EP 62: How to become a successful ghostwriter

Podcasts on October 23, 2023

If you’re a copywriter and you’d like to expand your services and create a long term stream of income, you should consider becoming a ghostwriter.

What even is a ghost writer? In many senses, a copywriter is the ultimate ghost writer in that we write content for a specific client, we are largely invisible, we don’t seek credit for the work and we work hard to become the voice of that brand.

Bernadette Schwerdt is a leading ghostwriter for some of Australia’s most successful business owners. She is the author of two bestselling books about online entrepreneurship (‘How to Build an Online Business’ and ‘Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs’). She is the ghost-writer of ‘Catch of the Decade’, the business biography of the billionaire brothers behind Catch of the Day, Menulog and Scoopon and was the book coach and editor of ‘Find Build Sell’, both of which were finalists in the Australian Business Book Awards.

She ghostwrote ‘How to Build a Business Others Want to Buy,’ for Kobi Simmat, one of Australia’s leading business coaches, and her most recent ghostwriting client is Radek Sali, the former CEO of Swisse Vitamins, who took the business from 30 staff turning over $30 million to being sold for $2 billion just ten years later.

In this podcast, you’ll:

  • Discover the difference between copywriting and ghostwriting, and how copywriting skills can be applied to ghostwriting.
  • Explore the types of ghostwriting and the role of a ghostwriter in telling clients' stories.
  • Learn how to get started in ghostwriting, including finding your first client.
  • Discover the step-by-step process of ghostwriting, from interviews to manuscript completion.
  • Gain insights into the importance of rapport and trust in ghostwriting relationships and the value of challenging clients when necessary.
  • Find out how to select the most compelling stories to create a book that stands out.
  • Understand the financial aspects of ghostwriting, including payment models and why you should determine your services upfront.
  • Learn about the role of ghostwriters in marketing and promoting the books they work on.
  • Obtain a comprehensive understanding of the ghostwriting profession and its opportunities.

About Bernadette

Bernadette is a former senior account director for global advertising agency Young & Rubicam Advertising and worked with clients such as Apple, Amex and Colgate. She is the founder of the Australian School of Copywriting, has since trained over 10,000 people to become freelance copywriters, is the author of two bestselling books and the ghostwriter of four business books.

Prior to her business career, she was a professional actor and appeared in some of Australia’s most iconic shows including Neighbours, The Games, Round the Twist, Winners and Losers and Jack Irish, and worked alongside Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce and many others. She was the inaugural in-house mindfulness coach for the Carlton Football Club’s AFL players and coaches and has conducted meditation workshops for Melton Council, Melbourne City Council and others.

She was recently named in the Top 50 Small Business Leaders in Australia.

Mentioned in this episode:

Bernadette’s website

Bernadette on LinkedIn