Author Nursepreneur

Janine Kelbach – Author, Nursepreneur

Meet the Nurse Writer who keeps the Healthcare Marketing Network on Track!

Today on The Savvy Scribe Carol Bush interviews an author, freelance writer, researcher, and OB/GYN Nurse, and the Operations Manager for the Healthcare Marketing Network, Janine Kelbach. Did we mention that Janine is also married, a mom and has two Great Danes? There must be eating and sleeping in her life but we sure can’t figure out when! Get to know Janine Kelbach on this episode of The Savvy Scribe.

Janet:                                00:00                   Welcome to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers and creatives who want to grow their businesses. Your hosts, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach will cover a wide range of topics on writing, sales and managing your freelance practice podcast episodes. We’ll feature interviews, inspiration, laughter, and important information to help healthcare freelance writers. The Savvy Scribe is a production of the Healthcare Marketing Network. Now let’s join the conversation.

Carol:                        00:34                   I’m so excited today. Savvy scribes I have a very special guest. In fact, I’ve been so psyched for this. I could hardly sleep last night because in our community, so many of you have given us feedback about our episodes and one of the many questions I’m getting is, well, we want to hear your story. How did you connect with Janine and Janet? And we want to hear everyone’s writer’s story or entrepreneur’s stories. So today I am excited to be able to interview my pal, my buddy, my work BFF, Janine Kelbach.

Janine:                        01:11                   Hello. It’s just a normal day on Zoom for us.

Carol:                        01:16                   It is, because I don’t know that people know this, but and this is something to learn that zoom is actually a great tool that we use not only for collaboration and virtual meetings to hold one another accountable in our coworking sessions, but also we use it to record our podcast episodes and we get to see each other. I know in and I think that’s the biggest part about being work BFFs and accountability partners. We definitely do have that connection. Before we dive into the whole power of accountability and your own specific hour of power, which you’re known for in our savvy scribe community. Janine, I’d love for you just to tell us a little bit about your story. What led you to launch your business as a freelance writer?

Janine:                        02:15                   All right, well it started way back. No, not way back. So my youngest little guy, I have two kids. One is going to be 14 it’s here soon and the other one is six. When I was pregnant with the six year old, I don’t know, something told me I’m going to have to be home a little more, whether because of that child or because of life. So it was cause of the child. He’s a little crazy. When he was born I knew that I was going to have to stay home. So I actually had a maternity leave with him that got me thinking after that whole, you know, getting the mom thing down again after having a nice break between the kids, I was at a point of, well what else I do? What else can I do? What else can I do? I started doing a side job because I was sick of picking up the overtime in my unit. I am labor and delivery nurse and I love what I do. I love my patients, but it will get, it was getting to a point that I wasn’t liking it and then I knew I was just burning myself out. So my sister in law who also works with me, we got a job together and we started at a company that we traveled around Cleveland, Ohio, where I’m from and gave high risk pregnant women injections of progesterone if they were high risk for preterm delivery. So we, we’ll do that. It was great. I only had to report to a boss if I had problems. Otherwise I did all the charting from home and I would take a patient load and it was a great cat annuity with the patient. I’d see her from week 16 to 36 so weekly I would go out and see her, which it sounds great, but these are also the inner city of Cleveland, east Cleveland, very, very dangerous areas. So you know, I have this newborn at home hustling, you know, on my days off just to be home more with him and in my other son too. And my husband. But it got to a point, they cut our pay to about a third of what we were making. And I also got bit by a dog down there too. So I was like, okay, something’s got to give here. I actually had to carry a gun down there and got my concealed carry because my patients are telling me to. And it was very dangerous. So my husband made the executive decision because I loved my patients that we had to do something else. So my grandma was also at that time dying of cancer and I was at her bedside a lot. So I was just googling and googling and googling what can a nurse do from home, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t really want to work for like an insurance company or something like that. So I ended up finding freelance writing after many searches. And I always enjoyed writing, but I don’t have like a journalism degree or English major or whatever. So I didn’t know if I could really do it. And so I literally just tried and I don’t want to say blew up, but I got some jobs and I realized I could make some money from home. And that’s the gist of it. Very, very brief story of it.

Carol:                        05:15                   And I love that story. And it’s not an like other stories that we get as we’re working with people transitioning to a freelancing career as a health writer looking for options. Maybe there’s you know, the age transition or as you said, they’ve experienced a cut in pay a lay off retirement for example. So a lot of people are looking for options and also you know, your family balancing career and family as well as another reason that we hear a lot is people are going to care giving role. So maybe it’s caring for your own child you’ve recently had  or an adult parent, etc. Or caring for ourselves because actually we have a lot of people in our community who have chronic illnesses and they’re not able to return to work in the same way and they still want to practice as a health professional. So I love that. All of those multiple reasons really led you to establish your business as a freelance writer. So I like a lot of nurses and healthcare professionals have a creative side that we don’t get to let go because we’re in a very, I don’t want to say structured, but you use your brain a lot in a different type of way as a writer versus a nurse and it’s something that got me to do that. So it was definitely different. And because as you said, you loved the patients and the education component teaching people about health information, wellness processes like self injections or whatever.

Carol:                        06:58                   You already have the foundation of teaching others about health related information as well. So you told us a little bit about what led you to start your business, but about how long ago was that again, at what point did you get traction and what tools or what led to that do you think?

Janine: That’s a good question. So I started, Jimmy was born in 2012 and October, so probably 2013 was the year. I just started writing a little bit and I’m so nerdy. Carol, I saved just to look back on like my first, first time I started making money. I’ve put like February and wrote the number March, and I tell you, because it makes me laugh now. I wasn’t even telling my husband, my sisters, my kids, I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this because I’m like, they’re gonna think I’m crazy. The numbers were just steadily going up. Not Thousands, not millions, you know, nothing crazy but an article here in article there. So then I started having a little portfolio and I was looking not at health care writers, but just freelance writers to see how to do it. And again, it was navigating the waters of a lot of googling. There are some people out there that I didn’t hire anybody because there wasn’t anybody to hire back then that I could find in the space that I wanted to work in. So I looked at a lot of blog posts back then and in 2015 it really took off to a point that my husband and I were like, let’s, I eventually told him, obviously he gets a super secret and making the way I made $10,000 this year. And he’s like, what? I like, I just thought it was kind of dumb. So I didn’t think you believe doing, doing well. I kind of do this when, when Jimmy sleeping. Oh, okay. So I, so in 2015, I launched the business, he helped me get the LLC and everything and that’s when I started like making sure I had a business account versus my personal account. And yeah, so it, that’s usually, that’s when it took off in a point of just writing and then I started expanding it and 2016 with the coaching and things like that.

