What Does an Article Ghost Writer Do?

M.R. Anglin
M.R. Anglin
An article ghost writer authors pieces for other writers for a fee, but usually does not receive published credit for the work.
An article ghost writer authors pieces for other writers for a fee, but usually does not receive published credit for the work.

An article ghost writer is a type of writer who writes articles for a fee but may not receive credit for the work. The term "ghost writer" refers to someone who writes a piece for another person to put his name on it. Once the ghostwritten work is finished and the fee paid, all applicable copyrights are transferred to the article's buyer. For all intents and purposes, the article belongs to the buyer who can then put his name on it as if he wrote it. In addition, the buyer is often able to do with the article as he pleases.

Not everyone is a great writer. There are those who are not able to articulate themselves on paper even though they may be knowledgeable in their field. Other people can write but may not have the time. In both these cases, an article ghost writer may be hired. Many professional ghost writers can not only write content to the client's specifications but must also match the client's style and professional tone, allowing the client to pass off the article as his own.

One of the greatest appeals to hiring an article ghost writer is that the client is able to claim authorship. This is drastically different from a writer who retains the right to put his name on the article once he has finished it. For the article ghost writer, once the work paid for, the client is freely able fully exploit the piece. For instance, he is able to post it online, publish it in a magazine, and even sell it to another person. In many cases, the writer has no further claim to the work.

An article ghost writer must have good writing and spelling skills. It may also be helpful if the writer is a native speaker of the language he is writing in. For example, the English language is a complex one. While there are many writers around the world who write in English, the idioms and expressions may only be understood and properly used by a native speaker. If the writer is not a native speaker, the article may end up reading awkwardly.

To prove an article ghost writer has the necessary skills, a client may need to check that the writer has an English or liberal arts degree. Barring that, a client can also examine samples of the writer's work. An article ghost writer should also be a good researcher. While the client may provide direction on where the article will go, he may not provide enough information. In such a situation, the ghost writer should be able to find the information he needs in order to write a professional and accurate article.

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Discussion Comments

Reminiscence

@RocketLanch8- We seem to have something in common. I started out as a freelance article writer for several online information sites, but then I answered a "writers wanted" ad I found in a discussion group. It turned out to be a link to a ghost writer service. This was more of a warehouse for potential ghostwriters than the site you described. I don't write articles on spec and hope bloggers find them at a central site.

What I do is post samples of my published work to my personal profile at the ghost writing site, then wait for a client who wants to hire a ghost writer for a larger project, like a novel or autobiography. I negotiate a fee for my writing services directly with the client, and I agree to pay a percentage to the ghost writing service for making the connection possible.

I've already ghost written a fairly well-known autobiography for a sports figure, but I cannot reveal his or her identity as part of the agreement. I will not receive any additional percentage of the book's royalties, either. The client is the author of record, which is probably the biggest downside of ghost writing. If I "write" a very successful book for a client, I can never reveal the fact that I did most, if not all, of the actual work on it.

RocketLanch8

I currently work as a ghost writer for bloggers, and it's been an interesting job so far. I basically write 500 to 750 word articles in a blog style and upload them anonymously to an online ghost writer service. Those articles are posted under appropriate topics, and bloggers view a sample to decide if the article meets their specific needs. If I ghost write an article about how to raise tulips, a blogger with a gardening site may want to buy it and publish it under his or her name on that site.

Once a sale is made, the owner of the ghost writing site keeps a percentage and the ghost writer gets his or her own percentage. The blogger cannot contact the actual writer, and the writer's name will never appear on the article. What I do is maintain a supply of articles under various topics and hope someone finds one of them appealing. It's not steady freelance work, but it pays better than other freelance writing markets.

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    • An article ghost writer authors pieces for other writers for a fee, but usually does not receive published credit for the work.
      By: Minerva Studio
      An article ghost writer authors pieces for other writers for a fee, but usually does not receive published credit for the work.