Launch an exciting, new career as a freelance medical writer
Welcome to How to Become a Freelance Health Writer, a CPD-certified online course teaching you how to start a successful freelance health & medical writing business.
Next class: 12 July 2021.
- Get paid to write about health and medical topics
- Transition to freelance writing with confidence
- Target the clients who need your niche skills
- Market your writing services with authenticity
- Discover the hidden job market
- Launch a lucrative, long-term career.
Who should take this freelance medical writing course?
How to Become a Freelance Health Writer Alumni include:
- Health professionals who have been in clinical practice for a while and are looking for a career change
- Health communicators who are ready to take the leap and transition from an employed role
- Scientists and academics looking into freelance writing as a new career opportunity
- Retired physicians who love to communicate about health and are exploring the idea of healthcare writing
- Writers with young children who want to work from home
- Established freelancers who are keen to specialise in health & medical writing
- People who want to turn their passion for healthcare and writing skills into a fulfilling, profitable career.
Everything I need and more
“Studying How to Become a Freelance Health Writer has given me all the information I need and more to confidently get my freelance career underway!”
Nicola Parrington, Hong Kong | Clinical Copy
What will you learn in the course?
How to Become a Freelance Health Writer is your ultimate guide to getting started as a freelance health & medical writer, covering:
- Business planning
- Finding your niche
- Must-have documents
- Finding clients
- Retaining clients
- What to charge
- Negotiating rates
- Self-care strategies
- The foundation for long-term success
How is the course structured?
Here’s what you can expect.
How to Become a Freelance Health Writer runs for six weeks, and every week we focus on a new lesson. You’ll complete the lesson in your own time during the week, and each lesson requires a time commitment of 4-8 hours.
Every lesson includes homework tasks that you can submit to your teacher for feedback and support.
Fascinating and applicable to the real world
“I’ve completed two courses and I loved both of them. Michelle is encouraging, supportive and knowledgeable. The courses are fascinating and applicable to the real world. I thoroughly recommend them to anyone interested in learning the craft and business of health writing.”
Dr Elaine McNamara, UK | Hackbash
What’s included in the course?
Dozens of best-practice, industry-leading resources to help you launch your freelance medical writing business with confidence.
- 3+ hours of lectures discussing the lessons and learning objectives
- 2 live video calls where we’ll get together virtually and you can pick my brain
- Podcast notes covering the lesson topics
- Weekly freelance planning exercises to help you put the learnings into practice
- Dozens of handouts full of best-practice resources
- Templates and guidelines to help you plan your content
- Personalised, one-on-one feedback on every question you submit
- Student-only Facebook group of 750+ so you can chat with other course students
- Certificate to put towards self-study or CPD
- Health Writer Hub Alumni membership including free webinars
- Loyalty discounts giving you 30% off every other course
- World-class eLearning platform for a seamless learning experience.
What are the opportunities after I complete the course?
After you complete How to Become a Freelance Health Writer, you will have:
- Everything you need to get set up and start marketing your services
- Insider knowledge of freelance writing processes, templates and day-to-day activities
- Marketing skills to identify your niche and well-paying clients
- Actionable plans to help you secure paid work as a freelance medical writer.
Certified and accredited
Accredited for quality and standards.
How to Become a Freelance Health Writer is an approved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, independently accredited with the CPD Certification Service – one of the world’s leading independent CPD accreditation institutions.
Your 6-lesson curriculum guide.
Lesson 1: Business essentials
We begin with a focus on business planning, strategy and your vision for your freelance medical writing business.
- The importance of a business plan. To kick things off, you’ll learn why it’s important to create – and stick to – a business plan to guide your freelance health & medical writing business.
- Clarity on your vision for your business. Why do you want to become a freelance health & medical writer? What do you want out of your business?
- What is your unique selling point? You’ll consider these fundamental questions and find out how you can use your answers to create a business that will enable you to soar.
- Setting goals to enable success and growth. Your business plan is the roadmap that enables you to achieve your ultimate goals as a freelance health & medical writer. You’ll consider different types of goals and determine which ones are right for you – and you’ll see why goals are crucial to keeping you on-track and focused.
