Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Trouble With Ghostwriting

I love ghostwriting- I really do. I like being able to match my tone and style to someone else's site and challenge myself to write something that fits right in. People take my ghostwritten items and use them as their blog posts, as content articles and as sales copy for their websites. When I sell the rights, they have every write to do that and to use it any other way they like.

The trouble comes when someone posts a great gig writing about something that I have written about many times before. But, uh oh, all of that writing was ghostwritten. I can't link to it and point to it as being mine, and I can't show it to a potential client and tell them that I wrote it. I take the sale of rights very seriously and have never pointed out something that I have ghostwritten to anyone (except my husband). So how do I get any credibility as having experience in that genre? I wish I knew. I just don't have the time to write out original samples about every single thing that I have experience writing about. The only thing I can really do in these situations is to mention that I have ghostwritten items about the topic and hope they see that I am sincere. I don't think I've ever led anyone to believe that I am not sincere or that I engage in anything morally questionable, but there's really no way for most potential clients to know that.

The internet really is a double-edged sword. There's no reason for any client to know that I often like to listen to music and sing badly while I write. The internet offers enough privacy that I can do that and no one ever need know. You know, unless I happen to mention it in a blog or something. But, it also offers enough privacy that people can make claims about having experience in a field when they have none. The only thing that I can do is to be honest about experience when I have it and hope that clients will see that and respond to it.

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