5 Steps to Launching a Successful Career as a Ghostwriter

Today, there is a growing interest in ghostwriting; a lot of people are now beginning to see it as a career opportunity in fact. The growing interest in the industry is as a result of the large request for ghostwriters, either from agencies or individual ghostwriters. However, to be successful as a ghostwriter, there are steps to be taken. So before you start putting pen to paper ensure to take these steps, which have been generously provided by some of the industry’s most experienced ghostwriters, to account.

You’ve probably heard that there are  ghostwriters for hire, But you probably don’t know how to start a career as a ghostwriter.

This article presents those steps which are required to be a successful ghostwriter.

  1. Write your own books

Write your own book first, a thought to really ponder on. For example, you’ll never find a lyricists who hasn’t been able to write up something for himself first. It is essential to make recognition for yourself first or then to have a well of experience before you are able to cater to others. As a ghostwriter, you will not be able to write books for others in their voice when you have never been able to write one yourself.

A tip for many who want to enter the industry of ghostwriting would be to first go ahead and at least compile two or three write-ups. Go ahead and indulge the task by shooting for approximately 50,000 words in order to get acquainted with the feeling that comes with writing something that long. So that you are able to have a practical understanding of how various aspects of writing work. These aspects are narrative, flow, voice, etc.

It is a natural thing in the start to be confused in identifying which writing genre is for you as a writer. The confusion for many lies in the fact that they do not know which – of fiction, non-fiction, Including sub-genres like memoir – they would do best at. The best thing to do would be to initially dip your toes into all the ponds to see which you have a knack for.

  1. Get your act together and be professional

For a ghostwriter to achieve a successful career they should act like a professional at all time. For instance, picture a scenario where you are at a social event and a random but common question is thrown at you from someone asking what do you do for a living?

“I’m a ghostwriter,” you respond.

“I’m a CEO of a multinational company and I’m in search for a writer who can write my memoir,” he replies and further goes on to ask, “Where and when can I see your work?”

In response, if you have nothing to say as you weren’t prepared to take on such a question most certainly it will create an awkward situation. A simple way to avoid such a nightmare is by taking the advice to invest in creating a website while also having a dedicated professional email address.

Also, have few business cards always in your pocket. It is also to your advantage to have your LinkedIn profile updated and with the profile titled as “Ghostwriter”. Being presented as a ghostwriter makes people address you that way. Also, it creates awareness of the services you offer.

  1. Build your Credentials

Ghostwriting is an extensive and competitive industry which surely will require you to place your energy correctly in putting your foot in the door before panicking on how to get the rest of your body in. An exceptional way to do such is by contributing to well-known publications and literary magazines. Submit your work to notable magazines, both online and in print. Two of the most widely suggested and credible options are Forbes and Huffington Post as they accept guest submissions.

Approach companies and offer to ghostwrite articles for them.

In many cases, you may have already completed the first step and are on the lookout for an extra boost to your ghostwriting career. In either way, the next phase will require you to ensure that you have been stacking those building blocks towards success. These professional tips will assist to build your portfolio while it will also keep improving your presence as a ghostwriter.

  1. Show your Portfolio

When speaking of building strong credentials, most of the prominent and acclaimed ghostwriters will come forth to state and advise to the newly entering ghostwriters, that it is always fine to start small. Few guidelines are below that will help you out, if you consider them while building your ghostwriting portfolio:

  • Make the best of the people who are in your circle. Reach out to them. It may be your family, friends or colleagues. Ask them if they would allow you to refine your ghostwriting skills by practicing with their stories.
  • Search out for individual and organizations that require assistance in writing for the “About” section for their website or business page. The reason you can make an impact with your storytelling skills is that most people do not know how to make their own story shinE. While this practice will also help amplify your first-person voice writing skills as a stronger ghosting capability.
  • There can be nothing worse or scarier than a blank page. Approach such people who require assistance in writing their manuscript especially in areas to better improvise their structure and to voice out their subject to their customers. This would provide you a sneak peek to the real-world experience of how to collaborate with clients without having to tackle difficulties such as concept development.

The best manner for the ghostwriter to excel and to achieve a successful career is by continuously asking for feedback. As a freelance ghostwriter starting small can be a great way to pick up very early in their career. It is also a very crucial point to establish a strong record of your own work first. And a plus would be to have good reviews which will surely be very appealing to potential clients.

  1. Develop and strengthen your Customer Support Skills

As a freelance ghostwriter, you are running a one-person show, which surely requires you to take ownership of every side of the business that most definitely means to cater to your best potential in furnishing your ability to present customer service and support. Be ever ready to educate and share your occupation knowledge with your clients since advice from a freelance ghostwriter would add up to their strength in numerous ways.

Respecting an author’s voice is a crucial aspect of the ghostwriting process. Many acclaimed ghostwriters at an awarding came forth to share that nearly every one of them had to face a common early problem which was the client’s unrealistic expectations. Which were mostly in regards ceremony to the voice. It is important to make your client realize that no writer can correctly nail someone’s voice in the very first draft and such should not be expected as well.

Self-publishing is a progressively viable option for authors. You can always play out to have a higher demand if you can advise ghostwriters on the various options that are available as an aspiring self-publisher rather than only being known as just a ghostwriter.

 

Ernest Ogunyemi

Ernest O. Ogunyemi enjoys playing with words to express what he feels within, or wants to feel. His stories have appeared in magazines and blogs such as Tuck Magazine, Naija Stories, Poetry Soup and his poetry is forthcoming in Acumen91 (out in May) and African Writing. Currently, he is working on a short story collection: Weaving Fine Rhythms from Broken Tunes.

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