4 More Tips for Freelance Ghostwriters

We’ve finally reached the last post of my ghostwriting series. I want to thank you all for reading along; I hope you got something of value out of it. I’d like to close the series with a few extra tips to help your own ghostwriting efforts. The four final tips aren’t part of any unifying theme other than, here be some good things you should

3 Reasons to Choose a Ghostwriting Specialty

I hate issuing absolutes, but I am a devoted believer in the power of specializing in order to create a thriving freelance writing career. I also believe that choosing to be a specialty ghostwriter is the quickest, easiest way to achieve lasting career success. Specialty ghostwriting is all about hyper-focusing your business. That means choosing a specific topic (or group of topics) to provide ghostwriting

Getting Started in Ghostwriting

Believe it or not, getting started in ghostwriting is almost exactly the same as getting started in non-spooky freelancing. It’s about coming up with a plan, announcing your service, and preparing for follow-through. Coming Up with a Plan You need to consider how ghostwriting fits into your business. Will it be your primary focus, or something you do on the side? How will you fit

Ghostwriting Contracts: 4 Points to Consider

A contract is every writer’s best friend. There are tons of posts out there that can help you build your basic client agreement, so today I just want to focus on four specific points that your ghostwriting contract should include. 1. Multiple payments. Ghostwriting a book is a big, long project. If your clients pay everything up front, they’re taking a big risk. If they

Tips for Developing Your Client’s Voice

I’ve never been the kind of writer who makes it a point to learn a certain number of obscure words each day. There once was a time when I thought that my refusal to actively study the dictionary (as if I was going to absorb it like an underground book memorizer in Fahrenheit 451) would be a drawback in my chosen profession—but I’ve found that my

Why Clients Hire Ghostwriters

In order to get contracts signed and have a strong working relationship with ghostwriting clients, you have to understand why people are out there looking for ghostwriters. If you don’t, you’re going to rely on assumptions that can result in lost gigs and rocky working relationships. To give you a starting place, here are five examples of reasons that clients hire ghostwriters. Why Clients Hire

Ten Ideas for Ghostwriting Samples

There are two questions that come up more than any other when I talk to writers about breaking into ghostwriting. The first is: how do I get clients? The second is: how do I show them samples of my work if everything I do is confidential? I find these questions frustrating, because you definitely already know the answers to them. No, really, you do. And

Repeat Clients: The Key to a Successful Ghostwriting Business

Repeat business is, in my opinion, the secret to a successful ghostwriting career. There are two reasons for this: 1. When you’re ghostwriting, you may find that you get fewer referrals since most clients don’t tell other professionals that they used your services. 2. With lengthier projects, you may not be able to take on as many clients at one time, meaning you have fewer

Five Essential Tips for Ghostwriters

If you want to increase the number of ghostwriting projects you take on, there are five essential guidelines that I believe you must follow. If you don’t, you will probably see your business fail. Does that sound harsh? Good, it should. Because you owe it to yourself and your clients to do this thing right so that you can keep invisibly typing far into the

Introducing a New Series on Freelance Ghostwriting

For close to two years I’ve been revamping my writing business to focus more on ghostwriting. This change in strategy has done amazing things for my career. It’s made me fall in love with freelancing all over again and helped me develop a focus, security and stability that I’d felt was lacking before. Like many freelancers, I’d always dabbled in ghostwriting. But I didn’t really

The Evolution of You

As you grow in your freelance writing career, you will evolve. You’ll evolve as an individual, as a writer, and as a business owner. As this evolution takes place, you will notice that the things you once found satisfying don’t satisfy anymore. At first, this will feel weird and uncomfortable; it may involve outgrowing friends, peers and clients. It may mean that blogs you once

Should Writers Create Newsletters for Marketing?

As home-sitting, coffee-swilling, glasses and pajama-wearing writer types, we have to be super serious about our marketing efforts or our businesses will cease to be. Mostly this is because the people that we see everyday—our pets, children and spouses—make horrible clients. This compels writers embrace all sorts of different ways to market their business both aggressively and passively. Some examples include: Guest posting on blogs

To Specialize or Not To Specialize

One of the biggest debates on the freelance writing range is the debate about whether it is better to be a specialty writer focusing on one niche or a generalist writer with a diverse selection of topics to possibly cover. A lot of people straddle the fence on this topic to avoid pissing off their friends and mentors. They say, “Oh, there is no single

What's Up with This Trend: Freelance Writers as Social Networkers

The other day I had a conversation with an old coworker and I was trying to encourage him to start a social networking business. This friend is not a writer but he is a fun, smart and witty conversationalist who understands the corporate world and the PR concerns of a company which makes him, in my opinion, perfect for social networking. This made me start

Demand Media Strikes Back at PBS and Writers Everywhere – Yawn

Many of you probably caught this post on PBS.org about content farms last week. When I read it, I found it very interesting that Demand Media turned down the opportunity to be interviewed for the piece. Usually, they can’t be tamed when it comes to spouting their really cool: Hey, we never said we were journalists… but look at our awesome brand of service journalism

