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Ghost Writing-What is it?

By Edited Jan 16, 2014 3 6

On the Internet ghost writing has become the norm and many websites use content that is entirely bought in. Celebrities often hire someone to write their blog for them, perhaps because they are too busy, perhaps because they cannot write in an appropriate style.


What is Ghost Writing?


Ghost writing has been around for hundreds of years in the print world. It is the practice of composing a piece of writing for someone else and allowing that person to put their name on it as their own. You sell all your rights to the piece of writing when you hand over the commissioned work, you have no copyright and no further ability to earn from that writing.


What Advantages Does Ghost Writing Provide?


Ghost writing provides website owners with the fresh and unique content that they need. Often a ghost writer will be asked to produce an article at very short notice, sometimes about a hot news topic, other times because another writer has failed to meet a deadline.


Hiring ghost writers means that a website owner can expand his business by building and running more websites.


Hiring ghost writers has many advantages for companies. There are no long-term commitments and no hidden costs of insurance, holidays and redundancy payments. Every ghost writer works on a freelance basis, being hired for one job at a time.


A ghost writer is only as good as his or her last article. If standards fall then he or she is not asked to write any more articles.


Who Does the Actual Ghost Writing?


Ghost writing may be referred to as outsourcing or freelancing by some companies. It is on the increase because there are millions of unemployed, educated writers in the developing world who will write for a quarter what an American or British writer would need to live on. Some of these writers write in excellent English, others' writing needs a lot of editing to make it pass as written in the West.


Ghost writers may be asked to produce multiple versions of the same article, perhaps by using an article spinner. Spun versions of articles are almost always unsatisfactory and take as long to correct as it would have done to rewrite the article from scratch.


Is Ghost Writing Ethical?


There is nothing unethical about a businessman opening a business and hiring employees to do some of the work. That is how economies work. Hiring a ghost writer is no different from hiring an electrician to fix a light switch or a builder to fix a chimney.


Ghost writers in developing countries are cheaper to hire because they have lower expectations and lower costs of living. If you outsource your ghost writing to writers in the Philippines you are keeping unemployed writers alive by asking them to do jobs and paying an excellent wage, when measured against local wage rates.


Western writers need to charge higher rates for article ghost writing, but you are more likely to find a writer from America or UK who is confident in the use of current American idiom.



Nov 15, 2010 1:29pm
Very informative article. You're right about ghost writing being around for hundreds of years!
Nov 15, 2010 1:32pm
Thanks DD. Wonder if Dickens wrote all those books himself..
Nov 28, 2010 9:46am
It is indeed a very informative article. I shudder just a bit having been the ghost writer and being thrilled never to sell my work like that again. :-P As for Dickens, that's a funny thought...it would be hard to write in that style though!
Nov 28, 2010 10:53am
I sympathise Aiden, but foe people outside US/UK/Canada/ Australia it puts bread on the table. It just would not put much on my table, or yours either. Dickens must have used the same ghost writer throughout...
Nov 29, 2010 2:52pm
Good overview on ghost writing. I've linked to it from Innovative Passive Income.
Nov 29, 2010 3:00pm
Thanks JD
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