I Only Did Ghostwriting Because I Didn't Believe in Myself as a Writer
For several years, I worked as a freelance ghostwriter. I found my clients on Upwork, which is one of the largest freelance remote job platforms in the world. I’ve written literally in every genre, like sleazy cowboy fiction, self help books about dieting, and even a training manual for how to raise your puppy.
I know nothing about the success of these books. I know nothing about whom I worked for. And I know nothing about how much these books were sold for.
All I know is I completely undersold myself.
Some of you may be familiar with ghostwriting and have given a hand at it. You may have heard that you can make bank from it. And actually, you can. However, only the top one percent really get anywhere with this craft, while the remainder are stuck earning peanuts. Peanuts is being generous as well. I’ve worked some jobs that paid a penny per word. Imagining that those books actually earned good money makes me sick.
Moreover many ghostwriting jobs are eaten up by folks who live in countries in which peanuts might actually be their saving grace. A hundred dollars to write ten thousand words might amount to an average monthly salary in some places. For me, that’s a bad day working.
I cannot iterate enough to you that if you do decide to ghostwrite you must try your hardest to find quality clients. And actually, advertising your prices will value you higher in the eyes of the client. Being willing to work for ten bucks an hour will communicate your work is only worth ten bucks an hour. However, if you sell yourself at fifty an hour, the client will more readily anticipate a higher quality job. It’ll be up to the client whether they want to put out trash or something they’re willing to drop a pretty penny on.
If I were to delegate a writing task to someone I would seek out a writer (with demonstrable experience) who prefers quality over quick turnover. The problem is the market of ebooks is saturated by crap. Finding a good ebook these days is like searching for real gold in a flea market.
I’m actually a little embarrassed by how I used to think about work. I’ve written dozens of articles. Some paid more than others, with my best article being about CBD and sex. I got paid 75 dollars for 400 words.