Applying for Your First Ghostwriting Gig?

Whether you want to be a novelist or a freelance writer, ghostwriting is an area you may want to take advantage of. You may have to give away the byline in most cases and give the credit to someone else (or write an article with no byline at all) but you can gain experience and most importantly to some…earn money by writing.

There are a lot of opportunities for ghostwriting gigs and the Internet presents a great place to find those opportunities. You can find many gigs online, through methods such as:

  • Locating website content sites or companies– Many websites exist to provide info to the public, with products, services, or online advertising on the site. Many will pay writers to develop content for their site or for their business purposes.
  • Through job boards – You’ll find online classified sites that cater either specifically to writing jobs or that have a writing gig section (such as Craigslist, for example).
  • Through job bidding sites– Several websites exist that match writers to those that need various writing services. Some require a paid membership and others take a % of the job fee for facilitating the process.
  • Marketing yourself – If you use promotional tools to establish yourself as a ghostwriter, customers could find you and offer you ghostwriting gigs.

How do you apply for ghostwriting gigs? Here are some tips:

  • Develop a cover letter. You may use a template but check it carefully and customize it for each job you apply for. Establish yourself as a professional, describe the value you’d bring to the project, and link to samples or to your online portfolio.
  • Develop an online portfolio. This can be through a website or blog, a set of links to articles you’ve written, to a website that has clips of your writing, etc.
  • Be ready to respond to questions. You may want to include your phone number, your instant messaging ID, or offer to have an online meeting on a site such as Skype to discuss the project in more detail.
  • Create a writing resume. Not all ghostwriting gigs will want a resume but turnaround time is important when dealing with prospective clients so be sure to have one ready in advance in case you’re asked for it.

Some ghostwriting jobs have standardized application processes and others want a very specific set of requirements followed during the application process. Some writers make the mistake of applying to dozens of jobs a day which could be fruitful but only if the writer follows the directions in the individual job posting. Because there may be dozens and dozens of other writers applying for the same job, a lot of employers will request a specific set of directions be followed to help them quickly weed out those who don’t follow directions. Carefully follow those directions to ensure that your application is at least considered.

After you apply for a ghostwriting gig, there’s not much to do other than wait and hope for a response. As you win gigs, you can develop your application skills, taking note of which approaches seem to be working best for you. Developing your online presence as a professional while you wait through self-promotion and networking is a great idea.

If you win the writing gig, be ready to respond quickly so you can take the next steps, including: discussing parameters of the job, including: job requirements, pricing and payments, delivery schedule, and any contracts to protect both parties.

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