Ghostwriters work for authors, celebrities, political leaders, and others to write various literary or journalistic texts, speeches, stories, and even songs while remaining autonomous. They also get work by freelancing or under contract. Ghostwriters often experience stress in meeting deadlines and may need to travel to do extensive research. If you love to write, do research, and help promote the work of others through your talents, you should consider this career! Let us show you more about this occupation!
This next video highlights how to ghostwrite a song!
How to Become a Ghostwriter
Most ghostwriters have at least a bachelor’s degree in English, creative writing, journalism, or communication. Others may have a master’s or doctoral degree. These degrees contain courses that are vital for a ghostwriter: writing, editing, technical writing, literary history, and composition. High school students can take drama, creative writing, communication, and history (history courses can provide general awareness of historical topics that can help with research).
Ghostwriters need to be skilled in marketing, grammar, and writing, be detail-oriented and also have technical and communication skills. They should also think creatively and have a wide range of literary styles. Now you know what education you need and the skill set you should have, so what else do you need? Experience. Reading as much as possible is an excellent way to get experience. Reading different styles to observe different voices, ideas, and tones is essential in building up a broader knowledge of writing for others. Ghostwriters can gain these styles with exposure to media. Writing is also critical. To self-publish, you can freelance writing for magazines, blogs, and your own stories. Find your niche. In other words, as you develop your writing skills, find the area that you like best, such as thrillers, romance, or other manors of interest, like politics. This helps locate the ghostwriting that fits you best.
This next video examines how beneficial hiring a ghost writer is:
To gain experience, you can also write for your high school or college paper, your community newsletter, or go online to search for writing gigs on websites such as Fiverr. In the beginning, nothing is too small and adds to your experience. Ghostwriting is a competitive career, and you need to build your reputation and give yourself an edge over others!
All this experience also helps you create another vital tool to help you gain employment, a resume or portfolio. Portfolios with your education, experience, and work will be necessary to help you land jobs. Your portfolio should focus on the particular job you are going after and demonstrate your talents in that area. It is worth mentioning that many of the people that need ghostwriters do not have the time or expertise to write or do the research themselves and need to trust that you can do that job for them. A portfolio of your experience helps build that confidence. Now that you have read and learned what a ghostwriter is and what you need to do to become one, lets us show you what they do.
Job Description of a Ghostwriter
You have probably noticed books of accomplished writers with their names on the cover in large letters. In some cases there may be another name in smaller print underneath the author’s name. That would be the name of the ghostwriter. However, it is not often that the ghostwriters are mentioned, and some feel that “invisibility” is proof of their work or skill quality. This means that the ghostwriter has successfully written a text or book in the other person’s tone, style, and voice. It takes hard work and patience to get there!
A large part of a ghostwriter’s time is spent researching, maybe taking months or even a year! The research includes interviewing the person the story is about, the character that the author has developed, or the style that makes the text believable. Some political leaders and celebrities may want you to write their autobiographies. The ghostwriter’s job is to make it read as though the other person wrote it. You can also be hired to address correspondence for a public official that does not have the time to respond to everyone.
Did you know accomplished authors use ghostwriters, too? They have contracts to release a certain amount of books in a designated time frame and typically use ghostwriters to get out those extra books on time. Ghostwriters have unique talents and skills! They can give the impression of another person’s personality, tone, and voice in the writing in an invisible way.