And why I’ll never be a ghostwriter

I have a secret SEO squirrel working with me. And he’s a real gun. He totally gets all that technical SEO shit that my creative brain doesn’t want to think about.

But when he started blabbing on about how well I’d rank for ‘ghostwriter’, I had to shut him down.

‘I’m a copywriter, not a ghostwriter’. Am I not being open minded here? Let’s explore the concept of copywriter vs ghostwriter.

When you need writing, what do you Google?

I’m seriously open to hearing your thoughts on this one. I want to climb into your head and see what you’re thinking. Are any of these terms cutting it?

  • Copywriting
  • Ghostwriting
  • Web writing
  • Blog writing
  • SEO writing
  • Or a combo of these…

For 7 years, I’ve called myself a copywriter. I did a copywriting course and I offer copywriting services in Melbourne, around Australia and overseas. Am I wrong to think everyone would know that when they need writing, that they’d need a copywriter?


When you hire a ghostwriter, here’s what you’ll get

According to the NSW Writers’ Centre, ‘a ghostwriter is a professional author employed to write a book or article for which another author will be credited.

And that in a nutshell, is why I never called myself a ghostwriter. I’m not an author, nor am I an author’s assistant. Although I’d love to write a book one day, or help an amazing author write a book, it’s not what I do right now.

When I was approached to help a lady write a book, she specifically asked me if I was a ghostwriter. This proved to me that in the author industry, a ghostwriter is known for being a fellow author who’s willing to write without credit.

Although I could have bluffed my way through it, I’m not a trained author so I declined her offer. I remember saying, ‘I’m a copywriter, not a ghostwriter’.

 And I love being a copywriter

The Oxford Dictionary defines a copywriter as, ‘a person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material’. As a copywriter, when I write copy, I have a purpose in mind – to sell a product or a service. It’s my job to make sure I use the words that your target audience will respond to. It’s psychology combined with the skill of writing.

A ghostwriter learns how to be an author (or their assistant), while a copywriter learns the art of writing words that sell.

When a copywriter is writing for a client, we know we’re not going to get credit for our work. Unless of course we get permission to use the copy in our portfolios. This gives the impression that we’re a ghostwriter – writing without credit.

But unlike a ghostwriter, I don’t just write for one medium. My speciality is blog and website copywriting, but I can also write copy for emails, newsletters, brochures and so on. So while copywriting is still specialised, it is seen across many mediums.


Ghostwriter or Copywriter – the best kept secrets in business

In both occupations, the writer usually walks away without any recognition of their work. It’s part and parcel of the job.

And I can’t speak for other copywriters, but I ask all of my clients if I can add the copywriting work to my portfolio. Most clients aren’t ashamed of admitting that they used a copywriter, so they agree. Other clients don’t want the world to know that they didn’t write their own words, and that’s fine too.

But from my understanding, a ghostwriter will always be just that – purely hidden from public view.

I hope that cleared up the difference between copywriter vs ghostwriter?

If you, like my secret SEO squirrel dude were confused about whether you’d hire a ghostwriter or a copywriter, I hope this article has helped you see the difference. I’d love for you to comment below to let me know what you’d Google if you needed help with your business writing.

And if you haven’t had the chance to check out my amazing blog, ‘7 sizzling copywriting tips‘, have a read now – it’ll also help explain what copywriting is.

Please share the love and pass my blogs onto those you feel will benefit.

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