Fiverr Forum

Article Writing vs Ghostwriting

For all you writers out there, I have a question. I see tons of gigs for content/article writing. I’ve hired a few in the past.

Do you consider yourself a ghostwriter for your buyer? Or, is Ghostwriting just for books?

How about translators? If I’m getting a book or even a blurb translated into another language, it being rewritten to make sense in that language, so would that be considered a type of Ghostwriting?


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I don’t know, I enjoy doing the research and the writing, I get fully involved in that, but once I deliver, I forget all about it and move on to the next topic.

I’m a blog post/ article writer, and this is how I do it:
You put my name on it, it’s content or article writing. I put these articles into my professional portfolio.
You put no name on it or your name on it, it’s ghost writing and I charge an extra fee.
If I ever get good enough at Spanish to translate (in my dreams), then I would say that is translation vs. ghostwriting. Correct me if I’m wrong. Although I do think it is nice when translators get credit, especially if they have put a lot of care into the rewriting of the piece.


It depends on a lot of things.If someone asks me to write an article of 500 words about flying cars, and that’s all I know, then I write an article about that subject and done.

In other cases I really write from the experience of the buyer or at least tell a (made-up) story from their perspective. In that case, they have provided me some more information. For example, if they told me in their briefing that they see that many companies make a certain mistake in their marketing plans, then I will make up a story about this or ask for a concrete case.

The platform doesn’t really lend itself to go any further. I’ve written articles off Fiverr about projects that people had done with all kind of first-hand experience included, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that for someone I hardly know (that means, I need to have met the person in real life and spend a couple of afternoons with him/her). The article needs to reflect the character of the buyer, also for people that know him/her better than I do.


No to this. It probably will often, but not always, be more than direct translation (at least if the translator is worth their salt and especially if it´s fiction), in different degrees of creative translation depending on the translator, but I don´t think any translator would consider that anything close to ghostwriting. If you told them something like ‘please translate, but if you see a paragraph you don´t find good, feel free to change it’, then it might be considered something akin to ghostwriting.

A good translator usually would take care to translate in a way that it makes sense, and sounds good in the target language (or not ‘good’ but depending on what the author intends it to sound like), that the intended atmosphere and such carries over, but would do their best to not change the style/level etc. of the original writing (too much). Unless the author asked them to. Like the author tells a translater 'translate, but do it so freely that it´s like you would write something like this. In that case one could argue if it´s still translation, I´d say it´s a mix of translating/ghostwriting/editing then, but it should not happen, unless agreed on in advance.

Of course if it´s fiction and especially something longer like a book, the style of the translator will seep into the translation (again, unless specific requirements have been agreed upon, like depending on your needs and the translator you could tell them ‘please write it in a really modern style as if a 20 year old would probably write’ or ‘please write this from the POV of someone who was an old man around 1920’ or ‘please as close to the original like only possible’ or whatever) but usually, unless told otherwise, a translator would/should aim at ‘mirroring’ the author and their style (under consideration of what does and does not work in the target language, of course).


[quote=“mjakkerman, post:5, topic:110145”] The
article needs to reflect the character of the buyer, also for people that know him/her better than I do.

That’s is the reason why I could never ghostwrite for someone. Even if I did know the person, I think it’s one of the hardest thing to do.

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Yes, yes, yes!

It can’t be easy when you are reading a fiction and suddenly an idea pops in your head to make it better but that would change the context.

Frankly, I don’t think translation is proper word, because Google can do literal translation. A great translator keeps the spirit of the meaning in another person’s writing.

For fiction, I would say he or she would have to get into my head. Humm, ???

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Yes, it makes it indefinitely easier to translate something, when you´re ‘on the same wavelength’ with an author/their writing style, like their genre, characters etc.
It´s pretty interesting though too, if you have to adapt to something completely different. I had one order which was a couple of long short stories lol by different authors with very different styles, that was fun too, as you basically had to make a 90 degrees turn from one to the next story and it can be big fun to translate something written in a way one wouldn´t write oneself, the fun in there is probably the challenge that holds. Getting into the heads of authors/characters who are ‘foreign’ to you.

It can be difficult to restrain oneself sometimes, yes, if you think ‘I´d rather…’ ‘Oh this isn´t really done well, it would be much better if…’ but I personally don´t even have that problem much with fiction, if you let yourself dive into the text and ‘accept’ that it was written by someone else and is not your own oevre :wink: it´s fine, that problem usually comes up more with non-fiction and that´s not really a translation matter, but a problem of the original text respectively editing, sometimes as a translator you can see that something was done in haste, or that someone didn´t do enough research etc. but unless you´ve been told to pay attention to and work on such issues, of course it´s still not your job. I do comment often on such things (or if it’s small things a quick research on my end fixes, will fix it/offer direct translation and my fix) so the customer knows about some issues and can decide if they want to act on it or not.

