Ghostwriters: How to be in the Right Place at the Right Time

We often hear that success can happen when we’re in the right place at the right time. That’s true whether you’re a ghostwriter or not. But how do you know where you should be and when?

You can’t predict when a potential client will decide to begin their search for someone to ghostwrite their memoir, pen a series of articles or blog posts, craft a speech in their voice, or take over their tweets, so you need to have a presence where they are most likely to look for you. So where exactly is that? Wherever professionals, executives, speakers, consultants, and subject matter experts are most likely to look for a talented writer.

Put yourself in their shoes and brainstorm where you would start your search if you had no connections to other writers or publishing veterans. What are the obvious information sources?

Of course, that’s a rhetorical question designed to force you to think like your potential clients, but I do have a few suggestions to get you started:

The Association of Ghostwriters member directory. Only members can be featured here so right off the bat, you’ve separated yourself from other ghostwriters who are not part of this professional organization. And since the AOG website comes up on the first page of Google results for the words “association” and “ghostwriter,” it does get a fair amount of traffic. If you’re a member and you aren’t in the directory, take a minute and create a listing now.

Other professional organization directories. Editors, agents, book packagers, and would-be authors frequently turn to online directories for help in identifying writers with  particular skill sets. So if you’re a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Authors Guild, the Editorial Freelancers Association, or other professional organizations, make sure you are listed in their member directory.

Troll Craigslist. This website is now used just as often for selling furniture and finding employees as it is for finding professional service providers. I subscribe to, which aggregates all writing-related job postings – with the bulk coming from Craigslist – and delivers them to my inbox each morning at a cost of $99/year. It saves me time and shows me that there are plenty of requests for ghostwriting help on Craigslist. Or you can search Craigslist for your local area as well as other cities on an individual basis.

Troll writer websites. Websites like or post writing-related projects and jobs as they are posted, so make sure you’re on their email list to be alerted to such opportunities.

Set up a Google Alert for your topic area. While hunting down job postings is smart, you can’t find all of them. Google, on the other hand, is pretty amazing. When asked – meaning you set up an Alert – Google will deliver posts that contain keywords into your inbox each day. So consider setting one up for words like “ghostwriter,” “freelance writer,” and topic areas you specialize in. Then whenever, wherever jobs are posted online, you’ll find out about them soon thereafter.

Finding ways to connect with people who need you is just like being in the right place at the right time.


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Marcia Layton Turner

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