Carol:                        09:25                   Okay, perfect. So you mentioned for me a very magic number, 2016, right? 2016. I’m a little bit nerdy to Janine because I’ve had to go back and track because everything we do on the Internet folks, right? We can find, I can find you just like Liam Neeson again taken, I always have to quote Liam Neeson. I will find you everything on the Internet, whether we’re making a connection on linkedin or were tweeting or on Facebook and those connections that we make on social media, we can go back and track. And I was very curious to know when exactly the timing of connecting with Janet, you several of our first clients and other people and it turns out that 2016 was the stellar year. So I actually connected with not very many people know this. I connected with Janet via a tweet on January 11th of 2016 and then I saw Janine, you and I met on Linkedin and when was that?

Janine:                        10:41                   October 4th of 2016 and I remember exactly what I was doing because I was so excited to connect with another writer who was a nurse and I want to say excited. I was like also like nervous, like I thought you were like the greatest person ever, Carol. I still do remember my little guy, right? The little baby who was where I started the business. He was what? He just turned four, two days earlier and we’re at the park and you always look crazy. You scream it and play it. And I’m like, oh my gosh, she’s gonna think I’m a bad mom. What is she going to think? I’m so unprofessional because my kid is playing at the park. For what do we do? We just had a normal conversation. We were on the same page and we kind of knew the same kind of story, but it was just very awesome. Like I was like, I remember hanging up the phone going, she is awesome. Like we connected and we have that same vision of helping other people do this too. So it was awesome. That’s what I remember of it.

Carol:                        11:48                   And again, we met on Linkedin but we used him to meet virtually. And not very many people know this either. But we’ve worked together since 2016 and never met in person until last November. So the power of virtual tools and collaboration is definitely huge. What I love about that is also the connections we made. This is something else people might not know and I think this is why as a CEO of our own business, to be successful as a freelancer, we need a community and we need connections and we need an accountability partner. And what I saw immediately that I think helped us connect was I’m very much a quick start personality. So I’m the kind that jumps off the cliff and I figure out how to build the parachute on the way down. And I have known for years that if I wanted to get anything done, I had to surround myself with people who got stuff done or are implementers. And Actually Janine, you’re one of the most productive people I’ve ever met in my life. And I think that balance for us made sense and, and we’ve kind of worked with that through taking a test, basically an assessment that’s called the Colby a k o, l, B, e a. And it’s not a personality test. It determines how we take action. And it’s been fun because we have worked together since 2016 but we only recently took that Colby a and how we take action. And what did you learn from that about accountability and maybe this dynamic, like why we work so well together as coworkers and accountability partners?

Janine:                        13:38                   Well remember back when I said like my husband didn’t know about my business until I started making money. I think you probably think it’s crazy that I did that because you’re building the parachute on the way down. Whereas I’m building the parachute before we’re even thinking about flying the pair of shoe. So I definitely always like to know, not that I know it’s gonna work, but I need to know the steps in which things happen. So for example, just anything, anything that we decided we’re going to do as a project, especially in Hmn or my own business or even life. I research in research and research and research. So much show point that I know more about the topic than I ever wanted to know. And sometimes it’s almost information overload where it’s like, I can’t even think about where to start again because now I know way too much. So in the Kolbie a, what I’ve learned is that I am not a quick start person. I’m a fact finder and it’s a really cool test because the way it tells you at the end is how to basically start your day and how you use the Kolbie to accelerate your day and get more things done, which is obviously what I love to do. I get, I love trying to get things done. Like if I have a to do list I want to get it done or I don’t feel accomplished. And I think to be a successful CEO of her own freelance business because folks, that’s definitely what we are. We need to tackle a lot of mindset issues. So fear. So sometimes we see people who are fact finders, do so much research, they have the fear to start. And then there are those of us as CEOs of our freelance business that are always starting. But we’re always starting starting here, starting there. Oh, rabbit, next little shiny objects syndrome. So this is why the power of our community is, hey, find your work BFF or your accountability partner. And the power of the Healthcare Marketing Network has been that because we have the multiple disciplines, multiple career stages, that we have a lot of people at different stages that can share resources and be an accountability for one another in setting goals, setting those targets, making marketing outreach, et cetera.

Carol:                        15:59                   Well, I think with that, Kolbie, again, another thing that helps us work so well together is because you are the start, start, start. But I’m the one going, wait, we didn’t have a finish. Wait, we never did that. Wait, hold on. Where does this end? You know, I’m that follow through person and it’s great because in it it gives you some strategies for using your strengths to take action. So I learned, I’m very visual and even it’s hard for me to write anymore because I have some perfectionist tendencies. So sitting down to write something, I can’t do it because I don’t have the time. So now instead of writing I speak it. And that has made a big difference and that’s a great strategy for people. And Janine, maybe you can share in some of your writing coaching with writers. Sometimes they’ll say, can you yourself did this actually earlier say, hey, I don’t know that I feel like I’m a great writer. I don’t have a creative degree or I don’t have a journalist decree, but you don’t have to be a great writer. You can use the awesome tools and apps that we have available. And even just a simple thing like the Google docs talk to text is perfect. And then you can edit that. I want to wrap around and revisit a little bit about the accountability and where earlier I said, you know, early on I figured out you’re one of the most productive people I know and in our community you’re actually known now and we coined the term because you are the queen of Productivity, but you’ve done a special thing so we can almost brand. You have your hour of power. So tell me a little bit about the hour of power. How did that get started and how do you use that to move your goals forward in your writing business?

Janine:                        17:56                   So the hour of power, I don’t even know how it got that name. I think you named it that honestly, Carol, well it started when I was by myself doing my business before it was the business and I only had an hour. Well maybe I had an hour and a half. By the time I got my little guy down for a nap, I had an hour. So I had to know exactly what I was doing for that hour, shut off everything, notifications, whatever. After this someone came to the door, they’re going to ruin my plan here. And then I would just work, work, work, work, work. And that carried me through and starting my business, the hour of power, it doesn’t always have to be the same hour. You know, some days we didn’t have, some days we went to the zoo or whatever we were doing. So then my hour of power, he had to change to get up earlier.  And that’s personally how I do better. Like some people are late night, people that can write, I couldn’t. and then it changed when he went to preschool and my hour of power was during preschool time. I was going for my BSN too. So I had to write papers and stuff. Oh, our power kick that in right there. And now nowadays we have hours of power together on zoom. We do our coworking sessions together to brainstorm and batch, which we could talk about in a whole new episode. But yeah, it’s definitely a game changer and it’s something I tell everybody to adapt because it’s just taken an hour and doing the doing the stuff, whether that’s the stuff you don’t want to do or stuff you have to do, but it’s doing the stuff that you have planned already. Don’t sit there and plan because that’s not productive enough.

