Millions of baby boomers, like me, are closing in on retirement. With an aging population, people are facing chronic diseases. Many are realizing that conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers, and that lifestyle plays a big role in staying healthy.
Plenty of health nuts (like you and me?) want to stay slim or lose weight, have energy, and live a meaningful life without disease or disability. We are fanatical about discovering the optimal diets and supplements, the best kinds of exercise, and how to avoid stress and stay positive.
We want to stay off medications as much as possible and live to a ripe old age full of vitality and vigor. Young families are also waking up to the fact that food is not as nutritious as it was in our grandparents’ days. They are looking for vitamins, and nourishing organic, non-GMO foods and snacks for their kids.
What’s adding fuel to this quest for health and wellness? The Internet. Never before have we been so connected, and able to share so much information. And never before have there been so many companies in need of web copy and social media content to sell their health products. That’s where you come in.
In the past 15-20 years, a huge industry has sprung up to meet these needs. Thousands of new products are being cooked up in people’s kitchens, and in huge laboratories.
Here are a few statistics:
1. According to the Organic Trade Association,
2. Over 60,000 industry members attended Natural Products Expo West in recent years. Expo West 2014 also experienced 5% growth over 2012 in retailer attendance. Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East are two mammoth trade shows that take place in the spring and fall. In Expo West, the 60,000 people attending are not consumers – these are store buyers! Imagine how many consumers are buying natural products if the industry is this big.
So you can see the vast opportunity for writers. Now, it’s true that some larger companies have in-house writers, and some smaller companies don’t have a big budget to hire writers.
But you’d be surprised how many companies do need writers, and will be eager to work with you.
Why? Because you hold the keys to selling their products.
They are manufactures, not marketers, and they need your expertise in writing and marketing.
Wellness and Fitness, Weight Loss & Self Help
Under the vast umbrella of health and wellness are many subsets, such as fitness, weight loss, self-help, green living, natural beauty and skin care – the list goes on. These are enormous industries, and the opportunities are huge for you as well, because every product needs ongoing marketing to sell it.
Alternative health doctors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, osteopaths, weight-loss clinics, vision clinics, holistic dentists, and any other subset of the health and wellness industry provide additional opportunities.
Aesthetic surgeons and dermatologists are in this category as well. Although their techniques and services are not necessarily alternative or organic, they are in business for themselves and have to turn a profit. So they need marketing help.
Every holistic practitioner should have a website and a newsletter, and ideally a book. These practitioners are generally very passionate about what they do, but they are often clueless about marketing because they were never taught about business in their health education programs.
A word of caution: Many holistic practitioners would love to have your services but have limited funds. If you can help them bring in new patients because of your stellar copywriting, they will be grateful and continue to use your services. This might be a good place to start out, by offering a free or low-cost web page or two, in exchange for experience and a testimonial.
In addition, aesthetic doctors often do very well, but many are reluctant to pay for marketing. Again, this is because many are not trained as business people and don’t always see the value in good quality copywriting.
But I do have one good client in this area, so it’s an avenue to consider if the area of anti-aging interests you.
What will you write about?
Some of the popular topics you will be writing about include:
1. Supplements, from vitamin A to zinc
2. Healthy foods such as organic and non-GMO
3. Fitness and weight loss products
4. Nutritional packaged foods
5. Special diets, from Paleo to vegan
6. Natural skin care, makeup and personal care products
7. Natural home cleaning products
8. Natural ingredients to sell to manufactures
What kinds of writing will you do?
With everyone online, there is a continued need for new content to fuel the rabid social media machine. Google loves fresh, original content. Facebook and Twitter need to be updated daily or hourly.
No business owner can keep up with it all. That’s why professional writers who are specialists are in demand. In the natural products area, here is a portion of the types of writing you might do. It’s not exhaustive. New opportunities spring up regularly.
Web content: This is by far the bulk of my work. When a company has a new product, they need a web page to market it. Websites need to be updated regularly, and new pages added. You might be writing short, static pages such as for Home or About Us, or longer sales pages to sell a product.
Sales pages and sales letters: These are mainly online nowadays, such as the long sales pages you see to sell a product. But some companies use print, which is still effective because it stands out from the online noise.
Social media content: This is a huge, growing area. If you like to spend time on Facebook or Twitter, you can become a social media expert in the natural health area. For a monthly fee, you post or Tweet several times a day for your client, and get paid for it. How sweet is that?
Product descriptions: Companies with a large line of products need catchy descriptions to sell the items. They need pages of content to explain the benefits of their products. You can even get hired to write descriptions for products on Amazon.com
Lead generation tools: These can be reports, tip sheets, cheat sheet, or small e-books that companies use to generate leads. “Lead generation tools”, also called “ethical bribes,” are content that companies give away for free in order to get someone’s email address.
