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What Is a Ghost Writer and How to Become One

Ghost Writer

What Is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is an unnamed author who writes material for someone else, usually a client or employer. In this career, you work for hire and take no credit for the work you create, allowing another author to produce the story for a fee instead. You can create various types of materials, from advertising or business copy to book manuscripts and website or other professional copy. Employers often hire ghostwriters as on-staff writers or pay freelance writers to complete one project at a time as needed. Some are also hired by book authors to write over a given time period. Typically, the goal is to produce writing in the voice of a public figure, but established authors of prolific series sometimes hire ghostwriters to help them push out a high volume of work.

How to Start a Career as a Ghostwriter

To start a career as a ghostwriter, you need writing experience and a portfolio that shows this experience. These portfolio pieces can be manuscript drafts or published books you’ve worked on in your name or your company’s name. You need to have experience freelancing, and you need to have worked as a paid, professional writer. This is not an entry-level position, so you need to show clients examples of your work and may need at least a bachelor’s degree in an English-related major. Since you cannot take credit for work you’ve ghostwritten, you should have some work published in your own name that you can use to demonstrate your skills.

What Is the Difference Between a Ghostwriter and a Copywriter?

A ghostwriter usually works on journalism or magazine materials, books, or speeches for which they do not receive credit as the author. A copywriter, on the other hand, writes material for advertising or marketing purposes, often for a business or company. While their name may or may not be on the content, they can take credit for the work and are not under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Copywriters may also work as freelance writers or seek employment through a content writing agency. At their core, ghostwriters and copywriters are doing the same work. The primary difference is whether or not they receive credit for their work.

Why Do Companies Hire Ghostwriters?

Companies and businesses of all sizes hire ghostwriters to create appealing content for their audiences, whether that means writing blog posts and articles, speeches, press releases, books, scripts, or white papers. Typically, this content is meant to be written by a public face of the brand who may not have the appropriate writing skills. It is important for companies to stay committed to regularly producing high-quality content to keep their readers engaged, and they need advanced writing skills to create this material for publication on their websites and other digital content. Ghostwriters can help build a company’s brand, improve search rankings, and keep an audience motivated and interested.