How to become a ghostwriter for music artist

Ghostwriter, the gray cardinal of your success

Ghostwriter is often associated with show business. Sometimes there are showdowns on the theme: but whether he wrote the lyrics himself, this or that famous artist? Has he not resorted to outside help? But in fact, the scope of Ghostwriter is much broader. In the material, we will try to understand.


Foremost, the etymology. A ghostwriter is a person who writes a text for a public person, subsequently renouncing the copyright on the material. In this case, the customer will own it. That is, he can change and republish the work in any way he wants.

It is common for celebrities, political leaders, corporate executives and even bloggers to hire a ghostwriter to write or edit memoirs, autobiographies, song lyrics or even rap battles, articles and other written material. Why?

Well, for one thing, because of lack of time. When you have hundreds of people under your supervision, it’s almost impossible to catch inspiration, lock yourself in your office, and write for hours on end. Besides, not everyone has the talent to express his thoughts beautifully.



If it seems that ghostwriting is a new phenomenon, it’s not. For example, there is still controversy that Alexandre Dumas Sr. used a ghostwriter when he wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. His name was Auguste Maquet. Supposedly, he wrote the storyline and Dumas only added dialogue.

Publishers have a practice of hiring several authors to publish works on behalf of one person. There are good reasons for this: to keep up with reader demand, while stimulating sales with the authority of the famous author. Here, the ghostwriter can be listed as co-author, editor, or listed in the acknowledgements section.

Perhaps someone still remembers those tabloid editions of detective novels that were published (and still are) several times a year. Daria Dontsova, Alexandra Marinina, and even Victor Pelevin have all been accused of using third-party authors. At this point it is known that Marina Serova – just a pseudonym, a literary mask, under which worked a few people – otherwise how can you write more than 500 novels?

Many celebrities resort to the services of a ghostwriter if they need to write a memoir or autobiography. For example, Donald Trump’s biography was written by a ghostwriter. Also, several of Hillary Clinton’s books were written by a guest author. The plot of the feature film ‘The Ghost Writer’ revolves around the memoirs of the former British prime minister written by a guest writer.


Ghostwriters also work in the music industry. They write lyrics and tunes in the style of a famous musician (customer). In hip-hop, the growing demand for the services of ghostwriters has even led to controversy. Critics view the use of lyrics by “shady” writers as a “perversion of hip-hop by commerce.

At the same time, many talented rap singers choose the path of ghostwriting themselves, turning it into an extra income, and some even start their careers in the industry with it. Frank Ocean, for example, was a ghostwriter for Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy.

In Russia, with the growing popularity of battles, many rappers started making money from ghostwriting, combining it with creating their own tracks. Among them are Rickey F, Galat – guys whose names are known thanks to Versus. The musicians note that ghostwriting cannot be called a stable income, but there are many orders.




Not all public figures have the time to write and edit a speech for an important event. A ghostwriter can create the text of a speech from scratch or participate in editing it. Can even help write a series of toasts for a wedding ceremony 🙂

Articles and blog posts.

Have you ever wondered if celebrities and Influencers on Instagram actually come up with all those photo captions and stories themselves? As a rule, it’s the ghostwriters who run celebrities’ social media accounts. But hires need to be careful here: ghostwriter Kylie Jenner, for example, has posted abusive posts.


Ghostwriting is a fairly controversial issue in and of itself. But in the field of science, the problem is quite acute. Time and again, Dissernet finds plagiarism in the dissertations of the rectors of the top educational institutions. Even in the scientific work of Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky. This suggests that the work was written by other people.

Funny, but abstracts and diplomas are also essentially academic ghostwrating. However, as a good extra income (fortunately for smart students, unfortunately for Russian education in general). By the way, we in the community have personal experience on this topic.


Foremost, develop your own writing skills and fill your portfolio with works. You can do this as a copywriter, SMM-typist, content manager, in general, those whose area of expertise is working with texts.

Many content-ghostwriters start out as freelancers, looking for orders on freelance platforms and communicating directly with the customer.

Literary ghostwriters, on the other hand, rarely work with clients one-on-one. As a rule, they work remotely for one of the publishers they order a book from, or are on the staff of major media outlets. In this case, employees sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Regardless of the line of work, networking and connections play a huge role. This is how, with the help of word of mouth, the first clients are found, and your contacts will pass from hand to hand with potential employers.


Content, content, content… Everyone is obsessed with it these days. So your writing skills will be in demand anyway. However, as in the situation with any creative specialty, it is impossible to name a fixed amount, which receives a guestwriter for one order. Payment varies with the complexity of the order and experience.

Advice to future go-getters (and any freelancers): always work on an advance payment to avoid misunderstandings with the client and to give yourself up to the creative process without thinking about money.

How much do music ghostwriters get paid?

Music ghostwriters are paid differently depending on their experience, the song, and the artist they are working with. Some music ghostwriters can make as much as $100,000 per song, while others may only make a few thousand dollars. It really depends on a number of factors. Some music ghostwriters are paid a flat fee for their work, while others may receive royalties based on the performance of the song. In some cases, music ghostwriters may be credited as co-writers on the song, which can increase their earnings significantly. So it really varies depending on the situation.

How do I become a music ghost writer?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to become a music ghostwriter may vary depending on your skills, experience, and connections in the industry. However, some tips on how to become a music ghostwriter include:
network with other music professionals
develop your songwriting skills
creating high quality demos and samples of your work
be open to collaboration

How much do ghostwriters charge per song?

It varies, but a good rate is around $300 per song.
Some ghostwriters may charge more or less depending on their experience and the type of songwriting services being provided. Usually, the more complex the songwriting project is, or if the ghostwriter is doing a significant amount of work to promote and pitch the song to music industry professionals, then the higher the rate will be.
There are a number of different factors that can affect how much a ghostwriter charges per song. However, as a general rule, most professional ghostwriters will charge somewhere in the range of $200 to $500 per song.

How do ghost writers sell their songs?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question – it really depends on the ghost writer and the market they’re selling their songs in. Some writers may sell their songs directly to artists, while others may work with music publishers or record labels. Additionally, many ghost writers are also unsigned artists themselves and may choose to release their songs independently.
Prices for songwriting can vary widely, depending on factors such as the popularity of the artist, the demand for the song, and the Writer’s reputation and track record. Generally speaking, someone who is ghost writing for a major pop star can expect to earn tens of thousands of dollars per song, whereas a more unknown writer may only receive a few hundred dollars.

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