Some health writers have a broad focus, while others specialise in particular health topics or writing styles.
I’ve always considered myself a jack-of-all-trades kind of healthcare writer. Before I became a freelance medical writer, I wrote medical content, marketing content, SEO copywriting, blogs, and news and feature articles.
Which type of health writer do you want to be?
- Do you want to produce medical content or healthy lifestyle content?
- Do you want to write news, features, sales materials or patient information?
- Do you want to write for medical professionals and doctors or a lay audience?
Options for health
- Health writer – this is an ‘umbrella term’ which essentially sums up the options listed below
- Health journalist – health journalists write balanced, news-related articles for newspapers and other media
- Medical writer – medical writers need more specialty knowledge than health writers. Medical writers often write for professionals. Therefore they need an understanding of medical terminology, how to interpret medical research papers, how to read a clinical trial design, and how to report on results accurately. Medical writers are often recruited by pharmaceutical companies.
- Medical journalist – a medical journalist might work for a newspaper or a medical newspaper, but they would write about news and research, often for researchers and health professionals.
- Health copywriter – health copywriting is traditionally an area reserved for marketing and advertising professionals. Copywriting is more about writing to sell a service or product and creating a powerful call-to-action.
- Health blogger – I’m still deciding whether health bloggers and health writers are the same or separate. I think with the explosion of health blogs of late, just about anyone can be a health blogger. But a health writer implies a certain level of experience.
Or do you also consider yourself to be a more general kind of health or medical writer?
The health writing landscape is fast becoming characterised by niches within a niche. Just think about the vast majority of health bloggers out there who specialise in writing about the seemingly unending health-related topics. Clean eating, quitting sugar, paleo diets, crossfit, etc – the list goes on.
For example, as a patient or consumer, you might trust a crossfit blogger to give you valuable information about crossfit. But you might not be so comfortable relying on them to provide you with pregnancy tips. Both are classed as health writers, though.
My belief? I think having a focus, or “mini niche”, if possible, as it’s a good way to give your health business a unique selling point.
This doesn’t mean that you should only write about health topics related to your mini-niche.
But having a specialty helps you to grow your business and hone in on your skills and expertise.
What type of health writer do you want to be, and do you already have a niche?