6 Tips For Breaking Into Ghostwriting


I started my writing business doing what a lot of freelancers do — writing for magazines and newspapers, creating brochures, etc. And while this was a good way to get started, I found it wasn’t the best fit for me. Mainly because I needed to earn more money than what the projects I was doing were commanding. I wasn’t interested in the model of working feverishly to amass a mountain of freelance projects that paid a small amount individually, but collectively paid OK. I needed better than that. I needed each individual project to pay well.

So I got into ghostwriting. As with many opportunities, it wasn’t an opportunity I was necessarily looking for, but it was one I was prepared for, nonetheless. I believe someone defined that as luck — “when preparation meets opportunity.” I don’t much believe in luck, preferring to see blessings and fortune, but that’s beside the point. The point here is that I was in a place to take advantage of an opportunity that transformed my business.

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How to Bring New Money Into Your Freelance Writing Business


The proverbial feast or famine can strike anytime in a writing business when you’re not paying attention. Or for some writers, it may feel like famine and still more famine. Whatever the case, if you’ve hit a patch where money is running low and no new infusion of cash is on the horizon, you can feel pressed to hit the panic button.

What not to do

Well, first, hard as it may be, don’t panic. When you panic, you make rash decisions; decisions that can get you further down the hole. Another good reason not to panic is that you don’t want anyone to smell the stench of desperation on you. If they do smell it, one of two things will happen: They’ll run away from you, meaning no new business is coming from that direction. Or they’ll try to move in for the kill and get you to take on a slave-labor project. In your panic and desperation, you might take on the project that is paying way too little money, as you are just happy to have any dollar sign headed to your bank account. But then a strange thing happens when you take on a project for way too little pay: You hate the project.

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Selling Your Book On Amazon: Advantage, Marketplace, CreateSpace, KDP


Amazon provides a great opportunity for self-published authors to sell their books on equal footing with traditionally published authors, but choosing how to do that can be a bit confusing.

A client had questions about the best Amazon option as she looked to plan her distribution and marketing for a book we had ghostwritten and designed for her. I realized what she needed to know was something many others need to know, also. Some people think that if they already have an Amazon account they use for buying books or selling their old stuff like the jewelry they no longer wear or the books they’ve already read, then they are good to go. But not necessarily. It depends on how you want to sell your books, including how involved you want to be in the process, and whether you have other products you also sell. Amazon Advantage and the Amazon Marketplace are the options most often considered.

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5 Secrets to Building Your Personal Brand Online — When You Have a Service Business


Figuring out how to stand out when you’re a solopreneur or small business owner can be confusing, intimidating, and daunting.

But setting yourself apart doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you learn how to distinguish yourself from all the others offering similar services, you can build a stronger business and get better clients. Building a solid personal brand is key to that process. Whether you are a writer, designer, coach, consultant, speaker, or other person building a business around what you know, you’ve got to build a personal brand. We all have personal brands, by virtue of the footprint we leave. But those who manage their personal brands and play up the unique aspects of those brands are the ones who succeed.

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7 Productivity Tips for Writers Who Are Stuck


Producing a finished product is a struggle for many writers. They have lots of ideas, but not much to show for all the time they sit, think, and write.

As someone who has ghostwritten or authored more than 30 books and written more than 1,000 articles, I know how important it is to be productive. It’s not enough to have a good idea. After all, ideas aren’t the problem. You need a way to get over the inertia and uncertainty.

Whether you are looking to successfully complete your own writing project or one for clients, here are some productivity tips to get you there:

Realize this is work

Despite your romanticized ideas about writing, know that this is work. And that means you’ll have to put in time doing it. It won’t magically flow from your fingertips. You’ll have to make the time for it to happen and put in the effort. I’ve seen people become discouraged and even give up on their writing because it doesn’t come to them as effortlessly as they’d like. Whatever gave them the idea that writing wasn’t really work? You’ll have to get over your fantasies about writing if you want to make it an actual reality in your life.

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Price vs Value: How to Set a Rate That Earns You More Money


Pricing is always a big question when it comes to writing for a living. Do you write for free to build a portfolio? Do you set a high rate and post it to your website so visitors can pre-qualify themselves and any who can’t afford the high rate automatically go away, never to bother you with their penny-pinching budgets?

While these are important questions, more consideration goes into pricing than these. You must determine just exactly what it is you offer and whether there is a market for it. Assuming that you have a market for what you offer, then it’s important to determine typical rates. But it’s not necessary to set your rate simply based on the typical rate. The typical rate is there only as a guide, so you know what buyers are paying. Your rate can be vastly different from this, depending on how you position and market what you do.

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Create a Client Intake Process That Helps You Earn More Money


If you find yourself spending an undue amount of time chasing prospects, only to find that they are not your target client and don’t sign up, then it’s possible you need to tweak (or develop) your new client intake process. This process can help you better qualify leads, so you are not going through the detailed process of creating time-intensive quotes for people who are in no way interested in (or able to afford) your services.

One mistake a lot of new freelancers (and sometimes experienced ones too!), make is thinking everyone is a potential client. This simply is not true. The more quickly you can focus on your target client, the more efficient your marketing efforts can be. When you do come across someone who inquires about your services, going through an established client intake process can help you better gauge the needs of the client and the project, which can help you in the quoting or proposal stage. This can help you earn more money and spend less time chasing dead-ends.

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How to Produce Freelance Story Ideas That Make Editors Love You


If you are a freelance newspaper or magazine writer, you are constantly in need of story ideas. As editorial budgets get squeezed and editors are making do with fewer staffers, the opportunities for freelancers are growing. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to buy a good story from a freelancer than it is to pay an already-stretched staff writer overtime to go and write one extra piece, in many instances.

So how do you find the good stories to pitch to a publication?

1. Read the publication. This seems obvious, but many freelancers pitch publications without having taken the time to read them. Just because two publications publish articles on the same subject doesn’t mean they approach them in the same way. Read up on the publication so you can reflect its style and tone. See what stories it loves and think about a new angle or take on a favorite topic.

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20 Things Every Ambitious Writer Needs to Know


Mastering the technical details of  a successful writing career is never as hard as mastering the mental. You can learn the technical things — how to structure a proposal, how to market, how to query, how to do thus and such — but keeping your mind in check can be a whole different matter.

A huge part of your writing success will be found in one thing: Your attitude. How optimistic you are and how willing you are to push through disappointments and get to some place better. Your mind is something you must work on constantly. You have to feed yourself with inspiration and motivation to keep making it happen. Zig Ziglar said it best: “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

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