For those who want to earn a bit of extra cash, writing a report or an ebook that gives valuable information about a hobby or passion others share, or solves a problem some people might have, is one of the recommended paths for would-be internet marketers.
But what if you do not have time or just cannot write? Maybe you do not feel confident enough; maybe there is a language barrier or maybe you just prefer not to. Well, if you fit into any of these categories, there is an answer and that is to use a ghostwriter.
A ghostwriter is someone who will write for you, even research for you if you wish; will write ebooks, articles, blog posts, press releases or even your family history. Whatever you want written, there is someone willing to ghostwrite it for you.
When the writing is finished and approved, you own the copyright to the work just as if you had written it yourself. The writer gets a guaranteed fee for their effort, but you have the task of using the work to make money and taking the risk of getting little or no return, so it seems to be a fair arrangement.
So how do you go about finding a ghostwriter?
Well, you could just Google “ghostwriter wanted” and sift through all the results, but an easier way to get started is to visit one of the existing online marketplaces for people wanting such work. Some of the most common are listed below:
What you do on these sites is list your proposal and people looking for work will put in an offer for your job.
If you are not familiar with hiring in this manner, go to some of the sites listed above and have a look around, get the feel of the site, look at some of the proposals and the bids on them.
Start with the search bar at the top of nearly all these sites. If there is no search field, there will always be two links, one for those looking to hire workers or contractors and another for people who want work and list themselves for hire.
If you type in, say “ghost writer, ebook” in the search field, it should bring up current jobs similar to what you want.
On some sites you may have to register before you can see the full details but registration is free and you only need to supply basic information to get started.
Open up some of the jobs that are listed, looking at the qualifications and experience of those bidding. Notice the price range in that site for the type of work you want done for yourself. Keep some notes of what you find on each site, what you like and dislike. That will make it easier for you to decide later which one is the best fit for you.
It is up to you, as a hirer, to decide how much your budget allows you to spend. Paying more for an experienced writer with good feedback should be a good investment, however if your budget is limited, you may want to select someone with less experience; they could still do excellent work, but because they do not have much feedback, may be willing to work for a lower price until they get established and have a good portfolio.
Expect to pay higher prices on Elance than on oDesk, for example. There are many workers who have an excellent education living in countries where work choices are limited bidding for jobs at prices that may seem very low. A low offer does not necessarily mean a poor quality job, on the contrary they may produce an excellent result. It is all about choice; yours and theirs.
Your first task will be to write your proposal. If you have not already done so, it is a good idea to search for other similar proposals to see what has been asked for in those ads, such as job description, skills and experience requirements, time to completion and whether you want a fixed or an hourly rate. Go to the Help section too, as you can get some good hints there. You will need to be clear in your own mind what you want, to be able to write a good proposal.
Once your ad is ready to list, check with the Help or FAQ to see what the site requirements for listings are. Many have instructions that walk you step by step through the whole process.
When you list, you need to decide how long you want to let your ad run; a shorter time will usually attract fewer offers but will allow you to get started more quickly, so it is a bit of a trade-off.
Some sites will let you invite applicants to bid on your proposal so if you found any who appealed to you in your research, invite them to make an offer.
Bid prices can sometimes vary widely; a project on scriptlance.com at present had bids ranging for $10 with immediate delivery to $7,000 in ten days, but this seems a bit unusual and is perhaps an indication that there is a misunderstanding about what is required. More often the range will be narrower, so your choice is made more on what you read in the applicant’s offer and in their bio than on price.
Before you make a decision, check out all you can find about the individual contractors who make an offer. Look at their past projects and any feedback from it, their experience, qualifications and areas of interest as well as the bid price. Sometimes you can see how much they have earned on previous contracts and that can be very helpful.
Take your time in selecting a candidate. If someone interests you and you want more information, send them a message to clarify before you accept the bid.
Once the selection is made, agree on milestones such as when you want to see the first draft, the final draft and any revisions completed. Many of the sites listed above use escrow funding, meaning you pay all or part of the fee in advance into a trust fund from where the money is paid to the worker as milestones are reached. oDesk is one site that currently does not require this, payments are made as work is done unless an agreement is reached beforehand.
It is essential for successful ghostwriting that you have good clear communication with your outsourcer. If you can develop a relationship where there is mutual trust and understanding, the whole process can be very rewarding for both parties.
To Your Success