Ghostwriting - The Content Rewriting Gig

As a ghostwriter you will come across a variety of clients that may request your ghostwriting services. One of those clients will be ‘the rewrite client:’

Content rewriting is actually a popular project for a ghostwriter. Whether an individual wants to have his memoir rewritten, or a businessman needs to have his business manuscript rewritten, or a business wants articles rewritten for an affiliate or sister site, the client will provide you with a full manuscript or article and request that you rewrite it for them with the same topic ‘intent’.

Sounds pretty simple right? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

For the individual with the memoir you may receive a manuscript that’s very poorly written. You will have to try to determine what the client means in certain instances and this will take lots of feedback. Content rewriting will also mean you’ll need to spin words while still invoking the client’s voice. And, depending on the individual’s reason for writing the memoir, you may have to advise that ‘getting even’ doesn’t really make for a saleable book.

Then there is the businessman looking into hiring a ghostwriter for his business book that he wants rewritten. Again, you may have poorly written content that you’ll have to sort through. And, you’ll have to strive to keep the client’s voice. You’ll also have to verify all the information.

There’s also rewriting articles. A client in need of your ghostwriting service may be the business or health marketer who needs articles rewritten for a sister or affiliate site. This type of content rewriting is probably word-for-word one of the most difficult, unless you become very proficient at it. Depending on the genre you will need to become acquainted with the language, the keywords, and the business or health topic you’re writing about.

For example: assuming you’re requested to rewrite health articles about allergies, you’ll need to know the particulars about allergies. You’ll need to know about indoor allergies, outdoor allergies, environmental allergies, you get the idea. And, the word “triggers” means those substances that will cause an allergic reaction. But if you’re rewriting an article you may not be able to use the word ‘trigger.’

Rewriting and Duplicate Content Criteria
If you’re wondering why you can’t use a particular word it’s because when rewriting any content for online use, it must meet non-duplication criteria. This means that the rewritten article must be under a particular percentage in regard to duplicate content according to search engine criteria.

Why is this so important in regard to rewriting content?

Simple, Google penalizes page rank if it determines your content is duplicated by other sites.

A great tool to check your duplicate content score is WordsFinder Duplicate Checker and Article Rewrite Comparison. According to this site, your score needs to be below 80 percent or you may be penalized for duplicate content. But, your client may request it be below 70 percent. To be safe, you should always aim for below 70.

If the rewrite duplicate percentage is too high, you have to rewrite it, while keeping it coherent and on topic. You’ll need to get it to that safe percentage. This will most likely mean finding synonyms for a number of words. Take the word ‘strategy’ as an example. You might spin it with policy, plan, technique, or other word that has a very similar meaning.

So, while content rewriting may sound easy, it can be a much more involved ghostwriting project than anticipated. Take this into account when quoting a price.

You can find the WordsFinder tool at:

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. Get must-know writing and marketing tips at

Interested in becoming a ghostwriter? Check out Karen's new class at WOW! Women on Writing:
 Become a Ghostwriter – Start a Money-Making Writing Business


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Karen, I always love your articles. Too many blogs offer advice from people with little experience. Not so, Writers on the Move!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks, Karen. That certainly sounded like it came from the heart :-)
Very interesting and a lot of useful things to ponder. thanks for the handy word finder link too.

Karen Cioffi said...

Thanks a bunch, Carolyn! We do have a great group of writer and marketers here at WOTM!

Karen Cioffi said...

I had a project that involved rewriting a number of articles per week. At the time, I thought how hard could rewriting be. LOL Live and learn.

For your own content the duplication criteria isn't as important as it is when writing for a client.

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