Social Media Ghostwriters Are a Thing Now. How This 24-Year-Old has Made $193,581 this Year

A white male, Dakota Robertson, stands in front of a designed background of colors and shapes.
Dakota Robertson was making $60,000 a year at 19 years old as an electrician. But he hated the work. Exploring other career options led him to social media ghostwriting, in which he writes and publishes clients' posts on their behalf for a monthly rate.
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Life as a well-paid 19-year-old is great. Until it isn’t.

“I thought I was living the dream,” says Dakota Robertson, now 24, who was an electrician at the time. “I had free housing and food, and was making good money.” But the young Canadian says the job, which often included muddy site visits to restore electricity, started to wear him down. 

“I hit a breaking point. I felt there had to be more to life.” 

The young professional enrolled in college for English, and eventually found his way into social media ghostwriting, an online service he says is an underrated side hustle. Robertson’s Twitter ghostwriting business, Growth Ghost, has made $193,581.05 so far in 2022, much of it from sliding into people’s DMs.

Two out of three employees feel disengaged or dissatisfied with their work, according to Gallup’s most recent State of the Global Workplace report. If you’re one of them, it might be time to explore a business idea, side hustle, or career pivot to shake things up. As an added bonus, the extra money you make can accelerate your financial independence goals.

Here’s how one Generation Z entrepreneur pivoted from tradesman to online business owner.  

He Stumbled Into Ghostwriting

After graduating from high school, Robertson enrolled in a technical college to learn how to be an electrician. His brother, also an electrician, told him there was good money in the profession. Upon graduation, Robertson says he was soon working overtime, earning close to $60,000 a year. In 2018, a work colleague introduced him to the world of crypto, inspiring him to invest in and learn about different cryptocurrencies.

“I started using Twitter to keep up with crypto influencers,” he says. While following crypto on Twitter, he stumbled into topics like business and finance, and became hooked. Robertson also became interested in growing a following of his own, so when the pandemic arrived, he “bought a guide for $40, spent two hours going through it, and got serious” about the platform.

But his initial efforts flopped. “I tweeted consistently for three months, and only grew to 750 followers,” he says. Robertson asked an industry peer for advice, who told him that he needed to focus on a specific topic and write for that audience. 

Robertson took the advice seriously and created a new account in February 2021 that focused on teaching people how to become better writers, leveraging the English college coursework he had taken. The account took off, and after several months of consistent posting and direct messages, Robertson felt ready to take on his first ghostwriting client.

“The gig only paid $200, but it was enough to convince me that it was possible to make money ghostwriting,” he says. Robertson used the rest of December to set up his business and hit the ground running in 2022. Here is how much he’s made so far this year, according to documents reviewed by NextAdvisor.

MonthGhostwriting Income
Year-To-Date Total$193,581.05
Robertson’s month-over-month top line revenue made from social media ghostwriting services in 2022.

You Don’t Need a Lot of Followers to Make Money on Social Media

Robertson’s Twitter account, 21 months old at the time of this writing, has just over 150,000 followers, and he tweets six times a day. But he says you don’t need anywhere near that much activity to get started making money online.

“I had around 3,000 followers when I landed my first client,” he says. “Some clients want more followers, others want to build their personal brands, and the rest want to sell their products and services.”  Robertson suggests having three to four months of consistent posts on your profile to act as a portfolio and show that you walk the talk on a given platform.

“Everything happens in the DMs,” he says. “Clients judge you by how you initiate and maintain conversations. Since you’ll be writing on behalf of your clients, they need to know that you can represent them professionally.”

If you’ve been thinking about a side hustle that has the potential to become something more, an online service like social media ghostwriting can be a low-cost way to start bringing in more money each month. Under new ownership, Twitter will change, but Robertson’s tactics for reputation management can be applied to any social media platform.

The Gen Z ghostwriter says that swapping out pliers for tweets was a lucrative career move that has given him more flexibility and freedom.

“Twitter has changed my life. I feel content knowing I’m impacting people’s lives and businesses.”