Unsure if being a freelance medical writer is the right career path for you? Valérie Leroux, an SEO specialist and founder of Bioty Healthcare, explains the top 7 reasons why you should NOT become a freelance medical writer.
1. You don’t love writing
Duh. You’re gonna have to write for 3 hours a day and you chose this for yourself, so you better like it.
2. You only love writing
As a freelancer, you’ll be doing a hell of a lot more than writing.
You’re a business owner now – your calendar will be busy between prospecting new clients, managing clients’ work, tracking your expenses and invoices… you also need to promote yourself since nobody else is going to sell your services for you.
3. You hate learning
You will face an unknown situation so many times – whether it be accepting an assignment you’ve never done before, or launching a website… you will keep learning and you will improve your skills really fast, but it’s gonna be scary and uncomfortable at times.
4. You just want to make a bunch of money
Freelance writing rates can go really high with the right experience and niche, especially in the health industry. However, you should know that it may take a slow start to get there.
You will probably venture into different types of clients and gigs before identifying what’s best for you.
It’s also technically impossible to write for more than 3 hours a day without feeling mentally tired.
In SEO health blog writing only, rates go from $50 to $1,200 per blog.
On the bright side, I have only dealt with 3 clients at a time and was able to make a living after 6 months starting from scratch – because SEO tends to provide regular work.
5. You’re not organized
Juggling with everything – even more so if you are a nomad or a mum as well (or both!) – requires extreme organization. At the same time, you will also learn how to be more agile and adjust on the go.
6. You don’t like being alone
Even though there is a nice community of freelance writers on LinkedIn, you will be physically alone on a daily basis, as opposed to working with colleagues.
It gets challenging if you do not have a supportive circle in place like an entrepreneur friend, coach or mentor.
7. You need a steady income
Even with SEO writing, you’ll never know exactly how much you will be making next month.
Retainers may bring a sense of safety, but clients are free to break their contract any time anyway, so you should always be on the lookout to have a mix of clients and reduce your dependency to one source of income.
This is when writing/ copywriting skills come very handy – you can turn this into a monetized blog if you have SEO skills, or become an editor, write and sell digital products… those skills will help you whatever you choose to do next in your career.
Being able to generate a ‘passive’ income from your skills in particular, as this will stay with you forever.