Spooktacular Ghostwriting Tips

A black keyboard with cartoon ghosts, bats, and a spiderweb superimposed over it.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… Not all ghosts are scary! Last year we celebrated Halloween by sharing ghostwriting tips on the blog, and in the spirit of all things spooky, we are officially resurrecting this topic.
Ghostwriting, meaning you are hired to write something that will be credited to another person, can be difficult, but it does not have to be SpOoKy or intimidating. Next time you’re hired to be someone’s friendly ghost, keep these few pieces of advice in mind:

Do your research and ask questions

When you first sit down to start a new ghostwriting assignment, take the necessary time to research the topic. Understanding the general context will help you craft more informed questions when speaking with the client. Your client will likely understand that you won’t become an expert in their field overnight, but it helps to have a solid foundation as a start.
Have a set list of questions for your client that you will need answered in order to get started, and remember that the more information you have, the better. Asking questions via email instead of over the phone is sometimes helpful as well, as you can then get a glimpse into your client’s writing style.

Have confidence

When you are hired to ghostwrite, it means your client likely already trusts you or think you are a good writer. It is a personal thing to write for someone else, but remember that you are ultimately the communications expert. If your client has feedback on a piece that you feel will damage the overall message, be confident in pushing back, a little.

Stash your ego

When you send over a finished product for a client’s approval, remember to take check your ego at the door and not take small edits personally. Since your client will have their name on the piece, they may have a few small tweaks based off of personal preferences, which should not be taken as a personal blow.
When the piece finally runs in the local paper, publishes to the company blog, or splashes across the pages of a glossy magazine, remember that no one will know that you were the secret genius behind the scenes. Let your client’s appreciation for your work be enough, and be ready to move onto the next project.
Need a friendly ghost in your life or could use advice on an upcoming piece you’re working on? Don’t let writer’s block haunt you – contact us today.
An anonymous, friendly ghost

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