- Business plan nitty gritty. You’ll look at a variety of business plan templates and create a plan of your own that will eventually include marketing, financial planning, a SWOT analysis, client acquisition, processes, rates and more.
Lesson 2: Templates, processes & must-have documents
With a focus on preparation, background work and templates, you’ll learn how to be fully prepared for any type of client enquiry that comes your way.
- The importance of being prepared. If I were to contact you right now and ask you to write a website for a neurosurgeon, what would you do? You’ll learn the importance of being prepared for client work at all times – including even before you get started.
- Step-by-step processes. You’ll create a documented scenario so that you know how to effectively manage your workflows – and your clients.
- Must-have templates and documents. As a freelancer, you’ll need templates for contracts, invoices, briefs, emails and more. You’ll learn how to set up your own templates and you’ll see plenty of examples along the way.
- Your freelance health & medical writing toolkit. You need a lot more than a computer to get going. Discover all the different software and apps that can help you – including tools specifically relevant for health & medical writing – as well as hardware to enable you to work simply and effectively.
A community of opportunity
“I came to these courses (Principles of Health & Medical Copywriting and How to Become a Freelance Health Writer) curious and hopeful. As I worked through the material I felt stretched and challenged, but always buoyant. That’s because Michelle is such a great teacher, mentor and encourager. It’s not just a course, but a community of opportunity – and a great one to be part of.”
Sally Bathgate, Australia | Generate Health
Lesson 3: Client liaison, working efficiently & quoting
Working with clients effectively is a must-have skill for any freelancer. In this lesson, you’ll learn the art of client liaison and writing quotes that get approved.
- Making clients happy. When you’re a happy, easy-to-deal-with freelancer, your clients can’t get enough of you. Learn the easiest ways to please your clients and how these can boost your business prospects.
- Making yourself happy. Self-care is vital – and when you work alone, it can be hard to switch off and look after yourself. You’ll be given strategies for maintaining your health and happiness throughout your freelance health writing career.
- Tools and resources to help you work efficiently. The more efficiently you work, the more time and money you’ll save. Efficiency is a vital consideration for your freelancing business: You’ll find out how to work smartly, save time and be more efficient.
- How much should you charge? Learn how much a health & medical writer can – and should – charge, whether you should bill hourly or per-project, and how to get clients to pay your rate. You’ll also consider when and how to negotiate a fee if a client doesn’t want to pay your rate.
Lesson 4: Launching an industry-leading freelance website that generates enquiries
Learn the essential components to include on your website, and discover how to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
- The easiest way to set up your website. These days, you don’t need to be a computer genius to set up a website. You’ll learn the easiest way to get started using WordPress – and you’ll be given a list of tools and plugins to help you create an amazing site.
- What should you put on your website? How many pages should your website have? Should you include work samples, testimonials and your resume? You’ll consider the vital pages needed – and the content to include on them – in order to achieve maximum impact.
- The importance of SEO. How can you stand out in search engines in a competitive market of health & medical writers? You’ll look at some unique SEO strategies for ensuring you stay relevant, and you’ll be given SEO templates and worksheets to help you craft copy that stands out in Google’s eyes.
- Blogging and email newsletters. Do you really need a blog – and if so, what should it be about? The art of writing? A medical topic? You’ll consider how blogging enhances your career and business, whether a blog should be integrated into your website or be separate, and how you can set up an email newsletter system that hooks in your readers.
Lesson 5: Marketing, selling your niche skills and creating an authentic personal brand
Of course, you’re already a credible writer – but buzzwords alone won’t help you win clients. In this lesson, you’ll discover the art of authentic marketing and you’ll learn how to reach the clients that reflect your values.
- Which social platforms do you need? As a freelancer, there are plenty of social and marketing tools at your disposal – both free and paid. You’ll be given advice to help you determine which platforms are the best ones for you to utilise.
- Establishing yourself as an ‘expert’. Learn how to write your online profiles for maximum impact, hone your unique selling point and share content – yours and that of others – in order to connect with others online and make a name for yourself.
- Scheduling and leveraging social media content. Figuring out how to factor social media into your day-to-day processes is daunting. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify the process – you’ll discover the art of scheduling and leveraging content in order to get as many eyes on it as possible.
