Thinking about starting a freelance healthcare writing business, but you’re not sure how to get started? You’ve come to the right place.
It’s scary even thinking about starting a business, I know. I have been there.
I started my freelance healthcare writing business officially in 2015. That was after 2 years of writing and not telling anyone what I was doing…not even my husband. Why? I didn’t want to look like a failure. I am a perfectionist (as most writers are), and I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I created a business out of it.
Back then, I did a LOT of Google searching. I first didn’t know that freelance writing was an actual career. Here I was selling articles at $5 for 500 words. WHAT?!? I don’t recommend that, but at the time, I was thrilled! I was getting paid to write!
Here’s your guide to getting your freelance healthcare writing business launched for 2020!
The Guide to Starting Your Freelance Healthcare Writing Business
1. Know Your Offer
When it comes to the words “Freelance Writing,” it’s a huuuuuge area of writing topics. You can write things like:
- Blog articles
- Magazine articles
- Brochures/Print Copy
- Website copy
- CME Courses
And the list goes on!
My advice, start with one, like a blog article. It’s simple. If you are a healthcare provider, you are looking to write in the healthcare niche (though this isn’t always the answer, for the sake of my blog, we’re going to stick with health as our board topic).
2. Set Rates
One of the biggest questions I receive from coaching clients is, “What do I charge?” It’s a huge answer.
First, it depends on what you’re writing. If you are writing a technical piece, I would charge more than a blog post. It comes down to time. How long will it take you? If you don’t know, take a guess.
The advice I give is to set your rate at double what you make an hour at your nursing job. That’s a good starting point because you have to account for business expenses and your time.
Some companies will ask you your “hourly rate,” and some will ask “per word” rate. I like to charge per project rates. For example, a 500-700 word blog post gives me a 200-word gap.
No one wants a wordy article, so if you have enough content for 500 words, so be it, you’ll get the same rate. Whereas, if you are charging per word, you may be tempted to add additional wording to your article, to make a few more bucks.
Hourly rates in freelance healthcare are hard to estimate because clients don’t understand that research for an article can take some time.
As you write more, you will begin to develop your writing process and things will get faster every time, and that’s the key because you will be increasing rates then.
Increase those rates every 3-6 months! I’m not kidding. You are worth it. Companies don’t want to write content, and with a freelance healthcare professional as part of their team, they want your input! Even if you only up to your rate $10, up it!
3. Set Up Your Website
I use WordPress (now) for my freelance healthcare website platform. I love Squarespace, but as my business grew, I had to come over to WordPress for traffic and such. For a new writer who is not familiar with building websites to use, I recommend, Squarespace for their website building.
It’s a simple space to create a professional-looking website.
Make sure you have samples, contact information, and an about me section on your website for clients to explore.
While you’re at it, set up your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is one of the best places for me to find and connect with clients. When you set up LinkedIn, have a great photo and a summary that leads your clients to your website.
4. Gain Clients
Now that you have a website and ideas for rates, it’s time to get a client! I suggest you check out my post on the Pitching Process to help you gain your first client.
How else can you get work as a freelance healthcare writer? You can check out job boards, join the Savvy Scribe Collective, and ask around your local area if they hire freelance healthcare writers.
Get your feet wet with some guest posting to blogs you enjoy! Another way is you can start a blog of your own if you are interested in a specific topic.
5. Contracts and Legalities
After you gain a client, make sure they have a contract, or you have a contract for them to sign. It keeps everyone legal, and it WILL come back to bite you someday if you don’t have anything. This website offers 5 templates for freelancers for contracts. Use it, even if your client seems nice and compliant. You don’t want to chase your money and have to do a million rewrites if they aren’t happy.
Setting up your business as an LLC is important too. Why? It keeps your personal and business life separate. Start to deposit your writing checks to a business checking account so you can file taxes and know precisely what’s going in and out in your business.
Ready to start? Take this guide and RUN! I want you to succeed and offer additional coaching that will dive way more in-depth to this business of freelance healthcare business!
If you’re ready to start exploring if freelance writing is your next PRN job, or even full time, I invite you to download: