As a health writer, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about how to find paid health writing work. I have to be completely honest. Health writing is something I fell into. I never went into it with the intention of making it a career, and it took me a long time to get paid well for the work that I do. But maybe you’re a little savvier than me. So let me guide you through the journey of finding paid health writing work.
How To Find Paid Health Writing Work
Get yourself prepared
There are a lot of steps to set yourself up as a health writer. Until you’ve done the basics, there’s no point in asking me how to find paid health writing work! So go and do your homework first – start here.
Figure out where you want to work
It might seem like health writing is niche enough. But for most people, it’s not. The world of health writing is huge.
So where does your writing passion lie? Is it in:
- Writing blogs
- Writing articles for publications
- Website content/SEO
- Ebooks and online courses
- Technical writing
- Academic writing
- Proofreading and editing
- Promotional material
- Social media content
- Or somewhere else?
Once you know that, you can narrow down who to pitch to or organise a chat with.
It takes a while for your reputation as a health writer to precede you. Hell, I only got to that point over the last 6 months or so! So you need to get your butt out there and talking about what you do.
Go to networking events (but not the slimy business card swapping kind). Meet up with other freelancers, entrepreneurs and people in the health industry. Go with zero intention of promoting your business, but do share what you do when you’re asked. You’d be surprised how many people ask for your card when you aren’t pushing your service on them.
Once you’ve got a network built up, reach out to trusted people occasionally and connect.
Start writing on LinkedIn
If only there was a platform where you could connect with professionals who might want to hire you and write articles for them to see… oh wait, there is! That’s exactly how you can use LinkedIn.
Think it sounds like fantasy? I started publishing articles on LinkedIn again recently. The second one I put up attracted the attention of the CEO of a health food start-up. We’re now working together on the website content.
Pitch articles to magazines
Have a favourite wellness magazine? Read each issue for a few months, and brainstorm some topics. Then contact them and ask what their content submission process is. Pitch your best ideas, and get writing!
PS – do your research first. Some magazines have it clearly stated on their website. For example, Wellbeing Magazine has contributor guidelines set out, and pays around $600-700 per 2000 word feature. If men’s health is your niche, Men’s Health Magazine also accepts pitches, with comprehensive guidelines here. Into sustainability and slow food? Peppermint Magazine might be worth contacting.
Avoid the content mills
Let this be a tip from someone who learned the hard way. I started my health writing journey using Upwork. At first, I thought it was fantastic! I could connect with people across the world, and they would pay me to write about topics I love. But that was before I realised that I wasn’t earning a decent wage writing them.
I might pick up the occasional work from an old client on there these days. But 99% of people advertising work on Upwork are looking for the lowest quote, not the best writer. So unless you wanted to earn $15/hr, give them a miss.
Remember, this is only an introduction on how to find paid health writing work. It all depends on where in the industry you want to go, how you feel about promoting yourself and how much work you want to take on. If you’re still figuring out where you belong in the health writing industry, you might want to consider mentoring. I offer a mentoring service for aspiring health writers here.
Are there other tips that taught you how to find paid health writing work? Leave them below!