Ghostwriting Jobs – Knowing When To Say No

by Amanda J Evans on September 7, 2010

It took me a while to get to the stage I am at now where I can look at ghostwriting jobs and know which ones to go for and which ones to avoid. There are a few warning signs that I look out for when I look at the different jobs online and today I want to share a few of these with you.

One of the first things that really strike the warning bells with me is when someone writes in the job description “this is a simple job for someone who knows what they are doing”.  If this is the case, why aren’t they doing the job themselves?  How do they know that the job is going to be easy?  This to me is a sure sign that someone is looking to have work done for virtually no payment. When I see this I just close my browser because I know this ghostwriting job is not worth it.

Another thing I hate is where someone lists a great job and you get really excited until you get to the end where they mention that unfortunately at the moment they can’t pay much and only have a low budget but that they will be providing a lot of work long term to the winning bidder.  You see this quite a lot on the bidding websites and quite frankly it is just another ploy to get people to work for nothing.  They people don’t have a huge workload for you to do; it is just a way to suck people in and getting them bidding low rates for the chance of long term work.  Again my friends avoid this type of job.

Then you get the online magazines who advertise for writers stating that they can’t pay you at the moment but as soon as they launch and are a success they will reimburse their writers.  Again these people are looking for free writers.

There are so many warning signs when you know what to look for.  I always avoid jobs where people want you to write a sample for them.  If they won’t accept the samples you already have there must be a problem.  Your samples will show your writing style and what you are capable of so why would you have to write something especially for them?  To me this is just someone looking for free content.  These people take all the different samples they get and then they use the content themselves.  Again free writing so avoid this.

I’m sure there are many more that I just can’t think of at the moment.  If you have any warning signs that you would like to share please do so in the comments.  After all, the more we have the more equipped we are when it comes to spotting bad ghostwriting jobs.

Until next time,

Keep writing

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Amanda J Evans

Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter/Author
I am a writer and author living in Ireland with my husband and two wonderful children. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and love working in the self help and spiritual genres. My other specialist area is online gambling and I have been writing for this genre since 2007. I am always available to discuss project ideas and collaborations as well as book writing.

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1 George Angus 09.16.10 at 10:52 pm


I just love coming here for the sage and very sound advice you put into every post. These warning signs could save someone a whole bunch of heartache and lost time. I’ve learned a painful lesson or two these past two years and I wish I had read things like this early on!



2 Amanda 09.17.10 at 8:58 am

Thanks George,

Love having your comments here too. I have learned a lot along the way too, I guess that is why I can now pass on the information. It should hopefully help those who are just starting out.


3 Genevieve Fosa 01.13.13 at 4:28 am

First of all, I want to compliment you on your blog. Your posts are thoughtful and well written. As for this post, I am a ghostwriter as well, and I have spent far more hours than I would care to count, searching online for legitimate work. I would like to add that all of the websites that encourage bidding wars among the writers undermine what writers are able to earn. There should be a law against that sort of thing. That, or, wouldn’t it be nice if we could organize and boycott all those websites?

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