From the monthly archives:

October 2007

Knowing Your Grammar Is Essential When Ghostwriting

by Amanda J Evans on October 30, 2007

I just read an excellent article on the differences between American and English grammar which I thought I would share. This article is taken from Trent Steele’s Smart Writers Newsletter:

Mind Your Language!

Oscar Wilde famously declared that Britain and America were two nations divided by a common language.

Actually he didn’t quite say that, but he should have done — which is why he is always misquoted.

First there are the differences in spelling; some of them familiar, others less so.

For example, while American films are in color, British audiences watch them in colour. On Broadway you go to the theater, but in London’s West End to the theatre. Americans measure in meters, the British in metres. American center is British centre. And so on.

As a British writer I have to keep these differences constantly in mind when writing for US publications. On finishing the article I always check carefully to make sure that I have paid due honor – not honour – to American usage. In this I fulfill – not fulfil – the editor’s requirements.

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Have you decided to start a home-based ghostwriting business? You may be juggling a full time job, a part time job and family life. You know that there are many things you need to do in order to successfully start your business and work from home. How are you going to fit your business project into your daily commitments? It’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus. Losing focus will cause you to take no action. Action is essential to moving on from where you are now, to where you want to be.

Here are 5 tips to stay focused on starting your home based ghostwriting business:

1. Break Things Down

If you have a large task to tackle, it is always easier when you break it down into smaller components. You’ll find it easier to focus because you won’t feel as overwhelmed. For example, ‘Registering your ghostwriting business name’ can be broken down into: ‘Think of five business name ideas’, ‘Find out how to register your business name’, ‘Get registration form’ and so on.

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4 Ways To Immediately Improve Your Writing

by Amanda J Evans on October 28, 2007

Writing is not really an art. It is a craft, and crafts can be learned. Here are four techniques you can use to immediately improve the quality of any writing you do, from ghostwriting e-books to web site articles:

1. After you run your spell checking software, go back and reread your writing. Very few people are good spellers, which is why spell checking software became popular years ago. Unfortunately, reliance on the software leads to silly errors. For example, the words “form” and “from” are both good, legitimate words. But if you wrote a business letter that said, “We will be taking $200 form your checking account to cover the payment,” would your spell check software catch the error? Yet a simple typo changed “from your checking account” to the silly “form your checking account. Spell checkers are a convenience, but they are neither authoritative nor infallible. Always read through your writing at least once after you spell check — and keep a dictionary handy.

2. Use that famous “KISS” principle for your punctuation. You know the rule, don’t you? “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is the rule regarding punctuation. If you don’t know how or when to use a semicolon, then avoid semicolons; you’ll only display ignorance if you get it wrong. In keeping with that KISS principle, limit your use of commas. Far too many people use far too many commas. Just because a sentence is long does not mean it needs a comma. Well-placed commas make reading easier and are appropriate. Commas thrown in simply to break up the words are incorrect and distracting. Another important rule of punctuation is to avoid using exclamation marks almost always. If your choice of words, sentence structure, and overall prose don’t convey the sense of excitement you are seeking, an exclamation mark won’t do it. If your writing conveys your sense of excitement, an exclamation point is, well, pointless.

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How To Write An Effective Press Release

by Amanda J Evans on October 23, 2007

When it comes to advertising your business or service publicity is the key and best of all it’s free.  If you can write an effective press release you can capture the attention of journalists and benefit from the free news coverage.  This is what potential ghostwriting clients know to be true and if you can do this you can earn a great deal of money.

The rates for ghostwriting a press release start from $100 upwards for a standard one page press release.  If you can submit the press release to newspapers and press release websites you can increase your rate.

Below are some tips to help you when it comes to writing an effective press release.

The Beginning

The first and most important thing when it comes to writing a press release is that you actually have something interesting to say.  You need to have a unique selling point (UPS) because after all, publicity for your client will be selling their product or service.  As a ghostwriter you need to be able to sell your clients story to the media so your press release needs to stand out and be compelling.  It should not be just another boring advertisement.

