One of the first jobs I got was for a Pakistani website owner who needed a native English speaker to write a piece persuading those who needed web content to outsource the work to Pakistanis. They then outsourced it to people like me.
I ghost wrote a lot of fashion pieces the first year I was doing web content, and it was a strange milestone searching on some keywords only to encounter something I had already written. The longer you write web content, the more frequent this phenomenon becomes, particularly if you write a lot for a particular industry and the client is well-versed in search engine optimization.
In the past few months I have made more of an effort to get on LinkedIn regularly and work on building up my network there. A few current clients are in my network, and this has led to the amusing situation of having them share content that I ghost wrote for them. I thought this would bother me more than it did. But really, if a successful company executive puts his or her name on my work and proudly shares it, it's a pretty good endorsement, if indirect.
There was a period of a couple of years when I was writing around 100,000 words per month. That's almost Pride and Prejudice in terms of word volume. Now that I have higher paying clients, I don't need to produce that much, but after several years it adds up to a few million words out there on the web. I doubt I will ever lose the thrill of accidentally encountering my own work (by-lined or not) when I'm surfing or doing research.
Photo Credit: marin / freedigitalphotos.net