Carol:                        19:33                   I think that was one of the biggest productivity tip learned from you over the course of knowing you since 2016 was just the value that batching and focus, getting things done and turning off all notifications. I even put my phone downstairs and I’m upstairs. But the power of accountability with a likeminded colleague is really important. so then Janine and I, we not only hold ourselves accountable for in our writing business, for specific goals related to the Healthcare Marketing Network, we’re also accountability partners for health. So he actually, challenge one another when we’re working out or making that commitment to be healthy as well.

Janine:                        20:24                   So here’s a challenge to you listeners. I hope you listen to this when you were walking or something like that. Actually, that’s my favorite thing to do on a treadmill is listened to a podcast or if I’m taking a walk, is listening to a podcast.

Carol:                        20:39                   And that’s perfect because that’s also one of the things when we were dreaming up the saddest bribe, that’s what we’d love to do. We love to walk as we’re to podcasts. And so that’s why we even dreamt up they interim using being very upbeat and powerful and that we hope that we are always encouraging and motivating.

Janine:                        20:59                   Should we share that when we met each other, when we were picking out podcasts, music, we are dancing in the hotel room.

Carol:                        21:06                   I think Janet thought we were crazy. She’s like, yeah, you know, if you pick this music, you’re going to need to be pretty upbeat. I don’t think that’s a problem.

Janine:                        21:15                   So true.

Carol:                        21:17                   So one of the things I am so very excited always for our community, and especially you because you’re my work BFF, is when people really leverage their thought leadership and they tackle a project that they might not ever have dreamt of saying. I’m talking about that you are an author of a book entrepreneurs and it was released in 2018 correct? Yes, yes. Finally. So tell us a little bit about that book and Yes, there’ll be a link in the show notes as well as the link to the Colby a and everything else that we’ve described. And I’m hoping, Janine, I can talk you into autographing a couple of these are listeners and night loves to be able to give a couple of way that are autographed by Janine.

Janine:                        22:10                   Yes. That autograph because it’s so cool. Thank you. So the way it came about, I was interviewing a bunch of nurses for a blog that somebody hired me to write. It was nurse entrepreneurs and we were just going around and I connected with a bunch of people via linkedin and Facebook and Twitter. I reached out to them, had them fill out a short form and then I would connect with them on zoom or the telephone and interviewed them. Everybody was so different, but so the s so much the same and it was all geared towards the fact of there’s other roles for nurses outside the hospital and we aren’t taught that in nursing school. We aren’t taught business in nursing school and it’s so intimidating to so many people. The business side of a healthcare profession in a sense. I put the book together and I structured it.  It was changed a lot because the structure at first I was just going to do like an interview. Then I was going to clump it together, but long story short, I ended up asking a lot of the same questions that people want an answered, how did you start? How much can I make? What kind of degree do I need? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And yeah, so it was like 36 37 different people that I interviewed. So that was awesome. And then, okay, cool. So I wrote it and then I’m like, well now what? Oh the do now. So Deanna Gillingham who I love, she helped me publish it. It was a great experience, an awesome experience like with her. And she guided me right through it and then it got real, you know, like I kept writing it, getting up early, writing it right now, right now. And then when I got it and my hands and it was real, it was probably the best thing ever. I was like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I really did this. Well you know, when did the things I love about this is not only that you set your sails, you said your course and you were persistent and you’ve got the interviews and you made the commitment and you worked with Deanna to publish the book. But the project actually, you didn’t start out to write a book. It actually was a project. Like you said, someone had hired you to do blogs and so you actually made a pivot and repurposed those interviews into your book. So I thought that basically with his permission, yes. Back and forth. And the other thing I, I could have worked with anybody to publish it, right. But Deanna is a nurse and I thought well who better than to have a nurse help? We published. So I thought that was awesome. I had to keep it in the nurse world and also someone who’s a valued member of the Healthcare Marketing Network. And she had offered, I believe at that time too because she actually has some wonderful, she’s built her whole business on publishing a book. The case manager’s studied by. Yes. So it’s phenomenal. And at that time she had offered to coach three people and self publishing a book and I believe two out of the three have yourself included. So all three did. Yeah. So it was awesome.

Carol:                        25:33                   A hundred percent a hundred percent return on investment, their say. So that’s another example of how awesome it is that you can pivot and that you’re knowing who you’re using, your connections and your tribe to ask for. How also the fact that within the Healthcare Marketing Network, the savage describe community. That’s why we really focused on really building a community of abundance where we are lifting one another up for collaboration and encouragement. So I think one thing I would love to know, and you know our community, they’re always asking us questions and one of our tribe members head, but you know, I don’t just want to hear the stories of success. I want to hear about when you failed too. So in our community, as you know, we don’t look at failure as failure. Failure’s just like part of the journey. And I really liked to reframe those and the mindset that their setbacks that we need to go over, under, around or through. So I’d love for you to talk about in your writing career, what back have you experienced that led to the greatest growth in your business and what actions did you take to turn a negative into a positive?

Janine:                        26:56                   There’s a lot of writing jobs up there. Believe it or not. That’s why we do, you know, rising tides lift all boats. There were jobs in the beginning that I would take from people that aren’t what we call good humans in a sense. And I took the job or thought about taking the jobs in the future. I’ll get to how I pivoted it, but I took the jazz because they pay money and I need money to grow. And I thought it was the right thing to do. Didn’t know that there was better people out there. So I took the jabs and there’s something in your gut, you know, I was listening to your gut that made me think this isn’t the best job. This isn’t the best company to work for. This isn’t the best person to work for. I don’t really like working for them. And I was always on the hunt to find something a little different. So I pivoted to finding better clients and meaning the values, what their mission of their businesses and the types of people they hire. And beyond that, I did that in my own life. And in 2018 I remember starting that year and I said, I am not going to be around people that are negative and that will bring me down and that don’t believe in, in me or my family or in decisions that we make. And I still stick to that. And it’s always, are they a good human? If they’re a good human, I like them, I want to work with them. That’s my philosophy. So I learned though, so if I could change that, I would go back and not not do that, but live and learn. Right. And I think there’s a lot of things I’ve done in my business that just didn’t work out. Do you give it a little bit of time and sometimes some money and you realize it doesn’t work and then you got to just pivot a little bit? I think we’ve done that with Healthcare Marketing Network and I think when we met for the first time, finally, right in Orlando, we, we kind of looked at that and we never stopped. We always pivoted towards something different and hopefully better. And it is. It’s a lot of that throw it to the wall and see if it sticks attitude when you have your own business. But I will say the network of people is what keeps you going and if you don’t engage, even if it’s just online, you’re not going to get forward in your business because you’re going to feel alone. You’re going to feel burnout and you’re gonna feel like you can’t move on because you’ve done something and you failed.

