There are all types of writers nowadays – content writers, marketing copywriters, novelists, bloggers and more. Any one of these writing professions can also involve ghostwriting, which simply means your name is not on anything you do but someone else’s name is on this work instead. Think about it. Songwriters write the words and music, and the artist performs the music in their own flavor of presentation. Well, that is how it is with most writing, as well. While you may have visions of grandeur of having your name on everything you do, the fact remains that working as a ghostwriter is a very lucrative career that is just as fulfilling.
It’s not really about your name but it is actually about the fact that you have access to a lot of interesting and satisfying work. Don’t be worried about your portfolio though because you can still build a body of work by listing the people and companies you have worked for that can validate your experience, expertise, and talent.
This article provides information that can help grow your ghostwriting business by deciding what to charge, how to create long-lasting working relationships, and putting new online invoicing tools for Ghostwriters to work to get paid faster.
Deciding What to Charge and How
The salary for a ghostwriter can vary greatly on your experience, the type of project and industry, and what a client may be willing to pay. Starting out as a ghostwriter, you may find that your average salary is $20,000 a year or less. As you gain experience and find more clients, your salary can average $34,000, according to Simply Hired, but your salary will only climb from there with no real cap on what is possible. (There will usually become a cap on your time, however.)
One of the biggest challenges in the writing profession is deciding what to charge a client that provides you with the rate you deserve for your experience but that fits their budget and helps you build a long-term relationship with them. With the advent of content writing now being produced in almost a factory-like assembly line, many clients are now asking for a per word rate rather than an hourly rate or by the article, website, blog, or even page. Typically, the ghostwriting rate is also higher than one where you would be putting your name on it, so this adds to the challenge at times when explaining to potential clients why you charge what you do.
Creating Work Agreements and Invoices
The best advice when working in ghostwriting is to establish parameters with each client and put these parameters in writing, including project scope, pay rate, and timeframe for delivery of work. It may also include any rights to the work produced, indemnification and termination provisions, and a non-disclosure agreement. These expectations are now in writing so both you and the client know what needs to be done on both ends so that you can get the work you are seeking.
This written work arrangement is also helpful in terms of getting you paid. If it’s a longer ghostwriting assignment like a book, then you most likely will be asking for partial payment upfront to begin with, followed by billing at the halfway and endpoints of the project. This is in contrast to the invoicing process for a high volume of shorter, ghostwriting projects, such as articles and blog posts, where you may opt for a bi-weekly or monthly payment option that is either by the word, by the timeframe, or as part of a retainer agreement.
To help your clients by making it as easy as possible for them to pay, consider the value of some free online invoicing tools that also have you spending less time on invoicing and more time on those revenue-generating ghostwriting assignments:
- Use online invoice templates to create a professional image for your ghostwriting business. You are a freelancer, but you are also essentially a business owner that can turn that talent into a recognizable brand that carries through from your website and social media presence to your estimates, proposals, and billing. Building this image throughout all your interactions with clients and potential clients is an important factor in establishing a specific rate and value placed on your work.
- If you do have clients that want to pay you by the hour, then consider an online invoicing tool that offers a time tracker that works in the background to calculate how much time each project takes. This tracking technology then puts the information into your invoice and gives the client a better sense of your productivity. Even if they don’t pay you by the hour, you could benefit from having this data – because seeing how you really spend your time can go a long way to changing your habits and increasing your productivity. The more you can get done as a ghostwriter within an allotted amount of time, the greater amount of revenue you can produce.
- Add an online invoicing tool that provides a way to bill clients from any part of the world. Today’s marketplace need for ghostwriters often goes beyond your home borders, and the available technology now makes it easy to virtually produce content for anyone, anywhere, at any time. Instead of trying to deal with currency exchange rates that fluctuate, use an online invoicing tool that does those calculations for you in real-time over 100 different currencies and tax systems. Your clients will appreciate receiving invoices in their own currency.
- Save time with an online invoicing tool that stores information so you don’t have to fill in the same data each time you make an invoice. While it may only reduce the time spent on a non-revenue generating task, it still adds up over time, especially if you have numerous invoices to send every two weeks. If you work on a retainer as a ghostwriter and charge the same amount each billing period, then this same online invoicing tool can be used to set up recurring invoices that automatically will be sent for you.
- As a ghostwriter, you may be working from many different places so the new online invoicing tools are also cloud-based, providing the information and ability to send invoices and receive payments from any type of device or location in the world (that has Internet connectivity, of course).
- Give your client every possible way to pay you, including using an online invoicing tool to deliver a digital copy of the invoice to their email box that contains a link to a payment portal of their choice. Paper invoices take longer to arrive, get misplaced, and become one of those “out of sight – out of mind” documents. Then it could mean they have to write a paper check out and get it to a mailbox. For every extra bit of time they need to pay you, think of it as time you could have been enjoying a larger bank balance had you used a digital process for invoicing and payment.
Get paid faster, keep your clients happy, and get back to those satisfying projects that often make you think, “Wow, I get paid to do what I love!”