Finding a medical content writer can be a lot like finding a romantic match. They need to understand you and your thoughts on medical care so much that they can predict how you would approach a topic. Alas, there is no Match dot com to help you find the medical content writer that completes you. There are some writing cerfications out there, but they typically have to do with research and regulatory writing. Even so, you can find someone qualified to do the job if you know what to look for.
First, you need someone who understands how to write for a lay audience on the internet. Someone great at writing up clinical research or with a mastery of all things Chaucer isn’t necessarily qualified for the job. Copyblogger is the resource many content writers use to pursue training in their craft. According to Copyblogger, you should look for the following:
- A strong confident writing voice,
- Solid spelling, grammar and usage,
- Ability to find the intriguing angle,
- Understanding of the elements of content that sells,
- Ability to articulate why they use a particular content strategy and
- Commitment to professionalism and ongoing education.
It just so happens that Copyblogger offers intensive training for content writers and helps them develop these skills to a level that far surpasses most writers out there in the content industry. They also select writers who they believe represent the Copyblogger brand well with their writing output and certify them as Copyblogger Certified Content Marketers. (I happen to be one of them.)
Now, keep in mind that as good as the Copyblogger training is, it doesn’t apply to a particular industry. These skills can apply across industries. They expect the writers to have the necessary background to address specific content properly.
But that’s a tricky bill to fill when you’re talking about medical content writing. Not many people possess the level of knowledge required to do the job right. This includes:
- Understanding of major diseases in your specialty and their associated treatments,
- Ability to apply evidence-based medical thinking to the content they create,
- Unwillingness to report that research shows something it doesn’t just to get “clicks” (and the ability to identify the articles that do just that),
- Basic understanding of research methodologies and statistics so they can properly interpret research,
- Unwavering commitment to conforming to HIPAA requirements and the highest levels of medical ethics.
We happen to have a medical degree and a physical therapy degree here at Coffee Break. While advanced degrees in the medical field aren’t necessary, experience that demonstrates in-depth knowledge of medical topics is critical.
I will also add this: It is imperative that you are able to speak directly with your writer. Your writers need to be able to get a feel for you, your approach to your medical practice, and the ideas you want to emphasize in your content. If you must work with a broker or go-between, you are not going to have that level of connection with the writer. You will end up with a lower quality product in the end.
It can be difficult to find medical content writers with this level of expertise (but you found us, woot!). But even if you are struggling to find the right writer for you, don’t settle for less. You don’t want to end up with content that doesn’t reflect the quality care you provide for your patients. It’s worth spending a little time finding the right person.