Carol:                        29:24                   Definitely because it is, as you said in the beginning, in our business, no matter what, whether it’s your writing business or as a consultant, you are looking at who is my ideal client? What are my service offerings? What brings me joy? Before Marie Kondo made it a seeing, I was like, no, I’m only going to work. Do the kind of work that brings me joy because as you alluded to earlier in their conversation, possibly in our corporate life, we’ve had some dissatisfaction or an environment that didn’t bring us joy. When it’s my business, I want to do things that bring me joy.

Janine:                        30:03                   And in the corporate world, if people out there listening have been there, it’s almost funny. There’s been people to say to me, well why is Janine always so happy? Like they’re actually mad that you’re happy.

Carol:                      30:16                   That’s another great reason that a community, a tribe is important because we’re the ones who celebrate with you and we’re also the people who can support you with strength. You know, you’ve had some difficult times, whether personally or professionally, no one else, but your tribe or going to understand all of those things. It’s important, as Janine said, to, you know, reach out, connect and maybe build a work BFF relationship like we have or working with the Healthcare Marketing Network in accountability. Definitely. So, and then a little bit, I’m going to ask you a question about three things people would be surprised to know about you. But before I dig into that, can you share with us how can people work with you and how do they reach you?

Janine:                        31:07                   So you can work with me by either connecting with me in our Facebook group. You could just message me easy enough or on Linkedin easy enough or you can go to my website, write like you’re writing a book, RN, dot net.

Carol:                        31:22                   Perfect. And then also in the Healthcare Marketing Network, we’ve got a nice team page. What about on Linkedin?

Janine:                        31:30                   Just connect with me on linkedin. Janine Kelbach messaged me, sent me a little note, tell me who you are, a little bit about you. I’d love to connect with people.

Carol:                        31:38                   Perfect. And we’ll have all of those links in the show notes. So now one of my favorite parts of the interview. So we’ve talked a little bit about your beginning story and maybe not everyone knew that you were an author. What is three other things people might be surprised to know about you?

Janine:                        31:55                   I’m lefthanded that sounds good, right? Yay. I have an identical twin and she also is a nurse and she also runs her own little side business. The third thing is that I’m, I’m actually older than my husband and we’ve known each other since we were in grade school.

Carol:                        32:15                   I think that’s perfect. I love it. All of those things and I actually didn’t even know you were left handed. Really? Yeah, that is cool. My brother’s lefthanded creativity.

Janine:                        32:23                   That’s how you get every time you say you’re left handed. Oh, my mom’s left handed.

Carol:                        32:31                   I love that. Janine, thank you so much for taking this, everyone. I know that you’ve getting to know a little bit more about Janine love for you to share the episode if you found it valuable, and we’d love to hear feedback. What are some things that you’ve gotten out of the episode? Thank you so much for the emails, for giving us the ratings on iTunes. We really appreciate that and I think that it’s time to sign off. So Janine, I think I’ll let me do go get your write on.

Janet:                        33:07                   Thanks for listening to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers. For more tips and links mentioned in the podcast, go to Healthcare Marketing and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at The Savvy Scribe.

5 Must-Haves For Your Freelance Health Writer Website

5 Must-Haves For Your Freelance Health Writer Website

Thinking about giving your freelance health writer website a makeover? Looking to create one to grow your business? Read up on these 5 freelancer must-haves to showcase your skills.

Employers and clients scan hundreds of resumes and websites, most for only 7 seconds each!  To be successful, it is crucial that you highlight those key details in a creative, easy-to-follow way that will catch your clients’ eye and show them why they should work with you.

1. Specialties

First and foremost, tell them what you’re made of! Be sure to list all your specialties, including those in both your professional healthcare and freelance work. You want to highlight those keywords to optimize your website and let your prospective client know what your strengths are. Clients want to know what you’re good at and why you are the best person for their job. They are searching through a sea of professionals for the right fit. Listing your strengths and areas of expertise shares this information in a clear, succinct way and boosts your search engine optimization (SEO)!


  • SEO
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Blog Posts
  • Women’s Health
  • White Papers
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Technical Writing
  • Course Creation

2. Contact Information

Make sure your client can easily find out how to contact you, and not just at that email address you always forget to check! Accessibility and good communication are critical to the success of any business, especially freelancing. Your contact information should be easy to find on your website. Keep this information current. If you are active on social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, add links or icon buttons to attract new followers.

3. Previous Clients

Have you worked for a Fortune 500 company? Did you write copy for a major corporation? Highlight those clients! Be sure to obtain copyright privileges before posting a logo, but when possible, include some of those big-name clients. If you can get those clients to write a brief testimonial, even better! The objective isn’t to brag, but rather show that you are a serious professional who delivers high-quality work.

4. Examples of Your Work

Share your work! Your website is where you can highlight work you are proud of. The work you include in your digital portfolio should be relevant to the niche you are targeting as a freelancer. Be sure to obtain copyright privileges before sharing. If you’re not sure if you have the rights to a piece of work, contact the client or publisher, or check your author contract. Just because you wrote it, doesn’t mean you own it!

5. Who You Are!

Don’t forget to show some personality, without sacrificing professionalism! Clients and colleagues want to know who you are, beyond names and credentials. Your writer website is your space to shine and give a quick snapshot of who you are while communicating what you offer. Keep your images tasteful and professional, and don’t overdo it with pictures or clip art.

The Challenge

I challenge you to ask a trusted friend or family member, preferably someone who isn’t an expert in your business, to take a look at your website. Ask them if they can describe what you offer as a freelancer.

  • Do they know your areas of expertise?
  • Is it clear how to contact you?
  • Can they tell what services you offer?
  • What impression does your website give off?

Sometimes when we look at the same things day in and day out, we overlook the most obvious flaws.

Ask a trusted friend or family member, preferably someone who isn’t an expert in your business, to take a look at your writer website.

Jessica DZubak

What are your must-haves for your author website? What have you seen on others’ websites that you really liked?

For more tips, subscribe to HMN’s SavvyScribe podcast on iTunes!

The Savvy Scribe

Tony Guerra – Pharm D and Author

Meet Tony PharmD, Podcaster, YouTube Creator, and Author

Carol Bush welcomed Tony Guerra, host of the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast to The Savvy Scribe to talk about being a creator, author, and teaching Pharmacist.


Carol:                        00:32                 Welcome to the Savvy Scribe podcast. Today I’m doing a solo show today without Janine. The productivity queen is working hard or she’s working out or working one of her 10 jobs. I’m very excited to welcome our good friend Tony Pharmd on Twitter, also known as in real life. Tony, welcome to the show and Tony is not only a nurse’s best friend. Okay. Oncology nurses, best friend is the pharmacist speaking from my clinical background and that he is also the host of the pharmacy leaders podcast where he features interviews and advice on building a professional brand and purposeful second income, which is why one of the things I really love about him, he talks about profit and money and managing finances, which is the number one important thing that we want to do as entrepreneurs and CEOs of our own business. Tony is also a writer and author of several books and he has a Marvey youtube following as well. So welcome to the show, Tony.