This is used for list building, so they can market to their list in the future. You may have heard “the money’s in the list” and every company should be building a mailing list. If they are not, they are missing a big opportunity.
Books and e-books: You can ghostwrite books or e-books for your clients. You get paid, but their name appears on the cover. They may want a book to position themselves as the authority in their niche, to sell a specific product or diet, or as a lead generation tool.
Newsletters and blogs: This is one of the best gigs you can get, because it’s recurring. Newsletters are an excellent way for a company to reach their target customers and deliver value without overtly selling.
Most companies who don’t publish newsletters say it’s because they don’t have anyone on staff with the ability or time to write and publish regularly.
Note: I’m defining a newsletter as having a main article and a few shorter sections which may include advertisements. Blogs are generally shorter and have one main topic. Companies need one or both, and they desperately need writers to help them.
Brochures & trade show materials: Companies still need print materials to hand out at trade shows, and to place in stores next to their products. Press releases: Companies need to tell the press about new advances, product launches, and company events.
Articles: Shorter articles can be used for social media, while longer articles are used for trade or industry publications.
Advertorials: These are longer sales pages, disguised as articles. They go into greater depth about the benefits of a product, and then have a sales pitch at the end.
Video scripts: With video booming on the Internet, many companies want “explainer” videos to sell their products. You write the script to sell the products, and a graphic designer or video company creates the animation. You might also write the script for the president or spokesperson of the company, who wants to personally connect with their customers.
As you can see, the wide variety of types of writing needed provides a vast opportunity to get work on an ongoing basis. Once you get into a company to write their web copy, for example, you can also suggest they create a short video. Or you can help them with their blog posts or social media.
In fact, the better you become at marketing, not just writing, the more value you bring to companies. Over time, you will be sought out and you’ll be able to raise your fees.
Who will you write for?
B2B Companies: B2B means business-to-business. Industry suppliers, such as ingredient manufacturers, want to reach their target customers, who might be food or supplement manufacturers.
They need professional writing, such as articles in trade magazines, web copy, Power-Point presentations, and video sales scripts. If you are more scientifically oriented and love diving into ingredients, this is a good place for you to start. You’ll be rubbing elbows with scientists who expect you to know the difference between a pre-biotic and a pro-biotic.
B2C Companies: B2C means business–to-consumer. Manufacturers are selling their products directly to consumers, and need web copy, newsletters, blogs, social media and sales pages.
If you regularly buy supplements and health foods, you’re in a great position to write for this segment, because you are part of the target market. You know what kinds of message resonate with you, and can help your customers understand how to position their products. You can write copy for them that reaches their customers on an emotional level – which is crucial to selling anything.
Retailers: Health food stores need marketing copy as well, but I have not found this to be a great source of business, as they frequently have small budgets. The larger chains often have in-house writers.
But it’s still worth investigating, especially if you can get work from larger chain stores through their marketing department.
Doctors: You’ve probably noticed how many alternative heath doctors have newsletters, which also sell the products they endorse. As you can figure out, most of these doctors are not writers.
They have a writer, or team of writers, putting together their newsletters and marketing materials. A few larger companies hire copywriters to write newsletters, but many smaller doctors’ offices look for help on their own.
Celebrities and fitness experts: Most industry icons are not sitting at the computer churning out their own books or web copy. They have ghostwriters quietly researching and writing for them while they dazzle their audiences on TV or appear on talk shows.
In fact, check the book titles of almost any celebrity or high profile professional. On the cover, you’ll often see the celebrity’s name, and in smaller type, the words “with” and another name as the co-author.
In reality, this second person wrote the whole book, using the content and knowledge of the guru. If you don’t see another name on the cover, read the acknowledgments section. They almost always thank someone for helping them “organize the content” – a code term for writing the content.
Self-help coaches and gurus: This is an off-shoot of the natural products market, and is a vast arena for writing marketing materials, programs and video scripts.
Many self-help experts sell audio or video programs, but that doesn’t mean they have the time or expertise to create them, along with all the sales materials to promote them. One good client in this area can keep you quite busy!
Yourself: Here’s a way you can make great money without looking for clients: Write for yourself!
You can start a newsletter, build your list and sell products that you create yourself, such as e-books. You can sell supplements or skin care products from Amazon, or other people’s products as an affiliate.
You can set up a sales page, drive traffic to it, and sell a health or beauty product. Or you can write books or e-books on health topics, and sell them on Amazon.com Once you dive into the natural health world, an array of opportunities open up, and you’ll be excited to find the avenues that work best for you.