Do I Need Ghostwriting or a Writing Coach?


Often when I receive a referral, the potential client is looking for a ghostwriter, but upon speaking further, they decide on coaching instead. Because of this, I wanted to explain the difference between coaching and ghostwriting, and when either is best applied.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter writes content FOR you. This means they take content you have already created, such as videos, presentations, blogs, webinars, podcasts, course materials, and/or interviews, and compile it. In the case of my clients, this often means a book. Once I compile the content, the client and I review my work. The client offers feedback, such as filling in holes I’ve missed, giving me a better understanding of their product/service/belief etc.

The clients who are best served with ghostwriting often have one or more of these traits:

  • they have a body of work, but it’s scattered
  • they want to compile their visual or audio stories or presentations into a written format
  • they want to create a workbook to accompany their visual collateral
  • they don’t feel they are strong writers – they likely articulate themselves well, but when it comes to putting it on paper, feel less than confident or capable
  • they recognize writing is not their strong suit, but value having their work in that format
  • English is not their first or primary language
  • they have a brain injury, learning disability, or other situation that makes writing difficult or impossible
  • they just don’t have the time or interest in writing

Why a writing coach?

A writing coach works WITH you, and supports your writing efforts. This means they take content you have created, or will create, and provide a framework, accountability, industry knowledge, and coaching tools to bring your written project to life. Typical sessions include me reviewing my clients work, and then meeting with them over the phone or computer to answer questions, suggest changes, and work through concerns.

The clients best served by this have one or more of these traits:

  • They have an idea but are stuck- they don’t know where to start, or don’t know what to do next
  • They have a body of work and need guidance on compiling it and creating something new
  • They know they can get their project done if they have some support and accountability
  • They have a very distinct voice that is important to capture in their story telling
  • They are fairly comfortable writing, or consider themselves writers already
  • Writing isn’t a struggle naturally, but organizing, finishing, or starting writing is
  • They are motivated and ready


The Biggest Differences

After reading those descriptions, you may very easily see the differences, and identify what you need most. Overall, the primary differences are 1) done for you vs. done with you, and 2) price.

Ghostwriting is more labor intensive than coaching, and therefore comes at a higher premium. You will expect your ghostwriter to spend at least as much time writing your book as you would, because while they may be faster and more skilled, they don’t know your subject matter the way you do. Coaching, on the other hand, puts the ball in your court. Because you are doing the bulk of the work, the engagements with your coach will be focused to keep you moving forward with success.


If I can help you with your writing project, or you have questions about which options are best for you, contact me. Let’s make your dream of authorship a reality this year!

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