Tony:                        01:39                   Thanks for having me.

Carol:                        01:40                   Well, we’re excited that you’re here. And also we share a love of the Midwest, you know, in the healthcare marketing network. I was talking with one of our new members yesterday who’s also in Des Moines, Iowa as a matter of staff. Cool. And that we have a lot of people on the east coast and west coast, but not a ton of midwesterners. So, you’re in Iowa and I’m in Kansas.

Tony:                        02:06                   Well, I’m a Washingtonian. That’s where I was born. So I’m from Washington DC. But if you marry a Midwesterner, you end up in the Midwest.

Carol:                        02:16                   That’s exactly right. Well, Tony, it, we’d love to hear in our community. Everyone loves to hear the story of what prompted you as a healthcare professional to begin this journey of creativity, whether you’re a writer or a content creator. So I’d love to hear just in the beginning, tell us about what you do and a little bit about your writing or creativity journey.

Tony:                        02:44                   My full time job as a teacher, I as a chemistry and pharmacology in college, I teach at a community college and part of what I do is also teach pharmacology to students who are looking to become nurses. And I didn’t know pharmacology was such a struggle and I kind of understood why a little bit later in that some nursing curricula have chemistry before pharmacology and some don’t. So it’s kind of like putting the cart before the horse if you take pharmacology that way. And, and my first kind of big hit was writing a book for that group that uh, you know, solve the problem of I don’t have chemistry, I want to succeed in pharmacology. Here’s a book you can listen to over the weekend. And just anecdotally, since I’ve been doing this for some, by almost five years, those that have listened to the book had 11% higher grade in their pharmacology class, wherever they went to school, then if they didn’t listen to the book beforehand. So to succeed in pharmacology you have to kind of take in pharmacology. So it was just really successful. But I also understand your tribe likes to hear about failures too. So you just let me know what you want me to start with and I’ll start there.

Carol:                        04:06                   What’s your first audio book? And they are all audio.

Tony:                        04:11                  I’ve made 14 audio books. Yeah, summer successes. Some are failures, but you want to stick with the 80 20 rule with your writing. And so I think many people beat themselves up when they hear this writing didn’t sell or something like that. But 20% of your writing will generate 80% of your money.

Carol:                        04:32                   Okay, perfect. So, the book and the content creation and you focused on the production through audible, is that correct?

Tony:                        04:43                   Yeah, they just hit us pretty hard with the change in reimbursement. So I’ll lose about 25,000 every year coming up. But I still sell about 10,000 books a year in all three forms. So I’m still making about five or six a month. But that’s all passive income and it’s more because I have three, seven year old daughters and, and besides life insurance and those things, it’s nice to know that royalties will support my family if anything happens to me.

Carol:                        05:12                   That’s perfect. And it sounds like your family is a big quiet, but I understand. And part of the reason that you started the pharmacy leaders podcast is also because as you are connecting with people and you are a thought leader and a social media influencer in that pharmacy space, there’s a very particular challenge for pharmacy students that they graduate having a lot of debt.

Tony:                        05:40                   Oh yeah. The average is now a one 65, I think for the average student, closer to 200 for the privates, one 40 for the public’s. And we’re in a real, real tough job market now for pharmacists. Just as physicians, we’re actually in a tough job market in the late eighties if you’re, I don’t think you’re old enough to remember that, but I am.

Tony:                        06:05                   Okay. But it also, we can talk a little bit about this, but I think the, the one thing that I buy with my money is, I have to, this is maybe pathologic, but I have two years of income in the bank. So My, my nest egg is not a nest egg really. It’s just that provides peace of mind for me and for my family.

Carol:                        06:28                   And I think that’s perfect. As the partner, my husband works for Spirit aerosystems, which is the old commercial Boeing, and he builds the tools who build the planes. And so, especially with the recent issues related to the Max 80, I’m very cognizant of the whole pathological need to put a lot in the bank for savings to weather all kinds of economic situations in downturn. So I totally, totally understand that. So a little bit about as you were writing the books for the folks who now are in our tribe, our freelance writers, so they’re writing for other people, but strategies really helped you get started in focusing on developing the passive income and what, what tools helped you?

Tony:                        07:22                   Well, I think that your guys’ job is a lot harder than mine. I write a book, publish it and hope that it, it brings a return. And most of the time it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. But you guys have to continue to pitch, continue to pitch. And I think that it’s good to have both where you’re actively working as a writer, but then also have that passive income from the larger books. But then the next question is always, well, what do I write about? And what’s going to happen is, is that as you write, you’re going to get feedback on some of those articles and you’re going to find needs. So while you’re writing that article for somebody else, maybe getting paid not a ton for that specific article, they come back to you and say, oh my gosh, you would not believe how many people wanted to hear about that. And I’ll give you an example in the pharmacy space where there’s the pharmacist mom’s group, and I don’t know if there’s a nurse’s moms group, but that group is now 23,000 pharmacists in Facebook. And I’m not allowed in. You have eliminated half of us. Uh, and so there’s 300,000 pharmacists, I think total. So out of 150,000 that means they’re getting close to having 20% of the entire group of pharmacists in that, that one space. And so if you are one of those, Susie Solomon was the one that started it, but when you’re tried gets that big, you’ve definitely hit a chord. So I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see is you’re going to try to get education and like a degree or a writing degree or things like that for something that you might need instead of doing what you should be doing, which is hanging out with you, Janine, Janet, getting the skills that you need to do the project you’re trying to do right now. I think that, uh, the way that you do it as a a lot better. So the, but the answer the question briefly, uh, really what, what someone wants to do as a writer is make sure that they’re tracking the results. Even if they don’t have the direct numbers, give them a call back, give an email back, hey, I just wanted to see how that article did. Did it do well? Did it not? And then that’s when you can find out what your bigger projects should be on those things that really hit home and some of the smaller things that you’ve written.

Carol:                        09:43                   So I really loved it. You’re identifying, you know, really stressing that, identifying the need. And for those in our tribe who maybe create a content related to course creation or those who are in the education space, whether they are, um, you know, nurses, physicians, social workers, whomever, if they’re planning any educational event, they’re very familiar with, they have to do a needs assessment about your audience before you plan the event. So same thing with, um, with the books. So what was the synergy between the books and the pharmacy leaders? Podcasts? So talk a little bit about, was it the book first and then podcast or which was chicken and the egg?

