on something that’s going to take longer than they expect). 

Don’t work on weekends or holidays if possible; set aside evenings for family time instead.

Freelancing isn’t easy, but it’s worth it! – I got here by being myself, writing what I love to write, and working hard (but smart) every day. I hope this article gave you some insight into how to make ghostwriting work for you!

Ghostwriting is a great way to earn some extra money and help others. If you’re interested in getting started, here are some tips:

Start by writing your own book. The best way to learn how to ghostwrite is by doing it yourself! 

If you don’t have a book idea yet, consider writing about something that interests you (or even write more articles for this blog!). I’m sure there are people out there who would love your help and expertise!

Once you’ve written your book, start looking for clients online through websites like Upwork or Fiverr. You can also try searching for “ghostwriter” on Craigslist or Google Classifieds if those sites are still around where you live (I heard they were closing down).

Things I Wish Ghostwriters Knew: Aspiring ghostwriters, take note of the valuable insights shared in Things I Wish Ghostwriters Knew. This post offers essential advice and wisdom from experienced ghostwriters in the field.


I have a lot of tips for you! The first thing is to be less nervous about writing. Writing is like anything else: the more you do it, the better you get at it. 

So don’t worry about whether or not your words will come out right; just write them down as best you can and we’ll take care of everything else.

I know that some ghostwriters are worried about spending time with their clients, but I think this is a good thing because it helps build trust and friendship between us. I’ve found that relationships built on trust tend to last longer than those built on money alone! 

But if you’re uncomfortable hanging out with people who aren’t paying clients (or if they won’t allow it), then that’s okay too

Further Reading

What I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Ghostwriter: Gain valuable insights and advice from an experienced ghostwriter in this article that shares the author’s reflections and lessons learned on the journey of ghostwriting. Read more.

Ten Things You Should Know If You Wish to Be a Ghostwriter: If you’re considering a career as a ghostwriter, this blog post offers ten essential tips to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities in the ghostwriting world. Read more.

Ghostwriting Tips: HubSpot’s marketing blog presents a comprehensive collection of tips and advice for ghostwriters, covering various aspects of the craft and offering valuable insights to enhance your ghostwriting skills. Read more.


What is ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the practice of writing content on behalf of someone else who is usually credited as the author.

Why do people use ghostwriters?

People use ghostwriters to save time, leverage the expertise of skilled writers, or to maintain a consistent writing style.

What types of content do ghostwriters create?

Ghostwriters can create a wide range of content, including books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and social media posts.

How do ghostwriters maintain confidentiality?

Ghostwriters typically sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to ensure the content they create remains confidential.

How much do ghostwriters get paid?

Ghostwriting rates can vary widely depending on the project’s complexity, the writer’s experience, and the client’s budget.