Ghostwriting isn’t the art of writing about spooky beings that go bump in the night.
Rather it’s writing a piece of work on behalf of someone and then putting their name to it.
Often they don’t have the time or don’t feel confident about writing, so they give it to someone else to do.
So, how do you ghostwrite so the reader thinks that person was really the author?
Here are some tips on writing so no one can tell it’s you:
1) Decide on a subject and narrative
Usually your client will provide you with a brief for what they want.
Often, because they’re not a writer, it may not be the clearest.
In which case, you should sit down with them and agree an outline for the piece, asking relevant questions to get the information you need.
If different to your main point of contact, ask to speak directly with the person who is going to be putting their name to the piece to learn more about their views and personality, and ask any questions you may have.
2) Put yourself in their shoes
Before you put pen to paper, thoroughly research the individual concerned and their business to determine their tone of voice.
If they’re a CEO or senior manager you should use a professional style, but if it’s a more casual piece you want to show their friendly side.
Whichever it is, make sure you bring out their personality and it’s in line with the company’s key values, as reflected in the common signature words and phrases they use.
3) Read and re-read over again
Once you have written the piece, leave it for 24 hours and then return to read it.
After you have sense-checked it and reviewed it for spelling, grammar and punctuation,read it out loud again to see whether it sounds like the person whose name it’s going to be published under.
Get someone, ideally a professional editor or proofreader, to look at it and seek their input on how it could be improved.
4) Get feedback from your client
It’s vital you also receive feedback from the person concerned you are writing for and whether they are happy to put their name to the piece.
Be open to constructive criticism, but be willing to stand your ground on any requested changes that you feel don’t add to or are to the detriment of the piece.
5) Learn from experience
The more ghostwriting work you do the more familiar you will become with the process and what particular clients are looking for.
Many famous people’s stories were written by ghostwriters, so read them to see how close they are to your impression of the celebrity concerned and learn the techniques they use that work best.
When you’ve mastered some of them, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a top ghostwriter.
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