You are certainly capable of writing expert content for your website. But is that an efficient use of your time?
It often makes sense to hire a ghostwriter.
What is a ghostwriter? Someone who will write on your behalf that will let you take the credit to enhance your credibility and show you as an expert in your field.
Someone who not only has writing experience but also copywriting skills to deliver your message in a compelling way to drive action and engagement.
Are You Interested In Hiring A Ghostwriter?
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One of the first questions at this point is usually:
How much does a ghostwriter cost?
Let’s get into a few of the details…
Table of Contents
- Are You Interested In Hiring A Ghostwriter?
- Ghostwriting Rates
- How Do Ghostwriters Charge?
- Do Ghostwriters Require Contracts?
- Do Ghostwriters Get Credit For Their Work?
- Who Owns Ghostwritten Content?
- What Are The Typical Payment Terms?
- Are Revisions Charged Separately?
- How Does Writer Experience Affect Price?
- Does Quality Affect Price?
- How Does Involvement Level Affect Price?
- How Does Timeline Affect Price?
- Does Price Differ By Content Type?
|Content Type||Typical Word Count||Typical Cost||How ghostwriters normally charge|
|Blog Post||500-2,000||$0.05-0.20 per word||By word|
|White Paper||5,000-20,000||$0.05-0.20 per word||By word|
|Book||50,000-100,000||$0.50-4.00 per word||By word|
How Do Ghostwriters Charge?
Ghostwriters often charge one of a few different ways.
By The Word
In construction, estimates and bids are often made based on the number of square feet involved in the project. It’s a quick way for the contractor to assess and get a pretty accurate estimate. In ghostwriting, providing an estimate or bid based on word count is similar. Some ghostwriters provide an estimated range for the work based on word count. It’s understood upfront that if word count comes in above or below that the cost may change.
But it depends on the agreement. Sometimes, a fixed limit may be put on the top end of the word count where the ghostwriter must request permission before continuing with the project beyond a certain word count.
By The Hour
Many professionals, such as attorneys, often charge by the hour. Some ghostwriters provide their services this way. This can account for differences in projects including aspects that are out of the control of the ghostwriter. For example, one client may want to pay for extra time speaking on the phone with their ghostwriter where another client may want to avoid this effort and cost.
By The Project
Some ghostwriters, usually after years of experience, have enough understanding and comfort in their craft to provide cost by the project. They determine the basis of the requirement for the project and provide their quote. The basis may include a word count range, a page range, a certain number of calls, a certain number of revisions, etc.
Do Ghostwriters Require Contracts?
Typically, the more in-depth a writing project, the more likely there is a need for a contract between the client and ghostwriter. A contract helps to lay out the expectations by each party. A contract can also provide a timeline that keeps the project on schedule.
For smaller projects, such as hiring a ghostwriter for a blog post or article, a contract may not be required. Or, a verbal contract may be sufficient. In more modern times, there may be guidelines laid out on a ghostwriter’s website whereby purchasing the product or service, the client is agreeing to certain terms such as who gets credit and how the piece is delivered and what will be included.
Do Ghostwriters Get Credit For Their Work?
Typically, ghostwriters will receive no public credit for their work. In some instances, they receive partial credit. This important term is usually expressed before the project is started and it’s almost always included in a contract if one exists.
Who Owns Ghostwritten Content?
Typically, the client is the owner of the content they paid the writer to create.
What Are The Typical Payment Terms?
Payment terms, as with many other industries, depend on the two parties involved. Some ghostwriters require 100% of their fee paid upfront. Some require 50% upfront and 50% once the project is complete. Some may not require any payment until the project is completed.
There are a number of variables involved. Typically, the larger and more complex the project, the more likely it is to have at least some of the payment required upfront. It may also be based on the experience and ability of the writer. It may also depend on the reputation of the writer and/or of the client.
Are Revisions Charged Separately?
Depending on the type of work, a certain number of revisions are usually built into the fee. Beyond this agreed upon number, a price is usually set upfront for any additional rounds of revisions.
Experienced ghostwriters usually know what to expect for the number of revisions for certain projects. They know that some clients will require just a few revisions while others will require more. They build protections for themselves should the revision requests reach a certain number.
When hiring a freelance ghostwriter, it’s important to ask about revisions. What number is included in the price and/or how much do additional revisions cost. It’s also good to ask for examples of how revisions have worked in the past for the ghostwriter with their other clients.
How Does Writer Experience Affect Price?
Experience and skill obviously play a large role in price. As with any industry, the better you are, the more you can typically charge for your services. This is especially true if the provider, in this case a ghostwriter, is in high demand. For many ghostwriters, their time is limited. The main way they are able to increase their income is by maximizing the amount they are paid for that time.
For clients seeking lower cost, but still high quality writing, it may be possible to find a relatively new writer. One looking to build their stature in the industry. Perhaps this writer is in low demand at the moment, but still very capable when given a chance. This is possible, but can lead to struggles. For example, when a writer has little history it can be difficult to predict quality and also timeliness and other factors.
Does Quality Affect Price?
Depending on the type of content, a lower quality writer may be required. And there are usually competent ghostwriters that specialize in content that is “good”, but perhaps doesn’t include as much research as a high quality piece. You'll find this more with blog writers for hire than with bigger projects like book writing.
For example, a client may hire a writer to perform primary research and publish their findings. This project is typically high quality and comes with a relatively high price tag.
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Another client may hire a blogger to interview them and turn that knowledge into short blog posts that answer common questions the audience has relating to the industry. There is generally less work involved in this process. The resulting content is valuable, but perhaps not seen as being as high quality as a primary research piece.
How Does Involvement Level Affect Price?
More involvement from a client can impact the price in both directions. It depends on the nuances of the project. Some freelance blog writers may prefer to write the entire piece on their own, with little involvement from the client. The writer may find this more efficient and may charge higher if the client wants to be involved. Other writers may prefer the opposite, where it’s more efficient for the client to provide information versus the writer doing extensive research.
How Does Timeline Affect Price?
The larger the project, the more it will cost…in most instances. A ghostwriter will usually charge more for a project if the timeline is expected to be longer.
However, there are instances where the price may increase if the timeline needs to be shortened. For example, an article may be required on short notice. In this case, the fee may be higher.
Does Price Differ By Content Type?
The cost usually differs depending on the content type. There may be similarities. Especially if the writer is charging by the word. But content type can also play a role. It depends on the work involved. Research may be required for one type and not for another. Interviews may be required for one type and not another.
Ghostwriters typically charge by the word, by the project or by the hour. The larger the scope of the project, the more likely there is to be a contract with details on pricing for the base project and for additional items such as number of revisions.
Much professional content is ghostwritten today. Some estimates state that 50% and even up closer to 90% of non-fiction books on various bestseller lists are ghostwritten. It’s proven to be an effective way for people and businesses to partner with writers to create work that is valuable to an audience.
Use the information here to help you in determining the right ghostwriter for your situation and for estimating the cost you are likely to incur.
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