Easier in the sense of faster, ‘flowing’ working is definitely, if it´s similar to how you´d write yourself.

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Usually, when it is for shorter pieces of work, you don’t need to get every detail right. You are also only writing about a part of the persons life, for example about how the person is succeeding in his work, and we will not mention that he behaves like a prick towards his wife.

In most cases the writing also serves a goal (e.g. establishing someone as a marketing authority). In that case, you’ll end up with a slightly idealized version of the person you’re writing about, that gives you a bit more freedom to fill in the gaps.

I have never written anything substantially longer than 3000-4000 words in this genre, so I wouldn’t know if I could ghostwrite an entire book.


I’ve only done two full length novels and I have a whole new respect for authors. It was hard.

All of mine are fiction and typically start out as short stories with 3 to 5 k words - sometimes it morphs into a Novella.

Still, 3000 to 4000 words are like 12 to 16 pages and that’s a lot of writing. I had a portion (one chapter) of one of my novellas ghostwritten.

The gal put a lot of emotion into the chapter, a little too much. The guy put very little emotion. Both scenarios seemed unrealistic for my characters. Between the two, they gave me some really great ideas so I combined them.

I’ll have to guess that non fiction which would include articles/research would be a hit easier since you’re dealing with facts.

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I admire creative writers - male and female. I could never write fiction, I find it incredibly difficult. I have written, I don’t know, 8000-9000 articles and blog posts, but ask me to write a story - I can’t do it. (And John Grisham is my favorite :slight_smile: Read every book he’s ever written, including the boring ones :smile: )


Let me motivate you then.

Yes you can! Yes you can! Yes you can!


That reminds me of…I could write about politics though…pity nobody hires me to write on politics or pressing political/economic issues.

Give it time, it’ll happen. :blush::blush::blush::blush::blush::blush:

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I think the ghostwriting itself of some ‘individual item’ whether it´s a short piece or a book isn´t that difficult, but if it needs to ‘fit’ to other items and shall be ‘seamless’, then yes, as it would require ‘studying’ what else of that kind the author wrote, analysing and applying it, and thus time and money.

As a real example, a fantasy author wrote over ten tomes of a saga, but unfortunately died before the, already planned, last two books. Another author, fan of the series himself, took over and, knowing the ‘world’ by having read those over ten tomes and with the help of the notices of the late author and the help of his wife and editors, wrote the last missing books, but the fans had to wait for years, until they were published, I don´t want to know how those books would have read had they been written within fiverr’s 30 day limit. :wink: They have lots of pages too, on top of that.

While on the other side, if you ‘study’ the last week or month of someone´s twitter posts, you probably wouldn´t have much of a problem ‘to hit the right note’ (all that under the assumption you are a good writer or at least not a hopelessly bad one in the first place).

I might be able to start right away to write, say, book 8 of a vampire book series I read the 7 existing books of, because I´m familiar with the style and mannerisms and characters and plots and such and could produce something similar maybe, but without having ‘studied’ other things an author has written, I could only write based on what info/instructions I´d get of course. I suppose the ‘ghostwriting market’ is pretty varied, depending on what the customers for ghostwriting services want, demand and offer. If you´d want someone to write in the same style as you do, you´d need to pay them for the time they´d need to ‘learn’ what your style is’, for example, as far as I can see it, or they´ll end up with whatever you´ll write else.

Very interesting topic again to think and read about lol. I´m glad with translating and writing myself, I think I´d have problems with ghostwriting. Must be difficult, if you want to do it well.

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You could try to make an extra gig for that, who knows, maybe you just need to give people the idea that they could need that kind of article. In April, of course. :wink:


Make that May, I’m taking April off :smile: (Maybe I will take even May off. And June.)

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But seriously, I am going to relax for a few months and start with a new outlook, almost as a new seller, try out many different things, experiment and enjoy myself.

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In my article gig, I specify to my buyers that they are purchasing all rights including the right to put any name they want as the author of anything I write, so most of the time, I’m ghostwriting. I am aware that many of my buyers either put their own names on blog posts I write for them, or they use fake names to make it appear that many different people are writing for their site. One of my regulars actually has me write all the posts for his blog and pays extra to even have me post them on the blog, but he has me list a random credit. :smiley:

Once in a while I get a buyer who specifically wants to credit me and then it isn’t ghostwriting, but just writing. Since it’s done on Fiverr, if they want to credit me I let them use Maddie “Fonthaunt” as my name. Those buyers are usually also happy to link to my gig or profile, so I sometimes give them a discount or free extra to thank them for the advertising. Overall, though, I consider myself a ghostwriter for Fiverr purposes, no matter the length of the work.