Tony:                        10:32                   Oh, okay. Well, there are actually two different brands and they’re completely separate. Okay. No, they don’t actually fit at all. Really if you want to, I kind of put the cart ahead of the horse here with the pharmacy leaders podcast, which is you really want to get your own gig going, but it feels a lot better to give. So, the pharmacy leaders podcast, I just, what I did with it was I created a revenue model that doesn’t rely on advertising. So at the end of every podcast episode, you’ll hear an advertisement for one of my books. So last year I had 205,000 downloads, I think on that podcast. And it comes from giving status to people when you’re doing a podcast or when you’re writing something which are really providing a status. So just like you where you would, where Kansas state and I would wear Iowa state, we gained status from our Alma maters you podcast and you interview someone, you give them status, and then all of a sudden they come to you to become your Facebook friend and those things.  So instead of create, trying to create a space where I pay attention to me, pay attention to me, pay attention to me. If you pay attention to enough other people, they will pay attention to you. And it was doing last three episodes a week, uh, that, that created those bigger numbers. But now they know about me, then they care about my books and then they share my books and those things. So it’s really give, ask, receive a, which is maybe sometimes the opposite of what we actually try to end up doing in practice, which is, man, I really want people to read my writing. I want people to buy my books. But what you have to do is give status to other people or give free content to other people. And then that’s when they’ll pay attention to you, just like you guys do with the tribe.

Carol:                        12:24                   Yes. Actually that is something that’s very important for our tribe to understand about prospecting clients. It’s the same thing when you’re working in Linkedin because for example, that’s actually where predominantly most of our client leads come up with a website and Linkedin. It’s the same thing. Give, give value, give value, give value, ask and receive it. It’s the same thing. So I think that’s a very, very fascinating about that. So when we’re talking a little bit about the power of your community that you’ve built your tribe, I don’t know that people know this. Tony is a great champion of the healthcare marketing network. And like I said, you know, in the healthcare marketing network, we’re all about multidisciplinary approach. Rising tide lifts all boats. Um, and I think how we connected originally was of course Janet, but we had a project about a year ago that was going to require us to onboard about 80 or 90, writers and the project involved working with. I have really cool client and it was actually internal venture capital that was provided to an executive with the company to do their own pet project, but it was going to require taking pubmed abstracts and translating them into plain language.  And so of course a lot of the pubmed abstracts have medication adherence, a lot about clinical trials, things that pharmacists know a ton about. And we needed to onboard a lot of people. I think Janet reached out to you and said, Hey Tony, would you, you know, put a, put a promo out on your podcast. And O-m-g was, it was pretty big. In fact, I need to look back, go look back and pull the data. But I know we had hundreds of applicants and we in fact, so I have a little number scenario and I do need to pull more numbers because this is a great case study for your tribe, is that with that first part of that project, we paid writers and editors in the healthcare marketing network who qualified and had to go through, you know, a process and vetting and a writing. I particular writing tests, but we did pay them over $60,000 last year and over half of them were pharmacy students or pharmacy professionals looking for extra money. So we actually put to work some of those pharmacy students did not have to work at, you know, quick trip for their summer job. They got to be at home working on this project and earning money. I’m very proud and excited about that because it made a lot of difference for some folks.

Tony:                        15:29                   You’re a writer, you need kind of that group that comes from the national and state associations. So I focused on the National Association and I’ll be going to the American Pharmacist Association meeting in Seattle this Friday. But their email list is about 46,000 and there are certain things that they want and one of them is opportunities to work in non nonclinical or non patient care settings and it’s not that they don’t want to work with patients, but as any nurse pharmacist position knows there’s burnout and it would just be nice if a little bit of your week is non patient care and that’s why I love the writing and I love your writing community is that that writing community allows you to support patient care, patient care job that maybe is 32 hours instead of 40 or 48 or even less and then a non patient care and flexibility to take care of things like my kid has to come home right now because they’re sick or I need a little bit extra money or it costs about $7,000 to take three children to Harry Potter world.  This gig economy provides tremendous opportunity, but I think it saves more careers than anything else in that you’re kind of giving back the humanity to the person who would work 60 hours and it would burn themselves out and does burn themselves out. And I think that that’s a phenomenal thing that your community does is provide this non patient care opportunity.

Carol:                        17:05                   I don’t think we’ve focused on that enough, but predominantly why people do join our community is the transition. They are burned out or they’ve been laid off or they are looking for that creativity. They, you know, they want to surround themselves with a community who have an abundance mindset that lift one another up. Because unfortunately in healthcare cultures that’s very uncommon. And they also, like you said, have the desire to, you know, make that extra, whether it’s take the family on vacation, you know, braces on someone or we are caregivers ourselves of our 80 year old parents, et Sandra. So much generation. Yeah. Oh yeah. Your, your parents and your kids. Definitely. So we talked a little bit about how we connected in the power of both of our communities. So here’s where we get into the, I think we talked a little bit about that success. You definitely verified through the audio books, the pharmacy leaders podcast. I know actually your youtube channel is a huge success, but what are you most proud of in your, in this journey so far? And what were those strategies that our listeners, you know, what’s a simple strategy and it might be a mindset issue. I don’t know. What did you use to employ to achieve whatever you’re most proud of?

Tony:                        18:33                   Hmm, let me, let me take that in two parts. So what, what really gives me joy with the podcast part is to see the parents. So what’ll happen is I’ll interview one of the students as they’re on their third or fourth year of school. And then you see the parent kind of, you just kind of tear up as you see the parent saying, I’m so proud of you. And all of that. That’s kind of the gut wrenching heartbreaker just like, oh my gosh, that’s amazing. That parent child connection is there. And it’s a, it’s a very public giving of status to not only the student, but also to the family. And that is huge. And then every once in a while I’ll get the parent tried to friend me on face, no marriage proposals or anything like that. But

Tony:                        19:22                   So in terms of just kind of a good feeling, those are kind of the successes. Janine talked about the loneliness that comes with writing. And I guess my biggest success is, I want to say there’s a group of 10 of us or 15 of us in the social space. And for example, the, your financial pharmacist group. I’m going to be at their table at the American Pharmacist Association. So I’ll be doing one of their round tables. I had a real estate background, so I’ll be leading some of the students through how to get their first homes. I connected with Brandon Dyson of Tldr Pharmacy, who it is an oncology pharmacist, actually the director of pharmacy down in Texas. And he has Tldr, and he’s a great guy. If you want to interview another pharmacist and that really knows oncology a, he teaches the pharmacology at Georgetown, their PA program or a nurse practitioner program.

