The Advantages and Disadvantages of Ghostwriting

freelance ghostwriting
“ghost” flickr photo shared by Baby Karate under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Ghostwriting, as the name suggests, is basically writing and attributing your writing to somebody else. It could be any piece of writing, going from articles, academic work, to books, even biographies. While it sometimes implies contact with people of high status who do not have the time or maybe talent to do it, ghostwriting has its benefits and drawbacks, which is why usually freelance ghostwriters either love it or avoid it.

The clearest disadvantage would be that you get no personal credit for your own writing. To some extent that is OK, but if your job position requires personal marketing and if your next potential jobs depend on your reputation, that might be a problem. That adds to lack of portfolio material, as while some employers allow ghostwriters to mention their work on their portfolio, others ask that you sign a non-disclosure agreement, which is your agreement that you will claim no connection whatsoever with what you have written.

Additionally, clients have the right to publish your work to as many websites as they wish, and they even have the right to sell your work to other people without your permission. Of course, some ghostwriters do not mind being completely anonymous as long as they are well-paid, even if somebody else gets the credit for their work.

Another disadvantage that could, from the other side of the coin be seen as an advantage, is being able to place somebody else’s mentality into yours. You have to have a chameleon personality and constructive criticism to be able to challenge your own ideas and many times- confute them. That sometimes results in miscommunication between the ghostwriter and the employer, as the ghostwriter need to fill in the gaps and see the links between pieces of information shared. This is quite a demanding task, as some employers may not be as cooperative as others.

Still, ghostwriting has many advantages as well.

While not getting personal credit can be seen as a disadvantage, it as well may be an advantage. As a ghostwriter, you are content- unaccountable, so if your client asks you to write about something you don’t agree, at least it is the client that carries the responsibility of it.

Also, usually, it is paid well, much better than any other writing jobs. There is a high demand of it, so you could make a good living. Even though you are looking for clients, you are not looking for sponsorship or publishers, which makes your job less stressful.

When it comes to instructions, ghostwriters are well-instructed, employers may provide with titles, links and any other relevant material. Not burdening yourself with numerous sources whose trustworthiness you also need to validate, in the case of ghostwriting, you get first-hand valuable information. In addition, the process of coauthoring and your domination over the story through getting to know different topics that might not be of your professional area, or interviews with influential people and digging deep into their personality and experience, makes it extremely interesting.

Ghostwriting has been exercised a long time, and nowadays it is quite easy to find ghostwriter blogs with tips on how to do it properly or what aspects to think about before deciding to ghostwrite. If you are a person with good writing abilities who thrives on investigation but not personal promotion, ghostwriting is the right profession for you.


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