Choosing a niche for your freelance health & medical writing business isn’t easy. How do you know which writing styles to offer? And where can you find new clients who will pay you to provide those services?
The great news is that the medical writing industry is booming. Global healthcare spending could reach over $10 trillion by 2022. Both startups and established healthcare brands and businesses need quality content written by experienced, talented health writers. So there are plenty of options to niche your skills and services.
When you know what a health writer does, think about your focus area. Your niche can be a particular writing style (features, blogs, sales pages, website copywriting, patient education materials), target audience (patients or health professionals) or a health topic. Or, your niche can be based on your qualifications, industry experience or career journey.
Thinking beyond “medical writer” or “health writer” will give your business a unique offering. Having a point of difference is essential for helping you stand out and attract relevant clients.
But if you’re struggling to refine your niche, here are three important questions to help you focus.
1. What are you good at?
Have an honest conversation with yourself and assess your writing skills. What are your writing strengths? Are there any areas you need to improve?
Before you launch your freelance health & medical writing business, you need to feel confident you have the appropriate writing skills to offer a professional service.
When you provide services that match your skillset, you’re giving yourself the best chance of delivering quality content that both you and your clients love.
2. What are you interested in?
As a freelance health & medical writer, you will be doing A LOT of writing, to say the least. So you need to make sure you’re offering writing services you enjoy (and working for clients you like!).
The quickest way to burn out in the freelance writing industry is to focus on writing styles, services, topics and clients you’re not interested in.
To find your interests, consider these questions:
- What health topics excite you?
- What are you naturally interested in exploring?
- What fascinates you about healthcare?
- What are you motivated to discover?
- Which healthcare brands and businesses would you love to work with?
When you feel passionate about a writing style, service, health topic or client, you will do your best work.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to love what you do 100% of the time (despite what the business gurus tell you!). That’s why variety will be the spice of your health & medical writing freelance life. Choose topics, services and clients that have a broad application.
You might choose to have a special interest, like cancer communication – but that doesn’t mean you can’t write about other health topics. Your niche could be serious diseases with a focus on cancer, for example.
To find your passions, write a list of:
- Health topics that interest you
- Writing styles that you enjoy
- Clients you’d love to work for
3. Where is the demand?
When you have defined your skills and interests, the third piece of the health writing business pie is industry demand. You’ll need to feel confident that there are enough clients out there who will pay you for your services.
There’s no point offering a writing service that nobody wants or needs. Ultimately, there needs to be market demand for your writing service. And, I build my health writing courses on this premise. I don’t teach you medical writing skills or styles that aren’t in demand!
To assess industry demand, you’ll need to spend some time researching your ideal clients. And remember that you’re looking for industry demand in areas you’re interested in and passionate about.
For example, there’s a ton of industry demand for high-quality regulatory writers. But that’s not helpful for you if you loathe regulatory writing.
To assess demand in the styles and skills you offer, consider the following questions:
- What are the typical health & medical writing projects that my ideal clients need?
Study the content your ideal clients produce. Visit their websites and social media. Do they release blogs, medical news, newsletters, websites? Do they make patient education materials? Do they create newsletters, brochures or B2B content?
- Do these services align with my interest and skill level?
Can you see yourself writing similar content?
Our Freelance Career Planner is a detailed questionnaire and action planner that guides you through the steps needed to plan your transition to freelance writing.
Use the Freelance Career Planner if you are ready to set up your freelance health writing business but have no idea where or how to begin!
Summarising the three questions
When you are confident that:
- You have refined the styles, topics and clients you’re interested in
- You have the necessary skills to offer professional services for those styles and topics
- There is industry demand for your services
… then have the beginnings of your business strategy!
The next step is turning the answers to those three questions into a freelance health & medical writing business strategy.
Need help with that? Check out my freelance health writing course here >