- The power of online networking. You’ll discover online networking options for health & medical writers and how to participate in these to find work, get referrals, pass on referrals, establish yourself and make online – and offline – friends for life.
Lesson 6: Finding clients, retaining clients & the framework for long-term success
In your final lesson, you’ll learn how to establish yourself in the market for a solid future as a freelance medical writer.
- Where to find your first clients. Being ready to go but having nothing to work on is an avoidable problem. You’ll be given strategies to find your first clients and practical advice on how to implement them immediately.
- The best-paying clients. Magazine writing isn’t the only option for freelance health & medical writers. See where the best-paying clients are and learn tactics to help you secure regular work from them.
- Strategies for retaining clients. The most successful freelancers only have a small client list. You’ll learn why this is – and then you’ll put your sales hat on and discover how to turn one-off clients into regular, ongoing clients.
- Setting the foundation for long-term success. It’s a lot of work to get set up – but it’s not until you get going that the real work begins. You’ll find out how to put plans into place that help you to achieve long-term success and growth as you establish yourself as a professional freelance health & medical writer.
Extras: COVID-19 and healthcare communication (new)
With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, there’s never been a more significant time to learn about effective health communication. Communicating about COVID-19 is a topic that ALL health writers need to know about, as it will be a feature of health communication for years to come. To help you learn more about COVID-19 and responsible health communication, I’ve developed a dedicated resources page, updated regularly, which is included in your course.
FREE access to the Health Writer Hub Alumni Webinar Library
- 14 webinars with new webinars released every few months
- Watch on-demand with lifetime access
- 10+ hours of online learning included for free
- Learn about finding work, freelancing and writing tips – webinar topics include quoting for jobs, finding clients, CV writing, finding employed work, website essentials, subcontracting, marketing, and more!
Join a supportive group of like-minded writers
When you join How to Become a Freelance Health Writer, you become a member of the Health Writer Hub Alumni – a smart, diverse and friendly community of 750+ health writers from around the world. Alumni benefits include:
- Loyalty discounts – 30% off any other Health Writer Hub course
- Weekly challenges – goals to keep you motivated and accountable
- Student interviews – learn the ropes from experienced students
- Extra group calls – monthly group chats with other Alumni
- Global networking – connect with health writers from around the world
- A supportive network of health writers – ask questions, and share advice
- Immediate access – join the group as soon as you sign up.
Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.
Hi – I’m Michelle Guillemard, creator of Health Writer Hub (you can read more about me here).
When I launched Health Writer Hub in 2014, my aim was to create a best-practice resource to empower health writers to develop their skills, grow their careers and improve the quality of health content on the web.
In your freelance medical writing course. I share ALL the strategies that gave me the confidence to build my business, quit my job and commit to freelance life.
I discuss the tactics that have helped me – and countless others – to secure gold-standard clients, get invoices paid upfront, charge premium industry rates and maintain a steady flow of ongoing work.
You’re probably interested in How to Become a Freelance Health Writer because you have health, medical or scientific qualifications and/or writing qualifications. Yet, you’re feeling challenged when it comes to building a career as a freelance health writer. You’ve got the skills – you’re almost ready to begin.
My freelance medical writing course will fill those last remaining gaps – so you can start your journey with confidence and be equipped with the knowledge and power to succeed.
My teaching method
I teach this course, and all my courses, through a combination of audio lectures (podcast style) and text resources. I also offer a range of video content, including bonus webinars and regular student interviews.
After experimenting with different combinations over the years and listening to student feedback, I am confident that delivering lectures in both audio AND text format is the most effective way for you to learn health writing in an online class environment.
While it’s up to you how you consume the content, you are welcome to:
- listen and read the transcripts at the same time
- listen and take your own notes
- listen away from your computer
- read the transcripts only.
Many students have told me that they like to listen to the lectures while driving, walking, hiking, running or cleaning the house – and, that’s fine as well!
Walks you through every aspect of becoming a freelance writer
“As an academic scientist, making the transition from lab bench to medical writer has not been the easiest or straightforward of tasks. However, after enrolling in How to Become a Freelance Health Writer, that path has been well and truly illuminated. From setting a business plan to formulating templates and processes, Michelle walks you through every aspect of becoming a freelance writer.”