Tony:                        20:19                   I can’t remember which. But basically as a guy, we have very few friends. I think the average is like 0.8 but I don’t even think we’d get to one like good friend. So what I’ve done is I’ve created friends through Todd Uri of the pharmacy podcast network, Brandon dice and Tldr. Add a Mark Adam who is the fit pharmacist, the the YFP team. There’s three tims. So I basically built this kind of like Bro Group and you know, I don’t, I’m not allowed in the moms group. So these are my brothers and social media and we all make money different ways, completely different ways. I didn’t, Matt mentioned Eric Christensen, who’s met Ed one Oh one then barker, who’s happy? Pharm d. So I want to say there’s 10 or 15 of us that have kind of have our own like tried with our own individual work. So I think that this is from my church.

Tony:                        21:17                   But the thing that I’m most proud of is that I made us group within the group. So you’ve got the healthcare marketing network. Every person in your group should at least have a group of maybe four to 15, some smaller group of whatever it is, nonfiction, healthcare writers or oncology writers. I don’t know. But, so the second thing I would be proud of it is creating a group of, uh, fellows in this kind of social media Gig economy, uh, that I’m working with, but not working against. It’s very kind of a unique relationship. But that’s the other thing I’m excited about is that I’m not alone, Janine.

Carol:                        21:56                   That’s huge. Because success as an entrepreneur, if you have a tribe, this multilayered tribe of people, I can’t even cite the data, but it’s a proven fact that those of us who have tribes of likeminded people continue cause their accountability, success and persistence. Because you know, what? 50% or more businesses fail. So just because people are part of a powerful tribe means you’re destined for success at a higher rate than others. So I’m the opposite of success. Here’s where I get into, because one of my members of my tribe, he told me this last week was like, Hey, we’d love to stories of success, but what about the Times people failed? And I like to look at failures as not like, oh, it’s the end. There’s setbacks because setbacks are a part of our journey. And just like Janet and I in our journey of working together, the healthcare marketing network, it didn’t happen overnight. We threw a lot of stuff on the wall to see what was going to stick. Um, so in terms of your journey, what things about like setbacks at first, is there a story that you could share that the setback that led you to your greatest growth today? And what was that pivot that you made that turn the step back  to something of growth? I don’t know if you’re familiar with entrepreneur on fire. It’s one of the biggest entrepreneurial podcast and he’s not as nice as you. He starts with the failure. That’s the first thing is like what was your worst entrepreneurial failure? And then he starts the a few from there. And the biggest failure I had was I had written memorizing pharmacology book, which now sells I think six to 8,000 copies a year. And I thought it was terrible and I thought no one wanted it. Put It on which is one of those sites where you know you have the books made and then you know, I needed them for my classes and, and so I thought nobody cared about them. But then once I put it on Amazon or it went on Amazon and then I made the audio book, that’s when it took off. So you may not realize that you just put your writing in the wrong place. And that was the biggest failure was that my writing was in the wrong place. is meant for people who need bulk books and maybe bookstores by them for their classrooms. But is better than Google because Amazon has a bunch of people with credit card numbers looking to buy something.


Tony:                        24:40                  When you’re talking about your writing, you want to get it on Amazon. And audible as quick as you can. I pay for, I pay for audio talent because I choose not to use my own time to do that. That’s a personal choice, but it’s a lot cheaper to record it yourself and in nonfiction, people want to hear from you. So the biggest failure was putting my writing in the wrong place, calling myself a failure. And many people know that, you know, you’ve pitched a story to one person and they say, yeah, that’s just not for us. And they’re just saying, that’s just not for us. It’s not saying it’s bad, it’s just not for us. And then someone else is like, that’s for us. That’s what I wanted. And I think the biggest lesson I can give is don’t allow it person to say that your writing is a failure, rather, you’ve just failed to go to the right place with it.

Carol:                        25:38                   I love that. That’s perfect. I always like to also client work when someone says no, they’re not saying no to us. They’re just saying not right now and it might not be a good fit next. Okay. Go forth and conquer. Um, but I, I love that analogy and I think that’s a huge takeaway. A lot of folks in our community when they’re pitching, getting that no, feels really personal. You just need to tweak it and get to the right place. So I definitely love, I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice that our tribe could definitely take the heart. Before we wrap up, I’d love to just showcase a little bit about how can people work or connect with you and because we’re about rising tide lifts all boats, what’s, what’s something that healthcare marketing network tried can do for you? Like do you have a cool theme coming up or can we give some social love to something you’re working on the memorizing pharmacology book. Anyone knows? Any nursing students that are studying with pharmacology, if you can share it with them. I make like a dollar 40 a book. So it’s not the money that I know that lives have been changed because what happens is is that if you’re spending a bunch of time on something doesn’t mean you’re going to get through it because you just didn’t have the right mentoring and then once you can kind of get that mindset shift, that would just be awesome. Also, I just wanted to say thanks to you guys because you, it takes a ton of time to maintain the community. There are those Fridays where nobody responds with their great Friday or Sunday or whatever it is and I just appreciate all the hard work do you guys do to help us succeed as writers?

Tony:                        27:24                   Well, thank you very much and I agree. I think a great share would be to connect the memorizing pharmacology because of the data shows. Right? Someone who listens to that book 11% that can pharmacology if they listen to it before the semester.

Carol:                        27:44                   I love that. I love that. So also a little bit of fun at the very end. I love to hear what would, what are like three things or one thing. I know, what would our tribe be surprised to know about you?

Tony:                        28:00                   I’m comfortable running marathons. I got three seven year old daughters, which will one day be three three 17 year old

Carol:                        28:08                   and we’re going to pray for you throughout your lifetime.

Tony:                        28:13                   And then I’m, I’m a crossfitter too. That’s kind of something that’s new in the last six months that just something I love to do. But I think Janine was a gymnast or something like that. So I first strict handstand pushup like a week ago. And then my daughters are now competing with me in the living room. So you’ll see me at 46 years old doing handstands against my seven year old daughters. 

Carol:                        28:40                   since we are connected on Facebook and everywhere, I love following how you support your daughters. You’re a strong support and you’re raising strong daughters as a crazy nema two granddaughters. It’s very, very important. So we’re in, yes I am. I’m 58. Dude. I am crazy. Mima there’s a Hashtag my family, they call me crazy mee Maw, all the kids and the old just dubbed me. She’s a crazy me ma. Uh, so now it’s a Hashtag and yes, and crazy meme. I figure if making any Oliveira’s can be grumpy and you know, promote unhealthy eating of all the Disney foods, I could probably be crazy me, Ma, and maybe promote, you know, strong girls. Well, Tony, thank you so, so much for your time. I can’t wait to share the love of everything that you’re doing and also I that will continue. I know that there’ll be other interviews and we’re going to continue to collaborate very strongly with the pharmacy community because we love, love, love our pharmacy, freelance partners.

Tony:                        29:55                   Okay, well thanks for having me on and if you ever need anything, call pharmacy.


