Are you considering offering ghostwriting services? Perhaps you already offer them, but haven’t explored clever options for making the most of your time and writing services. There’s a huge world of white-label ghostwriting for you to explore.
Some writers fight shy of ghostwriting services, because it is white-label writing. That is, you do the work and your client uses your writing as his own, with his name, or company name, on the material.
Other writers aren’t suited to the ghostwriter’s life. Perhaps you look on your projects as your babies and couldn’t imagine adopting them out—and that’s fine. However, if you’re struggling with your budget, do consider that ghostwriting pays well.
Ghostwriting services: consider ghostwriting if you’d like to increase your income
Want to increase your income?
I’m sure you’re au fait with “standard” ghostwriting services such as articles, blog posts and books. While these can pay well, at 50 cents to $1 per word for top-tier articles and blog posts, and $30,000 and up for fiction and nonfiction books, look at other options.
You might offer these ghostwriting services:
- Audio-visual (AV) services like speech writing, podcast script or video script development. Most companies wish they could do more AV marketing. They need your services;
- Electronic direct mail/ marketing (EDM) services. As above. VERY few companies use their customer mailing lists to the fullest;
- Concepts: for blogs, books and series of books, YouTube channels, small businesses… (A “concept” in this instance is a plan);
- Business plans (usually for startup companies);
- Proposals: creating proposals in response to requests for proposals (RFPs.) The easiest way to get proposal-writing gigs is by offering them. Tip: you can charge well for these if you’re experienced in an industry—when a company is tendering for a five million dollar project, no one will take you seriously if your fee is $500.
- Traditional book proposals (in preparation for shopping the book around to literary agents and publishers.)
The above services pay extremely well, especially concepts. One of my writing students recently completed a concept for a fashion/beauty blog for a client. The client accepted her five-figure fee for the 30-page report with alacrity.
While services such as business plans and book proposals need you to have some experience in creating these documents, you can handle many AV, EDM and concept development services easily enough, using your creativity and research.
Let’s look at some tips to help you to develop highly-paid white-label ghostwriting services.
1. Be alert to client needs: how can you help?
Clients are the life-blood of your business. Just as you and I do, your clients put things off because they lack the time or the budget.
It’s now September, so the holiday sales season is ramping up. Many of your clients are prospects for your ghostwriting services. They must know you offer these services however; they won’t know if you don’t tell them.
If you have clients in the retail space for example, ask them whether they’re doing any EDM to boost business and offer to create mailing pieces. Or offer to create blog posts, articles, or social media content to enhance sales in the holiday season.
ASKING matters. Ask, and you’ll (often) receive. (See the third tip.)
2. Explore your favorite niches: what do niche leaders do?
If you’ve been freelancing for more than a year, you’ve developed a niche, usually by accident. Someone hires you, then recommends your services to someone else. I wrote for agricultural equipment companies at one stage and for real estate developers at another, even though I hadn’t marketed to companies in those niches.
When you write for companies in a niche—that is, in an industry or any area—you’ll soon learn the names of the top companies. Check out the top companies’ websites. Watch for the names of these companies in business news.
When you do, you’ll always find opportunities for offering your ghostwriting services.
For example, perhaps the CEO of a top company in a niche wrote a business book. This is your opportunity to contact other companies in the niche (whether you’ve worked with them or not) and point this out. Then tell them you’d be happy to create a proposal for a business book their CEO could “write.”
Asking is vital.
3. Are you ASKING?
No truer words than these: “ask, and it shall be given you.”
When you compete a project for a client, ask about future projects. Ask whether the client knows someone else who might be able to use your services. Ask about ghostwriting a concept, or a proposal, or blog posts, or a book. Ask.
Every six months, do a mailing to previous clients. Anyone who’s hired you will hire you again. Or they’ll know someone who could use your ghostwriting services.
One of my students recently did a mailing to his previous clients. We worked on the content together. Within 36 hours, he had deposits and was solidly booked for the next six months.
Bonus tip: develop a list of prospects to approach
Most freelancers dislike marketing. But unless you’re booked solid for a year, you need to market.
I’d argue that no matter how booked you are, you should nevertheless spend a few hours each week marketing—clients cancel projects, or postpone them. If you’re fully booked, develop a waiting list for the times you get a cancellation.
Create a prospects’ list. Use the Notes facility on your phone to store it, or create a spreadsheet.
Your prospects’ list is a list of companies and individuals who might use your services. You can find prospects anywhere. Try reading business news websites on the web. Or social media. Everyone knows someone who might be in the market for ghostwriting services.
Have fun ghostwriting and offering your ghostwriting services. If you love to write, and don’t mind others putting their names to your efforts, you’ll find gigs easily.
Today, the opportunities for writers have never been greater. Back in the day a writer who was making six-figures a year seemed a creature of myth. These days, highly successful writers are making six figures a month.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.