by Cris Yeager | DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST | GHOSTWRITING
Many companies and corporations search for writers to make their content stand out — so they hire ghostwriters to help them do so. In fact, the demand for top-quality content is so high that businesses are willing to spend thousands of dollars on it every year. However, there is no equality in ghostwriting jobs. Accepting cheap ghostwriting gigs doesn’t give you any recognition and the pay isn't desirable.
When it comes to content, presentation matters just as much as quality. There are ways to be paid fairly and still produce quality content, which will help both you and your client in the long run.
Don't Be Fooled into Getting Paid Less
When a company approaches you about ghostwriting, your first instinct might be to ask for as little money as possible. Resist. Don’t allow exploitation of your work by getting scammed into writing for less. It’s degrading. All work deserves fair compensation — and if someone doesn’t value your work enough to pay what it’s worth, they probably won’t value it enough to treat you with respect and decency.
If you don't feel comfortable negotiating payment and asking for what you're worth (and maybe even a bit more), then that's an indicator that you may need to seriously reconsider ghostwriting opportunities in general. Yes, yes - occasionally working for pennies is fine! But no one should ever feel pressured or like they're supposed to work for free or at low rates. Ghostwriting requires many skills: copyediting, proofreading, editing, research...and more.
Remember, at the end of the day, you’re selling your expertise and skill. If someone can’t recognize how valuable what you do is, then there are plenty of people out there who will pay you what you deserve.
When Getting Paid Less and Offering Free Work is Okay
Most of the time, writers don’t get recognition for their work and struggle to find clients who appreciate their talent. However, the world has decided that it’s acceptable to underpay writers by thousands of dollars. But that’s not okay. The only time you should compromise on your price is when you are writing your own content or guest posting.
Find websites that accept guest posting and article opportunities. Getting your name out there is just as important as the content you create. How else are you going to show potential clients what you can do?
Writing isn’t some hobby – it’s hard work and valuable service to businesses. Ghostwriters put in countless hours into making sure content comes out exactly how it's envisioned. It takes time.
Create an Impressive Portfolio
A portfolio is a great way to prove that you have the chops, and are really good at what you do. If you want to work with higher-paying clients in the future, you'll need a collection that showcases your best pieces – here's where your self-written content comes in. There's no reason why a polished, professional blog post should go unread or uncelebrated simply because it wasn't commissioned by someone else. Collect all of your best content and establish a portfolio on your own website. Just make sure the formatting is on point and not just something slapped together – if people are going to be paying attention to it, then it should be polished.
Figure Your Rate by Calculating Your Worth
It’s impossible to provide an exact price range on services because it depends on a variety of factors, including where you are located, your skills and the type of content needed. Regardless, it’s always smart to know how much money you want to make and what exactly that means. It can be tricky figuring out what an individual job will pay when writing something in 3 days but similar jobs might require an entire month of work. Asking questions will help. Understanding fair pay is all about learning how to negotiate – being flexible with deadlines is part of that conversation.
Ghostwriting is not always easy to figure out. There are so many factors that go into it, including your location and the type of piece you’re writing. For example, if you live in New York City, you might be expected to charge more for an expert ghostwriting service than someone in Miami.
Think about the time it takes to research a subject and gather accurate facts. A marketer ghostwriting about SEO would need to know much more than a ghostwriter writing about how to properly fold fitted sheets. Communication is key to understanding a client's needs. Ask questions! If someone is paying you, their needs need to be clear and understood.
A writer's relationship with time is special. No different than a friendship. Time isn't just going to hand over your paycheck — it needs to be earned by giving time something valuable in return — like a finished product to be proud of. That's why defining an hourly rate or rate by piece is so important. It makes sure you're earning money for every minute you spend working on content or copy. Your rate reflects how much value you're providing to someone else and it also serves as a constant reminder that, at all times, your work matters!
Ghostwriters Are Marketers
When writing, it is important to remember that you're also a reader. You consume information and in turn, create content. As an audience member, you are always on high alert for value in what you read. It should be no different when ghostwriting. If you aren’t creating good content that your intended readers will enjoy reading, then why bother? Ghostwriters aren't just writers, they're marketers who tell a story. This means not just structuring information so that it's easy to read, but it means ensuring that your words have a clear purpose and appeal to a particular audience of customers.
Clients aren't just paying for content, they are paying for SEO strategy, content marketing and in most cases, ROI.
Ghostwriting for Less Than Deserved is Not an Option
Writing for pennies? Don't do that. While it’s true that you can earn a considerable amount per hour for your writing skills — and more if you build up credibility and experience — do not accept less pay than what you and your skill is worth. It doesn't matter if someone else is doing it for less. The real value of your services isn't what others are charging but the quality your service brings to a project. If you think writing is only worth $1/hour, don't expect clients to think otherwise. Take the necessary steps in calculating your pay and don't accept anything less!