Thanks for listening to the savvy scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers. For more tips and links mentioned in the podcast, go to and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at the savvy scribe.

Maureen Bonatch MSN, BSN, RN

3 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Ghostwriter

Content marketing has been one of the top digital marketing trends for several years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since fresh online content can help to fuel your social media presence and draw attention to almost any type of business. Maintaining relevant content can help to attract and retain your audience, but creating consistent, engaging content takes time. You might not have the time to spend writing when you’re busy with all the other tasks that accompany running your business.

You may have considered hiring a copywriter, although you may have another goal in mind. Perhaps you’re hoping to establish yourself as an industry leader in addition to hiring a writer who understands how to write unique, compelling copy. If that’s the case, here are three reasons why you might consider hiring a ghostwriter.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Ghostwriter

A Copywriter and More

You may have heard the term ghostwriter, but many associate ghostwriters with novel-length publications. You may not have considered that you could hire a ghostwriter to assist with creating articles, blogs or other content for your online marketing. There are other benefits for you, besides obtaining quality copy. Publishing frequent, relevant information related to your business specialty allows your name, and your company, to become associated with having expertise in this area.

For the best return on your investment, consider a ghostwriter skilled in copywriting. This can allow you to have strong SEO-focused copy, not what you’ve read regurgitated on every other blog and website, while being unique to you and your business. They can tell a story in an engaging way and set you apart from your competition.

Establish Yourself as an Industry Leader

One difference between a ghostwriter and a copywriter is who receives public credit for the work. The ghostwriter writes the copy, but you or your company are associated with the content.

A good ghostwriter will spend some time getting to know your writing style and voice to ensure the content represents you well. You can collaborate on the articles and topics you feel are beneficial. In addition to researching your topic, they’ll polish the articles to meet your satisfaction since they represent you.

Usually, it’s predetermined whether your byline will accompany the content, and the degree of confidentiality. The ghostwriter would be aware of whether they could use the content in their portfolio, to share as an example of their work privately with other clients, or not at all. You determine whether you want to hire on a monthly retainer, or project-based. This way you can evaluate the working relationship without a long-term employee commitment.

Expertise in Your Niche

Most likely when you’re looking to hire, you want someone who is an expert in your business area. The same should be considered when choosing a ghostwriter. Choose a writer that’s familiar with your niche. You want someone who knows the language, the trends, the products, and most importantly, your audience.

For example, if you work in healthcare, hiring a ghostwriter with a science-based background can bring authenticity to your content. They can create engaging content that could be applicable for your customer, whether it’s the patient, family, or other leaders in your field. Choosing a ghostwriter that can write clear, concise, relevant SEO content that’s specific to the needs of your business could save you time and work to improve your strategic marketing.

Choose an Expert

Why would you pay someone to write something that you can do yourself? Perhaps the same reason you pay someone to cut your hair or assist with your taxes. If you want quality, you go to an expert. You want someone who specializes in their area of expertise. There’s no reason to settle for anything less for your business, especially if you consider how a ghostwriter that focuses on your niche can be a positive investment.

Have You Ever Considered Hiring a Ghostwriter for a writing project? Check Out The Healthcare Marketing Network for Specialists in Your Niche.

Working With Freelancers: 7 Tips For Hiring Writers

There you are, looking around wondering how you’re going to get everything done on your to-do list.

You look down and see a writing task, then sigh, or maybe silently scream, because the truth is, you just don’t love writing. However, you know it’s an important part of the communication your business has with the world and needs to be done.  

An idea pops into your mind; you could hire a freelance writer to help you!

Hiring freelance writers to help with the tasks you don’t have time for is a great option! They can use their talents to help your business grow to the next level, while you focus on what you do best; running said business!

It’s not that simple though, is it? I mean, where do you even start? Have no fear, answers are here! Read on for a few points to consider before you hire a writer.

1. Clear Scope of Work

Before you hire a freelance writer, be sure to have a clear idea of the project. Experienced freelance writers are very good at picking up a project and running with it, but it makes a better relationship when you start off having a solid idea of what you are looking for.

Key parts of a writing job to have figured out in advance include:  

  • A working title 
  • Approximate word count
  • Style requirements
  • Keywords (at least a few to begin with)

2. Research Freelancers

Once you’ve decided to work with a freelance writer, do some research to find one whose writing style fits you, your brand and the message you want to convey. There are many ways to do this. If you’re looking in the healthcare niche, the Healthcare Marketing Network has fantastic writers!

You can also look on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook. Just type in “freelance writer” in the search bar, and many people who identify themselves as freelance writers will pop up. Many freelancers who are on social media will also identify their niche, which makes it easier to find the perfect writer for your job.

Many freelance writers have online portfolios where you can read samples of their work. Taking the time to find a freelance writer who seems to be a good fit will help things go smoother.

3. Contract or Letter of Agreement

Freelance writers are encouraged to create contracts for all of the work they do. For shorter projects, a letter of agreement works well. A letter of agreement is shorter than a contract, but still requires two signatures and protects both parties and are written like a form letter.

Here are the relevant sections to include:

  • Services freelancer will provide
  • Services freelancer will NOT provide
  • Deadlines
  • Final deliverables
  • Delivery Terms
  • Payment Terms

4. Expect to Pay Upfront

There are many different payment arrangements in the freelance world. However, many freelance writers will ask to be paid up front. Some require a percentage before work begins and the remainder once a project is complete.  

Some will wait until work is complete to bill for their work, but be aware many will ask for at least a percentage of the total amount due before work begins.

5. Clear Deadlines

Whether you’re having a freelancer write a blog post or helping you write a novel, clear deadlines need to be addressed from the very beginning. For large projects with multiple parts, sit down and map out deadlines with the writer. For shorter projects, make sure a deadline is given and it will work with the writer’s schedule.

This may sound obvious, but sometimes when you talk with a writer, they agree to the work thinking they have plenty of time and things change, and everyone is upset because there was never a deadline set in the first place.  

6. Be Available

Once all the details are worked out, it’s crucial to remain available to answer any questions, comments, or concerns the writer may have.

From a freelance writer’s perspective, sometimes you begin a project thinking you have a good handle on everything, and something comes up you hadn’t discussed. If you can’t get ahold of the person you are writing for within a few days, it makes it hard to deliver by the preset deadline.

7. Be Aware of Scope Creep 

Sometimes, although you’ve spent a great deal of time mapping out the project, something comes up you want to add. When you add something, the scope of the project has changed, and you need to be willing to revisit the agreement and compensate the writer for the additional work.

One thing is certain; working with freelance writers is amazing! They’re very good at working independently and free up time for you to spend on other parts of your business, so you’ll never regret it! 

Looking to hire a writer? Take action today!