How to Start Your Own Medical Writing Business: A Practical Guide

Starting your own medical writing business can be both exciting and challenging. Whether you're an experienced medical writer or a healthcare professional looking to transition into writing, setting up your business involves several important steps. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you get started.

  1. Identify Your Niche
    First, define the kind of medical writing you want to specialize in. The field includes technical writing for pharmaceutical companies, journalistic writing for physicians and patients, and writing continuing medical education (CME) manuscripts. Knowing your niche will help you target clients and tailor your marketing efforts.
  2. Create a Business Plan
    A business plan is your roadmap to success. Outline your goals, target audience, pricing strategy, and marketing plan. Here’s what to include:

    • Mission Statement: Define why the organization exists, what its overall goal is, the kind of product or service it provides, and its primary customers or market.
    • Market Analysis: Research your target market and competitors.
    • Services Offered: List the types of writing you plan to provide.
    • Pricing Strategy: Set your rates based on industry standards and your experience.
    • Marketing Plan: Plan how you will reach potential clients, including creating a website, leveraging social media, and networking.
  3. Choose Your Business Structure
    Decide on the legal structure for your business—sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. Each has its own legal and tax implications. It might be worth consulting a business attorney or accountant. Also, don't forget to register your business name and get any necessary licenses or permits.
  4. Build an Online Presence
    In today's world, having a professional online presence is crucial. Create a website that showcases your services, portfolio, and contact information. Consider including:

    • About: Share your background and qualifications.
    • Services: Detail the writing services you offer.
    • Portfolio: Provide samples of your work.
    • Testimonials: Include feedback from past clients.
    • Blog: Post industry insights and writing tips to demonstrate your expertise.
  5. Network and Market Yourself
    Networking is key in the medical writing industry. Join professional organizations like the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) or the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP). Attend conferences, webinars, and workshops to connect with potential clients and stay updated on industry trends. Use social media, especially LinkedIn, to build your professional network and highlight your expertise.
  6. Get Your First Clients
    Getting your first clients can be tough but rewarding. Start by reaching out to your existing network and offering your services. You might consider doing some work for free or at a discount to build your portfolio and get testimonials. Freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and specialized medical writing job boards can also help you find opportunities.
  7. Manage Your Business Operations
    Effective business management is crucial for long-term success. Set up systems for tracking income and expenses, invoicing clients, and managing deadlines. Tools like QuickBooks for accounting and Trello or Asana for project management can help keep you organized.

More on using LinkedIn

Many publishing, continuing education, and medical communication companies look to LinkedIn to find prospective new writers. It is an excellent platform to showcase your work and list the companies for which you've written. And by publishing your work on the site, you can attract followers who might refer or hire you.


Starting a medical writing business requires careful planning, networking, and dedication. By following these steps, you can build a successful business that leverages your expertise and meets your clients' needs. Stay adaptable and continuously look for opportunities to grow and develop professionally.

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The opinions expressed here are mine alone. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life, or business.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. I do not provide medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counselor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career.