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  • Writer's pictureAlexandria Jones-Patten

How to Build Your Writing Skills: A Nurse's Guide to Becoming A Content Writer

For many, the journey into health content writing begins with the notion that expertise in the healthcare field is not enough. I thought that being a proficient writer alone would pave my way as a health content writer. However, the deeper I delved, the clearer it became that while raw writing talent is invaluable, tailoring your words to resonate with your target audience is paramount.

The transition from clinical nursing to freelance writing is not always seamless. Yet, with dedication and the right techniques, you can bridge this gap.

Enhancing writing skills through self-study

Nurses are innate communicators, adept at conveying intricate medical details with clarity and compassion. So, when considering freelance writing, reflect on your nursing experience. Whom do you communicate with most often? Identifying this group can pave the way for understanding your audience. Transitioning these oral communication skills to written form is the challenge. Observing content creators catering to your chosen demographic can offer insights into effective communication techniques.

Tips for effective research and gathering reliable sources

The digital realm can be misleading with its abundance of information. Not every source or platform maintains a stringent standard of credibility. Begin with reputable platforms, research their authors' backgrounds, and explore where else they've contributed. Attending journalistic and other professional conferences is also a treasure trove of quality people, especially for those new to freelance writing. They not only help in identifying trustworthy sources but also in networking with seasoned writers and potential clients.

Monitoring healthcare bloggers who cater to your audience is equally insightful. Their credibility can be gauged by the sources they rely on. Do they reference established entities like the NIH or the CDC? If so, they're likely on the right track.

Grammar, style, and editing techniques for health content

Digging into the content of credible platforms will illuminate their preferred grammar and writing styles. Before you can adapt to or even challenge these norms, you must understand them. Noting nuances such as voice, sentence structure, and sourcing can provide a solid foundation.

Editing, while seemingly tedious, is where your article undergoes refinement. Write, step back for a day or two, and then return with fresh eyes. Reading aloud can spotlight areas needing improvement. And always be open to feedback; editors can be your best allies in molding your content to perfection.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

As you embark on your writing journey, you'll realize that the skills you possess as a nurse provide a robust foundation. By honing your writing style, ensuring credible research, and mastering the art of editing, you can seamlessly bridge your nursing expertise with the world of freelance writing. If you are eager to venture into this realm, remember to be patient with yourself, stay committed, and continue cultivating your unique voice in healthcare writing.

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