Dr James Graham, Australia | Craftext
Frequently asked questions
What you need to know.
What past students have said about How to Become a Freelance Health Writer.
I became stronger
“How to Become a Freelance Health Writer gave me an understanding of how to build the base of my freelance writing business. I’ve always been confident about my writing, but not about my ability to communicate with clients. I feel that I became much stronger in that essential area after taking the class.”
Debbie Burack, Israel
Now, I am a freelance health and medical writer with four good clients
“I have until now described myself as a scientist who likes writing, reading and explaining scientific concepts to colleagues and friends. A few months ago, I decided I wanted to get out of academia. I was dreaming to become a freelance medical writer and somehow to become my own boss. That made my family laugh. I have been lucky to have been contacted by clients just after a few networking suggestions I got from the course. The course also helped me to gain confidence. I had no idea I could be a health writer and I did not know I would love it so much. I would have taken much more time to set up my career as a medical writer without the course. More importantly, the feedback I got from Michelle and the Facebook group was a valuable way to get help and clear my writing-related doubts. The course helped me in practice to learn how to work as a medical writer, and psychologically to overcome my fears. Totally worth the money and the time. Now, I am a freelance health and medical writer with four good clients.”
Stefania Ippati, PhD, MsC, Italy
“The How to Become a Freelance Health Writer course helped me to become clearer about the basis for being a freelance health writer. Michelle’s advice and suggestions were always practical as they are based on her experience, and her support was an added value.”
María Romero Olleros, Spain
Found my first freelance client within 6 weeks
“Michelle’s course was excellent. This was my first taste of medical/health writing and following the course I felt like I had a clear plan for how to proceed to find my way into the industry. Following the suggestions from the course I found my first client within 6 weeks.”
Matt Boyd, NZ | Adapt Research & Writing
Helped fill information gaps
“How to Become a Freelance Health Writer helped me fill information gaps in the freelance business world. I recommend the course to anyone who is wanting to freelance and build their own brand voice in the health and/or biomedical writing area. My compliments to Michelle for designing the course content and compiling the resources.”
Reham Milhem, PhD, United Arab Emirates
A freelance medical writing course with a personal touch
“It was so nice to take a course with a genuine person behind the text. The fact that you could email Michelle to ask questions gave this course the personal touch. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about freelance health writing.”
Julia Cameron, Spain
Practical and comprehensive
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course! It was extremely useful and engaging. The material is very practical and comprehensive. I have considered a freelance career for a little while now, but I have always felt something holding me back. However, after completing the course I found myself really believing a career as a freelance health writer was an actual possibility.”
Libby Evans, Australia
Highly recommend the freelance course
“This course has shaped my freelancing business altogether. I was able to fine tune my freelancing skills according to the market needs. Michelle was gently guiding me in many areas like negotiation, preparing essential documents etc. I was able to get more input from this course than I got from other sources all these years. Highly recommend the course to anyone aspiring to be a freelance health writer.”
Dr Sathya Meonah ST, India
I would recommend the freelance medical writing course to anyone who wants to start a career as a freelance writer
“I recently started my career as a freelance writer. This course helped me in understanding the basics and essential requirements of this business. The content of the course is very well organized and has clarity. Michelle is a very helpful coach. She has been very responsive to my queries.
I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to start a career as a freelance health or medical writer.”
Dr Heidi Hilton, Australia
Loved the practical focus of the course
“I loved the very practical focus of the course. The material was well structured, varied and easy to fit into a busy schedule. Time and money definitely well spent.”
Helga Mikkelsen, Australia
Exactly what I needed
“Suddenly going freelance for me was a big nervous step, so this course was exactly what I needed. Not only did it cover the many aspects of freelance health writing, but Michelle is also there for personal and continued guidance. The interaction with new and past students in video calls and online is also valuable.”
Richa Srivastava, Ireland
A true treasure for any freelance medical writer!
“I cannot recommend this course enough. The information is comprehensive; you can confidently launch your business with all the tools and knowledge that Michelle has offered in How to Become a Freelance Health Writer. A true treasure for any freelance wannabe!”
