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How I Earned One Grand In Two Months Ghostwriting by Joseph Reilly

Today I would like to welcome guest writer, Joseph Reilly. Enjoy!


According to Google, somebody somewhere once said “No one achieves great things by following the crowd". And this sentence could not be truer for those of us writers who didn't have a Harry Potter book deal starting out. The majority of the writing community scoffs at the words content mill. Sites like are the proverbial fast food job of the writing world for their low rates and uncredited ghostwriting content. The same could be said about most writing jobs on the extremely popular Well, here's where the quote comes in.

Starting out in my career I opted for these low paying gigs and, I made a little over a grand writing. To be more specific, most of that work had been ghostwriting, meaning I'd write it for a client, and it goes off into the abyss. I got paid, and all the hard work of typing fast while Googling goes without any thank you or fanfare. But the keywords here are I got paid. This is happening as the rest of the writing world turns down the work.


It's not easy or glamorous work. That's an understatement. It's work. It's laborious. And it's probably not what you got into writing for in the first place. Neither did I, as I started writing years back, my heart was on fiction. But if you need money (which I did), the work is there. All I did was create an account on I filled out all their requirements, and did their payment information verification, and then I clicked on jobs and churned out material as fast as I could. This was only about 10% of my revenue. A bulk of it came from Upwork. With Upwork, it's the same process but more profile filling out. From there you apply to gigs. Your cover letter, bid price, and profile all come into play here. Once you get a few gigs, your reputation quickly raises and it's easier to get them. But working hard and working fast is key. My average gig price was $25-40 per 500 words on Upwork and all the work was ghostwritten. Clients often come back for more work if you do well.


I have to give credit where credit is due. Craigslist, even though the name itself sounds archaic, the site brought me in four clients starting out. I did not need to reach out to them. I simply put an ad on Craigslist with links to my work, website and portfolios and they contacted me. Two of which turned out to be weekly paying clients. These clients I got off Craigslist provided me a steady income as I bid for jobs on Upwork and Textbroker.

And there you have it. A combination of content mills, freelancing sites, and outside clients via Craigslist earned me a grand in revenue when I was first starting out. If I didn't have other obligations and work, I would have earned more. And you can too. I'll also add that these small opportunities lead to credited work for me down the line, meaning it was no longer ghostwritten. I was able to put those credits in my portfolio which lead to far bigger clients. It all started with cheap gigs. Just remember to keep adapting to the online world as all sites aren't created equal. I've earned $0 on Freelancer and gotten no writing gigs on Indeed. But maybe that's where you'll shine. The question is, are you willing to ghostwrite?



Joseph Reilly is the author of the novel "Vanishing Love" published by Adelaide Books November 2020. He is the current head writer for ShipByMail Services Inc. Joseph’s writing has been published by Ephemeral Elegies, Monologue Blogger,, among others. He has also penned two self- published contemporary romance novels Hearts and Diners, and Better at Friendships on Amazon along with holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from The New School in New York. You can read his work at the website below.


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