Ghostwriter Services: What Should You Look For in a Ghostwriter?

ghostwriter services

A good ghostwriter can be tough to find these days. Everyone is throwing their hat into the ring and if you don’t know how to choose the right person for the job, you could end up with a poor product. Not all ghostwriter services are made equal, so it pays to know what you’re looking for.

What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

First, let’s look at what exactly a ghostwriter is. This is someone who will write your book or article for you, without putting their name on it. They sign over all rights to you upon completion of the book and you are the official author. The ghostwriter holds no further rights after that and cannot take the book back or republish it.

That, in a nutshell, is what a ghostwriter does. They are the invisible person behind the words, able to take your ideas and shape them into a product that is ready to be presented ot the public as your own.

Some very famous celebrities have used ghost writing services to create their biographies, while even well known authors may have ghosts behind their pages. It’s a far more common practice than most people know. The good news is, you can make this work for you and produce books and articles, even if you can’t stand to write more than a few words at a time!

Qualities of a Great Ghostwriter

Ideally, you’ll find someone who fits perfectly with your personality and style. After all, your book should appear to be written by you. While it’s possible to tweak and add your own special touch, keep in mind that a great product will help you do that.

An amazing ghostwriter should have the following qualities:

Experience: You want someone who knows what they’re doing. That means they need to have at least a few books under their belt. Look for someone who has worked on the same types of books as you want to write.

Passion: Someone with a passion for the topic is more likely to write well on it. For example, I’m a travel nut, so when clients hire me to write travel guides, I really enjoy it. That enjoyment comes across in the writing and research that I do.

Prompt: It’s no fun waiting for someone who doesn’t get back to you in time. If there is a deadline, your ghostwriter needs to meet it. The best way to make sure of this is to start out with a smaller project or set up milestones so you can judge how fast they work.

Communicative: A writer who stays in touch with you and responds promptly to messages is a great asset to have. You want someone who will talk to you and let you know the status of the project, rather than simply disappearing.

Recommended: Do other people or companies recommend this ghost writer? If there are no testimonials, you might want to step back and reconsider. If others have recommended the writer, you know you cna go ahead and will likely have a great experience.

What do you look for in a ghostwriter?


20 thoughts on “Ghostwriter Services: What Should You Look For in a Ghostwriter?

  1. Craig Reply

    I’ve been looking into using a service like Upwork to find someone to write content for me on my blog. I’ve had a few offer to write example pieces for discounted fees up front and then ask me to commit to X articles if I like the work after.

    Is this a good method to help find a ghostwriter? It seems potentially risky and I wasn’t sure if it was normal.

    How do I ensure the quality of the follow on articles stays to the same level as that of the initial article? Or would you recommend going on an article by article basis to ensure quality?

    • admin Post authorReply

      One of the great things about Upwork is that you can put money in escrow. You only release it if you’re satisfied with the work done. So it’s fairly low risk and I think having sample pieces for a discount is an excellent way to see if a writer is a good fit for you. After that, set up milestones (like 5 or 10 articles) and go from there.

  2. Ryan Reply

    One way or another, these five qualities are or should be identified when using a ghostwriter. Some people don’t realize they need each of these qualities depending on their writing purpose. They can also be used for so much more than writing the typical things like. blogs, songs, essays, etc. which might include content writing, marketing, etc. This makes them more versatile than you think. Asking the right questions with these qualities in mind help get the job done both effectively and efficiently. What question do you think must be asked for a ghostwriting project itself?

    • admin Post authorReply

      Many of my clients ask me for an outline or an idea of how I would approach the project and I think that’s a good way to go. It gives you an idea of what the writer can do before hiring them.

  3. Glen Reply

    Is there a difference between a ghostwriter and a content development provider with freelance writers on call who write content or articles on demand? Seems to me ghostwriters are used for books and large projects. Are ghostwriters independent or do they use an agency to market their services or to find clients? 

    • admin Post authorReply

      Ghostwriters usually are used for big projects, but you could technically say that all copywriters are ghostwriters, since they don’t receive credit. Ghostwriters can be independent or work with an agency. 

  4. Strahinja Reply

    Hi Genesis,

    thank you for this post. I really love that you put what qualities should ghostwriter have. Everything that you listed is actually important. I never hired one or writed for someone like this, I want to learn copywriting for my business, but I have to say that after reading this I’m curious. I didn’t know that so many celebrities use ghostwriters also, especially for biographies. That’s cool.

    I’ll probably read more about this to learn and to have it as an option.

    You have a nice portfolio, I would recommend you.

    Best regards,


    • admin Post authorReply

      Thanks for stopping by, Strahinja! Learning copywriting skills for yourself is very important and will help you hire a great writer when you’re ready to outsource.

  5. Chris Reply

    Great article, and really interesting points that you’ve covered here.

    I’ve always considered ghost writers to be extremely creative academics – in some cases more talented and creative than the authors themselves. 

    It’s good to see that you’ve laid out a solid checklist so that people can tap into that creativity/talent, and not get caught out with low quality. Have you any experience ghost writing yourself?

    • admin Post authorReply

      Yes, I’ve written hundreds of books as a ghostwriter! It’s something I really enjoy doing. 

  6. Steve Reply

    Your site was quite helpful  to me. I had an idea about Ghostwriters but honestly never thought about using one. Now I at least know what to look for f the need for me ever arises. Seems as though it would take a lot of time to compare ghostwriter in order to choose one.  Thank you Nice well planned site.

  7. Bibian Reply

    That’s a short-structured straight to the point post about finding a ghost writer you can count on. The qualities you listed out are all 100% true but passion is outstanding, a ghost writer needs to have passion for a particular field he/she loves to write on. I have seen campaigns on Fiverr by people looking for clients they’ll write articles for, even though they were tagged with 5 stars but the question is “If they actually posses this qualities you out listed”. 

    Thanks for making these qualities known, I do enjoyed your post too.


    • admin Post authorReply

      Without interest, you just get a regular article. Someone who cares about the topic will write a much better article. 

  8. Kyle Ann Percival Reply

    Hi Genesis!

    This is an option I had never considered, either for using in addition to my own content or offering as a service to others.

    I appreciate the 5 qualities to look for in a good ghostwriter, they make perfect sense and some are assets I would not have thought of seeking out on my own. It is obvious you have a great deal of experience to share in this arena and that is greatly appreciated.

    If someone is wanting to get started offering this service what are the first steps one should take? I would be interested in pursuing this as a sideline.

    Thanks for your valuable advice, I look forward to learning more from you!

    Kyle Ann

    • admin Post authorReply

      I would suggest getting some experience first. So you might start on Upwork and working on a few samples. I’m actually working on a course now for those interested in becoming freelancers. 

  9. Clay Westfall Reply

    I have written a few books myself, but now I am getting a bit older and busier, so I have been thinking about using a ghostwriter for my next book.  You have given me some great ideas, and I also learned some good ways to protect myself.  Using milestones is a great idea, and one that can easily be implemented with writing a book.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise with writing and ghostwriting.  I am a believer!  Clay

  10. Tiffany Domena Reply

    I’ve offered ghostwriting services before, and had many frustrations along the way. There were many people who didn’t understand the intricacies of what needs to be done, and the time it may take. As you mentioned, not all ghostwriters are the same, but people looking for ghostwriters often treat them that way. They see companies like Fiverr, so they want a book written for $5. I’m glad you’ve explained how ghostwriters vary with experience, passion, and in other areas.

    • admin Post authorReply

      It can definitely be difficult to get people to understand the true value of ghostwriters. I hope you have better luck in the future, if you choose to try again.

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