Hamsa Al-Aqqad, UK
I have not looked back … Michelle’s advice and support are fabulous
“Michelle is friendly and approachable and her advice and support are fabulous for guiding me through the early phases of business set-up and delivery. Michelle shares her business insights openly, understands my needs well and is readily available to talk whenever I need further advice. I highly recommend Michelle to anyone seeking a confident entry into the medical and health writing field.”
Kara Gilbert | KMG Communications
An absolute must
“How to Become a Freelance Health Writer is an absolute must for anyone considering becoming a freelance medical writer. The amount of information made available is brilliant and very informative. The podcasts accompanying the information are excellent. Michelle’s advice is invaluable.”
Angela Johns, Australia
Really enjoyed the freelance course
“I really enjoyed the How to Become a Freelance Health Writer course and came away with a lot of very useful information and strategies for expanding my freelance business. Thanks Michelle for being so generous passing on all your wisdom and experience.”
Joanna White, Australia
You sincerely want me to thrive in my health writing career.
“I love how you are clearly passionate about what you do – health writing, website development, and teaching. I felt like you sincerely want me to thrive in my health writing career. I also like the very down-to-earth tone of the course.”
Ilana Murphy, USA
One of my best investments
“I would say that How to Become a Freelance Health Writer is one of my best investments on courses. I am so glad to have taken it! I learned at the beginning that I needed to have a business plan, which I now know is very important, if not vital. With Michelle’s enlightening teaching, I came up with my niche of bilingual Chinese and English medical writing. I cannot be happier with it! My favourite is the lesson on setting up a website. Before the course, I would not ever ponder setting up my own website, sending newsletters, or writing a blog. I am doing all of these now. The course has transformed me, from knowing nothing about freelancing to conducting my business with confidence. Michelle is also very timely and helpful in answering all my questions, whether on the student forum or via email. I highly recommend this freelance medical writing course to anyone who is new in freelance health and medical writing.”
Dr Amanda Xiaoqing Mao, PhD | Acurit Medical Communications
Logically thought out and easy to follow
“Having “hobbled together” a consultancy business for a year between jobs, I am so impressed by the way Michelle has put together everything that I eventually learned plus so much more that I just didn’t think about in this course. Everything is logically thought out, easy to follow even if it isn’t easy to do and provides a great framework for thinking through all the essentials for setting up a new business. ”
Dr Deborah Southwell, Australia
Provided me with the foundation and tools I require to find success
“There is a lot of detail involved in starting a health and medical writing business. I can only imagine the time and energy this course has saved me on researching the ins and outs of building a successful business. This course has provided me with the foundation and tools I require to find success. All my questions were answered, and I have already bragged about this course to several people!”
Leah Weiss | Weissedits
Very engaging and informative
“A very engaging and informative course for those wishing to use their writing skills to create a business.”
Dr Catherine Odlum, Ireland
My only disappointment was that it came to an end!
“I really enjoyed the freelance medical writing course – my only disappointment was that it came to an end! The content was very informative, well structured and relevant. Michelle is responsive and always ready to discuss further questions via email. I would recommend it to others thinking about freelancing.”
Amanda Holman, UK
I now feel prepared!
“How to Become a Freelance Health Writer is well-designed and logical. The materials are of excellent quality, and very detailed. I now feel prepared!”
Simon Van Rysewyk, Australia
Michelle is extremely thoughtful, professional and generous
“I feel very fortunate to have made a professional connection with Michelle. After meeting Michelle in 2013, she has been assisting me with advice and guidance on how to further my work and refine my skills as a medical writer. Michelle is extremely professional, thoughtful and generous. I also value her extensive experience in the medical writing field. I know I can continue to learn a lot more from her guidance, insight and encouragement. She has been a great influence on the writing choices and progress I have made since we met. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
Annalies Corse, Australia
Provides us with knowledge to run any business
“How to Become a Freelance Health Writer provides us with knowledge to run not only a freelance health writing business but also any other business.”
Bundeth Seng, Cambodia
The go-to expert for those starting out a writing career in the health niche
“I was fortunate enough to have Michelle as my writing mentor when I began health writing. She’s the go-to expert for those starting out a writing career in the health or medical niche, with insider tips and advice to help you start successfully. In fact, Michelle pointed me to an online resource where I managed to land one of my best-paying clients!”
Joe Leech | Diet vs Disease