The Only 3 Skills Nurses Need to Launch a Writing Business
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If you're worried that you need to use hard sales tactics or be an uber businessperson, to become a freelance health writer, you're going to be shocked at how low the bar to entry actually is in this profession. Seriously.
What is your biggest fear about starting a writing business as a nurse? Do you worry that you'll have to master hard sales techniques to get any work? Do you worry that you'll need to be an expert at weird concepts like SEO? (What the heck is SEO anyway?)
Well, fear not fellow nurses. Today, I'm going to tell you the only three things you really need to know to become a freelance health writer – and you're not going to believe how easy it is. In fact, you probably already possess all the knowledge and skills required to become a nurse writer.
Cs get degrees...and dollars from health writing
Number one, you need a basic grasp of American English composition and grammar. I mean, basic here people. I always say if you got C's on your college papers, you are good to go as a professional writer.
The truth is the client is usually going to give you guidance on how they want you to write for them, anyway. I’ve never had a client that required APA style or any of that nonsense. Just good, old-fashioned composition skills – tailored to their own unique style guide.
How does freelance writing work?
Number two, you need a basic understanding of the freelance writing process. And I’m going to spell that out for you right now.
- You pitch an editor or client
- They give you an assignment
- You complete the assignment and turn it in
- They request that you revise the assignment
- You may go back and forth with revisions several times
- They accept the assignment from you
- Now here's the exciting part of the process: You invoice them, and...
- : They pay you! How cool is that??
And that is literally all you need to understand about how the freelance writing industry works.
You need a smidgen of business acumen
Number three, you need a small amount of business knowledge to get started as a freelance writer. Look, freelance writing is a bona fide business – but you don’t have to be a Lori Greiner to succeed at it.
You do need to know a few business basics like...does your jurisdiction require you to have a business license? How do you get a state tax ID number? (Hint, contact your state's small business division provincial government. ) You need to know how to get an IRS EIN and pay quarterly estimated taxes, which is super simple to research online. And you need to know basic bookkeeping. It's especially easy if you use software like Freshbooks or Bonsai. That's really it. That's all you need to know to get started as a freelance writer.
From novice to expert over the course of time
Now, is this all you ever need to know to run a freelance writing business? Well, no.
Like nursing, there's a minimum level of knowledge and competence you need to get started. And then you build upon that as you go, learning on the job. Think about that whole nursing novice-to-expert continuum. What I have covered here today is all you need to know to get into that continuum as a novice, and you're going to learn and learn and learn until the next thing you know, you're going to be an expert.
But I want to everything I just covered in this blog post is more than enough for you to get started as a freelance writer, and I certainly hope you will do that.