12 Traits of a Good Ghostwriter

11 Jul 2022


Hiring the right ghostwriter can be difficult; you’ll have to find someone who not only knows how to research and structure an article but also has the right credentials and the right personality to write in your voice and on your behalf.

Whether you’re a blogger looking to get started with your first book or an established author looking to further your career, it can be helpful to hire a ghostwriter. However, there are plenty of bad ones out there, so it pays to know what to look for when choosing the right person for the job.

12 Traits a Good Ghostwriter Must Have

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1. A Focus on Deadlines

A ghostwriter should understand the need to stick to deadlines because they are the absolute bottom line that should never be crossed (unless, of course, there’s some kind of unforeseen emergency that arises).

One trait valued highly in ghostwriters is their ability to deliver on time. A writer who understands how important deadlines are will almost always do everything in their power to make sure they are met and respected.

2. An Ability to Communicate Efficiently

You may want to hire a ghostwriter because you are looking for someone capable of taking your content and expanding on it while maintaining your voice and tone.

The best ghostwriters understand how to communicate with all types of clients, but they also know how to communicate in such a way that all parties involved feel like they are being heard.

Writers are not just writers anymore; they are editors, strategists, producers, and more. And writing is now a collaborative process where multiple people bring their own unique set of skills to build something better than one person could do alone.

A good ghostwriter should be able to speak with you in ways that make you feel comfortable about what’s going on every step of the way.

Ghostwriters should ask questions about specific elements when needed but still make sure to provide enough space for creativity and originality from both sides. This means writing clearly, having excellent grammar skills, knowing how to use formatting (like headers) correctly—and the list goes on!

3. A Knack for Organization

When writing on behalf of someone else, it can be easy to get off track and lose sight of your goal. It’s important to stay organized.

A good ghostwriter keeps an editorial calendar that details when each deliverable is due as well as any research they need to complete.

Ghostwriters also need to maintain good notes throughout their work so that when they come back to update or revise there are no surprises.

As with any good project, having a structure in place will make all the difference between finishing on time and failing miserably.

Some ghostwriters are even required to take on administrative tasks—such as scheduling interviews or even making travel arrangements—so being organized is an important trait you should look for when hiring someone.

4. Patience with Others

The thing about ghostwriting is that often they’re working with someone else’s vision. Therefore, ghostwriters must be flexible and willing to make edits for your benefit.

Plus, they’ll likely spend quite a bit of time working with you throughout your project and will work in tandem with other people involved in its creation.

Anyone who’s looking to hire a ghostwriter should think carefully about how they interact with others and whether or not they can handle multiple opinions at once.

A good ghostwriter knows when to step back and let others do their jobs. They also know when it’s appropriate to make suggestions or ask questions but can do so without seeming pushy or abrasive.

5. The Ability to Collaborate Effectively

Collaboration improves a ghostwriter’s ability to work with you and helps to reach goals faster. It also helps to facilitate the exchange of ideas, so problems are solved more efficiently.

A good ghostwriter will find it easy to collaborate on the project by sharing their ideas, opinions, viewpoints, and experiences with you. This will go a long way in ensuring the quality of your project.

6. Excellent Writing Skills

The foundation upon which all ghostwriting rests is strong writing skills. Therefore, all good ghostwriters must possess excellent writing skills. Of course, it goes without saying that if you cannot write well, you should not attempt to be a ghostwriter.

A professional ghostwriter will ensure your sentences are smooth and expressive, while keeping your ideas interesting. All conventions such as punctuations, grammar, and spelling will be correct and communicative as well.


Preserve your legacy

7. The Ability to Conduct Extensive Research

Knowing how to conduct extensive research and always being on top of what’s going on in your industry is crucial for any ghostwriter.

A good ghostwriter will conduct thorough research to provide you with information that’s as up to date as possible. They can also dig up background information quickly to ensure your book is relevant, accurate, and successful, while also ensuring all sources are correctly cited.

8. Honesty

Hiring a ghostwriter can feel scary, especially if you’re getting started and aren’t used to hiring someone to do your writing for you.

When looking for a ghostwriter, make sure they have experience and are good at their job. Check out their samples to ensure that their style matches what you are looking for.

You should also hire someone honest and trustworthy. If possible, meet them in person and spend some time talking to them about your project before making any decisions.

If you hire a ghostwriter, your relationship may be long-term—and if it isn’t, it could potentially lead there down the road—so trustworthiness and flexibility are essential traits of a good one.

Remember: Honesty matters most! If they’re not honest with you now, it could come back to bite you later.

9. Versatility

Just like most people you meet, ghostwriters have their strengths and weaknesses. Some ghostwriters only write in a particular niche. However, you need to hire someone who is more versatile.

A ghostwriter can’t force themselves into being good at everything, but a good one can work hard to become an expert in some things and continue to develop their skills in others. This allows them to diversify their portfolio so that when a client comes along with a request outside of their wheelhouse, it won’t seem so intimidating.

No matter how much experience a ghostwriter may have, every project is new and different. So, to stay relevant, they always strive to improve by learning new techniques and honing old ones.

10. The Ability to Get Inside Someone Else’s Head

Being able to get inside another person’s head means understanding their perspective on life, their views on different subjects, and their values and goals—basically anything that makes them who they are as an individual.

It also involves being able to express these things in a way that is compelling for your audience, whether it be through writing or speaking.

This requires patience and empathy because it’s not easy to write or speak about someone else’s ideas without sounding like you’re simply parroting what they say.

The best ghostwriters take pride in writing in such a way that it feels like their clients are talking directly to you through their work.

11. Acute Attention to Details

You’ll need to be detail-oriented to capture someone else’s voice and personality accurately. A good ghostwriter will pay attention to even minor details, like word choice, which could alter an author’s tone or intention.

In addition, closely analyzing you and your previous works will help them develop an understanding of who you are and what makes you unique, which is important for getting into your headspace.

12. The Ability to Ask Smart Questions

The best ghostwriters ask lots of questions before, during, and after interviewing their subjects.

Not only does questioning get people talking about things they might not have otherwise shared, but it also allows them to get inside people's heads and understand how they think.

It also helps establish rapport with them and makes them feel comfortable sharing more personal stories than they might otherwise.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the best ghostwriter out of the numerous ones available can be very tedious. But you need one nonetheless to help complete that one project – your book!

So, if you want to get started on your writing project but don’t have time, aren’t good at working through complicated processes, or just want to get right down to the business of writing, then consider hiring a ghostwriter now.

Debbie Y. Tayo-Odeshilo 

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