How to Start a Freelance Health Writing Career: 5 Main Skills to Possess

Do People Get Paid Well for Freelance Writing?

Yes, they do: As of 2014, the median salary in the US for freelance writers was a modest $55,000. To get rich you'll need a niche. In the freelance health writing field, you'll work with high paying clients and write content that helps medical professionals and their patients.

How Can I Break Into Health Writing?

Not everyone is cut out for this type of writing. Many writers burn out quickly and return to full-time employment. To be successful you'll need to develop the following skills:

Skill 1: Have a Thick Skin: You're being paid to write and if you're client doesn't like it he'll let you know. Or he'll change your writing without telling you.

Remember: This is a business; learn to handle rejection and don't take criticism personally. If you get mad when clients ask for revisions then this might not be the career for you.

Skill 2: Marketing: You'll have to learn the art of self-promotion. This isn't the same as advertising. Marketing is just letting clients know that you exist and have skills that can help them.

To market you should do the following:

  1. Direct mail campaigns.
  2. Cold-call qualified prospects.
  3. Create a website with relevant keywords.

Skill 3: Knowledgeable: What is your health writing niche? Let's say it's oncology (tumor studies). You should keep abreast of the latest studies by perusing authoritative websites, journals, and magazines. Also, when you get assignments you'll have to be able to research accurately so your content is factual.

Skill 4: Consistence: The most important skill. As a freelancer, you are your own boss. YOU have to keep your schedule full of assignments. The maxim to live by for you is: Write for today but bid for tomorrow.

Skill 5: Attention to Detail: Not just in your copy but also in your business. Your content should always be derived from reputable sources so there will be no problem if your client fact-checks it.

As a freelance writer you are a one-man (or woman) business. You'll need a system to invoice clients and an accurate bookkeeping method. Once you get popular, you could outsource your administrative tasks to a virtual assistant.

You Can Work From Home But It is Still Work!

As you can see, a health writing career requires a lot of skills and time, especially when you're starting-up. But if you cultivate the skills above you can become a success in no time!

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