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Sunday, June 22, 2014

5 Ways to Sharpen your Ghostwriting Skills

Blogathon, day 22. 

Ghostwriting (and content marketing, which often requires similar skills) is one of the most lucrative areas for freelancers today. But it can be a challenging field to break into if you haven't done it before.  To ghostwrite, you have to be able to capture a client's voice so that you sound like him, not like yourself. Here are five ways to sharpen your ghosting skills: 

1. Write for a variety of markets. Every market has its own voice. As a freelancer, you're expected to match that voice. Writing for a wide selection of publications will help you experiment with different voices, and better capture a new one.

2. Pay attention to sources. Just as every market has its own voice, so do each of us as individuals. Listen to how your sources talk; how they phrase things; whether they use short, concise sentences or long rambling ones that never seem to end. Imagine how a source would explain a concept or tell a story. 

3. Develop a specialty. Often a client wants a writer who has experience with or knowledge of the topic of his book or article. If you specialize in a particular area, you can use this as a "calling card" for ghosting work even if you haven't done a lot of it. 

4. Embrace a collaborative spirit. When you write an article for an editor, and she wants you to rework it, and you do, that's collaboration. Working with an editor (not just for an editor) gives you practice at working with a ghostwriting client, too (even though your client doesn't know as much about writing as your editor does). 

5. Analyze structure. A good editor knows how an article or book chapter should "hang together." A good ghostwriter does too. Take a look at the structure of the articles you write, and pay attention to what works and what doesn't. Do the same with what you read, and you'll gain a greater understanding of how to structure pieces when you're writing for a client as opposed to an who's already given you some direction about what she wants. 

**Want to know more about ghostwriting? Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, shows how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field even if you haven't ghostwritten before. 

**If you're a new freelancer, get up to speed fast with Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Marketswhich is aimed at brand-new freelancers in search of their first clips. 

**Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition is a freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line. 

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