Weaknesses You Need to Overcome to Succeed as a Ghostwriter

ghostwriting Sep 02, 2022
Weaknesses You Need to Overcome to Succeed as a Ghostwriter: A child in a superhero costume with arms raised in victory.

by Cris Yeager


Are you thinking about becoming a ghostwriter? If so, you’re not alone — it’s a common fantasy among writers and wannabe authors to be able to make money by helping other people pen their bestsellers or convey their business messages to the hungry public. The problem is that the ghostwriting fantasy rarely lines up with reality, and the dream of being the next JK Rowling or Stephen King gets quickly squashed once aspiring writers get into the business themselves.

Several writers wish to be ghostwriters, but few ever take the step from wondering to doing. When you get the hang of it and clients can get consistent sales and reviews from their readers, it can be rewarding. For starters, these are five of the most common pitfalls of ghostwriting to consider and the solutions to how to start making money fast!

First: Understand what ghostwriting really is
You need to know what ghostwriting is before you can start ghostwriting. Essentially, a ghostwriter does an assignment without receiving any credit for it — which might sound unappealing but in reality, is usually extremely rewarding. You might consider becoming a ghostwriter if you're a freelancer or entrepreneur for several reasons: you can build your portfolio, improve your skillset or even earn an additional income. Even though writing professionally may seem insurmountable at first (especially if you're not confident in your writing abilities), there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for success.

Second: Focus on improving at writing
There are some basic fundamentals that every writer should know — spelling, grammar and sentence structure — as well as a variety of techniques for writing well. The challenge is figuring out what works for you. Possibly, sitting in front of a computer helps turn your thoughts into words, or perhaps dictating into an app on your phone or tablet works better for you or even it might be beneficial to read your work aloud. It would be great if there were one way that worked for everyone! Naturally, if there was one foolproof way that would work for everyone, we would all be fantastic writers.

Third: Develop excellent research skills
One of the key traits you need as a ghostwriter is research skills and it isn't just gathering facts or information, but speaking to people, finding sources, and then convincing them to speak with you. Do well at conducting interviews and generating stories and your writing will flow. And anyone who knows how to write well and has difficulty with research will tell you just how limited their writing is because of that. When writing an ebook on small business marketing, memoirs for celebrities, or case studies for Fortune 500 companies, being able to find credible information is crucial.

Fourth: Narrow down your writing niche
When you choose a niche topic, you don't have to spend your time on irrelevant things that have nothing to do with your topic. In any piece of content you produce, your passion will be evident and you'll be able to grow your audience by talking about the things they care about. With time, you'll become a recognized expert in your field and have an online presence in line with your expertise. A further reason why you should pick a niche topic is so clients know exactly what they'll be getting when they hire you as a ghostwriter.

Fifth: Choose thought-provoking topics in the niche
One of ghostwriting's main weaknesses is that you have to write about things that you may not find compelling. After all, if you're not invested in it, why should your readers be? The first strategy for overcoming this particular weakness is pretty straightforward — give greater attention to making your idea more intriguing than using your most popular subject as the sole focal point. Some people enjoy reading content that challenges their notions, not to mention being exposed to different points of view. Be sure that your articles or even ghostwritten blog posts do both of those things. You don't have to do anything particularly adventurous with your topic, just stay relevant. Be as imaginative as you can in dressing it up without fluff.

Overcome the challenges and start ghostwriting!
Writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. Some writers excel at making it look easy, but that’s because they’ve put in countless hours honing their craft. What I’ve found over my decade as a ghostwriter is that clients, especially new clients, often feel like they have to choose between ghostwriting success or ghostwriting weakness — as if you can't have both. But nothing could be further from the truth! To achieve real success as a ghostwriter, you have to understand your weaknesses so you can move toward improvement.