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{ 5 comments } has launched a blog carnival which focuses on blogs that show you how to write for money.  It will be updated weekly and you can even submit your own blog for inclusion.  This could be an excellent way of letting people know about your blog and I highly recommend checking it out.

Wordpreneur Blog Carnival

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When it comes to ghostwriting projects contracts and agreements are something that many of us overlook.  Having a signed contract or agreement with your client not only gives you peace of mind and ensures payment but it also shows a sign of professionalism.

If you work via the marketplaces and bid on ghostwriting jobs you tend to forget about such things as contracts and many writers assume that payment is a foregone conclusion.  Unfortunately for some writers not being paid for their work is something that actually does happen.  This is why most ghostwriting marketplaces have introduced escrow payments.

When bidding on a project try to insist on escrow as a means of payment and be sure to state that work will not being until funds have been placed in the escrow account.  This is a little extra piece of security on your part.

In relation to contracts and agreements these are something that you should really get into the habit of using especially if you have private clients.  You can view some sample contracts and agreements on Elance’s help section.  Again these are just samples and you can revise them to suit your specific needs.

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7 Ways To Catapult Your Ghostwriting Career

by Amanda J Evans on October 13, 2007

So you have decided to make ghostwriting your career. Do you want to ease into it by doing a few projects here and there or do you want to catapult your career right now.

Here are 7 ways of getting your business off the ground quickly and efficiently.

1.    Decide what kind of Ghostwriting you want to do. Whether it be writing articles for the web, newsletters for sporting and community groups, or press releases etc. Get a clear picture of what you want to achieve and do some background research into the rates you can charge for your specialty.

2.    Get some business cards made up. A company which specializes in inexpensive business cards is they also do letterheads, flyers, sticky note etc. Business cards look much more professional than your name and number scribbled on a piece of note paper especially if you plan to do some self promotion off line.

3.    Get on the net and join up with some freelance job market sites. They are a great way of starting of and achieving your goals quickly. You can build your experience, get published and collect some good recommendations from clients.  Some of the top websites are Elance, Guru, Get A Freelancer, and Rent A Ghostwriter. Be sure to keep your eyes open though as there are new websites cropping up all the time.

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Bidding On Ghostwriting Jobs

by Amanda J Evans on October 12, 2007

When bidding on any ghostwriting job always ensure that you inject a bit of your own personality into your bid. Show potential clients that you fully understand the project they are proposing and that you are the right person to complete it. You can do this in a number of ways.  The easiest way is to be polite and reiterate what they have said in their project description.  If the project calls for 10 articles on weight loss, you could mention that you have been trying to loose weight or have successfully lost weight and that you are confident you can reach their target audience.

If the project owner has given their name in their proposal you can also include this at the beginning of your bid. Other information you can include is your payment terms if you have any, and be sure to mention if you don’t accept paypal.

Including Samples In Your Bid

Whenever I place a bid for a ghostwriting job I always make sure to state that samples are available on request.  I never attach samples to my bid and if they are specifically asked for even then I submit them via the PMB (private message board).  The reason for this is that there have been reports of people steeling articles that have been attached to bids and using the content for themselves. In order to avoid this happening I always provide samples via the PMB and you should do the same.

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10 Necessities For Your Home Based Ghostwriting Business

by Amanda J Evans on October 11, 2007

When you make the decision to earn income from the internet there is a set up process you will need to go through before you are ready for business.

Listed below are some basic steps that will help you to set up your home business for success.

1. Attitude

The key to your business success is your attitude.

You need to treat your business like a business.

This is critical whether you are working part-time or full-time.

One of my colleagues is a mother who works from home. She does this around her family life. She puts her family life first but still develops her business at the same time. She says, “I work part-time, but I have a full-time attitude.”

Put another way, “If you have a hobby attitude you will have a hobby income, if you have a business attitude you will have a business income.”

You can be successful working part-time and you can be successful working full-time but it is highly unlikely that you will be successful working in your “spare time”.

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