How to Write a Winning Proposal as a Ghostwriter

One of the most important aspects of being a successful ghostwriter is finding the right gigs and landing them. The secret to this is being able to write a winning proposal.

There are different rules and regulations depending on which freelance marketplace you use, but here are some guidelines that should help you secure some great ghostwriting gigs.

Read the Assignment Details Carefully

The first thing most prospective clients will see is your proposal, not your profile, so it is important to follow all instructions carefully and ensure the details you provide match what is needed, and explain how effective you will be at providing it.

Be picky about what you apply for. For example, don?t apply for finance writer jobs if your portfolio shows nothing but health samples, no matter how many jobs listings there are.

One of the main things to watch out for is a code word. Clients put this in assignment listings at popular freelancing sites to ensure you are paying attention and customizing your proposal, not just churning out a boilerplate one.

Also watch out for any assignments that are vague or incomplete. You really don?t have any time to waste when you are working as a freelancer. The sooner you get a gig successfully, the sooner you start earning. Be really cautious with assignments written by people for whom English is not a first language, as things can get lost in translation, costing you time and money.

Finally, read carefully any additional questions they list at the bottom, and be prepared to answer them honestly. Note that the replies are sometimes visible before your proposal, so be sure to make a good impression.

Play the Match Game

Once you have found an assignment you think would be a good fit, copy and paste it into a word processing document and save it in a folder with a keyword that will help you find it again as needed. Create a second copy for your proposal.

In this second copy, delete any extra words, so all you have is a list of what is required for the assignment. Place them on the left-hand side of the page. Place the reasons you are a good fit for the job on the right-hand side of the page. In this way you will show you?ve read the assignment and put thought into how your skills genuinely match what is required.

Don?t try to get too creative, or introduce other topics into the mix. You want a happy client who will feel confident they have hired the right person – someone who is reliable and can follow instructions, not go their own way all the time.

Template Your Introduction and Conclusion

Each proposal you send will be created from the assignments you find in the freelance marketplace, but there are some items you can template, such as your introduction. State how many years you have been writing. At the end, include the URL for your portfolio, and anything else you think they need to know.

Write as you would a letter, with “Dear NAME” at the start, and a “Sincerely yours” at the end. Keep the tone friendly but formal. Date the letter as well. Then keep it in a safe place until you hear back one way or the other.

Give Your Contact Information

This might or might not be allowed depending on the marketplace. You can tell them the time zone you are working in, so you can connect with each other more effectively.

Indicate Your Availability

Tell them to feel free to contact you if they want more information, or would like a brief chat or interview. Be sure to check back and respond promptly to any requests.

Make Sure Everything Is Error Free

Maintain the highest standards of professionalism at all times.

Have you sent out any Upwork proposals? Any tips you?d like to share with us? Or maybe you have some more questions. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section.

Tom Ofori

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