The 10 Commandments of Freelance Writers

As freelance writers, we all share a secret, unspoken code of ethics. It’s not enough for me that this code of ethics remains secret and unspoken though—I want to publish it and speaketh it. So here goes. 1. I am the Lord thy Client. Thou shalt not have strange clients before me. None of your clients wants to hear about your other clients. None of

Discrimination that Freelance Writers Face and Inflict

During the past year there has been a lot of talk about how female freelance writers are discriminated against. It is said that clients are more likely to argue with us about rates than our male counterparts, that clients expect us to work much cheaper, they treat us differently and it’s harder for us to get gigs. As someone equipped with a vagina and a

8 Things Freelance Writers have in Common with Satan

Good morning my little fiends, how are you today? Well, however you were doing, you’re about to get doing better (huh?) because I’ve decided that it’s high time for all of us to come out of the hellfire and acknowledge just how much like Satan we freelance writers are. Yes, we freelance writers have much in common with that red horned, fork-tailed devil. Don’t act

Goal Setting for Freelance Writers

As freelance writers we sometimes don’t think of ourselves as master multi-taskers, but by the very nature of our business, we are. We are individuals focused on our career and business owners attempting to drum up business and satisfy customers. We are employees of our own business and we are people with families and the need for a rich, fulfilled life. This complicated relationship between

Suze Orman, Self-Worth and Freelance Writing, Part 2

Okay, so we’re back. If you haven’t read part one of this series—do so. This part won’t make sense unless you read my Kim Kardashian Botox analogy. Okay it will, but I still like that damn story. The Rates of Other Writers So right now you should be honestly assessing your skill compared to other freelance writers in your niche, and assessing the quirks you

Suze Orman, Self-Worth and Freelance Writing, Part 1

I was going through some old New York Times Magazines a few weeks ago, and came across an article by financial guru Suze Orman. A lot of advisors in the financial industry don’t like Suze Orman. Sure, she has made some errors in advice and made some mistakes in her books, but in general her conservative approach to investing and insurance are dead on for

Amazon Kindle: Good for Freelance Writing Work and Play but Useless as a Coaster.

This week, after much thought and back and forth arguing with my other personalities, I bought a Kindle. Now, anyone who knows me knows that as much as I like computers, laptops, and televisions, I kinda hate technology. I hate GPS systems because I like to rely on my own little sense of direction; I hate cell phones because I don’t like being accessible at

Emergency Planning for Freelance Writers

Hello friends, Romans and fellow freelancers. As Matt mentioned yesterday, hurricane season has begun. If you, like me, live along the southern coast you’re likely dusting off your hurricane shutters and stocking up on water. As business owners who run businesses out of our homes, we have a different set of concerns that we also must consider in the event that a hurricane evacuation takes

A Freelance Writer’s Guide to Quoting for Social Networking

One of the very first gigs I got over a year ago when I started full time freelancing was to work on the Twitter account of a life insurance company. The company actually found me through my own Twitter ramblings and still decided to hire me to do the same for them. Since that time I’ve had many different social networking clients and I’ve answered

Associated Content Writers: You Are Trying To Unionize What, Now?

Yesterday, Michelle Rafter Tweeted a little gem about the Yahoo-Associated Content deal and AC writers attempting to unionize to have more say post-acquisition. Say what? Associated Content writers are trying to unionize? Yes. According to the pro-union article (which, ironically, is published on AC), AC writers feel as though they have rights that are being ignored. They also think that they should be at the

10 Things I've Learned While Freelancing

April 17th marked my 1-year anniversary as a full time freelancer. This month marks my 2-year anniversary as any kind of freelancer. During this time I’ve learned a lot of stuff that may or may not be useful to you. 1. The easy way is usually not the best way. Chances are good that if nothing in your career ever excites you, scares you, intimidates

I’m Just Chillin’—Query-Free Writer Style

I feel it necessary to let you know that I actually wrote this post on 5/2, well before Matt Willard published his post on query-free writing. Now, I’m not saying that he broke into my home, slipped into my desk chair, turned on my computer and went into my Work folder to see what I had written so he could steal ideas. No, I’m not

Why Low Paying Gigs Are and Are Not Your Problem

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Bright Hub (a content mill I used to write for) inviting me to help them write some 60 titles for a private client commission for about $20 a pop. Another content mill, Demand Studios, recently partnered with USA Today to start providing travel tips for their website.   To some writers, these partnerships and commissions

Guru.com–Do Not Do That Guru Unless You Do It Well

In this series, we personally test traditional online freelance marketplaces to share first-hand experiences and honest assessments of marketplaces and resulting jobs, as many freelance writers turn to these outlets to find writing gigs. You can read all the posts in the series here. I have a very short update this week. Very short. So short that I am going to fill much of it

Freelance Bloggers, Why Don't You Write about Your Experience Rather than Someone Else's?

Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend while reading various freelance writing blogs. I’ve watched people act like authorities on subjects they obviously had little to no experience actually doing. The clues that these blog posts were by posers instead of professionals were there for all to see. The writers showed an obvious lack of knowledge about what they were talking about, the advice was the